The Year in Surfing: 2012 in Review
ASP World Title Race
Often the ASP World title is wrapped up well before the season ends. In 2012, Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning were all still gunning for the crown going into the Pipe Masters in Hawaii, making for a thrilling conclusion to an epic year.
Volcom brought the tour back to Tavarua, Fiji, this year, and with it came a historic swell. In a controversial call, the event was put on hold while the big-wave hellmen charged. The event finished with Kelly Slater edging out Gabriel Medina.
China On Our Mind
With ASP and ISA contests and a media trip to surf the Qiantang River bore, in the past year China has put itself on the map as an emerging surf destination.
Shades of Jay
With multiple northwest swells throughout the filming of "Chasing Mavericks," this wave for Ken "Skindog" Collins stands as one of the seminal moments. Perfect light, huge wave, all quiet on the set. The late Jay Moriarity wouldn't want it any other way.
Medina's Magic Year
Gabriel Medina proved Brazil may not have to wait too much longer for its first world title. His heavy-water act is on point, he's money in the tube, his air game's like no other, and he has nerves of steel. Scariest of all, he's just getting started.
Just when the East Coast started settling into its beautiful fall, Hurricane Sandy combined with a deep low pressure system that ate the Atlantic. While the Southeast had one of the best swells ever, New York and New Jersey are still recovering.
Ressurection of Steph Gilmore
After owning the ASP women's world title from 2007 to 2010, Stephanie Gilmore was the victim of a random attack in Oz. Mental hurdles and physical injuries contributed to her third-place finish in 2011. Back in old form in 2012, she took her fifth title.
If there was any question before Oct. 9, Shane Dorian proved he is the best big-wave surfer in the world today. After pulling into 25-foot tubes like this, he cemented his position as the front-runner for the 2012 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year award.
2012 was the year of the injury. Julian Wilson, Dusty Payne, Kolohe Andino and Yadin Nicol all spent significant time rehabbing. The most common injury: the ankle. In this photo, Andino shows the effects of taking a fin to the dome during Christmas.
The Rise of John Florence
When Florence was a 12-year-old taking off at Pipe, the skeptics noted, "John John's good, but he's going to burn out." In his first full year on the world tour, he won the Billabong Pro in Rio and was in contention for the title all the way to the end.
The turn heard 'round the world, Dane Reynolds dropped this monster hack at the Reef Hawaiian Pro. In a year in which Reynolds walked away from the tour, he managed to make a final in France and post his career-best finish at the Pipe Masters.
Sebastian Zietz has been trying to make the tour for awhile. When he won the Reef Hawaiian Pro, his dream came into focus. Then he made the finals of the Vans World Cup and locked in a place on tour in 2013. The Triple Crown title was icing on the cake.
Parko's World Title
Joel Parkinson's been on tour for 12 years, holding the No. 1 slot, winning three Vans Triple Crowns and taking a record number of second-place finishes. This year, he got the monkey off his back, winning the title and the Billabong Pipe Masters.
A Grim Reminder
As the year came to a close, Greg Long took a massive set on the head at Cortes Bank and almost drowned. It reminded everybody that there is a price for what we do. No matter how prepared you may be, surfing carries its inherent risks.