Andy, Rip Curl Pro Search Mexico… both are deeply missed. Photo: ASP
If you glance down the list of ASP World Championship Tour venues for 2014, surf fans have very little to be upset about. Snapper, Cloudbreak, Teahupoo, Keramas, Pipe… these are without question some of the world’s very finest surf spots, and great places to run contests.
But! Surfers love a bit of ‘Shoulda been here yesterday’ a sprinkle of bittersweet lament for days of yesteryear, and we’re no exception.
Here are 6 venues that we’d really love to see back on tour…
JEFFREY’S BAY, SOUTH AFRICA
J-Bay has been luring wave riders from all over the world for the last 40 years, and first figured as an ASP world tour event 1984. At that same first event, Supertubes provided four days of incredible 8-10 foot surf, leading Al Hunt to rate it as ‘One of the best surf contests of all time’.
Jumping forward to more recent ASP world tour times, J-Bay is of course where a certain 19-year-old Joel Parkinson recorded a spectacular maiden WCT victory as a wildcard entry in 1999. The early naughties then saw the South African right-hand pointbreak play host to much of the heated rivalry between Kelly and AI. Kelly winning in 2003, Andy winning in 2004 with a perfect 10-point ride, and 2005 providing the most dramatic finish of all: Kelly beating Andy 30 seconds before the hooter on the final day of the waiting period.
And then, of course, it’d be rude not to mention home favourite Jordy’s Smith’s win in 2010, right before main event sponsor Billabong negotiated to have the event down-graded to a WQS 6-star event due to being up financial shit creek without a stand up paddle.
Home to what was the African continent’s sole world tour venue, we’re not even going to argue why it should be back on tour.