Family First at the Quik Pro

Shea Lopez

The author of SURFER's Top 32 Review, Shea Lopez spent 11 years competing on the World Tour and now reigns as our resident expert on the pro surfosphere.

It’s 5am on the Goldy, and I’m suffering from a terrible hangover (not the same hangover as the previous seven days of industry parties and friendly arvo get togethers though). This one is courtesy of a full day on the beach watching uber-talented WT competitors paddle continuously while rarely riding a decent wave. They frequently even got swept off the point and had to ride whitewash down to the waiting jet-skis to run them out and around to the backside of Snapper where they could then drift into position to “possibly” ride a wave with scoring potential. As I gaze towards the barely visible line-up at this pre-dawn moment, conditions have improved but don’t look as good as last night’s expression session when the tide was optimum and the swell was peaking. Bummer the surfers’ rep’s magic ball didn’t see that one coming. What I see coming today is an incoming tide that will turn the few decent waves breaking now into mushy shoulders until the tide eventually recedes around noon.

I’m staying with my brother…and Jordy Smith here, who coincidentally will be surfing against each other in heat 7 today. This is a situation that has played out many times before, only Andy would be the World Title favorite in place of Jordy. And Andy would be hellbent on making life uncomfortable for everyone in the house. Jordy ,presently, is engaged in a pleasant Skype session with his girlfriend as he looks forward to her visit during the Bells comp and assures her that the competition routine of a pro surfer isn’t nearly as disciplined as a boxer’s. Cory is also on Skype in his bedroom reading a book to his daughter as she prepares for her afternoon nap. Underneath all this bliss however, are two surfers prepared to give it their all when the horn sounds later today. And when that heat ends you can guarantee one of them will be madder than hell to have lost.

The rapidly rising sun has signaled it is time for us to all get out amongst it in an attempt to wash yesterdays memories away and replace them with a few nice Snapper walls. Shane Beschen has put an end to Jordy’s conversation with his girlfriend and is now going over the different boards in his quiver that will work best depending on the ever changing conditions at Snapper as it goes through the daily tide swing. Cory appears from his room, grabs a banana and the same board he’s ridden every day. Same sponsors, same accommodation, and the same friends and family in their support group, makes me wish surfing was a team sport sometimes so I could cheer for both, but today family comes first. So, later today, I will be pulling for Cory and Gee (Jordy’s dad) will be pulling for Jordy as we most likely stand side-by-side dissecting each surfers performance.