Jeremy Flores to sweat it out in round five against Conner Coffin. But, says Parker, it don't matter. He'll final! Against the father of four with a fat wife…  | Photo: WSL

Portugal: “Kolohe vs Flores Final!”

Do you believe that magic still happens?

From the mist of early morning, day four of the Portugal Pro greeted the world. Sloppy stormy surf blew its spray skyward. Into this nightmare twelve brave men would embark. Battling each other, proud warriors, each hell bent on claiming victory.

Ugh, that was terrible.

It’s well overhead at Point Fabril, looks mushy and lumpy. But the moment the camera swings a couple degrees away from head on you can tell it’s not mushy at all. Lumpy and powerful. Some sections are heaving, some are dribbling. Makes for a challenging surf. Sometimes a top turn will see you bog and flop, sometimes that lip will kick straight out and blow you off your feet.

It’ll get better, Turpel and Pottz promise. But it doesn’t really look too bad. We’ll see a ton of swooping carves. Gorgeous in some hands, not so much in others. A few guys will probably find tubes. Maybe we’ll get lucky, the tide will bottom out, and it’ll turn into gnarly scary barrels.

If John John makes the final, and Jordy doesn’t win the event, Florence takes the crown. A simpler way to put that is Florence wins if he makes the final but Jordy doesn’t. Is that actually simpler? Or even correct?

Parko, Andino, and Julian to kick things off. In this sort of big open wall I give the advantage to Parkinson.

But, shit, Chloe is surfing good! Goes straight up on his first turn of the heat, air drops a hefty distance back down. Follows with a snap, a carve, and a cutty. 7.38 seems fair.

Parko’s right behind him. Slightly smaller, cleaner face. He looks a little off. Still pretty Parko steez, but Andino will get the nod on this exchange. 6.0 for Parko.

Dang, I’m no Kolohe fan, but I’m calling him and Flores in the final. It’s what my gut’s telling me.

Julian’s already caught two waves. Fell on one, the other wasn’t so good. Number three ain’t great neither. One very good vert bash to start, couldn’t follow up with much more. Standard turns you do on a shitty section.

Kolohe’s third wave is a heat killer. Nine point zero. High, I think. Not really that much better than his first. Pottz seemed to agree. But solid, and better than what the other two managed in the same set.

Parko found a frothy almost-barrel. I’d count it. You would too. But he’s better than us. An eagle among pigeons, beak and all. Three nine three.

Wilson’s… oh man, I wish there was a channel angle. Good tube ride. Bucking bronco style. But it pinched and he went down and it doesn’t count for anything. 1.8.

Ten minutes left and Andino’s combo’ed the field. Turpel is asking Pottz for duck dive tips. All Pottz has to offer boils down to “Do it deep.” Very useful.

Wilson goes balls to the wall off the bottom. Gnarly turn, lip lands on his head but he keeps his feet and rides it out. Only a 4.93. But cool as kittens, nonetheless.

Wave catching flurry in the final minutes, only Joel betters his early score. Finds the foamy brown room through multiple sections, comes out and does a big swooping roundhouse. Very good wave, but he never really disappeared from view and that’s what the judges want to see, I guess. 7.1 that maybe could’ve gone higher but wouldn’t make a difference anyway. He gets out of combo, but can’t win the heat.

Kolohe is through to the quarters. Parko and Wilson into the losers bracket.

John John Florence, Michel Bourez, and Adriano de Souza should be a screamer of a heat. Each is damn good in this type of surf. Florence is Florence, maybe he’ll do an air off a double overhead section. Bourez has the muscle to obliterate some lips. De Souza plays it smart and does well in surf like this.

Except life rarely cooperates with our expectations.

Not much happens in the first ten minutes. Bourez fails to make a barrel. Adriano gets caught and blown off his feet while bottom turning slightly too high around a section. Jay Jay Eff gets the first real wave of the heat, a low effort turn to floater combo the judges think deserves a 5.17.

Kolohe’s goatee/mustache, Oakley, Red Bull hat look works. If he were a father of four with a fat wife who spends his weekends at the river hooking catfish.

Then follows up with a “diamond in the rough” drainer, finishes it with a high speed kinda-almost-upside-down-for-a-split-second re-entry. Eight point five. Gonna be hard to beat that.

