Summery conditions give gentle interlude

ALL-DAY north-west winds and small, pulsing east swells ... seems like summer, right?

The unusual swell and weather patterns of this winter continue.

This is not a complaint, though.

While we would all love a bit more size there is nothing too wrong with consistent, clean, two-to-three foot, peaky waves.

And this past week has given us exactly that.

Unfortunately this weekend looks to drop off into the barely surfable category.

It will be clean, though, and not too cold, so if you did not get out during the week you will definitely find something surfable; just make sure to pick up a board with a little extra foam.

For those not getting into the water, there will be plenty happening by way of the trusty old live stream, as the year’s most exciting international surfing competition should get under way tomorrow.

The World Surf League Championship Tour makes its seventh stop of the year at the infamous Teahupo’o reef break in Tahiti.

The first image I saw of that wave was Laird Hamilton towing into the most unrealistic wave imaginable.

It has a lip thicker than the wave and breaks in waist-deep water over razor sharp coral reef. I still cannot fathom how those guys even surf it.

WSL put out a good web clip of CT surfers giving advice on how to surf it.

The gist: go hard, and do not hesitate.

Over the past few years the competition has delivered some of the most epic viewing, including the “Code Red” swell of 2011 when the competition was called off and the world’s top chargers took over, the 2014 competition when Kelly Slater took out John John Florence in a dream heat, and even last year when the two met again in the final and Slater once again reigned supreme.

Unfortunately, there are no major swells on the radar this year. The opening day should see waves in the head-high to overhead range, though.

Fingers crossed, the Antarctic can rumble something up for the end of the waiting period.

Gisborne/Mahia surfer Ricardo Christie should be feeling pretty good about now.

Sitting at the halfway stage in the WSL Qualifying Series, he is in ninth place, after coming fifth at the QS 10,000 US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California.

Surfers need to finish in the top 10 at the end of the QS to qualify for the 2018 top-tier CT.

However, if surfers have already qualified through the CT then the next-highest ranked surfers take their places.

This happened in 2014 when Christie finished 16th on the QS yet qualified for the CT.

Based on the 2015 and 2016, surfers need around 20,000 points at year’s end to finish in, or close to, the top 10.

Only a surfer’s top five results count, which means they need to target the competitions with big points on offer.

Christie sits on 10,500 points, mostly made up of 5200 from his US Open result and 3000 for his win at the Martinique Pro.

He will need three more solid results to make the cut.

Next up is the QS6000 Galicia Pro in Spain at the end of August, and the QS6000 Azores Pro in Azores and QS10,000 Cascais Pro in Portugal in September.

After that is another 6000-point-rated event in Brazil at the end of October and then two 10,000-point-rated events in Hawaii in November to finish the QS.

Christie is close, but he will really need to step it up in the final events of the year.

We are behind you bro’.

See you out the back.

ALL-DAY north-west winds and small, pulsing east swells ... seems like summer, right?

The unusual swell and weather patterns of this winter continue.

This is not a complaint, though.

While we would all love a bit more size there is nothing too wrong with consistent, clean, two-to-three foot, peaky waves.

And this past week has given us exactly that.

Unfortunately this weekend looks to drop off into the barely surfable category.

It will be clean, though, and not too cold, so if you did not get out during the week you will definitely find something surfable; just make sure to pick up a board with a little extra foam.

For those not getting into the water, there will be plenty happening by way of the trusty old live stream, as the year’s most exciting international surfing competition should get under way tomorrow.

The World Surf League Championship Tour makes its seventh stop of the year at the infamous Teahupo’o reef break in Tahiti.

The first image I saw of that wave was Laird Hamilton towing into the most unrealistic wave imaginable.

It has a lip thicker than the wave and breaks in waist-deep water over razor sharp coral reef. I still cannot fathom how those guys even surf it.

WSL put out a good web clip of CT surfers giving advice on how to surf it.

The gist: go hard, and do not hesitate.

Over the past few years the competition has delivered some of the most epic viewing, including the “Code Red” swell of 2011 when the competition was called off and the world’s top chargers took over, the 2014 competition when Kelly Slater took out John John Florence in a dream heat, and even last year when the two met again in the final and Slater once again reigned supreme.

Unfortunately, there are no major swells on the radar this year. The opening day should see waves in the head-high to overhead range, though.

Fingers crossed, the Antarctic can rumble something up for the end of the waiting period.

Gisborne/Mahia surfer Ricardo Christie should be feeling pretty good about now.

Sitting at the halfway stage in the WSL Qualifying Series, he is in ninth place, after coming fifth at the QS 10,000 US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California.

Surfers need to finish in the top 10 at the end of the QS to qualify for the 2018 top-tier CT.

However, if surfers have already qualified through the CT then the next-highest ranked surfers take their places.

This happened in 2014 when Christie finished 16th on the QS yet qualified for the CT.

Based on the 2015 and 2016, surfers need around 20,000 points at year’s end to finish in, or close to, the top 10.

Only a surfer’s top five results count, which means they need to target the competitions with big points on offer.

Christie sits on 10,500 points, mostly made up of 5200 from his US Open result and 3000 for his win at the Martinique Pro.

He will need three more solid results to make the cut.

Next up is the QS6000 Galicia Pro in Spain at the end of August, and the QS6000 Azores Pro in Azores and QS10,000 Cascais Pro in Portugal in September.

After that is another 6000-point-rated event in Brazil at the end of October and then two 10,000-point-rated events in Hawaii in November to finish the QS.

Christie is close, but he will really need to step it up in the final events of the year.

We are behind you bro’.

See you out the back.

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