Tiger VS Bear: Yadin Nicol And Mick Fanning

posted by / Video / December 16, 2013

In the case of Nicol VS Fanning in the Quarterfinals of the Billabong Pipe Masters in perfect 8- 10 foot waves, the ASP ruled in favor of the bear — Mick Fanning — awarding him a 9.7 on his final wave and a third world championship trophy in the process. For the 5 men in the booth, scoring that ride must’ve been a near impossible task — considering Mick’s third championship, Yadin’s World Tour career, and Kelly Slater’s opportunity to win his 12th title all hung in the balance. Now that the dust has settled, we want to hear from you, the jury. Was Yadin’s 9.33 better than Mick’s wave, or did the wise men get it right?

Who won the fight: the tiger or the bear?

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  • JP

    Good on mick for winning the title but once again professional surfing got it wrong. That was not a 9.7 and would have helped the event drama wise to keep the title hopes alive for the entirety of the contest. IMHO.

  • Lance

    Surfing is a judged sport.. Micks wave was from 2nd reef and longer. Both guys were on the foam ball. Plus rip curl paid the judges off. Ask bobby. Tennis tour judged by old men. Thank god Jimmy Slade didn’t win again. Guy rips but the judging needs to change

  • JD

    I think Mick’s wave was better, however I don’t think it was a 9.7

  • Rapo

    Both barrels were awesome! For me the tiger’s exhaust was spectacular…but I felt that the bear ‘s was longer and cleaner and I gave Mick the edge! Tough call however you cut it! I guess the judges felt the same way and maybe they felt Mick deserved the title which if the result had gone the other way..Slater would have claimed a 12th victory! not to worry…Slates will be in the lineup again next year and will have to be beaten again…otherwise he will claim # 12!! Bless!!

  • JS

    Yadins wave was more critical, he literally had to throw it into 4 wheel drive to plow through that foam ball implosion. The judges fu kt up.

  • bufu

    Mick’s one of the best surfers ever…….but Yadin by a mile.

  • PatO

    Everyone has to keep in mind the judges also majorly factor in the time of the ride.. Micks wave was in the last minute so it boosts up the score, the ASP judges straight up say bigger scores are often given at the end of the heat vs the beginning of the heat. Micks wave was amazing and so was Yadin’s but if you factor all the emotion of Micks ride and how perfect it was there is no doubt he was gonna get that score.

  • anyone

    i’ve been angry at mick and its not his fault, the judges are to blame.

    he did ride that wave as well as it could have been ridden…

    maybe a format change is on offer… didn’t gavin gillette screw one celebrated Tour championship?

    I read somewhere that having Kelly and Mick surf together for all the marbles would be cool… end each year with a showdown if possible. no one else was in contention, let them decide everything within the contest run time separate from the contest.

    a ‘sport’ that created itself should be able to rig its own ‘superbowl’. If you can allow ‘wildcards’ to compete on a tour they can’t qualify for, why not?

  • MC

    Mick! That bottom turn to get right into the barrel, plus he was in the barrel longer. Then again Yadin’s take off was just perfect right into a solid barrel. Glad i’m not a judge. I still choose Mick though

  • R Payne

    294 to 126! How hard was it to notice that Mick missed the biggest part of the barrel, didn’t ride through a foam ball and had a little baby spit out! Yadin’s wave had way more compression, a sick foam ball and a sweet spit out! Also, Kelly’s wave should’ve been a ten(final heat,sickest drop and the biggest spit out of the day)! rp

  • carcará

    Just a crying little girl could choose Yadin ! Mick´s wave bigger, heavier and very clean !

  • sj

    yadin got the best barrel but from the beach and where the judges camera angle is mick was deeper judges could not see yadin was behind the foam ball

  • Dan Worley

    What sells it for me on these is the first 2 seconds of each wave. Yadin a rail grab weightless free fall into the pit to EPIC PIPE DREAM. Mick easy roll in to EPIC PIPE DREAM. We all know roll ins are easier to set up the tube and your rail. Here is proof. Round 5 vs CJ Fanning ate sh!t on 9 free fall drops in a row because it is harder to keep the rail on line. Micks roll in wave easy drop with a gaping tube that a 5 year old John John would have made

  • brastrive

    it’s illogical kelly has won 3 events 3 of em most prestigious mick just in france did appear and clintched the wt loosing on round 4 and in semis being ripped off by jj unbelivebable!!!!

