Discover the the squads, the teams, the mini-federations that surround your favourite pros!
I don’t want to wrap you up in too much expectation for this episode of Peter King’s #TourNotes. It ain’tTaxi Driver. It ain’t A Dog Day Afternoon. It ain’t even on the same scale as King’s earlier beats. Emblematic, perhaps, of a general drift among filmmakers to throw anything live.
But, a contest swings around and you want to know what’s happening on the ground. As King says, “I’ve been around the tour, I know it. I was on tour for three-and-a-half years, back when girls wanted to hang with Shaun Tomson and Rabbit Bartholomew and were 35 years old and wore high-waisted bikinis, do cocaine and all those things I didn’t know about. And what do I remember about my time on the tour? It isn’t the heats. I wanna show the fun. I want to show the silly little conversations.”
This episode, mercifully, is saved by Matt Wilkinson, the former world number one, and his suave virtuosity in front of the camera.
He started this film very many years ago, he calls it the “Boyhood of surfing” referencing the famous Linklater film that took 11 years to make. He references incidents in Sunny’s life, like showing up late for his Pipeline heat in 2009. All he had to do is paddle out and he would have won the Triple Crown. But he didn’t show.
I happened to be on the beach that day too and watched Sunny fight over his singlet with Randy Rarick and smiled. Not at Sunny’s bummer but at his rage. There was enough spark to light surfing for a decade and that is what we need more than anything else.
We need Sunny Garcia!
The film will be released soon and obviously much watch but in the meantime come and listen to its director. Come bathe in a sea of personality.
Oh, and count how many dead people appear in the film!
Rory Parker's searching analysis from day one of the Moe Rip Curl Pro…
Day one, round one, Peniche Pro, Portugal is in the history books. Theoretically. Not much went down that could actually end up in one.
Good surf. Not great, but still damn rippable. Plenty of punchy air sections, the occasional solid little drainer. I know I’m spoiled living in Hawaii. Doesn’t really look all that inviting to me. But it’d be all time for most of you poor fuckers.
My alcohol-fueled dreams are typically pretty strange. Last night was no exception. Elves can’t ride on star ships, apparently. My subconscious mind was very concerned by that. Had to evacuate the planet. But we couldn’t bring the elves. There was more to it, but I’ve only been up for a few minutes and already the details are slipping away…
Peniche time is eleven hours ahead of Kauai time, so the heats ran while I was locked into a drunken slumber. My alcohol-fueled dreams are typically pretty strange. Last night was no exception. Elves can’t ride on star ships, apparently. My subconscious mind was very concerned by that. Had to evacuate the planet. But we couldn’t bring the elves. There was more to it, but I’ve only been up for a few minutes and already the details are slipping away…
My mild hangover doesn’t mesh well with wading through the entire day. That’s a lot of surfing. Twelve damn heats. So I’ll just cherry pick some highlights. In no particular order.
First off, the two men battling for the title both took a round one loss. Terrible for a campaign that’s coming down to the wire.
Medina got spanked by a wildcard. Grabbed two solid scores to start the heat and grab the lead, but wasn’t able to improve on either wave. He tried, heaved his carcass off the lip of a few solid sections. But just couldn’t land it.
Huge result for Frederico Morais. Not good for Gabby. He faces Callinan in round two, which should be a walk-through for the Brazilian. But you never really know. Everyone on tour rips, and winning often requires a little luck.
John John didn’t do much better. Rosy says he could possibly win the title at this event. I’ll take her word for it. Anything that spills from those honeyed lips must be true.
The tow-head kid from Hawaii surfed like shit. By his standards. One of those sessions where you just…forget how to ride a wave. Stance slightly off, out of rhythm, falling on standard turns.
I mean, I’d killed someone, literally, to surf as well as JJ on an off day. But it still landed him in third place, with Jadson Andre and the events second wild card, Miguel Blanco, standing on his head.
John John meets Blanco again in round two. Like with Medina/Callinan, it should be an easy win for the current tour leader. But wild cards are scary draws. Love to play spoilers. Crush dreams.
Wilko continued his slow slide to the bottom. Abysmal showing against Callinan and Pupo.
Wilko’s up against Flores in round two. If he surfs the way he did in round one it’ll be an easy victory for the Frenchman. And Flores desperately needs a good result. Without one, maybe two, he’ll be gone next year. I think. As I’ve stated many times, math is hard when you don’t want to bother with it.
Is it even possible for Flores to re-qualify? Can someone tell me?
Slater easily dispatched Stu Kennedy and Banting with a sick forehand full roter to flats stomp. Followed it up with a gorgeous backside pig-dog drainer. Came out with the mini ‘poof’ spit. Kelly’s still got the gift, even if it doesn’t show up as often as it used to.
Speaking of gifts, the wife’s birthday is just around the corner. Always a stressful time for me, because I can’t learn a lesson. Each year she tells me what she wants, but I insist on wasting hours poring over the million options I can surprise her with. Without fail she says, “But I wanted x.”
