Josh Kerr quitting the WCT, "it's holding me back"

You all remember that insane rail grab flip thingy that Josh Kerr pulled off in the final at the Gold coast Quiksilver pro against Mick Fanning. I remember watching that final thinking damn Mick is in form, and when he had Kerr combo'd was like there is no way in hell anything Kerr does is going to pull this out of the bag for him, and I was right. But then he pulled that move, probably the sickest most innovative move I have seen done on the tour, and I was like who cares if fanning wins that was SICK!!!!

Final highlights of the Gold Coast Quiksilver pro watch for that flip!!

From then on I watched Kerr a whole bunch more, thinking man if this guy can keep linking the base moves like snaps, floaters etc and throw in moves like that, no-one on the tour will have a hope. I saw the future of pro surfing at that moment and it looked like fun, much in the way people must have felt watching Kelly bust the fins out back in the early 90's. So how sad it is when you hear that Kerr has decided to pack the tour in and focus on the free surfing, I love to watch the tour online, and am always stoked when I see a surfer not play it safe, but I guess this move away from the tour will mean that we can expect to see some crazy new surfing from Kerr over the next few years.
The tour however will be under going a huge changing of the guard in 08' with the departure of Occy, without a doubt one of the sports most loved and iconic surfers, but the arrival of Dane Reynolds, who we all saw blow up the pack in trestles this year. A new world champion, and an ever hungrier pack chasing the crown, 08' is looking to be one hell of a battle, lets just hope that all the events get their webcasts up to scratch, and ol' huey kicks in with some epic surf!

Below is the story I read about Kerr leaving the tour

Free-spirited Gold Coast rookie Josh Kerr is to quit surfing's world tour next year, believing it's holding him back.

A former world aerial surfing champion, Kerr was expected to make a big impact in his first season on the World Championship Tour, especially after debuting with a memorable fifth place on his home break of Snapper Rocks.

But he's ranked 35th in the standings heading into the season finale at Pipeline in Hawaii this week and says it'll be his last event even if he climbs into the top 26 to re-qualify for the 2008 season.

Kerr is sick of having to temper his progressive aerial style in an effort to maximise points from the judges and wants to go back to the scene which helped land his million dollar sponsorship deal with surfing clothing company Rusty.

"I'm not going to do the tour next year anyway, even if I re-qualify," Kerr told FoxSports News.

"It's not my thing right now. I'm only 23 and I want to go and do some free surfing and make some videos and do some photo shoots.

"I feel like I'm training right now to surf safer and that's just not who I am.

"I want to be able to do what I want and be able to go out there in a heat and execute the same thing."

In the season-opening round on the Gold Coast, Kerr reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to now world champion Mick Fanning in what proved the highest scoring heat of the year (19.53 to 19.10) as both surfers blazed to near-perfect scores.

Kerr says he's now over the tour grind, but won't rule out a Mark Occhilupo-like comeback down the track.

"I feel like I'm not ready and not focussed enough on the tour to give it a good shot just yet," said Kerr.

"I'm going to take a few years off.

"If I win a world title I want to do it the way I want to surf it."

Occhilupo, who won his 1999 world title after a sabbatical from the sport, has backed Kerr to return better from a break.

"A break might be a good thing, I took one and there's no reason why other guys should not," said Occy.

World No.4 Joel Parkinson believes Kerr is making the right choice by stepping away from the competition scene.

"Kerry is not someone you can tie down, he just needs to let loose," said Parkinson.

"Whatever lets him do that is the right thing I reckon."

However world No.2 Taj Burrow disagrees, saying next year's world tour is going to take progressive surfing to the next level with highly-touted youngsters such as American Dane Reynolds and South African Jordy Smith set to join the tour.

"Next year on tour is going to be out of control, there will be some wild surfing going down," said Burrow.

"(But) I know the itch he feels. I would love to just take on the free surfing and just hunt down the best waves in the world and just have fun."

Lay-days were called for the final events of both the men's and women's tours in Hawaii because of small surf.

There is only one more day of action needed to complete the women's Billabong Pro Maui, with Australia's Stephanie Gilmore and former champion Sofia Mulanovich facing off for the world title.

Gilmore and Peruvian Mulanovich are both into the third round, with the 19-year-old rookie Aussie needing to progress further than her rival to claim the world title.

The men's Billabong Pipeline Masters is yet to begin.

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