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Beach Grit

Interview: “I Splashed Gabriel Medina!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Meet the man who "baptized" Gab Medina!

Heroes aren’t born they are made. They are made one hammer swing at a time. One CPR chest compression. One throw, one catch, one epic splash.

Oh you saw.

You saw Gabriel Medina one Saturday morning in San Clemente dropping in on a strong-jawed man. You saw the strong jawed man not give up but rather race down the line trying to catch up. You saw Gabriel’s air reverse and then you saw the splash. Maybe even felt the splash.

It was epic.

But let us speak with John from San Clemente. Let us ask him how it felt.

“Yeah, it was a pretty crowded day. Saturday morning just piled out. I was messing around on my log. Gab paddled out after I caught about three waves and just sat right behind me. I went and then he dropped in. I could tell he saw me. At first I thought I could catch up and spear him off his board. I’m kind of half back then he did that stupid air reverse and we both went down. When we popped up I laid into him. Checked him. He didn’t react at all when I shoved him and I was saying stuff in his face too. No reaction though.

“I lost my board and had to go in and get it. Had a feeling people were filming so when I paddled back out I thought I’ve got to blast him. I have lived in San Clemente my whole life. Everybody thought that clip was at Lowers but I never surf there. It was at T-Street. I was surfing the log that day but primarily I’m a bodyboarder. Funny, huh. I used to compete and still do from time to time. And with that whole thing… the shove and splash… I would never do that to one of the local guys. To the Gudangs or anyone. But you can’t just blow in and do that. Gabby’s got a reputation you know? You gotta baptize the savages.”

Shortly after the interview, John texted the following bullet points.

1.) I can’t believe the responses on social media!
2.) I identify mostly as a bodyboarder and resort to surfing as another challenge when the waves are too small to drag.
3.) I was purposely trying to catch up with him to go for the tackle, kinda bummed I didn’t…the clip would have been way cooler!
4.) When I kicked out and he didn’t land the rev, I shoved him and wrote him off, lost my board then paddled back out for the splash.
5.) Gabe played dumb the whole time. Said he thought I was going left.
6.) Surfing sucks.

Now, watch as Gabriel runs over a surfer at Lowers.

Watch Gabriel do air on man!

John. A hero from through eternity.

John. My favorite surfer.