Trestles Starts, Owen Shreds Again, & The WSL Does Sketch Comedy | This Week In Surfing

9 Sep 2016 0

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

	Steph Gilmore got her mojo back in Round 1 at the Swatch Women's Pro. Photo: WSL/Kirstin

Steph Gilmore got her mojo back in Round 1 at the Swatch Women's Pro. Photo: WSL/Kirstin


Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was September 9, 2016

1. Trestles Begins

Rounds 1 and 2 of the Swatch Women's Pro have been run, and the tail-end of Round 1 of the men's side, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, is finishing up at the time of writing, and all in all, it's been very very... okay. Yeah, okay.

On the women's side of the comp, the highlight has been the return to form performance of Stephanie Gilmore. She's got the mojo out there, and she won her Round 1 heat easily while a bunch of upsets rained down around her. Tyler Wright, Courtney Conlogue, and Sally Fitzgibbons were forced into Round 2, where Sally lost a second time and was bundled out of the comp.While Steph is very far from a legit run in this year's Title race, gee it was nice to see one of the most stylish surfers in the world, man or woman, back to their most rippingest.

The highlights of the men's round 1 so far have included Gabriel Medina cruising to a Round 1 win despite having an (non-priority) interference. That dude is so primed for this back half of the season, holy holy, he's going to be tough to stop. John John also never looked even close to being threatened in his Round 1 heat with Davey Cathels and Brett Simpson. Oh, and Filipe smashed his heat (that included Kelly) and at the time of writing, Parko has comboed the crap out of his heat with mates Mick and Jadson. But when no-one goes home after a full day of surfing, all this means little more than a form-guide idea of who is going to take this thing out, so really, the key highlight and most refreshing thing to come out of the event on Day 1 has been the the inclusion of Barton Lynch’s analysis.

The expertise he brings not only as a former World Champion, but as a current working surfing coach, to break down why a surfer is good, or what makes a turn so radical, on a level that us mere kooks can understand, and understand well, is almost unparalleled. And then there is just his natural froth, which is a joy to watch too. This Christmas when I head to my local Westfield and sit on Santa's lap, I’m going to wish for a 2017 WSL commentary that has BL in a permanent role. I've been good this year.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 9-11 September

2. Owen Rides Again!

There’s been a lot of unconfirmed speculation that Owen Wright will never be able to recover enough to get back to surfing at a level that will see him back on the WSL, and while it is true that perhaps we haven’t known the full extent of Owen’s very serious head injuries, these clips, filmed on a phone by Owen’s expecting girlfriend at the end of last week are very very encouraging. The roundhouse cutties, the airs, the tubes, it's stoke inducing surfing if ever there was.

A video posted by Owen Wright (@owright) on

3. WSL Does Comedy, And Does It Well

Comedy is the easiest thing to screw up, especially when it's performed by people who aren't pro comics, but every now and then the sporting world crosses into the world of humour and absolutely nails it, and this is one of those times. The WSL released a bunch of mini-skits this week, seven in total, featuring Seabass, Nat Young, Kolohe Andino and more. I couldn’t split my personal favourites of the below two featuring Richie Porta and the WSL judges delaying the score in the first, and Lakey, Tyler, Keanu, and Michel listening to the radio in the second, so here's both of them.

VIDEO: This is what South Oz looked like last week

4. Sheldon and Ethan Go West

Two of Australia’s best young stars in Ethan Ewing, you know, the 18 year old kid who smashed the Australian junior series and then came second at the US Open, and Sheldon Simkus, the 17 year old from Tweed Heads who’s a star in waiting, went to the west three months ago for their sunny sponsor and put together this unbelievably good clip. A bit of a juice in the brine, and a bit of beautiful West Aus cinematography combine for the best pure surf clip of the week (other than John John’s 12 series, which we can't embed here, so stuff it).

