American Exceptionalism continues to suffer!
We are, at this very moment, at the halfway mark of the World Surf League’s 2018 season and it has had something for almost everyone, don’t you agree? Something for those who love high performance, for those who love wild seas, for those who love sharky lineups and public relations disasters. Something for Australians and Brazilians and…. well, I guess there is nothing for continental North Americans.
Nothing at all.
The bummer was signaled at the beginning, when the World Surf League stripped continental North America of its only real event, the Hurley Pro there on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles, and moved it inland to a place that can hardly be considered free or brave. A private Surf Ranch in unincorporated Lemoore.
Things went downhill from there.
Griff Colapinto surprised by making the quarters at Snapper and Pat Gudauskas chased that by making the semis at Bells but then the stumbles. Kolohe out in the quarters at Rio, Griff out in the quarters on Bali, Kolohe robbed in the semis at Ulus.
And where does this leave us?
I’ll tell you where. With the closest American to the crown waaaaaaaaay down in 12th looking up the baggier than necessary trunks of Ace Buchan, Michelle Rodriguez, Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Mikey Wright, Michelle Bourez, Willian Cardoso, Gabe Medina, Italo Ferrari, Filipe Toledo and Julian Wilson.
John John Florence, who doesn’t count anyhow, is basically ready to drop off tour at 22nd and that’s it other than Connor Coffin at 16th.
Has the contiguous 48 ever begun so badly in the Common Era of Kelly Slater? I have to think no. I have to think this is the worst year ever.
But how does the future look? Do you think, someday, Kolohe has a title in him? What about Griff? Connor?