Winner: Surfing’s best video game!

All bizarre but each captivating!

There is a new surf video game being released later this month for X-Box and Playstation called Surf World Series. It is described as:

An arcade-style representation of surfing, featuring monster waves to take on at a range of iconic locations.

These include places like Bell’s Beach, Australia and Waimea Bay, Hawaii, where you can tackle extreme waves, pulling off increasingly challenging tricks like kickflips, cutbacks and massive aerials, all while navigating towering tubes. Surf World Series features 44 solo challenges to complete, as well as online competition for up to 16 players in three different modes.

And looks like this:

Doesn’t the way the digital surfer slides around the wave seem so… typically odd? So… weirdly completely off? Like, the angle is all strange. Moving forward and sideways at the same time or something. How, in 2017, have video game makers not been able to capture even 3% of what surfing looks like?


But it did make me wonder, what is the best surfing video game of all time? I offer the following for your consideration:

T&C’s Wood & Water Rage:

Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer:

Transworld Surf:

Sunny Garcia Surfing:

Championship Surfer (for Dreamcast):

Which wins? Which is surfing’s best video game? And when BeachGrit releases BeachGrit Pro Shred Man! what features/waves/worlds/moves do you think it should include?

Vicious: Kanoa’s deadly shoulder!

Small Kanoa Igarashi lowers the boom!

If there is one thing we haven’t thought enough about over the last twenty-four hours it is the Kanoa Igarashi on Filipe Toledo interference call that tilted our entire globe on its axis.

How even could we even? There are enough storylines, enough subplots, enough twists and turns to fill an entire episode of Game of Thrones. Kanoa Igarashi, for example, is now $100,000.00 richer. Filipe Toledo now has an actual nemesis. A small, Huntington Beach-based Japanese boy.

If professional surfing was Game of Thrones who, do you think, would Kanoa Igarashi be? Would he be… Ramsay Bolton? Or… Joffrey Baratheon? Or… Missandei?

And who would Filipe Toldeo be? Would he be… Tormund Giantsbane? Or… Samwell Tarly? Or… Grey Worm?

He would totally be Grey Worm but let’s transition back to the interference call that tiled our entire globe on its axis.

I hadn’t seen it up close until I watched this:

Are you even kidding me? Brett Simpson’s father, you may or may know, played NFL football on defense, I believe, and regularly brought the hurt. Did you think small and Japanese Kanoa Igarashi had it in him?

Watch again. Watch how he lowers his delicate shoulder to pummel straight into Filipe. He wasn’t trying to surf the wave no. He was trying to take a man stone cold out.

And the plot thickens. This is reaching Laird x Menstruation levels!

tom curren
Tom likes the highest line!

Watch: Tom Curren rides finless in Hossegor!

Rescue board takeoffs to skim!

This is old. I ain’t gonna pretend. Made in February 2016.

It flew onto my radar just then by virtue of, I don’t know, my search history of old men roaming nude beaches?

Whatever it is, it’s a fine piece of short course cinema that documents the three-time world champion Tom Curren returning to the joint he made famous back in the eighties (took a wife there, too, Marie, their kid Leanne Curren rips) and sloshing around on ridiculous surf equipment. You know the sort, the busted-in-half rescue board Tom uses to catch the wave before abandoning and jumping into a deep squat on his skimmer. It’s all very kooky, but all very cool.

I mean, you’re mid-fifties, you nailed riding the usual sleds, why not shake it up? Tom is remarkably coherent in the clip, something that always surprises me, given the times I met him in the nineties and the most I ever got was a simian grunt and eyes so red I wanted to lick them back to health.

The waves, meanwhile, don’t it make you want to bivouac at one of these beaches for the summer?

Crime: Is Filipe’s season being stolen?

Will the winner of 2017's WSL crown forever wear an asterisk?*

Could it be argued, right at this moment, that Filipe Toledo is the best surfer in the world? I think it could! Oh of course there is a possible hole in his game (plus-size Teahupo’o) but otherwise… what?

