Jordy Smith: “I’m a Fancy Ballerina!”

A ten, a world title wrestle and a menopausal lesbian commentator at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal!

Back to Supertubos! Day five of competition. Starting with the remains of round five.

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote, Do you think Strider cruises into his hair stylist, sits down and says, “Give me the menopausal lesbian”?

Yesterday the question was firmly answered…

Shit…never mind. I went to sleep at two am, after roughing out a good portion of today’s write-up. Had a great joke all ready to go for the intro. It was suuuuuuuper funny. You’d’ve loved it.

Then Chas had to go and steal the gag off my facebook page. Lame.

Chas doesn’t even look like Ellen. He looks like that blonde vulture from The Jungle Book.

Chas? That you?
Chas? That you?

Instead of bursting your sides with my hard-won hilarity, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Very surprised to see they’d be running. It did not look good. Logie’s decision to go heat by heat was ballsy. Definitely some “diamonds in the rough” out there, but no one wants to watch hours of closeouts.

But being able to find crazy barrels in shifting hell lineups is a learned skill. Which makes the decision not-stupid. I won’t go so far as to call it the right thing to do, but it’s an educated gamble. Worse comes to worst there’d be some highlight reel wipe outs, the occasional stellar awesomeness.

The first heat, Bourez and Wilson, proved Logie right. Michel opened with a solid backhand tube, but from that point on it was The Julian Wilson Show.

Wilson’s first wave was fucking sick. High line backdoor, million miles an hour. Thought for sure he’d been knocked off his feet by the crazy chandelier, but he threaded the needle and came flying out the end for an 8.5.

He paddled back out, immediately butt dragged his way through a good left. 5.83. Then found another fun tube, but not as good as the first two.

A break in action, Bourez still only had one wave. Then Julian found another unbelievable barrel.

Big and open double tube with a hideous clamping clamshell on the end. I don’t know how the curly headed cutie managed to bulldoze his way through the final section, but he did. And it was amazing.

I thought it was better than his first wave, so did Ross Williams. But the judges disagreed. Still a solid score, 7.83. More than enough to make put Bourez in a 16.34 combo. Wilson had the heat won with eighteen minutes left.

Heading into Flores v Coffin, it looked like shit. Terrible heat. Neither guy could find anything, Conner ended up winning based on the merits of a 2.83 and a 4.43. Too bad for Flores.

One highlight, though. Flores’s 2.67 keeper was really cool. Hard off the bottom, hit the brakes as hard as he could with a slashing snap-stall. Ended up on the foam ball, praying the lip would throw out in front of him. It didn’t, so he didn’t get a good score. But it was a great display of his high tier tube riding ability.

If I were Logie I’d have called it off then and there. Too much of a chance the rest of the day would drag. Then he’d have to hear from all the internet armchair quarterbacks complaining on their tabloid rag surf websites.

But he decided to roll the dice again.

StuKen/Seabass was a slight improvement over the prior heat. Kennedy’s first wave was the best of the match up. Solid forehand barrel, great cutback, snap. Hopped across the flat section, then bonked a reo to seal the deal. Judges gave him a 5.83. I thought they’d go higher, just abased on the fact that there aren’t many, if any, opportunities to mix it up like that.

Stu backed it up with an open right, did two okay turns. Only a 2.6.

Seabass won it on the merits of two frontside tubes. Both were good, deeper than Stu’s first. No turns, but the judges just want barrels.

If I were judging Stu would have won. But rewatching I realize they’re right. Seabass deserved the nod.

Flores is out, but Andino is still on fire. The kid from San Clemente stomped ADS to death.

Late drop deep backside barrel for a 7.83, then an even deeper and longer one roughly fifteen minutes later. Got a 9.67 for the follow-up.

With three minutes left Adriano had one wave under his belt, a worthless french fry 1.0. He caught a good frontside tube, whacked it twice after coming out. But turns aren’t counting for much and his next wave, last chance, was a quick in and out followed by a fall on the reo. Buzzer sounded with ADS in combo.

John John/Julian was fire.

Double Jay started off with a frontside throater. Not super deep, but big and open and grinding. 5.67.

In these conditions it’d be easy to call each guy’s win pure luck, but Double John always manages to show how much skill is involved. Proper positioning, the intuitive ability to know when to go, even when it looks like sure failure. Takes a lifetime to develop. John’s been chasing ugly bombs since birth. He ain’t just guessing.

