And why John John will win the title, according to the stats…
Yesterday, the second-best red-haired surfer in the world, Dusty Payne, fiddled his way to first place at the Pipe Trials.
You can read about that miracle here, although the story will have you groping for tissues. Did you know, for example, the episode of Dusty and the stolen panties at LAX and… oh you have to read!
Today, another potential miracle is revealed.
How Kelly Slater, who is two months away from his forty-sixth-birthday (the same age as American president Johnny Kennedy when Oswald’s bullet rearranged his skull) could requalify for the 2018 tour and therefore keep the two injury wildcards, which will be announced the day after Pipe, for tour minnows.
What’s Kelly gotta do? Make the final. That’s it.
Miss half the season, appear dramatically on stage in the closing act, and liberate the last spot on tour. It ain’t a stretch. Kelly has won the event seven times, the first in 1992, three times in a row (94, 95 and 96) and, most recently, in 2013, aged forty-one.
But you come to Pipe to dump a crown on a world champ, yes?
“The data consistently points to John. Sure, he hasn’t won the event yet, but he dominates almost every conditions stat that is relevant: lefts, reefs, all wave heights. He has a far greater average heat score (AHS) for the season than the rest of the tour, and his win rate of 75% is more than 5% above Medina. The only significant areas that put Medina above John are average place result, and recent form (Medina hasn’t lost a heat since Trestles).
Given that John only needs to make a few more heats to sew it up, the numbers definitely favour him.”
“Jordy and Julian are statistically fucked, but, hey, reality has a way of giving historical stats the finger so we will wait and see.”
Statistically fucked? I haven’t laughed this much since the neighbour’s child fell out of my fig tree!
Do you remember that hot, yet fringe, rumor from just months ago wherein Kelly Slater was going to surf in the Portugal contest? Even though he broke his foot just months prior in multiple places? A fine one to be sure and basically correct because yesterday it was revealed that Cocoa Beach’s first son is going to be surfing in the Pipeline Masters! Florida Today first reported:
Less than five months after breaking five bones in his right foot, surfing legend Kelly Slater is in the official lineup for this coming week’s Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons contest, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Slater, who sustained the multiple fractures while free-surfing between heats at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, in mid-July, and required plates and screws in a surgery later that month, has tested his skills at least three times, most recently in his hometown of Cocoa Beach, at the beach behind Coconuts during the National Kidney Foundation Team Challenge two weeks ago.
“Anytime he can get out on the water, he is willing to test it,” said Phil Salick, originator of the NKF Labor Day Surf Festival, along with his late brother, Rich. “He absolutely, definitely wants to surf Pipeline. Of course, there’s a big difference on the pressure of the water on his foot at Pipeline (perhaps 10- to 20-foot waves) and 4-foot offshore” here.
Are you going to quickly reshuffle your fantasy team or do you not believe that the 11 x world champ has any gas left in the tank?
Do you remember Dusty Payne? Do you remember when he stole the Modern Collective show and when he performed almost passably on the world championship tour? Do you? Well guess what?
Dusty Payne is back.
It started this year with a pornhub sponsorship and may very well end with a Pipeline Masters seeing as he just won the trials and is now in the main event. Who would have seen that coming last year? Not me, I’ll tell you. I’ve been fairly harsh to Dusty Payne writing five years ago in the award nominated Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell:
I walk and nod at friends and deflect glares of surfers I have burned. I deflect the glare of Dusty Payne, a Maui surfer with a horrible attitude and Mormon father. Dusty, like most island kids, has been coming to the North Shore ever since he first started showing promise at home on Maui, and so he is comfortable in Pipeline no matter the size. Pipeline is it. Pipeline is the only thing and it matters not which country, which state, or which island a surfer is from, he comes to Pipeline as soon as he is able. This is partly because of the way Pipeline breaks, perfectly and very close to shore, making it scenically dynamic. Partly because it has claimed more lives than any other wave and has the mystique of a beautiful killer. Partly because it is the most holy admixture of science and magic. Everything surfing means is wrapped up in Pipeline.
