THIS WEEK IN SURFING and... The Ten Biggest Stories of 2012

28 Dec 2012 0 Share

It's the end of the year. Well done everyone, we made it! Because Coastalwatch is on the internet, and everyone on the internet is obligated to make a list about something before December 31, we collated what we thought were... *drumroll* The Ten Biggest Stories in Surfing For 2012


1. The Passing of Michael Peterson

Surfing is a very young sport/art/lifestyle. We have not lost many of our greats so when one of them goes it is a big big deal and they don't come much greater than Michael Peterson. The death caused by heart attack at his Coolangatta home on the morning of the 29th of March this year rocked the surfing world and stirred tributes from all of surfing's current and former champions. He was 59 years old and will be remembered as one of surfing's most iconic figures.

What it meant: Australian surfing lost one of its greatest icons.


2. Joel Parkinson Wins The World Title

A four time World Title runner up (a feat equalled only by Cheyne Horan) Joel Parkinson finally won a World Championship in one of the tightest World Title races in history. 

What it meant: An awful lot to Joel Parkinson, and his supporters which is pretty much the greater Australian surfing public.


3. The Return to Triumph of Steph Gilmore

By the end of 2010, Steph Gilmore had won four consecutive World Titles and had a record of event wins that was higher than 50% (winning every second event is a ridiculous statistic!). But on December 27, 2010 she was struck twice with an iron bar wielded by a homeless man near her apartment. She suffered a fractured wrist and sliced head. Understandably she seemed to lack confidence and spark the following ASP season while simultaneously a new wave of talent led by Carissa Moore barnstormed the tour. 2012, however, saw Steph surfing better than ever to claim her fifth World Title.

What it meant: While Carissa and Co have stamped themselves as the next generation of women's surfing, Miss Gilmore still reigns supreme.


4. Zosea buys ASP media rights

The media rights of the ASP's World Tour events was a talking point all year. The main news came in October when the ASP announced it was entering a term sheet with Zosea Media. Who is Zosea? There's not a lot to know, other than that it is run by the manager of Kelly Slater and John John Florence (Terry Hardy), suggesting that come 2014, Kelly will have a keen involvement in the goings on of the ASP post retirement.

What it meant: Not sure exactly, except that how we watch the World Tour, and the World Tour itself (more prize money, different event sponsors etc) will likely change pretty drastically come 2014.

One overhaul expected of the Zosea ASP deal is a refined and consistent commentary team for all events.

One overhaul expected of the Zosea ASP deal is a refined and consistent commentary team for all events.

5. Nike Pulls Out of Surfing (And so does Analog)

At a team dinner in Hawaii this December Nike's elite list of sponsored surfers were told that the sports giant would be downsizing its involvement in surf, and that its team riders would now be riding for the Nike owned company, Hurley (while Nike would remain a shoe-sponsor). The news came in the wake of the announcement that Burton owned brands Analog and Gravis would also be pulling out of surf and going back to their roots as a snow company. When one of the biggest brands in the world pulls out your sport and one of the sport's better smaller brands does too, it's not a great indicator of the surf industry's health at the mo. 

What it Meant: The surf marketplace is "in transition". Also that Hurley have the strongest competitive team in the World.


6.That Day At Cloudbreak

On the morning of Day 6 of the waiting period the Volcom Fiji Pro at Cloudbreak, a gigantic swell loomed. Two heats of competition ran and then a decision that will be debated for a lifetime was made – The competition was called off for the day, citing uncooperative and dangerous chop on the face. Then the wind changed and the surf turned into gigantic perfection and the webcast remained on. Arguably the greatest freesurf session in history streamed to anyone who was interested (and that was A LOT of people) as it happened. It was a game changing moment for surfing, and one that will be debated about for years to come.

What it meant: Paddle surfing has passed once unthought of levels of possibility.


7. The Trouble at Billabong

Rarely a day goes by where one of Australia's largest newspapers doesn't run a story about Billabong in it's business or financial sections. With a new CEO, several failed takeover bids (currently preparing for its fifth in less than a year), and a share price that has fallen from $3.64 on December 16 last year to 87c as of yesterday, it has been on of the country's biggest business stories. And Billabong have still not re-released their wildly popular (in the 90s) wetsuit material pencil cases! Connection? You be the judge.

What it meant: The surf marketplace is "in transition".

Billabong CEO Laura Inman

Billabong CEO Laura Inman


8. Junior World Champs

Jack Freestone and Nikki Van Dijk both took out the World Junior Titles which this year was decided at a standalone event (as opposed to over three events last year) the Oakley ASP World Junior Championships in Bali. Freestone was the form surfer of the event, highlighted by an amazing semi-final performance, as the ASP reported: 'Head Judge Glen Elliot describing the heat as – “one of the best displays of technical aerial surfing in one heat in ASP history. Jack (freestone) landed two stalefish grabs, a slob grab and full rotation Kerrupt grab air-reverse. People will be talking about that heat for a long time.”'