Kolohe’s goatee/mustache, Oakley, Red Bull hat look works. If he were a father of four with a fat wife who spends his weekends at the river hooking catfish.

Michel and Adriano struggled to catch up to Florence, and failed. Double John on a snap snap snap. Pushing hard off the bottom, displaces so much water it looks like he’s got an offshore assist. It’s a 7.83. Combos the other two with five minutes left.

John John running up the beach after his heat was amusing. Security guard looking super serious. Waving his hands like a loon. “Out of the way, motherfuckers!”

Only the beach is near empty. No one is getting in the way.

Wanna bet he’s an off-duty cop? He’s got that “I’m a total asshole” look they love to rock.

Flores/Pupo/Seabass. Surf’s getting worse, not better. Surface picking up some ripple. Uh oh.

John John says, “Potagee,” during his post heat interview with the most beautiful woman alive. Corrects himself. Classic.

Low scores and wipeouts for the first twenty minutes. Flores grabs the first keeper with a little over sixteen minutes left. Two turn combination, second of which is a glorified speed check. 5.83. Seabass behind him with one good turn, then the wave comes apart at the seams. Three something, I think.

The next set’s looking good. All three surfers find a keeper score. Pupo fades the takeoff, hits the brakes, finds a nice barrel then half-carve airdrops below the end section. 7.5.

Flores gets the next one, does three not-great turns, but does them in the right spot. 7.33.

Seabass on number three, gets a better barrel than Pupo, but doesn’t do a turn at the end. 7.47. I think it should have been a 7.6. Pupo’s turn wasn’t really anything. No reason he should get an edge.

But Pupo’s next one is the best looking wave of the heat. Open wall, does some good turns. Judges gift him an 8.93. So his win is locked in. Not likely Seabass or Flores will find something better.

They don’t, and they’re both surfing Round Four.

Wilko’s hanging around the event. He’s on some Kafka shit, looking more and more like Filipe Toledo with every pound he sheds.

As Matt Wilkinson woke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a Flying Llama.

Final heat of the round. Stu Kennedy/ Conner Coffin/ Jordy Smith.

Kennedy’s the weak link in this one. Should come down to a fight between Jordy and Conner.

Coffin grabbed the lead early with a pair of decent waves. Kennedy found a square looking tube for his first wave. Jordy sat out the first half, waited for something good.

Doesn’t find it on his first wave. Just milks the thing to the beach, fails to impress. But the judges think it deserves a 5.83. They’re completely wrong.

Conner falls on one, StuKen does two turns for a low-as-you-can-go four.

Jordy grabs the last wave of the heat, does three turns and claims it. Gross.

But the judges buy what he’s selling, give him a mind boggling 8.83.

I have no clue what’s going on. Stu Kennedy won that heat. Jordy doesn’t think so, but he’s wrong.

Parko and ADS are up for the first heat of Round Five. Surf’s not great. Starting to close out. Travis Logie knows, says they’re going heat by heat.

Parko falls on his first. ADS does one very good turn, one okay turn, and finishes with a solid reo. Takes the lead early with 6.5.

Parko followed with a long barrel, can’t make it out of the end section. Only gets a 3.07. Would’ve been a heat winner if the lip hadn’t caught him.

ADS’s next one sucked, but he needed a back-up. Found it in the form of a 2.5 for two terrible turns. This one’s a wave catching contest.

He betters that on his next wave. Does a quick backside floater, rides the whitewater until it reforms as a right on the inside. Milk man cutback, frontside floater. 3.4.

Joel needs a 6.83 to take the lead, uses his priority to keep ADS off an okay looking left. Does a few turns, wave doesn’t really cooperate. He only gets a 4.5.

One minute left, Parko gets one more shot. But it’s a shitty head-high closeout. He pulls the ripcord off the bottom, and Adriano wins.

Shitty heat, wrong call. Should’ve ended after the last one. Bad luck for Logie.

That’s it for the day. Hopefully tomorrow will bring something better.

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.83, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.10, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.43
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.33, Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.70, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.70
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.43, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.16, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.20
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.66, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 10.86, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.84

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.90 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.57

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Remaining Round 5 Match-Ups:
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)

Upcoming Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
QF 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD

Blonde Ambition: JJF closes in on crown!

Go John John go!

