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Contest Wash-Up - Billabong Pro Tahiti 2017

"All the crumbs make a loaf of bread" - J. Smith, 2017 Rant Is there a more entertaining individual in pro surfing right now than Jordy Smith? I think not. He's an incredible surfer, yes, but he's also a world-class claim choreographer, a heart-on-your-sleeve emotional roller-coaster, a universal icon for hair stylists everywhere. And now, he's a bona-fide philosopher. Nobody, not Longtom, not Doherty, not even Potz himself, has been able to use such efficiency and poetic flair in describing this contest. Was it epic? Not... Read more

Last updated August 16, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Preview - Billabong Pro Tahiti 2017

The trials are done, the forecast is coming into focus and the metrics have been updated; let's do this: Conditions The WSL forecast doesn't looks fantastic. There is the potential for the WSL to run the first few rounds on a mild-mannered SSW swell in the first 3 days, possibly getting us past R4 if they can run some on Friday. After that, it doesn't look too impressive. Mind you, last year's forecast was similar, but we were pleasantly surprised by... Read more

Last updated August 10, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Injuries and Wildcards - Tahiti 2017

Here's the latest regarding the upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti (August 11):   Kelly Slater - OUT This is just a formality, as even mainstream news outlets have been reporting Slater's foot injury since he pulled into a close-out during the J-Bay contest. If this is news to you, then you've been avoiding surf media for a while. Anyway, Kelly will be lucky to make Pipe at the end of the season, thus deflating his 'one last shot' at a title AND putting the brakes on his... Read more

Last updated July 30, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Metrics - Billabong Pro Tahiti 2017

Tahiti now has the unenviable task of following a truly epic J-Bay contest; one that provided a spectacle for fans and managed to raise many surfers' AHS for 2017. Mind you, Tahiti can wow fans with the best of them. The success of this contest will depend on the conditions, just like your fantasy team. Let's see who has the upper hand...   All projections and stats are taken from 2014-2017 WSL contest data. Some 2017... Read more

Last updated July 28, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Wash-Up - Corona Open J-Bay

“That’s the best conditions I’ve ever seen” – Kelly Slater consoling Conner Coffin after his re-surf loss to Jordy Smith.   Rant *I sincerely apologise for the lateness in publishing this piece; my bastard internet providers have some sort of infrastructure issue and are making me wait a week before sending out a technician. This wash-up was published entirely via a combination of mobile hotspot and begging my neighbour for her wifi password (she's a gem!). I know that most of it's irrelevant several... Read more

Last updated July 23, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Preview - JBay Open 2017

Image: Gabe attempting some mid-heat spray intimidation against Slater in 2015 (Kelly won the quarter-final) Fiji feels like a season ago, no? JBay is a world away from tropical Fiji, a fact which the the stats reflect quite clearly. Let's don the neoprene, stretch the quads and test our mettle against the wild southern point-break. Conditions The WSL's long-range forecasting (at this point) calls for 'fun size SSW swells for the opening days of the waiting period'. Surfline seems... Read more

Last updated July 9, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Metrics - JBay Open 2017

Hey fellow Surf Statisticians, You may have noticed (the 12 of you who read them) that the contest review for Fiji was M.I.A. Yeah, sorry about that. SS is a one-man-show these days, with little other than a love of surfing and a few rad-as-hell donors keeping me going. Which is fine; I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't want to. Occasionally though, important things come up and the site needs to take a back seat. Important things such as this little guy: Read more

Last updated July 3, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Injuries and Wildcards - Corona Open JBay 2017

Here's the latest regarding the upcoming JBay Open: Michael February - IN Other than his semi-final against Jordy, Mikey has won everything in South African surfing this year. He comes in hot and he knows the wave well. He'll most likely draw Jordy again in R1. Caio Ibelli - IN The 2016 ROTY looks to be out of his ankle brace and, by all reports, looks set to take his place in the draw at JBay. He's been out of the water (unless... Read more

Last updated June 29, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Injuries and Wildcards - Fiji Pro 2017

Here's the latest regarding the upcoming Outerknown Fiji Pro: Kelly Slater - In He's not officially OUT, anyway. Slater withdrew from Rio citing back problems and, if you do the math, he should still be out of action for Fiji. The thing is: Slater simply won't miss his maiden event as principal sponsor. And he's been adequately nursing said back problem for years. And it's his favourite event. And the injury was, in part, only an excuse to skip Rio in favour of Gold Coast gold. He'll... Read more

Last updated June 1, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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Contest Preview - Fiji Pro 2017

Image: our projected Fiji Pro champion threading the south Pacific needle The girls are (nearly) done and dusted and the scene is set for event 5 of the Championship Tour. There's something exciting about a Fiji contest; it's guaranteed to throw up at least one talk-of-the-line-up heat each year (remember Taj's farewell in 2016?). Warm water, great waves, the best competitive surfers in the world. What's not to like? Let's take off late and pull into the numbers: Conditions The WSL's forecasting predicts 'solid... Read more

Last updated June 1, 2017 by Balyn McDonald

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