2008 Boost Mobile Pro Day 3

Conditions: Chest- to head-high with larger sets, except when Taylor Knox needed a second score
Events Held: The rest of round three, first half of round four
Nature's Call: Is tomorrow good for you? Friday I got stuff…
Predictions: Kelly wins; a desperate WPS goes on strike

You know the part in "The Santa Clause," with Tim Allen, when the parents all remember exactly when they lost faith in Santa? I don't, because I only watch UFC and live surgery.

But if I did have a "Santa Claus" moment, it would be March 30, 2005. Phillip Island, Australia. After a cosmically inexplicable loss to Andy Irons in 2003, and a weird 2004 that we'll call the Lost Year, Kelly Slater was poised to go nowhere but up. The notion of a new Irons era was beginning to gain steam, and plenty of folks figured they'd seen the best of Kelly back in '98. His questionable decision to rejoin the ASP was, with each title lost, starting to be a bit tragic.

Slater fans dismissed such talk in public, but secretly eyed the ratings like nervous gamblers. And on March 30th, with the Bells event having relocated to Phillip Island due to lack of swell, we were dealt a crushing blow. Kelly bowed out early to…Bee-dee? Beede? Beddy? Some Ginger from Stradbroke. I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't ever forgive Bede Durbidge.

Fast forward to Wednesday in San Clemente. As Bede takes to the Lowers lineup for his Round 4 match against Luke Stedman, the peanut gallery of future-pro teenagers sizes up the heat in the VIP lounge.

"He surfs so sick.""I love that big wrap he does – right THERE."

Huh? These are kids who've had so much industry Kool-Aid that their support of a non-rockstar – which Durbidge most certainly is, because he refuses to act like one – is nothing short of a miracle. Meanwhile, Stedman dresses like a Sydney club swinger and married Malia Jones. Those are rockstar shenanigans. But sure enough, the groms are cheering like soccer moms for Bede. Fine, I'll watch the stupid heat with the stupid Triple Crown champ.

And, well, you know the rest. He's fan-flippity-tastic. He rips. He floats lightly about like a bulimic sophomore, but kicks all 180 lbs. onto his back foot for big rooster tails and that signature wrap. The heat isn't close, with Luke needing a perfect score as the horn sounds.

I have to talk to Bede. There has to be something about him to hate; as a Kelly fan, I feel obligated. So I follow Bede as he strolls alone down the bike path, away from the competitors' area. Probably going to kick a toddler, I hope.

But he stops at the food tent – the public food tent, not the free catered extravaganza Boost provides for all event VIP. As the girl explains to Bede the difference between the hamburger and the cheeseburger, a passing photographer interjects, "You can't make this guy pay, he won the contest two years ago!"

Bede laughs it off, and when the girl refuses his money, he graciously stuffs the ridiculous $6 fee into her tip jar. The burger arrives and, maybe a bit nervous, she drops it onto the counter. "That's ok, 30 second rule," offers Bede, But the grill girl insists on making him a new one.

Alright, enough is enough. I descend upon the tall Australian and demand, "Are you really as nice as everyone says?"

He chuckles and blames his parents and small-town upbringing. Says he tries to treat everyone the way he'd like to be treated. And he answers the rest of my questions, even though his second burger's probably starting to get cold. Yes, he realizes his career might be hurt by a lack of self-promotion. Yes, he did have to take a $50,000 {{{loan}}} to {{{finance}}} his tour campaign last year when no sponsor would step in. And yes, he's a Slater fan. Can't deny it, Bede's a good human.

As I walk back to the scaffolding to check the progress in heat four, I ponder the consequences of liking Bede Durbidge. Am I a traitor? Do I need to hurt myself now, like Dobby the House Elf? This is starting to get heavy. But as a settle into a chair and look out to sea, the next wave ridden is Kelly going top to bottom four times straight, then finishing with a huge hands-free air reverse for the event's only 10 and a 19.60 total score. Gosh, was that for me? Does he know?? Better not to take chances. Sorry Bede, hope your wax is slippery tomorrow.

Other stuff happened today too. Mick rips, Dane rips, Bobby rips, check the heat sheets. But there's been no indication that Kelly plans to lose this year, and with the contest likely to finish Thursday, the world championship picture could be a whole lot clearer by the time you read this. Tune in to www.BoostMobilePro.com and www.SurfingTheMag.com for coverage of the final day from Lowers.

The Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley will be webcast LIVE via

Today's Round 4 Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.{{{57}}} def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.24
Heat 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.16 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.77
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 18.37 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 16.33
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.60 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.07
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.33 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 7.60
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.44 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.67

Today's Round 3 Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Results:
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.67 def. Ben Bourgeois (USA) 11.67
Heat 6: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.67 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 11.84
Heat 7: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.33 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 10.1
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00 def. Sunny Garcia (HAW) 14.67
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.30 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.67
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.00 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 13.83
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.17 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.67
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.04 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 12.67
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.66 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.17
Heat 14: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.27 def. Chris Ward (USA) 12.10
Heat 15: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.84 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 16: Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.04 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 4.93

Upcoming Round 4 Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Match-ups:
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 8: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)

Upcoming Quarterfinal Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Match-ups:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: TBA