The performance level at the Surf Ranch Pro is going to be twice as high as Founders' Cup says shaper to the stars.
At this weekend’s Surf Ranch Pro, the San Clemente shaper Matt Biolos is going to have ten surfers affixed to his shapes. Count ’em: Kolohe Andino, Griff Colapinto, Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Michael Rodrigues, Yago Dora, Malia Manuel, Coco Ho and Joan Duru.
Would’ve been eleven if Tyler Wright’s mysterious illness hadn’t forced her withdrawal.
Matt, who has ridden both types of Wavegarden, watched each day of the Founders’ Cup live and has just returned from a three-day hit to Waco, knows what works in pools. So we get to talking about boards for the event. Turns out ain’t much diff to regular shooters, a little shorter to fit into the tighter transitions, maybe a round tail instead of a squash for control, low entry rocker, heavy out the tail or vice versa.”
My eyes are popping out for the Surf Ranch Pro. I’m of the vibration, I say, that the Founders’ Cup was all play, nothing to win and nothing to lose, and that this weekend’s tournament will elevate the game considerably.
“The standard is going to be twice as high as the Founders’ Cup,” says Matt. “It’ll be incredibly high and incredibly entertaining. The judging is going to have to be incredibly astute, however. The judges are going to have to know the difference between each manoeuvre. None of that Jadson Andre holding-the-rail bullshit. What the fuck? Was it Jadson or Kanoa holding the rail after they landed airs at the US Open?
Oh I don’t know!
“They can’t possibly give that a score? It’s a safety air. It’s bullshit. The judges really really have to know. When Kolohe does a stalefish and someone does a regular grab, which is harder? You’re going to see the mid-tier guys doing airs at the end of the wave but the gnarly guys are going to do the air before the first tube. And you better give that a bigger score than the air at the end of the wave.”
Biolos says it’s going to be a game of combos.
“The surfing is gong to be so orchestrated, like figure skating. There has to be a degree of difficulty. Joan can only get so high a score compared to Kolohe. It’s going to be crazy technical. Fins out is going to be a difference. Griffin sends it out the back, Taj Burrow-style. Griffin’s doing three fins-out turns…boom…boom…boom… and those others guys are doing hooks and snaps. It’s way gnarlier (to throw the fins) on that wave.”
So who’s going to be around on final’s day?
“I can’t see Michel Bourez or Ace Buchan or Joel or Conner O’Leary or Conner Coffin or any of those guys having any kind of chance to to make the final eight. There’s just no fucking way. Maybe twelve of those 34 guys have a chance of making the eight. Gabriel, Italo, Filipe, Kolohe, Griffin, Jordy, Julian.
More than anything, says Matt, “You better be fucking gnarly.”