  • deezballs

    This is why surfing is about as relevant as synchronized swimming or beauty pagaent contests.

  • PepeLaPue

    Well, billabong did sponsor the event


    Mick is sponsored by billabong

    so I guess Mick wins

  • chris eaves

    mick is a great surfer and seems to be a pretty decent human. however, his wave was not better

  • mick

    migels was the most perfect wave of the event. the heat wasnt effected but it was a 10.and he personaly deserved to remember that wave as a 10 in the pipe masters.
    micks was as good or maybe/arguably a tad better then yadins. but not a 9.7. i dont care about who wins what either.

  • Adam

    They compared it to his wave in the heat prior…..
    and also this angle doesn’t tell the whole story so.

  • dwave

    I am mick’s number one fan. I really do like his surfing, and I think his front-side barrel riding, specifically his in the barrel pump, is some of the best in the world. I also think the judges blew it on this, big time. Yadin’s wave was heavier, more critical, and ridden better. Mick has an easy roll in, a longer barrel, but nothing critical. The surfing that yadin did to make that wave deserved a higher score than the surfing mick did to make his wave.

  • Surfer dude

    I honestly think that Mick’s wave and performance was way better. The size of the wave and the smoothness of the ride is what it counts.

  • lako

    The judging is obviously politically and has to factor in keeping the major sponsors happy.

    Interesting fact is in the last two years Slater has 6 WCT victories and no world titles, Fanning 3 WCT victories and a world title and Parkinson 2 WCT victories and a world title. Something is wrong with this equation because Slater is clearly dominant.

  • yellow

    Surf the most beautiful wave and of the best way!! There is no photos MICK is victorious

  • http://Instagram Yergs

    Yadin got hosed for sure. And if you think Mick didn’t know exactly what he was doing in round 4, you shouldn’t even be in the conversation. What a pussy, great surfer but bad juju. Kelly was quoted saying if he won the event and title he would retire, so maybe they needed to “piss him off so the all new ASP dream tour would start with its main attraction. Great contest and year otherwise. Looking forward to 2014. Cheers boys

  • J Woolley

    The game is rigged to satisfy the sponsors. It’s all about the $$$$$$$$ and their storybook endings.
    The public doesn’t watch this stuff. Just us surfers (a small group of people). Their $, their results. Too right DEEZBALLS…it’s IRRELAVENT. Not objective and an insult to the audience’s intelligence.

  • Mike I

    ITS VERY CLOSE BUT HERE IS MY TAKE… Micks wave was more controlled and stylish. Yes the roll in is easy but the timing required to pull in is harder. Yadin was lookin a bit wobbly and they even count the lip to the head as an imperfection in the ride.Watch Yadins odd attempt at gaining speed in the first part. webble wabble

  • cheyne

    yadin got robbed…its judging like this why surfing will never be a mainstream sport.

  • Davey

    Yadin was deeper but not barreled as long as Mick. If the judging was based on difficulty, it should have went to Yadin. I don’t think Mick should have gotten a 9.7 that is stupid! Although, as I have been told on a number of occasions by sources close to the ASP, EVERYTHING IS FIXED to a certain point. They judge how they want to judge to further their agenda and keep the ASP alive.

  • Kevin

    The scoring was totally correct. Larger wave that was rode much better. The judges got it right. Kelly will be back again next season and that should make it interesting. Oh and hey “anyone”……Gillette didn’t screw anyone. He surfed a great heat that day and beat Parko fair and square. Just like Mick did.

  • leo

    A true champion should win events, must prove that wins more events than the rest of the top…and must not let doubt what he deserves in each score … that’s Kelly Slater…no doubt that Misck’s wave was a big wave in a great moment lot of drama but i doubt about the 9.7…9.4 maybe….9.5…but not that close to a ten…not even close to Kelly’s ride’s…that wasn’t tens…

  • EddieP

    The bottom line is Kelly shouldn’t of left it up to the judges. He had all season to get enough points to beat Mick, you can’t leave it up to interpretation. It’s like a NFL or NBA team not getting a call at the end of game. You can’t blame the refs, a team has all game to win. If you want to win take out of the refs hands, or this case take it out of the judges hands. In Micks defense when you see those waves side-by-side he was in the barrel longer. For the record I was rooting for Kelly all the way and can’t wait to see him back next to claim what is his!

