This Week In Surfing: Pro Surfing Is Back, Owen Is Back, & Parko Is Looking Good

16 Mar 2017 0

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer


Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was March 17, 2017 

1. Quiksilver Pro: Owen Is Back!

It’s back! The WSL is back! Are you excited? I am! They’ve run Rounds 1 and 2 of the women, and Round 1 plus two heats of Round 2 of the men and there are too many big stories to go through. Owen Wright is back after a year off recovering from a near career-ending brain injury, and not only is he back, he’s ripping, winning his Round 1 heat against Sebastien Ziets and Aussie rookie Ethan Ewing (who scored a 9 on his first ever CT wave!). Also back after a serious injury (broken pelvis for goodness sakes) was Bede Durbidge, who while he didn’t win, finished with a solid 15.44 in his Round 1 heat, just behind former World Champ Adriano DeSouza. Mick Fanning faced Kelly with the lowest seed he’s had in years, and clinically took apart his home break, forcing Kelly into Round 2 who in turn sent trials winner Nat Young home in the last heat of the day.

Other solid performances came from gold jersey wearing John John Florence, Joel Parkinson (who had the highest heat total of Round 1), Gabriel Medina, Kolohe Andino, Julian Wilson, Jadson Andre, Wilko, and Portuguese rookie Frederico Morais who took down a tired looking Felipe Toledo with aplomb. Special mention also needs to go to Mikey Wright, who beat Michel Bourez in his Round 2 heat, equalling his Round 3 result of last year.

P.S. WSL commentator Ronnie Blakey, with his beautiful hair, has called that if Mikey Wright wins the event he’ll be getting a mullet too. So now we know just exactly who we should all be going for, for the sake of the Bells broadcast. Mikey’ll be up against John John Florence in Round 3, which, oh boy, could be the funnest heat of the event! Bring it on!

Below is the heat of the day, Owen's return to the CT.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 17 - 19 March

2. Tyler Wright's Tube and The Roxy Pro

On the ladies’ side of the event it was Nikki Van Dijk who turned heads the most on Day 1 with her performance in Round 1 taking down World Champ Tyler Wright, while the usual suspects of Carissa Moore, Courtney Conlogue, Stephanie Gilmore, Tatiana Weston Webb, and Sally Fitz making light work of their first heats of the year. Tyler Wright bounced back in Round 2, but it was Lakey Peterson who provided the highlight of the day, clocking 2017’s first 10 point ride, and backed it up with an impressive 9.27. If Van Dijk and Peterson can keep up these levels of performance through the rest of the event and into Bells, they’ll bridge the giant divide between the usual World Champ contenders and rest of the field that has plagued the women’s side of top level pro surfing the last decade. An exciting prospect indeed.

The real highlight, though, came from Tyler Wright whipping into this ledging pit behind the rock just before the waiting period began. Long live Tyler Wright!

3. Year One: Conner Coffin

Sophomore CT surfer Conner Coffin is a modern core favourite for his rail first, down the line approach in competition surfing, and this week the cleancut and well spoken Santa Barbara pro released a 30 minute movie/doco following his first year on the tour. Good viewing for the next time the comp goes on hold.

SEE ALSO: Sean Doherty On: The Human Wilderness

4. Colapinto's Ding Donging

Griffin Colapintooooooooo! Geeze, this lovable little Cali punk is everywhere this year, and for good reason, have a look at the turns and airs he’s doing in his new edit, Ding Donging (sick title). A hot favourite to qualify this year when QS10,000 season rolls around in July.

5. Parko Gifts Ethan Ewing An Andy Irons Board – BoardTales

How about Ethan Ewing scoring a 9 on his first ever CT wave?! That’s wild. Ewing came out of relative nowhere to qualify for the CT last year while still only 17. The kid is legit, the best Australian rookie since probably Julian Wilson, so let’s learn a little more about the Straddie grom. It’s gonna be a really fun year watching him go to town in 2017 under the expert tutelage of a revitalised Bede Durbidge. Rookie of the year you think?

SEE ALSO: Jock Serong's Short History of Grommets

6. While We're On Billabong

Billabong have a neat little team on the CT this year and want us to know about it, putting together this short and sharp clip for it. Those Nanda Ormond animations are the business!

7. Mikey Wright – Just Nothing To Lose

Is Mikey Wright the most exciting surfer in the world right now? Probably not, you know, with John John being World Champ and all, but Mikey is close. Really close. And we get to see the two face off in Round 3! Coastalwatch made this amazing candid feature on the down to earth character, and you should watch it because it's really good and has a Violent Soho song on the soundtrack! The best!

VIDEO: The Alley's Super Sessions

8. Ross Williams Leaves Commentating, Joins Team John John

Did you hear that World Champ John John Florence has hired Ross Williams to be his coach for 2017? Ross Williams appeared on the morning show of Day 1 at the Quiksilver Pro to bring in the news and discuss the year ahead. His exit from the commentary booth, where he’d built a smooth rapport with no.1 commentator Ronnie Blakey, is a loss for surf fans but a win for Pete Mel, who seems to have filled his seat, and is doing an alright job so far. Are you going to miss Ross Williams? Do you, like the rest of the world, wish they gave a permanent spot to Barton Lynch?

9. Podcast: The Dooley Episode 6

The WSL Championship Tour is getting underway and over eight quiz questions Danny and I discuss who is going to win the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros, as well as the 2017 World Titles, plus pro surfers in bands, Peter Drouyn being a man again, and surfing’s first ever McTwist. Subscribe on iTunes to get fresh episodes every Tuesday morning.

SEE ALSO: Nick Carroll Talks All Things 2017 and Quikky Pro

10. Podcast: Aint That Swell Is Back For 2017

Yes, shredheads, waxheads, kooks, and barneys, Ain't That Swell has dropped their first episode in months and it's a bellringer. Jedaum Smith and Vaughan Blakey talk the return of Owen Wright, the lack of diversity in pro surfing's surfboard shapes, and previews of the Quikky and Roxy Pros and the tour at large. As always, a subtle language warning on this guy.

Bonus... Weak Wrap

Danny is here with another episode of the funniest and best thing in surfing, Weak Wrap. Danny is the guy I do The Dooley podcast with, and man, he's just the worst guy. The worst! He's good at Weak Wrap, though.

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

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