CJ Hobgood’s Still Got It

All Photos: Corey Wilson

His post-heat interview was understandably apathetic. Filipe Toledo had just beat wildcard Garrett Parkes in the second heat of Round 2 at the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti. His heat total? 8.57. Staggering might not be the right word. But in the very next heat, Nat Young put up a pair of 8s — and he lost. CJ Hobgood’s 18.13 points were enough to send Nat packing, and they were the highlight of a sometimes great, sometimes 8.57 point winning heat total day at Teahupo’o. Ceej’s performance peaked with this late-heat gem.

Not bad, right? That’s good for a 9.80 these days. Which must feel pretty good for a guy who’s only made one WCT heat in 2015. CJ announced his departure from tour earlier this year, but he hasn’t quite had the finish on top year that one would strive for. Maybe his heat today will kick him into a run of consistency? And maybe Teahupo’o will follow suit?

Only time will tell.

The contest will likely be running again on Monday before running into a string of lay days. Which is good, you know, because Tahiti isn’t exactly the world’s worst place to lay low. Expect the Instagram storm of guys jumping off waterfalls and doing beautiful shit, but expect it come to an abrupt with a hopefully substantial swell later in the waiting period.