  • isco

    I think that raise the arm do have best scores. Tiger for sure!!!

  • PaulBarranco

    !st off – Mick’s wave was a “roll in” vs. Yadin’s drop straight to barrel.
    Secondly, if you look at the degree of difficulty of riding on the “foam ball” Yadin’s wave was clearly more critical. When looking into the barrel Yadin completely disappears while Mick never does and the foam ball only touches his his rail for a brief moment.

    The judges got it wrong and Mick should have been given an 8.5 max.

  • bigacesurfer

    Both scores where to high but Yadons was better!

  • Ben

    Yadin by a country mile. Not even close. You want a real Tiger vs. Bear? Compare Mick’s backup score to either of Yadin’s scores. Mick should have been comboed by the time the roll in came through.

  • Wave Mannin

    Mick’s title this year should have an asterisks next to his name.
    1)Kelly takes out Mick and Joel at Kirra.
    2)Kelly wins over Mick in Fiji
    3) Kelly wins over John at Pipe

    After winning this years best events, Kelly is runner-up for the title?!?

    In the Future, events like Pipe, Fiji, & Chopes should be ‘majors’ just like in golf.

  • Mike

    The problem isn’t if Slater won his 12th or not they robbed Yadin because he now hasn’t qualified for next year. Manning already has 2 titles and Kelly 11 so who cares they both are amazing surfers. Yadin now has to go back and work twice as hard for something that was stolen from him. I feel sorry for him what a blow all because he was surfing against someone in title contention and the judges decided to throw it.

  • http://surfingmagazine jake

    In any comp I’ve been in the more critical wave always scores highest. Micks wave was not as critical as Yadons.

  • Tom

    is this a joke? i can’t one way that yadins was better then mick’s. He definitely deserved a 9.7

  • Boya

    The Australian run ASP has stolen yet another world title.

  • slappy

    I dont get how Mick’s wave above was 9.7 and Kelly’s in the final was 9.87. Kellys wave was one of the best waves ridden in the event!!

  • anyone

    the point, Kevin, is that the world title that year was determined by a surfer who could not qualify for the same tour.

    the industry hyped the title campaign ad nauseum and a wildcard let all the air out.

    imagine the NFL or NBA allowing a team that did not compete all season enter the playoffs?????

    there are enough pipe contests annually to satisfy all the local chargers. the masters is a CT event. wildcards need to be eliminated from the big leagues.

  • jeff mcpherson

    In reality I don’t care about the money or any other BS that is going on but the fact of the matter is that Fanning should not be world champ right now because Fanning should not have won that heat and then he got wiped up by JJ Florence ,moreover Slater pulled it off in a last ditch undisputed win at pipe the sign of a true champion ,so if he’s not the champ nobody is. BUT,,,,,,it’s not too late to right the wrong

  • Lance

    Well hopefully the judging catches up to the surfing and the young guns don’t
    Get burned at every event. Yadins wave was insane and congrats on the new grommet.

  • Larry David

    9.7 …………….

    That’s prettyyy…. Prettyyy…..


    Pretty over scored….

    Wouldn’t ya say?

    Can’t question any of the surfer’s abilities. All phenomenal competitors.

    Also, I’m usually in sync with judges decisions. However, I think looking back at all the waves scored over a 9 at the BPMs, Mick’s last minute, intense, badass wave, didn’t quite have the mustard to out score Yadin in that heat.

  • John Martin

    Tiger’s wave and maneuvers obviously more critical…..bear is like a robot… Rides every wave the same….boring….the King will no doubt be back for number 12 next year and show the Aussies what time it is….he is a true sportsman and talent the boys from down under can only dream of……no one even close to his talent and accomplishments in this lifetime…..remember…..the Michael Jordan of surfing and a whole lot more….from Cocoa Beach,FLA USA!!!! Really can anyone even come close to 11 World Titles? What a joke!!! Slater is a Super Freak and the world knows this!!!!!!

