It Sucks That The World Title Is Going To Pipe, Surf Podcast Palooza, and Beautiful Surfing at The Pass

26 Oct 2018 11 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Poullenot

Photo: WSL/Poullenot

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 26, 2018

1. Lame, The World Title Is Going To Pipe

This week Gabriel Medina failed to win the Rip Curl Pro Portugal (Italo won), which he needed to do to secure the 2018 World Title in October. The result forces the World Title showdown to the greatest event in surfing, the Pipe Masters, in December, to be fought out between Julian Wilson, Filipe Toledo and Medina. That scenario is the dream, Hollywood iconic situation for top tier competitive surfing. Which is why I was surpised by how I felt when I read that result last weekend. I was disappointed. And the more I thought about it, the more disappointed I was with a Pipe Masters World Title showdown this year.

Before I go on, here are the scenarios of how that can play out, come Pipe in December:

– Medina can't lose the title if he makes the Pipe Masters final.
– If Medina crashes out in the semis, Toledo or Julian can win the Title if they win the event.
– If Medina doesn't make the semis, Toledo or Julan can take the title if they make the final.

So... the greatest trophy and achievement in surfing is going down to the greatest arena in surfing, how could that be a bummer?

It's a bummer because it's too far away, the season is far too long, and I am gettting tired. The World Title could have been wrapped up this week. We could be celebrating right now, glory for the winner, heartbreaking defeat for the loser, the highs and lows and heartswelling beauty of sport, and more than a couple of months of off-season to relish in either, before we build up to the 2019 seaon – offset by the Pipe Masters in December, which is epic in any case, because it's the freaking Pipe Masters (it is, and always will be the most sought after trophy in surfing, after the World Title itself).

Instead we have nearly two months of sitting around twiddling our thumbs as we wait for a showdown. Waiting can build anticipation, sure, but at this point it's just putting off a fizzer and sucking out any energy we might have had for the year. The WSL CT season has been going forever, and now we're forced to wait until we'll be busy with christmas shopping, trying to finish work, and doing dumb shit at work christmas parties to finally see who will be our 2018 World Champ – which at this point is a very very far chance of being anyone other than Medina.

I love competitive surfing. I'd go so far as to say I'm obsessed with it, but the fatigue of following this thing since March 11, all the way till Christmas now, with a near two month break of absolutely nothing before its end... talk about a momentum killer. To quote a Chappelle Show sketch, "WRAP IT UP!"

Think of it from another sport's perspective, say AFL, where many commentators, players, and various experts complain that their season is too long as it is. The WSL season starts 11 days before that AFL season and ends more than 90 days later than the final two AFL teams play off in the grand final (the WSL CT ends around 120 days after the the bottom half of the AFL wraps up) – all the while the WSL has far less than half the events, stretched out over a far longer competitive year. Talk about boring.

The WSL season is too freaking long, end it now, I want to get on with other things. Either that, or jam these eight weeks with three more events. Till then, I'm sleeping. Someone wake me up in 2020 when they've finally got the new squashed down schedule in place.

Thank you for listening to my Ted Talk. Here's Tour Notes from Portugal:

2. Podcast 1 – Kelly on Super Massive Joe Rogan Podcast

A lot of notable surf podcasts came out this week, the most notable of which was this one. The Joe Rogan podcast is one of the biggest podcasts in the world, and this week the greatest surfer of all time, which is Kelly Slater, FYI, appeared on the two hour long conversation. They talk a lot about UFC, and hunting... and Slater's broken foot... and I think they talk about surfing sometimes. I'm not sure, I didn't listen to it. Still, Joe Rogan and Kelly, wow, yay.

3. Podcast 2 – Taj On the Occ-Cast

What's better than Kelly Slater on the Joe Rogan podcast? Anything, anything at all, is the answer, but another answer would be Taj Burrow on the Occ-Cast. The career-long friends and, let's face it, icons of our sport and culture paired together is an epic time for any surf nerd and you should 100% hit play on this. Hey, did you know that Taj Burrow is colour-blind (or colour deficient)? I didn't. More interesting revelations like this within.

4. Podcast 3 – Ain't That Swell 

(Language warning, as always) surfing's no.1 podcast for shredheads, waxheads, kooks and barneys, Ain't That Swell has a full deck of hosts with Ronnie Blakey and Danny Johnson joining Jed and Vaughan to chat France and air shows and Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina and Steph Gilmore and all sorts of other core-lord happenings in the surf world.

5. Al Knost, Still Great Viewing

Alex Knost and Justin Adams get the Jack Coleman, Mollusk Surf Shop treatment, riding Campbell Brothers bonzers and the like. I tell ya what, if I could surf like Alex Knost... I would.

6. Josie Prendergast At The Pass

Speaking of stylish surfers, here is Josie Prendergast longboarding the famed Byron Bay point. Did you know that in the first few issues of Surfing World magazine, they referred to the Pass as Palm Valley. That's a good one to drop if you want to sound cool. "Got a couple waves at Palm Valley this morning. Wanna get an Acai bowl?" That kidna thing. Anyway, Josie Prendergast at Palm Valley is quite lovely, plus, lo-fi Melbourne band Primo! over the top, nice.

7. Medina Hype Clip

Here's a behind the scenes clip following Gabriel Medina on finals day of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, with some handy Mick Fanning insight on what it's all about. I'm on board with this because Gabriel Medina is my favourite competitive surfer. If I had a surfing team, he'd be my no.1 draft pick, my franchise player. Vai Medina.

8. Craig Anderson and Taj Burrow In A Very Good Indo Surf Clip

For their grip pad sponsor Modom, Taj and Craig trade lefts, rights, tubes, turns, airs and floaters amongst some Indo gold.  Heavy on the slow motion, but light on imperfection. It’s been a while between Craig Anderson clips, and this boat trip with Taj is a big welcome back to the medium for the Novocastrian. Highlights are the backhand jams of Taj Burrow at Macaronis, and the poise of the two hands up, kick-stall from Ando. Cut some catchy modern post punk from Sydney band over Orion, it’s a fun time. Hit play.

9. The Misfit Kids In Sri Lanka

Jaleesa Vincent, Jake Vincent, Asher Wales, Nick Riley and George Henderson went to Sri Lanka and made a surf clip for Misfit, and it's good. Two clips back I stated that Medina is my favourite surfer, but that was a lie. Jaleesa Vincent is now my favourite surfer. She's a star.

10. The Story Behind an Iconic Andy Shot

Surf photography legend tells the story of one of his favourite shots. This is the surf nerd content we crave, thank you for feeding us Surfer Magazine. Thank you. More please.

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

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