Adriano "Anaconda" De Souza Squeezes John John at the Drug Aware Pro 2015, Margaret River…
By any measure, at least in the current system, Adriano de Souza clearly won the Drug Aware Pro a few hours ago. Two sets. A handful of turns with clean floater finishes. If you were there, y’would’ve seen the halos of spray from the beach, 300 metres away. An 8.93 and a 8.60.
Pro surfing judging, you see, ain’t the science of rockets. Adriano, who now swings as Anaconda (“Here comes the Anaconda squeeze!” said the commentator Aaron Blakey) knows better than anyone that you don’t need to throw your fins. Catch sets and tag ’em but be careful to sprinkle just enough sugar here and there or else you’ll be penalised for playing it safe (Just ask Nat Young in his semi against John John) and you’ll nail eights.
Never nines. And never tens. But average 16 in your heats and you’re a world champion.
Adriano finished the Australian leg of the 11-event tour with a third (Snapper), a second (Bells) and a first. Eight k points between him and Mick Fanning in second place.
John John, meanwhile, stole the smaller waves, collected a nine and a back-up seven that could’ve swung from seven to nine, depending on your mood. And that’s the thing about judging. What differential do you apply to John John’s frontside whips, daggers, stabs, whatever you want to call ’em, that teeter on the precipice for the duration of the turn, to Adriano’s classic-enough but danger-free wraps?
Compare Adriano to John John’s waves and the judges threw John John an average of a point-and-a-half higher for turns that no one else in the world can do.
Is it enough? Is it fair?
Whatever, Adriano is a world away in number one. His secret?
“Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.”