Round 1 2014 Billabong Rio Pro

posted by / ASP / May 7, 2014

Straight off the plane, this was the first thing SURFING photog Steve Sherman saw when he got to the beach. A victorious Mitch Crews sprinting across the street to avoid traffic. "They don't slow for you, here," he said.

Straight off the plane, this was the first thing SURFING photog Steve Sherman saw when he got to the beach. A victorious Mitch Crews sprinting across the street to avoid traffic. "They don't slow for you, here," he said.

Jordy Smith’s surfing today was effortless, almost to the point where he looked bored. He beat Freddy P and Travis Logie in Round 1. Photo: C. Wilson

Jordy Smith’s surfing today was effortless, almost to the point where he looked bored. He beat Freddy P and Travis Logie in Round 1. Photo: C. Wilson

If you’re a betting man, Jordy’s as good a horse as any to take down Rio. Photo: Sherman

If you’re a betting man, Jordy’s as good a horse as any to take down Rio. Photo: Sherman

Kelly Slater JUST showed up to Rio this morning, lost to Mitch Crews and will have to surf in Round 2 when the men resume. He doesn’t seemed bothered by it all. Photo: Sherman

Kelly Slater JUST showed up to Rio this morning, lost to Mitch Crews and will have to surf in Round 2 when the men resume. He doesn’t seemed bothered by it all. Photo: Sherman

Filipe Toledo. Holy wow. The kid treated Barra de Tijuca like a skatepark in his first round heat, posting the highest score of the day — and one of the highest of the year —with a 18.30 heat total. Photo: C. Wilson

Filipe Toledo. Holy wow. The kid treated Barra de Tijuca like a skatepark in his first round heat, posting the highest score of the day — and one of the highest of the year —with a 18.30 heat total. Photo: C. Wilson

Julian’s loss to Filipe was not reflective of his surfing. He went hard and he went high, he just didn’t land as much. On to Round 2, where he’ll face teammate Brett Simpson. Photo: C. Wilson

Julian’s loss to Filipe was not reflective of his surfing. He went hard and he went high, he just didn’t land as much. On to Round 2, where he’ll face teammate Brett Simpson. Photo: C. Wilson

A Filipe frenzy. Photo: Sherman

A Filipe frenzy. Photo: Sherman

Look closely. Is Owen throwing a mini shaka during his Round 1 heat against Jadson Andre and Michel Bourez? Australian in Brazil reppin’ Hawaii — globalization goes to Round 2. Photo: C. Wilson

Look closely. Is Owen throwing a mini shaka during his Round 1 heat against Jadson Andre and Michel Bourez? Australian in Brazil reppin’ Hawaii — globalization goes to Round 2. Photo: C. Wilson

When most people talk about “going back to the basics,” they’re not speaking about this. But the air-reverse was Jadson Andre’s first language, so he feels right at home.

When most people talk about “going back to the basics,” they’re not speaking about this. But the air-reverse was Jadson Andre’s first language, so he feels right at home. Photo: C. Wilson

High rises of the natural and artificial variety.

High rises of the natural and artificial variety. Photo: C. Wilson

Nat Young and Kolohe Andino juggling first round wins, lunch and wax. Photo: Sherman

Nat Young and Kolohe Andino juggling first round wins, lunch and wax. Photo: Sherman

Joel Parkinson beat Jeremy Flores and Glenn Hall in his first heat of the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro. He was pleased. Photo: Sherman

Joel Parkinson beat Jeremy Flores and Glenn Hall in his first heat of the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro. He was pleased. Photo: Sherman

John John Florence warms up for what will surely be an aerial-heavy event. He took out Matt Wilkinson and CJ Hobgood in the last men’s heat of the day. Photo: C. Wilson

John John Florence warms up for what will surely be an aerial-heavy event. He took out Matt Wilkinson and CJ Hobgood in the last men’s heat of the day. Photo: C. Wilson

John John Florence, meta. Photo: Sherman

John John Florence, meta. Photo: Sherman

Bianca Buitendag skips to the second round. Photo: Sherman

Bianca Buitendag skips to the second round. Photo: Sherman

Coco Ho preps for her heat against Bianca and eventual victor, Nikki Van Dijk. Photo: Sherman

Coco Ho preps for her heat against Bianca and eventual victor, Nikki Van Dijk. Photo: Sherman

If you’re surprised that Carissa Moore won her way to Round 3, you’ve got some explaining to do. Photo: C. Wilson

If you’re surprised that Carissa Moore won her way to Round 3, you’ve got some explaining to do. Photo: C. Wilson

Last year’s winner Tyler Wright looks to repeat in 2014, and her Round 1 win was not a bad start.

