VOLCOM Fiji Pro could well be 'the' stop on the 2012 ASP World Tour. We've crunched the numbers and it's an official good news story.
For more than a decade we've sat here geeking out on surfing numbers, stats and probabilities. We've been experimenting with the surf forecasting potential of ocean models longer than almost anyone else, simply because we we wanted to score better surf. So when a company like Volcom comes in and announces they're reviving one of the most exciting events on Tour we start throwing the stats around.
Are they going to run in the current June break? We asked ASP honcho Brodie Carr and said "Yeah thats what we are looking at."
You could call it glorying in geekery or just plain pointless but did you know that in the month of June, Fiji will get on average 3 swells with a face height in excess of 10ft? (That's 10ft science, or alternatively 5ft Hawaiian) A pretty metal statistic for a World Tour venue, comparable with almost anywhere. Obviously it's an average, with all the limitations that entails, with one year getting only one swell (1999) whilst others (2002/3) had five. But in the ten years we looked it, there wasn't one year that June didn't receive a decent swell.
It's a pretty stat but events need the swells to arrive during their holding period and importantly during daylight. The new-look tour can theoretically run to a finish in three days all things being perfect. So we stepped on the numbers a bit more and came up with the figure of an average of 43 daylight hours within a 10 day window where the breaking wave face will exceed 10ft. More hours than needed to complete the event.
What does all this mean? It's odds-on that Fiji will pump. The funny thing is, you probably don't need stats to tell you that.
If you needed reminding of what epic Cloudbreak can look like then here's Bruno Lemos' edit from the recent Fiji mega swell. Everyone was there and Mark Healy, Bruce Irons, Kohl Christensen, Jamie Sterling plus a host of others who fell like gluttons on the swell of the year.
A week so insane that Kelly Slater cancelled his competitive instincts; in the process throughly snubbing the ASP at J-Bay and opening the floodgates of criticism towards the shift towards urban beachbreaks.
In many ways this movement by Volcom back to Fiji has saved the ASP blushes and goes some way to restoring the original stated aim of the Dream Tour: to put the best surfers on the best waves.