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Beach Grit

J-Bay: “JJF flourishes sword-blade!”

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

And Kelly Slater strolls into the quarter finals… 

Didn’t Chas write something recently about the small-wave ability of top-tier pros? About how they can just fly across flat sections, lay huge rail turns into sections with nothing behind them?

I’m typing this at seven am without a cup of coffee in my gut, but I’m pretty sure he did. Or he should, because it’s true. Pretty much anyone can surf good in overhead perfection with plenty of power behind it. But fitting you frame into a tiny little runner, flawlessly linking your turns, is a mark of genius.

I’ve watched in awe as guys dismantle tiny Rockies or Ehukai or El Porto or 54th st. It’s neat to see. But it doesn’t really translate to video sans heavy editing.

It was a real bummer to see them run today. Not because the waves were bad, they weren’t. But paddling out in surf this small with eight days left in the waiting period means that there ain’t much on the horizon. I know Turpel and Mel said they expected it to build through the day, but that’s their job. Starting off the webcast with, “The waves are small and most of today is going to be tedious,” would get them fired. Probably deservedly so.

Speaking of building hype. I finally got my second podcast guest lined up! We’re recording early next week. Stay tuned for more info, it’s gonna be sweet tits one hundred percent!

The day started with Bourez and Seabass doing the best they could with what they had. Bourez did a great job showing how to build speed and pant a rail. But it was small stuff. If you were paddling back out and saw one of his turns from the shoulder you’re jaw would drop. Camera lens flattens the world and it’s kind of a drag.

Bring to mind the long asked poorly answered question of why no one ever uses a fat flat little fishy type board during heats. Today seemed perfect for it.

I’ve heard numerous explanations over the years, but nothing concrete. Maybe one of our more experienced and knowledgeable commenters can clue us in?

Wilko faltered in round three, his title campaign took a kick in the nuts. I have no idea what the numbers are gonna look like post event.

I liked Wilko better when he was losing all the time. Which has gotta suck for him. He’s gotta win heats and sell his personality. So hard to do both at once!

Medina/ Melling saw the first attempt at small wave air surfing for points. Medina earned a 8.17 for a backside tap followed by a backside three. Which was enough to shut down his opponent. Too bad, Melling has been surfing very well this event.

The question now: If the judges are scoring the high for one air, as opposed to five turns, will we see more competitors take to the air? Seems like an easier approach. But I’m more or less talking out of my ass. The one and only time I got my board to rotate all the way around backside I looped out on the landing and ended up in urgent care with a nasty case whiplash. Which hurts so fucking bad. Happened more than five years ago, I haven’t done more than a fly-away since.

The man with the curly blonde locks knocked out Parko. The waves looks so damn fun, just not super contestable.

The judges should just call a meeting, tell everyone it’s an air comp now. It’d make for better viewing.

Toledo shredded his first wave of the day to bits. Pupo couldn’t handle it. Ended the heat deep in a combo.

White lightning wildcard gave Igarashi his fifth in a row 13th place finish. That’s gotta sting. Methinks Kainoa might’ve been better pulling a Taj. Give up his first chance at the tour, use the year to grow some meat, polish his approach.

Hindsight is 20/20, and I understand him taking his shot. Thought it was crazy way back when Taj did it. But it was a good call. Dude ran a long successful tour career during one of the toughest stretches in the history of pro surfing.

Say… what happened to the magic shark buoy? Haven’t seen or heard shit about it since the event started. Though I haven’t been paying super close attention. Maybe missed it.

Dantas/Ibelli was boring. Wiggles won.

ADS took out Cathels without too much trouble. Have you seen the WSL piece about Adriano? Very inspirado, much swelling music. But really just fluff. Five minutes of people saying what they always say. He’s so nice and humble. Humble humble humble, always with the humble.

Didn’t learn a thing about the guy. Which is impressive, since I don’t know shit about him as a person already.

First heat of round 4 saw it turn on a bit. JJF murdered Kerr and Jordy. Big ol’ boost on his first wave. Judges are scoring ’em, but people still ain’t doing ’em. Just Medina and double John so far.

Kelly won his heat handily, pocketed a 9 and a 9.07. I don’t know… I think they were over-scored. Bourez’s 9.27 was as well. Muniz got what the points he deserved.

Surf definitely got better. Good call. Does the WSL know what it’s doing? Shocking!

I was really hoping Wilson/Medina/Toledo would go crazy. But it didn’t. Pretty standard stuff. Wilson won.

Round five left to go, then off ’til finals day.

You know what I’m really looking forward to? UFC 200! Today! Jon Jones ruined his career, we’re gonna get to see an out of shape Anderson Silva take on Cormier on three days notice. Crazy shit. And Mark Hunt’s fighting Lesnar! And the rest of the card! Oh my goodness.

P2P streaming is the best thing since sliced bread. The more people watching the pirated stream, the better it works!

Jordy started off his heat with a 9.87. Muniz wasn’t coming back from that. Local crowd screaming for their boy. That’s gotta affect the scores. No matter what the judges say, you can feel the energy. Definitely changes you perception of the situation. Very good reason for noise canceling headphones.

Kerr/Bourez was pretty close. Michel almost grabbed the W, but Kerr snatched it from his hands with a big nasty stalefish rev right before the buzzer.

Damn cool how he’s got those fuckers on lock. Ever tried to grab stalefish? So fucking awkward. Hard as hell off a little kicker in your driveway. Off the lip of a wave… I don’t even know how you can stay centered enough to try.

Battle of the Brazzos: ADS v Medina! Medina moved on to the quarters. De Souza looked a little off his game. Solid heat, but no highlights here.

Last heat of the day, Dantas/Toledo, was kind of “meh.” Nothing magic, solid surfing. Wiggles got sent home.

I’m dog sitting again. Not stoked on it at all. Finally got this dumb little piss-everywhere dog to calm down and listen. Then I shaved my head. Which the little trashcan mutt finds inexplicably terrifying. He really needs to go outside for a piss, instead he’s running and cowering like I’m some sort of monster. Which, from his perspective, I suppose I am.

J-Bay Open Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.20 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.10
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 14.83 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.40 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.20
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5.20
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.26
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.20 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.27
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.00 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 15.17
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.80 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.67
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.67 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.04
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.37 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.60
Heat 11: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.93 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.66
Heat 12: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.73 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 12.30

J-Bay Open Round 4 Results:
Heat 1:John John Florence (HAW) 17.43, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.43, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.77
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.07, Michel Bourez (PYF), 17.67 Alejo Meniz (BRA) 10.50
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.43, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.83, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.77
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.93, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.27

J-Bay Open Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.73 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.00
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.30 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.93
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.03 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.40
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.50 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.27

J-Bay Open Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)