And did you happen to catch John John Florence’s round 4 heat vs. Adriano de Souza and Michel Bourez in the early/late hours (depending on where you live)?

Did you?

John John crushed his competition! Decapitated them and early by dragging his bulbous bottom into a tube and across ADS and Michel’s outstretched necks. Pottz declared, “He’s on fire!” with that trademark growl that has been missing as of late.

He loves John John very much as does the rest of our surfing world and hopes for a first of many grand championship.

Even Brazil stands and cheers the Blonde Ambition. “Ir Jon Jon ir!” The country shouts in unison! Vanquish us! Destroy us please!

There will be wonderful analysis from our dear Rory Parker later in the day but just watch this heat right here in full and without distraction.

History is nigh.

Update: My eyes won’t dry!

You are breaking my heart WSL CEO Paul Speaker. But I'm coming to your house!

Damn you WSL CEO Paul Speaker.


I know it is just the hurt talking. I know that my acceptance letter may still be in the mail. I know it all in my head.

But my heart aches! It burns! I sent my application to be your number one man, your right hand, your coffee getter, international travel booker, neck massager four days ago…


And still haven’t heard back.


You heartless son of a bitch.


I have it all! I have a passion for and basic knowledge about professional surfing. I can figure out the time zone difference from here to Australia. I can put out the fire in your Samsung Galaxy 7. I can work a computer. Your needs will never be put second and not even for a second.

Is it because you are sexist? Is that why you haven’t hired me? Because you are racist?


There is no good reason. None. You and I were supposed to be together forever. I’ve started buying polo shirts you know. And wearing khaki pants and tassled loafers. I’ve started talking like a weird corn fed kook. Like I’m from Iowa. Like you. Just exactly like you. We’re the same Paul Speaker!

The same!

Is my acceptance letter still in the mail? Maybe? Should I come to your Venice adjacent apartment so you can tell me “Yes” in person?

Oh that’s what I should do!

I’m on my way dearest Paul Speaker! Bringing a bottle of champagne! See you soon!

Portugal: “Medina’s out! No title!”

John John your champ! (probably)

We’re on again! Day three, remnants of round two, all of round three, Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Strider’s raving about the surf. Sooooo good. It’s been firing here for days! Turpel got the tube of his life at this particular bank yesterday!

We’ll see. Hyperbolic hype is the name of the game. It’s gotta be better than yesterday.

But if it’s really been so much better here than at Supertubos… what the fuck.

Still, let’s not start on a negative note. It could be worse, whatever the case. I’ve a new appreciation for bad. I sat through an entire episode of Flip’n Sk8s, the worst fucking thing anyone has ever done in the history of the world.


Worse than In God’s Hands. Worse than Surf School.

Worse than Surf House.

Worse than the vicious ingrown hair (I hope!) at the base of my dick that I’ve been dealing with since I went a little overboard with the manscaping last week.

Buchan/Banting got the day started in some surf with potential. Once again it looks like a day that’ll hardly go down in history. But it’s contestable. Enough energy to hold hope the tide turns things on as the day progresses.

Even so, the first heat of the day didn’t hold much appeal. Buchan kicked things off with a mid-six on an okay right. Banting right behind him, surfed one to the inside closeout and tossed a solid reverse for a 6.93. Matt looks like last event’s results have given him a bit more confidence. He’s still doing that annoying thing where he throws his back hand over his head with every turn, but he’s surfing better than expected. Hire a style coach, or something. Iron that shit out, I could become a fan.

Beyond that first exchange pretty much nothing happened for the rest of the heat. Shitty waves, low scores, until the last minute or so. Ace went backside and did a few not-very-good whacks. Banting got a better one. ‘QS turned to the inside, did another reverse, won by a bit more than half a point.

Seabass/Alejo up next. Not much better than the last. Only two moments worth mentioning.

Seabass snagged a gorgeous right mid-heat, unleashed a carve to crack to layback bash combo. He surfs so good when he’s surfing good!

The next came when Strider interviewed Ace Buchan, who I’d forgotten is the Surfers’ Rep. Ol’ Raspberry started off with a nothing statement.

We got started out here on the right and we’ve been looking at the left, so for you, in your mind, you had to make a transition.

