There is much gossip and talk floating around about the reasons and sanity for dropping Supertubes, Jeffreys bay from the list of the A.S.P’s top 10 destinations for the world surfing tour.
First the fabled right hander was downgraded in 2012 to a qualifying event, and then proceeded to have some of the best conditions seen in years for the competition, leaving a somewhat bitter taste in the mouths of surfing fans world wide.
Why and how can the best right hand pointbreak not feature on the world tour as a top priority? Little surprise that this bitter taste turned to disgust when this year Supertubes didn’t even feature at all on the Pro circuit or the qualifying series. Why had J-Bay been forgotten? What has become of surfing’s top industry dogs that they have lost sight of what the fans want? No J-Bay! No Way!
Billabong, the annual sponsor of the contest, gingerly admitted that they simply do not have the money to run the event, and that the contest in Rio de jeneirohad been prioritised over Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay. On surfing blogs around the world the feeling was unanimous- Rio? Really? Poor waves= boring web-cast= angry fans.
Unfortunately for fans, Billabong really is in that much of a pickle financially, and hordes of Brazilians rushing to buy merchandise and treating a surfing event as a national festivity means Supertubes just can’t compete- It’s cold, far from anywhere, and simply can’t draw anywhere close to the crowds and money that Rio can. But before you start burning your Bong boardshorts in protest take a moment to think about the community of Jeffreys Bay. You may enjoy the J-Bay web-cast, but to the Jeffreys bay locals, the Billabong Pro in July is an event that young and old, surfers and non surfers alike, cherish.
Besides bringing much needed revenue to the town in Low season, it offers a respite from the cold, a reason to party in the rain, and the one and only chance most J-Bay locals will ever get to see their favourite surfers in the flesh. To say it’s a major downer for the fans in Jeffreys is an understatement of note.
Yet the late announcement of a little something called ‘The Jeffreys Bay Open of Surfing’ might offer some respite. Local surf club, the JBU and yes, Billabong, will team up to hold a contest run on local power from the 9th to the 13th of July. Inviting internationals and locals to compete, it’s J-Bays own answer to being sidelined, and if last year is anything to go by, Supertubes will most likely produce a swell that will make any pros that choose to miss it kick themselves.
Nice. At this very moment the Rio contest is taking place- poor waves, nearing the end of its waiting period, disappointment, fan revenue regardless. This is the new surf industry- souless, chasing the dollar, letting down the ‘real’ surfers that saw the industry boom in the first place. For these reasons and more, Shaloha Guesthouse on Supertubes is stoked about this event. Lets give them a taste of what they are missing- real waves, real surfing, J-Bay style. Now the question is- will you be here? Really now, can you miss it? -R-