This Year’s ASP Title Race: Who’s Going to Win It?

Posted in Jack's Surfboards on September 25th, 2012
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jon-jon-jacks-surfboards-team-riderYou probably saw Kelly Slater win the Hurley Pro Trestles last week, or at least heard the news. If you watched the event, you saw some of the best surfing we’ve ever seen in competition—giant air reverses weren’t even getting out of the mediocre score range, if that’s any clue.

But perhaps more importantly, the Hurley Pro Trestles set the stage for the end-of-the-season world title race. Going into the final four events, we now have a pretty clear picture of what the race looks like, at least by the numbers.

Quick refresher on the scoring system for the world-title race: first place gets 10,000 points, second gets 8,000, third gets 6,500, etc. There are ten events, but only your top eight scores get counted—you in effect get to drop two scores. If you look at the current ASP rankings, the low scores haven’t been dropped yet, so those rankings might not give you the best idea of what the race actually looks like.

Consider Kelly Slater. He sat out Brazil with a dubious injury, and fizzled out early in Fiji. He thus sits in third place in the rankings. But if you drop those two scores—which Kelly likely will at the end of year—he has a total of 33,200 points. If you drop Mick Fanning’s lowest scores, he has a total of 33,000. So even though Kelly sits in third place on the rankings, he actually has a slight advantage in points over first-place Mick Fanning right now.

Unless someone further down the rankings makes an amazing late-season run—which can always happen—it looks like a three-horse race between Kelly, Mick, and Joel Parkinson, with John John Florence within striking range. If you drop the two lowest scores, Joel’s less than 3,000 points behind Kelly and Mick, and John John’s 3,600 points behind him.

The numbers might look close, but it seems like this would be a tough one for Joel to win, since, despite his consistency, he hasn’t yet won an event. It’d be hard for Joel to pull ahead of Mick or Kelly without a 10,000-point win or two—because whoever wins the title will probably win at least one more event, if not two or more. It’d be different for Joel if he only had one guy to catch, but he can’t really count on both Kelly and Mick fizzling out at the end of the year. A series of second places will probably earn Joel just that: second place.

We might be biased, but John John might have a chance at this thing. Not only has he improved over the season—after starting with a thirteenth and a ninth he hasn’t placed worse than fifth—but he’s shown that he’s capable of winning events. Plus, Pipeline is the last stop of the tour, and John John might’ve surfed there more than anyone else (despite being one of the youngest surfers on tour). So if he can stay within striking range over the European leg and at Santa Cruz, we could see John John make a big move at Pipe. If we could dream up the perfect scenario, we’d have the title race come down to Kelly and John John at Pipe—could anything be better than that?

The waiting period for the France event starts on September 28. After that, we’ll probably have an even clearer picture of the title race. We suspect, though, that it’ll be a close one, and it’ll be fun to watch.

Arnette Newport Beach Surf Championships presented by Jack’s Surfboards

Posted in Jack's Surfboards on September 20th, 2012
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NB Surf Championships Arnette is the proud sponsor of the 24th Annual Newport Beach Surf Surfing Championships presented by Jack’s Surfboards. This is one of the most prestigious surf event in Newport Beach, which lets the locals shine in front of their family and friends.
Our Cash Pot events have been super successful this year. For this time around, we decided to let retailers battle it and do the first ever Arnette Cash Pot Shop Invitational. This event is ONLY open to teams of surf shop employees and it’s one way we’re stoking out influential retailers on a local level. If you’ve got friends at one of the shops invited to participate, drop’em a line and wish them good luck.

Shops that will be competing include:

Jack’s Surfboards • ET Surf • Frog House Surf Shop • Huntington Surf & Sport • Katin Surf Shop • Spyder Surf Shop • Surfside Sports

2012 Newport Beach Surf Championship Entry Form

Hurley Pro Trestles

Posted in Jack's Surfboards, Team Riders on September 17th, 2012
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hurley-pro-trestlesWe’ve now completed the first two rounds of the Hurley Pro Trestles, and so far the waves have been pretty good—a little inconsistent, but when they come through they’ve given surfers more than enough to work with. And with a similar but slightly better forecast for the rest of the event, we’ve seen enough of the action to have a pretty good idea of how things might go from here.

