Kelly Slater is a modern marvel, a wonder, a famous man willing to mingle with the lesser-thans. An iconic man happy to engage nobodies. And if you happen to follow Mick Fanning’s engaging Instagram account you can get your hooks in.
Oh, Mick Fanning, two or three time World Champ (I can’t remember) posted an homage to J-Bay today, a beautiful turn underneath a rainbow sky. The comments, as you’d expect, were effusive with praise.
But St. Christopher1, the patron saint of surfers, was less charitable, writing, “Just go surfing. Comps suck. @kellyslater is embarrassing and should of bowed out many moons ago!”
Well, Kelly came swinging in within minutes, asking for clarification, “what’s embarrassing? Why the shade?”
After getting hammered for a few hours St. Christoper1 backed right down and replied, “I apologise @kellyslater. It is confounding how these young men on tour have no financial backing they struggle. My point is that you have nothing to prove. You are a wonderful human. No question. In my opinion only without prejudice is that it could be time to allow a young man to be gifted his dream of being on tour and the tour to support them financially mandatory.”
Kelly’s final retort? “What makes you think I’m doing this to prove anything? I’m just having fun with it. And why should anyone be implored to give up a spot to anyone who hasn’t earned it? There are 30 guys on tour rated lower than me. Go talk to them.”
I don’t know what your greatest fears are but one of mine is certainly losing control of a large sailboat in a pumping surf chock-a-block with Hawaiian surfers. Oh the absolute white-knuckle terror. The complete and enveloping horror.
Years ago I thought that only complete amateurs and/or drunks lost control of their boats near shore but then I started sailing, a bit, and realized how easily things can go pear-shaped and by “things” I mean everything and anything. Literally everything and anything.
And so when I saw a video of a large sailboat in pumping surf chock-a-block with Hawaiian surfers, recently, my heart jumped into my throat. The boat was trying to make its way into Ala Moana harbor there on Oahu’s south shore but, as you can see by the waves, it was a big day.
I imagined the worst, of course. That the boat would capsize, hit a few surfers, kill a few passengers, catch cracks on the beach afterward etc. but watch how the captain navigates and surfs right into the harbor mouth. It is the very first time in my life that I have wondered if there is some value in learning to SUP. If the knowledge of guiding an obese vessel through waves might have some proper value.
The best part of the video may be the narration of surf cinematographer Bruno Lemos. I think the World Surf League should call him up to the booth straight away. I think we’d all be very thankful.
Even Boats Can Surf in Hawaii || ViralHog. Source: ViralHog
Surf star Ellie-Jean Coffey breaks up with cheating stud, says, “I’m officially single as fuck!”
Television, movies, a Dana White backed competition show!
Oh what happy news. What wonderful happy news and you should be as thrilled as the World Surf League’s President of Content, Media and Angry Posted Then Subsequently Deleted Twitter Letters Aimed At Young Women Erik “ELo” Logan for he has gone and done it.
He has gone and inked a development deal with the “trailblazing production company” Pilgrim Media, part of Lionsgate, to produce “…a variety of surf-centric sport and lifestyle content across all formats and platforms. The endeavor is the first to be announced by WSL Studios and will involve live and non-live unscripted projects, as well as a range of distinct scripted opportunities.”
I’m breathless so would you allow me to collect myself while you read the rest of the press release?
Pilgrim, a Lionsgate Company, and WSL Studios have two major undertakings in the pipeline already – a feature documentary and a fresh nonscripted competition format for which the parties partnered with the UFC’s Dana White – with several other programs in active development. The venture will feature traditional surf content like contests and clip shows, and will also shed light on surf culture – spanning its roots to the worldwide emergence of its own language and literature; music, film, fashion and other art; lifestyle; social impact; as well as environmental and conservation efforts.
“Partnering with Pilgrim from the onset of WSL Studios sets the bar for the level of quality we are endeavoring to achieve,” said WSL President of Content and Media, Erik Logan. “Their talent for producing top-notch unscripted programming, particularly when it comes to emerging sports, and their unmatched ability to capture the inaccessible for audiences around the world make Pilgrim an incredible partner for the WSL.”
