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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?

WSL: Quik Pro Round One Analysis!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Who needs Heat Analyzers when you've got plain old text!

#It’sOn… and I’m fucking ecstatic! As much as we poke and prod, the WSL is our lifeline. It gives us something to care about in surfing beyond our own tepid sessions. Plus, Snapper has a solid forecast for once, so I’ve got four straight days of entertainment.

For those of you missed it, here’s a day two/round one recap.

Steph/Malia/Lakey

Lakey started off with a dream wave and surfed it pretty damn well. She took it easy on the first half of the ride, but once she found her groove it was a full display of power and commitment, with at least six legit turns and a little toob to boot. The judges gave it nearly a nine.

Steph followed with a vastly inferior wave in which she looked like twice the surfer of Lakey. Mid-seven. Malia did the same. Flat seven. The upright posture of Steph and Malia enables crisper, more aesthetically appealing turns than those of Hunchy Peterson.

With twenty seconds remaining, Lakey used her priority to block Steph and proceeded to half-heartedly surf the wave whilst continually checking over her shoulder. That’s because behind Lakey, Steph locked into a double-up that would produce a Leemore-esque mini-tube, which resulted in a six-point-ride and a buzzer-beater heat win.

I’m already hooked.

Michel/Conner/Jadson

Michel puts more pressure on his board than anyone I’ve seen. His half-hearted cutty rebounds produce more spray than bathing elephant. This is great when he’s on, but Michel falls off his board more than… maybe… anyone on Tour?

Ron Dawg made an interesting point that Jadson’s front foot resides not in the center of the board, but slightly toward his heelside rail. This technique enables harder bottom turns but detracts from turning power off the top, as it’s difficult to transition the weight back onto the toeside rail through turns. He surfed very badly.

Conner is injured. He’s trying to surf through a bruised knee-cap (thanks to Pipe about a month ago), but it’s clearly affecting his flow. He looks tender, and surfing in that state is never good for recovery. I’d let it heal all the way if I were him, but I know it’s hard to sit on the sidelines when your job is on the line.

The gals coulda won this heat.

Wilko/Stu/Ian

Wilko’s ability to the shift his weight to the front foot is incredible. Of course it comes at the expense of looking like a duck with diaper rash, but fuck it – that backside whip is worth any editorial lashing! Matt’s elastic display reminded me of how he won this event in 2016. He’s a threat.

Ian made a lot of rookie mistakes, most of them related to wave choice. He had a few decent turns, but most of his waves were small and flat. He also felt the need to do 800 cutbacks on each of them, resulting in a slew of threes and fours. This ain’t the QS, boy!

Stu is also carrying an injury, though you couldn’t tell from his surfing. That’s not to say he was surfing well, because he wasn’t, but he didn’t appear wounded. He’s back on the Sci-Fi, so we’ll see what kinda magic he can produce in round two.

Kolohe/Kanoa/Jack

Kolohe came out of the gates straight into an air rev. It only got him a four, but that level of confidence is telling. Overall his surfing appeared stronger and dirtied-up a bit, which bodes well for his season.

Unlike Kolohe, Jack went limp-dick on a big section on his first wave. Just made me want to shake him! He then picked off a local-knowledge double-up and tagged it a few times for the best wave of the heat, but altogether an uninspiring seven. Needed a low-four to take the win but came up short with a wave in the dying minutes. More blah from a superstar talent.

Kanoa flopped. Chalk it up to bad luck or round one jitters, either way he’ll have to fight through round two to maintain his undefeated record.

Gabby/Wiggoly/Zeke

God, Gabby is good. Like… so fucking good. His first wave included a no-hand backside pit and two of the best turns of the day. Only a seven-five, but one hell of a warning shot for the top 34. Wave number two was a fuck-off rodeo attempt. No make but… did I mention I love Gab? Post heat update: Gabby strained his MCL, likely due to an awkward fall on the aforementioned rodeo. Oh and he’s still riding super-wide surfboards.

Wiggs, when he connects, has the most impressive backside turn I’ve seen. It’s a combination of power, timing, and air-tight technique that creates more splash than post-Chipotle deuce. He didn’t make any in this heat, so he was no competition for the superfreak that is Medina.

Zeke picked waves that looked good out the back but had nothing to offer down the line. This is not uncommon at a tricky wave like Snapper, but it’s another classic rookie mistake.

Jordy/Miggy/Nat

Nat looks feisty as hell. Probably because he’s not actually on tour this year, and therefore needs to make a big impression at Snapper if he wants more wildcard opportunities this season. He could be the Seabass of 2017!

