Summer: No waves, not always a problem

By Ryan Brower

Seeing summer go is always disheartening. This means the start of school and having to crack down, instead of the summer mentality of surfing, working and partying. Though there was a lack of swell this summer, we did see some exciting and entertaining happenings within the surfing industry.

Ryan Carlson landed the first 540 rodeo flip in a competition ever at the SOBE-NO FEAR Airshow Final in Ocean Beach, Calif., in June. And Blake Jones matched this feat in July when at NSSA Nationals he also landed one. This certainly makes one wonder if a 540 rodeo flip will be a standard air in contests in years to come.

After a three-year win streak, our own East Coast finally took a loss at the hands of the West Coast at the X Games this summer held in Puerto Escondito, Mexico. The Mexican Pipeline certainly supplied its part with pumping surf, and the contest came down to the wire and was a thrilling competition.

New surf videos are certainly a staple for summertime. They give us something to do during the days when there’s no surf, and they also have premieres and tours, which are enjoyable events during the care free nights of summer.

Oakley’s “Separate Volume” certainly lived up to its hype with great surfing and a thumping soundtrack. “Letting Go, The Kelly Slater Story,” gave us some insight into his life and his amazing championship season in ’05.

The sixth installment of the Drive Thru Series, “Drive Thru South Africa,” is arguably the best to date. They scored some great South African surf, especially at Jeffrey’s Bay where the conditions were nothing short of epic.

Summer is also the season for the ASP World Tour, or at least the first half of it. And as usual, we saw some amazing surfing from the world’s best this summer.

Kelly Slater is looking to repeat and win his eighth world title. But Taj Burrow, Andy Irons, Bobby Martinez, Taylor Knox, and others, are all nipping at his heels in the standings.

The race is still tight and now going into the second half of the season. The second half will probably provide us with another down-to-the-wire finish.

Speaking of the ASP World Tour, St. Augustine local Gabe Kling has been making a killing this summer on the World Qualifying Series (WQS). He is currently seventh in the WQS rankings and is getting closer and closer to making the World Circuit Tour and being in the Top 44. He was also featured in Surfing Magazine’s August issue in “7 Days with Gabe Kling.”

Our very own Flagler College even got some press this summer in a surfing mag. In case you missed it, we got ranked No. 1 East Coast Surfing College by Chris Faherty of Surfer Magazine. We finished ahead of schools such as UNCW, URI, and rivals UNF and UCF.

So even though this summer didn’t produce much for us in the terms of waves, it did come through for surfers in other ways. So here is to the summer that was and to the start of the fall, and hopefully some good surf.

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