Amid rain squalls and waves that were a confused labyrinth of mulberry-stained corners, Filipe Toledo won, and won easily enough, the Hawaiian Pro at Haliewa.
Oh Filipe was like a Bantu running amuck, a unicorn rutting in a flower bed. Stretched with adrenalin, Filipe extended his power over nature, buckling his board although still riding out of an exaggerated frontside huck for an almost nine.
“Wiggolly (Dantas) looked at it, he had priority and he didn’t like it because it was kind of a close out wave,” said Filipe. “Once I hit the lip and I felt my board was broken, I heard like a really crazy noise and I was like, ‘No!’ and did the whole rotation and landed on the foam. I was just super scared my board would be separated but thank God the board was pretty solid still and I could land that air.”
San Clemente’s Griffin Colapinto, who is nineteen years old and will be a welcome addition to the 2018 world champion tour (a dark horse for the Lemoore title, since you ask), never ceased to believe it was possible for Filipe to be overhauled, although this didn’t happen.
The other two finalists, Wiggolly Dantas and Michel Bourez, groped for waves, but looked clumsy compared to Filipe and Griffin.
Filipe goes into event number two, the Vans World Cup at Sunset, leading the Triple Crown ratings.
My heart broke today when it was revealed that the Hurley Pro will no longer be on the World Surf League’s schedule. It broke for you, it broke for me, it broke for we, the people. The hard working, salt-of-the-earth, sunburned-yet-undaunted, professional-surf-loving people.
You, of course, recall my revelation a few short months ago whilst standing on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone. I was there, just ready to dip under the VIP canopy where chicken ceasar wraps and Kettle chips lined the finest pressboard tables, where Michelob Ultra was served by the magnum, when a still, small voice whispered to my soul.
“Forgo the luxurious things for in fine-ish spun linens and laminated lanyards and exclusively colored wristbands you will find no respite. No matter how many gently flavored waters you drink, no matter how many high-ish end granola bars you eat. Get thee to the people, standing, watching, in the sun, in the hot-as-hell sun. Feel their heartbeat. Carry their burdens and you will find meaning.”
I heeded the call, much to my own surprise, and stood near a trashcan filled with watermelon husks and Africanized bees, sand uncomfortably in Louis Vuitton drivers, in the sun, but it all made sense. The people are the reason for this professional surfing life. The people are the reason I slave over a Bluetooth keyboard (having drowned my regular keyboard in Booker’s Kentucky Straight). The people are all that matter and Lower Trestles is the perfect place for them since they can park for free in some far-flung San Clemente neighborhood, walk to Carl’s Jr. and get the Famous Star meal deal, then walk to Lowers to stand watching professional surfing and fill their hearts with Gabriel Medina all for the cost of a Famous Star meal deal.
The Hurley Pro was the people’s contest. It was for us and now it is no more. Cut. Fired. Laid off. Replaced by a wave tank so elite not even Tesla’s Elon Musk nor Apple’s Steve Jobs has ever surfed it. The very embodiment of riche. The very definition of robotization.
But who is to blame? Who will feel the wrath of the people’s ire?
I need more time here but don’t worry. I am your Cesar Chavez. I am your Nelson Mandela. I am your Dalai Lama. I will get to the bottom of this so we can protest n shit.
Earlier today, I spoke to Montreal-based Pornhub’s VP Corey Price.
(Actually, no I didn’t. Emailed the questions. They just landed hence stilted tone.)
BeachGrit: Why’s Pornhub getting into the action-sports game? Is it a Red Bull sorta play? A Pornhub sports channel?
Chris: Ultimately, while we want to always be known as the leading adult entertainment platform in the world, we also want people to recognize us for our endeavors outside of strictly adult entertainment. In the past, we’ve successfully involved ourselves in fashion, gaming, philanthropy, music and sexual education. We’re always on the lookout for our next venture, and encourage people to reach out to with any ideas they might have.
Tell me about the sponsorship.
The athlete we sponsor will receive all-new Pornhub branded uniforms and occasionally be promoted via our social channels. It’s a worthwhile opportunity, especially for those fledgling teams that are struggling to get their name out there.
How much change are you throwing at sport?
