Jeremy Flores wins Quiksilver Pro, France: “The most honest pro since Bobby Martinez, minus the suicide vest!”

Marked by fate, determined by an invisible rhythm…

Seemed a bold move, ballsy in the (discredited) vernacular, to call it off the other day in clean four-to-six-foot surf at La Nord.

It would make it hard to finish in a day by my reckoning but they did and the Wozzle scored the best day of the waiting period so props to Jessy Miley-Dyer. The real best day this time, apart from some high-tide wonk on the outer bank before they moved it into the shore-break for the Finals.

Like the Surf Ranch but for entirely opposite reasons, the climax of this event also seemed pre-ordained. Marked by fate, determined by an invisible rhythm that Jeremy Flores identified in a post-heat presser and activated from the first wave he rode to the last. It was such a simple equation, from a pulled back perspective,  rhythm  was key, the first good scoring wave ridden in a heat inevitability secured victory.

Jezza did it time and time again. To Jordy, to Ryan Callinan, to Jack Freestone and ultimately to Italo Ferreira in the Final. He never looked like getting beaten. The kind of king hell roll that, looking back through the years at his record in France, seems almost insane because it stands alone.

He said he did nothing different from previous failed campaigns. Threw sporting cliché after sporting cliché into a beautiful gallic dumpster fire. Jezza seems to have been in a “post-pro” phase for a while. The dad bod and reckless honesty. He’s got that rad-uncle-you-want-to-have-a-beer-with-at-Christmas vibe, yet seems more relevant than ever amongst a Tour more overtly Christian than Middle America.

We love Jezza for his honesty. The most honest pro since Bobby Martinez, minus the suicide vest. He called the basin, I’ll use the official term, a joke then went out laid down a masterclass in taming an unruly hollow beachbreak. Outer bar and inner bar. He said local advantage was non-existent and there was a “lot of luck” involved.

He said he did nothing different from previous failed campaigns. Threw sporting cliché after sporting cliché into a beautiful gallic dumpster fire. Jezza seems to have been in a “post-pro” phase for a while. The dad bod and reckless honesty. He’s got that rad-uncle-you-want-to-have-a-beer-with-at-Christmas vibe, yet seems more relevant than ever amongst a Tour more overtly Christian than Middle America. 

That was the scaffolding. The building itself; if you’ll pardon the mangled metaphor, was a mixed bag. Some got to grips with the outer bank, strafed by rip current and side wobble, most did not. Strider became incensed that competitors were out of position as drainers spat their intestines out up the bank. Leo Fioravanti had to watch on helplessly as Ace Buchan dropped off the ski and paddled straight into one while Leo held priority. The priority judge Ratso Buchanan, earned his money with  some big calls that decided heats.

None bigger than the one in the dying stages of the Round of 16 heat between Andino and Yago Dora. Protecting a small lead with priority as the clock ticked down a throaty set wave arched on the bank with Dora and Andino on the button. It was a heat-winning wave and Andino had a solid sniff at it. Priority, by my reading of the rule book, should have swapped.

But it didn’t and Andino and Dora both rode the next wave for an interference call against Dora. Andino later admitted his surfing hadn’t won the heat when he said, “I couldn’t surf much worse than that” before apologising to Dora for the, what I would call, dog act.

Any way you slice it, it wasn’t World Champ talk. 

When it emerged that Andino was also suffering from a dodgy back the day started resembling a deleted scene from the Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Wounded cowboys lying around everywhere. Toledo injured, Kolohe, Italo hurt himself in the semi against Leo after easily dispatching Kolohe in their quarter and stretching the head to head to 5-1.

Does Kolohe know that? Seems Kelly is the only pro who keep basic numeracy in his back pocket. You’d think a basic skill set for a pro, especially if you are a back marker and you live or die by the numbers. Like Jack Freestone who professed to have zero idea about what numbers he needed to avoid relegation because it was a toxic mindset.

Italo/Flores was a worthy Final, as far as performances on the day go. Other contenders fell away. Medina was out of sorts. He got clubbed on his opening wave, Ace got slotted and came out. He had to straighten out on a below sea level froth monster. An epoch seemed to pass where Medina held priority and no waves came.

My fantasy was for Medina to crush Europe and close the Title, just to crush Dirk’s dreams. Kidding, of course. You can’t crush Billionaire dreams. They just buy new ones.

Unbelievably, Medina lost the heat during that period. Ace revealed in the presser that he knew they had drifted out of position but with Gabe holding P he was happy to inhabit that purgatory. Sure ’nuff, the next sets went through unridden. Ace confirmed his position, according to surf writer Surfads as the “straight-cut Levis of the surf world with his stubborn refusal to become irrelevant.”

My fantasy was for Medina to crush Europe and close the Title, just to crush Dirk’s dreams. Kidding, of course. You can’t crush Billionaire dreams. They just buy new ones.

