2008 Rip Curl Search Day 1

HEAT RUNS: Round One, Day One
CONDITIONS: 6-8 foot and peeerrrfect!
NATURE'S CALL: Everyone knows this is nowhere
PREDICTIONS: "Somewhere" is going to be epic.

Deflate your exercise balls, boys. Cancel your appointment with the CHEK trainer. Cash in your personal trainer's frequent flier miles. The new big thing is Not Caring. Taking it easy. Chillaxing. Just look at Kelly Slater. He's won four out of five events this year and he couldn't look more chillaxed. He's goofing off on the little non-wave righthander before his heat. Chatting up the water patrol. And then — on a wave he's never even surfed before — he goes out and pulls down a Perfect Ten straightaway.

The score was undeniable. Tens from every single judge. An absolute bomb set wave with a vertical tuberide, a beautiful bottom turn stall, and a second, ledging, foamball, bull-ride, close-out, KS-Signature Miracle doggie-door exit (patent pending) with a "chuckling-at-my-own-ridiculous-perfection" claim.

The boys in the grandstands just shook their heads. They're done complaining. Been there, done that. But the 'CT Wives Club are snapping. "Why won't he just go away?" one potential world champ wife snaps. Other wives/girlfriends/fiances are quick to agree… but out in the water, the heat ain't over yet.

The highly under-rated Timmy Reyes was still leading the heat, surfing beautifully in conditions that were finally turning as epic as locals had predicted here at…uh…

See, that's the thing. We can't tell you where we are. It's, like, this HUGE secret. We've been totally trying to figure it out ourselves, but it just keeps eluding us. We know we're somewhere in Indonesia. We know there's a shipwreck on the reef. There's monkeys stealing sunglasses off the beach. It's apparently "so good they named it twice." One more clue and I'm sure we'll figure it out. And when we do, first thing we'll do is call Jihad Kodhr and Neco Padaratz, who were no-shows for today's Round One "mock heats" warm-up session, and tell them how to find it. (Just joking: their flight was delayed and they'll be here in time for Round Two.)

The morning high tide was a bummer. And the first couple heats — Rodrigo, Damo, Tiago, {{{CJ}}} — they were lucky to sneak off with a decent head-dip or two. But as the tide dropped out, as Andy was just hitting the water, Wherever The Hell We Are started turning ON. While Dane Reynolds was still goofing off with backside rodeo flips on the wonky insiders, AI showed classic, gunning form on the first proper set waves, comboing the rest of the heat. (He's taken the last two of first place checks from the Search events, and organizers were already getting nervous about a three-peat.) Then Parko came out blazing with a couple epic, draining tubes punctuated with crisp, refined hacks, easily winning his heat despite some incredible rides from Jordy Smith and Bruno Santos. Both Parko and AI — not to mention fellow top fivers Bede Durbidge and Mick Fanning and Taj Burrow — showed world title winning form. The type of easy, dominating Round One poise that generally translates into Finals heat intensity.

But then here comes Mr. Slater…and all the folks waiting to see if he could somehow manage to keep up this ridiculous winning streak are now staring at his opening Perfect Ten going, "Yeah, okay, but can he follow it up with another score?"

Sure enough, Kelly drops in, huge barrel, goes switchfoot on the bottom turn over a sucking, below sea-level double-up section, and pulls in again for another long, goofyfoot barrel, and comes out clean with a stylie, "don't care," drop-wallet claim.

Now even the wives have nothing to say.

Tiago Pires

He's toying with one of the most famously shallow waves in…well, this place we can't even mention. Just toying with it. Goofing off when he needs a score most.

"You'd need Joel, Andy and Mick in one heat to top that," says local legend Tippy Jabrick (oops, was that another hint? Sorry.)

So, is it over yet? For the rest of the heat, Slater's five-second barrels, nearly-pulled rodeo flips and other playful freakisms seem boring by {{{comparison}}}. And even as the afternoon's non-elimination rounds turn into a mind-melting barrel fest, the beach announcers can only keep chattering on about Slater's switchfoot freakshow. His Perfect Ten. His four out of five wins. His 1200-point lead on the tour. His unending streak of domination. It's madness. It's Slater-mania. And Kelly's just sipping a pia colada with his 21-year-old girlfriend on his private patio overlooking the break. Chillaxing. Not caring. He's got tomorrow off, in fact. Maybe he'll go to the zoo or the waterslides. I hear the monkey forest is nice. And Batman's playing at the mall.

But hang on there. It's only Day One! Parko, AI, and Mick looked awesome today. Bede's fired up. Dane and Jordy are full of surprises. Bruce and Wardo are firmly on the "don't care" program. "Somewhere" is going off right now…good as it gets. It's too perfect for anyone to care anymore. Perfect tube after perfect tube…and we're just getting started. Slater may have started with a bang, he may have not lost a heat to another WCT surfer yet this year, he may be acting like he doesn't care…but can he keep it up?

Stay tuned to www.SurfingMagazine.com for more blow-by-blow action from "actual elimination" rounds.

(1st advances to Round 3; 2nd & 3rd advance to Round 2)
Heat 1: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.{{{90}}}, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.87, Jay Thompson (AUS) 7.73
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.90, Bobby Martinez (USA) 7.50, Travis Logie (ZAF) 3.13
Heat 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.10, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.34, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 9.10
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.84, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.33, Jihad Khodr (BRA) N/S
Heat 5: Andy Irons (HAW) 18.40, Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.17, Daniel Ross (AUS) 5.37
Heat 6: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.00, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.34, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.23
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.40, Bruno Santos (BRA) 18.03, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.17, Tim Reyes (USA) 15.00, Komang "Gogo" Suijaya (IDN) 9.33
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.67, Taylor Knox (USA) 6.93, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.60
Heat 10: Bruce Irons (HAW) 17.77, I Made Garut Widiart (IDN), 12.43, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.83
Heat 11: Chris Ward (USA) 17.03, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 16.23, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.00
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.10, Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.84, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.40
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) 8.50, Luke Munro (AUS) 8.00, Daniel Wills (AUS) 6.10
Heat 14: bDean Morrison (AUS) 14.{{{80}}}, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 14.44, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.90
Heat 15: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 17.70, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.67, Neco Padaratz (BRA) N/S
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.83, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.53, Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.17

(1st advances to Round 3; 2nd finishes =33rd)
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Komang "Gogo" Suijaya (IDN)
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. I Made Garut Widiart (IDN)
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Dan Ross (AUS)
Heat 7: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 8: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 13: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 14: Jay Thompson (AUS) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 15: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 16: Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)