Can you ride waves up to 6 ft big? Get ready for fame!
You are never going to be a World Surf League champion. You are never going to win a WQS event or even a Junior. You were not built with stellar DNA and that is ok. Neither was I. But guess what? We could BOTH of us possibly win the Salt Life Food Shack Florida Big Wave Challenge!
Surfing Magazine’s famed Jimmicane filled me in on this little gem being run out of Florida where the biggest wave ridden during a three month period, in state, gets you 5k and laid and that’s right. You and I standing shoulder to shoulder with Makua Rothman and Greg Long as balls-to-the-walls hellmen. You and I winking at Keala Kennelly and her death defying Teahupo’o drops.
“That Chopes was heavy, eh KK?” We could say.
“Yes.” She might respond.
“Well, I know how it feels, babe. I stroked in to a six foot bomb off New Smyrna a couple days ago. Sand bottom. Gnarly. My bro almost couldn’t duck dive it but it’s cool, he made it out the back. The thing was almost over my head…”
And how impressed would she be?
The rules are simple. Ride and photo/video your Florida bomb between July 15 and Nov 1. Get laid.
It all happened so fast! In just one dazzling year, the carrot-haired former sparring partner of Shane Dorian, one of the leaders of the so-called Momentum Generation, has become the number one voice in surfing.
It isn’t hard to see why. Those liquorice lips hurling blaxploitation and early hip-hop smilies, actual recent-ish tour experience and a candour that, to use a slightly spicy American idiom, “cuts through the bull.”
Ross Williams is the WSL’s own Marv Albert, but without the same ability to pair heels and dress.
Today I asked Ross for a post-Tahiti rub down. It’s an email interview, as these things tend to be these days, so I couldn’t say things like, “You’re full of shit! Pour another drink!” to create some kinda rapport.
Two important points emerged: one, Julian will most likely win the world title and, two, Gabriel’s ass is fried…
BeachGrit: What was the most significant, moment, for you, in Tahiti?
Ross: Jeremy’s win was really cool. It was nice to see his hard work pay off. From a year ago with his incident at J-Bay evoking punishment in the form of watching Tahiti unfold right in front of him – that event being one of, if not the, best events of all time at his personal favorite location. That situation lit a serious fire inside to not only appreciate his “job”, but to embrace the opportunity to compete at his personal best. Now he’s come full circle with his steady comeback trail in competing and rebounded from his life-changing injury just prior to this year’s South Africa event. Considering all of that, it has to be one of the most impressive wins in surfing history.
BeachGrit: Adriano leads the ratings. What chance do you think he has of winning the world title?
Ross: Obviously Adriano has a good chance. Leading now and heading into three events where he can win let alone get solid results. That being said, momentum is a funny thing and it’s currently not on his side. He’s one of the hardest working guys in the game and his approach is so comprehensive.
BeachGrit: Trestles, France, Portugal, Hawaii. All I can think of is Gabriel, Gabriel, Gabriel, Gabriel. Give me your thoughts on a beautiful last-minute title defence for the reigning champ?
Ross: Gabriel has found his 2014 self. It went missing for a minute, but he’s back to his normal status of not just winning heats, but smashing them. I think he’s dug himself too big of a hole to win the title, but he will be in the Top 5 no problem which is a commendable follow-up year.
BeachGrit: How’s Kelly looking right now? What’s working, what’s not?
Ross: Kelly is ripping. He’s a bit preoccupied with his business adventures, but he’s still definitely surfing at a level that’s good enough to win events. If he can clean up the mini-blunders and keep his wave-catching rhythm throughout an entire event, he can still win. If he manages to get in the hunt by year’s end, he will be without a doubt the favorite at Pipe.
BeachGrit: Filipe, like Gabriel, is going to go crazy in these last few events. What kinda shot has he got? What might stand in his way?
Ross: I’m curious how he’ll bounce back at Lowers. Now that he’s had a couple slices of humble pie, I hope he continues his swagger-like approach. He’s so confident on those kinds of waves that he achieves two things at once: his opponent is baffled and he believes in himself enough to not fall on huge moves where most tighten up. Mentally, this is power that he needs to maintain to do well.