Ok ok ok ok ok ok. So much to discuss.
Who’s going to be in the Dana White show?
Who’s going to become the brightest celluloid star out of the entire WSL stable?
Should the WSL produce a Friends-style sitcom about life in the booth starring Noah Jupe as Joe Turpel, Keanu Reeves as Ron “Dog” Blakey, Tim Allen as Peter Mel and the robot from Short Circuitas the ’89 World Champion Martin “Pottz” Potter?
Tell me you’re not feeling it.
Tell me you aren’t breathless too.
J-Bay Loser’s Round: “Jeremy Flores’ power carves are the closest thing we have to vanished John John!”
When it comes to the vexed issue of Pro Surfing we always think about winning because, let’s face it, we watch to see the freakish and the inspirational. We rarely think about losing but there is far more losing than winning and far more ways to lose than win, so maybe it’s time we did.
Easy enough for scribes to fuck it up. This afternoon, Australian Eastern Standard Time, they put the comp on hold and I gambled it would be off for the day and started drinking early.
Voila, they called it on and it was either drink my way through and lose all faculties or stop and deal with an early hangover before the night was through.
I stopped and in this mild funk offer a brief anatomy of losing.
In inconsistent and warbly speed-runners opportunity was scarce but there were enough for three people to have a swing. Bede Durbidge-lookalike Beyrick Devries found an early scorer then sat out the back like a buddha statue in a Bangalow garden: spiritual but impotent.
Jordy in the booth called bullshit on airs at J-Bay “It’s a turn wave,” he said sternly, “a rail event.” Jack Freestone calmly stomped an alley-oop with a late-tweaked rotation. Beyrick waited, and his winning wave came. He limped along it, under surfed it and failed to get the score required.
Way to lose number one: Surfing conservatively, nervously or tentatively on a wave and leaving too much in the tank. Worst way to lose.
Seth Moniz was all over heat two. The battle to avoid last place was far more interesting. Ace Buchan fell off, and fell off again. He was caught behind on a prime set wave. In the Aussie parlance, having a shocker.
Couzinet had problems of a different dimension.
He had no idea what the wave was doing. Out of flow, turns in the wrong spot. “Trying to find chemistry” as Ron Blakey so aptly put it. A disjointed, jagged attack on the wave of the heat pushed him into second place and it seemed like Ace’s shocker would be the reason to lose. Ace blitzed a medium sized wave and got the score to advance. Couzinet lost.
Way to lose number two: Inexperience at a specialist wave resulting in an out of sync performance.
The only time we normally focus on losing is when the judges take it into their hands and get the result wrong. Like when Fred Morais got a ten at J-Bay 2017 and knocked out JJF. Freddie didn’t need any judging help today. Nor did Jeremy Flores, the only surfer in the Losers Round who looked capable of going anywhere in the draw.
His power carves with the extra sting in the tail are now the closest thing we have to JJF’s turns, with a more classic configuration. It was Jesse Mendes who got sat in the dunce corner. Two strong rides completed and a third set wave that didn’t quite co-operate. In the end, the numbers didn’t add up.
Way to lose number three: Outsurfed by superior opponents and not enough risk taken.
Heat tour was an all-Brazilian affair and I thought Jaddy Baby might suffer the same fate as Jesse Mendes. Not self-destruct but just fail to bring enough firepower to the heat and be scored too low. Which has been his problem his entire CT career, apart from the big win over Slater in Brazil in 2010.
How do get past that? You bring your best, good enough to win QS events until the crack of doom and CT judges look at it and say “Nah mate, not good enough.” Which is what they did.
Way to lose number four: Just not good enough. Brutal assessment but that’s what is happening.
Jordy was sensational in the booth; he brings an edge to the game. I think him and Ronnie would create some magic. Filipe was a bit too modern Christian bland, if one can make that observation in this day and age. Jordy Smith the only man standing between Filipe Toledo and a three-peat? I think, yes. I don’t understand the draw and seeding system, is there an astro-physicist in the house?
Round of 32 Matchups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 10: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 11: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 13: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 14: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 15: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 16: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)