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Opinion: “Save us Pete Mel!”

Samuel Einstein

by Samuel Einstein

Can the Santa Cruz stud save professional surfing from mediocrity?

Am I the only one who has been sitting here the last few years scratching my head and wondering why Pete Mel had been relegated to gimmicky in-water updates?

Alas, it took Ross Williams hopping on the John John/Hurley gravy train to open up a steady slot for Pete in the booth. And In his A-team debut, the gauntlet has been thrown down.

Pete wants progression. 

Kolohe has just been handed the shocker snubbing of the year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s the first contest of the year and only the non-elimination round for, I know. But this is how it starts. Like the first wave of the heat sets the tone for the heat, the first contest does so for the year.

While Wilko did the same predictable/repetitive backside hacks down the line, Kolohe chucked a few hefty reverses after laying down a hammer out the back. Wilko 8.6, Kolohe 8.3. Even as a goofyfooter myself, I’m having trouble justifying this one.

Kolohe has just been handed the shocker snubbing of the year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s the first contest of the year and only the non-elimination round for, I know. But this is how it starts. Like the first wave of the heat sets the tone for the heat, the first contest does so for the year.

Mr. Mel made the very good, and dangerously foreshadowing point that a competitor like Kolohe (and other caution-to-the-wind throwers) will have no motivation to huck it if they aren’t going to get rewarded for it. Mel was genuinely perplexed. He is the opposite of  Martin “I am one of the pioneers of aerial surfing but practically jizz myself whenever someone holds back and safely finishes a wave” Potter.

Could it be because Pete is the father of a tail-chucking grom himself and fears for his future?

Does he watch so much competitive surfing that his head is about to explode from seeing the best in the world do castrated carves on sections begging for more?

Whatever the case, this is a scary precedent to set in a year that sees surfing’s most human-like robot Mick Fanning come back to full-time competition.

Keep em’ honest Pete! The world turns its eyes to you!

WSL: Quik Pro Round Two Analysis!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

People lose, we win!

Five of my Fantasy guys are in round two, so for the sake of this analysis, let’s hope a majority of them survive. The waves look fun again, so let’s get this party started!

But first, let’s jump back 14 hours to what Nick Cannon described as the WSL’s “minor desperation in bunging on two heats out of nowhere late on a Thursday afternoon.”

Mikey vs. Michel

The late afternoon, low-tide conditions at Snapper looked thoroughly enjoyable. Mikey’s tight, powerful surfing suited the steep transitions, and he was able to put together a few solid combos. He really could be a Tour surfer, if he tried.

Michel got a mini-tube for a solid eight-pointer. He needed a five in the dying seconds, but his buzzer-beater attempt was a barrage of jerky, forced flicks, resulting in a high-four and heat loss.

Kelly vs. Nat

Poor Nat. He did everything he could in this abbreviated comeback tour, but besides the trials win, nothing’s gone his way in the past year. Surely he’ll re-up through the QS within the next two seasons.

Kelly’s board looks very buoyant. This means ample flow between maneuvers but a slight diversion from rail-soaking maneuvers. I honestly prefer this from the old man, as I’ve grown tired of watching him bog on the little Banana. If he continues to pick the right waves and maintain his flow, he could compete his way into the finals.

Aaaaaand it’s morning on the Goldy again! Sun rising to right of screen etc.

Filipe vs. Zeke

It’s not 8 AM and already contest favorite has fallen. Filipe looked out of sorts – bad wave choice, misreading sections – and paid the price against rookie Zeke Lau. Fil nearly saved himself with a patented full-roter but lost his footing in mid-air. Despite eventually coming down with the maneuver, he was unable to surf the rest of the wave and therefore fell short of the required score.

Zeke surfed well on the waves he was dealt, but you can tell he’s yet to unleash the beast. He got his scores then played the priority game in the last few minutes, winning in veteran fashion.

Seabass vs. Jack

Jack picked off a gem to start but again safety-surfed to a seven. He rode his next wave with more tenacity and dropped a six for two turns, which was a welcome reprieve from his twelve-flick seven. Such is the crux of catching a perfect wave — you’re so focused on not blowing it that you forget to actually surf. Jack then sat with priority and never picked off another good one.

