Nobody cuts through the Indonesian grease like Filipe Toledo, 23, from Ubatuba, Brazil.

Corona Bali Protected, Day Three: “John John seethes; Kelly comes to life; Filipe, unbeatable!”

Who's gonna beat Filipe at head-high Keramas? Anyone?

Tough day comrades, with scoring all over the place and my judgement not as sharp as it could be. I wanted a change of government in Australia and when that didn’t happen a joyless drunken evening morphed into the kind of dour hangover that makes you think of all kinds of nasty things.

The problem for the judges started in heat one with Julian Wilson getting a 6.4 for a toy little head-high tube with a doggy door exit that any sixteen-year-old kid or forty-year-old plumber could have threaded.

That pretty much fucked the scale for the rest of the day.

Jaddy had scored threes for multiple backhand hooks with completions. Confusion about what was good surfing and how to score it was now ingrained in the booth.

Yago completely failed to fire in heat two, another theme for the day. Certain surfers just could not get out of the blocks in slow conditions. One failed air, two failed airs and the heat was over. M-Rod was also over-scored based on the Wilson over-scores.

All of which meant that coming into the marquee heat of the day, John John Florence vs Joan Duru, judges had less idea about how to score than Luke Egan did in pronouncing Joan.

In saying that, I will advance an unpopular view that judges got the result right. Based on my notes and going back to the heat analyser.

Joan’s opening waves with really crisp vertical slices and a big power hook cutdown were under-scored. An almost four-point spread between Florence and Duru was clearly disconnected from reality.

Quite clearly insane.

John’s waves were incompleted. You got the strong feeling judges were, as they say in a modern men’s circle,“holding space” for him. He fell, and fell again.

It was reminiscent of his final with Adriano at Margaret River in 2015. Miss the end section and lose the heat. In the end, judges paid a late vertical hit from Duru with a heat-winning score and were gifted a final wave from John where he fell on an opening turn.

John was seething in the presser. Through gritted teeth he called it a “tricky heat” and said he was on his way to review the Duru winning wave. He did not use the word “fun” once.

His mohawk, for the first time this season, seemed appropriate.

The other significant feature of the day, the return of the extinct air, was showcased in heat five. Jack Freestone greased an Alley Oop, which, correct if wrong, has barely been sighted since 2013.

Another slick opening turn air was similarly scored in the five range. The quagmire of five and sixes had not been breached in the previous heat with Wade and Deivid Silva.

It did beg the question, almost but not quite asked by Ronnie Blakey, what is good surfing?

Italo was just not there. Injured, off kilter, looking really weird and kooky with his front moon bootie. No man in the history of Planet Earth has managed to look competent rocking a single bootie look.

You disagree? Example then?

Rosie tried to bait Kolohe into committing to an aerial attack before his heat with Ricardo Christie but he wisely said he was going to take what the wave offered him before promptly sticking two big rotations, the first of which seemed to defeat time and gravity temporarily by fluttering in the breeze on the re-entry. Judges finally felt comfortable going into the sevens.

If the best 34 surfers in the world can’t reach that top in greasy head-high Indonesian perfection what hard questions need to be asked about the standard of surfing proffered?

Brother was pumped on the compressed scoring scale. “It’s great the scale is down,” he said. “It leaves a lot of room at the top.”

True story but if the best 34 surfers in the world can’t reach that top in greasy head-high Indonesian perfection what hard questions need to be asked about the standard of surfing proffered?

I think some kind of detente between judges, the scale and the world’s best is becoming a glaring necessity if they want to maintain the illusion of an elite product. The numbers are not flattering.

The one surfer that judges have decreed excellent at Keramas flew through the air repeatedly without a make. Luckily for Filipe, Ciao Ibelli sat mute out the back waiting for waves that never came. When Filipe finally did combo up a big hack to slide, fins out punch and air reverse ending you could smell the relief in the judges booth when they finally gave a number greater than eight.

Did you see the Kelly heat? Made you feel good didn’t it. Come on, even the biggest Kelly hater was silently cheering. A tonic. Made my bitter hangover more endurable, made life all of a sudden plausible again.

Ibelli dragged another aerial from beneath the permafrost of extinction but even that souped-up Superman wasn’t enough to get him back in the heat.

Did you see the Kelly heat? Made you feel good didn’t it.

Come on, even the biggest Kelly hater was silently cheering. A tonic. Made my bitter hangover more endurable, made life all of a sudden plausible again.

Kelly said the “first exchange will set the pace of the heat” and he was close enough. They both put ones on the board before an exchange of set waves saw Kelly tuck his carcass in behind a delectable little knuckle of Indian ocean juice and give it a couple of love taps for a 6.33.

Warm water makes old bones feel young and you could see the old man come to life in a way he couldn’t at Bells. He took to the air before finding a little speed run under priority. Like the seeding round he unleashed the turn of the day, a slightly different, more classic Slater power snap. Judges lowballed it a six, but in the context of the heat it was more than enough to send Owen packing.

