World number 1 delivers stunning rebuke of wave pool!
Yesterday’s Pipeline would not have been considered “ideal” by the lofty standards the North Shore’s premier wave delivers time and time again but I do believe it was one of the more entertaining round 1s this season. Of course there were the various storylines, Josh Kerr’s last event in a remarkable professional career, Kelly’s return, the title race, but mostly there was the wave, shifting this way and that, opening then closing, keeping the competitors on their toes.
The sand, as the announcers reminded us time and time again, is off for this time of year do an atypical early season that failed to distribute it evenly across the reef and so odd things happened in the water but how fun was it to watch? Knowing that traditional Pipe tactics no longer applied? I thought very fun and John John Florence agrees, telling the World Surf League’s Chris Mauro, “I feel like a little kid again doing this event, just getting to surf Pipe with no one out. I was just getting so many waves like, ‘This one might barrel!’ I like it when it’s like this, it changes it up, a peak here and peak there, you can kind of sneak underneath ones.”
I read the quote and realized instantly it was a subtle yet stunning rebuke of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. Again, “I like it when it’s like this, it changes it up, a peak here and peak there, you can kind of sneak underneath ones.”
Variety. The Hand of God. Chance. Knowledge. Skill. It was John John’s reading of waves during his heat was wildly entertaining yet that element would disappear entirely when perfect ones are pumped out time and time again. When the only variable is physical ability. I suppose, at next year’s Surf Ranch event, we will see how much pleasure the uncontrollable ocean brings to professional surfing but I think it is a lot. I think maybe even half the fun.
Well, tomorrow or maybe the next day will see Gabriel Medina vs. Dusty Payne, I think, and it’ll be very exciting. We will also see the world’s 4th favorite surfer Frederico Morais.