Look at This Big Shark, the Greatest Surfer Protest in History, and the Women's World Title Is Imminent

29 Nov 2019 6 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Pretty big shark.

Pretty big shark.


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was November 29, 2019

1. The Greatest Surfer Protest In History Went Down Last Weekend

Saturday November 23 was the national day of action in the Fight for The Bight, which resulted in over 60 seperate paddle outs participated by an estimate of over 10,000 surfers. The paddle outs were of course in protest of Norwegian company Equinor and their plans to explore drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Please go and read Sean Doherty's firsthand reflections on what was a very proud day for Australian surfing.

Sidenote: Is anyone else getting really sick of the irony/hypocrisy takes that climate change deniers and the like have on these kinds of movements. You know the people, the one's who comment: "Oh, what are their surboards made of?" "Bet they drove their cars there too." "The irony!" Etc etc etc..

Good Laird! All of us, including those of us that oppose exploratory mining, live in a society that has been built around the existence of products, transportation and other everyday norms made prevalent and necessary by mining. We ALL get that. To point out that a surfer can't oppose new mining projects because they are a hypocrit who uses products made possible by mining is pretty well saying they are a hypocrit for having the simultanous dispositions of being alive in 2019 and wanting to go surfing. Sure, we can try and live lives that leave less of a destrctive environmental footprint, and we often do, but most often those options are far more expensive than the mainstream choices presented to us. Meaning, in the eyes of critics, you can only really be vocal about the environment if you are incredibly wealthy; that working class surfers aren't allowed to say, simply, the industries and governments responsible here should do better by us and for us. 

On top of that, these kinds of movements are exactly what end up making more sustainable practices in industries like surfboard/wetsuit manufacturing, transportation etc. more common. And just by being a major topic of conversation right now, it makes the individual surfer being criticised here more open-minded about making ethical and environmental choices, when those choices are made economically available to them. It's not a stagnant, yes and no, black and white process... change is often incremental and takes time. Surfers coming together for the Fight for the Bight is a wonderful start.

Anyway... I've had a bit of a gutful on that one, lol. Let's get back to more surf silliness.

2. The Women's World Title Might Go Down This Weekend

Honolua Bay is one of the best waves of either the men's or women's tours, and it's an epic spot for the women's World Title showdown to take place every year. This year it's called the lululemon Maui Pro (lululemon goes lowercase, I guess?), and the Title contenders are Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks. To recap, here's what needs to happen for the various World Title possibilities to come through:

  • If Carissa Moore wins Maui she clinches the World Title;
  • If Moore gets a 2nd Lakey Peterson needs a 1st to take the World Title from Moore;
  • If Moore gets a 3rd Peterson needs a 2nd & Caroline Marks a 1st;
  • If Moore gets a 5th/9th/17th Peterson needs 3rd & Marks a 2nd to force a 3 way Tie Surf Off for World Title decision in Maui;

And again to recap, let me paste in what I wrote at the beginning of November, concerning this showdown:

"So what does that realistically mean?

It means that please please pretty please let’s have a final at Maui between Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson at pumping Honolua. A winner takes all heat for the 2019 World Title? That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

But who will win? Well, the history says it’s 100%, put your house on it and risk the kids’ futures all the way Carissa Moore. Of the five events since Maui has been back on the schedule, Moore has made the final four times, winning it three times. Her worst result is a fifth. Lakey Peterson on on the other hand has only gotten as far as fifth a single time, and that was back in 2014. The wildcard here, however, is Caroline Marks. Who knows what she can do? She’s surfed the event once for an unmemorable 13th. If she does defy the odds, she’ll be the youngest World Champ in the history of the sport, dethroning Moore. All she has to do to do it is win the event, and hope Carissa doesn't make the final with her when she does it."

And what's changed since then? One thing – two time World Champ Tyler Wright is finally making her return to competitive surfing after a lengthy and debilitating battle with Influenza A and then Post-Viral Syndrome.

On the Olympic Channel podcast back in October, big bro Owen said, "It just was relentless for her. She just couldn't turn that corner and then about three months ago she turned it and I was like, 'Yeah, nice.' Look out when she comes back."

