Is the tour's old man stranglehold at an end?
I’ve been watching the Florence/Ibelli heat on repeat, trying to figure out how the hell it makes me feel.
Tough call, definitely a close one. I really want to say the judges got it wrong. JJ’s coping clicker frontside three got my panties wet. Such a cool approach to a wonky section. Lickety-split rotation, right into a steezy layback into the pocket. Different, stylish, loose limbed beauty. Gotta love it. Should’ve scored higher, right?
But Caio… he done good! Went for risk in the dying moments. Pretty big rev, but not backed up by a heck of a lot. Judges gave him a hair too much credit, we’ve been there before.
JJ deserved a bit more, Caio a tad less. Would it have changed the result? I dunno.
It was enough to make me pay attention to the new Brazzo, though.
Went back through his heats, I like what I see. Don’t know what to call his approach. Aggressive-conservative seems good. A lot of commitment behind that wide stance. Sits somewhere in the middle. Dazzles better than De Souza, makes heats better than JJ. He kitesurfs, apparently. That’s weird.
Probably makes me racist, wrote him off without really looking. Figured he was a ‘QS type cat, bring some strong tactics, nothing fancy. But some of my best friends are Brazilian!
Not true. Even if it were, saying so would definitely make me racist.
How dare he? Just because he has decades more experience behind him, knows more about pro surfing than anyone else on Earth, the guy thinks he has the right to provide a rational, thoughtful, view that differs from mine? Makes me angrier than a cat in a sack!
But maybe he’s right, maybe things are getting better.
Maybe the problem’s the old guard, the decrepit fuckers in their thirties and onwards that have had a stranglehold on competitive surfing for the last decade plus. Taj, Mick, Parko, Kerr, Slater, et al., have been destroying rookie dreams for far too long. Once they’re all gone, exploring life post-tour, selling real estate or shilling soft goods or drinking themselves into oblivion, the young guys will finally get a chance to come into their own.
A team sport gives rookies time to transition. Sit the bench a bit, figure out that performance bump from really good to best in the world. Tack some muscle onto a pubescent frame. But surf is do or die, sink or swim, a weak first year can kill a promising career.
Don’t get me wrong, the judging still sucks, and the word “jam” is the worst. But maybe I should ditch the doom and gloom and appreciate potential, instead of lamenting reality.
Whatever the case, the first four events are almost always a drag. Tapping my feet, impatient.
Can we just get to Fiji already?