Surf withdrawal and Billabong Pro Tahiti Contest

View from the beach

OK, so I know that I’m supposed to be “unplugging” and taking a sabbatical from technology and all but can I tell you something? I’m not very good at it. I’m trying. I’m really trying although I’m sure that my husband would say differently. But I just wanted to stop in and tell you about two things – the torture I’ve been experiencing this past week because I can’t surf and a recap of the 2012 Billabong Pro Tahiti surf event.

You see, these last two weeks of summer were supposed to be spent largely at the beach and hanging out with the boys. What I wasn’t anticipating was seeing car after car with surfboards strapped to the roof or a good number of surfers jumping into the ocean and paddling out to the line-up. Couple that with an incoming swell to the East Coast due to Hurricane Isaac and it seems like every other person is out in the water surfing. It was a gorgeous day today – the swell starting to fill in and giving the slow breaking waves some good shape and size. Clean beautiful waves. Surfable waves. It’s like a dagger to the heart.

Local surfer making me very jealous.

Another local surfer having a fun surf session right in front of me.

I thought that I would sate my need for surf by watching the Billabong Pro Tahiti at Teahupoo contest online. While they completed the opening two rounds of the contest during the first two days of the waiting period, the contest was then on hold for 8 days because of poor conditions. {Each surf contest is typically held within a 12 day waiting period. This allows contest directors to look at the surf forecast and run the contest during the best conditions during that period.}

After waiting over a week, they finally completed the remainder of the event over the weekend. While the conditions were nothing like the epic conditions at Teahupoo last year, it was pumping on the last day for Round 5 heats, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and the Final – a lot of surfing for those making it to the final rounds. The biggest drama came in the Quarterfinals.

In Quarterfinal 1, Mick Fanning was up against Ricardo dos Santos – a wildcard entry and winner of the trials. Ricardo had been on a roll during the contest, taking down Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow. And he was beating Mick. Mick needed a 8.38 to win when he got a perfect 10 in the last minute of the heat and won 19.07 to Ricardo’s 18.64.

In Quarterfinal 3, it was Joel Parkinson against Jeremy Flores. Joel had been surfing well and hadn’t dropped a heat during the event but wasn’t really in this heat. With less than 10 minutes in the heat, Jeremy was leading 16.43 to Parko’s 12.73 – Parko needed a 9.7 to win…and there was a BIG lull in the waves. With a minute and a half left, Joel got a decent ride and managed to eek out a 9.77 – which some thought was over-scored – and won the heat.

Quarterfinal 4 was the match-up the many have been waiting for – the first man-on-man heat between John John Florence and Gabriel Medina, the two rising stars of the ASP World Tour. The heat actually didn’t really amount to much with John John winning 16.17 to 4.17.

In the end, it was Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson in the Finals – two good friends who started off the day paddling out together and hoping that they would be finishing the day together in the finals. Joel took the early lead with two solid waves – 9.5 and 8.87 – leaving Mick with a big hole to dig out of. But ever since that perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals, Mick seemed to be on a roll. With about 12 minutes left in the heat, Mick posted a solid score and needed a 9.01 to overtake the lead. At 4 minutes left, Mick sold Joel on the first wave of an incoming set, resulting in Joel using his priority and taking a wave that wasn’t so great. Mick capitalized on the next wave and posted a 9.5 score. There was 40 seconds left. Mick won 18.87 to Joel’s 18.37, winning the Billabong Pro Tahiti and solidifying his lead in the ASP World Tour rankings and title race.

You can watch highlights of the event and heat replays here.

How do you deal with withdrawal when you can’t do something you love doing? Did you go out for a surf this weekend? TELL ME!!

Oh, and I promise to keep unplugging and not be back here again until next week. And I promise not to complain about not surfing…




    • admin says

      Thanks Jess. Mostly, I’ve been good about focusing on the things that I can do and being thankful for the progress that I’m making but for some reason seeing so many people go out for a surf and GORGEOUS conditions that we rarely see on the east coast did me in. I guess it just means that I really do love surfing and it means something for me? :-)

  1. Bron says

    I also do not cope well without surfing, so I understand your feelings completely! I have been out for a few surfs lately. I was trying out a different board (lent to me by a friend) but couldn’t really make a go of it and felt like a beginner all over again! So my last few sessions I have been back on my own board and things have been going well. When we couldn’t get in the surf for a few weeks earlier this year (due to floods upstate and the flow of bad water downstream!) I did some stand up paddle lessons to cope with the withdrawals. It was good because it was a bit like surfing (I did it on a river though) and it also helped with keeping up the paddle fitness. I hope you get in the water soon and catch some awesome waves, cheers Bron

    • admin says

      Thanks Bron! Yes, I’ve been meaning to get out and do some stand-up paddle boarding and have just been enjoying being near and in the water. I actually had a great swim in the pool the other day and it just amazes me how being in the water can soothe me so much. Have some good surfs for me, OK?

  2. says

    It is the hardest thing to not be able to do what you love when everyone else around you is doing it. I always feel that way about running – when I have to sit out for a while. “hang in there” seems like an understatement – but hang in there!

    OK, and so you’re not that great at unplugging….
    ilene recently posted..Six Months of FierceMy Profile

    • admin says

      I’m terrible at unplugging. I think that it’s been hard because I still have work to do (which I wasn’t really expecting to have) which requires me to be on the computer. And if I’m on the computer…

    • admin says

      Practice makes perfect, right?? I seriously blame work for my inability to unplug these last two weeks. I wasn’t anticipating having to work which requires me being on the computer and online. And if I’m online, well, that little twitter/blog/FB twitch starts kicking in. I will say that I feel a bit less tied to being so plugged in – good sign, no?

  3. says

    Lol, that was definitely NOT unplugging! That post seems like you put a lot of time into it! I hope you are otherwise enjoying your down time! I did not go surfing but we were at the beach in Rehobeth this past weekend and the waves were also bigger and better than usual and I couldn’t drag my husband out of the water! He was quite moody that he didn’t bring his surf board with!!
    Kristin @ My Mission Impossible recently posted..A Clean TripMy Profile

    • admin says

      haha. I’m terrible!! I’m trying though, I swear! But I’m so excited to have you posting tomorrow. Thank you again. I am enjoying my downtime.

  4. says

    That must be so hard for you! When I took a break from running, I would be in agony watching people run by my house. I even stopped reading running blogs because I was jealous of their training.

    And I’m horrible at unplugging, too. I think the only way to do it is to be dropped in a dessert with nothing. Good luck on finding a balance!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Very Inspiring Blogger AwardMy Profile

    • admin says

      Pretty much I think that I too would have to be plopped in the desert with no internet or cell phone connection! I should have just left my computer at home! I will say though that I’m feeling a bit less tied to being so plugged in. I’m really glad to hear that your knee is feeling better.

  5. says

    I felt so much like you did when I was away this summer. There was virtually no running and very little time blogging and I missed it so! Now that I’m back I feel myself getting back into the groove. I guess when you love what you do, you don’t want it to stop.

    I say you wave down one of those surfers and beg them to let you borrow their board for a quick minute. Is that totally against surfer etiquette?

    Have a good rest of vacation!

    • admin says

      I love that you are getting back to blogging! And I agree, it’s really shown me that I do love surfing and being active, etc. and makes me appreciate it all the more. I know that I’ve come a long way but sometimes it still feels like there’s a long way to go. haha. We do have our surfboard with us – more of an issue of trying to be smart and patient.

    • admin says

      oh Lindsy, I know that you know what I mean! I love that you are coming forward and I think that I am too. And you are a pretty incredible person to have cheering and supporting and sherpa-ing.

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