Quik Pro: Day 1

The Usual Suspects shine on the first day of the season opener

The 2011 ASP World Tour has officially begun, and Kelly Slater looks as in-form as ever. Photo: ASP/Robertson

With fun 3-foot walls coming off the rock at Snapper, all your favorite surfers--whether a top seed or not--tore into the place the way you’d expect after two months of preparation.

No one has made that statement clearer in 2011 than Taj Burrow. Today, Taj attacked every lip with the same ferocity as he did last week at Burleigh en route to victory at the Breaka Pro. And after his performance today, Taj has to be considered the favorite to win the Quik Pro too.

Not far off the pace though, would be your cast of usual suspects: Mick, Parko, Jordy, and Kelly, who left the fish at home today and took out a fresh CI pintail that made him look on point and ready to contend for the win.

Two low seeded surfers who lived up to all our lofty expectations today by winning their respective heats, would be Josh Kerr and Julian Wilson. Both presented a complete package complete with proper heat strategy, clean lines, and explosive statement maneuvers when needed.

And one surfer deserving of much more recognition than given, is Daniel Ross. Rossy was the only competitor to ride a four fin today, and whether it was the number of fins, his board, or his ability, he’s simply a much better surfer than people give him credit for.

All in all, the opening day of the Quik Pro was a pleasant return to WT competition for fans and competitors alike. Now we all need to focus a few prayers on a cyclone to form in a favorable position for perfect Snapper or all-time Kirra, and then we will really get a chance to see the world's best surfers go to town at one of the best surf zones on the planet.

Fresh off a win at the Burleigh Breaka Pro, Taj Burrow looks inclined to add another notch to his belt with a Snapper victory. Photo: ASP/Robertson

After coming up short in a close battle with rookie Julian Wilson, Ace Buchan will face wildcard Mitch Crews in Round 2. Photo: Glaser

After Dane Reynolds announced that he would not be able to compete, Cory Lopez filled in and was surfing on the big stage once again. Photo: Glaser

All eyes will be on the rookie Julian Wilson to see how he does in the big leagues. Photo: Glaser

Although the champ has been ambiguous about his comittment to another full year on the tour, his surfing in Round 1 made it clear that his competitive fire is as fierce as ever. Photo: Glaser

During the Snapper event, Mick Fanning gets asked for his autograph more times than Justin Bieber at the Teen Choice Awards. Like a true champion, Mick always takes the time for his young fans. Photo: Glaser

There's a very good reason for the local fanfare; Mick Fanning has his home break wired like no one else. Photo: Glaser

This kid refuses to shower after scoring Owen Wright's signature. Photo: Glaser

2010 Rookie of the Year Owen Wright took down Taylor Knox and Dusty Payne in Round 1, proving to be a real threat in this competition on his backhand. Photo: Glaser

Although Pat Gudauskas kicked off his heat with an impressive alley-oop, he came up short in the end to world number two Jordy Smith, who posted some of the hightest scores of the day. Photo: Glaser

Matt Wilkinson dominated the second heat of the day, taking advantage of the clean rights during the morning glass. Photo: Glaser