Including why Italo Ferreira equals dangerous sex, Gabriel, rape fantasies and why Conner is tantric lovemaking, beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating…
Let’s start with the positive, shall we? Get the hard stuff over with. A bit of festive cheer before I revert to type.
These are the Five Best Things about Surfing in 2018.
1. The WSL Portrait Photographer
I’d love to name this individual, really I would, because they must have a cunt of a sense of humour. What sort of a photographer could take 37 (mostly objectively handsome men) and transform them into a Crufts line up? A bloody genius, that’s who.
Julian Wilson as…The Weimaraner!
Kanoa Igarashi as…The Shiba Inu!
Wade Carmichael as…The Shih Tzu!
Patty G as…The Saluki!
I could go on. Truly a work of creative genius.
The best of anything can’t be imitated. Razor-sharp commentary, genius mixing, classic cameos, and just simply funny as fuck. Nearly knocked me laughing off a high ladder this summer.
I suspect some people don’t really get it, and that makes it all the more appealing. Cali-centric surf media is a blight.
Best surf podcast going and it’s not really close.
Fair play to Scalesy for his efforts. I still listen, mostly, but it’s hit-and-miss these days now that there are too many cooks. Some things don’t scale, no pun intended.
And a nod to ONE HALF of Lipped. Can’t stomach the we’re-really-smart-and hardworking-and-no-cunt-appreciates-us tone anymore but Cahill Bell Warren, at least, is a man deserving of a voice and a great job somewhere – coaching or commentating most likely. Seems like a thoroughly bloody good bloke with a lot of insight and a lack of ego. His breakdowns and analysis of competition surfing are perhaps the best I’ve heard. Take note, WSL.
But Ain’t That Swell. How fucking good is it?
3. Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson
Mick Fanning. I love him, I do. Couldn’t fault him. And I can find fault in pretty much anyone. I love his surfing to bits. What’s not to love about precision and power? Did he ever make a mistake? I’ve never met him but I know I’d love him as a man. Definition of a legend. Knocks Slater out of the park, in my opinion.
HE’S MICK FANNING…HE’S THAT FUCKIN GOOD.
And Parko. My first real surf crush. The first guy I looked at and said “I want to surf like That Guy.” Smooth and beautiful. As precise as Mick but with his own stamp. So often made it look too easy. Bloody grateful he got the title he did. If he’d thrown his hands in the air a bit more and added a few hip jives he might have had five. But again, I’m bloody grateful he didn’t.
Dear Santa, for Christmas please can I have many, many future Parko and Fanning collabs. Cunts have a shit lot of great surfing still to do. And good on them for having the whereabouts to go out on top.
Stone cold legends, the pair of them. I know they’ve had all the plaudits going, but I truly believe we might never see their likes again. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.
Cynical bastards will point to the lack of evolution in their surfing over the years, the not really developing an “air game”. But those wankers probably add water to whisky.
4. My Favourite WSL (Male) Surfers
Most of you won’t know this, but my day job is actually as a teacher. It’s the reason I write under “JP” when everyone IRL calls me Jamie. People who call themselves by initials are utter wanks, but it’s my penance. It’s a thinly veiled disguise, but at least I haven’t been hauled in front of the headmaster again for shit I wrote on the internet.
The reason I divulge this now is because last week, in one of my classes, (a bottom set first year) I made a throwaway comment to a thick-set boy in the class which stitched me right up.
Let’s call him Bob.
“Bob,” I said.”If you were a vegetable you’d be a mung bean.”
Well. The next thing I know the entire class has turned into Lord of The Flies and rounded on poor Bob (Piggy), roaring with laughter, pointing at him and chanting demonically…
“MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN!
“No, No!” I cried, helplessly. “I said MUNG bean!”
But it was no use.
I calmed them down eventually, but only after I explained what a mung bean was (not as straightforward as you might think to low-ability twelve year olds) and promised to give the rest of them vegetable nicknames for next lesson.
So in that spirit, and with neither the will nor the words to justify my favouritism, I thought I’d just assign my favourite male surfers types of sex.
Italo Ferreira = Choke sex. Or any kind of dangerous sex that exhilarates in a way that will push you right to the edge where you’ll either die or have the time of your life.
Gabriel Medina = Rape fantasies. You’re getting fucked, one way or another. You don’t want to like but you probably will.
Zeke Lau = Pounded with full eye contact. You’ll be too scared to move.
Conner Coffin = Tantric. Beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating. But when it goes, it goes.
Griffin Colapinto = First time sex, probably a few tears. There’ll be moments of pleasure, the potential is there. You’ll cry because there are so many more levels to hit and you just hope you reach them.
I love you guys. You’re why I watch.
5. Honourable Mentions
Indecision is one of my greatest foes, and I’ve already written too much, so here are some bulletpoints of other great things.
Steve Shearer, AKA Longtom’s contest wraps and writing in general. After what we’ve seen this season, I genuinely feel you’ve got the stamina to go a few rounds with Zeke Lau, maintaining eye contact throughout. I suspect you won’t take up the mantle again next season, and WCT contests will be duller for it. Your words sing, my friend.
Jordy’s nipples going over the falls at Pipe. Did any moment in pro surfing history sum up so succinctly the gulf between one surfer and another in the competitive arena?
Caroline Marks. Will be world champion, likely multiple times. Literally surfs and looks like Occy.
Rob Machado. I love Machado. I want to grow old just like Rob, but with a better van and a fucking haircut.
Matt Warshaw/EOS and The Surfer’s Journal. The only surf media that matters (present company excepted). The bastions of our culture. I savour and admire each of them like a twelve-year-old Balvenie.