Read previous reports from the Quiksilver Pro Australia here
There's a Chemical Brother's track from a few years back that starts out, "Hey girls, hey boys, superstar dj's, HERE WE GO!" In the fast paced, hyped up world of the Gold Coast that's how it felt today. Look out the window, see the lines of swell, feel the offshore wind, have a quick "Blazing Boards" flashback and then, "here we go."
Today was on, no question about it. Quite a few draining tubes and stupidly, absurdly, outrageously, obscenely rippable. As Taylor Knox put it after his heat, "every wave looks so perfect and I have to try so hard to make myself not go on every one of them." It can't be easy, when you see nothing but tapered, key lime pie goodness coming at you. How can you force yourself from not eating every bite?
Wave selection was key. Each heat seemed to feature a guy who found rhythm and another who over-amped. Boxer Mick Campbell found his early in a heavy, heavy destruction of local and former Quiksilver Pro champ, Dean Morrison. Pity the fools who come up against Mighty Mick this year. He doesn't exactly flow like a butterfly, but he sure stings like a bee.
And Kelly? Well, quite a few folks here were wondering how he'd respond in a rematch to red-hot 18-year old Julian Wilson after losing to him in Round 1 last week. Slates didn't waste much time in answering them by throwing down an 8.5 in the early minutes followed by the first 10 of the event - a set wave that he mercilessly hacked to submission. Then, as Julian struggled to put a wave together, Kelly found this sick little wedge of the rocks - tube to a flurry of ridiculously committed turns for a 9.8. "I actually thought I surfed better on the 9.8 than on the 10," Kelly said after. "That was easily the best heat I've had at here."
Who else? Mick, Joel, Josh Kerr, Jeremy Flores. Too many. We ran 18 heats today in the hope we can finish tomorrow. Mick said it was the best Snapper had ever been for a contest. Many claimed that Greenmount - down the line a ways - was just like Kirra used to be. Non-stop rifling pits. It was the kind of day that just hurts to watch.
Writing this is just too much. I'm done. These waves are meant to be ridden - not written about. I've got to get out there. Comp's finished for the day. Think positive, forget the crowd, focus on getting one, just one. Here we go...