Despite their laid-back demeanor, surfers love a little drama.
On a rainy day in France last fall, CJ Hobgood and I discussed how dramatic surfing helped him get his competitive career back on track. And on track it has remained - yesterday in Tasmania, CJ put up 18.57 points. Now, it looks like Parko may have caught the drama bug.
CJ Hobgood Interview
LS: Did you change your technique in '08?
CJ: It's hard when you're doing bad and things are frustrating to stick with a plan. But if you stick with a plan, don't give up, you gain some insights. I started trying to work on technique, become a better technical surfer. And I got better at technique.
But then Gally and I sat down, and I was kinda like, "OK, we're getting better at technique, but that's not what the judges are into right now. The judges are into flipping out, just, they wanted you to freak out, spazz out, throw confetti, hands everywhere, layback, grunt reverses, drop the wallet for a while, stand back up, big airs, and all that stuff. That was good, that was great, so I had to find a balance. I'd worked on technique, worked on one thing, gotten better in one area, but then you might not get any results. You have to balance it with other things.
Me and Gally were like, "the technique we were working on, great, but it didn't work. Let's try to find a balance. I don't care how gross you look, I don't care how bad the form is, I don't care where your hands are, just go out there and freak out and fly around."
So... whether it works or not, it is a struggle. I mean, what do you do? When Kelly surfs, he's such a great surfer, but he's so over-dramatic. You see photos and he looks like a wizard half the time. (CJ strikes the Slater Wizard Cutback pose)
But he's the best surfer in the world.
LS: How would you compare that to Parko?
CJ: Parko's the exact opposite, he's so beautiful to watch it almost lulls the judges to sleep. Fortunate for him, fortunate for the judges, they know what a great technical surfer he is, so they have 8's on stand-by for him the majority of the time, which I agree with much of the time.
LS: I've talked before about Benny B being too smooth.
His technique is so perfect, that there never looks like there's fire, there never looks like there's flash. So someone needs to go out there and help him find that balance. He should go out there and do twirly-birds, I want to see spinner-kicks, I want to see Clay Marzo, I want to see this, that... don't frickin' worry about the technique. That's what happens. That's surfing.