This is a considerable endeavor on our part to help out fledgling athletes who have yet to catch their big break.
If we chose a surfer to be the next Pornhub athlete, we hope they would continue to crush waves and become the next Kelly Slater.
As part of the deal, do the athletes get a premium pass? If the athlete is amendable to the idea, might they even star in a Pornhub-produced film?
We’d be happy to provide them with a free subscription to Pornhub Premium. Heck, it might give them that competitive edge to go out and conquer that 20-foot swell. As for starring in a Pornhub film, that’s not possible. However, they can make their own amateur film on their own time and upload it to Pornhub! We have a burgeoning amateur community.
What do you think a surfer can give PornHub? I noticed a photo of the Hawaiian Dusty Payne on the page. Is he sponsored already?
Dusty is not sponsored by us. It was just a picture we put on there that we thought apropos. If we chose a surfer to be the next Pornhub athlete, we hope they would continue to crush waves and become the next Kelly Slater.
As for starring in a Pornhub film, that’s not possible. However, they can make their own amateur film on their own time and upload it to Pornhub! We have a burgeoning amateur community.
If you really want to push the surf angle, let’s partner up. Our audience gives terrific engagement.
I’m all ears!
Readers! What does a BeachGrit-Pornhub partnership look like?
Is it, as someone suggested earlier, a shared house on the North Shore, a joint that would make the fabled Volcom house look like a Mormon creche?
The World Surf League released a fine promotional video for the final event of the year, The Pipeline Masters, earlier this week with John John, Jordy, Julian and Gabriel speaking about what it takes/will take to win the this year’s title. Jordy, for example, says, “Believing in yourself…” whilst looking like a serial killer.
Julian says, “Never giving up…” Gabriel says, “Brazil shshu fashoo…” and John John says, “My backyard.”
His backyard! Pipeline!
And of course you have heard by now that the League is shifting their focus away from Hawaii, preferring to end not next year’s tour but the following year’s in Indonesia instead. This, to me, is the worst idea ever. Hawaii is the grandest dame in our surfing world, Stab magazine and its infernal anti-Hawaiian sentiment be damned, and a tour that does not end there feels hollow. The League is pushing hard on the “Hawaii Decides the Title” narrative, even launching a stand alone website (wsltitlerace.com).
Ending each year on the North Shore just makes sense. Beginning on the North Shore feels like a rejection of our faith and why are the powers doing this? What problem does it solve? Is it simply a slap at the Hawaiians who agitate each year for more wildcards? I’ll get to the bottom of this but in the meantime watch Jordy Smith look like a serial killer.
Generally speaking, I get a kick out of surfing. It don’t take much.
The cliched thrill of the first duck-dive, the cold water instantly reviving my spirits more than any coffee could. The satisfaction of a wave lanced to the best of my ability, maybe an air almost ridden out of. Feeling my back foot pushed into the kick of my tail-pad in a turn. A stranger commenting favourably on a tube. Driving home in the dark with my shirt off and the sunroof down after a glassy afternoon melts into night.
It doesn’t always end like that, of course.
Often, I’ll spend a torrid forty-five minutes dodging thrown boards, being yelled at, dropped-in on, and all for a few seconds of wave time.
Sometimes it’s that performance plateau you just can’t climb over, and which we debated, recently, here.How dreary and old it becomes when you make the same mistake two thousand times over.
The whole notion that your worst surf is always better than the best day at work is more a comment on the sad reality of most of our jobs than the perfection of surfing. If you’re in a cubicle, your only friend a dried-out succulent next to your beige PC, and pecking at electronic spreadsheets like a cage-chicken at its artificial feed, I hear ya.
And, so I wonder, when you closely examine your surfing life, does it make you, mostly, happy?
In a majority of instances, do you exit the water with your spirits aloft?
Or does surfing give you the shits more often than not and you continue to surf out of habit, and maybe identity?
There’s a moment in the short film below (fifty-two seconds in) where Tanner Gudauskas says, “This is… the sickest thing ever.”
Is that a comment on perhaps a man whose interests in life are too narrow?
Or is surfing that damn good that a crummy river wave can turn you into the happiest man (or girl, of course, hello Jen See, I loved your story yesterday) alive?