She'll be an almighty spanner in the works of the Title, facing off against Lakey Peterson in Round 1. Lakey, however, is looking pretty ready, as evidenced by the Channel Islands clip below:

3. QS Watch – Haleiwa Run and Won, Sunset Firing

To keep abreast of all the QS happenings, check in on Nick Carroll's regular updates and breakdowns of who can make it and how, particularly following the Aussie QSers who's careers are being made and broken in this do or die last events of the season.

It was popular Portuguese surfer Freddy Morais who won Haleiwa, clinching his spot on the 2020 CT in the process. Notable Australian performances included Connor O'Leary's quarter-final finish pretty well clinching his spot for 2020, and Ethan Ewing who made the final, storming from no-man's land on the QS right back into contention. He'll pretty well need to make the semis, maybe even the final/a 1st place trophy, at Sunset to make the cut, but Ewing's been a star performer this Hawaiian comp season and that is no impossible feat (he made light work of his Round 2 heat).

QSers still in the hunt also getting through their Round 2 heats at Sunset comfortably were Morgan Cibilic, Jack Robinson, Stuey Kennedy, Mitch Crews, and Jacob Willcox, all but Jacob winning those, Jacob getting through with a second.

Unfortunately, Matt Banting and Caleb Tancred have been knocked early from Sunset and are officially out of the running.

Here's Snake Tales's angle of Haleiwa:

4. Pipeline Has Been On The Pump, Here's Conner Coffin

An alright little breakdown on the three famous North Shore spots that make up Vans Triple Crown of Surfing by Conner here.

5. Pipeline Has Been on the Pump, Here's Mason Ho

"Mason Ho,
We love you so,
You make surfing,
Look so wonder-fo..."

That's a little song I just made up about Mason Ho. Here he is during this run of Pipeline swell. Feel free to sing that song whenever you want. At dinner, in the shower, while mowing the lawn... it works anywhere.

6. Beautiful 15 Minute Bob McTavish Vid

FCS this week announced the winner of their inaugural FCS Legend Shaper Award as Bob McTavish.

Bob is of course a pioneer of surfboard shaping and design, his revolutionary affect on the sport and culture going back all the way to the 1960s.

“There are far better shapers than me,” ever humble Bob says at the opening of the beautiful 15 minute clip FCS have put together to present the award. The clip itself is a wonderful dive into the history of Australia's surfboard shaping with some epic archival footage and photos that’ll stoke the hell out of you.

7. The Josh Kerr Air Show Story

Red Bull have put together a mini-doco on Kerrsy's journey from Air Show king to the man behind the current iteration of it, the WSL affiliated Red Bull Airborne. Some absolute classic archival footage here too, this time of early naughties action. 

8. The Wave Pool Frontier Wars Continue – Corporate Surf Lakes Vid

It's been all UrbnSurf UrbnSurf UrbnSurf of late, with the WaveGarden tech pool of Melbourne basking in all the sunshine as surfing's newest toy. But this week we found this Surf Lakes package clip that breaks down how its plunger pool design works and all the breaks it creates for would be punters. I think this is designed as a pitch to investors, as the current test-pool we're seeing footage of is just that, a test-pool, and will not likely ever be made available to the public. It begs the question: Where would you like to see a pool like this made next, and which type of pool of those available would you want it to be?

9. John John's Margarets Highliights From Early 2019

Let's fire up for John John's return to competition via the Pipe Masters (an event he's never won, but oh my would it be epic if he did) by watching just how incredibly well he was going before he got injured earlier this year.

10. The Drop Festival Line-Up is Legit Very Solid

That music festival thing that follows around the Australian leg of the WSL Championship Tour – as well as some other surf events – this weel released its line-up and lo and behold it's legitimately pretty damn good. Here be the names of killer Australian acts on the poster: The Presets, Boy & Bear, Ball Park Music, Allday, DZ Deathrays, Kita Alexander and Graace.

The Presets after a day watching surfing? That's unreal. (Counter-thought: I am 33, and the below clip is from ten years ago... will the kids be into this?)


Hey, look at this shark. It's a big shark. A pretty big shark.

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

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