In case you live under a rock, surfing Pipeline at Oahu’s North Shore is known as some of the gnarliest surfing ever. It is like the Megaramp at the X-Games.
It also just happens to play host to the final stop of the 2012 season. Who cares right? Well Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, and Mick Fanning care a lot! This is the closest race in professional surfing history. While Fanning appears to be the long shot of the trio, all three mathematically have a chance to win the 2012 ASP World Title.
With all this drama going down in the title race, it seems appropriate that the championship will be won on the beastly waves at North Shore, no?
With Parkinson 3,200 points ahead of the pack, it would appear to be his title to lose. But just as any surf fan knows, just about anything can go down at North Shore. So the big question remains, will Slater prove his surfing dominance once again and win his unthinkable 12th ASP World Title? Let’s just say, it is not out of the question. Not only has he won 11 ASP World Titles, but he also happens to have won the Pipe Masters event 6 times.
That being said, is anyone else sick of hearing about Kelly Slater win? I can’t lie, but I sort of am! Let me start this with a disclaimer: It is an incredible feat to truly be masters of a sport, especially with the talent progression. Kids these days start earlier and go bigger when they are younger. It is definitely impressive that at age 40, Slater can still say he is just as competitive as he has always been. But, I think of Kelly Slater as being the Lakers of surfing, or at least the Lakers from 2000-2010. Dominance is obviously something that is typically applauded, and I will be the first to admit that I rarely root for the underdog. All of those Rudy type stories? They are wonderful stories, sure… But that doesn’t mean I have to root for them, right? Or at least that is how I normally feel. I am happy to say however that at the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters event, I’ll be cheering for the underdog.
Parkinson has had an incredible season and he is surfing as good as ever. He has proven it this season by placing top 10 in all 9 events of the tour thus far. And at North Shore he could very well be surfing to his 1st ASP World Title. I’m looking forward to watching it and hope to see Parkinson crowned the 2012 World Champion. Scoot over Slater; Parko’s time is here!