No idea what to make of that. I swear, if I didn’t know any better I’d sometimes think Mr Wasilewski had never surfer a day in his life.
Ace wasn’t feeling the empty chatter game. Unleashed some honest opinion. (edited slightly for clarity)

Yeah, for sure, the right’s definitely better. It’s a little bit high for the left at the moment. But, to be honest, it’s pretty frustrating. You know, we’ve come here to move to a left hand bank and it’s been pumping for three days and we’ve been sitting at Supertubes watching closeouts. It’s meant to be the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves, and this is meant to be a mobile event. To be frank it’s come, this move’s come two days too late.

You could call Ace a sore loser, but it’s hard when the talking heads have been spouting lines in total, if more corporate-friendly, agreement.

Seabass beat Alejo. Yay for him. We both live on Kauai, which is enough to make me a fan. I’ll admit, though, I don’t really like seeing him in the water on breaks between stops. Especially if I feel like I’m surfing well. Nothing kills that I’m-ripping feeling faster than watching someone with actual skill.

Bourez and Freestone up next. Surfed well, got the blood pumping a bit. Freestone opened up the heat with a single maneuver alley oop for a 5.67. Bourez was next on an overhead left. First turn was great. Super late, super hard, air drop to the flats. Poked it vertical a couple times, then did his weird arched-back extendo-snap on the shoulder. 6.83.

Freestone took the next. Backside floater, bonk, crack, crack. Pretty good. 7.6 good? I don’t really think so, but that’s what they gave him.

Bourez proceeded to sit out most of the heat. Let Jack have the line up. Freestone paddled around, caught a couple waves, didn’t improve on his score.

With a hair under six seconds left Bourez found the wave of the heat, then bashed it to death. Gave an “I’m happy I’m winning now” hand clap claim at the end. Freestone couldn’t find an answer. Caught a gooey left as the clock wound down. Took his fifth second round exit of the year.

Surf started picking up for Cathels and Ibelli. Overhead, open shoulders. Enough power to really drive hard off the bottom and up through the lip.

Ibelli made the most of it. Caught a pair of sevens, one high, one low. Aimed his nose at the pocket, pushed hard, earned the win.

What’s with all the pros forcing out babies these days? Ace has one on the way, Bourez is playing Llama and ditching the preggo wife at home. Gross. Kids are the worst.

This was the point I fell asleep. Damn time difference! But I need my rest. Get very cranky when I’m tired.

Now I’m sucking down coffee, playing catch up. So many heats to go. Good thing I have my new AeroPress! Got it as a gift, at first I wasn’t too stoked. Makes one cup of coffee at a time? What the fuck? How am I gonna suck down my daily pot’s worth? That’ll take forever.

Turns out it makes more than one cup at a time, and it’s damn tasty. Worth the effort. Strong and black and getting me absolutely wired to start my day. Hooray.

Stu Kennedy got an easy draw against Dusty Payne. The kid from Hawaii came out of the gates strong, then forgot how to surf. Finished with a blown-opportunity back-up score of 1.23.

Kennedy’s had a magic year, considering he kinda lucked his way onto the tour. I’m almost seeing shades of Machado. Kennedy surfs so fast, light on his feet. No real power but plenty of style. Unless this is a one-off year I can see a lengthy career in his future.

Next up were Coffin and Young. Conner dispatched Nat without much of a hassle. Solid power surfing, good wave selection. Nothing mind blowing.

Final heat of round two, Asing/Igarashi, was a fairly mundane affair. Igarashi was surfing better than he usually does. More commitment, more power. Asing didn’t really come through.

I ate dinner at Kenji Burger last night, my new favorite restaurant in Kapaa. Damn tasty stuff. They were playing surf clips, lengthy Asing freesurf part came on. Fuck, he rips. Wish he could do the same in a heat.

While I love Keanu I’m damn glad I knew better than to put him on my fantasy team. Failed to back up France. Put Kanoa into round three, where he’ll be facing ADS. I don’t need to be psychic to know that’s as far as he’s going.

Banting and Kolohe got round three started in a boring fashion. Both just surfing to make it through. Nothing challenging, not worth watching. Kolohe won.

Wiggly and Parko got more engaging. Both guys in form, pushing things. Joel found a sick one. Long backside tube, came out and milked it to death. 9.33. Typical Parko steez.