Matt George, again, provided highlights in the booth. This self-appointed spokesman for Indonesian surfing called Kelly Slater the “George Foreman of surfing”. That is a stretch comparing Kelly to the greatest pitch man in history but Kelly still has a long way to run. A lot of things to pitch for. Maybe not steak knives and non-stick grills but those Aipa’s sure look sizzling under his feet.

The tide ran out and the waves stopped. I think we will come back tomorrow and do it all again.

Can you see Filipe being beaten in head-high Keramas, cause I sure can’t.

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 3 (Round of 32) Results:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.23 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.00
Heat 2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.27 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 3.57
Heat 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.14 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 12.04
Heat 4: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.63 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.44
Heat 5: Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.26 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 4.77
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.74 DEF. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 11.34
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.33 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 7.33
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.54 DEF. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 8.37
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.13
Heat 10: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.76 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.50
Heat 11: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.50 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 8.30
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (FRA) 9.13 DEF. Rio Waida (IDN) 8.10

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 3 (Round of 32) Matchups:
Heat 13: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 14: Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 4 (Round of 16) Matchups:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 2: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 3: Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (FRA)
Heat 7: TBD
Heat 8: TBD

Open Thread: Comment live, Day Three, Corona Bali Protected!

All your favorites back in the water!

A full set of waves just went unridden. Pottz mocked the competitors. Turpel added something drab. Where are you? What are you doing? Tensions are extremely high right now. Backs are against the wall and we have a perfect swell angle with a little shadowing from Australia but it fits right into Keramas with improving conditions.

Can you say M-Rod?

“Just not finishing that first ride but some great hangtime and…” sorry. I’m acting like a court reporter here, live blogging what Pottz is saying.

That man is the worst person who has ever been let into a broadcast booth.


Watch here and discuss!

Linguistics: Speak your true surfer feelings into existence today!

Halusinabido: The belief that your non-surfing spouse/partner will one day understand.

Have you ever felt the strange wistfulness of being in a used bookshop? Have you ever been sent into a fit of exhaustion inspired by acts of selfless violence? Have you ever had the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time?

There are words for these feelings. Respectively, they are vellichor, kuebiko and onism.

Below is the 2019 updated list of surf-related terms one may feel but can’t explain.

Kepsafolinus: The logical realization that you were, in fact, condemning yourself when you compulsively verbally abused the blameless ocean after not getting into that wave.

Chrüdwing: A confluence of elation and terror in knowing that you’re paddling out but will most likely injure yourself gravely before making it back to shore.

Ob: The erroneous belief that sharks don’t swim in water this shallow.

Jaterska: A state that allows one to maintain the belief that they’re a kind-hearted human while feeling rage at fellow surfers in the water. Jasterska Postus: A subsequent state of existential confusion upon hearing one’s toddler ask if they “had fun playing in the aqua” upon returning to the beach.

Fusstalitosis: An irrational, momentary belief among atheists that — after being caught inside for an extended period of time — they were wrong about religion, have entered purgatory and will spend the rest of time unsuccessfully trying to make it back outside.

Aquanolanosis: A sleep-dream state whereby laws of physics bend to your subconscious will as waves break in all six directions of the hexagonal paradigm.

Rudital: A low-grade, pseudo-somatic anxiety that one will never see loved ones again brought on by floating in the ocean for over four hours. Ruditalspexal – A derivative whereby the anxiety degenerates to the unwavering fear that everyone on land has perished in torturous agony as a result of a nerve bomb.

Vit: The belief that the universe has fated this set wave to you alone.

Mauex: The sudden realization that the verbal thrashing you’ve been unloading on fellow surfer for the past two minutes has, in fact, all been in your mind.

Olafaction: Acute sexual arousal sprung from ingesting the shampoo odor of a female passerby in the water. Olafaction Postus: Subsequent paranoia that the odor may have been from that hippie guy.

Oglielous: The recognition that the person in the neon-colored wetsuit you pegged a kook surfs better than you do.

Fintrial: An occurrence whereby someone on the the beach overhears you hoot during a solo session.

Womboozium: The amniotic tranquility derived from losing all sense of time while floating in salt water believed to be nostalgia for the womb.

Ringkong: A state of paranoia that everyone wishes you would just paddle the fuck in.

Halusinabido: The belief that your non-surfing spouse/partner will one day understand.

Free Market Economics: Surf Ranch et. al. see new, unforeseen competitor in fake wave race!

Trouble starts with "T" and that rhymes with "P" which stands for "pool."

So last I heard, and forgive me because I can’t recall the exact numbers, the World Surf League was claiming that Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch had sold out all its available days for… $10,000? $100,000? I can’t remember exactly but sold out, right? Then the World Surf League was offering steep discounts but very quietly. Slashing the price by more than half for those same days but very very quietly as not to alert anyone.