He was magnificent at J-Bay, surfing the best wave in competitive history during a contest that saw nothing but A+ swell. He was set to win Huntington in what would charitably be called “below average” conditions.

He truly seems unstoppable. Doesn’t even the great John John Florence seem kind of yawn at this very moment in time? Doesn’t the whole rest of the tour feel a touch outclassed?

And yet he has been stopped. By the machinations. By the structure. By the rulez.

Let us quickly rewind the tape. Filipe came out of the gate on Australia’s Gold Coast surfing poorly and netting at 25th. He turned it around at the Drug Aware Pro with a 3rd and backed that up with a 5th at Bells and onto Rio where he was totally going to win until the judges screamed interference and he was bumped to 13th and also cancelled from Fiji.

But let us say the judges didn’t ding Filipe on a technicality in Rio. Let us say he won the event like he was totally going to and then traveled to Fiji. The waves that came forth during the very slow OuterKnown Pro were custom made for him and just imagine if he would have surfed them like he surfed the following J-Bay.

He would have won. And he did win J-Bay. Which means his score line would read 25th, 3rd, 5th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

The young man could have refused to surf Tahiti just for fun and still easily win Trestles, France, Portugal and which point Pipe would be nothing but his coronation.

Just yesterday he really should have won Huntington Beach’s U.S. Open of Surfing and of course it is not a championship tour event but still. He was called out. Denied $100,000.00 (is the purse still $100,000.00?) on an interference decision the great Brett Simpson lambasted publicly. Kanoa Igarashi went on to win but examine his picture holding the trophy.

Those sad eyes hidden by sunglasses, a disingenuous smile pulled taut. One limp finger half-heartedly raised to the sky.

Kanoa knows he was not, in fact, number 1 this day. He knows he was only saved by rules and regulations.

His face is an asterisk.

And don’t you think whoever wins the title this year, if it is not Filipe Toledo, might also forever carry an asterisk?

Let’s wait and see but I think Kanoa’s asterisk face is a clear and present possibility for the winner of the World Surf League’s 2017 season.

Wilko should probably practice his.

*If the winner is not Filipe Toledo

Filipe Toledo Kanoa Igarashi
I know the conditions and the left was going to fucking die out into a trenchcoat. It was going trenchcoat. The right was the only wave.

Simpo: “Change that fucking 1970 rulebook!”

An interview with back-to-back US Open winner Brett Simpson on the Toledo-Igarashi interference… 

When Brett Simpson opined on the WSL’s Instagram that its rule book needed refreshment after another interference hit on Filipe, well, I had to call.

Brett, who is thirty two years old, a back-to-back winner of the US Open and who lives a short drive north of HB pier, invites the WSL to re-examine its “fucking 1970 rulebook.”

“As a surfer,” says Brett, “the goal is to be as deep as you can to maximise the ride, whether it’s a ride or a left. I look at that wage, I surf there a bunch. I know the conditions and the left was going to fucking die out into a trenchcoat. It was going trenchcoat. The right was the only wave. Filipe got a seven something on the wave even after the collision. I understand that the rule book simplifies it for the judges. But even then, one guy gave it a double, another guy gave it to red (Filipe). It wasn’t conclusive.

“I’m sure Rich told ’em, ‘This is what the rule book states’ and it obviously makes it easy for him. The call was right as in the sense of what the fucking 1970 rulebook says. But as it’s 2017 I feel like, we’re looking at waves and we know which one is better, which wave has more of a score. That’s the most irritating part. Kanoa’s a smart competitive surfer, he’s my friend, and I’m not saying he’s wrong, but I look at the wave and Kanoa goes left and even if he did a huge air in the shorey he gets a five. Kanoa was up against the best surfer in the fucking world right now and probably the only way he was going to win was to get an interference.

“The waves are shitty, the one wave that was going to break was the right. The time has come for the rule book to say, look at this wave, well he was going from the deepest spot and was going to get the bigger score. But he gets the interference! Obviously Filipe will tell you one thing but in his gut he probably knew it was a remix of fricken Brazil.”

Watch again!