Ryan Callinan looked the only other surfer in the draw, on form, who could have made a fist of the Final. I always had this weird feeling that his backhand was a tiny bit wonky. A bit folded in on itself and lacking true power. That’s totally revised after today. His two-turn combos were huge. That little backhand on the rail to push the board straight back up into the lip always presaged something big. It’s a minor bummer he came up against J-Flo in the quarters and not the final. He came closest and his best scoring wave was under-cooked, which still didn’t alter the result. 

I didn’t watch the women. Don’t torch me. That’s the downside of having the women cleaved in with the men. Sportswriters can only focus on so much on a massive day, or risk tokenism.

Carissa dominant. Riff below. 

The Final was all over in the opening five minutes. Jezza rode the wave of the event: just a glorious, backlit dream chamber with an untouched exit right in front of an adoring crowd. Nutz for them. Huge for French surfing, even if he is from an island in the Indian Ocean.

It was a ten, awarded a high nine by judges to maintain some semblance of sporting spectacle.

Italo tried to fightback. Landing a very lofty oop right on top of a collapsing lip for a non-make. Jeremy calmly slotted two more small toobs and that was it. Not great sport due to the lack of contest but undeniably a mad, mad day for Jeremy Flores and French surfing. 

2019 Men’s Championship Tour ratings

Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 48,015
Filipe Toledo (BRA) – 45,730
Jordy Smith (ZAF) – 43,515
Italo Ferreira (BRA) – 42,400
Kolohe Andino (USA) – 41,250

2019 Women’s Championship Tour Jeep ratings

Carissa Moore (HAW) – 57,260
Lakey Peterson (USA) – 49,935
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 46,815
Caroline Marks (USA) – 46,020
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) – 40,855

Roxy Pro France Final Results:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.60
2 – Caroline Marks (USA) 7.00

Roxy Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 9.83 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 3.66
SF 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.887 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.06

Quiksilver Pro France Final Results:
1 – Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00
2 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.23

Quiksilver Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.33 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 4.73
SF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.60 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.83

Quiksilver Pro France Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.40 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.17
QF 2: Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.00 def. Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.84
QF 3: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 13.30 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.00
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.93 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.36

Quiksilver Pro France Round of 16 (Round 4) Match-Ups:
HEAT 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6.67
HEAT 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.17 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.83
HEAT 3: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.87 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.63
HEAT 4: Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.33 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.33
HEAT 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.00 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.50
HEAT 6: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 11.77 def. Seth Moniz (HAW) 8.83
HEAT 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.33 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 6.00
HEAT 8: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.84 def. Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.06


Bond students hearing about the wonderful WSL internship opportunities.

Scholastic: World Surf League announces its “Official Higher Education Partner” in Australia!

"Benefits of the tie-up will include industry placements and internships for students with the WSL across a range of disciplines."

Brilliant. Just brilliant and I couldn’t be happier to report that our World Surf League finally has an “Official higher education partner in Australia” because it needs one now more than ever. Just yesterday we learned that scheming, big-brain’d Ivy Leaguers are looking into the nefariousness of “nationality bias” in World Surf League judging. How to counter the potential damning that might come from a report? Well, to officially partner with a private not-for-profit university on Australia’s Gold Coast, obviously.

Australia’s Gold Coast is known for many things: Snapper Rocks, Mick Fanning. Also it is known as a hub of smarts n stuff. Bond, private and not-for-profit since 1989, will be the perfect bulwark against Stanford, Harvard, Oxford etc. and let’s head straight to the press release to learn what lucky students will be getting n stuff.

The two-year deal beginning in 2020 will see Bond become the Official Higher Education Partner of the World Surf League Australia.

Benefits of the tie-up will include industry placements and internships for students with the WSL across a range of disciplines.

Bond University student Rachael Tilly became the youngest world champion in the history of professional surfing when she won the 2015 longboard title at the age of 17.

From San Clemente in California, she is studying a Bachelor of Sports Management while still competing on the women’s longboard world tour.

“I’d love to use my degree to make an impact in the surfing industry,” Ms Tilly said.

“My lecturer at Bond set me up with an internship at a WSL event earlier this year and I learned so much.

“This is a huge opportunity for students, even ones who aren’t specifically into surfing.

Yes.

I’m excited for more potential employees to dawn the WSL’s Santa Monica door who “aren’t specifically into surfing.” They can join WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt and a host of others who know nothing about the stuff n stuff.

My fingers are crossed for a similar partnership right here in America.

What institution would make the best fit?


Lesson five in modern French cinema. Today, teen homosexuals Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux in Blue is the Warmest Colour.

Comment live, Quiksilver Pro, Hossegor, Day Five!

Don't be passive and dumb. Raise some noise!

Did you know you can order French wine in four sizes: demi (half a litre), distingué (one litre), formidable (three litres) and catastrophe (five litres)?