Let’s note that Trestles might be one of the toughest contests to predict of the year. Various commentators and media have all picked different favorites—Kelly (of course), John John (always a threat), Gabriel Medina (who tore it up at the Nike Pro at Trestles earlier in the year), maybe a rejuvenated Jordy, or maybe Mick or Parko or—or, really, any of the top 16 guys could win this one.

The big reason this contest is so open is that everyone has filled in the gaps in their game. The younger, more air-focused guys have honed their rail games—Julian, John John, and Jordy can all put it on rail with the best of them. And the older, more traditional surfers can now throw down airs to match the groms: for the best air of the event so far, it’s a toss up between Taj Burrow (age 34) and his full-rotation reverse, and Heitor Alvez (age 30) and his totally unexpected rodeo.

When you have sixteen or so guys who can all match each other trick for trick and turn for turn, and when you have a canvas as easy as Trestles for them to work with, the results often come down to luck and tiny mistakes—both of which are tough to predict.

But one thing we’ve learned so far is that, at decent Trestles, local knowledge isn’t as important as it is at other breaks. Kolohe Andino and our own team rider Patrick Gudauskas probably surf Trestles more than any of the other guys on tour, and both of them went down in round two. Kolohe surfed well but fell victim to Heitor’s rodeo. Likewise, Patrick seemed on-point but lost to an on-fire Jeremy Flores. Both of these guys can surf Trestles with the best of them—and can snag waves when Trestles is at its most crowded—but that didn’t turn out to be enough of an advantage to get out of the first two rounds.

But the good news here is that the surfing action has been awesome, and with the official Surfline forecast predicting the arrival of a nice swell over the next couple of days, it’s only going to get better. If a giant rodeo flip only scores a 9.0, the rest of the Hurley Pro Trestles might feature some of the best competitive surfing we’ve ever seen.

O’Neill Mutant 5/4 Fullsuit

Posted in Jack's Surfboards, wetsuits on September 12th, 2012
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oneill mutant 5/4 fullsuit w-hood mens jackssurfboardscom

O'Neill mutant 5/4 Full suit w-hood Men's JacksSurfboards.com

If you live in Southern California or farther south, you’ve probably never put on a 5/4 wetsuit. It’s a rare occasion when you need all that neoprene down here. But cold-water surfing has seen a renaissance in the last few years, and a lot of great waves have been discovered in places where the water temp rarely gets above 60 degrees. If you want to surf those waves, you’re going to need a 5/4 with a hood, and a lot of our friends up north recommend the O’Neill Mutant 5/4 Fullsuit.

What’s great about the O’Neill Mutant 5/4 is that the hood detaches for those days when the air temp is way warmer than the water temp and your head can stay warm out of the water—a not-uncommon occurrence in, say the Pacific Northwest. When the air is cooler, the hood zips to the wetsuit and can be cinched down to cover everything but your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you throw in some O’Neill gloves and booties, every part of you will stay warm.

If you haven’t worn a 5/4 before, you might notice that the wetsuit will be a bit tight around your Adam’s apple. This is normal. If a wetsuit’s going to keep water from dumping in whenever you duck dive, it’s going to have to be tight around the neck. You get used to it, though.

Another added bonus with the O’Neill wetsuits is their durability. We’ve heard from folks who’ve used their wetsuit regularly through four or five seasons—and when you’re surfing in those colder areas, sometimes it involves hiking through muddy forests in your wetsuit and stuffing it in a backpack for long periods of time. It’s not exactly the recommended way to treat a wetsuit, but the O’Neill Mutant 5/4 handles the abuse.

We should also mention the warranty. One of the reasons we love O’Neill and love carrying their products is their great warranty service. If you encounter a problem with one of their wetsuits in the first year, just send it to them and they’ll fix it for you at no charge. O’Neill makes a quality wetsuit to begin with, and if there’s any minor issue in the first issue they’ll repair it without any hassle. So if you plan on scoring some waves in a chillier area to the north (or the far, far south), we recommend picking up an O’Neill Mutant 5/4 before you go.