I picked Miggy for my Fantasy team because he’s got a loopy backhand and has performed well here historically. He had one moment of brilliance today, but failed to back it up.

Jordy surfed safe. That’s a luxury he can often afford in right-hand points, thanks to his effortless power and flow, but he dialed it back a little too far today. Lucky for Jordy, his competitors couldn’t put two scores together.

John/Connor/Mikey

John dissected his heat like a man with a plan. Like a man with Ross Williams’ plan. This is great for heat wins, bad for entertainment. In my eyes, John shouldn’t be able to get 8.5s for surfing at 60%. His half-laybacks already bore me senseless, but he is clearly on level above.

I will now completely switch roles in saying that Mikey Wright is so damn talented, but has no sense of competitive strategy. He does amazing maneuvers, but falls way too often and misuses priority to a point of disbelief. We need a middle ground between Mike and John!

Connor: I said it once and I’ll say it again – CT-lite.

Kelly/Mick/Jeremy (Hot damn that’s pretty on paper!)

Slater’s board looks fun! It’s fast, smooth, and allows for unbroken transitions between maneuvers. That said, he didn’t make many “major maneuvers”, so his scores were modest at best. I still loved his unforced surfing.

Jeremy was the underdog in this heavy-weight bout, but the man has got a mean right hook! He had the heat won until the last minute, and this should give him confidence moving into round two.

If you ain’t got Mick on your Fantasy team, you’re a damn fool. He’s only 5.5 mil thanks to his abbreviated 2016 season and is the easy favorite at the first two events. He picked some bad waves today, but now that he’s greased his gears, expect nothing but perfect surfing from here on out.

Julian/Caio/Leo

Mr. Wilson recently came out with a show-stopping video segment you can see here. This video has led people to believe that Julian has a good chance at winning the world title, but more currently, Snapper! I think this is stupid because Julian’s wide stance/round surfing is not conducive to Snapper’s tight transitions. But then he won with flying colors today, so what do I know?

I once called Caio the human version of Sid from Ice Age, but to say that is to attack my own ego. You see, Caio is my CT doppleganger, both in terms of facial structure and surfing style. So I say Caio is great, the best! Also very handsome.

Leo looks ready. No rookie jitters, no kiddie turns. He got unlucky with waves today but I see him making a few rounds at this event.

Joel/Italo/Joan

Lest we forget how fucking great Joel surfs. After a five-year world title hangover, Joel just might be back! His opening nine brought on the best kind of nostalgia, and I hope to feel more of it in the coming days.

Connor O’Leary famously declared Joan Duru’s backhand as the best in the world. I was all… nawwwww… but then boom! Duru drops two eight-pointers and I still say naww but only with two W’s!

Oh how I adore the little pipe bomb that is Italo Ferreria. He didn’t amaze today but soon… soon.

Fil/Ace/Fede

Hey Pete and Ronnie, it’s pronounced FEDErico, kinda like Fetty Wap, not FREDerico, like Mr. Flintstone. Anyhow, I think this guy just showed the world what he’s made of (meat and potatoes).

Ace surfed like Ace. He puts his board in technical positions but, to me, is very boring. I’m unenthused by his surfing unless it’s in big left tubes.

I don’t know how much more Fil could have done out there, other than picking bigger waves. Technique-wise Filipe was as noble as ever, he was merely outshined by a Portuguese powerhouse.

ADS/Kerr/Bede

Is it bad that I’m always surprised when ADS surfs well? Somehow I’ve internalized that he’s not a good surfer, and time and time again he proves me wrong. His nine was a thing of beauty. Well, it was still a little ugly, but probably the best surfed wave of the day.

Bede’s ripping too! The big bloke with the broken bum has still got game, it appears. As you know Bede is not my cup of tea but good surfing is good surfing!

Kerrzy is the most animated of this trio, but his wave choice made him an afterthought. Still some impressive turns though. The CT is so hard!

Seabass/Owen/Ewing

Ethan dropped a nine on his first-ever CT wave (with a fall), so I guess I’ll just go fuck myself. Perhaps he is ready after all…

How beautiful is Owen’s backside flow? It’s a blend of the Wilko Whip and Miggy’s style and tempo. I’m so happy to have this guy back on Tour, but I’m curious to see what he does in the heartier waves on the schedule.

Seabass is a great surfer but he always looks slightly off-balance. I dunno, maybe it’s the extra thumb.