  • Hawaiian

    Any wave scored over 9.0 should feature sustained intensity from start to finish, that’s why Yadin got a 9.33. Mick’s was a slow roller with a stall until he got the short inside barrel … a 9.0 AT BEST. Doesn’t help that the judges could probably hear that idiot Sean Doherty screaming his yap off in the next booth over. That guy is so biased, I cannot stand him or his weasel voice, yecchhhh.

  • Ryan Hartel

    WTF is wrong with you guys, Micks waves much bigger, gets deeper, casual fade into a serious barrel. Yadins was good, Micks was just that much better – and I am a Kelly fan.

  • Bratton

    Are we even discussing this? Look at the waves. #1 Mick – Roll in to a short little insider barrel (in view 93% of the ride) OR #2 Yadin – pull into a proper, heaving kegger and disappear for a LONG time til’ you’re spat out of the (huge) spray. Nothing against Mick, he is a bad ass (period.)………..but it was wrong. Judges, system…whatever. Wrong.

  • ginz

    Score was too close to Kellys ride in the final. But fuck mate Mick certainly charged Please guys a WCT win must be awarded more points, what a great contest and to those who believe the judging is rigged go and fuck yourselves

  • Dave Rauschkolb

    I completely wanted Yadin to win the heat and for Kelly to go on to win the contest and the title but Mick’s wave was bigger, longer and more interesting. As much as I was gritting my teeth when Mick got that wave I think the judges got it right. And those of you who think the heat was rigged are wrong. Mick got amazing buzzer beater waves 2 or 3 times in that contest. Mother nature provided for him when he needed it most and he delivered (as Kelly has in the final seconds of a heat innumerable times). If ether a good wave does not come or Mick chokes(which he never does) there would have been a very different outcome.

    The ASP system is fine as I can see it. The surfer who accumulates the most points win. You win first in a contest to get the highest level of points. When you win you get the money, the trophy and the glory; all good things but winning more contests than others does not make a ASP champ. That’s the way it is guys.

  • frank

    The bottom line is . . . the majority of viewers thought Mick’s wave was significantly overscored and the world title was decided because of it. They ain’t good for professional surfing or Mick.

  • luke

    Fannings waves were overscored, but beach reaction must have a great impact.

    Kelly has also had a few heats in the past where his waves were overscored so he can’t be too bummed at not winning another world title.

    Its the nature of the system.

  • Danny Rose

    I had no idea that suspense, last minute heroics, crowd appreciation and athletic celebration were in the scoring criteria………
    That was not the best wave of the heat.
    And if you look at the stats, the people who have voted have done so in favor of Yadin’s wave.
    Yadin’s wave was critical, larger, his barrel was deeper and more critical.
    There is no way Mick’s wave was a 9.7, NO WAY!
    The head judge’s comment really tells the truth of it when he was asked if he thought Mick got the score as soon as he saw the wave and he said yes, without even seeing the replay and comparison to Yadin’s wave.
    It wasn’t rigged by any means, it was just misjudged in my opinion, It may have been a 9 but it shouldn’t have scored better then Yadin’s.

  • Cere Muscarella

    Fanning drove to the trough for his bottom turn and was in more control in the tube ride… the point spread between them was so small and those two factors account for the .4 difference.

  • anyone

    danny roses first sentence wins the Tiger (surfers) V Bear (ASP) nexts post.

    well done amigo

  • Dean Miller

    I was on the edge of my seat for that heat, so it proved to be great entertainment either way!

  • Dillon Murphy

    Rolling into a 9.7 is kinda weak but dropping straight into a beast and almost being bucked off by the lip and foam ball AND coming out with a whole bunch of spit, that sounds like a good score. Mick’s wave was pretty but at pipe with the criteria as critical as it USUALLY is, I think it was over scored. Whoever the first judge was that dropped the 9.4 was right on the money. I like one of the comments about Mick being in control the whole time… another reason it wasn’t a 9.7, we don’t want total control, we want nearly a disastrous car crash.

  • Vaughn

    Agree with the judges on this one. Maybe not quite as high as 9.7, but still a higher score than Yadin. 1 – bigger set wave, 2 – far longer time spent in the barrel, 3 – flawless control & making it look easy, 4 – equally difficult foam ball and spit challenges as Yadin. All and all, that makes Mick’s wave a higher score.
    Kelly does these last minute incredibly rides all the time to win heats and titles, but is applauded for making the impossible look so easy. Tiger Woods makes golf look easy – that’s what makes him great. Kelly same thing. to be a 3 time world champ, one would expect to have similar qualities – Mick does. Congrats

  • Carlangas

    9.7 My A S S
    Shame on you ASP.
    on and on Mick is overscored.
    Que acttitud antideportista de se pinche australiano y que huevos de ASP por querer vernos la cara.

    mick claiming + ASP judges = Me paso a los fans por los huevos y demosle el titulo a un australiano.

