This Week In Surfing: Rio Starts, The Best Wavepool Yet? & Alana Blanchard In Mexico
COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING
Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was May 12, 2017
1. The WSL Is In Brazil, and Kelly Slater Isn't
The Oi Rio Pro has gotten underway in a new (kinda new) location of Saquarema, where the waves have looked fun, if a little backwashy, but only if you've been watching it. If you haven't been watching it, who knows how it's looked. They’ve gotten through round one and four heats of a round two where Yago Dora took down Kolohe Andino, highlighting his potential to go from What Youth freesurf guy to WSL CT guy, if he wants it. In round three, heat six, he’ll be taking on John John Florence in what will be the most anticipated and funnest heat of the early rounds. John John got the better of him in their round one heat with Miggy Pupo, but Dora could have easily taken it had he been able to find a back up for his 9.27. Other strong performers so far have been Julian Wilson, Joel Parkinson, and Filipe Toledo. The biggest story of the event so far, however, is the fact Kelly Slater pulled out of it, apparently due to back soreness, which is all but waving the white flag for his World Title aspirations in 2017 after his less than ideal start over the Australian leg. Bummer.
On the women’s side of the event, World Champions Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore were knocked into rounds two over the course of a really up and down day of competition. Just check out the heat Stephanie Gilmore won. Over the course of the whole 35 minutes, the three surfers scored just a single wave each. Steph’s 6.33 beating her competitors’ respective 1.5 and 0.5. That’s pretty dismal. Caissa Moore too could only find a single wave in the heat that saw Sage Erickson continue her so very much improved 2017 with a win.
On the other hand, in the heat where Coco Ho took down the defending event champ, Tyler Wright, there were 22 waves surfed. So… pretty weird event really.
Can you believe we have two rounds of non-elimination heats of this comp on both the men and women's sides? Far out, it's never going to end. Next year I propose they change the format to a straight 32 man final (16 for the women). Just a big jumbled up crowded line-up of the world's best. Really make this relatable surf thing more of a reality. Go on, WSL! Make it happen!
How good is Fiji going to be though?
SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 12 - 14 May
2. New Footage of WaveGarden's Improved Wave
This week Wave Garden released new footage of their updated wave pool design, the cove, which while shorter, and less ruler edged perfect looking, looks far more rippable and fun, though a bit of hard work to generate speed. The big thing though is it boasts a waaay larger wave count than Kelly Slater’s wave pool and also looks lite it's actually being made and opened to the public in the foreseeable future (in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney!). If there is a wave pool war happening, WaveGarden have wrestled back the ascendency with this Cove update and its potential in smaller areas, indoors etc.
But can someone please hurry up and release a wave pool that's bigger than two foot?! Cheers, thanks.
3. Ryan Burch Is Your Favourite Surfer, Even If He Isn't, He Is
On The Dooley podcast this week Danny Johnson asked Vaughan Blakey who his favourite surfer is and Vaughan responded: “Ryan Burch.” Danny was stoked, “He’s my favourite surfer too!” He said. But that’s such a lie. I’ve heard Danny say Creed McTaggart is his favourite surfer, and also say the same about Kelly Slater. Which is it Danny? You can't make everyone your favourite surfer! To be fair, being reminded of Ryan Burch and immediately forgetting everything you've ever said and going ahead and calling him your favourite surfer is completely understandable. Because Burch is the freaking man. Have a look at this clip called Here I Am and call him your favourite too.
SEE ALSO: Sean Doherty On: Blame It On Saquarema
4. Yago Dora, Young Souls and Old Dreams
Is six minutes too long? Yago Dora is a great surfer, but is he six minutes good? The answer to that question is: sure! Title credits coming after the minute 30 mark is a bit much though, the six minute clip, which is a full minute longer than a five minute clip, and ten minutes shorter than a 16 minute clip, pops into gear and gets really good after the intro, so stick with it, Yago’s got one of the best air styles in the world.
5. Brad Domke, Balaram Stack and Mason Ho At The Wedge
Death, taxes, and having the best time watching dudes pull in at the wedge. Ever since that dirty old wedge sequence in the original Endless Summer, moving image of the famous Californian anomaly have never failed to disappoint. How good is Balaram Stack’s approach to getting tubed there?
6. Alana Blanchard In Los Cabos
I’m not going to lie, I only put this video here so I could put Alana Blanchard's name in the title up there and get some sweet sweet clicks. This is a guide of sorts to the Baja California tourist spot. There’s some surfing in it, and it looks fun, but it’s mostly just Alana and her friends and Chris Cote being put up by some sort of tourist board marketing thing to have a really good time. Hit 2.15 for the best quick shot of Chris Cote ever.
7. Bobby Martinez At Rincon
Seven minutes and forty-eight seconds?! Come on now? I know you know I have nothing better to do, and I’m going to watch it regardless, but did you have to go ahead and make this Channel Islands Bobby Martinez clip so long? If you can get through the ambient beatzzz and the shots of Bobby jiujitsu training, there is some really great drawn out backhand Rincon surfing buried in the back half of this one. And there is a puppy.
8. Jordy Recounts The Aus Leg
Here is a concise wrap of Snapper, Bells and Margarets of Jordy Smith’s favourite surfer, Jordy Smith. Ahhhh, ziiiing! Just joshing ya Jordy. Congrats on winning Bells, man. That was sick! Do you reckon Jordy can be the man to stop John John Florence from winning the World Title in 2017? Or will John John put too much space between the two of them over the Pacific leg? And who do you think is better at whipping up a grilled cheese sandwich for their friends when they're hungover?
9. Being John John Florence
In this quirky cult-favorite comedy, an unemployed New York City puppeteer reluctantly takes a temp job as a filing clerk for the eccentric Dr. Lester. While at work, Craig discovers a portal that leads into the mind of renowned surfing World Champion, John John Florence. At least that’s what I was hoping for when I saw the title, Being John Florence. Instead we got this quite delightful short from Nixon where John John speaks in affirmations to us, which sounds awful, but is actually just kind of sweet.
10. Mason Ho At Rocky Point
Okay, this is just getting ridiculous now, eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds? The only way I’m watching a surf clip that goes for 8.58 (reminder: that’s just two seconds short of nine minutes, which is one minute short of ten, which is basically an hour!) is if it’s a previously lost and unreleased Mason Ho shredding Rocky Point number. It is? Alright, so be it. Mason Ho is never not a fun time. Also in this clip is Rush Randle, doing those flips straight out of In God’s Hands. Can you believe it?!
Bonus... Vaughan Blakey On The Dooley
Damn, another week without Weak Wrap? Sad. He made a Dooley episode though, that weekly surfing podcast quiz. And this week a guy who dropped out of high school and started working at Tracks Magazine at 16, became the editor of Waves Magazine at just 19, and then the current editor of Surfing World World Magazine at 55, Vaughan Blakey jumps into the hot seat as Danny does a terrible job filling in for me as host.
And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.
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