Revealed: “The talent pool among Canadian surfers is huge!”

Are you secretly Canadian? Is Jesse Mendes?

I was such a “surfing in the Olympics” sceptic, overly rude as always, but must admit as 2020 inches closer that I’ve been thrilled by various storylines. Take Venice Beach’s aggressive leash pull, for example. It is very likely that nothing would have happened that day if the 1-foot straighthander, which breaks off the pier, wasn’t the training facility of the women’s Senegalese Olympic surf team. Very likely that tensions would have been muted without the chase for gold hovering like a pregnant cloud.

Also, we would not be aware that “the talent pool among Canadian surfers is huge.” And let’s learn more about that right now. Let’s do it together.

One of the world’s most renowned surfing destinations has become a training ground for a new crop of Olympic hopefuls.

Canadian athletes are in Tofino preparing for a national event in May in order to qualify for the World Championships. It will be that performance that could earn them a spot in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, where surfing will make its Olympic debut alongside skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, baseball, and softball.

“Japan decided that they wanted it,” said Surf Canada President Dom Domic. “In just over 500 days, the eyes of the world are going to be on surfing.”

Surfers who have arrived to brave the chilly waters say they can’t believe a shot at Olympic glory would ever be in reach for them.

“I didn’t think the Olympics would ever be a thing,” said surfer Noah Cohen. “There was never even like a dream. To even have like a sliver of hope is a pretty amazing thing.”

The road to get there won’t be easy. Despite what people may think, the talent pool among Canadian surfers, including those living aboard, is huge.

Amazing.

And let’s play a game. Which surfers on tour are secretly Canadian?

Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz has a whiff of maple about him don’t you think? Something in the smile.

Also Jesse Mendes.

Speaking of, which surfer from your home country would you trade to Canada for a plate of cheese curds?


"No naughty shark gonna get near my baby!"
"No naughty shark gonna get near my baby!"

In your face Gabriel Medina: Marg River to be on WSL Tour until at least 2021!

"I will never surf by myself here because it’s not safe.”

Australia has a population of 25 million hearty souls and three World Surf League Championship Tour contests, the greatest of which is Margaret River there on the continental island’s west side. Margs is scenic, has a variety of waves and is filled to overflowing with sharks. Who could forget last year when the event, brought to us all by Western Australia’s tourism department, was cancelled due to nearby shark attacks and resumed across the sea in Bali?

A wonderful moment for Western Australian tourism courtesy of our World Surf League.

Well, everyone must have been very pleased with the bright light shown on Uluwatu, very picturesque itself, because the contest has been re-upped for the next three years and let’s read the Guardian. Let’s really learn why.

The Margaret River Pro will remain on the World Surf League schedule after it secured a contract extension until 2021, despite last year’s shark scares. The 2018 event was called off midway through the competition after two non-fatal shark attacks nearby.

Alejandro Travaglini needed surgery to both legs after he was attacked at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown, while Jason Longgrass walked to an ambulance after he was bitten on the leg at nearby Lefthanders break. The presence of beached whales in the area attracted sharks and contributed to their aggressive behaviour.

The Margaret River Pro’s future beyond 2019 was already in doubt even before the shark attacks but the WA state government and Tourism WA have put up the funds to secure a two-year contract extension.

However, it remains to be seen whether the world’s best surfers feel safe returning to Margaret River. After last year’s nearby shark attacks, two-time world champion Gabriel Medina and Brazilian Italo Ferreira expressed fears about entering the water in Margaret River.

“I just don’t feel comfortable surfing there. I will never surf by myself here because it’s not safe,” Medina said after the attack while Ferreira tweeted at the time: “I do not feel comfortable training and competing in places like this.”

So…. hypothetical here. What if 2018 World Champion and very good friend of Neymar, Mr. Gabriel Medina, makes it to the quarters and his opponent bows out midway with injury. Let’s just call his opponent Kelly Slater and let’s say Kelly’s massively shattered foot acts up and Gabriel Medina has to be out there alone.

Will he follow Kelly to the beach?

Will he qualify for the injury wildcard next year?

Many questions.


Bullish: Surf Lakes Announces Site of First Commercial wave pool!

Opens mid-2020, god willing etc.

You can’t keep a good man down, as the saying goes. You’ ll remember the hoo-ha a few months ago when a sturdy contingent of WQS-level Australian pro surfers and the former world champ Joel Parkinson flew to Central Queensland to test the full-sized prototype of the Occy and Barton Lynch-endorsed wave pool.

The waves were very small, one to two feet using a generous ruler, but the reveal was stymied when the giant plunger buckled while operating at only fifty percent capacity. Surf Lakes said the failure was a manufacturing fault, that a new part was being built and that the Yeppoon prototype would be operational, again, by the end of January 2019.

As at ten pm, February 25, the part has yet to be installed and the pool remains idle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp5hasEnZ9H/

This certainly hasn’t derailed Surf Lakes’ plans to get their first commercial pool.

From a presser that just got released,

Surf Lakes has been scouring the Gold Coast for suitable land, and at present has selected an appropriate site in a location that is centrally located and easily accessible for residents and tourists.

Newly appointed Surf Lakes Chief Executive Officer, Mal Borgeaud, is genuinely excited at the prospect of bringing Surf Lakes to such a coveted, surf-proud locale and envisions the facility will give great benefit to the community.

