Gabriel Medina Air France
"This might've been the biggest air I've ever done," says Gabriel Medina. Ten? Yeah, it was. | Photo: WSL

Lazarus: Gabriel Medina, Quiksilver Pro, France!

World champ’s elaborate pageantry; title contenders rise to surface…

Far from being dead, and as predicted on these pages, Gabriel Medina has become a modern Lazarus of Bethany.

Want to see what Gabriel can throw into the wind when he feels the judges want elaborate pageantry and not six window-wiper re-entries at three-foot Hossegor? A backside roter so complete even his competitor Owen Wright was compelled to applaud?

Let’s examine.

Now let’s pause amid the drama and ask Gabriel to describe? “I felt really high! This might have been the biggest air I’ve ever done, ” he says.

Julian Wilson cried out for attention, aware that the law of the jungle is all that applies in competition. Kolohe Andino, Jadson Andre, mauled.

Defending Quiksilver Pro France champ Pro John John swung into the quarter finals with this.

And Mick Fanning? Of course he’s there.

QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
QF 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)

Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.23 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.07
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.30 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.20
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.17
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.80 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.87

Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.37, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.93, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.47
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.67, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.43, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.73
Heat 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 18.50, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.00, John John Florence (HAW) 13.37
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.83, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 15.56

John John Florence
John John Florence is so…versatile! | Photo: WSL

Mystical Ecstasy: Day 2, Quiksilver Pro France

Slater, Reynolds, out, Fanning strong, Bede dials nines…

On paper, there is no way Kelly Slater can beat Kolohe Andino in three-foot, one-hit righthanders. Kelly knows it, he’s been there before. He saw his mortality in the crisp autumn lineups of France and Portugal two years when he was stomped in consecutive events, in similar conditions, by Filipe Toledo (France) and a week later by the wildcard Frederico Morais (currently 54th on the WQS).

It’s why he wasn’t coming to Europe. The forecast for eight-foot barrels got him as far as France.

“Kelly’s airs are nineties style,” said the commentator Ross Williams in explanation.

And, therefore, in the three-foot, offshore retarded and therefore slowish waves, Kelly had zero chance of winning, not even if he’d squeezed the sex and balls of the head judge and allowed him to spurt sperm on his breasts in a sentimental wank the night before.

But, ah, the mystical ecstasy of Kelly Slater!

Kolohe greets the heat with a straight air, much float time, eight point five.

Kelly finds a tube, as he tends to do, but a (generous) seven points is, clearly, as good as it’s going to get.

Kolohe snatches another score via an air reverse, landing greased.

In response, Kelly moves a couple of hundred metres down the beach, among a gang of kids surfing, to a crummy, backwash-ridden right. And it freaks Kolohe out. Priority is useless.

Kolohe bangs the water, he raises his hands, he makes shapes in the air.

The waves Kelly gets are sub-standard, but he’s inside Kolohe’s head and it’s so…mystical!

Eventually, physics prevail, and Kolohe wins. Afterwards, he fumes: “I asked 10 different people if we could surf the other right. They told me I couldn’t.”

Kelly, who is abnormally sensitive to losing, even when it’s obvious it has to happen, explains his loss with, “I got hurt ribs.”

Watch Kelly Slater nearly construct artificial win out of heat with Kolohe Andino here.

Italo Ferreira was anything but psycho-rigid! Unpredictable! “I thanked God for that last right!” said the good Catholic.

Bede v Ace, nines everywhere. Tenacious fascination!

John John Florence gives more ecstasy than an versatile artificial vagina with radiometric sensor that allows the prediction of ejaculation and the consequent modification of stimulation!

Dane was the most beautiful thing in the contest, but he… lost! Slapped on the head by Owen Wright.

Oh, Mick! His nerves are immobile. Fifteen seconds left and he rides the wave of the heat, a nine, and slings past the French wildcard Max Huscenot.

Watch six hours of surfing compressed into one minute!


Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA)

Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS)

Heat 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Owen Wright (AUS)


Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.17 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.34

Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.17 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.97

Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.77 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.20

Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.60 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.10

Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.37 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.40

Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.83 def. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 16.04

Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.17 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.73

Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 16.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 15.33

Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.46 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.14

Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.70 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.23

Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.00 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.50

Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.83 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.97


Sweet sugar: The Inertia describes New York!

The much-loved, if racist, surf website makes poetry!

The Inertia, surf website for the emotionally intuitive,  enjoys flowery prose as much as any twelve-year-old girl. Adjectives dance with adjectives dance with even more adjectives in every post. Surfing’s “definitive online community” has feelings! It has…feelings!

But they outdid even themselves with a recent piece titled New York Surfers Live for These Moments. Maybe if you watch TV, you think New York is a tough place where people bark at each other in brassy accents. Maybe you think New Yorkers get straight to the point. But apparently New Yorkers have feelings too and don’t get straight to the point at all.

I present you the first paragraph:

All summer New York surfers daydream of hurricane season, lust over barreling waves, ocean size, the possibilities of a perfect storm. Surfline is our addiction, hope and despair. This time around we got it all. New Yorkers played hard. No jokes, no foamies. Spikes, walls, free falls, tubes, sweeping currents, dark and stormy horizons. The line up cleared, with only the brave and experienced…

And the last:

On the beach everything is raw, uncontrolled, and spontaneous. The light changes constantly and every wave is different. The surfer is my art form, and the ride is their expression. Photographs are creative conversations. When all the variables line up, we share a perfect fleeting moment. The beauty in the madness. Being out there in the elements, capturing the raw beauty of nature and the surfer’s moment on water is my creative fuel and salty intoxication. Giving back these moments to the surfer and documenting a piece of New York surf history is precious.

Are there tears streaking your cheeks? If not read the middle stuff here!


shark attack north shore
"Was driving by as it happened," writes @jdbaluch. "Complete amputation above the left knee. We got the TQ on and he's still awake. Be careful boys."

Graphic: North Shore Shark Attack!

Surfer hit by a shark at Leftovers. Above the knee amputation. Critical condition, obvs…

The quarter-mile stretch between Leftovers and Marijuanas ain’t what you go to the North Shore for.

Fun, sure, but, mostly, you’re there because you don’t wanna deal with the mind-fuck of the Rocky Point to Off the Wall crowd.

I’ve always found the area a little creepy, sharky as hell, big Tigers chasing big turtles. Four attacks in the last 10 years doesn’t really aid my peace of mind.

…Leftovers is a crummy wave just down from Waimea Bay.
…Leftovers is a crummy wave just down from Waimea Bay.

A few hours ago, 25-year-old surfer Colin Cook was hit by a shark, I’d guess a Tiger cause what else is there, at Leftovers, and was rushed by paramedics to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

According to Hawaii News Now,

“First responders said the attack happened about 10:30 a.m. in waters off Leftovers Beach Park, at 61-385 Kamehameha Highway.

“One witness told Hawaii News Now that the man was a surfer, and he was apparently sitting on his surfboard with his legs dangling in the water when he was attacked. The witness said bystanders used a surfboard leash as a tourniquet to control the bleeding. The victim appeared to have lost his leg to above the knee, the witnesses said.

“The man also apparently suffered injuries to his hand after attempting to swat the shark away.

“Officials are patrolling North Shore beaches near the scene of the attack, and advising people to stay out of the water.

“From January to September, there were four shark attacks in Hawaii: two on Maui and two on the Big Island.

“”In the most recent incident, a 27-year-old Kohala man suffered severe leg injuries when a 13-foot tiger shark bit him.

“The other incidents were:

On April 29, a 65-year-old woman was killed while snorkeling off Maui’s Ahihi Bay. The woman was in 20- to 35-foot-deep waters, and was about 200 yards offshore.

On March 18, a 60-year-old man suffered cuts to his forearm, left arm and thigh while standing in 4-foot-deep water off Hapuna Beach on the Big Island. Authorities said the man was bit by a 8- to 10-foot-long tiger shark.

