This past weekend saw huge crowds draw to the famous area of Huntington Beach, California as the Vans US Open of Surfing returned home for 2014. Nicknamed ‘Surf City’, the area has been the stomping ground for surfing in the United States since blowing up with attention in 1914. The famous beach and pier landmarks have hosted this great event since 1994 and a win here proves to be a sign of pure success, with many going on to make long standing surfing careers. Americans and others from all over the globe flock to the Orange County beach every Summer with the event seeing more and more stand out performances each year, helping shape some of today’s best surfers.vanscrowdUSopenwinners

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the US Open of Surfing and also 100 years of surfing in Huntington Beach. This year sees the event host a Women’s World Championship Tour event, Mens QS series event, Pro Juniors and a few extra fun elements, such as the famous expression sessions. Competitors in all areas of competition are specifically invited individually, another honour that comes with competing at the event.

This year, the men’s surfing event will see many world famous World Tour participants including Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, Julian Wilson and Kai Otton. Up and comers from all over the world will be also looking to make stand-out appearances to push their surfing careers which always makes for some exciting action. The latest forecasts reveal that around 2-3 foot of swell is expected for the start of competition, with cooperating winds and increasing swell through the days into the start of this week. Let’s hope for spectacular conditions so we can see how the world’s best mix up world class reef and point breaks with the beach break at Huntington!vansbede VansSurfMattBanting

Don’t let the name fool you, the Vans US Open of Surfing is more than a surf contest. As record numbers of spectators continue to participate every year, skateboarding and BMX events are also a part of all the action. Some of the world’s best skateboarders will be going head to head in the prestigious event battling for their share of a $135,000 prize pool. For the first time in years, the skate event in the US Open of Surfing has been switched to an all concrete bowl, taking inspiration from the legendary Skatepark du Prado bowl in Marseilles, France. The main event will feature riders such as reigning Van Doren champion Ben Hatchell, X-Games gold medallist Curren Caples and world known bowl enthusiast Pedro Barros, with women’s events also being held. The BMX event also features 40 of the worlds best riders. Competitors from all over will be competing for $30,000 prize money, and of course, the great honour that goes with winning the Van Doren Invitational. Live concerts previously played a large role in the event, though have been cut back to keep surfing as the main attraction.vans skate1vansskate3

Whether it’s watching the main events, meeting the competitors or looking over to see Steve Van Doren himself flipping sausages for the crowds, it’s obvious that when Vans host an event, they host it right. Perfect combinations of different competitions, good music, good food and all round good times are just some of the factors that separate Vans events from the rest, and the 2014 US Open of Surfing will be, yet again, another prime example of their expertise.

For more information on the Vans US Open of Surfing 2014, visit their official website here or browse our extensive range of Vans products on SurfStitch. Check out the teaser video for this year’s competition, without a doubt this will make you want to get over to Surf City for next year’s event! Keep up to date here on the SurfStitch Blog with all the latest action and results from this year’s Vans US Open of Surfing.

*All imagery by Vans

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In fine form the entire competition, reigning World Champion Mick Fanning has taken out the J-Bay Open 2014 in an explosive Final again fellow Cooly Kid and good friend Joel Parkinson. After days of postponing, officials and surfers finally awoke to what they had been waiting for, solid swell lines, cooperating winds and great shape. The pair battled it out in a solid 6-8 foot swell at Jeffreys Bay, throwing on their game faces and going head to head in an impressive display of competitive surfing.Jbayfinaldaymickjbayfinaldaymick2Jbayfinaldaymick3

The much anticipated final day of the J-Bay Open started with Round 5 with some surprising results. The day begun with Josh Kerr taking on Adriano de Souza in the early, cross shore conditions. Though Kerr battled hard and surfed well, he was unable to complete crucial turns and exits on the long, grinding J-Bay walls. De Souza also struggled at some stages, though scored some mid range scores early, eventually proving enough to advance, knocking Kerr from competition.

“I was really excited because I’ve been watching this forecast the last few days,” said De Souza. “As soon as I woke up this morning, I saw beautiful waves, beautiful lines, because this is J-Bay. Every competitor in the world has luck, today was my lucky day.”


Taj Burrow took on Californian Kolohe Andino in Heat 2 of Round 5. Burrow was first to strike, paddling into a solid bomb and working the open faces through Supertubes. A opening score of 7.00 helped Burrow with his combination scores, as Andino struggled to match the Aussie veterans early performance. As the final minutes approached, Andino was still in need of a 7.86, a score which he was unable to find and was sent home, with Taj advancing through to the Quarterfinals.

Gabriel Medina next took on Tour veteran C.J. Hobgood. With conditions improving and the swell on the rise, the pair struggled to lock in a worthy score by half way through the Heat. C.J. eventually managed to scrape into a larger set, belting out backhand manourvres and a barrel, though slipped on his final turn. This perhaps was the wave that cost Hobgood his advancement, unable to find another wave and score of just 5.25 to overtake Medina and advance.

“It was a huge opportunity for me. Apples to apples, I felt like I needed a special wave, but I don’t think that was the case. Sometimes I have trouble finishing waves out here. But the flip side is, the waves are pumping, I’m a fan of surfing, and I’m grateful to be here.” said C.J.JbayfinaldayMedina

Reigning World Champion Mick Fanning met Hawaiian Fred Patacchia in Heat 4 of Round 5. Solid sets rolled in instantly after the hooter sounded, allowing both surfers to attack the J-Bay line up. Fanning in typical form smashed the open faces of the long right hander, with his opening ride notching a 7.50. Though Patacchia managed to obtain some mid range scores, he was unable to match Fanning’s performance, with Mick advancing with a combination score of 15.67

“This is what we live for, epic J-Bay,” Fanning said. “For me surfing out there is just having fun. I was trying to channel a bit of Tom Curren from the Search days.”

