The early rounds of the Volcom Fiji Pro have provided great waves and great surfing that we have come to expect from Tavarua. The first two days of the competition were lay days, but those days were followed by 3 days of competition days. The day 1 action took place 2 miles out to sea, at Cloudbreak, but the competition switched to Restaurants on day 3 when the swell jumped there, providing for ideal wave riding conditions.
Big news from surfing day 1 was the two guys missing from their round 1 heats: Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson. Kelly was hanging out in Florida, trying to be present for the birth of his brother's child and timing the forecast so as to get to Fiji before the contest started, if possible. The timing didn't work out and Kelly missed his first heat, great news for Miguel Pupo, who won the heat. A somewhat similar story played out for Joel Parkinson. Expecting to be back before the competition was called on, Parko was out fishing with some of his mates and missed his first round heat; Heitor Alves capitalized to win the heat in Parko's absence.
The waves were unbelievable for Day 3 when the competition moved to Restaurants. High scores were there for the taking in the water, and the judges had to tweak their scoring to make sure every barrel didn't earn a perfect 10 with the number of barrels, and rides with multiple barrels, being had by guys like Julian Wilson, Nat Young and John John Florence, among others.