Metaphysical questions plague the gorgeous French beachbreak!
Used to be it seemed a year long tour was a grand idea. But if I’m being honest, which is what they pay me for, I’m suffering extreme pro surfing fatigue by the time the European leg rolls around. My interest seems to peak sometime around J-Bay or Tahiti with maybe a late flare up for a classic Pipe finish.
Having to wade through the whole 34 man field again, not once but twice just seems cruel and unusual punishment. A two-week long Test Match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan was how BG principal Derek Rielly phrased it in a text message. Minus John John and Slater I want match-ups with contenders not another two-day slog before we get anywhere near the chase.
Sophie wants to grow the audience, new hire Erik Logan calls the league brimming with “untapped potential” and they keep throwing out the same product.
How to actually grow the audience? An answer may lay in pro surfings sister sport, MMA and it’s pro league UFC. I’m not a fan, the equivalent of Backwards Fin Beth, what hard-core fight fans derisively term “casuals”. But the pre-fight hype for the Conor McGregor/Khabib fight effortlessly drew me in …..did you see? Presser one in NYC Conor (biggest sports star in the world) told Khabib to “shut yer mouth ya mad backwards cunt”, called him a “little fanboi bitch”. Called his manager a ‘terrorist snitch”, his Dad a “quivering coward”.
Not to everyones taste, but Joe Carr former UFC exec, now chief strategy officer for WSL must have gazed longingly, lovingly at it. That ability to generate hype, draw a crowd, get the fucking despised casuals to get drastic with the plastic; what a dream for Sophie and the new hires.
Who would be the mad backwards cunt? Who the quivering coward? The fanboi bitch? ….assuming Pro Surfing dropped the #blessed and went full UFC.
Sunny days in France playing happy families while we wait for a roughie to bolt from the back of the pack is lovely stuff. Touching. Chances of that drawing in a casual= nil. Chew on that Erik. You can draw up all the direct to consumer pseudo pay-per-view the Universe directs you to but unless you build a proper drawcard, you ain’t got shit. The same thing we’ve had since J-Bay. Two thousand hard-cores sipping peppermint tea on Facey cheering on their gal.
In perfect French beachbreaks with a ton of waves ridden Jordy sneaked past Zeke, a mild robbery , with a neat little left tube on the buzzer. An entertaining heat.
Italo was several notches ahead in speed, power and repertoire in his Rd3 heat against Yago and Asing. A huge dagger knifed into the neck of a throaty closeout – a turn only he and maybe Colapinto can pull – was lowballed for a 7. Other waves pushed him into a comfortable lead that was never headed. Any hopes Dora might ride some momentum from his silky Air Show victory were quashed by a bumbling performance.
Julian Wilson laid down the best ride of the morning, a deeply threaded tube, greased alley oop and hammer finish for an 8.5. The days first excellent score. It looked like the Day of the Decade at a Coolum beachie and he treated it just like that. Easy win…..but in the post heat presser there was still that suspicion that J-dub was over-analysing during heats, leading to mistakes in execution and decision making. Not in this heat, but that is the pattern. Everything is going fine, until it’s not. Maybe he can overcome that mental weakness. Maybe not.
Medina started cool in heat 5 against Tomas Hermes and ex rookie Ryan Callinan , then just cooly opened up on two rights to ice the heat. 80% winning percentage in Europe. Mad cunt. I don’t mean that rudely, just using it as an example of what a spicy presser to build an audience might contain Erik. The biggest sports star in the world calls his opponent a mad backwards cunt, in public, in front of an online audience in the hundreds of thousands. I mean mad cunt in the Australian sense as a term of praise.
What? Surfing’s different you say?
No it’s not you mad cunt, well only in the sense that it’s spent the last 30 years trying to build an audience by throwing out the same moldy product the mainstream has rejected time after time after time. Listen to your chief Strategy officer Joe Carr who said there are a “ton of parallels between both companies (WSL and UFC).” If there is a difference it is that UFC doesn’t seem intent on dumbing down the product to piss off its hard-core fan base. It’s not the broadcast, it’s the build-up. Good heat in perfect surf. Medina in total control.
Filipe was off in the next heat. A little flakey. Nervey. Couldn’t quite nail a lofted lien air, was out of rhythm, got frustrated and dropped his bundle. He didn’t need much against a strong Connor O’leary and french wildcard Couzinet. But he could not get it done. My view: I would like to see Filipe win next two events and clinch the title before Pipe with a delicious low stakes victory lap at the Pipeline for the haters. Chances of that happening: next to nil.
My favourite wave was ridden in the next heat by Adriano De Souza, owner of the most improved skill set in pro surfing. He sizzled one right hand wave with so much extra torque in the turn it made me pine even harder for John Florence. Midnight in Australia, just me and my 2 thousand homies watching… I have to look up the results to see who won heats 8 and 9.
I watched but I must have been wide awake dreaming. Pat Gudang won on a bright yellow board with two big styled out backhand thwacks. Ace sliced and diced….he would definitely not be the fanboi bitch, or the quivering coward.
Too good. Lordy, lordy. Can you shorten this Euro leg as first order of biz Erik?
Pretty please you mad cunt.
Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.86, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.07
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.70, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.56, Joan Duru (FRA) 9.50
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.40, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.70, Yago Dora (BRA) 4.57
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.67, Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.46, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 7.74
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.93, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.26, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.33
Heat 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.17, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.10, Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 4.00
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.50, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.00
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.43, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 13.23, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.97
Heat 9: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.90, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 6.67, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 1.50
Heat 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.24, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.90, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.83
Heat 11: Mikey Wright (AUS) 15.30, Conner Coffin (USA) 13.73, Michael February (ZAF) 10.77
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.93, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.67, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.90
Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 (H1-2) Results
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.84 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 7.77
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.10 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.17
Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Round 2 (H3-12) Matchups:
Heat 3: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 5: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 10: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 11: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 12: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)