The Quarterfinals began instantly after the conclusion of Round 5 with Joel Parkinson meeting Adriano de Souza. Parkinson did not waste any time, tearing apart the long open walls and posting a strong mid score of 6.83. De Souza found his form around the 20 minute mark, posting a mid score in the 5′s and enough to take the lead from Parko. Joel soon answered, pushing his board to its limits through a series of forehand manoeuvres for a 7.67, stealing the lead and proving too strong for the Brazilian.

An all Aussie Heat for Quarterfinal 2 saw an in-form Matt Wilkinson battle Taj Burrow for a spot in the Semi Finals. With some great surfing from both competitors and high scores being posted left, right and centre, the two went head to head for the entire Heat, impressing judges and spectators alike. Though Taj managed to post a score in the 9′s, Wilkinson proved too strong with his great backhand attack, being rewarded with his best performance on tour this year and a spot in the Semi Finals.JbayfinaldaywilkoJbayfinaldaytaj

Current World Number 1 Gabriel Medina next came up against Australian Owen Wright. Excitement began as the two backhand surfers hit the empty Jeffreys Bay line up, everyone ready to see what the two could produce. Wright struck almost instantaneously, posting two mid range scores to begin his campaign. Medina was chasing Wright from the get go, as the two competitors went crazy on the fast and perfect solid walls of water. Wright managed to scrape together a strong combination score of 17.40, and although Gabriel was only a point behind, he could not match the Owen’s collected final scores.

Mick Fanning had surfed well the entire competition, and it was unfortunately Alejo Muniz who had to feel the World Champions wrath next in Quarterfinal 4. Although opening the scoreboard, Fanning soon left the Brazilian behind with an array of strong scores thanks to a powerful forehand attack. Although defeated, the result is still Alejo’s best result on Tour to date, which is surely something to be proud of.jbayfinaldayalejo

Then there were 4. The all Aussie Semi Finals began with Parko meeting Wilkinson, and Fanning taking on Owen Wright. Joel won J-Bay in 2009 and began strong yet again, posting a 6 and then a high score in the 8′s for good start to his campaign. All thought it was over for Wilkinson, who surprised everyone and dropped a 9.77 in the final minutes. Though posting this strong score was like a light at the end of the tunnel, Matt was unable to back up and Parko moved to the Final. Owen Wright also came off second best to the powerhouse performance that is Mick Fanning. Though no doubt burnt out from the days competition, the two struggled to find composure early on, with Mick being pinched on a barrel, allowing for Wright to take an early lead. Both eventually found their feet, though it was Mick Fanning who stole the show, linking together turns and cutbacks with barrels and anything else that could be thrown into the line-up. This now made for a close friend and Coolie kid Final between Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning.

With the title already in Australian hands, it was now up to the Coolie kids to decide who would add the trophy to their personal collection on home soil. Friendship was left on the sand as both surfers struck instantly as the hooter sounded, Joel taking the first of the exchange. Parkinson destroyed the open faces opting for a strong opening score, before getting pinched on an inside barrel. Making things worse, he came up to watch Fanning tear apart the next wave of the set, getting a double barrel and being rewarded with a 9.00. Joel was not intimated, eventually paddling into a bomb and getting a long barrel and once again being in a position to take the win. Both surfers looked to be enjoying themselves, something different from the 1000+ line up they are used to at their local break Snapper Rocks. Fanning lead the scoreboard with a combination of 17.00, leaving Joel in need of a near perfect score to take the win. After a gruelling battle with his childhood friend, Parkinson eventually opted to come in early, unofficially handing Mick the title for J-Bay 2014.

“I never dreamed that I would get to surf a J-Bay final with Joel,” Fanning said. “Joel is one of my favourite surfers and my best friend, we’ve known each other since we were kids.”

“It was an amazing heat and Mick is such a good tactician,” Parkinson said. “I made a couple of bad decisions and I just didn’t get the right waves. It would’ve been nice to get a win but that was a brilliant day of surfing and it was so wonderful to be part of it.”Jbayfinaldayjoel Jbayfinaldayjoel2

The win now puts Mick at #3 on the World Championship Tour and one step closer to holding onto his World Title. All of us at SurfStitch would like to congratulate Mick Fanning on this great win! A further congratulations to all other competitors on their outstanding efforts and for defying the infamous waters of South Africa!Jbayfinaldaymick4

Bring on Teahupoo! Stop #7 of the ASP World Championship Tour is set to commence August 15-26. Check out the Final Day highlights of the ASP J-Bay Open 2014 below!

*All images by ASP


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Plenty of action went down overnight as Round 3 and 4 got under way at the J-Bay Open 2014. With the swell filling in throughout the day and weather conditions holding up, a great day of waves graced the Supertubes line-up, perfect for competition. The day saw many highlights and upsets, with some of the bigger names sent packing from the event.

