WHAT YEAR IS IT AGAIN?
WHAT YEAR IS IT AGAIN?
With 34-year-old Cory Lopez pushing for a return to the tour, Kalani Robb posting top scores in Mexico, Occy making a competitive comeback (again) and Kelly Slater still holding the world title, one has to question whether it's 2011 or 1997?
Cory Lopez (USA), 34, made his world tour debut back in 1997; he stayed there for a decade as a fan-favourite filling up the highlight reels before falling away in 2007. After exiting the circuit Lopez hit the free-surf game in ’08; scoring magazine covers for his bravado at places like Teahupo’o. At that point the chances of seeing the radical goofy-footer back in a tour jersey seemed about as likely as Adriano acting indifferent after a 10-point ride.
Fast-forward to 2011. Lopez is back. Almost.
Via injury replacement openings, Lopez found himself flung back into the WCT fold - lining up against the old and new faces of today’s world tour for the first three stops of this season.
I imagine Chris Davidson looked like he’d seen a ghost when Lopez, arisen from tour death, eliminated him at the Quiksilver Pro. But then again, a journeyman like Davo has inflicted plenty of comeback damage of his own over the years.
Lopez is currently sitting in 37th place on the ASP World Rankings, well within striking distance of that Top 32 come the mid-season cut-off, particularly if he can jag another start in a tour event before then. Billabong Pro Teahupo’o would do nicely.
VIDEO: Copy Lopez - Innersection
I’d pretty much given up ever laying eyes again on former star Kalani
Robb (HAW), 34, in a comp jersey. So understandable I had to double and
triple-take when his name popped up in Mexico last month as posting the
highest heat total on the opening day of the ASP 4-Star Quiksilver
“I live in California now and it’s only a short trip from there,” Robb
said. “It’s a lefthand point with warm water and all of the boys were
going down so I figured I’d just surf the contest and have fun.”
Robb, who is a former standout on the ASP Dream Tour, admitted that his
successful performance at the Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan was a
confidence booster for his surfing after several years away from
“I’m really stoked, I haven’t surfed a contest in a long time and it
feels good to get back out there and mix it up with the boys,” Robb
said. “It makes you try hard when you’re surfing. I’ve been lazy and
wondering if I still have what it takes so it feels good.”
Robb made it all the way to Quarter Finals of the event.
Again, is it 2011 or 1997? Don’t blame 39-year-old Kelly Slater for not
knowing; he was world champion then, and still is today.
VIDEO: Kalani free-surfing earlier this year
2011’s throwback to the 90’s could not be complete without mentioning
the fact Mark Occhilupo (AUS), at age 45, is returning to major
competition, donning a jersey as a wildcard for November’s 6-Star
ASP Kangaroo Island Pro in South Australia.
Coming off the back of his stint on Dancing With The Stars, Occy has
declared he's in the best shape of his life and is keen to get
back in an ASP competition rashie.
"I'm in better shape than when I had my comeback," Occy said. "I've been
training, surfing and dancing so much and I feel great. I can't wait to
get down to the ASP Kangaroo Island Pro, I've never been there and I
hear that the waves are fantastic. I feel like I'm surfing pretty good
right now and I'd love to show the young guns that I've still got it."
What year is it again?
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VIDEO: Occy begins famous comeback (Inaugural Billabong Challenge 1995)
Mark Occhilupo, Occy, comeback, surfer, Kelly Slater, Kalani Robb, Cory Lopez, surfing, 2011, surf
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