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READER POLL 2017
We promise this won’t (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Close
Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Michel would eventually lose to Bede Durbidge.
Oil on canvas, 2014.
Mmm-hmm.
Despite his local knowledge, Michel takes a closer look at ze reef.
Can you believe how consistent the swell was all day?
Uh.
The old look back. Everybody gots to know.
Even paddling into this is hard for the average surfer to grasp.
Kelly. Slater. Today.
Owen Wright, well-deserving recipient of the Andy Irons award.
Dion Atkinson and another of many middle fingers to the haters. He killed it at this event.
Owen wore some of the best beatings. When he wasn't doing that, he was one of the most solid.
Michel brings the intensity. They aren't all folded sheet glass, y'know...
... but, most are.
Kolohe has really shown up this year. Quarters ain't awful.
Just, wow.
Friendly local...
... not so friendly local.
Ottz pulled one of the day's best disappearing acts yesterday, but lost to Dion today.
Despite looking damn good.
This was the best event of Dion's year so far. Fifth.
WTF even is this?
Kai, where nobody wants to be (except Owen, cause he cra-zee).
Dion wore this one pretty nice, too.
Mr Atkinson.
Srsly, paradise.
Owen! This man is back in a big way. We enjoyed everything about him at this event.
Right up to his quarters match up. Look at that water!
Bede was kinda electric on finals day.
Welcome to the Pacific. Let's cuddle.
Gabs, spit monster.
Something we saw a little too much of at this event.
Mr Andino, smart casual.
John John, the most casual.
Reckon he gets sick of this? No.
Owen buried the front arm on numerous occasion to great effect.
See that front foot? Always kept to the left of the stringer when pig-dogging. Perfect form.
Owen took a nice licking in his heat against Kelly. He looked hurt, then smiled crazy at the camera and went for more.
Bede's one of the taller competitors who enjoys the benefits of height in conditions like this (paddle power, mostly).
John John avoided grabbing rail as much as possible. But on some takeoffs, it was a must.
Then he'd pump hands-free through a vault like this...
.. Ride just higher than the foamball...
... and get blown out in this same position every time. It simply can't be taught.
Kelly also avoided the rail on a lot of takeoffs for extra drama...
...But would grab the rail to pull himself up into a highline above the foamball.
And then soak it all in.
Channel scenes.
John and Kelly's heat was legit best-evs.
Mr Florence is in there somewhere.
Power stance! A rare lapse in casualness.
When Chopes is this size, you've gotta point more to the shore than to the channel.
John's last ditch effort. It'd land him tied with Kelly.
But Kelly's 10 was the trump card. And, bros afterwards! Ain't it sweet?
More channel scenes.
Chopes is that place that's actually somewhere over the rainbow.
Gabs, Final wave number 1.
And final wave number two.
Kelly very nearly had Gabs.
He went harder on bigger waves.
But Mr Medina's refined approach ended up getting it done.
Waiting for scores to drop...
And they drop. The country of Brazil erupts.
And Gabs gets even closer to the first Brazilian world title.

Gabriel Medina just won the best surf contest ever (2014 Billabong Pro, Tahiti)

Photos by Domenic Mosqueira (@dmosqphoto)

Gabriel Medina just won the Billabong Pro, Tahiti over Kelly Slater. After beating Kolohe Andino in the quarters with a 17.27 heat total, and then taking down Bede Durbidge in the semis with 18.67 points, Gabs won over Kelly (who might've peaked in the semis) in clean, perfect Chopes with an 18.96 combined total. And that's how we end the best surf contest ever run.

"I don't really know what to say," said Gabs. "Kelly is a legend of surfing. When I fell off, I thought I had lost that heat. But I thank God. This is the best feeling ever. The waves were perfect and big. This feeling is amazing. I don't know how to describe it. I love surfing, I love what I'm doing right now.

"I want to thank ASP for putting this event on here, I love this wave now more. Thanks to the water patrol to keep us safe. I'm really happy to be part of this."

Also, if you didn't watch the Kelly Slater / John John Florence semi, then first, get yourself a check up from the neck up, and second, watch it below. It's the best heat ever surfed. Nobody was jealous of the judges through the business end, but it was never more painfully obvious than during this semifinal, with Kelly sitting on 19.77 and John sitting on 19.30 with 10 minutes remaining. It could've been a 20-20 heat.

Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Result:

1- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.96
2- Kelly Slater (USA)18.93

Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4.17
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 19.77

Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 19.87 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.43
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.27 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.27
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 19.67 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 17.76
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.80 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 16.10

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.40 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.66
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.53 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.16
Heat 3: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 19.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.77
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.87 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.83

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.66, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73, Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.84
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.37, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.57, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.00
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 18.16, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.67
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.44, Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.50

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