Live Webcast Changing the Game, Billabong Pro Tahiti 2012
Surf reporter Carlos Rock is an experienced surfing instructor who has been riding Maui’s waves his entire life.
By Carlos Rock
Before there was a live webcast for every professional surf contest, surfers used to have to wait a couple days to find out the results of contests.
Now, technology has become so advanced that viewers can watch their favorite surfers in real time from across the globe.
Sitting in an office cubicle watching your favorite surfers get paid to surf the best waves in the world. It really makes you question every decision you have ever made regarding why you are not out there with them or why they are so lucky.
Imagine sitting somewhere cold and rainy and watching guys surf perfect barreling waves somewhere in the tropics and get PAID to do so.
Not fair right?
However, it is really great that there is now an opportunity to watch the pros do what they do best.
Right now, the live webcast is on for the Billabong Pro Tahiti. The summer flatness in Maui is semi cured by watching Kelly Slater, Josh Kerr, and Owen Wright among others pull into “fun” sized Teahupoo.
Teahupoo, the reef pass at the end of the road in Tahiti, is known for its perfect barrel and being one of the scariest waves in the world. It dished-out to all the pros either one of the best barrel experiences ever, or the worst beating at the fate of the very shallow reef.
The webcast is great for watching someone get spit out of the barrel in real time from across the world. It has only become popular the past four years or so and some surfers (and their sponsors) are able to get a lot of publicity through the webcast as more and more viewers log on each time a contest is on, especially if the waves are pumping. Live webcast here.
For example, last year’s Volcom Pipe Pro webcast showed John John Florence drop into a last second backdoor bomb and steal the victory away from Jamie O’Brien who had the victory on lock and key since the opening minutes of the heat, a heat that some are calling the best final at Pipeline ever. Watch the entire final heat here.
That webcast showed the world what John John was really made of, and the entertainment value was there as well. Pumping Pipeline and tube specialists are the key ingredients for great surfing entertainment.
The live webcast is bringing the sport of surfing more publicity every year as more contests are adopting the live stream. However, the stream is also accompanied by a live commentary from pros that can add insight and different angles to assessing the waves and conditions.
For example, a few months ago during the Volcom Fiji Pro, the XXL swell produced flawless 20 foot Cloudbreak and the best big wave surfers on the planet. But what also made the live webcast so special – as if watching the world’s best pull into house-sized draining barrels on a 20-foot pointbreak wasn’t enough – was the commentary by 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Hearing it from the best talking about the best, it can’t get any better than that. The webcast is the 2nd best thing to being there.
It takes you right into the action. You get to see the drama unfold and watch the best surfers in the world surf the best waves in the world from many angles as well as instant replays, instant scores, and commentary.
Average surfers, take notes, this is how you drop in under the lip on a Teahupoo bomb. This is how you beat Jamie O’Brien at Pipeline.
The live webcast has provided something new for surfing, a massive audience.
Surfing is getting more publicity than ever, good job to the IT guys who took advantage of the advanced technology.
As good as the webcast is, what’s next?