He crumbled at Surf Ranch, never seen it before. He crumbled at the Olympics. He looks off, flat. There's some static in the head throwing conflicting signals at the musculo-skeletal system.
I know it’s the fashion to preamble philosophical pronouncements with the disclaimer, “ I ain’t no epidemiologist, but…” but Kelly Slater has shown us there is more to life than life and death.
The cat, crazy as any that God set breath into, still laying down shreds embarrassing peers half his age is exhibit A for that premise. In this case, Japanese American and Olympic Silver Medallist Kanoa Igarashi, who had no answer to the Goat’s beautiful wrapping cutbacks and karate snaps.
I think classic Kelly and judges are now down-scoring, perhaps as part of the great reset, perhaps because Kelly is now a slightly inconvenient truth for the League with it’s workforce of coastal elites who consider the Champ’s vaccine views too hot too handle.
Despite a Bachelors degree in Science in Biology I only semi epidemiologically literate myself so can offer no view as to their veracity. My view: Life is a series of indignities visited upon us by nature so get what you can when the getting is good. If the getting is good when you enter the fifth decade then you’re doing something right.
This gurgly Mexican point break offered up some slurping tubes down a black sand sandbar, quite invigorating to watch after the chaos of Shidashita and the monotony of Surf Ranch.
It’s a war of voluntary attrition at the top though, or the bottom end of the Top.
Mikey’s done, left the circus to concentrate on freesurfing. Smart call to get out while there’s still some mileage left in the rock-and-roll brand. I’d love to see the whole Wright clan quit to free surf. Back in a Van. Owen as chaffeur, jaunty cap covering up the increasing low-tide line on the forehead, going back to an aerial or three. Tyler increasing the repertoire. Back to the way it used to be. Lots of upside there in the digital space to build a channel etc etc.
Julian’s dropped off the keys, J-flo made a new plan, Stan. John John played it coy on medical advice, despite being fit enough to block Kelly from the Olympics. Lots of talent being stripped out. Kelly might not be able to retire, even if he wanted too. They need some eyeball attractors left in the draw. Stories make stars and there ain’t a lot of Italos pushing north from the traditional surfing nations.
Down the bottom end of the rankings there’s a strong feeling that for the sport to capitalise on any post-Olympic bounce the Aussie lambs had to turn into lions.
Which they did.
Jack Robbo looked sharp, but he still looks a little front-foot heavy in the small wave game. Ewing topped the day. If he can’t get the job done in three-foot san bottom point surf then he really should jump in the Wright family van and forget about the lycra jersey for good.
Robbo pushed Medina into second place.
Am I the only one getting worried about Gabe?
I mean his psychological state viz a viz pressure. He crumbled at Surf Ranch, never seen it before. He crumbled at the Olympics. He looks off, flat. There’s some static in the head throwing conflicting signals at the musculo-skeletal system. Two conflicting things are true for Gabe in Mexico: the result doesn’t really matter so he can cruise and, the loss of momentum from a bad performance or result robs him of confidence he’ll need for Trestles.
Some sort of reset is needed for Gabe, despite an incredibly dominant year, but how?
The dominant animal of the year is stumbling, being picked apart by demons and parasites, some of his own making.
Freddy Morais climbed off the Corona death bed to look great at Barra. Tour stalwarts like Fred will have to do a lot of heavy lifting when the talent exodus of the current CT roster washes through.
Will the billions of new fans brought to the sport from Olympic exposure stay up late to watch Morais? Just asking.
One single excellent ride today. Belonging to Ethan Ewing, née AI. I thought ADS did the better surfing in the heat. Each turn framed by a period of almost dead calm, which was very pleasing to my eye.
The live broadcast missed Ewing’s wave – nothing unusual there – which took him from last to first with four minutes to remaining.
Riding a longer, narrower board, Ewing broke the trim line repeatedly with tail slides, state of the art in 1993, but over-scored in 2021.
Nonetheless, if that is what judges deem excellent surfing in head-high scrappy point surf then Ewing is favourite to win the comp.
I ain’t no blah blah but Toledo will dismember him and leave his corpse to rot in the jungle if they meet in the final.
TL:DR: Despite the mediocre scores, a running warm-water point break was very entertaining to watch.