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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Updated: June 15, 10:40 AM ET
Growing Payne

Dusty Payne talks about his experience in his first ever Tour event

The first event of the ASP 2010 season is over, and that means those first event jitters should be behind our tour freshman. None of this year's rookies even made it to Round Four of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. But among them, one of the most exciting was Maui's Dusty Payne. Payne came through Round One by beating Jordy Smith, who went on to the finals, and crushing Drew Courtney (an embarrassing 11.6 to 4.76.) This advanced him right to Round Three, where he had to face returning event winner, Joel Parkinson. Parkinson bested Payne, but not before some lessons were learned.

Since Payne is a tough one to nail down even when he's home, we enlisted his brother, Dylan Payne to find out what's going on in Dusty's head while he's cruising around the Gold Coast listening to Lil' Wayne. Apparently, the best part of being on tour thus far is not the fame or money -- it's simply getting to surf Snapper Rocks with one other guy, but he's still getting used to constantly being under the microscope.

This is what he had to say about drawing Coolangatta Kid, Joel Parkinson:

"I was stoked to get Parko in my heat, but then he dropped two 8's right at the beginning of the heat. He's two up on me. I guess I owe him one now," says Payne, "I'd rather draw one of them (Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow or Parkinson) than somebody else, because it pushes you -- and that's when you learn the most."

He explains that everyone is already claiming Australian Owen Wright as Rookie of the Year (Wright also made three rounds and got slaughtered by Burrow.)

Payne beat Jordy Smith in Round One

"I like that. I want to be the underdog going for Rookie of the year," adds Payne, who's on his way to Western Australia for the Margaret River Drug Aware Pro before he heads to the Rip Curl Pro at Bells for the first time, "Surfing new waves is always fun. The Hawaiian guys usually do well there. I'm looking forward to it."

Following the conversation, he was on his way to the casino to play craps. Something tells me his season is going to be more than a crap shoot.