Maui hydrofoiler-surfer-kitesurfer-SUP stud wins world's most tedious race!
Doesn’t Kai Lenny make your mouth water! Yesterday, the surfer-hydrofoiler-kitesurfer-SUP from Maui won the stand-up div of the famous-infamous thirty-two mile Molokai-to-Oahu race in a world record time.
Lenny found his win with a record-time of 4:07:41, besting rival and three-time M2O champ Connor Baxter’s 2014 record by 27 seconds. The victory is “a dream come true” for Lenny, who spent the last four years hunting an M2O title with top-4 finishes each year, including a runner-up victory behind 2015 champ, Travis Grant, who finished second today. Connor Baxter rounded out the top-3 with a time of 4:16:19, after the leading trio broke away from a stacked pack of hungry elite racers, including in-form Aussies James “Jimmy” Casey, Toby Cracknell and Matt Nottage, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that focused in a race before,” Lenny said at the finish. “This is by far the hardest event I’ve ever done.”
The Quiksilver New Wave Highline technical boardshort retails for $200. Absurd? Let's review!
The technical boardshort has been with us for near a decade now. Space-aged materials meet unimaginable performance. The future!
And I have sat firmly on the sidelines as this future has unfolded. You know my predilections by now. Very small in the leg. Very thick cotton in the material. Keep your four-way stretch and fast dry. Gimme style! Gimme sex!
BeachGrit makes a very sex trunk, so does Banks but I wondered, nearly a decade on, what I have been missing in the future? I did not want to become the crusty man who refuses to accept change. Who can’t listen to the new Neon Hitch album because his mind can’t adjust to new beats.
So the future. I looked at Hurley’s Phantom Hyperweave ($150), Rip Curl’s Mirage ($100) and Billabong’s Tribong x Airline ($150) before settling on Quiksilver’s New Wave Highline because it cost $50 more than the nearest competitor ($200). Looking your competitor squarely in the eye and raising not folding? Those are the kind of guts I appreciate. My canvas St. Laurent Vans rip-offs cost $500. My Tom Ford Ray-Ban rip-offs cost $600.
And therefore I got a pair, black with white piping making a vee on the leg, scalloped leg, 31 waist. They came. I put them on and admired myself in the mirror and thought, “Not bad.” They fit perfectly at the waist, some very future thing that was both stiff and flexible, and didn’t fall all weird, ending just below mid-thigh. Most importantly they were trim. Not boxy.
I spun around for a good few minutes then loaded up my board, a Mayhem Short Round ($500) and went surfing.
And was shocked. Have you surfed in the future? Water somehow and magically did not stick to me. I was freed from the very strictures of biology, or earth sciences, and could move and twist and jive. I was a man reborn and felt very much like Navin R. Johnson. “Well if this is out there, think how much MORE is out there!”
Yes, I can whole-heartedly say that the Quiksilver New Wave Highline future is wonderful thing, a thing that I recommend, a thing that you need. Like all absurdly expensive artifacts, its price tag adds to its charm.
The cherry, though? When I finally got home my wife looked at me and said, “What are those trunks. They’re sexy.”
Oh gimme sex!
(And I know you. You are scowling and saying, “Fucking bullshit advertorial…” but I can’t hear you because I’m too busy shopping for a Raf Simons letter sweater ($600) and listening to Neon Hitch.)
Do you think surfing has lost some of itsmerry now that Dane Reynolds has disappeared from the stage? Do you miss those goofy, but quietly profound, post-heat interviews, Dane’s honesty wrapped up in a comforter of aw shucks?
Dane is also capable of a luminosity of thought unequalled among surfing’s barbarians. Here are 10 quotes (taken from interviews with Chas Smith and Morgan Maassen) which, if followed, will make your life immensely more enjoyable.
Let’s dip our fingers into his soup.
1. “Thinking of holding back is blowing it more than pushing your hardest and falling.”
Interpretation: We all do it. Draw the same lines on waves. Fall off on the same air attempts. Same steps. Same everything. Everything is half-assed. What does it matter if we made the wave. One violent little huck will give you more pleasure than a hundred lip taps.
2. “I hate watching movies. There have been three movies I’ve ever enjoyed. Movies kind of creep me out. They take too much commitment.”
Interpretation: In our beds, in our hotel rooms, on planes, we squander our precious hours on pointless reels. If you’re going to watch a movie, make it count.
