Dane and Kelly OUT   Leave a comment

With J-Bay underway, two major players in the world title race are missing from the draw: Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds. While the new ASP system allows surfers the ability to miss certain events, their absence signifies a shift in the world surfing powers and their own priorities. I’m not one for reading too deeply into things like this but the writing is on the wall and here is where I come out.

With a massive swell hammering Tavarua, Kelly made it clear a few days out that there was a good shot he wouldn’t be making it to J-Bay. It’s understandable. The swell angle was perfect along with the waves and the way things are now he can have two bad results. One is a 17th in Brazil and the other is a 33rd from missing J-Bay. It’s interesting…the Kelly of old never would have missed a contest especially when he’s spoken in the same breath as the top three surfers in the world and still has a legitimate shot at an unprecedented 11th world title. But this is not pre-10th world title Kelly. This is semi-retired Kelly. Him releasing a statement about not attending would have been interpreted as a mind game in the past. But clearly his priorities have shifted and it’s no longer about world titles. It’s about surfing the best waves whether it’s at the contest site or halfway around the world.

As for Dane, that knee is fine. We saw him at Lowers and at Mexico via his blog. He’s over it and Quiksilver is fine with that. As much as they’d love to see him contend for a world title alongside South African counterpart Jordy Smith, they know it’s not happening. They’ve accepted that and waved a white flag in the form of a six-year extension, which they presented him with this May. Personally, I don’t see him surfing one more event this year on the WCT. He has no reason or incentive too. Quik is content to let him be the best free surfer in the world and take weird photographs and make legendary acceptance speeches at the Surfer Poll Awards. But if this is the road he’s headed down then I ask one thing…can we please band together and vote him into first? I can only imagine that his speech for first will be even better than this…

 

AND NOW FOR YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

 

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me. It’s who’s going to stop me.”-Ayn Rand

 

-Trav

Posted July 21, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

I’M BACK! And here are my thoughts…   Leave a comment

It has been nearly a month and a half since the Adriano v Owen debacle and lack luster peaks of some of the most passionate surf fans in the world. Short of their women’s soccer team losing to us, they along with us need to turn back to the surf world because the world tour turns to the speedy, winding perfection that is Jeffrey’s Bay. Guess who is taking his roid rage…I mean double fist claims…I mean passion to South Africa? World number one, Adriano De Souza, is stepping off the plane and into a spot where he has no shot of holding the lead. Yes, I just said that. There are way too many guys that surf J-Bay better than him and if the world class point break holds true to it’s track record then he’s not making it out of the fourth round and that’s me being generous.

This is Parko’s contest to lose. It suits him perfectly with a blend of speed, power, and style. He’s a mere 1300 points behind the fiesty Brazilian and if he doesn’t smell blood in the water now then he never will. Don’t count out Kelly. He’s got a book case worth of hardware from this spot. The question is with a 3rd and an uncharacteristic early bow out at Brazil…is he still interested? And what about Jordy? He’s the defending champ but depending on the conditions he may need to rely on his rail and less on his super mans. Mick is yet another solid threat in tricky conditions especially when you consider the fact that he’s still widely regarded as the fastest surfer on earth.

I’d love to say I see Ace, Owen, Jadson, Bobby, and the other goofies going mad on the offshore walls but as I’ve said before it’s a regular foot’s tour. This is especially true here BUT I wouldn’t put it past them to scratch quarter or maybe even semi-finals.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”-Buddha

-Trav

Posted July 11, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

It’s been awhile.   Leave a comment

Sorry for the massive hiatus between posts. I was finishing up my EMT class but since that’s behind me now I am back! Here’s my two cents…

-You guys might have recalled an uproar from people involving a short, stout Brazilian, a lanky Australian upstart, a floater, some scores, and wait for it…some fist pump claims. Adriano winning Brazil didn’t shock me nearly as much as it did that he actually made it through the quarters against an in form Owen Wright. The judges are still struggling greatly to stay consistent with what they say will score and what they’re actually rewarding. They attempt to explain their rationale here http://surf.transworld.net/1000131080/videos/the-asp-explains-the-case-of-owen-vs-adriano/ BUT…how were Owen’s waves any different from Kelly getting big scores off smaller, less consequential waves at Lower in ’08 against Taj? There’s no question that if the surfer was anyone other than Adriano then they wouldn’t have gotten the score. I commend the ASP for wanting to push for more progressive surfing and styling guys out for it. However, they need to get away from juicing certain guys just because they happen to be the home town favorite or under dog or whatever the case may be. Credit to Adriano for his massive floater and win and leading the ratings but don’t expect him to hold that lead past J-Bay.

