Dane Reynolds' impact? It plays out like this: it's Friday morning, Kolohe Andino's hair is still wet from his Lowers dawn patrol, he's in the competitor's area with good friend Luke Davis and the two are glued to an iPhone, watching and rewatching a video clip of Reynold's air reverse/varial from yesterday's expression session. Less than 12 hours after stomping one of the more remarkable tricks of the week two of the hottest up-and-coming kids in America (if not the world) are already dissecting his rotation, his landing, even his hair flick as he rode out of it. By day's end Andino and Davis would be in some San Clemente lineup putting their own twist on Reynolds' progressive punt, and hence the sport is pushed yet further.
In Round 3 of the Hurley Pro today Reynolds kept the pedal pinned, tallying one of the highest heat scores of the entire ASP season -- an 18.50 -- without even finishing a wave. But then you can't talk about Reynolds without talking about Jordy Smith, who's big frame continues to defy physics. He's the only one on tour that regularly sticks superman airs, and did it again today in route to a near-perfect 9.60 -- one of the highest single wave scores of the event. In Round 4 he'd break two boards, but ultimately glide past Bede Durbidge and Damien Hobgood. Three years ago the two came on tour and were touted as the future of the sport, and now with Smith sitting number one in the world and Reynolds sitting forth, it would appear they've arrived. Either one could very easily win this thing.
Other topics of conversation? For as jaw-dropping as Reynolds and Smith have been, don't discount the world champs. Mick Fanning's been tack sharp. He put Dusty Payne in a combination situation in the first heat of the day, and then blew through the new three-man forth round. And Kelly Slater had Gabe Kling beat in the first minute of their Round 3 heat, but did stumble against Owen Wright in Round Four and now finds himself surfing an extra heat in Round 5 tomorrow (against a sharp Chris Davidson). But ever the tactician, you can hardly count the winningest surfer at Lowers out.
Meanwhile, Taj Burrow's been having a ball and dominating his heats. "It's just amazing out there," he smiled on his way down the trail this afternoon. "You couldn't ask for more perfect surf."
To that point, the surf today was head-high to overhead and flawless. The wind hardly textured the surface, and besides a few long lulls, Burrow was spot on, you couldn't have asked for better conditions.
We'll have ourselves a champion by tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned. And by the way, the word in the competitor's area today was that the early forecast for the Quik Pro in France is very promising, so looks like the Dream Tour's very much alive and well.
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.20 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.16
Heat 2:Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.17 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 12.00
Heat 3:Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.54
Heat 4:C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.50 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 13.06
Heat 5:Owen Wright (AUS) 14.93 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.67
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 12.67
Heat 7:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.87 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.93
Heat 8:Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.57 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.83
Heat 9:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.60 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 6.63
Heat 10:Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.50 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 10.96
Heat 11:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.24
Heat 12:Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.87 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.87
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES ROUND4 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.30, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.00, Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.33
Heat 2:Owen Wright (AUS), 17.20, Kelly Slater (USA) 15.37, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.27
Heat 3:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.60, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.16, Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.26
Heat 4:Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.60, Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.40, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.97
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES ROUND5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 2:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 3:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 4:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBA
QF 2:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBA
QF 3:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBA
QF 4:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBA