About a month ago, Pat O called and told me I was going to do some commentating on the webcast for the Hurley Pro at Tresles. I tried to wiggle my way out, but when Pat sets his mind to something there is no changing it. I was on my way to Cal. For most people this probably sounds fun. Hurley pays my way to the mainland, gives me great accommodations (Pat's couch), and Pat takes me out to dinner, lets me drink his wine and eat his ice cream.
All I have to do is bullshit about the best surfers in the world. I know this makes me sound like a puss, but talking on the web is scary. Let me go paddle in at Waimea, or do some dumb stunt, those are things I can handle. Walking into the webcast booth, that's intimidating.
Once I get going, it's all good, and then come the e-mails. In between questions and "Atta boy Brock" is the constructive criticism all the webcasters love. Stuff like "You're a kook," "I'm tired of Brock already" etc., all that crap tends to stick with you more than the love letters.
This year the waves were inconsistent, but I thought the contest was still insane. The level of pro surfing is so high. This was the first time in at least a decade, I walked away not sure who the best surfer in the world is. For me it's always been Kelly. This year, I thought a few of the guys had reached his level, or maybe he slipped a little. Could be his boards suck. Whatever, now I feel like Kelly's one of the best, with company.
Can't wait to webcast next year, if Kelly's on tour he'll prove me wrong. If he's retired, he'll e-mail me and call me a kook.—Brock