3. “I don’t need perfect reef breaks.”
Interpretation: That whole hang-up about getting good waves? Screw it. Forget the tides. Forget the swell events. Drive to your favourite spot. Board in car. Ride whatever. Name reefs are so… jock!
4. “I’ve gotten to where I am because, fuck, in high school I was obsessed with it and obsessed with improving.”
Interpretation: Do you really want to be good at surfing? Or is it something you… think… you want to be? If you want it, it’s there. But it takes time and all of your mind. Obsess. Obsess. Obsess. And you’ll get good.
5. “I want to be positive and have hope, but a lot of shit I see bugs me.”
Interpretation: Trump, Hillary, and a race war warmed up by a liberal media and frightened, over-armed cops. Dear god, you give us Obama then… this?
6. “Shit, I don’t really like cities.”
Interpretation: Yeah, it’s chic to dig on the New York vibe but after a week you’re crying to get to a beach.
7. “I’ve always been about aesthetic, something that generally looks or feels good, or has a good vibe to it, but I’m pretty sick of shit that looks cool but has no substance.”
Interpretation: Lose the soul arch.
8. “I don’t even think of surfing as tricks, it’s just one motion.”
Interpretation: It’s a holistic thing. Compartmentalise when you’re learning the pieces, then bring it all home.
9. “Once you get to a certain level of surfing, it’s your art. So it’s undeniable to say Gabriel Medina is amazing at progressive surfing but it also doesn’t really resonate with me.”
Interpretation: It ain’t all about points.
10. “Big-wave surfing’s not relatable to me. It’s like playing chicken.”
Interpretation: What’s the fun in dying? And surfing’s about fun… right?
The noted Rory Parker says, "This contest is so good I shouldn't have to watch it for free!"
The US fucking Open. Worst thing ever. Well, maybe not the absolute worst. I’d rather watch the contest than have my dick set on fire. Which is what Derek says he’ll do if I don’t pump out a US Open write-up. Sneak into my house while I sleep and douse my shit in lighter fluid. Set it aflame.
Normally I’d just write that off as an empty threat. But at the moment he’s a mere forty-five minute flight away. He could make good, I better get to work.
Plenty of fun to be had in Huntington while the event runs. You can get a sunburn. Pound some brews and fight a guy with tribal tats. Fill your mental spank bank with images of scandalous young trim. Litter!
But you really can’t watch the surfing. Because it sucks.
I understand the reasons the US Open exists. Marketing. Money. Diverting cash to local businesses as the town floods with inland trash without anything better to do.
Contrary to popular belief, Huntington has not ditched the moniker, “Surf City, USA.” They’ve just decided to simultaneously adopt the motto, “The soul of SoCal.” They paid some dorks in Texas good money to come up with the latter.
If souls were real, which they are not, would Huntington Beach really be SoCal’s? Maybe. It’s a filthy crowded town. The municipal equivalent of low budget fake tits. Plenty pretty seen through a filter, downright disappointing first hand.
Founded by a union busting railroad baron, caught red handed falsifying water quality reports in the early oughts. Recently named among the top ten most polluted beaches in Southern California.
No parking, me first, fuck you.
But they can lure in top tier male pros with the promise of a potential six figure paycheck. Force the ladies in the water by jamming the stop on Tour. Which is pretty fucked. Shouldn’t put title points on an event that, nine times out of ten, is nothing but a wave catching contest.
I’m not gonna harp on that last point too hard. It helped Tyler Wright sneak into the ratings lead. I’m a huge fan. Shit stop, pleasant result.
I went to the US Open once. It was sometime around the end of the nineties. They had a snakeboarding demonstration.
Wasn’t one of the Hobgood twins really into snakeboarding? I could swear one of them was there. Strapped in, padded up. Wiggling at the launch ramp with all his might.
I’ve been paying zero attention to the contest. Watched a bit of the Duct Tape Invitational so I could poke fun at it. Looking at the semis draw I think I made a good choice.
The US Open often ends with the unexpected on top of the podium. Location ain’t great for demonstrating skill. You need luck, basically.
So we see weird winners. Simpo, that kid from last year. No surprise that the waist high (to me) slop on offer has a semi draw featuring:
ADS v Ethan Ewing
Who the fuck is Ethan Ewing? Some diminutive Aussie ripper. Light, limber. Able to squeeze some turns into the type of wave I could barely ride. He does surf real good.
