Great to be back blogging in 2009…sorry, for the slow start to the year. The first ASP World Tour event of the year has come and gone and here I am down at Bells for the Rip Curl Easter Pro waiting for my second round match-up with Adam Robertson and I'm only firing up my first blog.
But I've got a good excuse that I'm sure you will all appreciate the waves have just been too good!
After the Quiky Pro, I was fortunate enough to head over to Lakey Peak in Sumbawa for a week. I traveled over there with Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore, Ozzie Wright and Occy. We were there for photo sessions and the making of a DVD to celebrate Australian Surfing Life's upcoming 250th issue (hell feat, guys…well done!).
It was such a good trip. Surfing Life must have good karma because we scored really fun waves the whole time ranging from three to six feet.
There wasn't much time that we weren't in the water! Needless to say, given the crew onboard, there was some hot surfing going down.
Then, as soon as we got back to Oz, we walked into one of the best Gold Coast swells in years!
I got one training session in with 'Elko' (Gary Elkerton, aka Kong) and then we were into it with the jet ski, doing step offs every day. It was a really strong swell and we mainly surfed Kirra. There were some insane barrels to be had. It still wasn't as good as old Kirra would have been with the same swell, but it was definitely the best it has been since they started all the sand pumping and ruined it. Let's hope it keeps improving and we get one of Australia's great surfing treasures back.
Of course, the Quiky Finals went down a Kirra which is another indication it still has a future if we nurture it correctly.
It went pretty well for me with a fifth which is a “banker” result for me. It was great to see Joel Parkinson go on and win it. Parko was on fire and was definitely the king of Kirra!
The Quiky was definitely a mobile event this year. We surfed heats at D'bah, Snapper and then finished at Kirra. The first event of the year is always interesting. You get to see how everyone is surfing and who has been training in the off season. The only real major upset was Kelly's early departure. But if I know Kelly, he will be a force at Bells yet again. And he will be well motivated.
My own preparation coming up to Bells has been great. There's nothing better than getting a bunch of good waves and I have just been surfing so much. I got down to Victoria early though, because I wanted to get used to the cold. It takes a couple of days to adjust, especially when you come from Queensland!
Other than that, I'm sticking to my same routine as last year. I've been training with Elko and Wayne McKewen. Wayne has my boards firing and I'm really enjoying surfing down here. I got to the Final last year against Kelly of course, so it would be awesome to go one better than last year and ring that bell.
You can count on the usual suspects being up there again….I think Kelly, Joel and Mick will be right up there along with Taj. And Jordy Smith was a standout on the opening day too.
The swell is looking okay for the waiting period it looks like a bump up on the weekend and quite promising for Tuesday and Wednesday next week. It's perfect timing for the ASP to launch its new format because it doesn't look like there will be four good days of surf in the waiting period.
The new format is sudden death from Round 1 which allows the organizers to get through as much as possible of the event in quality surf. It's harsh that people lose in Round 1 and they're out, but if you do well on the tour you do get rewarded by being seeded directly into Round 2. I think the format will grow on every one over time and it's worth trying so we get more surfing in better waves.
For more information on BEDE DURBIDGE, check out his ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE