Jordy Smith took home $100k for his Hurley Pro Surf contest win, and he deserved every bit of it. Flowmaster Joel Parkinson placed second, followed by Filipe Toledo and Tanner Gudauskas, both of whom were on fire throughout the contest. Top seeds fell like rain, with Brett Simpson and Kolohe Andino doing a lot of the damage. Tour vets Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning were both in good form, but they didn’t even make it to the semis.
This contest saw good swell, a couple of controversial heats, and lots of airtime. If you weren’t there by 6:30-7:00 a.m., you missed the free surf, which rocked. Take a crew of pros looking to warm up for the contest, throw ’em in the ring with some hard-core locals, who all have attitudes, and you’ll see surfing on the edge. The pics will give you a hint of what went down. The Swatch Womens Pro was run concurrently, and the ladies gave as good as they got in the free surf session, and the contest as well.
On the technical side of the fence, the lighting at Trestles in the fall is never good, even if the sun comes out at dawn the surfers are lit from the side, not the front. The lighting conditions only get worse from there. The Sony a7R delivered the picture quality of course, but autofocus with the LA-EA4 adapter was less than precise at long distances. Everything was shot at 600mm, f/6.3-f/8, with a Tamron 150-600, if a surf photo looks soft it’s due to a slight mis-focus. Back-button autofocus, “setting effect:OFF” in the menu made the EVF plenty bright, iso100, which allowed for testing the isoless capability of the camera. The jury is still out as to whether or not it’s better than turning up the gain on the camera.