“As a company we are tremendously excited to be announcing our commitment to building a facility on the Gold Coast. We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from both Council and the Queensland Government,” said Borgeaud.

“It makes sense, with the Gold Coast being our home town, that we construct a commercial facility here. We know the facility will bring tremendous benefits to the community, not just by providing waves and surf-oriented fun… it will be a boost for employment, tourism and the local economy,” he continued.

“Our aim is to make this site a genuine show piece not only for our technology but for the Gold Coast as well.”

Surf Lakes envisions that construction will begin in late 2019 or early 2020 with a view to opening in the second half of 2020.

Bullish!


Waco's bug-killin' machine!

Waco pools opens in three weeks; and now with filtered water!

Say sayonara to deadly amoeba! Waco is back…

Do you dream of riding the pool in Waco, of shovelling all those ramps into your mouth during the one ninety-dollar, sixty-minute session?

BSR Cablepark was 2018’s shooting star.

It was a pool that did what no other pool on earth could do. It created ramps…and…tubes.

And then a New Jersey surfer died after he was”likely” infected by brain-eating amoeba at the Waco tank. The pool was closed so filters could be installed.

Fzzzzzz. 

In three weeks, the park reopens, with the new filters to treat the tank’s four million litres of water. Instead of being dyed blue, the water will look like its been poured straight from Evian bottles, says the owner Stuart Parsons.

“Basically we’re making drinking water,” he says.

Of course, after the amoeba episode, after water samples taken by health officials found evidence of Naegleria fowleri and that exposure “likely occurred at the facility”, the park threw out a press release headlined, “WATER TESTS COME BACK CLEAN” and “BSR Determined to Go the Extra Mile, Set Highest Standards for Safety.” 

So who knows if you’re going to be able to drink the pool juice.

Anyway, if you’re near the park, or you’re happy to jump a bird to Texas, bookings are open.

Ninety bucks for an hour or $2500 for the entire pool…or…twenty-five gees to eat up the park for the day with a one-hour break in the middle for everyone to down tools, inhale a well-earned margarita etc.

Grab eight of your pals and you’ll get the “expert” wave to yourselves for an hour for $810.

Click here for sessions.

And if you wanna stay on site, BSR has poolside cabins that cost $249 to $475 a night. 


Inspirational: English surfers slay “The Widow Maker” on motorized surfboards!

True descendants from Arthur's Round Table!

Kai Lenny eat your heart out. Yesterday, as the cold mists hovered around Albion, some brave English surfers, direct descendants of Arthur’s Round Table, strapped on their helmets, readied their steeds and headed out to do battle. Their foe, a monster that had risen from the deep. A mutant that hadn’t been seen in those parts for years. Its name was Cribbar but it was called”The  Widow Maker” and greatly feared by all.

By all except some brave English surfers. True knights like Sir DrunkenAngel of Tintagel and Sir Jeff of East Sussex and let’s turn to the broadsheet Corwall Live for more.

A big wave surfer has spoken of the ultimate thrill in tackling monster waves at the world-famous Cribbar break off the coast of Newquay .

On Friday hundreds of spectators gathered on the headland to watch fearless surfers tackle the huge break .

Also known as the Widow Maker, the Cribbar is created by a reef off Towan Head and has gained a worldwide reputation as one of the few major big wave spots in UK waters.

The rare phenomenon happens just a few times a year when the weather and tides come together to create massive and spectacular waves in excess of twenty feet high.

The Cribbar appeared thanks to a combination of light, offshore winds, and a westerly swell.

Due to the size and speed of the wave surfers are either towed into it by a jet-ski or use motorised ‘jet surf’ boards.

The boards weigh a mere 15 kg and are extremely nimble and responsive with the straps and footpads made of specialised memory foam to connect the riders to the boards.

Like Swami's only colder!
Like Swami’s only colder!

One of those in the water on Friday was big wave surfer Jeff Scott who travelled all the way down from East Sussex to try his luck.

Jeff had only recently returned from surfing Nazaré in Portugal, the home of the largest waves ever surfed, when he heard the news that the Cribbar was set to go off.

Speaking to Cornwall Live, Jeff said: “I’m aching from head to toe and feel like I’ve been hit by a train or three.

“I’ve been wanting to ride the Cribbar for a long time. I’ve been wind surfing in Cornwall for 10 years and always wondered how I’d tackle it.

“It’s the ultimate in big wave surfing in the UK and I woke up to a text on Thursday morning saying that it’s a go. For 18 months I’ve been keeping an eye on both Nazaré and the Cribbar and now I’ve surfed them both within a few weeks. It’s been epic.”

Jeff, 40, described how he arrived in Cornwall at around 5pm on Thursday and even managed a 45 minute ‘warm-up’ session on the jet surf at Godrevy before nightfall.

He added: “The jet surf uses the speed of the board and the power of the wave and gives what are usually unwanted waves a home. It’s quiet but capable of getting up to speeds of 35 miles-per-hour and can get you out of trouble if a wave is closing out around you.

“I’m not getting any younger so my big wave clock is ticking and the jet surf was a way of helping me get those waves. They’re expensive and not to everyone’s tastes.”

Motorized steeds that weigh a mere 15 kg, are extremely nimble and responsive with straps and footpads made of specialised memory foam.

Eat your whole damn heart right out Kai Lenny.