By Jamie Tierney
To run or not to run? That is the question again this year in France. Trying to figure out the conditions here is as tricky as it gets. The swell, tide and wind change by the hour and surf accurate surf forecasting is nearly impossible. In So-Cal you see a big south swell hitting Tahiti and you know that a week later there's going to be waves. Here you have no idea what's going to happen to the surf in the next twenty minutes.
After a bombing but walled Day 1 on Sunday the past few days have been small, but fun. Ridiculously fun. Check the King of the Groms final on the Quik Pro site heats on demand if you want to see how good 3 foot clean waves can be here. Dreamy stuff. If it would have been six foot it would have been magic. But it wasn't. So the pros, led by surfer's rep Kieren Perrow decided to wait on the forecasted swell increase that was due to hit starting today.
The decision begs the question. What would you rather surf in – clean head high performance waves or chunky six foot shacks? Where do you want to fight for a world title or to stay on tour – Trestles or Backdoor? France is one of the only places in the world that can offer both. Trestles was so 10 days ago so the choice was made. "Let's go get some barrels," said Bobby Martinez when he heard the call.
Starting at 3pm it was on. The Damien Hobgood/Travis Logie clash didn't offer much but the Andy Irons/Luke Munro heat was the best of the contest so far. Andy opened it up with a 9.07 for a crazy late drop into the pit followed by a huge and nearly made straight air. Then Luke upped the ante with a super long and heavy drainer that should have been a 10 but clocked in at a 9.77. He backed it up with another solid tube for a 7.10 and Andy couldn't find anything better than a 2. It was a bummer to see him lose considering how well he surfs in waves like these.
The rest of the heats lacked the excitement of that one as most of the barrels tended to close out and the driving current was constantly pulling the surfers out of position. Couple that with an afternoon glare that made it nearly impossible to see who the surfers were or what they were doing. Tom Whitaker got the last proper shack of the day and advanced to Round 3 as did Jadson Andre, Michel Bourez, Chris Davidson, Kieren Perrow and Taylor Knox.
Tonight it's clear and cold and we're looking at all day offshores tomorrow. With today's swell holding for the morning and a new one arriving in the afternoon it's looking like it's going to be the best surf day of the event window and contest director Rod Brooks hopes to run 20 heats.
Get ready. It should be fun to watch.