This Week In Surfing: Has Kai Lenny Made Tow Surfing Rad Again? Plus, The Coolest Cartoon Surfing In Yonks, & Bede Is Back!
Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was November 18, 2016
1. Pe'ahi Was The Sickest
What to say that hasn’t already been said? Did you get up last Saturday morning, make yourself a bowl of Coco Pops, and what The Pe'ahi Challenge? I really hope you did, because The WSL Big Wave Tour was go, and most significantly, the first ever women’s Big Wave Tour event went down, and it was so freaking sick! With the running of the one and done inaugural Women’s Big Wave World Tour, we also saw the crowing of our first ever Women’s Big Wave World Champion, Paige Alms. Alms won deservedly and not surprisingly so—you might remember the incredible barrel she scored there last year that brought her International recognition— the clear event stand-out who avoided having to be taken to hospital. From an Australian perspective, it was inspiring to watch World No.10 Laura Enever and third place finisher Felicty Palmateer go out there, both of whom had never surfed there before and had to borrow equipment. Palmateer didn’t even know she would be competing until the day before. Both made the final, however Enever was unable to compete due to a knee strain she sustained in her heat, committing to some ridiculous waves at the famed big wave spot and making us Australian surf fans super proud.
On the men’s side it was Billy Kemper who made it back to back wins, and the only fella to have ever won at his local break, the highlight his double arm-dragging tube with 15 seconds left. He got wailed, but just the commitment and the style with which he committed to it, that was gold to watch, epecially while chowing down on some Coco Pops.
SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 18 - 21 November
2. Kai Lenny's Jaws Session
This guy, Kai Lenny, the young 24 year old Hawaiian super waterman, is slowly but very very surely winning me over. The SUP charging, hydro-foil riding, paddle racing, renaissance man of modern surfing went out for a tow session after the Pe'ahi Challenge wrapped up, and put on one of, if not the best tow surfing performances seen out there, and not just because of that ridiculous air he stomped either. Look at the way he takes to these mountains of water, look at his approach, the turns he's doing, the lines he choosing. He is absolutely no gimmick. You just have to marvel at what this guy is doing, and what he'll continue to do in years to come. Or don't marvel, whatever, it's a free country.
3. Nanda Ormond Is My Hero, The Best Animated Surf Clip In Forever
Surf apparel brand Rhythm got together with absolute legend of a dude and Surfing World Magazine resident artist Nanda Ormond to make another one of these beautiful and creatively genius animation hybrid surf clip pieces featuring guys like Asher Pacey, and it has got to be one of the best things getting around in surfing at the moment. The bit where the whale breaches, and causes a wave to barrel over the wave, just magical. And the Australianness of it all. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.
4. G-Cola's Haleiwa Huck, and The Triple Crown Begins
The Triple Crown has started, and this is the highlight! Perhaps even the highlight of the QS all year (if you don’t count anything from the Volcom Pipe Pro in January, the best comp in the whole QS year). In his Round 3 heat, with 15 seconds left, Tanner Gudauskas was in second place behind heat leader Jordy Smith, and used priority to hold Colapinto off a wave. You think with that the job would be done, but Griffin Colapinto found the wave behind it and threw this hail mary, needing a 5.51, he got a near perfect 9.93. Just wild. Collapinto is fast becoming a fan favourite for a couple reasons. One, his name is fun to say (Griffin Colapinto, Griffin Colapin-tooooooo!), two, this ridiculous air thingy, and three, his funny hijinks and hilarious claim in Brazil as featured in last week’s episode of Snake Tales.
The Hawaiian Pro also marks the first event of the Triple Crown, which means big dogs like John John Florence are out there, and curiously, this year, none other than Kelly Slater. A guy who despite being the winningest surfer of all time, hasn’t competed for a Triple Crown since the 90s, and won it only twice. What're you up to Slater?
5. Bede Is Back, The Legend
With the severity of the injury of superstar Owen Wright last year, there has maybe been less attention on the injury and offseason of Bede Durbidge than it has warranted. The guy, a Pipe Master, nearly broke his spine last year during the Pipe comp. Luckily, it was just his pelvis. Can you imagine the impact he had to hit the reef with to break his gawdamn pelvis? Or just how painful that would have been? His injury offseason hasn’t been a waste of time either, he was hired by the eventual World Champion John John Florence as a coach/extra set of eyes for select events, and can be directy attibuted as one of the significant reasons for John John’s vast improvement in competition this year. There have been a couple of small results ovelooked in JJF's Title story, such as his never getting past Round 3 at Comp #1, Snapper, before. In 2016 he went all the way to the quarters. Cheers, Bede. Stuff like that. Anyway, Bede returned to competition this week at Haleiwa, he lost, but that doesn't matter, TWIS just wants to say a huge congrats to the guy for being back out there. Good onya Bede, ya bloody legend.
VIDEO: I surf paradise every day
6. Pama Davies and Lou Reed
Bondi bred Pama Davies went to New Zealand and walked around its beautiful scenery in black and white and surfed its fun, cold waves in colour. To a soundtrack set by Lou Reed and The Gun Club. It was good. So many barrels. And one horse!
7. Flume Surfed Kelly's Pool With Steph
Harley Streten, that electronic music producer who went to school just behind Manly League's Club, he's really popular with the kids, and if you’re a popular musician with the kids you get to do awesome things like surf the Kelly Slater Wave Pool with World Champion Stephanie Gilmore. Which is exactly what he did a couple of months ago back in the North American summer. Jealousy aside, it’s actually really interesting to see the perfect man-made wave surfed by a novice, 'cause let’s face it, I don’t care who you are, you’re a lot closer to Flume’s ability here than you are to Kelly or Gabriel Medina’s.
VIDEO: This morning at D-Bah
8. A New Ain't That Swell Episode
Yes, shredheads, waxheads, kooks and barneys, Ain’t That Swell, surfing’s premier podcast, is back after losing an episode into the ether of the Internet. Jedaum Smith and Vaughan Blakey talk all things Pe’ahi Challenge, Kai Lenny’s ridiculous tow session, and the John John World Title, with all the best analysis and stupid laughs, you can take in while cooking your dinner. Also, it’s Vaughan Blakey’s 40th birthday party this weekend, but he’s not turning 40 till December, so don’t wish him a happy birthday. I’m not going to.
9. Ian Walsh Is Bringing Out a Jaws Movie
While we’re on the Jaws and big wave bandwagon, let’s have a look at this trailer for a new Red Bull film focussing on Ian Walsh and the Jaws paddle crew. It’s called Distance Between Dreams, stars Shane Dorian, Greg Long, and John John Florence, and will be free to watch the week before Christmas.
10. Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Oh look, it’s that time of the week where we’re treated to an Irish surf clip that is achingly beautifully shot and features super cold looking waves that are really big, dark skies, grey water, cobble stone streets, and, of course, a piano accordian soundtrack.
Bonus... Weak Wrap
Danny Johnson is here with yet another week of fun clips, good jokes, and the single weakest segue he’s ever done, or you’ve ever seen, to this episode’s product placement. Just horrendous, haha, I love it.
And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Be safe, look after your mates.
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Plus Exclusive unseen footage of Kelly’s wave pool