This Week In Surfing: The 2018 Tour Will Be Wildly Different and We Need To Stop Whingeing About Rio

24 Nov 2017 8 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Heff

Photo: WSL/Heff

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was November 10, 2017 

1. The most changes to the CT in a year, ever?

Less then a week ago, the WSL announced that Kelly Slater's Wave Pool – which is owned by the World Surf League, and which they call the Surf Ranch, and which sits in an inland Californian town called Lemoore – will play host to a full on, real life WSL Championship Tour event in 2018. Wild, right? The future is now, sorta thing. We'll all be Kelly Slater robots living off soylent and surfing virtual waves in our space pods in no time, sorta thing, right? No? Okay.

But then get this...

A couple of days later the WSL then released the full schedule of Championship Tour events for 2018, and there were even more bombshell changes from the current surfing format as we know it. In 2018:

1. There will be no Fiji event.

2. There wil be no Trestles event.

3. The women will get a Jeffreys Bay event.

4. The Championship Tour will be returning to Keramas, Bali.

5. There will be no women's event in Portugal.

Sheeesh, that's a lot to process. The reaction so far has been mixed with a fair splash of the expected social media outrage. Particularly at the loss of the blue-ribbon and well loved Fiji event while the much maligned Oi Rio Pro in Brazil remains on the schedule.

But to hate on Brazil in that context alone is a tad naive and simplistic. There are so many other reasons to be hating on Brazil... jokes, but anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of how the WSL works knows that it's not a straight event for event swap, that the WSL isn't weighing up the merits of Rio against Cloudbreak and choosing one over the other. 

It's also worth noting when we throw venemous criticism at Rio from our spoilt coasts of Australia that we now have four major CT events in our region: Snapper, MArgaret River, Bells and now Keramas. While South America has just one.

The current men's Championship Tour has 12 Australian surfers and nine Brazillian surfers. That figure will be closer to equal once the final qualifiers and requalifiers for the 2018 tour get settled.

One event in Brazil? Let's suck it up.

(For a reminder of how good Keramas was for the Oakley Pro in 2013, watch this heat between John John Florence, Kelly Slater, and Josh Kerr below.)

2. Speaking of Trestles...

Watch this clip of current World Title contender Jordy Smith destroying the wave like no-one else can. Reckon he's bummed it's gone?

3. Filipe won Haleiwa, is leading the Triple Crown

Did you know that Tom Curren only won on Hawaiian soil once in his career? You know who else has that record now? Filipe Toledo. The slow march from being regarded as a small wave only surfer, to a well rounded world beater is in full progression. Filipe Toledo won Haleiwa, the first Brazilian to win it, and no amount of complaints and dismissing of the guy will change that fact. And it won’t change it when he goes ahead and wins the Triple Crown in a month, either (my third lock-it-in prediction for the Triple Crown this year!). 

Also at Haleiwa, Willian Cardoso, Thomas Hermes and Griffin Colapinto all secured their spots for the 2018 CT during the event. Unfortunately our underdog legend from Australia’s Central Coast, Wade Carmichael, will have to wait till Sunset and win a bunch of heats there to get himself locked on there too.w

4. Aliens Was Here – Volcom's new movie

Aliens Was Here is a new and very heavily Ozzie Wright influenced Volcom movie featuring the Volcom team getting shacked off their heads and losing their minds over five weeks in Bali. The opening track by Jake Vincent’s punk band, Cloacas, is a face-melter. Ozzie Wright opening the film with a full section of Desert Point tubes, while face painted like a zombie, gives you an indication of what you’re in for with this 17 minute delight.

5. The Dooley – the Surfer, Dude episode

It's that part of This Week In Surfing where I plug my own podcast I do with the Weak Wrap guy, the dude in the suit named Danny. This week we watched the 2008 disaster of a movie starring Matthew McConaughey: Surfer, Dude. It is truly terrible.

6. Sam Jones is the man

Every time Sam Jones releases a clip I can't help myself and write about the time he came in to do work experience for Coastalwatch. We had him doing all sorts of editorial things, like we normally did whenever we had a kid in there, only to discover by week's end that he actually just wanted to hang out with chief swell forecaster Ben Macartney. Ben Macartney! Yep, even back then he was committed to learning as much as he could about chasing big swells. Now look at him. One of Australia's best up and coming chargers! Does correlation equal causation? Yes, yes it does.

7. Ryan Callinan goes south of Santiago

Ryan Callinan talks us through a big old Billabong trip through the cold and rippable walls of southern Chile with Joel Parkinson, Ethan Ewing, Otis Carey, Frederico Morais, and Creed McTaggart.

8. Seabass in Happily Stoked

Is Sebastien Ziets the most stoked guy on the CT? Is he the most stoked guy in the world? If you were to apply Gerry Lopez's iconic philosophy – the best surfer is the one having the most fun – would Sebastien Ziets be the world champion? Probably. Here he is, being the world champ of stoke in episode five of his excellent web series.

9. Supergroms take note!

Global Surf Industries have launched a scholarship program called Life Is Better When You Surf. It’s designed to promote the positive values of surfing and education. They’ll be giving 14 kids across Australia and New Zealand, aged between 10 and 14 years old two new surfboards and $1000 towards a a school trip or new equipment. The kids just need to write a short essay on why life is better when you surf and a short video or photo essay showing why they deserve the scholarship.

More details on the GSI site.


10. Eleven-year-old kid getting really barrelled

Sigh... alright. I'll play the game. I'll hit play. I'll watch a kid a bit more than a third of my age surf better than me. Sure. I'll do that. Thanks for ruining my day Hayden Rodgers. It's not your fault. It was inevitable. That's life. That's the cruel mistress of time, of talent, the painful daily realities of being a surfing fan in the Internet age... sigh... It's not your fault.

This week in not surfing – The Splits

Adidas Japan’s skateboarding team made the best short clip you’ll see this week. It’s called the splits and it’s really, really good.

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

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