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Men's Olympics Update

I often wonder how surfers, let alone the rest of the world, will receive surfing as an Olympic sport. Mostly I'm sure it will exist as a novelty highlights package between women’s water polo and the equestrian events. Could we hope for anything more? Surely, if the best surfers in the world represent our sport on the world stage, it won’t be a complete embarrassment. Right? The thing is, there’s no guarantee that the ‘best surfers’ will even be asked to attend. The IOC, ISA and WCT have banded together... Read more

Last updated December 6, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Preview: Billabong Pipe Masters

Hawaii has already served up some hefty drama this week, what with Tyler's stunning comeback, Steph's 5th Honolua win, Carissa's 4th title, and Lakey's fall at the final hurdle, it was a massive end to the women's season. Not to be outdone, Sunset brought the men's QS picture into focus with some quality conditions on the final day. When the dust settled, everyone's hopes (except Zeke's) were realised when Jack Robinson won the event and qualified for the 2020 big league. Not a bad start to the winter season.... Read more

Last updated December 6, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Preview: Meo Rip Curl Pro

While Pipe may be the 'Superbowl of surfing', Portugal certainly punches above its weight when it comes to world title speculation. Throw in the race for Olympic qualifications and a decent forecast, and we have plenty to get psyched about for Portugal. Medina, Seabass, Filipe, and Jordy et al. may have ensured that most fantasy teams sucked in France, but the pain will be short-lived. While the tight European turn-around may offer few hours of sleep for me, for everyone else it spells a quick shot at redemption. Conditions... Read more

Last updated October 12, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Preview: QuikPro France

France is always interesting to watch, but it has felt even more exciting since the pool event was added to the tour. The Freshwater Pro undoubtedly has its flaws, but the WSL hardly help themselves by juxtaposing it against the Tahiti and France events. Tahiti, with its fear factor and raw power, makes the pool seem inconsequential and weak. France, with its dynamic and hyper-variable conditions, makes the pool look monotonous and fake. Maybe the Freshwater Pro was always destined to resemble those qualities anyway, but I feel like France... Read more

Last updated September 28, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview: Freshwater Pro

The Wave The event will be held at the KS Wave Ranch, located amongst the rural countryside of Lemoore, California. The man-made wave is manufactured in a 600m (2000') long and 150m (500') wide lake originally built for water skiing. It is created when under-water hydrofoils run down a track at around 30 kilometres per hour (19mph), making artificial waves rise up and push across the pool onto the contour reefs of the pool bottom. Waves at the Surf Ranch can reportedly reach a face height of 6.5 feet,... Read more

Last updated September 15, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview: Tahiti Pro

With J-Bay a distant memory, and the putrid taste of Huntington still souring our collective mouths, it's pretty easy to get excited about Teahupo'o. It will be interesting to see how the tour elite handle going left, especially when it's double-overhead and 1' deep. Traditionally, Tahiti is where the world title picture starts coming into focus too; with only 36% of the title points up for grabs after the final siren sounds at The End of the Road, the line between rippers and trippers becomes more apparent. As Parko reminds... Read more

Last updated August 20, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview: J-Bay

How are you travelling at the all-but-halfway point in the season? Fantasy wise, that is. I don't mean that hollow sensation growing deep within your soul that reminds you that you're nearly 40 and still dedicating far too much time to fantasy sports. No? Just me? Anyway, how is your team looking? Were you riding the John John gravy train until recently? That low price from event 1 was a gift. Now we all have to rethink our whole budget, and it could make for some massive opportunities. With two... Read more

Last updated July 6, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview - Rio Pro

I know, I know; my post-event articles have disappeared like Julian's title aspirations. Sorry. Life's been getting in the way. If, for some masochistic reason, you crave more surf-stats content, then my old-man social accounts on Facebook or Twitter give readers more regular intel, such as FSS leaderboard shout-outs, last-minute injury news, and random stats. Anyway, Rio's around the corner, and those fantasy teams aren't going to pick themselves... Conditions There is a WSL/surfline break breakdown on the Rio event  here, but we also like Nick Carroll's... Read more

Last updated June 16, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview - Margaret River

Bali Wash-Up With such a tight turn-around, this was always going to be a squeeze. We'll drop some Bali knowledge once our Margies stuff is set. Watch this space. Margaret River Conditions The WSL have plenty of venue guides, such as here, or the Ben Mondy overview of the place here. There's also a detailed surfline break breakdown, as well as Slater's 'Vision' series providing his insights into Main Break, the Box and North Point. Honestly, this event is harder to pin... Read more

Last updated May 27, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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Event Preview - Bali Pro

Trainspotters may have noticed that I didn't manage to throw up a post-Bells wrap. I owe all 16 of my regular readers an apology; I just got snowed under and let it slip. I hope my abbreviated version below will suffice (to those uninterested on my Bells musings, just scroll a little down the page and you can read the regular preview): Bells Winners Wave of the Event It may not have had the classic Bells lines that we know and love, but John's 9.63 on a maxed-out bomb... Read more

Last updated May 9, 2019 by Balyn McDonald

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