Gabriel Medina Trestles 2015

Hurley Pro: “Gabriel’s bow-legged approach!” 

Real talk at WSL #8 and tears as John John sinks like stone… 

One of the great pleasures in watching the reigning world champ is in the admiration of his stance. Strength, brute power, muscle, even the beauty of the brute body. It all comes from the steel in Gabriel’s stance.

Like an 18th century Brazilian slaver squaring up to, let’s say, an African loosed from his chains (lest we forget the Brazilian’s zeal for enslaving the African, four million all up compared to the USA’s relatively puny 388,000) Gabriel looks as if nothing could sweep him off his feet. Not wind, nor chop nor any uncooperative lip.

The commentator Chris Cote noticed and admitted to being thrilled by “Gabriel’s bow-legged approach.”

“He’s no Joel Parkinson,” said Ross Williams, the WSL’s #1 commentator, praising Gabriel’s decision to choose function over form.

Gabriel’s approach was vindicated when he greased a perfect four-foot high rote at heat’s conclusion, easily winning his round two heat against tour sub Tomas Hermes.

Meanwhile, the real Joel Parkinson progressively modified the shapes of the set waves he caught and disintegrated the slowly retiring CJ Hobgood.

Wiggolly Dantas looked fabulous, achieving power with a soulful volatility.

Miguel? Jadson? Each successive sortie was more expansive than the last!

And little Glenn Hall! Look! He pulled the rug straight from under John John Florence. What raw guts he has.

(Watch the heat just by clicking here)

Hurley Pro Round 2 Results:

Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.50 def. Ian Crane (USA) 16.43

Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.50 def. Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.77

Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.50 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 9.60

Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.60 def. Artiz Aranburu (ESP) 13.66

Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.73 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.60

Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.27 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.00

Heat 7: Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.64 def. John John Florence (HAW) 9.90

Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.60 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 14.83

Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.74 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.73

Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.20 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.43

Upcoming Hurley Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:

Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)

Filipe Toledo
Passion! Like Christ!

Filipe Toledo’s Passion of the Christ!

And his epic biblical drama with Ian Crane, Hurley Pro, Trestles!

Poor Ian Crane. So close to being a giant killer, so close to glory.

And, man, what if he’d caught that last wave? Would that have done it? Could he have busted a switch-stance-kickflip-misty-twist and re-taken the lead? Maybe, maybe not, but if he’s anywhere near as competitive as I assume aspiring pros to be he’s gotta be crying in the shower and second guessing himself to death. I know would be.

But the best part of the heat was watching Filipe, my favourite high-flying llama look-a-like, hovering on the verge of a melt down in the dying minute.

Did he get the score? It was close, could have gone either way, and he knew it. Beating on his board, praying to his non-existent lord and savior, so much passion, full of fervor, exciting and nail biting and what I want to watch! This is sport, and winning matters.

Which is where the women go wrong. It was great to see what they can do when not forced to play three to the beach in onshore slop. Sage Erickson was killing it, backing up beauty with ability and proving her place as an elite level athlete. If only it could be like this every time. Quality surf, an opportunity to shine, to prove they don’t deserve to lay perpetual second banana.

But they’re missing the blood lust.

Every time I see a chirpy post heat interview, a “we’re all friends, it’s just an honor to be here, losing is no big thing” mentality, it eats me alive. Because I want to love the women’s tour, I want to feel invested.

But if they don’t care who wins, why should I?

The cutest thing in the world.
The cutest thing in the world.

Fresh: Income stream for father/surfers!

Do you need more money? Do you have a child? Come walk the morally questionable path with me.

I know many many men locked into the very teeth of this surfing industry whose wives out-earn them. I used to think it was a surf problem because we are shackled by a lust that drives away gainful employment but recently I have found out it is not. One in three American wives earns more than her husband according to the Pew Research Center. A full 30% of the married population.

Our own Rory Parker is one, and he writes about how he enjoys the fruits of his wife’s labor (many surfboards etc.). I am also one and it guts me to the core. I love that my wife is successful but I regard my own just above average earnings as a sound failure and I am trying to rectify it all the time. Except I am also a father, which means our gorgeous two-year-old daughter is primarily in my care during the daylight/earning hours. I am on a treadmill losing ground. I am fast becoming an evolutionarily non-essential appendage like the appendix. My wife is a better parent. My wife is a better earner. What, then, am I?

