"Medina is as good a villain as he is a rider of waves and the sport is infinitely better for his presence."
Earlier today, Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, two-time world champ, seeker of no-one’s approval, loosed the trailer for his upcoming bio film.
I’m a sucker for believable, beautifully made epics about brave people in the middle of the ocean battling overwhelming odds against nature to stay alive, and feel this might fit the bill.
As Matt Warshaw opined in December, “The WSL’s Wall of Positive Noise is a vanilla-scented scourge upon pro surfing, and Medina’s Dark Arts no-fucks-given approach to the game is attractive by comparison, and thus becomes my own cudgel, my own counternarrative, against the WSL’s endlessly vapid presentation. Surfing, like all forms of entertainment, need villains, and because Medina is as good a villain as he is a rider of waves and the sport is infinitely better for his presence. Second, Medina, for my money, is simply the best all-around surfer in the world.”
“Everyone knows Gabriel Medina today, but few know the things I went through to get here,” wrote Gabriel, in Portuguese, to his eight-million-plus Instagram followers, a number seven-times greater than John John and four times more than Kelly Slater.
But what is your dream, your deep down dream that is more fantasy than anything else? Your chimera with almost no chance of coming true but the almost haunts you? That you could be discovered, whilst walking down the street, and made a famous actress on a hot new daytime soap? That air-reverses will enter your regular, consistent repertoire? Steph Gilmore will see you landing all those air-reverses and fall madly in love?
Mine, that I’ve harbored for a few years now, is to turn the award-nominated book detailing life on Oahu’s North Shore Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell into a Broadway, Off-Broadway or even Off-Off-Broadway musical.
The opening number, featuring many ukuleles and steel guitars, swells as the lights dim. The scent of coconut and rot sprayed into the audience from hidden chambers. Curtains open to a rococo set design featuring palm trees, passion fruit bushes, a large Volcom Stone. Think Baz Luhrmann in Strictly Ballroom.
Thunder rattles the auditorium but… that’s not thunder it’s… crashing waves. It’s…
Billabong’s vice-president of marketing Graham Stapelberg can now be seen lurking in the corner, stage left, behind one of the passion fruit bushes. Shifty eyes. Nervous. He begins to dance a very nervous dance. Twitchy. Modern.
Pipeline’s thunder becomes drum and bass techno track and Graham Stapelberg continues gyrating, nervous, scared. Think Bob Fosse.
And that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
I have no experience in musical theater other than once being married to a musical theater actress. No playwright, songwrite, choreography ability but I shared by dream, anyhow, with David Lee Scales today.
He mocked it.
We also chatted about which current tour surfer will be our world’s Aaron Hernandez.
Who do you think?
And even though David Lee Scales mocked my dream, do you believe it is remotely possible? That we might someday see actors playing Eddie Rothman, John John Florence, Kolohe Andino and Dave Prodan dancing, singing, expressing the passion of Da North Shore?
Do you know any playwright/songwrite/choreographer?
I’ll cut you in on the box office.
Celebrate: Florida outclasses Australia, Reunion, South Africa and entire world combined for most unprovoked shark attacks in 2019!
Oh it is good to be number one. To be able to tilt chin back, slightly, puff chest out, a touch, and walk down the street with extra long steps, arms swinging robustly. And today, Florida is metaphorically strutting its stuff having once again topped Australia, Reunion, South Africa and the entire rest of the world combined for most unprovoked shark attacks on human men in just-wrapped 2019.
Feel free to pop a bottle Yuengling and read the report yourself:
For decades, Florida has topped global charts in the number of shark attacks, and this trend continued in 2019. Florida’s 21 cases represent 51% of the U.S. total and 33% of unprovoked attacks worldwide. However, the state saw a significant drop from its most recent five-year annual average of 32 incidents.
Unprovoked shark attacks also occurred in Hawaii (9), California (3), and North Carolina (3), with single incidents in Georgia, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the Virgin Islands.
In Florida, Volusia County had the most shark attacks (9), representing 43% of the Florida total, in line with the five-year annual average of nine incidents in the area. The remaining incidents occurred in Brevard (2) and Duval (5) counties, with single incidents occurring in Broward, Martin, Nassau, Palm Beach, and St. Johns counties.
By way of comparison, Australia had 11 attacks, Reunion had 1 and South Africa, once brave and proud, had 0.
Hang your metaphorical head in shame, South Africa.
"Since the wild dust storm rained mud on us last night, our dedicated crew of facilities technicians, divers, robotic vacuum cleaners, sweepers and even lifeguards have been scrubbing non-stop…"
Pool surfers’ lives are in tatters this morning after it was revealed Australia’s first commercial wave pool would remain closed after freak “mud rain” that left the facility with a brown tank.
Since the wild dust storm rained mud on us last night, our dedicated crew of facilities technicians, divers, robotic vacuum cleaners, sweepers and even lifeguards have been scrubbing non-stop to return our surfing lagoon to its usual crystal-blue state. Regrettably (due to the thick nature of the dust) we’re still hard at work cleaning our lagoon, and in the interests of our guests’ health and safety, @urbnsurf#melbourne will be closed tomorrow, Friday 24 January 2020.
An act of God that must’ve taken the joint’s PR team by surprise given “mud-rain” is unlikely to’ve made it onto the list of potential closures.
Death, turds, paralysis, board through an eyeball, lightning, hail, these you can prepare for and mount compelling responses to.
But to be shat on from outer space?
Meanwhile, tears have been flowing on the company’s IG account as punters struggle to come to terms with the chaos of life.
Oh no! How is Saturday looking? I was booked in for the 9th of Jan and did my back on the 8th of Jan so missed out. my rebook is for this Saturday. Please tell me it’s all going to be ok… and it’s my 40th today, I’ll head down after work tomorrow and give you a hand cleaning it if you need?
We’ve literally just landed in Melbourne having flown from Sydney especially for tomorrow at your pool, having booked two sessions each the second they came live. You could have given us some warning yesterday/this morning?? Please please find a way to fit us in this weekend on your rights? We’ve booked flights, a car, two sessions… it’s been an incredibly expensive weekend
There was some good advice to be had, howevs.
4ft and offshore on the surf coast tommrow. Would rather be there!
you guys should head down to the surfcoast , it’ll be pumping and a lot of us are back at work now , so there will be a few less crowded breaks. Two days of great swell , adventure and sun – free of charge
If you’ve got a sesh booked at Urbnsurf, hit ’em up via email ([email protected]) for updates.
Phones are aching with traffic. You ain’t gonna get through.
Alternative board designs are like crack cocaine to me, likely because they are a crutch for limited ability, stiff, slow, five-point bottom turns and all that jazz. Alternative designs can make you feel better than you are, or at the least stop rubbing your nose in the insufficiency of a mediocre skill set on high-performance equipment. Asymmetrical surfboards are viewed through this lens, incorrectly I think. Billy Lee-Pope
Longtom on Album Surf Disasym: “For me, stiff, slow, lacking ability, I had a lot of brilliant, really fun moments!”
The Theory as elucidated by Ekstrom at Windansea: longer rail line on the forehand where you can apply more pressure and a shorter heel side arc. I’m not sure that theory would stack up scientifically under the rigours of modern high-performance surfing but it works empirically for Burch and pals.
My first session in janky point surf did not go well, apart from establishing the board as a very good paddler, especially into waves with the sawn off nose. It felt stiff and sticky, then lacking drive, which accords with Dane Reynolds initial impressions when riding it in Mexican point surf for TheElectric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
He was able to change something up in his approach, unspecified, to make it work. That occurred on my watch too. Not so much my approach but better waves bought the board alive.
A prolonged swell event from a tropical cyclone near Fiji brought a ton of surf, of varying quality. Ryan Burch uses the board in good waves in place of the high perf thruster. Both his and Bryce Young’s feature the narrow, ski-type parallel outline found on the Disasym.
With the single concave bottom it needs a certain hull speed to break free.
Once attained the board feels completely different.
The stiffness and stickiness transforms into a very fluid, slippery feeling. You get the downwind “catamaran” effect where the rails feel more sensitive and effective the faster you go.
That’s an effect common to certain concave designs.
How much effect the asymmetrical outline and fin cluster has is hard to say.
Watching Burch and Young it’s obvious they can draw different lines, especially frontside, at say, Indonesian reefbreaks for Burch and Angourie for Young. I rode mostly backside so theoretically the toe-side top turn should have been constrained.
It did not feel constrained.
I had planned to take the board to the Tullamarine tub but based on the advice of fellow asymmetrical rider Stu Nettle I left it at home. I doubt there would have been the wavespeed to get it going. Parker markets the board as a high-performance vehicle, which is true and fair, but I’d go a step further.
It shines as a step-up in the good wave space.
The asymmetrical surfboard does present a conundrum for the late-capitalist society surfer. The dichotomy between the leisure class and the time-poor sod has never been more sharply delineated. If surf-time and go outs are at a premium then experimenting with asymmetricals is likely a poor return on investment. You have to find something that works and stay close to it.
Obvs, young studs like Burch and Young who get paid to surf have an entirely different surf equation to solve.