Tim Boal Reflects On The Past Few Months
Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), 25, a rookie on this year's ASP World Tour, is currently surfing some perfect waves in the Mentawaii Islands enjoying a break from competition after placing equal 17th at Teahupoo. He takes some time to share his insights about the last few months with Funsporting...
Straight after Australia I headed to Carcavelos in Portugal to compete in the ASP WQS 6-Star event. It was good to be in contest mode again as prior to that, my only two contests in the last 6 months had been the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper and the Rip Curl Pro at Bells as I was injured for the last few months last year. My goal after the Australian leg was to surf as much as possible and compete more and more.
The contest in Carcavelos was fun, and i twas good to hang out with all the European guys again on the WQS. Some of the younger surfers are really pushing and I’m sure a few of them will be qualifying for the World Tour this year or in years to come. Joan Duru is on his way with a few good results already and Charly Martin has been surfing very well too. He hasn’t had the biggest results yet but he will very soon. Another impressive young surfer was Alejo Muniz who ended up winning the event. I actually lost out to him in the Quarters and was pretty happy to see him going on to win the contest. The waves didn’t really cooperate on the last few days but all in all it was a good contest with Quiksilver doing a great job organizing the whole thing.
The day after Carcavelos I flew over to California for the Nike 6.0 Lowers pro. It’s pretty tough travelling around on such a tight schedule but it’s all worth it… Surfing Trestles with only three other guys was enough to make me forget how bad airplane seats are.
The waves were really good for the whole week of the event and that was probably the best organization I’ve ever seen for a WQS event… Any event actually! The webcast was amazing and the whole setup was just great. A few of the Euros were there, Alain Riou, Michel Bourez, Aritz Aranburu and Charly Martin so it was good to spend some time, share some waves and compete altogether. I had only competed in Trestles once before and this was a good opportunity to get some practice in before the world tour heads over there in September. I had a really good board and I pretty much just stuck to the rights the whole time and ended up getting third so I was glad I made the trip there and got a feel for the place.
A lot of the ASP Top 45 guys were there so the level of surfing was pretty high and there were some great heats. Charly Martin was a standout on the webcast as he spent quite a bit of time in the tower with the commentary team... Funny stuff. Fred Pattachia ended up winning against Ben Bourgeois who came close to defending his title!
And then it was on to Tahiti where the contest started off the very first day of the waiting period just like the first two events in Australia. The waves were good for the first day although very inconsistent. Teahupoo is pretty special, you can tell the guys who have been there before or have spent some time surfing there. It’s not as straightforward as it looks from the boat and once you get out for a heat it’s pretty tough to figure out what’s happening. My feeling was that it gets easy to wait too long for the waves you’re actually going to be able to surf better, but you get tricked into that and end not getting anything, especially when it’s inconsistent like it was. After the first day, we waited about eight days before we got back out there which was rally long! That’s the tough part on the world tour, and you have to learn how to wait and stay busy and occupied. It gets pretty frustrating especially when you have calls for the event to start every couple of hours some days…
The event finally got going towards the end of the waiting period and there were some great heats, especially Kelly Vs Aritz! Aritz pretty much smoked him and found some deep barrels. Kelly did the most amazing turns but it wasn’t enough and he went down for another 17th. I thought CJ Hobgood was going to win the event as he looked consistent and has a great record at Teahupoo, but Taj stopped him in the Quarters.
To see Aritz get third was great, he had a tough year last year with injuries and a tough start this year so to see him do well felt extra-special and inspiring. Next stop is Brazil at the end of June, I’ve never been to the place but I’m pretty sure it’ll be easier to figure out than Teahupoo. In the meantime I’m going to the Mentawaiis on a Red Bull trip with all the World Tour Red Bull riders men and women, as well as a few of their juniors so it should be pretty amazing."
Boal, who stands inside the Top 30 at this stage, remains in good position towards a possible requalification so far.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti had an exciting finish to competition after several lay-days and saw California talent Bobby Martinez, 26, take top honors for the second time at the event when he surfed a near-flawless 18.46 out of 20 heat against fellow finalist Taj Burrow, 30, to claim the win.
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It has been an action-packed month of April around the world with no less than one ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star, two 6-Star and two 6-Star Prime rated events putting the international ratings upside down and kicking-off another race that promises to bring world class level this year again.