Last year’s winner Tyler Wright looks to repeat in 2014, and her Round 1 win was not a bad start. Photo: C. Wilson

Alana Blanchard has got plenty of competition in Brazil. Photo: C. Wilson

Alana Blanchard has got plenty of competition in Brazil. Photo: C. Wilson

Are we ready?
Depends who you ask. If you ask the FIFA World Cup, which begins in Brazil this June, then no. Soccer stadiums are still not finished and people are protesting its existence. If you ask the people in charge of the Summer Olympics, due to be held in Rio in 2016, then no. They’re not ready either. Airport terminals still haven’t been built and the Olympic committee is calling Rio’s preparation the worst it has ever seen. But, if you ask 2014 Billabong Rio Pro, the fourth stop of the 2014 ASP World Tour, then yes. Hell yes. Round 1. 7:30AM. Blow that horn and start this bitch. Take that, soccer and decathlon communities.

Who else is ready?
The ocean…came prepared with a clean chest-to-head high peaks at Barra de Tijuca. You can call it “Baha” if you want to be correct, or “Barra” if you don’t want to try too hard. Swell looks to be fading, though.
The fans…were definitely ready. I thought that their rabid fanaticism toward Filipe Toledo was going to be the benchmark against which all hysteria would be measured. I was wrong. Apparently, even in Brazil, blonde locks trump patriotism as proven when John John won the last heat of the day. Security guards were peeling greedy hands from JJF’s shoulders. The young Hawaiian’s smile was as forced as they come.
Filipe Toledo…was the readiest of them all? Hot damn. The youngest guy on tour took it to Julian Wilson (who also looked strong) and Aritz Aranburu (who surfed well but may as well have been riding a SUP) for the highest score of the day, 18.30. Nobody is more consistent in the air than Filipe, and he lands like an over-coached Russian gymnast — firm on the mat, no bobbles.

Any surprises?
Kolohe Andino…beat Mick Fanning and David Do Carmo. Brother got barreled, unleashed combos on his backhand and landed a clean frontside slob. You know Mick was rattled because he was trying airs.
Mitch Crews…beat Kelly Slater and Peterson Crisanto. Kelly flew into Rio this morning and battled Rio traffic to make it to the comp less than an hour before he surfed (on a Weirdo Ripper with a 5-fin setup). Kelly got frustrated. Mitch took it too him.
Laura Enever…took out Stephanie Gilmore and Alana Blanchard in the prettiest heat of the day. The rest of the women’s heats went about as you’d expect them.

They say that tomorrow…
The swell is dropping a bit and the girls are going to keep on keeping on. Remember, though, that what “they say” is very often wrong. So best to be ready for anything.

—Taylor Paul

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  • thomas

    is “barra dA tijuca” not “barra de tijuca”

  • Kaipo Gomes

    What about the biggest revelation to date of changes by Zo/Sea with their stellar webcast team. Strider what’s his name?!… How in the world did he get hired? He must know someone high up and have blackmail material on them. He IS Spicoli to a T. Did they really need someone to dumb things down with his stoned delivery and look. Amazing how some people get jobs in the “Surf” Industry and get paid to bring such intelligence to our computers. Strider is on the webcast and Sean D. and Blakey are not. Inquiring minds want to know who did Strider service to get this gig. Pathetic.

  • SurfingKook

    What terrible waves. Reminds me of the Huntington Beach hop at the OP Pro. The funniest thing was watching the girls throw down airs. These girls are throwing down stuff Mick (AKA The World Champ) can’t do. That’s the funniest part!!!!

  • Michael

    John is the coolest surfer in the world.

  • DGCOVA

    i want to see Jordy and Filipe at the Final…..

  • Camile

    Filipe needs to take the crown in this comp.

  • Ben

    Funny: Strider now an upstanding member of the surf community, 18 years removed from his thong-yanking Lost… video antics. Also funny: Most ASP women do better airs than Mick Fanning, our supposed champion. Still think he surfs with variety, Pottz?

  • Tank

    Kerr was going absolutely mad, making huge punts look way too easy. The guy has more pop than anyone, including Felipe

  • tiny tyrant

    prettiest?