The World Title Showdown Is Here! A Fight and Suspension on the North Shore, and Chippa Rules Soft Tops

14 Dec 2018 2 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Sloane

Photo: WSL/Sloane


Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was December 14, 2018

1. Pipe Masters Has Started and Ryan Callinan Won the Trials

"So here it is merry Christmas Pipe Masters, Everybody's having fun, Look to the future now, It's only just begun!"

We're here, our final stop at the end of a long year. The Pipe Masters, the greatest event in surfing and the setting for a World Title showdown. We made it, guys. I'd like to congratulate each and every one of you for getting here. 278 days ago we arrived, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro got started and we watched on wondering what would take place in 2019. Has it been a fun year? Sure. Why not. John John withdrew with injury, Mick Fanning stopped surfing comps and Kelly Slater wasn't around. But apart from that... sure. 

So where are we at with this whole Pipe Masters and World Title thing?

Well first off, you should know that Ryan Callinan won the Pipe Masters trials and everyone in the world is happy for him. Day 1 of the Masters proper saw Round 1 get surfed, and we got our first glimpses of the three in contention for the title.

Question: How'd they go?

Answer: Good, good, and ugh.

Good no.1: Medina won his first heat easily, with a solid air (Pipeline!) and locking down the two highest wave scores of the heat.

Good no.2: Julian won his heat with a little backdoor nugget and a back-up 2 point ride.

Ugh: Toledo lost his heat to Wilko, who is surfing for his CT career at the moment. Wilko won said heat with a two wave total of 6.03, showing just how fickle this event might prove to be, and how dangerous a proposition the ocean is in deciding this World Title. 

Oh, and a highlight? Parko, surfing his last ever event, opened his Masters with the best wave of the day, an 8.33, achieved through what must have been a fairly decent hangover. 

Round 2'll run tomorrow, and we won't be waking up to the news of a World Title, but Toledo could officially bow out of the running. Get your snacks ready, it's going to be a fun couple of days!

2. There Was A Fight

Sigh... this is dumb. Violence is dumb. This week Brazillian CTer Michael Rodrigues and Mauian QSer Tanner Hendrickson were involved in an altercation that resulted in Tanner Hendrickson suspended from the Pipe Trials event. And the kicker of it all, it was filmed and broadcast live on YouTube by a member of Rodrigues's crew. From the footage we have access to, it appears Tanner was waiting for Rodrigues at the top of some stairs, he knocks the acai bowl out Rodrigues's hand, pushes him in the chest while repeating, "What's up, Brah?" before wrestling him to the ground and striking him a number of times with a closed fist. Much of what occurs is hard to see completely, due to a couple of people standing between the camera and the altercation, and because the cameraman quickly walks back down the stairs out of view. From the footage we can see, it does not appear that Rodrigues at any time strikes Hendrickson back. While the camera is down the stairs we also hear someone, possibly Tanner Hendrickson, yell a homophobic slur.

So those are the things we have evidence of, and are likely the reasons the WSL immediately suspended Hendrickson. To suggest anything else, like that Rodrigues instigated the situation somehow, would be speculation, and, to be honest, I don't really care if he did. Violence is dumb and never justified. And the only thing dumber than beating up someone a day or two before an important competition for you is the reaction of strangers and friends throwing around phrases like, had it coming, or #letthemswing, or that's how things are settled in Hawaii, or even more incredibly, going on the record and making a statement like this:

“A bunch of fucking corporate pussies run that show (WSL). It was a terrible, terrible call.” 

That was Koa Rothman, sometime WSL Big Wave World Tour and WSL QS competitor to Beachgrit earlier this week.

Here's the WSL's statement:

"The WSL has provisionally suspended Tanner Hendrickson from all competition until a full investigation can be completed following an incident involving Championship Tour athlete Michael Rodrigues. Hendrickson has been removed from the Pipe Trials draw."

Michael Rodrigues won his heat today and is currently ranked 14th on the CT.

3. Parko's Last Lap Episode 4

The final episode in what’s been an epic little series around Parko’s retirement takes us through just how good his style and approach to pro surfing has been, and the legacy he leaves behind. Straight up iconic.

4. Occ-Cast Does Another Parko-Cast

Parko was the first ever guest on the always all-time Occ-Cast, and in episode 36 he becomes the first guy to do it a second one. Parko, if you haven't heard, is retiring. Did you hear about that? Parko is so loose and happy and relaxed here, it makes this episode one of the best yet.

5. A Ryan Callinan Surf Clip

Oh thank god, a surf clip proper. This one starring the ever-loveable Ryan Callinan, going hard as a cuss word in Portugal and at home at Merewether. 

Can not wait to have this guy back on the CT again next year.

Portugal & home. from Ryan Callinan on Vimeo.

6. Medina Talks World Title Dreams

An insightful little chat with Medina where he reveals for the first time that his career goal is to be a three time World Champion. He also then reveals that for a second time. Classic. He does make winning a World Title sound pretty fulfilling. Kinda makes me want to try and be a World Champion at surfing too. Seems like fun.

7. Bill Finnegan On Kelly Slater's Pool

New Yorker writer and Pullitzer Prize winning author of Barbarian Days William Finnegan wrote a 12,000 word feature for the New Yorker this week. It's about the Kelly Slater Wave Pool and... I haven't read it yet. But Finnegan is a wonderful writer, so it's probably pretty great. However it is getting some blow back for illuminating zero new information on the pool for us surfers, which probably makes sense, given the audience of the New Yorker is not a huge surf community. Anyway, they also produced a video where Finnegan explains his piece. Here is said video:

8. Let's Meet The Moniz Family

I’m really glad that Billabong made this 9 minute clip on the Moniz family, one, because they seem like absolute legends, and two, because Seth Moniz is on the CT next year and is a mad star in the making, and three, because I like watching cool little surf docos. Thanks guys! I'm going to Google how to get adopted by the Moniz family now.

9. Chippa Is A Freakshow On A Softboard

This clip is called Reptillian Vapeshifters and it stars Jaleesa Vincent and Chippa Wilson. The vid is so offbeat and weird and wonderful it’s basically everything Australian surfing needs. Drag make clips that somehow feel like the way Australian surf videos used to be. Some Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack in the mix with some Sunnyboys doesn't hurt neither. 

10. Kai Hing In Central America

Kai Hing Loves Beach Breaks is a very convenient title for this clip, because it just so happens that the clip is 100% beach breaks. How lucky is that? And they’re fun beach breaks too, and Hingy is ripping – finding some serious shacks and stomping airs at a level that should make us all stand up and take notice.


Here is a funny Tweet.

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

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