2008 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Preview

And away we go. After months of speculation, excitement and anticipation it's all about to blow up in Coolangatta. The kickoff to the 2008 ASP World Tour Season is only a few hours away and things are already getting weird. Andy Irons spiked himself against the rocks at Snapper yesterday. Dane Reynolds continues to laugh in the face of hype, growing yet another creepy mustache and he hasn't cut his hair in six months. He's also not fazed by everyone's gladiator training regimens. Bobby Martinez got the best barrel D-Bah has ever seen. And Kelly is vague as ever about his plans for the year. But are you kidding? The guy's a ham and this is the year shit's going down on tour. You know Kelly wants to play.

Here are five things to consider this weekend as we fire up the Quiksilver Pro and the 2008 ASP World Tour season:

1. Snapper Sucks? Apparently the Super Bank got robbed. The culprit? Kirra. After being battered for the past few weeks by massive swells and weather, the sand is missing the Super Bank and heading all the way to Kirra. What would be more classic than a below sea level Kirra dredge-fest with all the new kids to start the year? Nothing.

2. Train gang: Apparently every guy on tour has turned into {{{Rocky}}} over the break. Jordy's been bashing bags. Mick is still the ringleader. Taylor Knox is breaking the bank to stay fit. Taj is training when he's not defending his honor in the Aussie tabloids after a weird falling out with model Cheyenne Tozzi. And even Parko's training, although even when he's working out it doesn't really look like it.

3. Kelly and Kirra: Well, sure he's saying things like, "Something needs to change in my life." And while we're not sure if he's talking about quitting the tour, joining Obama on the campaign trail (Kelly allegedly donated a board to Obama and is looking forward to teaching him to surf this summer) or leaving the tour after Snapper, "Winning this event could be a nice way to go out," he said, but one thing that has entered the realm of possibility that would be one for the history books: A Kelly and Kirra competitive reunion. And while we love the Super Bank with all our heart, Kirra is for Kelly.

4. Andy's New {{{Vibe}}}: Andy was trying to navigate the tricky Snapper rock jump off and was splayed across it by a set wave yesterday. His foot is sliced. His ego a little crushed. And his arms are scraped up. But something about Andy this year is interesting. We've got a good feeling about his prowess. After the soft ending to 2007, his new vibe may in fact be kicking ass.

5. The New Beats: Julian Wilson with nothing to lose. Jordy with everything to prove. Dane without a care in the world. And entire world watching. The first rounds of this contest are going to say a lot about the direction of surfing. And what better canvas to splatter modern shred art against than the Gold Coast. We're plugging the computers into the big screen for this thing.