  • Brown

    Yadin ducks out of his barrel early and gets slapped in the head by a lip he should be underneath, not out in front of.

    Pipeline is judged as much on the quality of wave as the ride. Always has been. Two guys can surf a wave the same and if one wave is a little better or a little bigger, it will be scored better. Mick’s wave was bigger, he was deeper and he had a proper exit, not a doggy door exit.

  • danny

    Anyone who says that Mick deserves a higher score has never surfed. Guess this will further bury competitive surfing, if that’s possible

  • MFX3

    danny you have never surfed you clown. go back and read the scoring for the asp event. brown is on the money.. mick deserved the win.

  • dgb

    Anybody that has surfed knows that Yadin’s ride was the easier of the two rides. Dropping in the pit of a barreling bomb is ballsy, yes, technically difficult, no. Yadin got a bread and butter pipe wave and scraped by. Mick on the other hand, reads a wave that needed to be read, perfectly! Fades accordingly and gets a great tube ride and comes out clean on a wave that could’ve been ridden to less effect in ten different ways. All the moan and groan over .4 is out of proportion in a sport that still gave tens this year for one maneuver, the flukey flip in all its variants.

  • bufu

    dgb my friend you are a complete idiot. After reading your post I have come to the conclusion that you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s safe to say that you have never surfed pipe. I understand how some may feel that Mick’s score was proper but to say his wave was more critical than Yadin’s is ludicrous. A roll in to fade compared to a critical ledge drop to foam-ball ride…Yeah actually you prop. don’t even surf.

  • The Craze

    The true question is: was the “bear’s” wave better than a 9.57, which is what he needed to win the heat.

    tiger< bear <9.7

    Close call, but definitely over-scored.


    Fervor on the beach?
    Keep Kelly on tour?
    Fanning was unlikely to win if he surfed against Kelly in the final, and unlikely to win another world title, so…last chance?
    Does it really matter?

  • ElGato

    The issue isn’t if Yadin’s wave or ride was better, they were not. The issue is a 9.7 score, which Fanning’s wave and ride were not. Good wave, nice ride, but a near 10? Not. Too bad the judges couldn’t keep clear heads and do the right thing. A 9.5 would have been generous, and enough for Slater to take the crown he deserved. A 9.7 was a prejudiced score – and diminishes pro surfing, the ASP and the world title. No dig at Fanning, he really went for it, had a consistently good year, and is a great surfer.

  • dgb

    bufu, you can’t read and, judging by your description of Yadin’s wave, it’s safe to say your observational skills are clearly lacking. At no point did I mention the word critical. So it may well be ludicrous to say Mic’s wave was more critical than Yadin’s…but you’re the only one who has said it thus far. At what point did Yadin make a critical (That word again) ledge drop? From :05 to :08 Yadin has a bread and butter drop in. Where is your critical ledge drop?

  • Kai

    Overscore Mick to give him the tittle or fuck Yadin and get him off tour? – “Fuck Yadin”. Nice call from the judges….. Fuckin’ wankers. Mick didn’t deserved that heat. Of course it was a great wave, but from the beginning everyone knew he was coming out, not as critical as Yadin’s. I hope judging criteria change for 2014 tour.

  • Makingthedrop

    Both waves were critical; but Yade’s was a heavier, more classic Pipe wave. It was just too early in the heat, a heat with a lot at stake to throw high 9’s. When those last second waves come to someone, it seems like this mystical thing, a karmic event with Mother Ocean proclaiming the winner. The emotions play into the scoring of such a dramatic finish for sure. The poise Mick demonstrated that day was that of a champion, however If you asked judges and pros, “Which wave would you want to be on in a free surf?” I’m sure 9 out of 10 would answer “Yadin’s!”

  • cheeke

    God ya get some wankers on these chats, Micks wave was bigger better and he came out super clean, thats the way pipes always been judged .