The day begun with the start of Round 3 where Joel Parkinson met fellow Aussie Adam Melling. Both surfers have been on fire this competition, gaining strong composure and comfort in the earlier Rounds. With the swell still sitting around 4 foot and continuing to build, Melling wasted little time attacking the line up. It was after 8 minutes in when Parko finally struck, living up to his typical form and belting the line up with style and grace for a smooth opening score of 7.00. Melling was chasing Parkinson the entire Heat, needing a 4.83 to best the World Number 5 and despite a late long barrel ride, Adrian was unable to exit allowing Parko to advance.JbayJoel1

Joel Parkinson sitting in the sweet spot – photo by ASP

The level of surfing in all Heats was simply mind blowing, as the remaining competitors continued to battle it out in Round 3. Heat 2 saw Josh Kerr take down Brazilian Miguel Pupo, Taj Burrow overcame fellow countryman Adrian Buchan in Heat 3 and Adriano de Souza continued his strong forehand attack in Heat 4, defeating Hawaiian Sebastian ‘Seabass’ Zietz.

For J-Bay, I really work on flow between turns,” said De Souza. “If you lose your momentum, the rest of the wave is going to be bad. I think that’s really important. Once you get that flow between turns, it’s easier to surf out at J-Bay.”JBayAdriano

 Adriano de Souza knocks out Seabass – photo by ASP

Californian Kolohe Andino met Julian Wilson in Heat 5 of Round 2. The battle of the next generation proved very interesting to watch as both threw everything they had at the long, open walls of Supertubes. Andino proved too much for the Australian, at one time throwing a huge forehand punt, something rarely seen at J-Bay.

Something many weren’t necessarily expecting was the elimination of 11 time World Champion Kelly Slater in Heat 6. Slater dropped to Aussie Matt Wilkinson in an exciting round of competition. Wilkinson lead the first half of the Heat, with Kelly throwing together a terrific combination of turns and snaps to shorten the gap the Australian had created through his powerful backhand attack. Wilko soon answered back to Slater, continuing his campaign to post an impressive 9.33. Kelly, needing a strong combination score, could not match Wilkinson’s performance and was the first major knock out from the 2014 J-Bay Open.

“No one likes their odds against Kelly,” Wilkinson said. “My backhand and my boards are feeling solid, the judges are rewarding my turns and that always feels good. Kelly always gets big scores, so I waited for the biggest waves of the set and it worked out.”Jbaywilko1JbaySlater1

 Wilko and Slater go head to head – Photo’s by ASP

Competition continued with current World Number 1 Gabriel Medina eliminating Aritz Aranburu in Heat 7, with the World Champ gaining a first wave score of 9.43 through powerful backhand manoeuvres. Heat 8 saw Aussie Owen Wright defeat Hawaiian wonder child John John Florence and Freddy Patacchia Jnr. continued his strong campaign in Heat 9, overcoming Nat Young.

Reigning 3 time world Champion Mick Fanning took to the water in Heat 10, facing off with fellow Aussie Kai Otton. Fanning did not muck around, instantly paddling in to  wave that would reward him with  a strong score of 8.50 through his technical forehand approach. Otton eventually fired back with a 7.00, though overall could not catch Fanning as the reigning champion delivered more strong scores in the high 7′s.

“I just didn’t stop catching waves,” Fanning said. “That’s the way you want to have heats, really.”JbayMick1

 Fanning and his flawless forehand style – Photo by ASP

The next huge upset of the day was the elimination of local and contest favourite Jordy Smith. That’s right, we can’t believe it either. The South African and 2 x event winner was knocked from the event by C.J. Hobgood, causing a huge disappointment to local crowds and supporters. Hobgood started his scores early, having a combined score of 9.50 in the opening minutes. Jordy almost seemed rattled until finally finding form and delivering a series of controlled turns, eventually taking the lead with 8 minutes on the clock remaining. A crucial exchange of waves was next for the pair, both giving it their all. Both surfers drew controlled long lines delivering hacks and snaps, though it was C.J. who bettered from the exchange, as Smith fell on his final manoeuvres and Hobgood was able to exit cleanly. Unluckily for the local crowd, Jordy Smith was eliminated from competition.

The final Heat of Round 3 saw Michel Bourez come up against Alejo Muniz. Muniz opened the scoreboard until Michel took the lead on his third wave with a 5.33. The Heat continued to be quite slow, as both surfers did’nt post scores above the 6.00 mark. Muniz eventually got luck in the final 4 minutes, gaining the best score of the Heat, proving enough for the win and the elimination of the Tahitian.

“I think maybe we weren’t having the heat we were expecting but I’m happy to get through,” Muniz said. “This is a big step for my career and my year so I’m happy to be doing well in J-Bay.”JbayMuniz

 Alejo Muniz comes up with the goods – Photo by ASP

The three man heats of Round 4 begun with Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow and Josh Kerr. Parko blew his fellow Aussies and natural footers away, using controlled rail work and strong completion of waves to add to his campaign. Though Burrow and Kerr tried to match Parkinson, they were unable to find clean exits from their waves allowing Joel to advance directly to the Quarterfinals.

Heat 2 of Round 4 next saw Matt Wilkinson take on Adriano de Souza and Kolohe Andino. Wilkinson continue to surf amazing, maintaining his confidence from earlier Heats and came out with guns blazing, securing a 7.67 in the opening minutes. Kolohe fought back through a great display of airs and power turns, briefly stealing the lead from the Australian. As de Souza struggled, Wilkinson again fired back through his powerful backhand technique, taking the Heat and advancing through to the Quarterfinals.

