Ooooooee what would we have done the last few days if not for the Brothers’ George? Sam and Matt brought the heat, burning right through typical post-World Surf League event gloom. I’ve now read both of their fine works and all the comments and still have no idea what Matt is defending.
Can you help me understand?
In other news, the Japanese have been surfing for over 100 years and Kanoa Igarashi, current world number five, is on track to become the face of the Olympic Games.
All true and I read about it this morning on Japan Today. Here, I’ll give you a taste.
A total of 26 sports applied for inclusion in the 2020 Games and in August of 2016, five new sports, including surfing , were added.
The IOC has also approved the inclusion of surfing on the program for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Surfing in Japan dates back over 100 years.
As detailed by Legendary Surfers, most Japanese-style wooden boats at the time had removable floor boards that were called Itago. When the boats were beached after fishing, the children of the fishermen took the Itago out of the boats and used them as body boards. This practice was commonly known as Itago-nori, meaning “Floor board riding.”
Japan, meanwhile, is hoping to get a boost from Kanoa Igarashi. Born in Huntington Beach, California, the 21-year-old Igarashi recently received dual citizenship in order to compete for his ancestral homeland in 2020. He has become one of the top surfers in the World Surf League and will be a medal contender next year.
In May, Igarashi became the first Japanese surfer to win an elite Championship Tour event when he topped the men’s competition at the Corona Bali Protected.
As host, Japan will get one automatic berth in each of the 20-surfer draws and will have a chance to earn another.
“He’s very talented, I think he could become a face of the games,” Fasulo said.
So, first, I would like to officially change the word “surfing” here to also be “floor board riding.” I think it is more accurate and also more poetic. A rare win-win.
Second, does it surprise you that Kanoa Igarashi is current world number five and that Kolohe Andino is current world number one? When I was laying out my projected midway rankings ahead of the 2019 season I did not have it like this, to be very honest. Professional floor board riding never ceases to confound and delight.
Third, are you still not on the Kanoa Igarashi train? As sometime BeachGrit contributor Jamie Tierney eloquently puts, “to know Kanoa is necessarily to love him.” I think he will make a fine face of the Olympic Games and I will do my best to run all the very cute Japanese commercials he appears in here.
Lastly, one of Kanoa Igarashi’s very strongest events, The U.S. Open of Floor Board Riding, is set to begin in seven days. Do you have plans to go to Huntington Beach? Are you a registered sex offender?
High-demand: Surf Ranch sells out “Ultimate VAL Experience!”
Admit it, when it was revealed that the World Surf League was opening Surf Ranch for the “Ultimate VAL Experience” at the low, low price of $3500 per person plus $500 more for one friend (capped at 36 surfers a day) plus $550 – $650 to stay in an Airstream near the lake with video coaching and croissants you thought, “Hmmmmm.”
Well, while you were thinking, “Hmmmmm” the advanced session sold right out and can you believe it? Can you believe there are 36 advanced surfers out there splitting $4500 – $4650 for…
3, 1-hour Surf Sessions In water coaching and guidance Video capture of all waves Personalized video review with our coaching staff Equipment education and use of full Firewire demo quiver Access to wakesurfing sessions throughout the day on our adjacent 20-acre recreational lake.
To be honest, it’s difficult for me to process. At last check, flights to Tavarua (from Los Angeles) were running $1000 and flights to Tahiti the same. Neither Tavarua nor Tahiti have use of a full Firewire demo quiver included, I suppose.
And in any case, due the popularity, the World Surf League has decided to add another advanced day for 36 more lucky souls.
Due to an overwhelming interest in the Intermediate – Advanced Progression Session at Surf Ranch, we’re converting July 31st to feature our CT wave profiles that are best suited for intermediate and advanced surfers.
That brings the current remaining availability to: July 30th Progression Session: Sold Out July 31st Progression Session: Now open to Intermediate – Advanced
Don’t “Hmmmmm” and miss out again!
Dear Surfers: “Do we really need to convince strangers that our sport is spectacular?”
"Is the hopeful financial hysteria of the WSL and its breathless broadcast and its branding ambitions really us?"
(Editor’s note: Earlier today, the writer Matt George, younger brother of Sam who wrote yesterday’s opinion piece about surf commentary, sent me a story with a brief note. “Please post this in response to Sam’s opinion feature.” I like Matt, alway have. Worked with him at a surf mag for a year in the early twos. He’s inflated. He’s boyish. And very macho. The sort of man who’ll shake your hand so hard you can feel the wires. I think this story is a rebuttal to yesterday’s comments. I could be wrong etc.)
Read this editorial again carefully.
And out loud to yourself.
There is a great deal of love in there.
And unquestioned credibility.
And heaven knows…we need this if it is ever going to work: The convincing of our credibility to the unbelievers. The one thing our sport has always fought for and never achieved. All the way back to the IPS.
Do we really need to convince strangers that our sport is spectacular? Is our goal a mediocre slot in the corrupt world of the modern Olympics? Broadcast at 9:45pm EST after the Curling?
Do we really need the money it provides Soccer players? Or NFL stars? Or Golfers? Money? Branding? Billboards on a freeway?
Beer and Cigarette companies have been doing that since the 60’s. Is that what we need?
The enemy is at the gates, Surfers.
Is the hopeful financial hysteria of the WSL and its breathless broadcast and its branding ambitions really us?
Are we really more interested in insulting each other with forgettable pithy remarks online instead of listening to informed opinions and meditating on our own?
Instead of controlling the destiny of our own unique and remarkable surfing passion? Is this our forum? Posting like trolls under the bridge with anonymous, impotent remarks online instead making the changes that we want as our forefathers did, handing it to us on a silver platter?
