The Gold Coast Pro, there stage right of Snapper Rocks, will officially kick off today, by all accounts, and professional surfers are ready. As you know, Coolangatta’s most famous wave once commenced the entire Association of Surfing Professionals then World Surf League Championship Tour season. There was a gilded ball in nearby Surfers Paradise, first, then many fine performances in the water before the production moved south to Bells.
Alas, those were different time. Since, a smarmy Oklahoman has decided that Snapper ain’t good enough and relegated it to the scrub Challenger Series. It’s value, now, based upon the fact that it is the first stop after the new “mid-season cull” and allows beheaded professional surfers their first possibility of redemption.
Points toward requalification.
Nat Young, Zeke Lau, Jackson Baker, Michele Rodrigues et. al. will be surfing in the round of 64 after their decapitations. 11x world champion Kelly Slater will be surfing there too even though it is unnecessary for him so to do. The aforementioned smarmy Oklahoman, World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan, changed the rules overnight allowing the 51-year-old to earn points from wildcard entries into Championship Tour events and then gave him wildcard entries into ALL Championship Tour events.
But there he is anyhow, in the round of 64, heat 12.
Now, most of the hopefuls have been in town for days, warming their legs and spirits on Snapper’s lengthy rights though a terror has reared its head.
First brought to light by the “bastion of kook” Surfer magazine, this new grotesque breed appears to horrify and bully by donning springsuits, dropping in and surfing so poorly that the idea of skill, of style, is sucked from the very souls of all nearby.
We will see how this affects Young, Lau, Baker, Rodrigues et. al. but Kelly Slater took absolutely no chance. He chose, instead, to warm up at The Lineup at Wai Kai.
Just west of Honolulu, The Lineup is said to be “the world’s deepest standing wave” and sources on the ground declare that Slater very much enjoyed the experience, even tiring himself out on an extremely long ride.
He was, anyhow, on a flight to Australia yesterday and will likely be ready to “earn” his way back to the bigs.
But, quickly, does Slater’s excursion to, and approval of, The Lineup make you want to sample? It sure does me.
See you there.