Stab Magazine | The Oakley Pro, Bali (part four)

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The Oakley Pro, Bali (part four)

Words by Craig Jarvis Early morning gloom. Cooking waves, and a surge. Six foot on the sets with some quite gnarly-looking waves at times. Then it just started banging through. Before long, the sets were heaving and we were forced to evacuate the media centre, as waves surged underneath, threatening to electrocute the assembled media. […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Words by Craig Jarvis

Early morning gloom. Cooking waves, and a surge. Six foot on the sets with some quite gnarly-looking waves at times. Then it just started banging through. Before long, the sets were heaving and we were forced to evacuate the media centre, as waves surged underneath, threatening to electrocute the assembled media. Wouldn’t that have been funny? Most of the surf media in the world destroyed in one fell sweep. No more out of focus, skewed horizon, photographs, no more boring, repetitive video clips with hideous soundtracks, no more inane words conjured up by spin-doctor, brand-retained journalists. Except for me of course. I’m totally independent. Jordy was ripping.

As it was, all the forecasts were accurate, with cracking barrels grinding over the Keramas reef for the world best surfers to ride. Tom Whitaker was all smiles, especially seeing as I’d warned him the night before that if there were no waves, the whole debacle would be entirely his fault.

Taj started the day off well, with a long and clean opening barrel against Miguel Pupo. The West-Australian found all the barrels and was relaxed, leaving Miggie in the dust. One particular set wave threw one of the biggest barrels of the morning, and Miguel was grabbing rail and flying through it at full tilt, but failed to exit and it was game over.

The second heat of the day saw Keramas show what she’s got. Joel and Damo traded barrel after barrel, with world champ taking the lead from a not-thrilled Damo, who showed frustration when exiting the water.

John John had a cracker of a heat against Seabass, which included a broken board for Bass. I got chatting to JJ afterwards.

Stab: Last time we spoke, you were just about to paddle out for an expression session at the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast. How do you feel about Expression Sessions now?
John John: They’re great. The next one I compete in I’m going to concentrate on my cutbacks.

I see you’re still wearing a brace. It’s just for confidence, y’know? I feel a bit more confident if I’m strapped up.

You’ve been in serious therapy. I’ve been in non-stop therapy since it happened. I had a bunch of specialists working on it. It’s been really hard, watching the events the last few months, knowing that I can’t compete. It sucks.

What else did you do in your quiet time? I did nothing else but therapy. I was flying to California and having a week of full on therapy. Like literally from the minute I woke up I had a session, then another one later, and sometimes a third one in the same day. It’s been a full on program. It’s feeling way better. It’s just so good to be back in the water.

Next on the cards was the much-anticipated Kelly Slater vs Putra Hermawan heat, and it was as exciting as anticipated. Kelly started off slowly, but Putra was even more slow. Kelly fell off on a few waves, and Putra seemed to be out of rhythm with the sets, taking off too late on one set wave, getting caught inside and sitting too deep for another. Then Kelly started getting busy, and suddenly the wave of the morning, maybe the wave of the day, arrived in front of Putra. The local contingent went crazy, screaming and shouting and urging their man on. Putra paddled. It was a huge barrel with tens written all over it. Unfortunately, Putra wobbled, and drew the wrong line in a wave that barrelled all the way to HT’s. The person with the best viewpoint of the wave was Mr Slater himself, so I asked him to describe what happened next.

Stab: Kelly, you had the perfect view of that wave.
KS: Haha. That thing was killing me, it was going to be an 8 or 9 f’sure, but he chose the wrong line! I couldn’t believe that he didn’t pull up into it. I guess I was just super lucky. I just expected him to draw a line up into the barrel. I think it’s no secret that his bread and butter are his airs, the manoeuvre stuff, and with this morning being glassy, big and barreling, it moves away from the airs, so he has to surf a different game.

Reckon he lacks a bit with the barrel? Well, I don’t think he grew up riding barrels. Obviously he lives here (points to Keramas) and there are some barrels here, but these guys can do the craziest lip moves ever, so he was looking for that I’m sure. I think he just didn’t estimate it right and went a little deeper than he wanted to.

You were busy towards the end of the heat. Yeah. I was really surprised that Putra didn’t give himself more opportunities in the beginning of the heat. I just took a lot of smaller waves and got some medium scores, but it was a bit frustrating. Some of the set waves were pushing a big wide so some of the in-betweeners, the three-foot kinda waves were the good ones.

You’ve been wearing a knee brace. Discuss. It’s fine. A bit of tendonitis. I’ve had it for, like, a year now.

You started going mad towards the end. What started going mad?

You. Oh. No, not really going mad. Just trying to grab waves. I was just waiting for an opportunity to get busy and I wasn’t going to do it when I had priority.

By the time Jordy and Freddy P paddled out for the last heat of the day, the waves were a shadow of the morning’s beauty. Jordy opted for Kelly’s approach of getting busy, while Freddy waited out back. It worked in favour of the Hawaiian, and a disappointed Jordy left the beach and went off to buy some leather pants, as you do in Bali.

Event site here.

Heat 1: 
Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.83 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.17
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.67
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.60 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 18.26
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.70 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 6.77
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 16.07 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.87
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.96 def. Putra Hermawan (IDN) 8.90
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.53 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.73
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.74 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.94
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 16.10 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 15.03
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.73 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.67
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.94 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 8.94
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.34

Heat 1: 
Taj Burrow (AUS), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)


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