-Autopsy results finally came out after a long wait regarding Andy Irons’ death and he died from…a heart attack. Wait, what? That’s right. AI met his fate via an acute myocardial infarction stemming from ridiculous closures in his arteries. Now history in his family would suggest that it was hereditary but no one buys that. The entire world knows AI partied and that coke and the mixing of that and other drugs is a sure fire way to promote cardiac problems. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not happy that this happened and neither is the rest of the world. No one wanted to see Andy go down and that’s not why we wanted to know what the deal was. This is a teachable moment for surfing. As the sport progress, it has no room for drugs or abuse of them. Even one of the best in history had problems so let’s learn from this and move forward and make the sport even better.

-On a lighter note, has anyone seen the Nike commercial with Julian, Michel Bourez, etc.? I personally had reservations about Nike taking on surfing but after seeing that I’M SOLD. It was well put together and it’s not like Nike went out and got no namers we’d never heard of. Nope. They threw Yankee money and incentives at solid guys and girls alike. I know what you’re thinking. It’s not a core company that started from the roots of San Clem or Newport or HB. So what? Surfing is surfing and if it makes the sport better than I’m all for it. What you worry about is a company monopolizing the industry. Take for example, football. Adidas, Puma, Converse all barely have a presence in the giant shadow that Nike casts and I but I have a feeling that will never happen in the surf industry. We’re all about variety and the heads of these companies are not dumb guys. So instead of being paranoid and elitist, let’s embrace this opportunity for surfing.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

Posted June 20, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Brazil picks   1 comment

Since it’s a lay day for the Brazil comp, here are my picks for the contest…

#1-Jadson Andre-He’s the obvious favorite winning the event last year but something tells me he’s going to need more than stock airs this event. Sure, there is that progressive element but show some variety and well roundedness. Judges always look to push the local guys through.

#2-Owen Wright-Finally Owen has the chance to go left. He finished third here last year in small, gutless conditions and he looked in rhythm. With some good boards under his feet, he could still put together a good result and maybe his maiden win.

#3-Mick Fanning-Whereas long drawn out point breaks don’t favor Mick against certain guys on tour, his speed and quickness definitely make him a tough draw in unpredictable beach breaks. He’s won this event before in conditions on both ends of the spectrum and he won’t be satisfied with a second for long.

#4-Taj Burrow-Brazil could be the spot where Taj snatches back momentum. He’s scratched good results almost everywhere but beach breaks are where he shines the most. Many forget this is where he won his first WCT event.

#5-Joel Parkinson-There’s a lot of variables surrounding this pick for me. It’s either going to be big, good, open faced Brazil and he’ll shine or he will finally figure out small wave flare against the fly weights. Quarters or better for Joel.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Don’t be afraid to be lose but be pissed when you do because accepting failure is not something you should be swallowing.”-Brian Wilson

Posted May 11, 2011 by travstradewinds in events, fitness, surf, Uncategorized

All things halos, bruins, and lakers…   Leave a comment

Here’s what I got…

*Back in the rolling hills of Westwood, seems like there’s still questions at quarterback. Really? Well, let’s look at the logistics. Hundley is without question a physical freak that with improved passing could actually turn out to be the “savior” that every UCLA fan has made him out to be…in a year or two. Prince is still on the mend from his, I don’t know, fourth or fifth injury and despite the fact that he’s got a cannon for an arm and the wheels to turn a collapsing pocket into a ten or twelve yard gain and that he was directly responsible for a signature thrashing of Texas last year he still may not be our guy. The Bruins can’t go through another season of three guys under center. This leaves one lone candidate…Richard Brehaut. I love Brehaut. Neuheisel loves Brehaut. I’m pretty sure Mike Johnson loves Brehaut…so why not? He’s got a great arm, enough mobility to avoid the rush, and maybe the most important part…he can take big hits and stay up. With three new coordinators, the departure of key players, and what is a must win season for Neuheisel, if I’m him, I’m putting the ball in the hands of the guy I know I can count on for all twelve games.

*It’s bad enough that I could call that Laker loss only five minutes into it but lose with class. Give credit where it’s due and move on and Andrew Bynum couldn’t do that. He didn’t pull a Lebron and storm off the floor before shaking hands with the winning team that just carved him up. Nope. Bynum, in his infinite wisdom, decide to body check Barea mid air on his way to a finger roll. Not only is that dangerous and classless…it’s immature. It’s not like I’ve expected Andrew to show much of that throughout his career but that was the last straw. Mitch Kupchak probably has Orlando’s front office on speed dial and is piecing together packages for Dwight Howard. It may take awhile but the Lakers will not go straight to the basement. They will gut the team to get the people they need which includes Dwight who I’m sure is giddy at the mere mention of Los Angeles and don’t be surprised if Chris Paul isn’t far behind.