A fitting entrée, one might say, to tonight’s broadcast of the Quiksilver Pro where Surfline calls six-to-eight-foot faces early, easing. Offshores in the morn.

Pour yourself a drink. Yes?

Mine is champagne and barley water or, if friends arrive, which is unlikely, a turkey cocktail: to one large turkey add one gallon of vermouth and a demijohn of angostura bitters. Shake.

If you’ve been following these Comment Live streams you’ll notice a not-so-subtle lesson in modern French cinema dressing up the main photo: we began on day one with Brigitte Bardot from Et Dieu Créa la Femme (watch here), Alain Delon in Plein Soleil (watch here), Ludivine Sagnier in Swimming Pool, day four was Gaspar Noé’s Love and, today, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Colour.

Anyway, contest etc.

Watch here, comment you know where and wait for Longtom’s hot volume analysis tomorrow.

Quiksilver Pro France Round of 16 (Round 4) Match-Ups:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
HEAT 2: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 3: Marc Lacomare (FRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
HEAT 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
HEAT 6: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 8: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)


Seeking “Naomiso”: The profound artist who came up with this provocative design for profitable* collaboration!

*You and Hong Kong split all the profits!

So you might have read earlier that surf/skate sneaker Vans pulled a leading shoe from the brand’s online competition Vans Custom Culture that alluded to the months-long protests in Hong Kong. I trust you are aware of the situation there and don’t need to stumble over the news here but China is currently acting egregiously toward historically brave Hong Kong citizens unwilling to bend the knee and give up all rights.

Vans, historically “rebellious,” issued a statement declaring:

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition.”

Freedom ain’t free, as they say.

Anyhow, the stable genius Superworm came up with a brilliant idea in the Sacred Comments™ writing:

So Chas, contact the designer, and run the design on a BeachGrit Tshirt or deck grip. Take the win. Virtue signal, promote and profit in one hit.

Done.

And I’ll even contribute all the profit to Hong Kong protesters and the designer.

So, who are you? All we got is “Canadian-based designer Naomiso”.

Where are you?

Email [email protected]


Rebellion Lite: Vans pulls shoe design that irritates ruthlessly authoritarian Chinese masters!

"Behind the Wall!"

These Hong Kong protests, I’ll tell you what, are the very picture of “put your money where your mouth is.” What began as an infuriated local roar against Beijing attempting to alter extradition laws in the “Special Administrative Region” has morphed into a pitched battle between those who actually believe in freedom and those who simply profit off the idea.

Western company after western corporation has either remained mum, tiptoeing around silently in order to do business with billions of Chinese by bowing to authoritarian desires, or straight up capitulated.

Apple was the latest to mock its own ideals. The Bay Area-based tech giant has, since its inception, traded on being “different.” Recent campaigns have celebrated Colin Kapernick, every nuanced LGBTQ victory, women’s soccer. The brand’s most lauded advertisement ever featured Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. etc. but when it came to providing apps for Hong Kong citizens looking to get around their city without getting eaten by dogs, Apple vanished it quickly along with any other sort of anything that frustrates Beijing’s ruling class.

Vans, the shoe with its very roots in surf and skate culture and with marketing that depicts living “Off the Wall,” has also been utterly hypocritized and, as the story gained national news, we must go to CNN for the very latest.

Skateboarding brand Vans is facing a boycott in Hong Kong after it removed a shoe alluding to the city’s anti-government protests from a sneaker design competition.
The company’s decision to withdraw the proposed design was met with outrage on social media, where users began uploading videos and photos of themselves throwing their Vans sneakers in the trash, and even setting them on fire.

Held annually, the Vans Custom Culture competition invites the public to submit their own shoe designs, with the winner of an online vote receiving $25,000 and having their sneakers manufactured by the brand.

After voting opened last week, one entry quickly rose to the top, reportedly garnering tens of thousands of votes — a shoe themed around the monthslong protests in the semi-autonomous city.

Like Apple disappeared their app, Vans disappeared the Hong Kong shoe, releasing the following statement once the uproar reached volume.

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition.”

Amazing that freedom of expression is considered a “political position” especially from a brand that uses our world for its inspiration. That “respect and tolerance” includes respect and tolerance for China’s hideous totalitarianism. Vans hosts a punk festival, for pity’s sake. A punk-ish festival and the U.S. Open of Surfing.

I would really love if there was more to the story, more to Van’s reasoning than pure, bald-faced market considerations, licking lips at a new potential billion plus customers. I reached out to Vans but haven’t heard back and this piece will likely come with a substantial financial hit for the Biggest Little Surf Website in the World but what the hell?

The thought of life behind China’s totalitarian awful makes me shudder.

It should make Vans executives shudder as well unless they want to change the tagline to “Behind the Wall.”