John John and Hurley Break Up, the Volcom Pipe Pro Gets Rolling, and Rip Curl Women Shredding Hawaii

31 Jan 2020 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Looking forward to watching a little more of this over the weekend. Photo: WSL/Heff

Looking forward to watching a little more of this over the weekend. Photo: WSL/Heff

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was January 31, 2020

1. John John Is No Longer With Hurley

John John is gone, and so are a bunch of other (former) Hurley peoples. Our guy Nick Carroll will have a much bigger, better story about this soon here on Coastalwatch – but in the meantime here be the news: Since American corpo Bluestar Alliance bought major player surf brand Hurley from Nike in October last year, they've very quickly looked at cutting down on the considerable expense that is owning probably the biggest and best (depending how you measure that) team of professional surfers out there. This first started in early January when we heard the news that near 20 year Hurley surfer Rob Machado woudn't be getting a new deal with the brand.

And this week it ramped up to include the departure of two time world champ, the biggest name, the most popular surfer in the world not named Gabriel Medina – John John Florence.

When John John left O'Neill and joined Hurley back in 2013, it was one of the biggest pro surf deals in history. 

And, of course, John John isn't the only one: Four-Time World Champ Carissa Moore (huuuuge), Tahitian winner of lots of big major events Michel Bourez, perennial World Title contender Lakey Peterson and many others are likely to no longer be surfing with Hurley stickers on their boards in 2020.

Lakey Peterson, in fact, is the first major former-Hurley surfer to have already announced a fresh sponsor, signing with Vissla's sister brand Sisstrevoltion. Whether the likes too of Julian Wilson, Filipe Toledo, Ace Buchan, Kolohe Andino et al will be on fresh teams before the Championship Tour gets underway on the Gold Coast at the end of March... we'll just have to wait and see.

But the main story is this: the best, most popular surfer in the world right now doesn't have a sponsor and is surfing at the moment in pumping Hawaii without the sticker on the nose that was synonymous with the most pivotal moments of his career. There is a chance he wins the Volcom Pipe Pro this week without a major sponsor. Crazy.

For old times' sake, let's rewatch the old Hurley x John John announcement clip. Simpler times. Sigh. Simpler times.

2. The Volcom Pipe Pro Is On

Ah yes, the best QS event in the calendar at the world's most famous wave – the Volcom Pipe Pro is on and firing and lining up perfectly for our weekends. So far they've run rounds 1, 2 and most of 3. Round 4 is when the big dogs join the line-up though, including John John Florence, past winner Aussie Soli Bailey, the iconoclastic Noa Deane, 2020 CT rookie and former winner Jack Robinson amongst a heap of other world beating notables. It's worth remembering, too, this year that the win is worth 5000 points for the first time, and so will likely play a much bigger part in deciding the qualifiers for 2021.

3. There is a Gabriel Medina Documentary Coming...

...to Brazil. A Brazillian tv channel/streaming service called GloboPlay will be premiering a documentary called "Gabriel Medina" today in Brazil. Will we ever get to see it? I don't know, but at least we can enjoy the trailer and archival grom footage right here. That's something.

4. Koa Rothman's Second Movie

The millenial king of the surf YouTubers, Hawaiian Koa Rothman, has dropped his second annual super movie yearly recap this week, called This Is Livin' The Movie 2.0. It's pretty high octane surf content, and a bit of shame that it'll most likely be watched by 90% of viewers on mobile phones. It deserves better, but that's the YouTube surf content game for you, I guess. As an offside, I quite enjoyed the intro with the energetic text that said: "filmed on location". Glad they cleared that up, could have sworn the Tahiti footage was filmed in a Hollywood studio!

5. Rip Curl Women Take Hawaii Ep 2

Rip Curl’s excellent girls team in Hawaii series keeps rolling with episode 2 and their young team of Brisa Hennessy, Molly Picklum, Erin Brooks, Melania Suarez, Leah Thompson, Leilani McGonagle, Alyssa Spencer, Ewelei’ua Wong, guested by Bethany Hamilton and hosted by Rosy Hodge. They get amongst Off The Wall and Waimea shore break and talk abut surfing in girl packs. Plus there’s a Mason Ho cameo, which is an always welcome addition. It's good!

6. Rip Curl Women Take Hawaii Ep 3

And backing it up in the same week with the third episode of Rip Curl’s girls team in Hawaii series, this time being joined by 2021 World Champ Tyler Wright (fingers crossed). Hey, isn’t it kind of weird that I’ve spent the last five years of my life watching every surf clip on the internet, of which many have been made in Hawaii, and this, right here, is the first time I’ve seen the Hawaiian language spoken in one? I think that’s weird. Anyway, this was very good. Bit of ripping on the west side of Oahu and at Rockies. Highlight: Bethany Hamilton’s bodysurfed right.

7. Look at this Cool Board

It's a Ryan Lovelace (Santa Barbara shaper) Rabbit Foot finless board and... whaddawe reckon? They've been around for a while, freakshow finless North Coast surfer Ari Browne was on them a bit a few years back, but it's always interesting to see when people give them a go. This is French Caribbean surfer William Aliotti.

8. Alex Smith In South Africa In Arty Clip

Alex Smith is one of those Hawaiian Smith brothers doing entertaining things surfing on the internet. This clip is an artistic and offbeat take on surfing some African points, but it's best and most prominent feature is its length... it's short. Is this a surf clip? Or is it a short art video that features surfing? Who amongst us can say?

9. The Soft Top Revolution Does Europe

A beautiful and hilarious and rad video of finless soft-top surfing in Spain and France by young Aussie surfer Joel Paxton. Into it. Surfing is fun.

10. Let's Meet the Canadian Water Spider

This guy might become the heir to West Coast Canadian cold water icon Pete Devries. His name is Michael 'Waterspider' Darling. He has a mechanical engineering degree. And he rips. Shouts to Michael Paladino, the man behind the lens and the edit here, who would be known to those that have edited surfing magazines in recent years as the most hilarious and relentless and joyful email sender in the game. Top work here. 

Bonus...

If you're not already following Ace Buchan on social media, I suggest you get around him. Right now he's down in Tassie in the Tarkine Forest, where he's brining awareness to our largest tract of unprotected cool temperate rainforest, which is under serious threat from logging. Good onya, Ace!

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

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