*Back in winter, I was hoping Artie Moreno would make angry moves for players that would put the Halos back in contention for the AL west…and all we got was an aging Vernon Wells and an expensive contract. It turns out we didn’t need star power. We just needed hungry guys from the farm. Enter Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger, and Jordan Walden. Bourjos is the on base threat the Angels needed, who is the fastest guy in the MLB according to his manager. Hank Conger has more than made up for Mike Napoli’s absence with his catching and hitting. Jordan Walden has an arsenal of pitches to close the game. With all these pieces coming together and the Angels showing promise this early on, there’s no reason they can’t claim the West and make another play off run. The World Series from 2002 seems so far away. Maybe it’s finally time to push for another.

Posted May 9, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Here’s my two cents…   Leave a comment

It’s all too predictable of how things turn out when Joel Parkinson is in an event and the waves start to get better because when they do get better so does he. When the point at Bells went from three-foot dribblers to six-foot dreams, Parko went off and carved the field up…literally. He needed that win more than anyone and showed the flare we know he has and maybe some ruthlessness we didn’t know he had because he gave no one and inch in any of his heats. When the most important wave of the event came in, Joel wasn’t afraid to pull priority on Mick and it paid with a barrel, three huge turns, and a perfect ten. Joel is back, he’s sitting in second ready to pounce, and if he can make good decisions in Brazil and Tahiti then Slater will have good reason to watch his back.

Speaking of Sir Slater, no one prides themselves more on making good decisions in heats than him and having a game plan. Well…what was his game plan against that over claiming garden gnome in his quarters heat? I’ll go out on a limb and say he had no plan or it was the wrong one. I get that every once in awhile we all have mental lapses but losing against Desouza is like dropping a loss to the Cavs post Lebron era. There’s not one place where Adriano outmatches Kelly but it’s not that Adriano surfed well. It’s more that Kelly made a few bad decisions. Don’t get me wrong. Quarters finishes are still money in the bank when you’re contending. I’m still picking him to win number eleven this year but trust that the guys behind him will pounce on any future mistakes and make him pay.

And losing in the final two years in a row must sting but losing to your friend must hurt a bit more. Mick just didn’t look altogether in that heat. He looked shaky through his turns and out strategized by his friend who has no world titles to his two. There’s times where I think that if Parko hadn’t injured his ankle then Mick would have had a much tougher time in claiming his second in 2009 and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes for him this year. Last years world title hangover wasn’t pretty at times aside from a win in France. Then again Mick will have ample opportunity to play to his strengths with speed, quickness, and power because he just can’t compete with his best friend in conditions like that.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Harold R. McAlindon

-Trav

Posted May 5, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Good Vibes   Leave a comment

Surfing is supposed to be a nurturing, surreal, exciting, and overall positive experience. In “West of Jesus”, a spiritual book about how surfing saved the author, he talks about how surfing is so unique in the sense that every session and every wave is different. As a result, our body is dumping different hormones into our brain that are secreted uniquely per situation we’re in when out in the water. In football, it’s easy to say “hey, let’s go back to this play” but in surfing you can never go back to THAT wave. That’s how unique the gift of surfing is.

But how many times have you seen someone who brings bad vibes into the water? How many times have you heard someone cussing, slapping the water, screaming at anyone that gives the wrong look as they paddle back out? No one is immune to this negative mindset. I used to lose my mind if I dug a rail, fell, couldn’t get a wave, or sat for a half hour waiting for a set. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to grow out of that energy-draining psyche. If I fall, I laugh. If I bog a rail, I smile. There’s always another wave and another chance to get better. So getting upset over one ill fated ride is just two steps back from your goal of realizing your potential.

If those eerily spiritual, it is. Even if you don’t believe in God, energy is all around is and our reactions to it directly determine how we’ll do things in the future. Paddling out with a calmness and clarity is much healthier than paddling out with baggage. Pangs of the past and fears of the future are what hold you back from being centered in the moment in your best surfing. I don’t think I’ve ever kicked out of a great ride and not been smiling or frothing harder than a five year old after three red bulls. So smile…your next great ride is right around the corner.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past…”

-Trav 

Posted April 28, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized