2014 Roxy Pro Gold Coast: Day 1

Same Ol’ Soup, Just Reheated
New sponsor. New Logo. New commissioner. New commentary team. New website. New contests. New rules. Saturday marked the first event of the 2014 WCT season and also the first event under “The New ASP.” Last-minute deals, rumors and speculation surrounding the “new” tour were at a fever pitch leading up to the event. But on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. local time, a horn blew, Bianca Buitendag caught a wave and the judges gave her a 3.5. The bullshit was silenced and we just watched great surfing. Same as it ever was.

It’s On
Australia used to have a safe-sex campaign with the slogan, “If it’s not on, it’s not on.” The ASP has been tagging “#itson” in their social media this year and so we can only assume they’re wearing protection. Those are some smart folks over at the ASP. Smart enough to capitalize on a dropping tide over a well-formed sandbar at Snapper Rocks.

“I think they’re sending the girls out now.”
That’s what Freddy P said as we passed him on the way to the contest area. The Roxy Pro was about to start and we were excited, but also had that guilty feeling about returning to the same routine: feeding the girls the scraps that the guys don’t want to eat. But it’s a ratings-driven reality and the girls didn’t seem to mind. They made those scraps look like perfectly cooked filets.

Dimity-doo-day, Dimity’s-day…
They ran all six heats of the first round of the Roxy Pro and it was rookie Dimity Stoyle that ruled the day. I was standing in the shade under the VIP tent after she backed up her 8.0 with a 9.13 and overheard the guy next to me ask his friend, “Who is that?” And his friend said, “That’s Dimity.” And it was then that I realized two things: that Dimity doesn’t need a last name, and that people won’t be asking “Who’s that?” for much longer.

…And other girls that look like women and surf like men
Carissa Moore: She’s the best female surfer in the world. No question. Fresh off her win at the 6-star at Manly, Carissa smashed Malia Manuel and Keely Andrew with surfing that seemed like it deserved more than 15.57 points.
Tyler Wright: She’s the only one close to Carissa and she looks fired up. Jumping up and down before heats and shit. Watch the throne, Carissa.
Steph Gilmore: Surfing as graceful and powerful as ever, she had the first heat of the day won until she got an interference against…
Alessa Quizon: Her backhand is f–ked-up good.
Lakey Peterson: Did an early-grab nose-pick for the progressive maneuver of the day.

They say that tomorrow…
They’ll start the guys, who warmed up with an expression session today. Felipe Toledo won. Anyway, the whole waiting period looks pretty average and there’s supposed to be a bump in the swell tomorrow so, you know, bird in the hand. Tide is high at 9 a.m. so they’ll probably get underway around 11. First heat is Jeremy Flores, Julian Wilson and Travis Logie. See you then?
—Taylor Paul