We, the surfers, still own the spirit of our sport.
We, the surfers, still own the vision.
With every wave we ride.
I say do not react, but re-instruct. Online. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Whatever. The brave new world. Ok…So be brave.
Let us form our own place in this world as we always have, but now with these new platforms of power to reach out. Tell them. Tell them all. That which we all want the people to really know.
From our doubting parents to the billionaire halls of global media. Our sport is a wild Mustang. In each of our hearts. You know it and I know it.
My name is Matt George, and I do not need some silly nickname online to hide behind.
My name is Matt George and I am right here.
Let’s hear it.
After the uncertainties of the past few years, Moore looks happy to be where she is. She’s made her decision. She wants to be right here, chasing world titles, and she’s ready to roll with the results, both good and bad. She’s learned resilience and when an athlete in any sport manages that difficult lesson, they emerge stronger and much more difficult to defeat than they ever were before.
Jen See: “The door to a fourth world title swings open for Carissa Moore!”
Three-time world champ beats Lakey Peterson at biggish, windy Jeffreys Bay…
Last year I sat across the table from Carissa Moore in a rented camper van parked in the driveway of a Ventura duplex. She told me how after she’d struggled to match her early successes.
She’d been called the next Kelly Slater after winning her first world title at age 19. Then she’d lost her way in a sport she’d been set to dominate. After an early round defeat at Huntington Beach in 2017, she’d flown back to Hawaii uncertain if she really wanted to continue competing at all.
That’s all behind her now.
After beating a ripping Lakey Peterson in the finals at J-Bay, Moore has won her first event of the year and taken over the lead in the world rankings. It’s been four years since Moore last won a world title, but this season, she’s made the quarterfinals at each event. In tears after the final, Moore said, she just kept wondering when the event win would come.
At J-Bay, it finally did.
Moore did not have an easy route to this final. In the semifinals she faced down teen wonder Caroline Marks, whose career trajectory in some ways resembles Moore’s own. Early success. Brilliant talent.
Overnight, a new swell had filled in and with it, came the wind, which cut spines into the wave’s faces. Spray flew skyward. The conditions looked tricky and both women started slowly, feeling out the swell and looking for the right waves.
Moore found her first good score with a six. She looked controlled, but not pushing as hard as she might. It was a good start, but you don’t beat Caroline Marks with sixes. Just ask Steph Gilmore.
During the quarterfinals, Marks thrived on the fast-moving walls that smaller J-Bay offers. On finals day, the trickier lineup with its big, wind-blown sections looked to shift the advantage to Moore.
While Marks showed her trademark smooth railwork and vertical turns, she got more often got caught behind the sections. The long, connected strings of turns she needed proved harder to come by. On a big close-out move that might have won her the heat, Marks mistimed it and fell.
Moore, meanwhile, steadily worked into the heat. She looked confident and patient, placing her turns carefully, reading the wave to perfection. A smooth set of turns netted her an 8.33.
From the commentary booth, Sally Fitzgibbons suggested that Moore was holding something back, that she still had more powerful surfing in her. As it turned out, she didn’t need it against Marks, who could only muster a pair of sixes.
By beating Marks, Moore took over the lead in the rankings. When Rosy Hodge asked her about the rankings, Moore said that was the big picture and it wasn’t at the front of her mind. Moore wanted the event win more than anything.
The semifinal between Lakey Peterson and Malia Manuel offered a study in contrasts. Manuel brought her characteristically smooth, controlled style, while Peterson threw down dynamic, fast moving turns. Manuel put an early six on the board, but her turns lacked the power that Peterson routinely brings to her surfing. Peterson threw down a pair of sevens and pushed through to the final.
What a nailbiter this final turned out to be.
The commentary team unanimously picked Peterson to win. I wasn’t so sure, after seeing Moore’s eight-point ride against Marks. Either way, the two started the heat uniquely well-matched. The bigger waves smoothed out Peterson’s style and gave her surfing a polish it lacked in the quarters. Moore brought the same calm approach that had delivered her to that moment.
Peterson took an early lead and looked unbeatable. Moore looked at multiple waves without finding what she wanted. With the long paddle out, it made sense to be picky. Then Moore strung together a series of tight turns and punctuated it with a slamming layback. It was a beautifully surfed wave with a perfect finish. The judges threw an eight and Moore took the lead.
Peterson now needed a 7.47. Not easy, but not impossible either.
On her next wave, with thirteen minutes to go, Peterson threw two turns, and pulled into a massive barrel. If she’d made it through, that might have ended the heat right then and there.
Moore meanwhile found a backup score, a 6.90, thanks to two solid turns. Though she got stuffed in the barrel, her turns were enough to give her a score.
Now Peterson needed an 8.21.
Quite suddenly, the Californian’s task had become impossible. Inside six minutes to go, Peterson found a screamer and surfed the hell out of it, but it wasn’t enough.
As she paddled back out, the clock ticked down to nothing.
On her final wave, Moore stood tall, riding the highline, that wondrous feeling, weightless. She’d done it, defeating Peterson, everyone’s favorite to win this final.
And at last, she’d found the win that had eluded her so far this season.
After the uncertainties of the past few years, Moore looks happy to be where she is. She’s made her decision. She wants to be right here, chasing world titles, and she’s ready to roll with the results, both good and bad.
She’s learned resilience and when an athlete in any sport manages that difficult lesson, they emerge stronger and much more difficult to defeat than they ever were before.
If Moore won early in her career on talent alone, now she’s married that talent to a renewed focus and a rock-solid determination.
The door to a fourth world title has now swung open for her.
J-Bay Women’s Final Results: 1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.47 2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.60
Women’s Semifinal Results: Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.33 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67 Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.27 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.00