It got big. Real big.
The gloriously sponsorless Fiji Pro (Men’s) should get underway tomorrow, after much gender-biased jostling for a potentially prime swell window. The forecast is looking good-not-great, and aren’t we all just at the edge of our seats…
But as we wait patiently for the call, I can’t help but daydream about Fiji Pro’s of yesteryear, namely the 2012 clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks. Do you recall? Of course you do…
On June 8th, 2012 Tavarua awoke to a bolt of lightning, a direct strike. To thunder’s literal clap. Kaiborg and crew were setting up a pop-tent for Volcom, when they saw the burst of light, felt its blast.
“My balls almost came out of my mouth, brah,” Kai told Transworld.
Anyhow, the morning was big. Really big. Slater and a small crew of earlybirds got some fun ones as the swell began to rise.
The conditions were a little challenging, a little bumpy. A few mushmouthed pros complained about the “Devil Wind.”
But mainly it was just getting a little heavier than many expected. And it was only the lemon next to the pie…
The ASP hemmed and hawed, despite Surfline’s official forecast calling for “15-20-25’+ faces at Cloudbreak as the swell peaks, with some larger sets at times, along with generally favorable wind.”
They ran two heats, then poor Raoni Montero blew out his knee on a brutal one. The contest was called off for the day.
Then the winds died, the swell peaked, and all holy hell broke loose.
The webcast remained blessedly live, as a crew of surfers paddled out into what Lewis Samuels called “mindlessly perfect Cloudbreak” and proceeded to make a mockery out of the tour’s cowardice.
(Ironically, around most of the CT guys that did end up paddling out—JJF, Kerr, Parko, Mick—would have been in the first four heats of round 3, had the green light been given.)
So much was contained in that one day, in what it represented to the world, in the twilight of the ASP. So much glory. So much shame.
Mick Fanning, after breaking a borrowed 8’0 of Kala Alexanders, excused his tourmates’ swell-dodging, saying “a lot of guys on the Tour didn’t have mates willing to offer up their best big-wave boards. I was lucky.” Which is sweet of him to say, sticking up for his pals.
Whatever their reasons, those who stayed on boats, or retreated poolside to watch the day unfold, they have to make peace with their decision not to surf the most gorgeously perfect, massive waves a surfing contest will ever see.
Here are some highlights: