Filipe Toledo, meanwhile, sings a dirge.
Former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan gave us many things before his untimely demise. Mostly they were laughs at him, with a hefty amount of wincing at him thrown in for good measure, but he also delivered a mid-season cut and finals day there on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles.
The cut, I think, a necessary evil that should be increased and maybe applied twice per season.
Finals day silly in its current iteration, and at Lowers, but some version of a one-day shootout is not bad and maybe even good.
In any case, this year’s tour ender, set to run sometime between September 6 and 18, will not be like every other 2023 stop. Those were each ravaged by climate change, no waves during the waiting period thanks to big oil. Plenty of waves before and after thanks to World Surf League bush planting. Lowers, though, seems to back bucked the trend.
Kevin Wallis, chief forecaster at official wave prognosticator Surfline, took to Instagram days ago to declare:
Looking ahead to the WSL Finals at Lowers, there are decent odds for medium-size swell around the 8th-11th. This doesn’t look like a monster, but could be in the real sweet spot for Lowers on swell direction, period and size. Resulting surf could be in the head high to overhead range.
We’re still more than a week from the South Pacific storm forming, but there is good general agreement on the pattern developing across the various models (GFS and Euro), ensembles, etc. We’ll see how things play out in the next few days – and quality of surf will obviously be dependent on local wind and if/how much local NW windswell might get into the mix – but a promising sign roughly two weeks from the start of the event window.
While good news for surf fans, what do you imagine the feeling is in Filipe Toledo’s camp? The world number one, who will surf last and get another chance to redeem himself in case he loses, is a small wave maestro but his knees go weak in the bigger stuff. Do you think a little PTSD might kick in? Him, swinging, paddling, seeing those aforementioned cobbled stones and getting flash backs to Teahupo’o?