Filipe Toledo. Photo: WSL via surfermag.com
The ASP is now the WSL (World Surf League) and the first stop on the tour is in the books. Brazil's Filipe Toledo took out Julian Wilson (AUS) in the final by scoring a near perfect score of 19.60 out of 20 in lackluster conditions at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Toledo scored one perfect 10 ride by ripping a few fins out, off the lip smacks and ending with a spinning reverse before the wave closed out. Even more impressive is the Brazilians knocked out the favorites; Italo Ferriera (BRA) eliminated Kelly Slater (USA) in round 3, and Adriano de Souza (BRA) eliminated Mick Fanning (AUS) in the quarterfinals. 

Adriano de Souza also eliminated Freddy Patacchia (HAW) in round 3 since Freddy couldn't catch one decent wave to post a good score. Freddy took out his frustrations on his board by doing a hard ollie onto a rock as he came in from his heat (see vid below). It went viral and #Freddysrock was born. His good spirits returned the next day and gave a free surfboard to @harleywalters to posting the best pic on #Freddysrock. A nice reminder that the win or lose, all these surfers are really great to their fans.
Kelly Slater, photo: aspworldtour.com
The 2014 season has begun, Slater is back and looking for his 12th world title. The ASP and ZoSea Media have finally put the the streaming contest video on the ASP website, aspworldtour.com, (instead of having to go to each contest sponsor's website). It took a decade for them to figure out that 1 website to view all contests was a good idea? Someone give the ASP/ZoSea the 2014 Captain Obvious Award. Slater, Fanning, Flores, and Logie are all surfing strong. Round 3 should continue tomorrow, when the eliminations will start and the fun really begins.
Kelly Slater drops in during round 4
Day 2 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters finished today, and the ASP World Title is still up for grabs. Wave conditions were about 6-7 feet, with a few barrels coming in on some of the bigger sets. Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Joel Parkinson, and Yadin Nicol all advanced to the quarterfinals. However, Mick Fanning made a very uncharacteristic error in the final wave of his 4th round 3 man heat, when he dropped in on John John Florence and got an interference call. Fanning was penalized and dropped from 1st to 2nd in his heat, handing John John Florence the top spot and a pass to the quarterfinals. So Fanning will have to compete in round 5, keeping his world title chances alive. 

Other highlights include; Yadin Nicol scored the only perfect 10 of the day with an amazing barrel. Joel Parkinson eliminated Dusty Payne in round 3 despite Dusty's amazing performance, he couldn't get a 2nd high scoring wave. And Miguel Pupo had an amazing barrel scoring 9 points when he eliminated Josh Kerr in round 3.

Slater starts round 3
Slater pulls under the lip in round 3
Slater carrying speed
Dusty Payne
Dusty Payne and Joel Parkinson come in together after a hard fought round 3
Photo: Hugo Silva/Red Bull
Kelly Slater was eliminated in the 2nd round of the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal by wild card entry Frederico Morais. Now Mick Fanning can clinch the title if a few scenarios play out. Fanning needs to finish better than 3rd, and Taj Burrow, Jordy Smith, and Joel Parkinson all need to fail to make it to the finals. 

Even if Fanning doesn't clinch the title in Portugal, Slater still has to make it to the finals at Pipeline to stay in contention. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out, but as of now Fanning is looking like the potential champ this year.
Photo: ASP
Taj Burrow defeated Julian Wilson in the finals of the Hurley Pro at Trestles. It came down to wave selection. Most of the day was mushy waist to chest high sets, but Taj choose the good ones and ended with a high scoring wave. Late in the heat an outside set that broke early, Julian Wilson had to duck dive under it, but Taj was still able to catch it as it reformed and threw 2 fins out, frontside snaps securing his victory.

Mick Fanning now leads the ASP Tour with 41,900 points and Kelly Slater is in second place with 40,700. The Quiksilver Pro in France starts on September 26, let's hope Slater wins in France just like he did last year and takes back that #1 spot.
Joel Parkinson. Picture: Kirstin Scholtz/ASP
In a very uncharacteristic round 3, Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson were knocked very early at the Hurley Pro today at Trestles. Slater lost to Pat Gudauskas, and poor conditions are slightly to blame. Slater lost by less than 1 point, but could only muster a 7.7 and 7.1 on almost a dozen waves. Whereas Gudauskas only got 3 waves, but they were waves of the day, and his 8.50 and 7.07 were enough take out Slater. Parko lost to Adam Melling by a total of almost 4 points. 

With Slater and Parko out, Mick Fanning looks like the favorite to win the event, and will very likely take over the number 1 spot on tour after this event.
Kelly Slater has done it again. Slater beat Mick Fanning in the finals at the Volcom Fiji Pro, and is once again on top in the ASP rankings. The waves were perfect and so was Slater. He posted a perfect heat score of 20 points against Sebastian Zietz in the quarterfinals. A perfect heat score has only happened four times in the history of the ASP tour (Slater posted a perfect 20 point score once before, so this was the second time he attained perfection in a contest).

Will Kelly Slater get his 12th world title this year? Mick Fanning is only 750 points behind Slater, so it's still anyone's game. The Oakely Bali Pro starts in less than one week, on June 18th, so the next chapter is about to be written.
Kelly Slater has done it again. 41 years old and beating kids who weren't even born when he won his first world title. Think about that for a minute. Slater has won the Quiksilver Gold Coast Pro. After storming through the early rounds, he edged out Mick Fanning in the semis, and traded barrels with 2012 ASP Champ Joel Parkinson in the final. So much for all that pre-season training that the Aussies were doing. Looks like you need to train the mental game as well, as Slater demonstrated when he blocked Joel from real hollow wave in the last minutes of the final. Go USA, go bald dudes, 41 is the new 21. 
The ASP Tour kicks off tomorrow with the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks. Will Parko's pool training put him in the best waves? Will Fanning's power dominate with huge cutback and off the lips? No. I predict Kelly Slater ruins the Aussie party. USA! USA! USA! Anway, enjoy Red Bull's final episode of the 21 Days which shows Park and Fanning doing what they do best, being badass Aussie Surfers.
Just like HBO's sports documentary series 24/7, Red Bull has put out a great film which can only be viewed on their website. '21 Days' documents the two Australian rivals' preparations for the 2013 season. Joel Parkinson will defend his 1st title, while Mick Fanning his chasing his third. The season starts on March 2nd with the Quiksilver Pro in Gold Coast, Australia, so they will both have the home field advantage. The biggest question remains, will Kelly Slater compete and spoil the Aussie party?