5. Cyrus Sutton, Surfing, Bears, and Guns In Russia

Here comes episode 8 of what’s been a ripper of a YouTube series from Reef, Passing Through, and this might be the best one yet. From surfing auteur and filmmaker Cyrus Sutton, this a great short adventure film. Tight, quality storytelling is rare in surf clips, so it’s a pretty delightful eight minutes.

6. Tanner Gudauskas, Vacation Club

So, Tanner Gudauskas won the wildcard for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, then he went ahead and won his Round 1, claiming the event’s first ten along the way. No goofy has won the Trestles event since Luke Egan back in 1979, but that 10 certainly shows that it’s not out of the realms of possibility. Anyway, Cali filmmaker Victor Pakpour added Tanner Gudang to his Vacation Club with this crisp clippity-doo-daa of Tanner ripping Trestles and the like. It’s good, and it also features cameos of brothers Pat and Dane, the happiest and blondest three brothers in surfing.

7. Lipped Fantasy Surfing Podcast, feat. Sean Doherty

Last week I was folding my laundry and cleaning my room and doing all other sorts of mundane chores on a boring Wednesday night. I’d done listened to all the podcasts I subscribe to already, so, to escape the existential horror of facing my menial errands without something to distract me, I chucked on the Lipped Podcast. I hadn’t listened to it before, and gee am I an idiot for that, because to my laundry folding delight, I discovered that it’s a ripper. So much so that I listened to two episodes back to back and folded my housemate's laundry too. This week they dropped their Trestles preview episode that also features a really insightful chat with Sean Doherty. If you listen really really closely, you can hear Sean’s teeth pressing hard into his own tongue when asked about Fred Pawle and the role of the surf journalist. Gold!

VIDEO: The best of Winter in Queensland and Northern NSW

8. Dane Reynolds Had A Birthday And Someone Made This Amazing Tribute Video

Shut it down, guys. The internet surf game is over. It’s over. Everything that can be said in an internet surfing video has now been said. We can turn the internet off. We did it. Good job everybody. We did it.

9. Rob Machado's Tube Tutorial

Hurley have created a new website called the Hurley Surf Club, a dedicated portal for helping your surf skills. It is in its infancy, so it's hard to predict how useful it's going to be in reality, but it looks like there will be articles from some of the world's best surf coaches, the ability to have them critique videos of yourself trying to shred, and these tutorial videos. The Machado tube one below is pretty money, but the Carissa Moore power-carve and Kolohe Andino alley-oop clips are certainly worth a look too.

VIDEO: This dad got barrelled big time

10. Alana Blanchard and Dimity Stoyle Shred Indo

If I make the thumbnail image for This Week In Surfing a screenshot of Alana Blanchard, I am guaranteed roughly 12 million-ish more clicks on this article. Twelve million-ish is quite a lot of click clicks. It's soul destorying stuff this surf Internet content business, you know. Am I making the world a worse place? Do I have a responsibility in how we as a surfing community represent and think about female surfing? Do I? Sigh... I do. Goodbye 12 million-ish clicks. But irrespective of clickbait bum shots, this is a quality three minutes of good surfing in fun waves of Bali. Wish Dimity was on tour still, her post-heat interviews were killer.

On a sad note – R.I.P. Woody

The competitors and staff of the WSL woke up at Trestles today to the terrible news that they had lost one of their most familiar faces overnight with the tragic passing of the WSL's head of security Woody (David Wood).

Woody was part of the furniture of the WSL, anyone who has spent a week hanging around a comp in the past ten years, be that as a competitor, staff, media, or spectator, would at the very least know his face. For the competitor's he was very well loved and respected for keeping them safe, and moreso, a key member of the tight knit community that is competitive professional surfing. He was one of their mates. Tributes have been pouring through Instagram and gracing the post heat interviews of today's events at Trestles.

This tragic news comes a day after RUOK? Day in Australia. A stark reminder to never hesitate or be afraid of giving a mate a call and making sure they're alright.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Look after each other.

Tags: drew petrie , brent harvey , Michael Firrito , Nicky Dal (create Alert from these tags)

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