The swap from three natural footers to three goofy footers happened for Heat 3, as Gabriel Medina, Freddy Patacchia and Owen Wright hit the Supertubes line-up. The waves were continuing to grind down the point, something all surfers were eager to hit. As Medina and Wright started trying to scrape into any wave possible, Patacchia stayed calm and collected, waiting for the right wave to start his Round 4 efforts. He was instantly rewarded with a high score of 8.17. Wright soon answered to the Hawaiian, putting together a series of carves and long turns, stealing the lead with a 8.67. He then backed up with another score in the 6′s proving too strong for his other competitors.

The final Heat of the day was Heat 4 of Round 4. After a long day of competition, this last Heat saw Mick Fanning, C.J Hobgood and Alejo Muniz come together to battle it out for a spot in the Quarterfinals. With the sun almost setting, Alejo was able to produce the first major score of the Heat, a 7.00 to take the lead over Hobgood and Fanning. Fanning struck back, taking the lead, before Muniz paddled into another set wave, achieving a score high enough to defeat the other competitors.

Tune in later today on the ASP website for the latest on competition status, or check out the SurfStitch Blog for the latest news on the 2014 J-Bay Open! SurfStitch wishes all the remaining competitors good luck in the final stages of the prestigious competition! Check out all the highlights from Rounds 3 and 4 below.

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After several days of waiting, J-Bay started to deliver the goods once again, allowing the ASP J-Bay Open to continue with the remainder of elimination Round 2. With a pumping, clean 3-5 foot of swell, Round 2 Heat 5 was the first in the water to resume the historical event which has seen so many stand out performances over the years.Supers1

Round 2 commences – photo by ASP

Heat 5 of the eliminating Round 2 saw an all Aussie affair, with Bede Durbidge up against Matt Wilkinson. The 35 minute Heat opened with Burbidge smacking the open faces of Supertubes, putting the first scores of 5.00 on the scoreboard. Wilkinson sat patiently waiting for the right wave, eventually warming up at the 10 minute mark. After finding his composure, Wilkinson attacked again this time on a bigger set wave, something he took a huge advantage of. He carved down the line with precision, drawing lines and belting 6 controlled turns for a 7.00 and taking the lead from Bede. The pair soon exchanged waves, this time with Durbidge throwing power into some great forehand manoeuvres, though it was Wilkinson who continued to shine, catching a bigger wave of the set and advancing further with a 8.50. Bede again tried to match Wilkinson’s strong scores, though fell short and was eliminated from competition.

 ”I was in the perfect spot for that one,” Wilkinson said of his high-scoring wave. “I knew if I hit all the sections solidly I’d end up with a massive score and I did. It felt really good.”SupersWilko1

 Wilko belting one off the top – photo by ASP

Heat 6 saw Owen Wright meet Dion Atkinson for another all Aussie Heat. As Dion sat patiently, Owen Wright began his campaign with a 5.67. Atkinson soon followed on a later set, though could not join the dots to lock in anything worthy. An overall slow Heat didn’t see too much action, with Atkinson needing a 7.20 to be saved from elimination. In the final minutes, Dion threw everything he could at one last set wave, with an impressive display of bottom turns and strong hacks. In all, Atkinson could not catch Owen’s early lead and was knocked from competition.

“It was a bit slow that one and I think that’s just how it’s going to go until that tide turns,” Wright said. “When they come through they’re such good waves. They’re perfect.”

To mix things up, Heat 7 was another all countryman affair, this time with Brazilian and Hurley team mates Filipe Toledo and Alejo Muniz facing off. As the Heat begun, it was clear all friendship was put aside as the pair battled for the opening exchange of waves. After a few waves of small scores, Muniz was first to find a worthy score of 6.00 through an array of turns and precise rail work. Toledo was chasing a 6.83, and waited to the final 2 minutes to try throw something together, catching a smaller wave and putting together a series of carves and turns on the open faces. In all, Toledo was eventually sent packing as his fellow countryman and team mate advanced through to Round 3.

“I kept getting medium size waves and do my best and it paid off,” Muniz said. “Not many Brazilians are on tour and we support each other so it’s hard, but everyone needs to do their own job. I’m really focused on this event and I want to get good results.”SupersMuniz1

 Muniz lining up – photo by ASP

Tour veteran C.J. Hobgood would next meet Tiago Pires in Heat 8 of Round 2. No time was wasted as both surfers exchanged waves immediately, both with strong series of turns, C.J putting on a great backhand performance. Pires took a small lead over Hobgood after this opening exchange, with a score of 8.50. A second exchange then saw Hobgood find his form and draw some high lines, putting together some great combinations and edging a 6.50, enough to steal the lead from Muniz. The pair played tennis with the lead all Heat, with Pires gaining an impressive 8.17 and C.J. answering with a 7.67. The American held onto his slight lead and survived elimination,once again cementing his backhand skills into all of our minds.

“It’s been a couple months since I had a heat,” Hobgood said. “I had Tiago in Fiji and he smoked me. I saw the other guys catching waves to get into rhythm so I just tried to cut a bunch of waves. Tiago was ripping so I’m stoked to make a heat.”SupersCJ

 Tour veteran C.J. Hobgood sitting in the right spot – photo by ASP

Heat 9 was another all Brazilian Heat, with Jadson Andre meeting Miguel Pupo. The pair had scores up in a matter of minutes, with Pupo getting the bigger wave and locking in a nice 6.67 over Andre’s 3.33. Barrels started showing up around the 15 minute mark, with Miguel increasing his lead through an impressive tube ride for a 5.33, then again with a 8.50 through a strong performance of tube rides and vertical snaps. Andre soon struck back with a 8.40, though could not match the performances of his fellow countryman.

“It’s my first time in J-Bay and I’ve already fallen in love with the place,” said Pupo. “It’s a special place for all the surfers because of the history over here. Hopefully I can come here every year. Monday’s conditions look pretty good, so hopefully we get barreled and put on a good show for the South Africans.”

Sebastian ‘Seabass’ Zietz was next up against Jeremy Flores in Heat 10. After a slow first few minutes, waves started flowing through and the pair put on an appealing opening exchange. Flores took the lead first, with a 7.50 over Sebastian’s 6.17. After what seemed like a slow Heat, sets eventually appeared and the pair did not disappoint crowds and judges. Both went head to head and bought themselves some 7 point scores, though Zietz continued to trail. As the final minutes approached, Zietz’s prayers were answered as he paddled into one of the bigger waves of the Heat. He managed to lock in a 6.67, stealing the lead from the Frenchman by only 0.14.

I think it was a pretty fair heat,” said Zietz. “(I was last here) three years ago, it was so good, I couldn’t wait to come back. it’s been a little smaller since then, but the waves are perfect. We’re staying down the beach in front of the point, and I’ve been surfing my brains out.”SupersSeabass

 Seabass not holding back – photo by ASP

Heat 11 saw some great action as Freddy Patacchia battled Travis Logie. The backhand battle was again on as both surfers got to their feet early, putting mid scores on the board to start their campaigns. It was the next wave that wowed spectators, as Patacchia paddled into a perfect J-Bay grinder, putting together three huge hacks off the top and then sitting in a long tube. The wave was the highest score of the day, being scored a 9.93 and leaving Logie in a crucial situation. As Logie looked to find his form with a 7.17, he was once again shut down as Freddy got another set wave and produced a 8.00. The combined score of 17.93 sent Logie packing as he was eliminated from the 2014 J-Bay Open.

“I knew that wave was going to be a gem,” Patacchia said. “I was thinking ‘don’t screw this up Freddy.’ It felt great, it was a perfect J-Bay wave.”SupersFreddy

 Freddy Patacchia after the wave of the day – photo by ASP

The final Heat of the day was another Australian affair, this time seeing Mitch Crews take on Adrian Buchan. It was Crews who began the Heat with a 6.50 with a combination of turns and controlled rail work. Buchan stayed patient and eventually was rewarded, throwing turn after turn and gaining a 6.67 to take the lead. Buchan eventually stayed strong and proved too much for his fellow Aussie, eliminating Crews and advancing through to Round 3.

With a new swell arriving today and increasing until Wednesday, the contest is scheduled to resume once again. Keep up to date here at SurfStitch Blog, or watch live at the official ASP website. If you are on the East Coast of Australia, the call will be made around 4pm. Check out out the highlights from Round 2 below.


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The Ripple Effect: The Coolie Kids

Whether you are a surfer or not, chances are you’ve heard of Coolangatta. The small surfing community holds a population of only 5,000, though has produced more surfing World Champions than anywhere else in the world. Is there something in the water? Well no, but chances are its got something to do with that wave or waves down there. All together known as the world famous Superbank, the wave that starts at Snapper Rocks could be the main factor in the ‘Coolie Kids’ success. superbankshiled* Image by Andrew Shield

This new short clip entitled ‘The Ripple Effect’ from our friends at Red Bull shows us the great history of the area, including past and present local ‘Coolie Kids’ who absolutely all tear the wave apart, regardless of their era. That’s right, it goes way back further the modern day faces we are all so used to seeing. Do yourself a favour and jump into the clip below!

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J-Bay Open Day 1 Highlights

Day 1 of the ASP J-Bay Open saw some great waves, stand out surfing and the contests first perfect 10 point ride. With a 6 foot swell hitting the grinding right hand shelves of J-Bay, The call was made around 7:30am local time that indeed the contest was ON! With a schedule planned to complete Round 1 on the first day of competition, surfers and officials wasted no time at all, with Mick Fanning, Sebastian Zietz and Dion Atkinson hitting the water first to open the prestigious event.J-Bay1

All surfers managed to get a wave under their belts in the opening minutes, though it was the Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz to take the early after the early exchanges. Mick Fanning eventually demonstrated why is the the reigning 3 time World Champion, destroying the open lineup and posting a 7.00 and 6.43. The lead continued, with Fanning posting the first high score of the competitiion, a score 8.00. This proved enough to send his younger competitors to Round 2 as he advanced directly to Round 3.

‘Growing up it’s one of those waves you always want to surf. To have a heat here is so special and winning it is something I’ll always remember.’ said Mick.

Heat 2 saw Taj Burrow up against Hawaiian Freddy Patacchia Jr. and fellow Aussie Matt ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson. Like a mirror image of the previous Heat, all surfers paddled into waves almost immedietly, with Burrow taking the lead after the early first exchange through a combination of carvges and snaps, finishing with a floater. Patacchia soon struck back with his backhand attack, with a combination score of 8.84. The Hawaiian’s lead didn’t last long, as Burrow eventually struck back half way through the Heat, again taking the lead, leaving Wilkinson in a combination situation. The two were unable to match Burrows performance, as the Australian tour veteran advanced directly to Round 3.

“Where I was, I got a little better look at it and I just knew it was going to do something down the line,” said Burrow. “I’ve surfed out here a lot so I guess that helps.” said Taj.j-baytaj

Joel Parkinson, Kai Otton and Ireland’s Glenn Hall hit the water next in Heat 3 of Round 1. Joel started in typical form, with perfect drawn lines and style. Through Parko took an early lead, a strong backhand attack from Kai Otton allowed him to advance over his fellow countryman. Parkinson fought back in the final seconds, pulling into a barrel and receiving a score in the 9′s. Kai did the same, pulling into a long tube, also receiving a 9 point score, with his earlier score helping to keep the lead, sending Hall and Parkinson to battle it out in Round 2.

Michel Bourez has taken two events in the 2014 season so far, and his strong attack continued into J-Bay and Heat 4. Bourez met Raoni Monteiro and Adrian Buchan, all eager to send each other to Round 2. Buchan and Monteiro were first to put up mediocre scores through the first exchange, while Bourez played the waiting game. It paid off for the Tahitian, locking in a score of 8.33 through an array of monouvres, including a frontside hack and barrel. Monteiro and Buchan tried to strike back, though both fell shot.

“I never did better (than ninth) here but every time I come here I’m having fun, I have a big smile on my face and I just want to go out get the best ones and get through the heats,” said Bourez.

Heat 5 saw Australian Adam Melling meet World Number 1 Gabriel Medina and Brett Simpson. All surfers posted early scores, though seemed to struggle gathering their composure. Soon enough it was on, with Melling and Medina exchanging mid range scores. The World Number 1 took the lead and continued his strong campaign of powerful carves and hacks. Melling was not intimidated, giving Medina a run for his money and delivering a 7.27 to take the lead in the final minutes. Adam moves directly to Round 3 as Medina and Simpson have another shot in Round 2.

Coming up against Kelly Slater at any stop of the World Tour is an instant threat and nerve racker. That was the case for local Dylan Lightfoot and Australian Mitch Crews as they met the 11 time World Champion in Heat 6 of Round 1. Crews struck early on a solid wave, though Slater was on the same trail, attacking the walls of Supertubes with what seemed to be no concern. Through barrels, frontside hacks and an attempt at a alley-oop, Slater showed his younger competitors how it was done. Lightfoot, the local South African, delivered his first wave 20 minutes into the 30 minute Heat, demonstrating local knowledge through a display of powerful manouvres. Crews struggled to fight back as his campaign fell even shorter through a broken board. Crews and Lightfoot now go to Round 2.J-Bay4Kelly

Miguel Pupo, Nat Young and Aritz Aranburu next met in Heat 7. With Young and Pupo on their backhand, it was an exciting Heat. It was Aranburu on his attacking forehand that impressed judges an spectators, finding one of the best waves of compeition and being rewarded with some powerful carves and a long tube ride. The wave was scored a 9.03, with the two backhand surfers left unable to match the great performance.

Heat 8 saw Adriano De Souza, tour veteran C.J. Hobgood and Alejo Muniz battle it out for a spot in Round 3. After the first 10 minutes failed to deliver any worthy waves for the trio, De Souza managed to open the scoreboard. though the Brazilian managed to only get a few mid range scores under his belt, C.J. soon struck at the 20 minute mark with a strong score. Alejo Muiz also opened his campaign around the time, though came up short of C.J.’s score. Adriano answered back to Hobgood, producing a great score, though snapped his board on his final manoeuvre. Regardless of having to continue on a back up board, De Souza’s lead proved to strong for Hobgood and Muniz as he moved directly to Round 3.

“It is in my blood,” De Souza said. “I’m really motivated every time and I always want to improve.”J-BaySouza

Heat 9 saw a heap of action as Josh Kerr hit the water with Filipe Toledo and Tiago Pires. All surfers managed to scrape into waves for the opening exchange, though it was Toledo to take the first lead. Kerr and Toledo finally locked in some competitive scores after the first 10 minutes, with Filipe continuing to lead the Heat with a score of 7.50 for his second wave delivery. Kerr soon lived up to his reputation, destroying the walls of Supertubes and stealing the lead from Toledo, thanks to a huge layback turn which certainly wowed audeinces. As the Heat’s conclusion was approaching, all surfers went crazy giving it everything they got. Toledo through a huge air though was unable to find his feet, as Kerr did the same and delivered a huge air reverse for another strong score of 8.33.

It was time for the competitor everyone had been anxious to see. 2 x event winner and local lad Jordy Smith took on  Owen Wright and Jadson Andre in Heat 10 of Round 1. Smith certainly did not hold back, using his local knowledge and confidence to absolutely take the J-Bay line-up to town, with a combination score of 19.30 within the first few minutes. Wright tried to answer back to the local, combining his scores to sit on a 17.03 while Andre was put in a critical combination spot, needing 9′s to match the performances of the other competitors. Smith continued his domination, managing to score the first perfect 10 in competition so far. Needless to say it was Jordy SMith who moved directly through to Round 3.

“I was anxious because I haven’t surfed a contest here in three years and I wanted to be on the best waves of the heat,” Smith said. “I ended up breaking my leash — everything happens for a reason, it gave my time to relax and reset and then I went back out got my 10.