Wiggles was ripping, but he couldn’t find the same waves Parko did. Threw a few admirable hacks, didn’t play it safe. Just couldn’t help the fact that Parkinson was the wave magnet.

Fuck… this is running long. Let’s hit fast forward.

Wilson/Andre was a tight one. Julian won by .07. I disagree. Wilson’s final wave, a 6.47, was overscored.

ADS beat Igarashi. Yep. Of course. Kanoa picks up his ninth thirteenth place result of the year.

Bourez easily beat Ibelli. Worth watching is his 9.7 with six and a half left. I don’t see it. But it’s so far beyond the score I’d drop I can only assume it looked different from the beach.

The next two heats were what we’ve been waiting for. JJF against the wild card Frederico Morais, then Medina and Flores.

Beyond his family and friends, no one cares how Morais does. We’re in a title race, let’s go John John.

Florence did the thing where he sits and waits for a good one. It’s a tactic that’s cost him some heats. But not today.

His first wave, with about fifteen minutes left, was a safe and sound, top to bottom flow, backside whack crack smack. Five turns, each more critical than the last. Mr Florence can do better, but he’s looking to win, not wow. Judges rewarded him with an 8.5, which he promptly backed up with a 6.67 he could’ve sleepwalked through.

Better’d the back-up on his next wave, 7.77. Left Morais needing a 9.9 to get through. Basically combo’ed, only 3 and a half minutes left.

John John’s through to round four. Up next are Medina and Flores. Number two in the world because of WSL corruption!

Normally I’d call this a walkthrough for the Brazilian. Flores doesn’t do well with tactics, melts down, beats himself. But when Flores is on he is fucking on!

Medina came out swinging. Deep, if short, barrel followed by a layback foam slash/reo thing. Looked cool, put him in the lead with a 7.17. Flores on the next three waves. His first two solid, but slightly off rhythm and off balance. Combined they put him in the lead, but they weren’t enough to confidently beat Medina. He’d need to do better.

Number three was better. Three hard backhand smacks, ended it with a long floater. The whitewash rebound nearly caught him, but he rode it out and solidified his lead with an even eight.

The nerves got to Medina. Fell on his next three waves. Redeemed himself a bit with a 6.77, then pulled into a worthless closeout.

An opportunity came through, solid left that might’ve given him the lead. Gabby consistently manages to find scores come crunch time. But Flores wasn’t having it. Used priority to stuff the Brazilian, cracked his way into a 7.07, extended his lead.

Six minutes left, Medina got a decent wave and surfed it very well. Fins out hit, grab rail spin-slide, nothing cutback, ended with a beautiful layback gouge. Probably not enough, but you never really know where the score’s gonna go.

Unfortunately for Gabe, it was only a 7. Flores picked up the next one using priority, linked his way into an even bigger lead. 7.7

With two and a half minute left Medina needed a 7.91. But it wasn’t there. He found a nice tube to blob turn combo. Threw his hands up, begging for the score. But it was nowhere near enough, no matter how hard he tried to sell the lie.

Medina’s out in round three! No title for you!

Honestly, I don’t even care about the rest. John John’s gonna win the title! I just know it.

Seabass knocked out Kerr.

Pupo beat Slater in a convincing fashion.

Coffin killed the Llama. Wonder if he regrets trading the birth of his kid for a third round exit?

Stu Kennedy squeaked by Italo.

Jordy smashed Otton to bits.

That’s it for the day. Hasta mañana.

Just in: Bob Martinez back on tour!

And Bruce Irons! And Scooby! It's a personality bonanza! A rebel tour!

The Rebel Tour dream has flitted before our eyes for many years now. Our brains understand what the ASP/WSL serve up. Best surfers. Best waves. But our hearts, oh our aching hearts, how they want more! How they want fire and spice, personality and sugar. Swears! Cusses!


Well guess what? Tomorrow begins the waiting period for a competition called Allianz Perfect Chapter.

It takes place over one day, at Pria do Norte in Portugal and is pura tube riding event and features surfers with fire and spice, with personality including:

Bruce Irons

Bob Martinez

Pedro Scooby

Damo Hobgood

Koa Rothman


You can bet your bottom dollar that fines will not be handed out willy-nilly. The the surfers will be able to have fun again!

Is this the start of something big? Something gorgeously light?

Let’s watch HERE and see!