Then we’ve got Kainoa Igarashi facing off against Toledo. I am not surprised to see Kainoa in the finals of a ‘QS event. I am confused, have always been, when it comes to how ‘QS points can keep you on the ‘CT. But I assume Kainoa knows how things work. Hasn’t made it past the third round all year in the big leagues, desperately needs the minor league scores to keep his meal ticket rolling.
Judging by the four remaining competitors, there’s one factor you need to succeed in HB. You’ve gotta be fucking tiny.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a small dude. Only real benefit to above average height is the ability to reach shit on the top shelf without a ladder.
Two ladies from Kauai on that side of the final. That’s cool. I watched Malia Manuel dismantle some wind slop the other day. She surfs very well. Far more impressive in person.
Men’s semi finally going. Thank goodness. I’m so over this shit. Maybe de Souza will murder the kid with tactics. Reduce him to tears. I’ve got nothing against Ewing, but this event needs some excitement. Broken dreams will fit the bill.
Pete Mel is continuing the surf tour tradition of describing waves that aren’t being ridden. “Look how clean that face is.” Sure.
Ewing gets a 7.83 to start it off. Backside vert bonk, c level snap, kinda floater but not really nose tap on the end. Backs it up with a 6.77 for two more backside bonks.
So that’s how this is gonna go. Dead ball bullshit. Blame the judges, not the surfers. No reason to go high risk when barely trying is hard to beat.
And it’s ADS going high perf! Uses the oncoming mushball for a big nasty fin blow rev. What world is this?
ADS is getting hosed. His 7.83 was better than Ewing’s. Underscored on his rev too. Ewing’s 6.77 wasn’t shit. Whatever, though. Just how things go.
Besides, Adriano in the finals at the US Open doesn’t matter at all. Nothing more than a good paycheck.
But it’s a huge deal for a seventeen year old.
Trailing, five minutes left in the heat, and ADS loses priority for absolutely no reason. He is not happy. Arms out in whatever. How do you say, “What the fuck?” in Portuguese?
Then they give it back to him.
Turpel: “We won’t speculate on the call too much.”
God forbid we get some real commentary. Real nice handing a competitor a mind fuck like that during a heat.
De Souza falls on his next wave. Ewing sits on his face and takes the win. Big smiles for the tow-head.
Kauai doesn’t do recycling pick-up, and I hate going to the drop-off. It’s gross and for some reason I never get around to it until it’s pouring rain. So I let shit pile up until it’s a problem. But I’d rather go deal with that then sit through the next few heats.
Whenever I see a grown man wearing a weird hat I know he’s going bald. Boardshorts over wetsuit just screams tiny dick.
Toledo and Igarashi.
Toledo’s handed a 7.5 for a double bonk combo. Ugh.
Then they sit around for a while. Toledo forces a frontside full roter. Looks like he’s about to claim it, then thinks better of it. Beach is hollering as if they know what they’re looking at.
Igarashi snags a left, pumps towards the oncoming section, then just kicks out rather than try to hit it.
8.17 for Toledo’s air. Igarashi’s sitting combo’ed with a 1.5 heat total. 15.68 deep. He’s pretty well fucked.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
This heat is really laying bare the ability gap. Toledo is manufacturing cool shit in garbage. Type of stuff that’d make you double-take if you were sitting out the back. Kainoa’s acting as though he’s waiting for a good wave to unleash on. But the waves are terrible. It’d take some intervention from a god that doesn’t exist to put him in the lead.
Or just bad judging. Which is always a possibility.
They used to make guys in contests at HB wear helmets. I wish they still did. Might inject some amusement into a tedious affair.
Toledo uses a lined up left to toss a nice backside spinny deal. Neat. Puts that final nail in Kainoa’s coffin.
So it’s Weston-Webb and Manuel in the women’s final. Toledo and the Aussie grom for the boys.
Tatiana takes off backside on a closeout. Tries to hit it, falls.
And that’s enough. I’m done. Fuck it.
I’ve got better things to do than sit through another hour of awful.
Go scroll through your facebook feed if you care who won.
Editor’s Note: The contest is not over but who the hell cares? Here’s an old picture of Filipe winning. He probably will!
What's super cute and rhymes with Miley Cyrus? That's right! Jessi Miley-Dyer!
