"I have to get better. I have to improve by going out there, taking wipeouts, two-wave hold-downs, getting hurt on the reef."
In this nine-minute short, perennial world title contender Filipe Toledo talks, relatively candidly I think, about the reputation that has bedevilled his career since his zero point heat at Teahupoo in 2015.
“Pete Mel is in the water,” said the commentator Joe Turpel. “Pete, has Filipe had any chances? Why is he scoreless?”
“Well, I think that…ummm…”
“The reputation’s not good. People talking about it? I don’t like it,” says Filipe.
This film, made by Luke Farquhar, contrasts that zero-point heat in Tahiti with his near-win over Kelly Slater at eight-to-ten-foot Pipeline in 2018 where Filipe nearly nails a ten-pointer to win the heat and stay in title contention.
“I’m not the best surfer out at Pipeline; I’m not the best surfer in Tahiti. I have to get better. I have to improve by going out there, taking wipeouts, two-wave hold-downs, getting hurt on the reef,” he says.
As may have been alluded to over the last couple of years, the film was supposed to climax with Filipe paddling into a ten-footer at Teahupoo, emerging to indelicate screaming and a besmirched reputation wiped clean; a project that had so many false starts, trips to Tahiti, missing swells and back and forthing that it was eventually shelved.
I do hate to waste a good interview, in this case Sam George asking some pretty tough questions in a makeshift studio set up in Filipe’s San Clemente garage.
So we cut the original feature back, stripped it to the original interview and sprinkled a little fairy dust here and there.
Maybe you’ll like, maybe you won’t, although I do feel it’s worthy of examination.