Julian’s first wave was better than John’s five six seven. Late drop, barely squeaked under the lip. But he couldn’t quite slow down enough. Only a 6.67.

Damn hard to beat Florence in a barrel-off. Next wave he came from so deep, going so fast. Spat out right before it shut down. Nine point three, heat winner for sure.

Julian followed with a long and deep double bubble, nothing floater at the end. But it was only half the size of John John’s monster. 6.9, not enough to take the lead.

Florence was right behind him with a bigger and better. Double hand drag, multiple sections, a weird perpendicular sliding-on-his-fins end section hit that I don’t know if he really made. 7.5 reward.

Heat was over at nineteen minutes left. Only one more wave caught, a 1.0 for Kolohe. Charged his way into a bomb, pull the eject when it lined up.

John John continues his way to a title.

Pupo and Coffin up next. It wasn’t great.

Pupo finished up with a 5.94 total. Coffin got the only two good waves of the heat. 5.83 for a good tube to frontside layback hack. Then 6.83 on the next for another more gooder tuber.

Final heat of the day, Jordy and Seabass, might’ve been the best. Toss up between it and JJF/JW.

Seabass’s first was steep and deep. Came flying out, heaved a double grab boost over a heavy section. Landed on the roof, rode out the rebound. 9.23. Backed it up with a smaller frontside cover, 4.23. Left Jordy combo’ed ten minutes in.

Should’ve been enough, based on the way conditions have playing out. But Jordy spoiled it, delivered a soul crushing come-from-behind.

Broke the combo with a 7.5 frontside tube with seventeen left. Then slammed the door on Sebastian’s dong with the event’s first ten point oh.

Good judging this heat. I thought Seabass’s first wave was underscored. Maybe because I’m old enough to remember when a barrel to air combo was mind blowing. Kelly’s back in ’94 had me screaming, but it weren’t shit by comparison.

Anyway, I was wrong. Jordy’s ten was miles beyond. The men behind the scenes did good. Didn’t get over-excited and drop a too-high score early on. Left room for the boys to improve. Jordy came through.

I did not care for the claim. What are we gonna call that one? “I’m a fancy ballerina.”

Ten minutes left and Seabass needed a low eight. Not impossible, but it wasn’t meant to be. Jordy’s ten was the final wave of the day.

Finals day should be exciting. Kolohe and Florence, Coffin and Smith. The first one may be amazing. Then the rookie gets a chance to play spoiler.

I’m two minds about what I want to happen. It’d be rad to see John John win a title, but things are always so much more exciting when it comes down to Pipe.

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.90 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.57
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.33 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.06
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 7.26 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.17
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.80 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8.43

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 17.34 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.10
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.90 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.57
QF 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.66 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.94
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.40 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.56

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
SF 2: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)


Jealous: Strider steals my girl’s look!

The WSL's Strider Wasilewski had everything. Apparently everything wasn't enough.

Son of a bitch Strider Wasilewski. Son of a goddamn bitch. You’ve got everything. Attack dog tits that make even the most pumped up jail yard convict green with envy. Traveling the world with the five best friends that anyone could ever have (Joe, Ron-Dog, Pottz, Ross and Pete). Your home is an architectural masterpiece nestled in Malibu’s Point Dume. Your company, Shade sunscreen, is seeing triple digit growth.

But apparently “everything” wasn’t enough.

Son of a motherfucking bitch.

You had to go off and steal my girl’s look.

I’ve been modeling myself off Ellen DeGeneres’s style for the better part of my adult life. The blonde hair mussed just so. That natty, WASPy style. Quick mouth. Funky dancing. Shining personality. She was my guiding light. My north star.

But in one quick swoop you knocked me off my perch. I am no longer surfing’s Ellen DeGeneres. That honor belongs to you.

I hope you can sleep tonight.

But if you can’t would you mind me asking a quick question?

Can I maybe be your Portia de Rossi?

Just think of the figure we’d cut on red carpets around the world. Oh sure your five best friends that anyone could ever have would burn with jealousy but they probably already do (your tits are truly phenomenal). We’d be the toast of Malibu!

Just think about it?

Strider Wasilewski (left) and Chas Smith (right) at some very exclusive charity event.
Strider Wasilewski (left) and Chas Smith (right) at some very exclusive charity event.

