2012 ASP World Title race in review
Joel Parkinson, Quiksilver Pro Australia
Like the day after a presidential election, the first event of every world tour season asks, "Who's going to run away with it?" This year Parkinson and Kelly Slater both took fifth, while Mick Fanning and John Florence both took 13th.
Kelly Slater, Rip Curl Pro
A lot of people who saw Slater land this air in the final against Mick Fanning claimed it was the best air ever done in a contest. The judges gave the champ a perfect 10 for the effort, but he still lost in the end.
Mick Fanning, Rip Curl Pro
Mick Fanning always has had an affinity for the wave at Bells, and by the time he made it into the final at this year's Rip Curl Pro, the waves were pumping and his surfing was on point. He edged out Slater in the end.
John Florence, Billabong Pro Brazil
After his win at the Billabong Pro in Brazil, people were claiming that Florence was going to win the 2012 title, that he couldn't be stopped. Unfortunately, a few costly mistakes at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic took him out of contention this year.
Kelly Slater, Volcom Fiji Pro
Slater rated his performance in the final at the Volcom Fiji Pro as one of the best of his career. With all-time conditions, it was the best at his best, and it set him up for his title run this year.
Mick Fanning, Billabong Pro Tahiti
Throughout his career, Fanning has had to dedicate himself to learning the wave at Teahupoo, easily one of the most intimidating, serious waves on tour. Before he beat his old pal Parkinson in the final, Fanning's best finish in Tahiti had been second.
Joel Parkinson, Billabong Pro Tahiti
By the time Parkinson took second to Fanning in Tahiti, he was left scratching his head wondering what he had to do to get a win. The proverbial runner-up, he has three seconds and three thirds and sits atop the ratings' lead this season.
Joel Parkinson, Hurley Pro
Parko came into the final at the Hurley Pro with all the momentum and the focus. If he'd won he would have taken control of the world title race. But it takes more than a good game face to beat Slater at Lowers.
Kelly Slater, Hurley Pro
Slater made his mark at Lowers in 1991. Two decades later, he won his 50th ASP world tour event there. He's always been a numbers guy, and as he noted, "this is something special."
Joel Parkinson, Quiksliver Pro France
Joel Parkinson questioned his wave choices after losing to Slater in the semis, but he picked gems all week long. This one sure was pretty.
Kelly Slater, Quiksilver Pro France
Slater won 20 years after his first victory here. "Maybe I would have done it sooner," said Slater jokingly, "but Andy [Irons] kept winning them."
Mick Fanning, Rip Curl Pro Portgual
The European leg didn't go as well as it could have for Fanning. After stringing together two wins in the first half of the season in France, he finished a disappointing 13th and only slightly redeemed himself with a ninth in Portugal.
Joel Parkinson, Rip Curl Pro Portugal
Joel Parkinson lost to Gabriel Medina in the semis in Portugal, but retained his post at the top of the ASP World Tour rankings with two events to go.
Kelly Slater, Rip Curl Pro Portugal
Kelly Slater took an early exit to Raoni Monteiro, finishing 13th and making title No. 12 an uphill battle. But then, Slater always has appreciated a challenge.
Billabong Pipeline Masters in Memory of Andy Irons
It's fitting that one of the best world title races in years would come down to the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The proving ground for surfers for the past 40 years, Pipeline's iconic lineup is surfing's ultimate test.
Joel Parkinson celebrates after learning he has won his first ASP World Title after Kelly Slater was eliminated in the semifinals of the Billabong Pipeline Masters.