Sean Doherty On: Why Brazil Has Never Looked So Good

16 May 2018 1

Sean Doherty

Senior Writer

Round 3 Delivers For The WSL Rio Pro. Presented by Surfing World Magazine.

Filipe Toledo. Image WSL / Pollenot

Filipe Toledo. Image WSL / Pollenot

COASTALWATCH | SURFING WORLD

And I’m not just saying that facetiously, in light of my wavepool tirade after the Founders’ Cup.

No, the waves have actually looked pretty good – not perfect, mind you – but rippable and tubing and with a tremendous backwash running through it totally unpredictable as well. Just like surfing should be.

Coming into it, this Brazilian event was on a hiding. Just a week after the historic wavepool event there was a danger this event would look like a VHS copy of Sarge’s Scrapbook IV from 1995. Brazil has traditionally been the worst event on tour by a long way. But no, over the past few days nothing could be further from the truth. Yesterday’s Lemoore is today’s Barrinha, and there’s never been a stronger case for not only this event, but for a whole tour held exclusively in backwash waves.

In keeping with my recent habit of covering events without actually watching them, and despite an Australian autumn finally stirring to life and your correspondent spending most of the week in the briny, getting some vision and being the best version of himself he can be, I’ve managed to cobble together some notes on the early rounds of the Backquarema So Stokey Pro.

John John Florence. Image: WSL / Poullenot

John John Florence. Image: WSL / Poullenot

Is it just me or does the commentary seem subdued? Sure, half the commentary team are out injured – Ronnie with a long-term foot injury and Joe with a mystery knee problem that only flares up in Brazil – but listening to Pottz and Cote it sounds like they’re commentating inside an elevator. There’s been none of the girly-man histrionics of the Founders’ Cup, and as a result it’s actually been quite good. Joe needs to be careful. Cote wants his job. Cote has moved all Joe’s gear out of his locker, changed the nameplate above it, and been undoubtedly white-anting Joe to the producers. Pottz meanwhile might be under threat from Gerry Lopez, who popped up on the broadcast today for reasons nobody is too sure about.

Where has this wave been? Sure, it’s a little wobbly but entirely shreddable, and to think it’s just been at the other end of the beach the whole time! The beach must be quite long however, as none of the crowd from the other end seemed to have bothered driving down there. Hark back to the glory days of the Rio event and the millions of rabid surf fans lining the beach, then compare and contrast to today’s crowd which appeared to total 15, including a dog.

The really interesting number would however be online viewers, because clearly emboldened by the success of the Founders’ Cup the WSL today put up the first Facebook wall on the broadcast. When the Facebook deal was announced at the start of the year, the fine print added that it would be rolled out at a yet-to-be-determined event during this season. That was today. Three clicks of the “not now” button dispatched the sign up window, but it’s unlikely to disappear so easily from this point on....

Visit Surfing World Magazine for the full story.


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