Fascist: WSL to regulate surfboards!

A secret and nefarious plot to save the environment!

Don’t you love your freedom? The feeling that you can do whatever it is that you want to do each and every morning? Like, maybe you’ll go get a donut and some coffee. Or maybe you’ll drive down to the beach and check the surf. Maybe the waves are small but the sky is warm and you’ll go for a swim. Or maybe you’ll pull your trusty 5’9 Matt Biolos Short Round out and go for a surf.

Maybe you’re a pro and proud member of the World Surf League and maybe you’re in Portugal and are ready to go for your very first major win and you pull out your Matt Biolos Sub Driver and…

STOP RIGHT THERE KOLOHE ANDINO! YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR VIOLATING ARTICLE 4 OF THE SANTA MONICA SURFBOARD PURITY LAWS!

Whoa!

Does this far-fetched ridiculousness seem straight out of the terrifying fiction The Man in the High Castle which depicts a world where Nazi Germany won World War II?

Well guess what? It also depicts this world where World Surf League CEO Paul Speaker rules like a pugnacious dictator!

It’s true! Our own (he’s not really our own but a gal can dream) Nick Carroll has just reported on a top-ish secret meeting where the WSL and various shapers kicked around banning toxic surfboards from competition! Let’s read a little!

Early in September, around the time of the Hurley Trestles Pro in San Clemente, California, the WSL management convened a very hush-hush meeting.

Invited was a range of surfboard makers, surfboard materials manufacturers, and green-thinking consultants. The meeting was designed to sound out a notion of quietly radical proportions — so radical nobody’s ever dared bust it out before.

Pro surfing’s owner and governing body may soon begin to regulate the equipment ridden by its elite competitors. In other words: tell ‘em what sort of boards they can ride.

This notion is being driven by a seemingly laudable goal: sustainability. It’s been widely known for decades that the classic PU/PE board is an environmental peril of sorts. Blanks and resins involve toxic chemicals, including known human carcinogens. Exposure to these chemicals and others has taken a small but steady toll on surfboard workers worldwide over the generations.

On top of that, the things are effectively inert, taking centuries to break down in surface landfill. And speaking of breaking — they break. Especially if you’re a pro. The CT’s surfboard disposal count is off the charts.

Not exactly sustainable.

On and on Nick goes, as he is wont to do, cracking the most important/radically fascist plot in surfing’s storied history! You must read in its entirety here…

But let’s do what we do best and quickly opine without full comprehension! Do you think the World Surf League should become a nanny or do you think the surfers should decide for themselves how best to protect/destroy the environment?


Fiesty: New Byron Bay Shark Attack!

Fresh attack as protesters rail against shark nets… 

Do you remember, and you should because it wasn’t that long ago, when shark attacks were big news? Even a little snap on the leg’d run on the front page of the daily newspapers, the victim a sudden celebrity. A guy where I live in Sydney had a white eat his hand and he wrote a book about it. 

Now? Now?

If you live on that little stretch of coast from Ballina to Byron Bay, once known as the birthplace of soul surfing in Australia but now better known as the great white capital of the world, a reporter would hardly get his pen and notebook out unless it’s a fatality, or an amputation.

And, so, when a surfer got hit at Suffolk Park, on the southside of Cape Byron, a few hours ago, but was only bitten on the thigh… who cares?

Of course, there’s the issue of shark nets, an obvious solution to the absurd spike in attacks. In which case, the latest hit deserves note. Let’s examine.

From The Australian

Veteran surfers in northern NSW are “really shaken up” after another shark attack in their region this morning.

A surfer sitting with a group of about 15 others 200m from shore at Broken Head, south of Byron Bay, was bitten on the thigh.

He suffered puncture wounds and was able to get to shore and take himself to hospital.

The shark wrapped its mouth around his leg and the tail of his surfboard. As has been the case with several other recent attacks, it appears the fin of the man’s surfboard has discouraged the shark from biting harder, and swimming away.

“When he got hit, he started screaming to the others, ‘Shark!’,” said Byron Bay Boardriders president Neil Cameron, who had come in from a surf and was in the car park when the attack occurred.

He said the group of surfers who came in with the attack victim were “really shaken up”. He added that all the surfers in the region were tired of waiting for the government to act.

Belinda Holland, a witness, said she saw his board go “flying” in the attack.