This year will be different. She’s getting exactly what she asked for. A three day stay-cation at one of the cabins in Kokee, plus one other thing. I’m also toying with the idea of picking up one of the make-your-own-dildo kits off Amazon. I get a real kick out of the idea of a black replica of my dong. But if I’m being totally honest I’m one hundred percent positive that the thing will eventually end up in my ass. I’m more than comfortable enough with my own sexuality to handle that, but I’m also dead certain that she’d eventually get wasted at a dinner party and tell everyone that she fucks me with my own cock. Which would be awkward, I think.
One neat moment was Alejo Muniz’s kerrupt flip, a poorly named maneuver if there ever was one, against none other than Kerrzy himself.
I get a real kick out of the idea of a black replica of my dong. But if I’m being totally honest I’m one hundred percent positive that the thing will eventually end up in my ass. I’m more than comfortable enough with my own sexuality to handle that, but I’m also dead certain that she’d eventually get wasted at a dinner party and tell everyone that she fucks me with my own cock.
It may have been the heat of the day. While Ace Buchan struggled to find a score, Kerr and Muniz went back and forth with some very good surfing. Kerr ended up with an 8.33 for a safety grab frontside 360 aerial and a 7.57 for a fairly deep, but fairly quick, backhand tube.
Muniz came at him with the aforementioned kerrupt, which he linked into a snap, for a 7.83. Then a frontside blow-tail frontside grab rev for 7.93.
Very close heat. Kerr snagged the ‘w’ by .14. Personally, I’d’ve gone the other way. I really like it when a guy lands a decent air and keeps surfing, rather than banging off the end section. I think that should add a bit to the score. Not a huge amount, but enough that Muniz would’ve skipped round two.
My opinion may be colored by the fact that I can’t even fathom throwing an alley-oop while grabbing kerrupt. My joints scream just thinking about it. But there was once a time when I could throw frontside revs until the cows came home. Hardly ever actually landed them, but I can envision doing so.
One last moment worth mentioning, Italo Ferreira’s 8.67 in the final heat of the day. It’s a real pet peeve of mine, when the judges reward a guy for pumping past a bunch of sections before boosting at the end. It was a magnificent air, to be sure, but I can’t help but feel there was more than 1.33 between what Italo did and actually surfing the wave to perfection. Italo’s on my fantasy team, though, so I’m not too bothered.
All in all, a decent day of surfing. Swell forecast shows a little bump on the way. Hopefully tomorrow, or twelve hours from now, really, it’ll be even better.
Daddy swings doors on the opening day of the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal!
Legacy means something to me. And, so, every time I see Kelly Slater in that little plywood locker room getting ready for a heat in Europe and it’s not eight feet, oh, my lips just turn down. I can imagine the embarrassed smiles as kids give the old man the once over then turn away with a dismissive flick of their locks.
Every year, the organisation upon whose success he is almost solely responsible for, sends out their champ in conditions that’d have a grommet event looking around for options: France, with an outgoing tide tearing through a two-foot lineup; Portugal, high-tide and weak. A malevolent drain on a master’s magic.,
And earlier today on the opening day of the Moe Rip Curl Pro Portugal?
Three-foot closeouts so difficult, Filipe Toledo caught fourteen waves and couldn’t land a thing. So when Kelly paddles out among the strewn round one corpses of John John Florence (beaten by Jadson Andre), Julian Wilson (beaten by Kai Otton), Wilko (beaten by Miguel Pupo), Gabriel Medina (beaten by Frederico Morais) and Filipe Toledo (Wiggolly Dantas), well, you’d hope he had enough beige foundation at home to cover the inevitable bruises.
And, then, this. I was so impressed I thought I might spontaneously explode.
“I was trying to find a peak down to the South I thought I saw a couple rights, I pulled in a couple of barrels on my first three waves but I realized this wasn’t going to work unless it was a straight peak and no wall,” said Kelly. “Then I saw that right and knew there wasn’t much in it except for an air so I took as much speed as I could and hit it as late as I could and that one stuck. I took a few days for myself in France and feel relaxed now.”
Watch the post-show here!
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.43, Nat Young (USA) 11.77, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.40
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.76, Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.94, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.23
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.30, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.94, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.37
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.34, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.20, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 7.63
Heat 5: Frederico Morais (PRT) 11.37, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.76, Conner Coffin (USA) 8.03
Heat 6: Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.20, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 11.17, John John Florence (HAW) 9.94
Heat 7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.94, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.53, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.00
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.83, Matt Banting (AUS) 10.77, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.63
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.90, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.76, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.84
Heat 10: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.17, Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.50, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 11.24
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.83, Davey Cathels (AUS) 12.66, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.66
Heat 12: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.83, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.27
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Miguel Blanco (PRT)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 7: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 10: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 11: Nat Young (USA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)