Movie: “Kelly’s Mean! John John’s Nice!”

John John Florence v Kelly Slater in Copacabana freesurf… 

All that swell y’saw on the WSL webcast in Rio? Somewhere had to be good before it disappeared, yeah?

This short, made by the Brazilian pay-TV channel Canal OFF, shows the loveliest object we have in the world, John John Florence, freesurfing with/against the most beautiful thing God has created, Kelly Slater. (Pre-last night’s Matt Banting catastrophe.)

While I usually have an aversion to anything that’s not Kai Neville (in the long-form) and Peter King (for tour documentary) this was worth my time, and therefore, most certainly yours.

Uncannily, PK makes a cameo in this short. “Kelly’s mean! John John’s nice!” he says with his usual air of overflowing gaiety.

Expect a version of this on his #TourNotes very soon, and therefore here.


Kelly Slater Just Lost to Matt Banting

How many second-lasts in crummy waves can he stomach before Slater slings it for good?

It was the substitute commentator Dave Stanfield who prophesied the dramatic exit of the 43-year-old Kelly Slater. As Slater and his first-year-on-tour competitor, Matt Banting, 20, organised themselves among a lineup of three-foot closeouts, Stanfield said:

“Here is Kelly Slater. Yes. You are watching history. Every time he goes into the water you’re fortunate to be able to see this incredible athlete go to town, twenty-five years as a pro… ”

Slater’s former travel buddy Ross Williams commenting on the almost-quarter age gap ‘tween the two added, “It could be Matt Banting’s pops right there!”

It all sounded more eulogy than stage entrance.

Not that it was immediately apparent. Four minutes into the thirty-minute heat and still looking like the most perfectly well-oiled machine the sport has ever seen, Kelly raced hard on a righthander, threw his back foot on the tail, extended the front, and didn’t just rotate… but… corked… a full-rotation, and then some, air. It didn’t land and subsequently Kelly scored a 1.23.

“Things are getting hot!” said Stanfield.

“Kelly is… definitely… inspired by John John and Filipe,” said Williams.

And that was it. The heat degenerated into yet another crummy find-a-corner-scrunch-into-a-tube-add-two-lip-taps-for-a-five. Hasn’t that been the story of Slater’ swansong season? These dreadful heats with a jelly-fish structure, no articulation or power?

And it will be Kelly’s swansong season because he will barely make the top 10. Even an animal of competition like Kelly isn’t going to suffer the indignity of an inexorable backward slide. Could he reconquer the world given the right conditions? There’ve been more ambitious plans. Imagine a tour that was 80 per cent reefs, run in eight-foot waves. It would be a blizzard, again, of Slater wins.

What does it say about a sport that sends its greatest ever, its one statesman, the man whom carries its success on his shoulders, into dark mildewed holes like some grunt in a poorly chosen war?

Matt Banting, meanwhile, is a bland man no one could hate. He is adept at accelerating and slowing down, rotating his shoulders and hips and adjusting his stance to complete nearly every manoeuvre currently in play. No effort is squandered on the application of style or idiosyncrasy. No sense of gesture or individuality.

Two turns, maybe a little tube and that’s all it takes to beat Slater in crummy closeouts.

That’s all… 

For Kelly there was no hands-free, below-the-rim backside tube tens like last year. No writers searching for weapons-grade adjectives to describe another extraordinary leap forward in performance.

Just hot dogs served without mustard and a champ who took a boot in the face for his sport.

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 3 Results:Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.77 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 12.67Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.60 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.34Heat 3: Matt Banting (AUS) 10.80 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 6.70

Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.50 def. Nat Young (USA) 11.00

Heat 5: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.50 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.90

Heat 6: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 16.57 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.90

Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.46 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.80

Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.73 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.77

Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.34 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 7.86

Heat 10: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.94

Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.06

Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.17 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 4 Results:

Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.83, Matt Banting (AUS) 13.57, John John Florence (HAW) 7.74

Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.93, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.93, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 10.10

Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.03, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.33, Mick Fanning (AUS) 8.76

Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.74, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.23, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.37

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 5 Results:

Heat 1: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 13.50 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 13.27

Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.73 def. John John Florence (HAW) 4.87

Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.67 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 5.20

Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.40 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.60

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:

QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)

QF 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)

QF 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)

QF 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)

John John Florence Brazil 2015
He ain't American! He's Hawaiian! Look at the little map next to his name… 

American Storm falters in Brazil!

Kolohe, Brett, CJ thrown down martyrs well, day two of the Oi Rio Pro… 

Three weeks ago, it was reported, here, that “an American Storm cometh! Yes, an American Storm brews in the land of caipirinha and capoeira and New York Times fascination (read here!). A red, white and blue deluge ready to pour out upon the land. CJ Hobgood is going to do the thing no one can imagine and beat Wiggolly Dantas and Gabby Medina in heat one. Brett Simpson is going to do the thing no one can imagine and score over 10 points. Jack Freestone is going to do the thing no one can imagine and be given a wildcard spot. Kolohe Andino is going to do the thing no one can imagine and win the entire event.”