Dusty has red hair that has been bleached to red-white by the sun but his redheaded attitude has not been bleached. It is fiery. I stood next to his father once on the Gold Coast, after I wrote a profile on Dusty. He looked at me when I said I wrote for Stab magazine, glared, and said, “Some writers only ever want to push their own thing. They have an agenda and they don’t care about the person they’re interviewing.” And I answered, “Yeah? Who are you talking about?” And he was talking about me but was too embarrassed to say anything so just responded, “Some writers. I don’t know.” In Dusty’s profile I wrote that he stole a woman’s panties out of her suitcase while waiting to check in for a flight at LAX. It wasn’t true but it was much grander than the way Dusty really lives. I forever want surfers to embrace the cinema of their lives too but they often refuse, falling back on cliché. And so, sometimes, I force them to live big by writing what they should be doing instead of what they actually are doing.
You should buy it here as a Christmas present and also bet on Dusty Payne to win the Pipeline Masters. I’ll be in the front row cheering him on.
The youngest of "first family of surfing" shares his art!
My surname, as you know, is Smith and it comes with zero baggage or maybe just a little. There was once a Smith named Joseph and he started Mormonism. There is also a Smith named Sam and he sings very whiny songs. Other than Joseph and Sam, though, the Smith is easy to carry. Paskowitz, on the other hand, is not. You are aware of Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, the Stanford educated M.D. who traveled around the world with his large brood surfing and generally living an idealistic life.
You must read more on the Encyclopedia of Surfing but Doc, his wife and nine children soon became known as “the first family of surfing.” The youngest, Joshua Ben-Paskowitz, has led his own fascinating life, fronting one-hit-wonder band The Flys, beating a heroin addiction and all along making art.
I saw one of his prints on Facebook, recently, and it captivated so I called to ask about. He said:
My family is a little bit crazy. My dad is the coolest, most beautiful amazing conflicted loving character you could imagine. The good guy and the bad guy all at once.
I’ve been drawing my whole life, in our family we’d spend a lot of the time in the middle of nowhere. My dad and brothers cared about surfing, I was always drawn to the arts, started getting into comic books at five, six. Heavy metal mags when I was in the single digits. Used that as a conduit for the impossible to understand dynamics of my life growing up.
My life is about, my art is about preserving my dad’s legacy. Reminding people of characters that would have been overlooked. I really want to try to bring art into surfing and develop a contemporary or fine art style around surfing. I’m really grateful for Herbie and Dibi and what they’re doing. Surf is mystical and art is a conduit for that. I’m just trying to develop that as much as I can and be honest to who I am.
With Hanukkah in just five days and Christmas soon after don’t you think a print would make a fantastic gift? I do. Buy here!
Two places behind Portugal's Frederico Morais. Conspiracy?
The Surfer Poll awards were held last night and I am sad I wasn’t there. As much as I chuckle at the surfer fashions and the interior of Turtle Bay and the perpetually awkward master of ceremonies, the Surfer Poll is the only night we have. It is our Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Teen Choice Awards rolled into one.
Next year I will go but this year I was duty bound to book and to film. And to snidely laughing up my tattoo sleeve at Stab trying to be edgy by allegedly microdosing acid.
But let’s get on to some real controversy shall we? Might we? The Surfer Poll, as you know, is the apex of the event. Here we learn which surfers, as voted by you, are the most popular in the entire world. Past winners include Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and John John Florence. No surprise. This year the winner was John John Florence and Kelly Slater was second. Frederico Morais was fourth and Gabriel Medina was sixth.
Frederico Morais was fourth and Gabriel Medina was sixth?
Now, I’ve been on a bit of a conspiracy kick lately but let us examine the facts. Frederico has 64,000 Instagram followers. Gabriel has near 6 million. Frederico has Portugal (10 million) and Gabriel has Brazil (210 million). Frederico has… a nice top turn and Gabriel has… nice armpits. But really. Do you think that more people voted for Frederico than Gabriel? Do you really think so?