And yet in my existential despair I have found a way out. A way that my daughter and I can spend every day together, plenty of surfing thrown in, and make lots of money. What is this magic bean?

Baby modeling! Find out more here.

Rich: Mitch Crews’ (boss) buys Madonna’s home!

19 mil and 1.25 acres of Beverly Hills, California...

The world is just plain full of haves and have nots ain’t it though. Two days ago Quiksilver declares bankruptcy, sending some of their team riders into the unemployment line (for the time being). One day ago Rockstar Energy’s founder and CEO, Russell Weiner, buys Madonna’s home for a sweet 19 mil.

Rockstar, of course, sponsors many moto fellows. Weiner had lived in Las Vegas, and launched Rockstar out of there, which explains brap-brap-brap. But the company also sponsors many surfers like Sunny Garcia, Nat Young, Jack Freestone, Oliver Kurtz, Albee Layer, Matt Meola, Laura Enever amongst many others including Mitch Crews.

The home is, according to the LA Times, “…set on 1.25 acres of manicured grounds, the walled-and-gated compound includes a French country-inspired main house, two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a north-south tennis court. A 500-foot tree-lined driveway marks the entrance to the home. Rebuilt and expanded by the pop icon during her decade of ownership, the sprawling home has two living rooms, a two-story dining room, two offices, a screening room, a gym and an art studio. Cathedral-style ceilings, rows of French doors, clerestory windows and hardwood floors are among the interior details. A total of nine bedrooms and 15 bathrooms are within 17,000 square feet of living space.”

If you are invited to a party by any of the Rockstar team surfers you should take them up on it. Girls just wanna have fun.

They just wanna. They just wanna.
They just wanna. They just wanna.

surfer hair

NY Times: Surf-skate leads digital media!

Befuddled, once-great broadsheet, the NY Times, five years too late to party…

I’m always a little confused by the way mainstream media likes to refer to Millenials (those of us born between 1980 and 2000) as “young people.”

I was born in 1980, I’m 35 years old, far closer to middle aged than “young.”

I suppose it makes sense in the context of The New York Times, an archaic rag that earns its bread from an elder contingent too befuddled by internet tomfoolery to figure out how to find information online. To those geriatric fucks, a generation that spent their adult years dismantling every social program they benefited from, we all seem young.

Today’s technology section circle jerk contains a fascinating examination of digital media, and how hip and new it is.

It’s the next big thing guys! Did you know kids use the interwebs to look at stuff? Videos of extreme action sports. So radical.

Why is this in The New York Times? How is it relevant at all? Why is something that’s old news being used as new news? Money. Or the supposed opportunity for people to grab a hold of some of it.  Not the people who create it, of course. The people who distribute it.

“…as the audience grows beyond devotees, the opportunity arises to make videos and films with higher production values that fans are willing to pay for.”

Except probably not.

The driving force behind the majority of high quality surf and skate clips is advertising, something us “millenials” aren’t so hot on paying for any more. Pretty hard to monetize something I can, and will, easily torrent.

Even harder to get me to pay attention to an ad, a couple of clicks, a great little browser extension, and that shit’s gone. Red Bull gets it. They don’t try and charge for content, their whole gig is meant to make their addictive swill seem cool so they can hook little kids.

And it works. Very well. Add those of us who don’t drink the stuff get to see cool shit. It’s a win/win, except for the obese preteens with heart conditions, but who gives a fuck about those brats? Not me.

And we’re broke.

I mean, I’m not, I’m solid lower middle class, but that’s because I’m a kept man. But I was poor, not very long ago. So poor I couldn’t afford a cable subscription, something I only missed for a bit, and once it was gone I realized how much better my life had become. Like pills, basically. So good when you’re on ’em, so glad they’re gone when you aren’t.

The old way is dying, the new way won’t work. I refuse to pay a middle man for content. If Vimeo thinks I’ll give them a penny to watch videos other people sweat and bled for they’re even higher than I am right now.

(Read the story in the NY times here)