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Watch: How Jordy Smith came to own J-Bay!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

"Jordy Smith is the best surfer at Jeffreys Bay," says Joel Parkinson. Yes?

In the film below, we’re gifted a five-minute short on Jordy Smith and his relationship with Jeffreys Bay, funded by his sponsor Red Bull, and made by Sage Erickson’s stud Jacob Woden.

Joel Parkinson is interviewed and says Jordy is the best surfer there, something the remote observer might call into question after Filipe Toledo’s dominant performance one month ago. 

We stand cheek by jowl with his dad Graham and his pal Chad du Toit as Jordy makes a perfect heat before, in the words of Red Bull, “a string of strange occurrences conspired against him” and he finished fifth.

The strangest occurrence might’ve been Jordy’s own conservatism during the event. As was reported here, an analysis of his performance revealed a deeply risk-averse approach.

Let’s recap.

Jordy Smith is the worst safety surfer on tour. I went through every single one of his scoring waves and gave every turn a number from 1-10. Ten was the highest-risk turn, the most radical and zero was, well, falling off or doing nothing.

As a reference point, Jordy’s standard top-turn wrap, a turn he can do with zero risk 99.99% of the time, was assigned a five. This was painstaking, tedious work. Out of 85 counted turns, 17 scored in the excellent range (eight and above) and eight of those came in a single heat (round five resurf against Conner Coffin, Jordy’s best heat by a mile).

Jordy’s average turn score came in at a very safe 6.22. That is, safe surfing.

Jordy’s camp can rail against this and shoot the messenger or they can do the analysis themselves and face the reality. Absent an angry, belligerent Jordy, what we get is safe, low energy surfing.

The highlight of the film might be Jordy’s suggestion that Nelson Mandela, looking down from the paradise of the afterlife, gifted him two perfect waves.

Whatever, the short is enough to make you want to hitch your pyjama pants and jump a bird to J-Bay.