Flashback Friday: Dream Tour Takes Shape
Slater salutes Egan at the 1997 Quiksilver Pro G-Land
Back in 1997, perfect waves for competitions didn’t really exist. Still in the death throws of the bums on beach era, most of the professional tour, with the exception of Hawaii, were held in fairly average beachbreaks. That was until the Quiksilver Pro G-Land started in 1995. The first year scored amazing G-Land, with Kelly Slater redefining backhand tuberiding on his way to victory. The third year however set a new benchmark in pro surfing with 6-8 foot Speedies at good as it gets, which is about as good as any wave gets. Even though Slater lost final here to Luke Egan, you can sense in this photo he doesn’t seem to displeased with his situation.
“My approach was just to go deep,” said Luke Egan, “I paddled out against Kelly and the guys in the water just said go deep, even when you think your are good, keep paddling. The waves were that perfect you had to re-evalute everything.”
Effectively this was the event that kickstarted the whole concept of the Dream Tour. And while there was no webcast back then, for the first time live newsfeeds via TV meant punters were beamed daily edited footage of G-Land perfection. It was revolutionary. Afterwards Kelly said, “It was like a lightbulb going off. Here we had perfect waves and we finally saw the potential of what the world tour could be.”
Sadly this was the last World Tour event at G-Land. Civil unrest caused a cancellation of the 1998 planned event, and then combination of insurance issues, economic instability, bomb blasts and infrastructure issues made it too difficult to run events in Indo. In fact it wasn’t till the one-off Search event in 2008, that elite level surfing came back.
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