This Week In Surfing: Tyler Wright Is The Champion of The World, The Underdog Victory of The Year, & The First Look At The Andy Irons Doco
Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 14, 2016
1. It Happened! Tyler Wright Is The World Champion!
This week, Tyler Wright officially became the 2016 World Champion, and it was the freaking best thing ever.
(Now hit play on the Soundcloud below as you read, thanks.)
It was at the Roxy Pro France, on a cold afternoon at Hossegor that it became official. Tyler had just won her semi-final against rising star Tatiana Weston-Webb and was on the beach preparing for the final as Carissa Moore and Courtney Conlogue battled out the second semi-final. If Courtney didn't make the final, the race was over, Tyler would have pushed too far ahead in the Title race. The clock ticked down, and Courtney got a wave with precious few seconds left. She needed an 8 but instead got a high 7. The hooter sounded and Tyler Wright was officially the World Champion. Back on the sand it was Steph Gilmore, a six time world champ herself, who realised first and tackled Tyler before the reality hit 22-year-old South Coast legend. Tyler Wright is the World Champ. The 19th female world champ in surfing (ISF/IPS/ASP/WSL) history.
There have been a lot of special moments in this Tyler Wright World Title, the four wins for starters, but with Tyler this seems to be more about family than trophies. She spoke at length in various post win interviews and presentations about the passing of her uncle last year, and the love and support she's had from her family, and how all of this is for them. But the best moment, and the best tribute was better than anything you could put in words. In the final of the Roxy Pro, a victory lap of sorts with the 2015 World Champ Carissa Moore, Tyler took off switch on her first wave, knowing her big bro Owen would be watching from home, and she surfed it goofy in honour of him, she pointed at the number on her back, which she had swapped from her regular 13, to her brother's no.3, then let out a big laugh and kicked out with the hugest of grins. It was beautiful. It was a celebration.
SEE ALSO: Sean Doherty On: Bouncing Souls
2. Keanu Asing, KEANU ASING won the Quiksilver Pro France
With the utmost respect to Keanu, how? How did he make this happen? Keanu Asing, who had finished last in seven of the nine events that preceded France, somehow finished this week outclassing the nine dudes chasing a World Title, and holding his first major trophy. To put this in context, legendary surfers like Ross Williams, Freddy Pattachia, and Pat O'Connell never reached the summit of an event win in their careers. Current tour surfers Kolohe Andino and Josh Kerr have never won one. Not even Dane Reynolds could crack a win when he was on tour. But Keanu Asing has, and it's got to be one of the best underdog victories in the history of modern pro surfing.
When finals day at Hossegor was finally called on, the men left in the semis were a tidy symbol of the future of the sport. There was no Kelly, no Mick, no Adriano, not even a Jordy or a Julian. Nope, there were just a couple of 22/23 year-olds. Title Race leaders, John John Florence and Gabriel Medina. American all star Kolohe Andino, and, of course, with heart over height, little Keanu Asing.
Keanu took down John John first in semi no.1, with his best heat of the event scoring two eights on a couple of left runners, despite John John throwing down the highest wave score, an 8.4. And then, as the sun was setting and everyone on the beach was half frozen, Keanu took out Gabriel Medina. He even paddled Medina around and had the 2014 champ looking out of sorts, forcing an inconsequential interference at heat's end. And just like that, Keanu Asing will now have 2016 Quiksilver Pro France Champion listed in his bio for the rest of his career.
What this means for the Title race is interesting. The likes of Slater, Jordy, and, most disappointingly, Wilko, slipped big time off the pace. While Medina closed a tiny tiny bit on John John's lead as they head to Portugal in less than a week for the second last event.
So John John leads, and the Title has to come down to Pipe, but most telling may have been the reactions from the two. When John John lost, we didn't see him. There was no post-heat interview. Gabriel on the other hand, having made the final, had to face the presentation, and the way we handled himself should put fear into the fans of John John. The Brazillian looked as cool and calm and collected as he ever has. He was gracious in defeat, and relaxed. He even said he misses Owen. The way he handled himself was straight out of the book of a man comfortable with his legacy and sees no problem adding to it. The way he held himself was straight out of the book of Mick Fanning, Medina knows he's been in this position before, and he knows John John hasn't. And after watching the chilled body language of Medina, even trailing in second place, made 2016 feel like it's his Title to lose.
3. John John's Web Series
John John’s web series, called 12, is pretty clearly the best web series of the year. There’s 12, then there’s daylight, and then there’s maybe Reef’s Passing Through series, which is good, but is missing the ingredient that makes 12 so good. John John. This is episode four (of seven), John John sailing and surfing and just having a real nice holiday time really. It’s also the first episode weve been able to put here because Hurley usually have embedding turned off. Maybe they’ve forgotten to turn it off? Maybe this is deliberate? I don't know. I don't know anything. Like, how do magnets work? No idea.
SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 14-16 October 2016
4. Noa Deane and Mudhoney
Here’s Noa Deane and big old yellowing 90s boards and a Mudhoney song and all of your favourite things in three and a half minutes of a surf clip. Thanks Noa. It’s cool and all to see Noa ripping on bigger boards, but when he gets back on one of his 2016 weapons with the front deck, and does that stall before pulling a most controlled and stylish fronside air like he's surfing in a video game, oh that’s just primo.
5. Louie Hynd - Set Menu
I came at this clip with trepidation. Not because it’s Luke Hynd, he rips. And not because it’s by Darcy Ward, he’s one of the best young surf filmmakers in the world. I came at it with trepidation because it’s over 11 minutes long. Eleven minutes is too long. An 11 minute clip has got to be bloody good if you’re going to keep everyone’s attention, and most of them aren't. But good news, great news even, is that this clip is an absolute ripper. Hynd is shredding. Threading wedgey barrels and desert barrels, left and right, with his lanky relaxed frame, and pulling those lofty stylish airs of his too. The locations are gold, New Zealand beachies (I think), Aus desert reefs, and then some Indo perfection. And the cinematography and editing is on point, and big props for finding some music that feels fresh, an element so many surf clips just can't get right. An exceptional surf edit. Watch it. Watch it now.
SEE ALSO: Shark Nets or Not? Have Your Say?
6. Hawaii Started and Ho & Son Dominated
The first Pipe swell of the season hit this week and are we even ready? This is like hearing Christmas carols in the supermarket for the first time. Like, sure, Christmas is sooooo the best, but in October? Come on. Anyway, Pipe happened and Mason Ho and his 59 year old dad Mike charged it like the bosses they are. Plus, there’s a clip buried in here of Tom Curren surfing in Indonesia on a skimboard (with fins) and wearing a funny hat. So that’s a thing.
7. And This Was The View of Pipe From Above
As said above, Pipe broke, and surprisingly there was more than one camera focussed on the near secret surf spot, which is sure to have repurcussions with the locals who want to keep the place under wraps. This camera was in the sky. What a novelty.
SEE ALSO: Forecaster Blog: Huge South Swell?
8. Cold Europe, Pretty Surf Movie
Well if it isn’t the prettiest film of the week, Trip The Light, a few seasons’ worth of England, Ireland and Scotland shot on a red camera. Slo-mo, thick rubber, beautiful scenery, and, as the name suggests, beautiful light abound. Also, notice the subtle use of sound effects, a nice touch that you could call Jack McCoy-esque.
9. Oh Yes, It's Another Episode of Weak Wrap
Yay, Weak Wrap. I don't know about you, but the best moment of my week is the second I hit play on a new episode of Weak Wrap. I get myself a cup of tea, maybe some Tim Tams, maybe a little blankie, and then I snuggle up and watch Danny Johnson tackle the cult of skimboarding and announcing that barrels are back in fashion! Plus this episode he gets Pauline Hanson in for a cameo! Thanks Daniel.
10. There's An Andy Irons Documentary Coming Soon
There’s an official Andy Irons documentary in the works, and this week we got our first glimpse of what looks to be a spectacularly dramatic film, such was Andy’s life. The doco has been shot completely, now in editing mode, and is on track to be released in early 2017, but they’re still raising money for post productions expenses (like music) to make the film as good as possible.
The below teaser is just 38 seconds, but head to over to the official site if you want to check out the full length tearjerking trailer. You should. It looks huge.
And one last thing... R.I.P. Dylan Rieder
The skateboarding community, and large portions of the surf community, are in mourning this week as influential skateboarder Dylan Rieder sadly passed away due to complications with lukemia. Dylan was known for his iconic and effortless style, and while principally a skateboarder, the crossover between the skateboarding commmunities through sponsorships with Analog and Gravis (before they transitioned out of skate and surf) and magazines like Monster Children and What Youth, meant that Rieder had many friends, and fans, in the Australian surf community. It wasn't uncommon for him to feature in crossover trips with the likes of Craig Anderson, Dion Agius, Chippa Wilson and Steph Gilmore, or to find him in the surfer's area of surf events like the Australian Open of Surfing.
He'll be remembered as one of the greatest skaters of all time, and leaves behind a slew of timeless video parts as his legacy.
And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend and look after your mates.
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Ya gotta see it
This Week In Surfing: Ten Things From Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was August 16, 2019