The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials has taken on an identity of its own as a contest within a contest where the world’s best (tuberiders, not World Tour qualifiers) vie for two spots in the Billabong Pro. One spot goes to the winner and one to the highest placing Tahitian, with the directive that they wreak havoc on the ratings and send lesser men home early. Recall 2008, when Tahiti wildcards Bruno Santos and Manoa Drollet finished first and second, respectively. Throwdown!
With the ASP’s mid-year cutoff directly following completion of the Billabong Pro, this is the last go-’round for low-ranked World Tour surfers to try and save their jobs. Unemployment is a shame; this may be motivation enough for them to do something desperate — something foolish and highly entertaining. Best tune in.
Check out the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials starting August 17.