Roxy had a party last night. It was pretty sick. Lots of girls, little fruity cocktails, tons of pros in attendance and a marquee level DJ, Falcon of Daft Punk. The best part was that everyone felt free to cut loose thinking that the brisk North Easterly breeze blowing across the ocean and into the outdoor deck would ensure that there would be no chance we would run Round 1 in the morning.
When dawn broke it was clear that the foul wind had not abated. However, news that a massive tropical low (possibly the biggest in decades) was showing every sign that it’s coming right for us, forced a decision to get Round 1 in the books today.
The good thing about the Superbank is that even under marginal windswell and strong onshores, it’s still pretty damn rippable – if you know how to adjust. Locals Dean Morrison, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning and rookie Josh Kerr showed that right away by easily finding the launch worthy ramps and shwack happy pockets amidst the chop, while other non-native heavy hitters – including Taj Burrow, Andy Irons and yes, Kelly Slater, struggled to connect the dots.
The heat of the day was Kelly’s battle with 18-year old wildcard, Julian Wilson. With the peach fuzz mustache and teen-idol features, most pundits thought Julian would get eaten alive by the mature, healthy and fit-looking Slater. But after spending two weeks sparring with the freakish likes of Dane Reynolds, Clay Marzo and Ry Craike in Australia and Indo while filming for “Young Guns 3,” Julian was ready for all comers.
“I knew he (Kelly) was going to get a lot of waves and put the pressure on me, but I just waited for the best ones and it paid off,” he said. “I know that I’ve surfed this place a bunch of times and tried not to focus on anything else but my surfing.”