2008 Boost Mobile Pro Day 1

Conditions: Head-high and super
Events Held: Round 1, first two heats of Round 2
Nature’s Call: Hold up a mirror, so I can look at me too
Predicted: They’re the favorites for a reason

6:08 AM: I wake to the howl of my neighbor’s cat, and hope today’s the day it falls asleep on the train tracks. Meanwhile, somewhere – probably underground – Kelly Slater is deciding which waves he’ll ride during Thursday’s quarterfinal.

7:00 AM: Lowers has arrived, as promised, and the call is made for an eight o’clock start to round one. I’m fifty miles south in a pool. And a speedo.

8:00 AM: Jordy Smith does a most unusual turn in the day’s first heat, throwing his board askew and reeling it back in like a yo-yo. I just know from the replay; at this point, swim practice is only half over.

11:00 AM: Brett Simpson levels the world #3, Bede “I can’t wait to draw Kelly” Durbidge. I hear about it via cell-phone on the freeway – illegally (I ain’t got no headset.)

11:20 AM: On the shuttle ride to Lowers from the parking lot, I share a row with Jenny the Red Bull Girl. She says she only has the sugar-free. I say, “You also have my heart.” We agree to disagree.

11:35 AM: After a brief false-start (“That wristband won’t get you into the competitor’s area, sir,”) I climb the scaffolding just in time to see a little bald man in red stroking into five lovely feet of righthander. Kelly floats a section, draws a few extended treble clefs and stomps an air on the inside for nine and three-fifths points, the highest score of the day so far. And I’m pretty sure he winked at me right as the wave ended. Not positive but, you know, pretty sure. So I was finally welcomed to my first Boost Mobile Pro at Lowers.

It’s Fashion Week in New York right now, and loads of teen girls are fluttering about from show to show, trying to get a taste of the big time. A nation away in Southern California, the surf industry is enjoying its own week of wonder – and I am those teenage girls. Giddy with concealed excitement, strolling around the VIP lounge, straight in the mix with surfing’s Illuminati. Close enough to kiss Mick Fanning’s mum, arm-wrestle Yadin Nicol and punch Dane Reynolds in the back of the head. For the uninitiated, like me, the Boost is a sensory overload of surfy-coolness. But even for those who’ve seen it all before, today had some memorable highlights.

First off, Rob Machado’s hair surfed twice – smooth as ever, it only gets better with age – and it also did a bunch of commentary for the webcast. I don’t know where Rob was. He might have been there too, it’s hard to say. But f-k, his hair was ripping.

Kelly got the top heat score, but Mick’s surfing was technically flawless. At Trestles, the wave offers no resistance – it’s like golf with a ten-foot hole – so everyone’s mechanics are really laid bare, and well.if Mick is Wall-E, everybody else is Spongebob.

Sunny Garcia won his heat. For those born after 1991, Sunny’s a Hawaiian world champion and Triple Crown monopolist whose career was interrupted by federal imprisonment. Now he’s winning heats again on the ‘CT. Unless the swell kicks up to 2002 levels, it’s tough to see him advancing much further but – as Quiksilver’s Chad Wells noted – Sunny’s still gotta be the World’s Worst Draw at big Haleiwa.

Pancho did an air! Sort of. Pancho sort of did an air. But the Hawaiian youth brigade in the scaffolding reacted like he’d just thrown a heelflip because Hawaiians are a loyal sort, and because everything loves Pancho.

That was the other thing: the sneaky groms. Thanks to some well-timed serendipity (turns out the wristbands from Clay Marzo’s movie premiere on Sunday were the same color as the Boost VIP ones), a horde of other youngsters stormed the secure zone and spent all day cheering and jeering like a bunch of little Simon Cowells. They can be harsh, yes; harsh, but fair.

So with Kelly’s fist mark all over day one’s face, it can only get better from here, as forty-odd guys try hard to catch the Golden Snitch – however, if round one was any indication, Slater might just fly away with it. Stay tuned all week as Surfing reports from the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley, here in San Clemente.

The Boost Mobile Pro will be webcast LIVE on www.ASPWorldTour.com and www.BoostMobilePro.com

Round 2 Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.50 def. Shane Beschen (USA) 9.00
Heat 2: Bede Durbdige (AUS) 15.33 def. Rob Machado (USA) 12.50

Round 1 Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Results:
Heat 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.67, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.04, Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.70
Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.50, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.24, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 3.03
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.{{{90}}}, Taylor Knox (USA) 14.66, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 8.00
Heat 4: Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.67, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.74, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.70
Heat 5: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.33, Andy Irons (HAW) 8.{{{57}}}, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 7.73
Heat 6: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.23, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.84, Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.43
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.47, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 15.17, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.17
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.60, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 13.47, Shane Beschen (USA) 12.00
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.90, Rob Machado (USA) 11.17, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.90
Heat 10: Sunny Garcia (HAW) 14.50, Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.67, Chris Ward (USA) 10.56
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.47, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.50, Heitor Alves (BRA) 9.50
Heat 12: Mikael Picon (FRA) 11.60, Bruce Irons (HAW) 6.50, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.90
Heat 13: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.10, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.27, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.67
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.73, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 12.30, Luke Munro (AUS) 10.93
Heat 15: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 15.43, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.00, Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.20
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) 14.00, Mick Campbell (AUS) 9.67, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 8.00

Upcoming Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Round 2 Heats:
Heat 3: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 6: Bruce Irons (HAW) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (AUS)
Heat 8: Fredrick Patacchia (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 9: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 11: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 13: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Pancho Sullivan (HAW)
Heat 15: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 16: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)