THE world's best surfers were out of the water for the official launch of the 2012 Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks today.

The competition was officially opened with an Aboriginal smoking ceremony where fire was made from a stick and coconut fibre.

Awkward times were afoot when "soul-surfer" Dane Reynolds was introduced as he was not there.

Fortunately toward the end of the opening comments from his fellow surfers he appeared, sporting a more relaxed demeanour.

Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore appeared to be looking out over their own backyard.

"I have been more excited about performing than I have in a long time, in the last couple of months," Reynolds said.

He is a wildcard entry to this year's competition - a far cry from his comfort-zone within the world's wave-washed archipelagos.

When asked about his recent activities, his answer was simple.

"Surfing," Reynolds said.

"I am excited, I actually haven't been here in two years and this is my first contest since 2001.

"I like this wave a lot and all the waves around here are real good for performance surfing.

"I'm hoping for some fun heats."

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