Not exactly confidence inspiring.

The business model is still not clear for Surf Ranch or any of the new artificial waves for that matter. Is this current boom (new Surf Lakes just announced in England etc.) going to lead to a massive bust when good inland folk aren’t willing to part with real money in order to surf? Or will there be a boom of epic proportions as good inland folk peel off bill after bill in order to “taste the tube?”

Impossible to know but a new, unforeseen competitor might create havoc in the marketplace and let’s learn all about them right now. Let’s not delay.

With new river parks, big flows and a swelling roster of whitewater surfers itching to carve after last summer’s meager trickles, the river surfing wave is about to flood Colorado.

“The biggest river surfing season ever is on tap,” says Mike Harvey, the river park engineer and co-founder of Salida’s Badfish SUP. His son, Miles, is one of Colorado’s top-ranked river surfers. “Interest in river surfing right now is ridiculous. Last year people struggled to find a place to surf and this year the state is going to go Richter. There are going to be people all over the place trying to surf.”

And they will have plenty of choices. There are at least 10 whitewater parks and roadside river waves in Colorado with features that accommodate stand-up paddling and surfing. The rare Big Sur — a river-wide wave atop an old dam in DeBeque Canyon that emerges when Colorado River flows edge past 20,000 cubic-feet-per-second — is likely to break for the second or third time in the last decade, drawing hordes of wave riders from across the West. There’s even a Colorado River Surfing Association, fostering a community of wave riders across the state.

“It kind of feels like this is all happening overnight,” says Brittany Parker, one of the country’s top SUP paddlers who lives in her van and, yes, it’s often parked down by the river.


Now, do you think the wave tank barons will band together and dump toxic chemicals into Colorado’s rivers in order to neutralize the threat or will they be of a “rising tide floats all surfboards” mind?

Also, while I have you, are you a Keynesian economist or an Austrian economist?

Boats, boats, boats. So many of 'em it's like an off-colour joke.

Comprehensive: Your guide to every damn charter boat in the Mentawais!

Plus a list of recent wrecks and, revealed for the first time, why your Indo crew won't take you anywhere without cell phone reception etc.

Wanna know how many boats are swinging their anchors in the Ments? Forty two.

Forty two. 

I remember, back at the turn of the century, when a dozen boats and twenty in the water at Lance’s Right felt like the apocalypse.

It ain’t a surprise.

Lately, the joint has even been getting clawed by migrating VALs from Europe. 

Earlier today, I received an email from John Caldwell, who is employed by Martin Daly’s Indies Trader, explaining that he’d compiled a detailed list of every charter boat operating in the Menatwais.

If you’re into boats, and the Ments, it’s interesting as all hell.

It’s a sort of soft sell to get you on Marty’s boat, of course.

Jump on a cheapie and it ain’t gonna have a satellite phone. Belt your head open somewhere remote like The Hole where there’s no cell towers and, well, at least you bled out doing something you loved.

Recent wrecks and their causes are listed. (BeachGrit takes absolutely no responsibility for subjective judgements about crew etc.)

Quest 1 – Sank (Rescued by Trader 3) – Incompetent crew, poor maintenance
Katika – Burnt near Rags Right – Gallery Fire
Indies Explorer – Burnt in Port-Bungus
Star Koat – Hit the reef and caught fire (rescued by Ratu Motu)
Midas – Caught inside by tsunami at Macaronis
Sea Dog (Anjing Laut) – Sunk – Fiberglass delaminated off wooden planked hull
Sri Wedana – Washed aground at Lance’s Right, anchored in Keyhole overnight hit by a squall, no radar, bad judgement, no qualified crew
Lautan Megah – Rick Cameron’s boat that caught fire – Karma
MV Diane – Washed on to the beach in squall , bad ground tackle only one of 2 main engines operable near Macaronis (Trader 3 Rescued)
KM Alissa – Sunk due to hull integrity failing, no bulkheads in moderately rough seas. 

And here’s an interesting point about going on a boat with all-Indonesian crew.

Cheaper boats with an all Indonesian crew like to stick to breaks that are near cell towers so that they can use their cell phones while the guys are surfing. They’ll come up with excuses as to why they can’t or shouldn’t visit other breaks but in reality they just don’t want to be bored without cell service. A lot of the Indo captains also have a bonus scheme where they will get more money if they use less fuel. Ask about the company’s optimal travel itinerary as well as their back up plans in the case of weather/swell changes. Check if your boat has 24/7 satellite internet to avoid having to stay close to the cell towers.

The Indies guys recommended the following boats:

Budget – Orca Laut
Mid Range – Raja Elang (which is skipper by the great Tony “Doris” Eltherington.)
High End – Indies Trader III

Read the full list here.