On Jan. 27, a 20-year-old Maui man was bit by a shark he had caught while fishing in Lahaina.

Meanwhile, three LA beaches have been closed after a shark charged a surfer.

(Click here) 

Kelly Slater France
Unless Kelly has a crazy secret gambling addiction, I can only assume it's been a very long time since he's had to worry about money. Even so, 38K ain't nothing to sneeze at. You could use that money to buy a mid range sedan, a couple city blocks of derelict apartment buildings in Detroit, or an entire shipping container of refugee orphans. | Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater’s (maybe) $38,000 fine!

If Kelly misses Portugal the WSL must slug him with a $38k fine. But what if mysterious injury strikes?

It could be my imagination, but it seems like Mr Slater, our GOAT, king of the savvy media presence, doesn’t really give much of a shit anymore. He spent a fair portion of his post round two heat interview complaining about the WSL’s decision to run the event a few hundred yards down the beach from where it was actually firing, kind of an atypical move from a guy who usually keeps his comments nice and politic.

The talking heads quickly dissembled, “you’ve gotta be on it before it gets good,” or something along those lines. But I think it’s pretty obvious why the WSL would stick with a bad decision. Moving all that gear a few hundred yards up the beach at the last minute would be quite the logistical undertaking. Better to sacrifice quality in favor of convenience, right?

Peter Mel, looming over the Syrian with blue-green eyes, turned the topic to Slater’s previous comments regarding blowing off the Euro leg of this year’s tour.

“I think it would be wrong of me not to show up if I have a mathematical chance at the title. That was really what it boiled down to.”

Sure, a mathematical chance, albeit one that depends heavily on everything going wrong for everyone else, something Slater openly acknowledged.

But there’s another factor, unspoken but sure to have had an effect on the King’s decision making. An increase in fines for no-showing events, enacted in 2011 after Dane, Kelly, and Bobby Martinez blew off a lackluster J-Bay comp (click here) would have left Kelly staring down the barrel of $38,000 in fines if he skipped both venues.

Per the WSL rulebook:

Failure to attend the CT Events entered with warning but no doctor’s certificate (men and women seeds only):

First violation:
M – $12,500; W- $5,000
Second violation:
M – $25,000; W – $10,000
Third violation:
Automatic suspension for 3
Events or remainder of the
tour year if less and no entry
into QS 10000 Events during
this time

Unless Kelly has a crazy secret gambling addiction, I can only assume it’s been a very long time since he’s had to worry about money. Even so, 38K ain’t nothing to sneeze at. You could use that money to buy a mid range sedan, a couple city blocks of derelict apartment buildings in Detroit, or an entire shipping container of refugee orphans.

But Kelly’s a smart guy, and he started laying down a plausible story, in case the next round doesn’t go so well and he’s over hanging around for Portugal.

Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through. Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.

“I got hurt in my first surf, I got knocked out. Lucky I didn’t drown. Sorry mom! And then my surf yesterday, after my heat I was really frustrated so I just stayed in the water and surfed for a while, and I got this one big bomb and I ate it and I think I tore my intercostals between my ribs, here. So I actually woke thinking I might not surf today because I didn’t think I could paddle. But I iced it all night and it seems like it doesn’t hurt as bad.”

Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through.

Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.

An interesting note regarding the doctor’s certificate, the WSL Rulebook doesn’t require competitors to employ a WSL sanctioned doc, interesting info should anyone decide to skip events in the future. There’s no shortage of half-assed doctors willing to diagnose anyone with anything. “Oh yeah, here’s my note from Dr Barnabas McGee of the Lesser Antilles Upstairs Medical College. He couldn’t find any paper so he wrote it on the bottom of this old shoe. But he’s totally a real doctor, dude had a stethoscope and put his finger in my butt and everything!”

I reached out to Dave Prodan, VP of communications for the WSL, and asked if the WSL would fine Slater, should he miss Portugal.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I got a terse and unilluminating response!

“If conditions surrounding the withdrawal of any athlete warrant it, then actions outlined in the WSL Rulebook are executed,” wrote Prodan.