John John Florence, Bede Durbidge and Jeremy Flores next to the J-Bay line up, for Heat 11 of Round 1. The heat opened with mid range scores from Flores, until Florence unloaded a huge air reverse after impressive turns on his opening ride. Durbidge also delivered, showing spectators and judges his skills through long down the line carves and turns. Jeremy Flores finally found his form, though was unable to match Florence’s early performance.

The final Heat of Round 1 saw Julian wilson meet Kolohe Andino and Travis Logie. With conditions continuing to pump and the sunshine out, the surfers jumped straight into it. Wilson waited 10 minutes to start his campiagn at J-Bay, starting with a strong score of 7.50 through an impressive forehand attack. Andino and Logie soon struck back, both showing their eagerness to progress through to further Rounds. While spectators may have thought Wilson would take the Heat, Andino fired another shot in the closing minutes. The American used his priority and locked into a bigger wave, securing a 8.00 and stealing the lead from the Australian.J-Bay2Julian

Though the schedule was to aim to complete Round 1, the days waves and dropping swell saw judges choose to follow through directly into Round 2. Medina met local wildcard Dylan Lightfoot, both youngsters going mental to avoid elimination. Both surfed well and pulled some epic airs and manvouvres, though it was the World Number 1 who would advance.

“I just tried to be smart, to get the big ones, and do the big turns, and work it out,” Medina said. “I’m letting things happen. I don’t want to think about the rankings, I just want to surf and do my best.”

Parkinson met Brett Simpson in Heat 2 of Round 2. Simpson took an early lead after the first exchange of waves, though it wasn’t long until the perfect style and skills of Parkinson came into play. The Aussie took a small lead over the American with a 6.33. The Heat continued to supply both surfers with average scores, though in the end it was Joel to advance through to Round 3 and avoid early elimination.

Heat 3 of Round 2 saw Nat Young meet Brazilian Raoni Monteiro. The first 10 minutes saw nothing special on the scoreboard, until Young eventually through a nice display of top to bottom turns and snaps off the lip, enough for a 6.00. The two played tennis with leading the Heat, until Nat Young advanced on his lead over the Brazilian, enough to advance.

“I just wanted to get out there again. I had a bit of a shocker in my last heat,” Young said. “I wanted to get into rhythm and have some more fun. It’s been a good year for me so far. I’ve done well in some events and made some mistakes in others.

The final Heat of the first day of competition at the J-Bay Open was a match up between Julian Wilson and Glenn Hall. Julian took the lead after the two traded waves on the first exchange, leaving Hall in awe and a big score to match from the very start. Wilson continued to maintain the lead, throwing another huge air into his campaign, while Hall unfortunately was eliminated.

The next call is at 7:30am local time today. If you are on the East Coast of Australia, that’s 4:30pm our time. Congratulations to all the surfers and their performances on Day 1 of competition. We all can’t wait to see what’s to come and who will take out the 2014 J-Bay Open! Keep up to date with all the latest here on the SurfStitch Blog!

*All images by ASP

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Wave Breakdown: J-Bay

With Stop #6 of the ASP World Championship Tour in Jeffreys Bay scheduled to start today, its important to know exactly how the forever grinding right hander works. Jeffreys Bay, or more commonly now known as J-Bay, boasts rides up to 300 meters long, providing surfers with some of the best cold water barrels in history. Over the years we have seen legends of the sport annihilate the open walls of J-Bay, and with the 2014 World Tour proving some already great performances, everyone is sitting patiently to see what the worlds best can do at the infamous point break.

As a long point break, J-Bay is made up of a group of waves, much like the Superbank on the Gold Coast is made up of Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and Kirra. To help guide you through this years J-Bay Open, SurfStitch have broken down the line up into its respected sections.


Boneyards: Boneyards quite simply is the top of the point at J-Bay. The wave throws out some big barrels, though it is more common to score those forever grinding right-hand barrels further down the point. Boneyards is mostly surfed when the wind is too strong for the rest of J-Bay, thus being a back up spot for the contest.


Supertubes: Supertubes or ‘Supers’ is the main spot in J-Bay and when people think of those long walls of water, they think of here. The wave draws energy from its upper reef and throws it into a line-up that seems to go on forever. The wave almost seems mechanical through this section, and this will be where the main focus will be for the 2014 J-Bay Open.


Impossibles: Though some days rides can go the whole way thorugh the point, it is not always the case. Unless the swell is 6 foot plus, dont expect any 3-5 minute rides. On smaller swells and the right tides, Impossibles starts to show its magic. The wave is around 600 meters down from the start of Supertubes and lays claim to some of the best barrels ever ridden at J-Bay. Most of the time this will be the final wave for surfers at J-Bay as it can drift surfers into a bay to exit the water.


The Point: When the swell is big enough, a final section known as ‘The Point’ can break. Though the wave is mostly sandy bottoms and not as heavy , long or fast as its upper reef buddies, The Point can still be a slow open wall for beginners or for the more experienced to throw their board around and try things they wouldn’t in the waves further up the point.

With all of that in mind, who are your picks to win the prestigious event this year? Will it be the local ripper Jordy Smith who took the contest back to back in 2011-12? Or Kelly Slater to add a 5th J-Bay title to his outstanding resume? Perhaps Gabriel Medina might give the world known backhand skills of a 1973 Mark Occhilupo a run for its money? Regardless of the winner, the J-Bay Open always turns on as it leads competitors into the back half of the competitive year, and for some, one step closer to a World Title.