Kieren Perrow has a better half and her name is Jessi Miley-Dyer and oh if she ain’t just the sweetest thing on earth! I have hung out with her on a few occasions and, if I recall properly, I was in trouble with Rip Curl and she rode for Rip Curl but she didn’t care! She loved my rakish charm, my devil-may-care ‘tude. Or maybe she did care and hated my rakish charm and devil-may-care ‘tude but let me hang out anyway. I don’t recall properly it seems.
In any case she serves as commissioner on the girls’ side and was featured in a wonderful Los Angeles Times profile this morning. Let’s read!
When Jessi Miley-Dyer wakes up Sunday morning, the first thing she’ll do is run to the window and look at the ocean. She can’t see the contest area from her hotel room, but the waves up the beach will tell her if she made the right decision in tabling the most critical heats of the U.S. Open of Surfing to the competition’s final day.
As deputy commissioner of the World Surf League’s women’s Championship Tour, Miley-Dyer has teamed with Travis Logie to decide the time and day of each heat at Huntington Beach this week.
Miley-Dyer has juggled events for the women’s Championship Tour, men’s Qualifying Series, men’s Pro Junior and women’s Pro Junior — mixing and matching them since last Saturday, trying to give every surfer a chance to catch good waves. She’s read daily forecasts, tracked Hurricane Frank off the Pacific Coast and used her instincts as a former professional surfer to gauge when one swell may die down and the next could come in.
Considering all of that, she and Logie decided the final eight surfers in the Championship Tour and Qualifying Series events will compete on Sunday, when a new swell is expected.
Now all Miley-Dyer can do is sit back and hope it comes.
“The thing that makes surfing the most incredible sport can also be a double-edged sword,” she said Saturday. “The unpredictability of the ocean conditions is what makes it hard to schedule and that’s why we’re waiting for so long and trying to get the most information possible.”
Scheduling heats is much like surfing the waves themselves.
The ocean is fickle, and impossible to negotiate with; even the most calculated decisions can be spoiled by nature. That’s what each surfer faces paddling out for 30-minute heats, and what Miley-Dyer faces when deciding when they’ll take place.
As a hedge against that unpredictability, Miley-Dyer is constantly on the phone with forecasters at Surfline and talking with a Huntington Beach surfing director who knows the local swell. The daily forecasts she receives show predicted wave heights, approximate times when a swell could come in and how it’s expected to look throughout a given day.
She’s looking for a tight time period when the swell will drop, because one that is active for a long time will be “slower” and produce fewer waves.
“It is a lot of responsibility just because we want to give everyone the best opportunity possible to have good heats,” Miley-Dyer said. “There’s nothing worse [than] when you’re surfing and the tide is not quite right.”
The job is not made easier by Huntington Beach, nicknamed “Surf City” but known to be sporadic overthe years. Miley-Dyer said that’s because the surf here breaks at different peaks up and down the beach, where a reef break, for example, will produce waves that break at the same peak every time.
Surfers have mentioned Huntington Beach’s unpredictability throughout the competition, with a strong swell at the start of the week and less giving waters since.
“I was a bit surprised, we were supposed to have more waves today than yesterday and they were actually a bit smaller,” Sebastian Zietz said after narrowly winning his fifth-round heat Saturday. “You just have to make the best of the opportunities you get.”
On Friday afternoon, Miley-Dyer and Logie locked in the risky plan to start the women’s and men’s quarterfinals on Sunday. With Hurricane Frank moving away from the coast and the weeklong swell subsiding, all of the forecasts have indicated the next swell is right behind it. The men will start at 8 a.m., so the women’s event will unfold after a high tide that Miley-Dyer said can “swallow the swell a little bit.”
After a week of studying projected wave heights, offshore storms, high tide, low tide, this swell and that one, the puzzle is complete.
If Miley-Dyer gets to her window and sees a new energy in the waves, she’ll know she pressed the right buttons. If the energy’s not there, she’ll chalk one up for Mother Nature and know she did all she could.
“If we wait until the end of the week and it’s still bad because the new tide didn’t really come, then we gave ourselves the best opportunities,” Miley-Dyer said. “At some point we’re rolling the dice, because the ocean is something we can’t control.”
It seems like her life is a win-win and that makes me very happy because she deserves!
Did she make the right call today? I have no idea. I can’t watch that slop.