This Week In Surfing: Kelly Slater Grows Goatee While Smoking Portugal Round 1, Rasta Is The Twin Fin Master, & How John John Could Win The World Title This Week

21 Oct 2016 1

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Hi-ya! Kelly lands a full rotation air that would have scored a ten back in 2012, during his Round 1 heat at the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Hi-ya! Kelly lands a full rotation air that would have scored a ten back in 2012, during his Round 1 heat at the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 21, 2016

Bitesize news:
– The WSL has been discussing regulating all competitor boards 
– Next year's WSL CT Rio event won't be in Rio in 2017, nah, it'll be in Saquaraema
– Clay Marzo was (allegedly) robbed of $400,000 by his accountant over six snd a half years
Women get a big wave World Tour
– Filipe Toledo had a baby
– John John had a birthday

And now, the ten things...

1. KELLY SLATER HAS A GOATEE (Oh, and the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Started)

They have run Round 1 and half of Round 2 of the penultimate event of the season, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, and there have been two major takeaways from the event so far: First, did you know that John John Florence can clinch the Title this event? Second, Kelly Slater kind of sort of has a beard.

Let's deal with the most important thing first. When was the last time you saw Kelly Slater with stubble? I just Googled "Kelly Slater + facial hair" and the closest thing I got was a photo of American Pie's Sean William Scott. Kelly Slater has been on the CT for for almost 48 years now and not once in my 73 years covering elite surfing competitions have I seen the guy show up for a contest not cleanshaven. What does this mean? How long will he keep it? Is Kelly Slater preparing for a Hollywood film in which he plays a nightclub security guard? Only time will tell.

The beard didn't slow Kelly down at all. He breezed through his Round 1 heat, with the best air of a day that saw a lot of punts. Actually, Kelly was one of a handful of older fellas that smashed their Round 1 heats, including Josh Kerr, Kai Otton, Adriano, and Joel Parkinson. While the Title favourites got smoked by their lesser counterparts. Medina got taken down by wildcard Frederico Morais, John John lost to Jadson Andre, and Wilkinson lost to Miguel Pupo, who put him in a combination.

Handily for Medina and John, they won their round 2 heats, Medina by less than a point over the unluckiest surfer on tour, Ryan Callinan, while Wilko said goodbye to any hope he had for a World Title when he lost to Jeremy Flores. His third last place finish of the year. Rough. Wilko, to his credit, with his World Title dream having just been shattered, gave a lovely post heat interview, reflecting and reminding us all that he has a lot to be proud of in 2016, and, Wilko, man, we have to tell you as Australian surf fans, we're bloody proud of ya.

“I’ve had the best year of my career by far, and I’m excited to keep it going the next few years,” he said, before joking, “maybe something will happen and someone will get disqualified and I’ll get first still.”

So... John John can win the Title in Portugal? How did we not know that before this event started? Insane. Anyway, here's the logistics of a John John title.

If Medina finishes 13th (loses his Round 3 heat) John John can win the title by making the final.

If Medina finishes 9th (loses in Round 5), John John can win the title by winning the event.

But, if Medina makes it to the quarters, the title goes to Pipe no matter what.

Medina losing Round 3 is super possible, btw. He faces Jeremy Flores, who is in form (he got a 9 and an 8 in his Round 2 heat), feels at home in European beachies, and certainly won't feel the pressure of facing a competitive Gabriel Medina.

And John John could definitely win this event, because he is John John, obviously. That said, he's been in pretty rubbish form himself lately, looking shakey on the final day of France, and in his first two heats here, the highest single wave score he's notched up is a measley 5.37.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast – 21-23 October

2. Tour Notes Asks Who The Surfers Travel With

Sticking with Portugal for a moment, here's that candid behind the scenes, on the ground, little web series coming at us from the sands of Peniche, asking the world's elite who and what they travel with. Interesting how varied everyone's answers are. Who'da thought John Joh would have the biggest entourage. Does that make him the Vinnie Chase of the surf world? Yes. Yes it does.

3. The RVCA Team Get Really Barrelled In Pit Pals

One of the sweet deals for us surf fans in the news of Bruce Irons signing with RVCA at the beginning of the year is that he now gets included in RVCA surf clips, which are excellent. So hooray for the couple of seconds he features in this one. Pit Pals also features Sam Wrench, Davey Cathels, Ellis Ericson, Beau Foster and Jay Davies.

SEE ALSO: Say hello to the least friendly waves in WA

4. Harry Bryant in Emu Personifies Aus Surfing

Harry Bryant is like the surfing version of one of those new Australian bands that sound like the Go-Betweens. Celebrating all the best things about the music of the past, packaged up in a neat 2016 version. Harry Bryant is a young Aussie mongrel who surfs with aggression and enthusiasm, sometimes in a tube suit. This is him in WA by Nate Foster and it’s a true blue good time.

5. Coleborn, Dora, and Tyler In The Maldives

This is the hi-fi clip of the week, the Volcom goofies surfed nothing but lefts in the Maldives and went loony to psysch rock music. Mitch Coleborn is still an absoulute star, some of those rotations, man, and Yago Dora continues to rise as the most underrated free surfer in the world, what a freak. He almost lands some sort of no grab rodeo thing in this, and some kind of big spin thing too. I have no idea what any of the airs in this are called. Airs are weird.

SEE ALSO: WA's mid-week swell boom

6. Nic Von Rupp Likes Big Waves in One of These Days

European pro surfer slash Sound of Music star slash big wave hunter scored some heavy water sessions near his hometown in Portugal with his pal Tom Lowe. It’s big and cold and has a soundtrack of screaming guitar solos. Loving that turn at 2.24.

7. Rasta, The Twin Master

Yes, Rasta! Yes, twin fins! Yes, Rasta surfing on twin fins! This here is a clip of the great David Rastovich looking so smooth on some Australian right points as he tests out a Bing Sunfish model shaped by Matt Calvani. Extra bonus, the clip was put together by old favourite Nathan Oldfield. Everything in its right place.

VIDEO: Girls of the Gold Coast

8. Weak Wrap: Sharks and John

Weak Wrap with Daniel Johnson who says he’s not Mike Jennings, but how can we really be sure about that? This week Daniel, not Mike, shows us lots of shark things and how John (John) is better than all of us because he’s not stuck in traffic in Sydney.

9. Tyler Wright – Being The Anti-Hero

Remember when Tyler Wright won the World Title? That was the best, wasn’t it? Well, here’s a little behind the scenes clip from team Rip Curl on her day of glory. Love her analysis of how a 7.8 is basically a 10. Maths.

PODCAST: It's impossible not to be happy for Keanu Asing

10. Joan Duru and Pumping Hossegor

Joan Duru is the French guy sitting pretty at no.3 on the WQS right now, which at this stage of the year makes him a near certainty to qualify for next year's Championship Tour, or CT, if you like acronyms. This is great news, because there are not nearly enough French accents on tour. Michel Bourez, Jeremy Flores, Johanne Defay, and sometimes Pauline Ado, is just not enough. We want more! Oh, also, this clip, Residence De La Plage, features some crazy French beachbreaks. Fou.

Bonus – The WSL Got An Aquarium!

I'm not a huge fan of throwing unnessecary shade at the WSL, they get enough of that from everyone else in the world, but HAAAAA! Is this not the most ridiculous piece of set design you've seen not just in surfing, but in sport in general? The desk is literally an aquarium! There are live crayfish and fish swimming around looking sad right underneath Ross Williams and the crew. Am I going insane? What is happening?

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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