BeachGrit: Name, for me, the final eight surfers at Trestles…
Ross: Filipe, Julian, mick, Kelly, Owen, Adriano, John John and Gabriel. Not sure if it’s possible with seeding and the draw but you get the drift.
BeachGrit: It’s early, early, this I know, but give me three names coming to Pipe as the world title contenders.
Ross: Mick, Julian and Owen
BeachGrit: And who will win?
Ross: I’ll go out on a limb and say Julian. He’s looking razor sharp this year. Arguably the toughest year in a long time to determine who will win though. It’s a total toss up. Kelly, ADS, Owen and Filipe still have a shot.
If you have a bun in the oven get ready to change the name!
Surfing has had some wonderful names. Miki Dora, Sunny Garcia, Christian Fletcher etc. etc. etc. Which is your favorite?
Mine used to be Creed McTaggart. I’ll always remember when he strode into the Stab Magazine offices as a shy thirteen year old boy. He was introduce and I belted, “Creed McTaggart? That’s the best name in surfing!”
And it has been up until this very day. For I just learned of another under sixteener named Sunshine Coaster Reef Heazlewood and wow! (read about him here) Have you ever heard something that sings “surf” so loudly? He is competing in some contest Joel Parkinson is throwing over the weekend. “Joel Parkinson” has as much ring as “Brett Simpson” i.e. none.
If you are having a baby you can go to this website here and pick a surfy sounding name for either boy or girl. Enjoy!
"There was no swell in the ocean so we decided to hit the streets!"
Catch Surf got some good exposure on Fox News recently. It’s kind of funny, you should watch it.
But it’s hard to laugh, because I hate myself right now. It is absolutely firing by my house right now. There’s a left that looks like fucking Western Australia come to Kauai belching its guts out, a right careening off the point and bottoming out across the inside, and I’m too scared to paddle out.
It’s something I’m struggling with. Almost two years out of the water, I feel so out of shape, no confidence. Rattled when it’s overhead.
Shame is a powerful motivator,and, sometimes, looking in the mirror and saying, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Get your act together, you pitiful pile of shit!” is enough to get the ball rolling.
I tried to bodysurf yesterday because I didn’t think I could punch a board through the inside and spent two hours pulling back. Finally caught two waves and went in. Not super proud of myself. It’s not like it’s that big. Butterflies would be fine, full blown puss-out is not.
I think it’s okay, though. Shame is a powerful motivator,and, sometimes, looking in the mirror and saying, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Get your act together, you pitiful pile of shit!” is enough to get the ball rolling.
I guess I could give meth a shot. That should work with both the confidence and the weight.
Every day these things drop, like nuggets into a McDonalds fryer: cheap and momentarily pleasant but with a sickening aftertaste. There’s so many of ’em, maybe half-a-doz a day, that they elude any concept of good and bad. Our ability to discern gone forever.
And there’s something like this.
Where so many surfers, even among the best, struggle with their airs, looking like huge, awkward chickens torn squawking out of their coops, Julian Wilson is a flying volcano.
That sharp oop-and-a-quarter just before the one-minute mark shows Wilson to be in marvellous voice.
And, mentally, let’s read as Julian swings a scimitar at the famous Proust Questionnaire, seen below.
Your favourite Virtue: Industry. Your favourite qualities in a man: Integrity and loyalty. Your favourite qualities in a woman: Kindness, self respect. Your chief characteristic: Perseverance. What you appreciate the most in your friends: truthfulness and sense of humour. Your main fault: The sometimes impossible pursuit of perfection. Your favourite occupation: Surfing. Your idea of happiness: Home. Family. Love. Your idea of misery: Permanent disability. If not yourself, who would you be? Adam Scott. Where would you like to live? Near my family. Your favourite heroes in fiction: Peter Pan. Your heroes in real life: Mum+Dad. Your favourite food and drink: Roast Lamb and milk. What you hate the most: Thieves. World history characters you hate the most: Hitler, Stalin, the usual. The natural talent you’d most like to be gifted with: The ability to draw. How you wish to die: Content. What is your present state of mine: Determination. Your favourite motto: “Forever fun”.