“I’m pretty sure his board went flying into the air and he got … a chunk out of his leg and side. There was a lot of blood,” she told the Today show.

Robert Fenech, who was surfing at Broken Head this morning as well, said he was about 100m from where the man was attacked about 7.30am.

Broken Head, just south of Byron Bay, where the shark attack occurred.

“There hadn’t been any waves for two weeks,” he said. “The internet says there’s surf, so we all went out there. It was packed. I go out there all the time.

“Everyone’s pretty vulnerable. It’s pretty close to home. There are so many girls and young guys,” he said. “We knew there were sharks there, but it’s the first time someone’s been snapped for a while.”

Mr Cameron told The Australian this morning that the local authorities now had two options. “One, they install nets and drumlines, like we’ve been saying they should; or, two, the council puts up signs saying ‘Do not enter the water’. That’s what it’s come down to. This is about protecting people who want to use the water at a major tourist destination.”

He said today’s attack was the “final nail in the coffin”.

He said that in the past, whenever there was an attack in the region, everybody knew there would not be another one for six or seven years. “But now, the next one could be this afternoon.”

He attributed the problem to local green politicians. “There is an extremely big and strong green factor in Byron Bay. There’s been a strong push by the average punter and the media to stop nets being put in.

“They have so-called experts, but they keep coming up with irrelevant facts. These experts don’t know as much as surfers and fishermen.

Ironically, if irony works any more, “hundreds” attended a protest against the installation of shark nets in Ballina yesterday.

“People want to see something that’s sustainable, that will keep ocean users safer, that’s not going to decimate our wildlife,” said Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith. 

Really?

The always fabulous Nick Carroll debunks the hysteria about shark nets here. 


I woke up super congested this morning. Gnarly sinus headache to boot. Fucking sucks, I really wanted to go dive. Try and kill some fish. But you can't do that shit when your head tubes are jam-packed with mucus. Or you can, but you'll only do it once. Sinus squeezes hurt like a son of a bitch. | Photo: @mtv films

Parker: “Why the WSL Makes Me So Sad!”

Greasy, wobbly tables on the Dawn Patrol show, for one… 

I’m spending the day chasing down a podcast guest. Excited to have him on. Bit of a curve ball, should turn out well. But he’s begun hemming and hawing. Not saying no, but obviously trying to throw a dodge my way.

Which I understand, it’s uncomfortable talking about yourself for an hour. Gotta be viciously self involved to enjoy it. I say that as a person who is, in fact, viciously self involved. I fucking love talking about me.

But I’m not giving up. This is work. Gotta put in the effort. Try my damnedest to create something that shines. Or, failing that, doesn’t totally suck.

It’d be a lot easier if I had a bunch of money to play with. Lure people on trips, wait ’til they’re comfortable, weak. Then pounce.

Sure wish we had a billionaire backer. I could do something with that.

Or maybe not. The WSL has the Ziffs keeping them afloat, can’t manage to wring a solid production value out of it.

Last night/this morning, depending on where you are, the Dawn Patrol show was a perfect case in point. Event’s gone mobile, they had to leave the aquarium table behind. Understandable. Aquariums aren’t easy to move. Heavy as hell, you’ll end up killing the fish. Or lobsters. Tasty ocean bugs. I wonder who’ll get to eat the pair when the event’s over?

But, I mean, surely they could’ve taken the time to rig up something that looks good, in the case they had to move. Prep something pretty ahead of time. Doesn’t need to be solid, just a facade. They’re making TV magic. Don’t need no depth.

Two wobbly tables. Uneven. No point to their existence. Didn’t even bother to wipe the greasy fingerprints off the support bars. Gross. Someone needs to wash their hands more often.

WSL tables
Do these tables enrage and sadden you too?

I could go on and on about things that’d improve the WSL webcast. Canned athlete interviews to run post Dawn Patrol show on lay days. More profiles. Better music. Trained broadcast professionals.

But all that stuff is crazy expensive, I know.

The WSL is putting their production house on snails and commercials that try to be funny. A Laird Hamilton doucmentary, maybe. Haven’t heard about that in a while.

Maybe not enough to go around?

Penny wise and pound foolish, I say. Sure sure sure, gotta promote. Find a voice that attracts those landlubbers.

But, while they’re at it, maybe they could toss some cash at sourcing a canopy?