Slater is obviously the ultimate competitor, and the rules dictate that this move was well within his "priority" rights. But I think the understood and universally accepted surfing etiquette should carry over to contest priority rules in this situation. When Parko was already driving through a perfect tube like that, the wave should be his regardless of priority. Maybe the rule should apply only at take-off? If he rode that through it would have been the wave of the contest.
Glad to see Slater win though. The still shot of Parko flipping him off from the shoulder is classic!
competition is different than regular surfing. there's a LOT that goes on in the water during a heat that would be unacceptable to us every day surfers, esp. in 3 or 4 man heats.
i have no problem w/ what slater did...as you said, he's an intense competitor & will make use of everything he can to secure the win. parko knows this, which is why it hasn't really been made a big deal of, i think. it's not like the back-paddle mess from the 90's when slater paddled behind shane beschan at huntington to force an interference call. i also don't think slater would've done it if the wave had been a poor one, but it seems fairly obvious that it could've swung the final in parko's favor, so he exercised his priority & dropped in. i don't doubt that fanning or parko would've done the same in that position.
lol. how can anyone have a problem with this? In a competition, having priority, the heat on the line.... You don't get to be a champion by being nice.
exactly. nowhere in slater's decision did the thought that parko's wave would be an awesome wave for the spectators & armchair pundits to watch cross his mind. all he thought was, "crap, if he makes this i won't win. oh wait, i've got priority. sorry parko, i'm stuffing you on this one."
I agree that given the rules (and the goal of a contest is to WIN) any competitor would and should do the same thing. The rules are in place for a reason, but where is the reason behind the priority rule in this case? Priority was established to create order and civility when positioning is an issue and guys are scrapping shoulder to shoulder for waves, not create an offense/defense dynamic.
Obviously it's a competitive advantage to keep someone from completing a high scoring ride. The rule just doesn't make sense to me in pointbreak surf when utilized like it was in this case. It detracts from the actual surfing, which is what the athletes are being judged on.