What it meant: Without the hype thrown around other surf nations' up and comers, Australia is still super strong in the Juniors. That said, World Tour competitors Kolohe Andino, John Florence and Gabriel Medina are all younger than Jack, and not one young Australian qualified for the 2013 Tour. Yikes.


9. Volcom Drops Bruce Irons

Did anyone see this coming? Bruce Irons, synonymous with the Volcom brand since its beginnings roughly two decades ago parted ways with the company in November. He has since signed with Fox and has stated in a press release, "I have been friends with Pete Fox for many years and have always been a fan of Fox. It is unreal to be part of such a diverse team of world class athletes. I am excited about a fresh start and big things to come.”

What it meant: That no surfer and brand parntership is set in stone.

10. Instagram

Whiie Instagram launched way back in 2010 (which in internet years may as well be last century) 2012 saw this photo sharing, vintage filtering iPhone application completely invade surfing. Every professional surfer, surf company, and surf media organisation created an account, while the app was increasingly used in major campaigns. The most famous being the #GoParko campaign created by Billabong surrounding Joel Parkinson's lead up to the World Title. Leading the surfers is Alana Blanchard with 296,713 followers. Kelly Slater comes second with 254,706.

What it meant: The subject is now also the medium. You want to see sunsets in Hawaii and the breakfast of John Florence? You got it! #gettingtiresome.

A typical Instagram post from surfing's most popular, Alana Blanchard. A measly 25,000 likes. Note the public comments... A deterrent to nuclear war?!

A typical Instagram post from surfing's most popular, Alana Blanchard. A measly 25,000 likes. Note the public comments... A deterrent to nuclear war?!


Disagree? Tell us what we missed.

Tags: this week in surfing , 2012 , mp , michael peterson , ten biggest surfing stories of 2012 (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
More From This Week in Surfing
A WSL Wave Pool Event Is Coming in a Week, Italo Ferreira Is Still a Beast, and the Fantasy of Perfect Empty Kandui

A WSL Wave Pool Event Is Coming in a Week, Italo Ferreira Is Still a Beast, and the Fantasy of Perfect Empty Kandui

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was August 1 2020

1 1 Aug 2020
What Is an Australian Grand Slam of Surfing? Pumping Bali, and POV Ride a One Minute Tube at Skeleton Bay

What Is an Australian Grand Slam of Surfing? Pumping Bali, and POV Ride a One Minute Tube at Skeleton Bay

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was July 24 2020

25 Jul 2020
The Best Clips From the Swell So Far, the WSL Will Never Be the Same, and Uncrowded Bali Perfection

The Best Clips From the Swell So Far, the WSL Will Never Be the Same, and Uncrowded Bali Perfection

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was July 17 2020

1 17 Jul 2020
Recent

Maurice Cole: The Nightmare That’s Turned Into A Blessing

A video message from the legendary surfer and shaper

4 Aug 2020
Nick Carroll: The Travel Boom Lies Ahead

Nick Carroll: The Travel Boom Lies Ahead

1 3 Aug 2020
Watch Tom Carroll, Nathan Hedge and More Pull Into Massive Tubes on This Sydney Beachie's "Day of Days"

Watch Tom Carroll, Nathan Hedge and More Pull Into Massive Tubes on This Sydney Beachie's "Day of Days"

1 31 Jul 2020
Video: Rainbow Bay Last Saturday Was an A-Grade Tube Machine

Video: Rainbow Bay Last Saturday Was an A-Grade Tube Machine

4 31 Jul 2020
Sean Doherty: The Offshore Gas Field Hiding in Plain Sight of Newcastle, Sydney and the Central Coast

Sean Doherty: The Offshore Gas Field Hiding in Plain Sight of Newcastle, Sydney and the Central Coast

8 30 Jul 2020
Latest News

Maurice Cole: The Nightmare That’s Turned Into A Blessing

A video message from the legendary surfer and shaper

Nick Carroll: The Travel Boom Lies Ahead

As Far as Surf Travel Goes, There’ll Never Be Another 2020

Watch Tom Carroll, Nathan Hedge and More Pull Into Massive Tubes on This Sydney Beachie's "Day of Days"

"I think it's psycho, it's that thick and round..." says Nathan Hedge.

Popular This Week

Paddle Bombs and Tow-Ins as East Coast Low Lights up Sydney Yet Again

There had been barely a moment for to collect your breath before Monday hit, and now there's more coming!

Watch Tom Carroll, Nathan Hedge and More Pull Into Massive Tubes on This Sydney Beachie's "Day of Days"

"I think it's psycho, it's that thick and round..." says Nathan Hedge.

A WSL Wave Pool Event Is Coming in a Week, Italo Ferreira Is Still a Beast, and the Fantasy of Perfect Empty Kandui

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was August 1 2020

Go to Top