After a sleepy start, Seabass started swinging. He wasted his time on a few duds but was ultimately rewarded for his scavengery with a pair of eights. Seabass was the first to realize the best waves reside about halfway down the bank. Freestone footed the bill on that discovery.

Josh vs. Ian

Josh Kerr couldn’t have surfed a worse heat. He picked off a few good waves, but either fell or was too deep on all of them. His one decent ride put him in a position to make the heat, but he never found a back-up. He’s gotta be kicking himself right now.

Ian got away with murder here. His poor wave selection and clunky turns continued from round one, though this time he at least broke into double-digits. To compound his shitty surfing and wave choice, Ian made a major priority error at the end of the heat (when Kerr only needed a small score) but somehow held onto the win. He needs a complete reboot before round three.

Jeremy vs. Ace

The goofy-regular dichotomy unloaded at Snapper for an electric thirty minutes. While Ace paced his way through waves, picking apart the steeper sections with a 12 o’clock attack, Jeremy used his rail to bisect the turquoise walls.

Both surfers conjured upper-fifteen scorelines but it was Jeremy who eked out the win. This comes as a relief to the Frenchman who, as recently as yesterday, has historically suffered from close losses.

This was a great heat despite the atrocious use of claims.

Italo vs. Italy

Did I ever call 50% of this heat’s outcome! Sure, yesterday’s prophecy of Leo got unlucky with waves today, but I see him making a few rounds at this event went to shit. But what about, Oh how I adore the little pipe bomb that is Italo Ferreria. He didn’t amaze today but soon… soon?

And did the little pipe bomb dismantle your perception of reality, or definitely? After an impressive display of wave catching and quick-twitch score manufacturing, Italo was gifted a closeout wedge. He hucked and spun and fell and somehow popped out of the whitewater ten yards away from where he’d entered it. The little bugger then proceeded to ride white water for ten seconds, followed by a pop-shuv it and switch float-climb, because why not? 10 points!

Caio vs. Joan

The world’s best backhand went limp in round two, which is a bummer, because he actually would have won most heats yesterday. Joan’s a proper shred, he’ll come back firing at Bells.

Caio dropped the hammer today. A combination of clever wave choice and big boy turns led the diminutive Brazilian to an easy victory. This is how he won rookie of the year in ’16.

Conner vs. Bede

For the majority of this heat, Connor and Bede traded rides so dull that I found myself losing interest mid-turn. They looked so busy trying not to fall that neither of them remembered to win the heat.

The only noteworthy moment came from the final exchange when, needing a mid-range score, Conner delivered two legitimate layback hacks. Like… the kind where your board goes past 6 o’clock and you might actually fall if you don’t recover properly. Eight pointer, heat winner.

Stu vs. Ewing

The wave that delivered Stu’s nine-pointer was so far superior to anything else in the heat, Stu could have surfed it at 60% and still gotten a seven. Instead, he unleashed one of the maneuvers of the comp and even tried to cap it off with a punt. I respect that type of recklessness, especially when it pays off. Stu is back on my good side. (Interesting note: this score was changed from an 8.9 to a 9.1. Don’t know how or why.)

Ethan never got in a rhythm, but he ripped the shit out of an eight-pointer in the dying seconds. Kid sure can surf, but I see him having a rough year on tour.

Kanoa vs. Connor

Kanoa’s board looks too big and his eight was wildly overscored. He also fell for the rookie’s priority trick at a crucial moment, leading to his competitive demise. On a positive note, the weight of the streak is finally lifted from Kanoa’s bronzed shoulders! He’s free!

Connor surfed better today. In fact I’m almost ready to accept his presence on Tour. The priority steal from Kanoa followed by a last-minute eight makes me feel a bit of endearment towards the Aussie-Irish-Japanse kid. Plus, that backside whip is lethal.

Wig vs. Mig

Both Mig and Wig have a surplus of style, flow, and back foot Whaaapaaaaa. Considering their turns are so similarly awesome, this heat came down to wave selection and Miggy reigned supreme. I recommend watching and re-watching this heat if you’re a fan of backside surfing.

OMG: It’s a Slater/WSL cabal!