Kolohe CJ and Brett Simpson

Overnight at the Oi Rio Pro, however, a conflux of events, a storm of an unexpected sort, combined for a bloodbath not seen on earth since the Bibighar Massacre, when 120 British women and children captured by the Sepoy forces in India were killed and dismembered with meat cleavers, their remains thrown down a well.

CJ, first, lost to Josh Kerr with a heat total of five points.

Brett Simpson was then castrated and burnt, a combined two-wave total of seven points.

Kolohe, meanwhile, the relentless cuckolder of dismal white eunuchs who beg to lap at their spouse’s cream pie (click here), was the surprise loss of the day, dismissed by the almost middle-aged Australian Kai Otton.

On the WSL ratings, CJ has dropped five places to 36th, one place under the Rip Curl wildcard Mason Ho. Brett Simpson is in 29th position and Kolohe Andino remains in contention for requalification at 26.

The laughs continued at the jet ski rodeo, below. Julian Wilson, another last-placer, said: “I didn’t want to catch the medium ones as I didn’t want to hop on the skis. It was chaotic. The guys are really inexperienced.”

The commentator Ross Williams, whose current form is best described as “sizzling” didn’t disappoint. “Oh no, I lost Joel Parkinson,” he mimicked. “I’m going to be big trouble!”


See it here first: Narcissism from above!

Will this camera cost Kai Neville, Joe G., Blake Kueny, et. al. their jobs? Probably yes!

If this doesn’t amaze you then you are a drug abuser in the throes of withdrawal because, even for the crustiest of souls, this is amazing. You throw it in the air. It follows you. It can get wet. It lands in your hand when finished. And it shoots 1080p high definition images of you doing your thang.

The 7th Bomber Wing, in the United States Air Force, has the motto “Death From Above.” The Lily Camera, with cute eyes winking, is “Narcissism From Above.”

And guess what Narcissism From Above costs? A mere $500 United States dollars. So accessible! I will admit, even though I own GoPro, that every time I see a motherfucker surfing with a camera mounted on surfboard nose I try to burn. But if I saw a motherfucker surfing with a Lily whirring overhead I would recognize his or her superiority and maybe paddle in.

Do you want to own Narcissism From Above? What would you film? How quickly would you get arrested for filming that?

Pre-order here!

The days of having one arm full are over, CJ Hobgood!
The days of throwing only one shaka are over, CJ Hobgood!

Air New Zealand Socks It Out of the Park!

Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Anastasia Ashley, Alana Blanchard and Laird (swoon!) in best airline safety video ever!

I thought the WSL and professional surfing had made it big when it was getting a weekly mention in the Northern Territory’s finest publication, the NT News. I felt proud… the sport was going somewhere.

I was wrong, horribly wrong.

I now know that the sport has really made it because some of its finest surfers, including current world champ Gabriel Medina and maybe 2015 champ Mick Fanning, have reached the staggering heights of fronting the latest Air New Zealand inflight safety ad.

To summarise though:

To the light and breezy ‘Young Folks’ by Peter, Bjorn and John, Alana Blanchard tells us to obey the cabin crew. She also instructs us on the proper use of a seatbelt.

Anastasia Ashley then demonstrates how to operate an oxygen mask and makes some grom’s day by fixing one upon him once she has secured her own.

It gets better though! With four world titles between them, Mick and Gab’s show us what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency, using their surfboards. Then Mick, racing along a wave, tells us that it’s easy to put a life jacket on.

Ricardo Christie and Laird Hamilton drive around the West Coast of NZ oozing steeze. Laird rocks the hydrofoil board at Raglan, and at the end, with the gravitas that only Laird’s capable of, tells us “Kia ora, thanks for watching.”

It’s a delight!

My girl was disappointed though,

“Where’s Occy?” she said.

But what does she know? I love it, the country will love it, and visitors will love it. It’s a win for surfing!

Professional surfing’s warriors now feature alongside such illustrious company as Jack Black, the cast of The Hobbit, Sports Illustrated models, the All Blacks and aerobics extraordinaire, Richard Simmons in fronting such a campaign. Professional surfing has reached its pinnacle!

I’m sure our beloved pro surfer warriors were paid handsomely for their time, and I am glad they were, they deserve it. As a NZ tax-payer with a 51% share in Air New Zealand (she’s partially state-owned), I’m glad that Air New Zealand are cutting services to the provinces in favour of paying for surfing’s greatest. Because as a surfer I can hold my head high knowing that, living vicariously through the pros, I’ve made it and you’ve made it too.