Video also featuring Seth Moniz...
I wasn’t allowed to say this at Surfing, but now I will scream it from the wobbly, little foot-stool that is Beach Grit: American professional surfing is hurting, bad. Four guys on Tour bad. One of them forty-five bad. No title threats bad.
Of course this is not considering the Aloha Archipelago. Those folks don’t identify as Americans and, for better or worse, we live in an era of self-identification validation, regardless of how anatomically incorrect or obscure these perceptions of self may be. But who am I to judge? As long as they’re not hurting anyone, I say let people be themselves, or even better, be happy.
Most public encouragement of these trans-bi-pseudo-something individuals comes from a place of empathy but in the Hawaiian case it is a direct result of fear. Fear of a five-foot-five Pennsylvania-Jewish man’s fists. And so John John and Seabass and Seth Moniz will wave King Kamehameha’s banner until who knows when, leaving the American surfing hive without a hint of honey.
Wha–wha–wha–whaaaaat? Is that… no it can’t be… it is! Griffin Colapinto, returning home with a pile of pollen big enough to feed the whole colony! Let’s gorge!
Correct me and you’re wrong, but G’s surfing has an undeniable stench of the late Andy Irons. His arms, his power, and his willingness to attack steep sections with commitment and vigor are something you rarely find in a young surfer. Remember his Haleiwa Hail-Mary? This clip affirms that it wasn’t a fluke, and that he’s happy to throw techy moves on hefty sections. Plus he finaled at this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro, so he’s no slouch in the tube either (though he is a tad hunchy).
Deep in my heart I believe that Griffin has (mainland) America’s best chance at a title in the next decade. Despite his relatively low-key amateur career, I think Griff’s more naturally-talented than Kolohe, Connor, and Kanoa and seems to have a good mind for competition, despite being a total goofball. All of this combines to make him not only a title threat, but one of my favorite surfers to watch.
P.S. Aussie friends, Griffin is “heaaaaaps” better than Ethan Ewing. That World Juniors final was a fluke.