Live: WSL mini-comp at Surf Ranch!

A select few surfing rounds and heats this very minute!

I knew it was going to happen this weekend. A heavy buzz hovering just over the heads of the people at the Hurley Pro. To them, to the hard-working, blue-collar, salt of the earth, it was the simply the Africanized trash bees singing The Internationale. But to me. I knew.

I knew a select few World Surf League professionals, Filipe Toledo included, were going to blast up to Lemoore, California somewhere between Friday the 15th and Sunday the 17th. And why a waiting period for a wave that neutralizes God? Because the Hurley Pro. In case it finished early then Kelly’s Creation would whir to life early. In case it finished late then late.

Nobody in power would tell me directly but nobody in power would deny and there are too many people on the fringes so it was eventually confirmed that today, right now, there they all are, ten or twelve or so professional WSL surfers. In the water. Surfing a competition.

I begged those in power to let me tag along. “The surf press isn’t the enemy!” I insisted. “The people have a right to know!” I shouted. But was rebuffed. So I said, “Screw you bastards” and thought about driving up anyhow and flying a drone over the pool to broadcast live back to you. The people. But then was told that it is impossible to fly a drone close enough because there is an airport too nearby and the FBI would come chasing. So I thought about renting a cherry picker to sit in an almond grove and beam what is happening over the fence to you. The people.

But then I thought again. If I had a multi-million dollar invention that represented a possible future of professional surfing and had vicious competitors gnashing at the gate I wouldn’t want the first real try at competition to be public either. What if the waves don’t work right? What if all the professionals surf each wave the exact same? Professional surfers are smart. They know that judges love 75% safety and so what if each takes off, does a wrap, gets barreled, comes out, does a little jam off the top then squirts into the flats?

What if it is super boring?

What if it is even more exciting than even the most optimistic can envision and high bleachers must be built immediately to seat the masses who will gnash at the gate?

Yes, I would want a dress rehearsal too. I would want a proper opportunity to kick the tires. And even though a first-ever surf competition is happening today, right now and even though I should be there as an honest critic I’ll give them this one.

But not another. Next time I’m either in the stands or in a cherry picker for you. The people.


Jordy Smith: “Didn’t come for haircut!”

But should he have? Should he have gotten his hair cut in San Clemente?

Since when did Jordy Smith, Big Jord Smith, 198 lbs of Boom Jay Smith, become the second best interview in professional surfing? Oh Mason Ho is undoubtedly the best, having cemented his legacy with this gem right here…

…but Jordy! Who knew?

I can’t remember all the other one-liners he has delivered so far this year in his post heat wraps but you do. Right? Can you please list them below? BeachGrit is now a communist paradise in case you didn’t know. The people. A workers utopia where you get the honor and privilege of doing most the work for zero pay.

And now I can’t find the video but Jordy Smith told Rosie Hodge, during the Felipe Toledo vs. John Florence semi, “I didn’t come here for a haircut.”

I remember hearing it as I was racing toward Lower Trestles to be with you for the finals. I remember hearing Rosie ask Jordy if he was happy to make it to the finals, or something while John John was surfing against Filipe, and Jordy said, “Well duh, bruh-ha. I didn’t come here for a haircut.”

What do you think it means in South African?

Like some very crass double entendre? Do the people use the word “entendre?”

But also. Jordy Smith totally should have come to San Clemente for a haircut. Have you seen that thing lately? I did and up close.

And yeah. A haircut would have been lots better than second place.


"Ok team... squirt on three. Except you Rosie."
"Ok team... squirt on three. Except you Rosie."

WSL vocabulary: The rise of “squirt!”

squirty, squirted, squirter, squirting... it's professional surfing's word du jour!

I didn’t get the opportunity to watch much of the Hurley Pro webcast, seeing that I was standing in the dirt with the people and their hungry children, but when I did I was guaranteed to hear one word.

Squirt!

And guaranteed to hear it in all of its many splendored grammatical forms.

“Barton, what did you think of that ride?”

“It was squirtingly good, mate!”

“He squirted over the section…”

“Squirting down the line…”

“Squirts into the flats…”

“That board looks like a real squirter…”

“He was going for something a little more squirty…”

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I could go on all day but what wonderful rehabilitation Ron, Turps, Pete, Pottz n The Razz have wrought. Since 2006 the word “squirt” had come to mean two things and two things only. A fizzy, fruity soda pop (for anyone over 40) and female sexual sexual ejaculation (for anyone under 50).

Now it is also a multi-use surfing verb, adjective, adverb and maybe even pronoun. Let’s go squirting everyone!


Which disco floater soaps your sex nest? Filipe at Lowers, Mason at Backdoor?

Disco Floater: Who did it best?

Filipe Toledo, Mason Ho or its inventor Joel Parkinson?

Earlier today, and yes you saw, Filipe Toledo capped a week of zombie dominance at Lowers with an easy and playful win at the Hurley Pro.

Even the uncontrollably palsied hands of judges, punching nines instead of sixes, for a one-turn wave of Jordy Smith, couldn’t nibble away the rose glow.

His fuzzy jaws black with a week’s growth of beard, Filipe’s eyes glowed phosphorescently in his teasing tan face.

At 2:45 in the clip below, Filipe rides it tough and talks that sweet nasty shit with a disco floater, the manoeuvre popularised first by Joel Parkinson and, lately, Mason Ho.

Watch.

Now watch Mason’s version.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZGJU2djlWU/?hl=en&taken-by=beach_grit

Who does it better?

And who remembers what film Joel Parkinson goose-stepped in?

Was it the dog film that wasn’t very good and that killed the career of Ellis Ericson?

Or some sort of Billabong edit?

(Visibility on this thanks to the wonderful Devon Howard)


Jordy Smith
Jordy basically safety surfed his way though the quarters and semis and finals and he was almost rewarded with the highest gift in the land for so doing. The WSL needs to figure this out because 75% surfing is going to be a Chinese water torture death. They have to figure some way to incorporate a reward for risk. Like gymnastics. Degree of difficulty being factored in alongside makes and misses. | Photo: WSL

See: Jordy’s “miracle” nine pointer!

A near perfect score for one hiccup, one full-buttocked bash and one hiccup…

Whew. The elixir of the people has worn off and I’ve returned to my comfortably cynical and virtually heartless position. Hello, again!

And can we discuss Jordy Smith’s nine-point wave in the Hurley Pro final against the new best surfer in the world Filipe Toledo?

It was a 9.

A 9.

A 9 for one hiccup, one full-buttocked bash and one hiccup.

9.

And what the hell?

I understand that the judges are under enormous pressure, generally do very well, being critical is easy etc. etc.

But what the hell?

Jordy basically safety surfed his way though the quarters and semis and finals and he was almost rewarded with the highest gift in the land for so doing. The WSL needs to figure this out because 75% surfing is going to be a Chinese water torture death. They have to figure some way to incorporate a reward for risk. Like gymnastics. Degree of difficulty being factored in alongside makes and misses.

Conspiracists might suggest that Jordy’s 9 was the judges punishing Filipe for storming the tower and shouting swears some three events ago. They might also suggest that a Jordy Smith championship is being preordained.

Are you a conspiracist?

Or do you think doing one turn on a head-high wave is worthy of a 9?