Stop #6 is expected to start today and has a waiting period of 11 days. Keep up to date with the contest here on the SurfStitch Blog or on the official site of the ASP.

Watch the official teaser for the J-Bay Open 2014 below!

*Imagery: Garth Robinson, Richard Johnson, Ryan Miller & surfermag

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Mike D and Monster Children hit Baja

If you are a fan of surf and lifestyle clips shot with super 8 film, this clip is surely one for you. Beastie Boys head honcho Mike D teamed up with Monster Children, Stance and a bunch of mates and hit Baja California for some waves, beers and all round good times. Baja California is one of the most northern states in Mexico, sitting just over the border from San Diego. The area claims fame to some of the best beach breaks, food and tequila in the world.baja                                                      *Imagery: Monster Children & 

Mike D was told to round up some mates who surf and get moving for an epic week of adventure. The crew consisted of Spike Jonze, Tanner Rozunko, Rob Machado, Ford Archbold, Alex Knost, Kassia Meador and ofcourse, Mike D himself.

Sit back, relax, and get ready for a brand new surf clip with a retro feel and a heap of laughs. This clip will make you want to get those annual leave forms signed, round up your buddies and jump on a plane for some good times!

Like what you see? Monster Children’s Deluxe Edition of Issue 43 features Mike D as guest editor and is available here at SurfStitch!

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American Timmy Reyes has defeated Australian Matt Wilkinson in the Final of the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2014 on the KwaZulu Natal North Coast, South Africa. Reyes, a former competitor on the World Tour and now big wave free surfer, surfed incredible the entire event, holding his own against some of the worlds best.

The final day of the 6 day event saw competitors battle it out in clean 6-8 foot conditions. Both surfers were evidently hungry for the win though it was Timmy Reyes who struck first, opening his campaign with an impressive 7.17. Wilkinson did not hold back, answering with a 9.2 and taking the lead. Reyes, needing a solid score, decided to sit wide and be patient. The American had dreamt that this was the right thing to do and followed his instinct which amazingly paid off. Reyes was able to jag a wave under Wilkinson’s priority, adding an impressive 8.27 to his scoreboard and in turn, taking the win at the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2014.


Winner of the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2014 – Timmy Reyes – photo ASP/Cestari

“This is definitely the biggest win I have ever had in my life,” said Reyes. “I knew Matt would get a nine and he did but I had a dream a few days ago that I should just sit wide, be patient, and the wave would come to me. Almost every heat I had, the same thing happened.”

To make things even sweeter for the American, the win at Ballito puts a nice $40,000USD deposit into his bank and sky rockets his rankings from #131 to just #5 on the Qualification Series, potentially welcoming a return to the 2015 World Championship Tour.

reyesballito5Timmy Reyes slaughtering the open faces – Photo ASP/Cestarireyesballito6

Reyes mixing it up with some manoeuvres on the left – photo ASP/Cestari

Though coming in at runner up, Matt Wilkinson surfed amazing the entire event and clocked some of the biggest scores in the competition. The Australian blew minds with a near perfect 9.90 in the Semi Finals and then again in the Finals with his 9.2 performance. It was unfortunate he was unable to find another high scoring wave in the Final, though that’s the way it can be in competition. Bitter sweet.

“It’s been an unreal event, I’ve had so much fun here and the waves have been amazing,” Wilkinson said. “I got that 9.2 under Timmy’s priority, and I thought I had it until I let him take a wave under my priority and he got that 8.2 score. I’m really stoked to come second but obviously I’m pretty disappointed at not winning.”


Matt Wilkinson giving everything he’s got – Photo ASP/Cestari

 The Mr Price Pro Ballito saw many other standout performances. Much like their success so far in the World Cup, the Brazilians dominated early in the event, demonstrating huge airs and power surfing, tearing apart the South African mix of reef and beach break. Although getting knocked in the Quaterfinals, Felipe Toledo wowed judges and audiences with two impressive near perfect combination scores of 19.00 and higher out of a possible 20, showing the impressive level new age surfers are sitting on. The Brazilian put his body on the line completing huge manoeuvres, including the contests first 10 point ride after landing a huge full rotation air reverse.

toledoballitoFilipe Toledo and the huge full rotation air reverse – photo ASP/Cestari

SurfStitch congratulate Timmy Reyes on his awesome win and everything that comes with it. A further congratulations to Matt Wilkinson and all other surfers on their performances and results at the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2014, what a great event! Keep up to date with all things surfing here on the SurfStitch Blog, with stop #6 of the ASP World Championship Tour only a few days away.

Bring on J-Bay!

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This is Dane Reynolds

Dane Reynolds quite simply is one of the best to burst into the surfing scene over the past decade. Since signing off from the World Tour in 2012, Dane now is considered one of the best ‘free surfers’ to grace the planet. This short clip focuses on his life after the spotlight, as he continues to surf, travel and explore his new opportunities, all while enjoying the waves more than ever.

dane3Images by Desillusion Magazine

One things for sure, his skills are still a huge standout in the surfing world. From massive airs of all types, to powerful cutbacks and carves, Reynolds truley has it down pat. Get ready to be impressed, as we learn more about Dane Reynolds, while watching him tear apart line ups in Hawaii and California! Enjoy!

THIS IS DANE REYNOLDS from Desillusion Magazine on Vimeo.

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