Survives rivers of tears and blood!
I had a bit of a lay in this morning. Didn’t get out of bed until nine. Lovely way to start the day. I’m feeling well rested despite a trip to the bar last night.
Speaking of which, Rob’s Good Times Grill, in Lihue, has what might be the best happy hour on the island. Half-priced pupus until 5pm, $3.25 draft beers until 6.
Quite the bargain by Kauai standards.
It’s also a great place to get your teeth knocked in if you’re a tourist who likes to run his mouth.
No hangover, and I get to watch finals day via heat analyzer. A true blessing when the surf ain’t the best. Which was the case today. Very fun looking. Contestable, for sure. It was pretty good. It was alright. It wasn’t great. But it was fine.
Trestles has definitely been amusing. More drama than you can shake a stick at. Online brazzos freaking the fuck out. Conspiracy theories. Little league dad behavior.
Truly, the father/son dynamic in the Medina, and Toledo, households is more than a little strange. But it got both kids to the big leagues, and you can’t shit talk results. And they are Brazilians, a nationality I think, at this point, has firmly established itself as a nation full of the world’s worst losers. Worst winners too.
Their behavior at the Olympics was appalling.
Did you know there’s no word for sportsmanship in Portuguese?
That’s not true. But it’d be funny if it were.
The thing about being a grown man, you fight your own battles. Can’t have a parent or spouse do it for you. It stinks of weakness, and fear, and immaturity. Which is why I won’t let my wife comment on BeachGrit. Occasionally one of you vicious fuckers’ll deliver a barb that gets through my thick skin, and she’ll want to battle it out in the comments section.
“No no no no no no no! I do not need my wife to defend me!” I only need her support me financially.
There are times in life when, right or wrong, you need to button your lip and move on. Nothing you say or do will fix the situation. You’ll only make yourself, or those around you, look bad. Like sore losers. Like sore losers who’ve been on the fun side of bad judging a million times but can’t take the sting when it goes against them.
To be sure, the WSL judging is often terrible. But there ain’t no conspiracy. It’s just that the judging criteria is terrible and poorly implemented and I often suspect the judges understand the scores as well as the rest of us. Which is to say not at all.
Tyler Wright won the women’s event! Hooray for her. Gotta love that magnificent woman.
Jordy v Flying Llama
Filipe started off the heat with a nifty frontside rev. Manufactured it from a shitty wave. Couple quick pumps, blasted the tail overhead. Got handed an 8.33. A high score for a single maneuver wave. Especially when the maneuver in question is pretty standard, by top tier standards. No grab, no tweak. Just a cool air he can do in his sleep.
Putting the first wave in the excellent range, especially when it isn’t really, paints the judges into a corner and forces them to score anything better ridiculously high. Which is more or less what happened.
Filipe second scoring wave was a backside bonkfest. Nothing special, just good tactics. Back up your first wave with a solid second score. Very often enough to get you through. Especially when the surf is dropping and long lulls are lurking menace.
The South African’s first scoring ride was a strong three-to-the-beach number. Like Ross said, “He was pushing hard.” Rewarded with an 8.0. Should’ve been a seven. But Filipe’s air should’ve been a 6.5.
Filipe in the lead, but Jordy surfing better. Judges in real trouble again. Need to fix it with a bump.
Which they delivered to Smith in the form of a grossly over-scored 9.23.
Yeah, Jordy deserved to win the heat. Yeah, I guess the current system means the judges add points to make up for fumbles early on. But it’s confusing and upsetting and, if I were the type to bet money on surfing, I’d lose my mind over it. Impossible to handicap this shit. I’ll stick to laying my money on the chicken fights.
Sure, they’re fixed, sometimes. Just don’t bet on the sketchy Filipino dude with the remarkably sedate bird.
Galifianakis v Parko
The first exchange was pretty hot. T. Gargaflopolous used his backhand to bash a tiny right six times. Good surfing, plenty of flow. Seven point five… okay, that works.
Parko answered back the way Parko does. Three hard frontside fins out bashes, a floater and end section bonk tossed in for good measure. Got a half point nod on Gudang. Seems fair to me.
Gudang grabbed a nothing score after Parko’s 8. Parko traded back a 5.83 to grab the lead.
Gudauskas snagged an ugly right where he got caught behind the section, had to pet the cat of the way to the shoulder, then did some worthless wiggles. He needed a 6.34, got a 6.27. Still too high, by my reckoning.
And it got confusing again. Parko parko’ed his next wave, flow smashed his way to a 6.43. Solidified his lead, but not by much. Definitely more than .16 better.
Nail biter with five minutes left. Tanner cookie-cuttered a right to the inside. Needed a 6.94. Didn’t get it.
Still a great result for a Gudauskas. Because, let’s admit it, none of them belong on tour. Like Simpo, they’ll sometimes surprise you. Can easily smash their way through a ‘QS event. But they lack the magic it takes for the big leagues. Better off sticking with the freesurf circuit. Start dropping clips on the regular. Play up the family angle. Move in to production or sales or something.
Malloy it, basically.
Final: Parko v Jordy
The final underwhelmed, as they often do. Dying well, dropping tide, I don’t know. But the first ten minutes drug by without a wave ridden.
Jordy won the minor battle for first wave. Three strong turns into a failed tail slide at the end. Got a five. Should’ve been higher, based on earlier rounds. First three cutbacks were very strong and smooth. But each heat exists in a vacuum, supposedly. Right? And he fell, which means they deduct points. I think.
Smith backed it up with a six before Joel put a single point on the board. Then caught his third wave, which really wasn’t all that difference from his first. Judges gave him an 8.17. Yeah, he landed his “end section maneuver,” but it was a dead ball bonk.
7.4 for his next wave. An air to turns combo number. Better than the one before, I thought.
By this point it was pretty obvious Jordy had it wrapped up. In a rhythm, getting every wave that came through. Parko bobbing around the lineup like a potato. Blew the end section air on his first real score.
Earned an 8.43 for his next. Very well ridden, I’d call it a full point better than Jordy’s 8.17.
Which wouldn’t have mattered, really. Parko would’ve still been sitting point one behind.
Jordy grabbed his final wave with forty five seconds left, did a solid job dismantling it. Took a stupid little bow at the end.
It dawned on me the other day, in regards to all the claiming going on these days.
Guys don’t claim because they’re surfing well. They’re throwing out claims because they think they’re winning. Performance has nothing to do with it. It’s only about results. Which is just straight up dork shit.
Anyway, in the end the judging was weird, but Jordy deserved the win. Bumped him up to fourth place on the Tour. Put his first world title within reach. Good for him.
That’s the end for what’s been an amusing event. Not because of anything the WSL did, at least intentionally. But a fun experience nonetheless.
One parting thought, after watching Turpel do his post event podium shout out:
Joe’s gained some weight, huh? Got some belly pushing at those buttons these days.
Men’s Hurley Pro Final Results:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.80
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.36
Men’s Hurley Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.23 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50
SF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.43 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.33
2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (After Hurley Pro)
1. John John Florence (HAW) 41,650
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 37,450
3. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 36,500
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,200
5. Kelly Slater (USA) 29,650
Swatch Women’s Pro Final Results:
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.13
2- Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.13
Swatch Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.60 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 14.17
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.60 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.60
2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (After Swatch Women’s Pro):
1. Tyler Wright (AUS) 63,450
2. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 46,200
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 42,500
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb 38,450
5. Stephanie Gilmore 37,300