David Lee Scales

by David Lee Scales

Surf fan discovers subliminal messaging on WSL broadcasts…  

OMG, I just unearthed an illuminati-level connection. Kelly Slater is using his ZoSea/Terry Harding (Slater’s agent) connection to subliminally influence WSL viewers to buy KS Designs surfboards!

Take a look at the WSL time clock font and the KS Designs logo.
Closer.
Closer.
Tell me that’s just a coincidence and I’ll shoot you.
WSL Font 3

The elongated O in the WSL clock, with bold sash. Unique, yes?

The elongated O in the WSL click, with bold sash. Unique, yes?

The KS Designs logo, an elongated O with a sash drawn across it. Unique, yes?

I’ve been in the game long enough to get bro-deals on boards.
Lately, I’ve felt an odd urge to buy a Sci-Fi.
I’m caught under his spell and I’m red with shame. I am feeble-minded. I am so gullible. A man long out of school sitting in his panties waiting for the tooth fairy.
I do wonder, what other messages has Kelly been hypnotizing us with? After his ninth title I shaved my head. Sometimes I wish ill-will upon sharks. Chia seeds have become part of my regular diet. I throw rocks at stores that sell Monsanto products. I stare at pools.
Undoubtedly, I’ve just tugged the first thread of a much bigger plot. I’m inclined to watch the Quik Pro today to find more clues, but I’m wary, fearful, of falling into a trance.
What next? Riding one of those rectangular boards?
Check in on me if you don’t hear back.

Gimme: All the Barton Lynch I can eat!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Is Barton Lynch the best announcer ever? Yes!

Are you watching professional surfing right now? Yes? Of course. Me too. Or as Matt Warshaw just texted me, “It’s the only single thing we can all talk about… Well. This and cocaine.”

He’s right.

I’m supposed to be doing cocaine but jut got done watching Adrian Buchan lose to Jeremy Flores even though he dropped a claim at the end of a 6 point something ride. I’ve always been on the edge re. claims. Like, sometimes I think they’re fine and sometimes I think they are totally lame. Watching Ace claim a 6 point something made me think when aimed at the judges they are the same exact thing as a soccer flop. The worst thing on earth!

But enough about soccer. Let’s talk about Barton Lynch! He is on the mic for a few heats and I know I’ve heard him before, calling heats, but maybe with Ross Williams leaving us, maybe with…. I don’t know. All I know is I WANT MY BARTON LYNCH!

His theatrical delivery paired with a real knowledge paired with a legendary history paired with a non-annoying Australian accent. Tell me now. Does any voice even come close to Barton Lynch?

The only thing I wish is that Ron Dawg and Sizzurp Tizzurp would stop calling him BL. He is a grown man. His name is Barton Lynch. And he is coming for both your motherfucking “jobs.”

Manna: KS wave pool to South Florida!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Cubans and J-Lo rejoice!

South Florida pretty much has everything. Cubans, Cuban food, neon lights, Cuban cigars, Pitbull, Pitbull feat. J-Lo, Pitbull feat. Ke$ha, Pitbull feat. Gaga etc.

Well, the rich get richer and now South Florida is getting…

… A KELLY SLATER WAVE RANCH!

It is fitting etc. since Kelly Slater is actually from Florida and it is also fitting that the announcement was made on day one of professional ocean surfing. But who needs ocean surfing when you’ve got a wave ranch! Shall we read a li’l touch in South Florida’s Biz Journal?

It would be cruel not to!

On March 23, the Palm Beach County Commission will hold a zoning hearing to consider a request to amend the county’s “planned industrial park” regulation to allow large scale commercial recreation facilities. While this would apply countywide, the specific purpose of the amendment would be to allow the Surf Ranch Florida with a man-made surfing lake to be developed on an 80-acre parcel within the Palm Beach Park of Commerce.

The Palm Beach Park of Commerce, also known as First Park South Florida, consists of 1,323 acres at the intersection of Bee Line Highway and Park of Commerce Boulevard west of Jupiter. It’s several miles west of the population center, and quite a long drive from the beach.

The Surf Ranch would be developed on the extreme northwest corner of the Park of Commerce, according to the application. It describes the project as a concrete man-made lake of about 13 acres, measuring 2,000 feet long by 185 feet wide.

Do you live in South Florida? Do you know where this is? Will you be in line opening day? Are you Pitbull?