The GoPro camera has added a whole new realm of surf documentation, and now that the company has gotten one of their micro-cameras in Kelly Slater's hands, we are finally able to explore what's possible.
In this new edit, filmed earlier this year in Tahiti, Kelly and an entourage consisting of an airplane, jet ski, and water photographers, find a playful right-hander, and watch Kelly go mad from every conceivable angle. All filmed with GoPro's tiny 2.6-ounce HD cameras.
It's no secret that 11-time world champ Kelly Slater has some kind of secret. How else could a 40-year-old stay in his peak physical shape for 20 years and continue to dominate the ongoing onslaught of surfers who he is old enough to have fathered?
Well, this little clip courtesy of the Vans World Cup at Sunset on Oahu's North Shore should give you a glimpse at what that vault of secrets holds.
Each day during the competition, sports commentator Todd Kline would ask one of the competitors what they ate in the morning. While most answers didn't sound out of the ordinary--Travis Logie, we learned, enjoys a bowl of cereal and milk with a splash of hot chocolate--Kelly went into meticulous detail about what and when he eats, and why he puts it into his body. Kelly has always been as studious as anyone in surfing, and it's obvious that he has been putting a lot of research into maintaining his fitness lately. Your results, however, may vary.
Fading swell and a couple a lei-days will greet the beginning of this year's Triple Crown of Surfing. Just enough time to take a look at the forecast and heat draws for the first two of the three back-to-back events, which represent the climax to an already exciting 2012 season.
Included in this year's draw are Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds, two names we aren't accustomed to seeing in Hawaiian 4-man heats. Slater won two Triple Crowns early in his career, last in 1998, but has been absent from Haleiwa and Sunset for several years. After a seemingly uncomfortable performance at the last event in Santa Cruz, perhaps Kelly wants to go into the Pipe Masters fully dialed into the Hawaiian juice.
Dane has never taken a serious shot at the Triple Crown, but after some of his wildcard performances lately, maybe we'll see more of that competitive fire that's left now that he isn't on tour full-time.
Also worth noting, under new rules, any surfer in contention for the Triple Crown can be given a wildcard into the Pipe Masters. In the past it was just the highest-rated Hawaiian. This means that we could see some very interesting names get tossed into the draw that will decide this year's World Title.
Two names that are oddly absent from the Triple Crown draw are Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, the other two overall world title contenders along with Slater. Though Mick missed last year's Haleiwa event with a back injury, it's an event that neither surfer likes to miss. Joel has won three triple crowns, most recently in 2010, where he won both the Haleiwa event and the overall crown, despite losing the title to Mick that year--something that neither surfer has forgotten.
The forecast is looking good to get the 6-star Prime rated event under way as early as Thursday afternoon with an overhead pulse of NW swell scheduled to fill in. That storm may be followed by another, which would provide enough swell to finish off the event, but early indications aren't looking too big at this point. For the most part, this year's Haleiwa event is shaping up to be a small-wave battle with a bunch of qualifying points on the table.
Photo of Haleiwa courtesy of Reef, Photo of Joel Parkinson at Haleiwa courtesy ASP
A handful of shocking upsets marked the day Sunday at the Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz, California, clarifying the overall world title picture just a bit.
The big news is that this year's title race will be decided in the final event of the season at Pipeline in Hawaii. By winning his round three heat over Dusty Payne, in which Payne very nearly stole the win with a lest second air-reverse, Kelly Slater assured that no matter how far Joel Parkinson goes in the contest, he will need to wait until Hawaii in December before hoisting any trophies.
But there was bad news for John John Florence, who is arguably the favorite at Pipeline, as he lost out today in round two to Matt Wilkinson, effectively ending the young Hawaiian's title hopes.
Mick Fanning was the big round three casualty, losing a controversial heat to Brazilian Jadson Andre. Mick appeared to have the heat sewn up, having priority and the lead with two minutes left. Fanning gave Andre a small wave in the dying moments, needing a 7.47. To Mick's horror, Jadson's backside turns were enough for a 7.5 and the victory. Mick will now need a miracle at Pipeline in order to claim his third world title.
Strong swell is expected to continue Monday, so look for competition to resume as early as 7 a.m. local time.
Photo of Joel Parkinson courtesy of ASP
While most are boarding up their homes and searching for higher ground while hurricane destruction ensues, a small fraction of thrill seekers embrace the rare opportunity to capture some of nature's bounty. In fact, chasing hurricanes is pure sport for East Coast surfers. And they've had plenty of experience perfecting it in recent years thanks to improved forecasting and a steady flow of storms. Sandy, like most of the others, was filled with silver linings.
As Hurricane Sandy traveled north its fierce winds were busy sending powerful surf up and down the coast, starting in Florida, where a group of pro surfers, including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, took advantage of the best waves they'd seen in decades at Palm Beach. (See above video.) Videographer Greg Panas, who captured the video images above says, "It was an incredible show. I couldn't believe this was happening right down from my house."
Still photographer Jeff Biege concurred. "I don't ever recall seeing waves this good around here," he said. "And to have some of the world's best surfers there too was just incredible."
Kelly Slater took a detour from his quest for a 12th world title to chase the Hurricane Sandy swell in Florida, where he grew up. Slater and his friends enjoyed some of the best conditions ever at Palm Beach, with wave heights up to 15 feet. Photo: Jeff Biege
Peter Mendia caught what was arguably the best wave of the day in Palm Beach. Maybe the decade. Photo: Jeff Biege"The scary thing about that wave is it breaks right in front of a jetty," says Shea Lopez, a former US Open Champion. "Then you get pushed into one of the deepest inlets on the coast. There were big fish and bigger sharks all around us."
Of course, Floridians had the advantage of escaping the wrath of the storm, but Raven Lundy and his friends in Ocean City, Maryland, had to do some duck and covering before they took to the surf. Their neighborhoods were flooded and the destruction was wide, but as soon as the eye moved north of them, the wind direction switched, and surf conditions in Maryland turned perfect.
Raven Lundy and his friends braved floods and fierce winds on their way out to the surf in Ocean City, Maryland. They were rewarded with some incredible rides. Photo: Nick Denny
Piers up and down the East Coast were hammered by Hurricane Sandy, and the Ocean City Fishing Pier was among the many that were damaged by huge surf. Photographer Nick Denny lost his camera to a wave shortly after taking this shot. Luckily, the SD card survived.
Not to be outdone, up on Martha's Vineyard, a group of kite surfers were making most of the early storm surge, riding through the driving wind and rain while pulling off some incredible moves, and reaching amazing speeds. How fast? Well, watch the video below to find out.
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