Backstage Pass: Nixon High Tide Hold ‘Em On Tavarua

Everyone at TransWorld SURF is still mad at me for spending a nice chunk of our annual budget on a super-trip to Tavarua. All I can say is somebody had to do it! Anyway, you probably saw me looking fat on FUEL TV while reporting from the Nixon High Tide Hold ‘Em on Tavarua. You also may have seen my amazing performance on the most heated episode of Surf Nerd ever. All I can say is that this was the trip of a lifetime, and here is more proof that it was awesome.—Chris Cote

The overall 2010 Nixon High Tide Hold 'Em champion, Ian Walsh, busts a backside punter at Cloudbreak just before the famed reef pass was opened up to the masses. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The overall 2010 Nixon High Tide Hold 'Em champion, Ian Walsh, busts a backside punter at Cloudbreak just before the famed reef pass was opened up to the masses. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Ebony (Sal Masakela) and Ivory (Chris Cote) share a special moment on one of the most romantic islands in the world...

Ebony (Sal Masakela) and Ivory (Chris Cote) share a special moment on one of the most romantic islands in the world...

A long time Nixon team rider, Dan Malloy was on fire before cutting the shit out of his foot and getting sidelined for the rest of the trip. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

A long time Nixon team rider, Dan Malloy was on fire before cutting the shit out of his foot and getting sidelined for the rest of the trip. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

TransWorld SURF's ace photog Brian Bielmann shoots a Malloy brother's super-quiver complete with spearguns, handguns for bodysurfing, alaias, and more for the mag. Photo: Chris

TransWorld SURF's ace photog Brian Bielmann shoots a Malloy brother's super-quiver complete with spearguns, handguns (for bodysurfing not shooting sprees), alaias, and more watercraft for the mag. Photo: Chris

Bruce Irons takes the high line at Cloudbreak. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Bruce Irons takes the high line at Cloudbreak. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Andy Irons gets a clean little aqua blue love cave out at Cloudbreak. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Andy Irons gets a clean little aqua blue love cave out at Cloudbreak. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Super gnarly extreme dude Travis Pastrana gives a sweet young girl a nasty-ass back slap after a heated game of "Sting Pong." Photo: Chris

Super gnarly extreme dude Travis Pastrana gives a sweet young girl a nasty-ass back slap after a heated game of "Sting Pong." Photo: Chris

Cloudbreak, before the floodgates were opened. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Cloudbreak, before the floodgates were opened. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Travis Pastrana gets a back slap himself after losing a game of "Sting Pong." Photo: Chris

Travis Pastrana gets a back slap himself after losing a game of "Sting Pong." Photo: Chris

Dan Malloy muscles a major bottom turn right into your brain. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dan Malloy muscles a major bottom turn right into your brain. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Keith's killer Cloudbreak carve. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Keith's killer Cloudbreak carve. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dan Malloy laughs in the face of 45 stitches inserted by the Tavarua island "doctor." Photo: Chris

Dan Malloy laughs in the face of 45 stitches inserted by the Tavarua island "doctor." Photo: Chris

Unlike flicky airs and chop hops, the patented Keith Malloy power hack never gets old. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Unlike flicky airs and chop hops, the patented Keith Malloy power hack never gets old. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dan Malloy hides out in a little pit of joy. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dan Malloy hides out in a little pit of joy. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Even at 6am, lovely Lisa Andersen looks amazing! Photo: Chris

Even at 6am, lovely Lisa Andersen looks amazing! Photo: Chris

Walshy pulls in for the overall win. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Walshy pulls in for the overall win. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Some of the clearest water in the world can be found in Fiji, making it the perfect canvas for Brian Bielmann's beloved underwater work. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Some of the clearest water in the world can be found in Fiji, making it the perfect canvas for Brian Bielmann's beloved underwater work. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Hey watch the fins man! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Hey watch the fins man! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

After a few lessons from Mark Cunningham, I was shredding the bodysurf scene. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

After a few lessons from Mark Cunningham, I was shredding the bodysurf scene. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The easiest part of riding an Alia is duck diving—as shown here by Keith Malloy. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The easiest part of riding an Alia is duck diving—as shown here by Keith Malloy. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Malloy Brothers are making a bodysurfing movie, and if their last few projects are any gauge of how it's gonna be—I'll just go ahead and say it's going to be awesome! Here's Dan filming the world's best bodysurfer Mark Cunningham. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Malloy Brothers are making a bodysurfing movie, and if their last few projects are any gauge of how it's gonna be—I'll just go ahead and say it's going to be awesome! Here's Dan filming the world's best bodysurfer Mark Cunningham. Photo: Bielmann/SPL