This Week In Surfing: SUP To Strapped Alaia Madness, Bethany's Back For Fiji Pro & Kelly Slater In VR

25 May 2017 0

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

What in the...

What in the...

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was May 26, 2017 

1. The Women's Fiji Pro Is On In A Few Days and The Best Wildcard Is Back

Yes, it's Fiji time! The best event on the schedule that isn't the Pipe Masters, or in the Australian leg, or J-Bay, begins this Sunday, the recently named Outerknown Women's Fiji Pro. The men's and women's Fiji Pros are a unique event in that both sides are run in succession, rather than concurrently, due to the limited accommodation on the islands of Tavarua and Namotu, and it makes you wonder if all events wouldn't be better served this way: getting rid of that whole, "Who should we send out when the conditions are pumping/abysmal?" thing that we pretend doesn't exist anymore, but definitely does, and can let each event stand on their own merits.

The most exciting thing about the Fiji Pro in pre-event news, other than the fact that we'll get to watch hopefully pumping Cloudbreak and Restaurants, has been the announcement of the wildcards.

Hawaiian superstar Bethany Hamilton will be again joining the Championship Tour – and almost everyone's Fantasy Surfing teams – for Fiji following her unbelievable performance in 2016, making the semis and finishing third. Other performers to watch out for are defending event champ Johanne Defay, who, like Jeremy Flores, grew up on Reunion Island and is no stranger to reef or tube. Sally Fitzgibbons, previous to last year, was a back to back champion of Fiji, and will also be the surfer to beat out there, while Tyler Wright will be stinging to transfer her Instagram glory in heavy tubes, including Cloudbreak, over to the competition side and can claim a win off the island of Tavi.

On the men's side of the draw the Brazillian freesurf star Yago Dora has been rewarded for his break-out wildcard performance at Brazil a week ago and will be included in the line-up when the men's event starts next Sunday. Right now, with just his third place finish at the Oi Rio Pro, Yago sits 26th on the World Rankings. He also sits third on the QS, but if the WSL keeps throwing him CT wildcards, he might not even need the QS.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 26 - 28 May

2. Sebastien Ziets Happily Stoked Out West

Sebastian Ziets sure does like a good time and the West Aus coast certainly seems to provide ample opportunity for that From North Point, to The Box, to just a variety of headlands to do some horrible sort Wild Wild West dance routine on, West Aus provides. This clip of everyone’s favourite dude also features Jay Davies, Jack Robinson, Josh Kerr and  heaps more, like Jacob Willcox. P.S. Can anyone tell me what surf video that song in the very first few seconds is? It's killing me.

3. Virtual Reality Kelly Slater

Apparently Taylor Steele's latest movie that has been premiering around the traps the past month, Proximity, was filmed using VR technology, and this here clip of Mr. Robert Kelly Slater is an example of that. If you open this video on the YouTube app on your smartphone you can swing it around in front of you, twirling around in your kitchen, and get all freaky futurustic with it. Or you can just watch it with the bizarre warped perspective it comes through here, trippy.

VIDEO: Kelly Slater At Greenmount This Week

4. Superbank Super Drone

Sick of drones yet? You are? Well, bad luck, because we’re going to watch this Red Bull produced highlights clip from the sky that features a whole lot of superbank and a whole lot of another bank which looks pretty super too, but isn’t called the superbank. This clip actually came out last week, but... shrugs shoulders... I missed it, and it's not worth missing.

5. SUP To Alaia Tube Hunting Madness

How do you feel about foot straps on an alaia? How do you feel about standing on that foot strapped alaia placed on top of a SUP and paddling it into some hollow beachies, and then hopping off and weaving through some sandy tubes? It’s weird, isn’t it? But is it good weird? Or just plain weird weird? The unceremonious dumping of the paddle each time is pretty funny either way.

SEE ALSO: Off The Northern Breakwall

6. Scott Whip Dennis Does What Scott Whip Dennis Does

And that’s take on some thick lipped heavy slabs and get spat the hell out of them. In this clip we also get to see the champion underground aussie charger surf some smaller Indonesian waves too, but thankfully not for too long. Back to the south coast slabs!

7. Keanu Asing On A Single Fin

Is Keanu Asing having an identity crisis? The heart over height underdog of the WSL, who sadly fell off tour at the end of last year is back on the QS this year, but what’s this? Keanu Asing grooving on a single fin and weaving through dreamy little tubes? What’s next, Craig Anderson grinding his way to an unlikely Quiksilver Pro France win in mediocre waves? Come to think, that would be sweet as.

VIDEO: Northern NSW Monday Super Session

8. Beau Cram For Catch Surf

Beau Cram is a stylish and underrated Sydney shredder (and son of 80s legend, Richard Cram), who has apparently gotten a neat little sponno with the Catch Surf crew and can be seen ripping their various range of fun shapes here. Gee, he spins a lot in this clip. Reminds me of the time I took my cousin to Luna Park and we went on the Gravitron and he vomited out more fairy floss than 1997 had ever seen.

9. Aritz In Morocco

It’s nothing fresh, watching the incredible big open faced long pointbreak rights of Morocco, nothing fresh at all, but it doesn’t get too old either. It's just good. Aritz Aranburu visits the North African country in his #GoAritz web series alongside Joan Duru, Tiago Pires, and Marc Locamere here. Serious question, Joan Duru and Marc Locamere are both goofies, do goofies watch this and go, “Phwoaaar, let’s go to Morocco?” Seems like a far and not warm place to go to surf a down the line wave on your backhand, right? Not too far from Europe, I guess. Anyway…

VIDEO: Cody Robinson's Here To Stay

10. Brad Domke Has Gone YouTube Crazy

What's going on with Brad Domke, the skimboarding surf guy? He has a YouTube channel that had two videos four years ago, and then all of a sudden he has released 23 videos on it in the last two weeks. That makes him the most productive surfer in history, for the last two weeks. Chill out Domke, you're making us all look bad! This one released in the last week has him use a sorft top, a surf board, and a skim board. Is Brad Domke your favourite novelty surfer? Or does that title still belong to "The Magician", the kick-flipping Zoltan Torkos?

Bonus... The Dooley Podcast Episode 16

Who do Yago Dora and Owen Wright bunk with on tour? Could you throw a blanket over John John Florence, Jordy Smith, Adriano DeSouza, and Owen Wright? Why are people petitioning against a wavepool? And is Kelly Slater John John’s dad? All this and so much less in this week’s surf quiz podcast of The Dooley. Sixteen episodes and still nobody is paying us to make this stupid podcast. Suppose we don't deserve it.

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

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