Monday, July 1, 2013

Watch: Plastic Seas

Plastic SEAS a Surfing video by MPORA

Mick Fanning Leads World Tour Rankings

In 1976, Peter Townend was named surfing's first World Champion. The odd part about that honor being bestowed on Townend was the fact that he didn't win an event that year. However, he surfed the most events and was consistent enough in those contests that the point system used by the then-IPS awarded him the trophy (even if the trophy was a fake). This year, we've got another Townend situation brewing, as Mick Fanning has been the model of consistency this season, reaching at least the quarterfinals of every event this year but failing to win one as of yet. We're at the mid-point of the tour, and Mick owns a narrow lead over Kelly Slater. Reigning World Champ Joel Parkinson, fresh off his dramatic win at Keramas, has catapulted himself into third place in the rankings after some disappointing results earlier in the year. Jordy Smith is currently slated fourth, while Taj Burrow rounds out the Top 5.

Who is the favorite to win the World Title this season? Your guess is as good as mine, as this race feels increasingly tight with every passing event. Nobody is separating themselves from the pack, but again, there are still five events to be surfed. Could Mick keep surfing well but missing out on wins and still take home the title this season? It's possible unless someone really tightens their game and puts up some big results. If I were Fanning, I would be most worried about Kelly and Parko, for rather obvious reasons. Kelly can win any event at any time, and if he decides to flip his killer instinct switch he could run away with this thing before anyone knew what happened. Parko, on the other hand, just got his first win of the season, and in doing so looked like the Parko of 2012. These three guys are the favorites right now in my eyes, though Jordy, Taj and Adriano are definitely in the mix. If you want a dark horse, then I'd go with Nat Young, who is surfing better than ever right now and has shown some serious consistency in his own right this season. Should be a hell of a race.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bali Pro Down to Quarters

Hell of a day yesterday for Rounds 4 and 5 of the Oakley Bali Pro, as Keramas went off with some incredible barrels, and the boys went hunting for deep tubes (highlights below). The performance of the day undoubtedly came from reigning World Title champion Joel Parkinson, who put up a perfect heat in Round 5 against John John Florence's 19.20 in the best head-to-head performance of the competition thus far. Just going into that heat and knowing that one of those guys was going to be eliminated didn't feel quite right, but afterward it really seemed like they both deserved to advance. A vet-on-vet upset occurred in Round 5 when C.J. Hobgood ousted current number one Kelly Slater, and another stunner came one heat later when Nat Young bounced Adriano De Souza from the contest.

Here is a look at the quarters matchups:

Taj Burrow vs. Joel Parkinson
-What a heat this will be. Both guys looked seriously on their game yesterday, and it might come down to wave selection, which is why I'd give Parko the nod here. The champ hasn't won a contest yet this year, and it's really starting to feel like that streak is going to end.

Josh Kerr vs. C.J. Hobgood
Kerr had a fantastic Round 4 heat where to took down both Kelly and John John, so he's on a roll. His tube-riding has been better than I expected, as he's proving that he's much more than just an aerial guy. Will C.J.'s veteran savvy be enough here?

Julian Wilson vs. Nat Young
Julian is probably my favorite surfer on tour, though I felt he coasted a little yesterday and didn't love that. He'll need to compete harder to take down Young, one of the hottest surfers over the past few events. This is a great matchup of young guns and it's fun to know one of them will end up in the semis.

Michel Bourez vs. Mick Fanning
Normally I'd almost assume Mick is going to win this one, but Michel's game has looked tighter this week than I've ever seen it. He's becoming one of the more impressive power surfers on tour, and he's had a patient approach to this event that has netted him some of the best waves in the lineup. If pressed for a pick, I'd still take Mick, but I think it's much closer than you'd think at first glance.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Watch: Evo Revisited

"After 40 years an original 1968 Evolution board finds its way back into the hands of its creator, Wayne Lynch. Passing the board along to the youth of today, Belinda Baggs rides the board following the footsteps of Wayne. The power of Wayne 'the fish' Lynch and Bindy's graceful 'dancer' approach set a contrast leading onto a new remake based off the original design and modern theories of today."

Courtesy of Patagonia

Friday, June 21, 2013

Watch: Uncharted Waters Trailer

Courtesy of Patagonia.
U.S. Tour Dates: June 20th at the Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA, June 21st at La Paloma Theater, Cardiff, CA , and June 27th at the Village East Cinema, NY.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

180° South Inspires

I watched the documentary 180° South (trailer below) today and I highly recommend it to any appreciator of nature. It's not a surfing documentary, but there is some surfing in it and it carries with it a lot of elements that would attract people in the surfing culture. Equal parts adventure, an affinity for the natural world, environmental responsibility and simple living, this film is an inspiring story of a sixth-month journey that enriches the life of one man in ways he never bargained for. I don't want to get too much into what actually happens in this movie, because it should be seen instead of read about, but I will say that perspective is a tricky thing, and I have a great deal of love for things that alter and help fine-tune my perspective.

I will share one quote from the film that especially resonated with me (there were several):

"Each of us have got to do something to save our soul, whatever that is."
-Yvon Chouinard

For me, that something is surfing.

Watch: Slow Dance Teaser

 Courtesy of Marine Layer Productions...sorry for the slow load.