The Great WSL Wave Pool Experiment Starts Tomorrow, Tati Weston Webb Was Right To Join Brazil, & The Best Shippies Pit In Yonks!

4 May 2018 3 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Morris

Photo: WSL/Morris

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was May 4, 2018

1. The Founders Cup Starts This Weekend?

What's the Founders Cup you ask? Beats me! That's a lie, we kinda know what it is. It's the WSL's pet project team event held in their baby – the Kelly Slater Wave Pool. The event is complete with international teams and sold out tickets of stadium seating. Certainly, it'll be the dawn of a brave new world for the machine that is professional surfing in the modern age. That's what we know. What we don't know is whether or not it will be compelling viewing. Whether or not after a first day of watching surfers take to the same perfect mechanical wave it will become mundane, or whether or not finally having a scheduled surfing event on prime time television will actually be awesome.

Here's how the comp is going to work according to the WSL site. First, the qualifying rounds:

  • Five teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
  • Each athlete surfs two waves per run (left and right) – each wave scored out of 10.
  • Each athlete will surf six waves across three runs during the Qualifying Round – three rights, three lefts.
  • Each athlete's top-scoring left and top-scoring right will contribute to the Team Total.
  • Ten waves (each of the five team members' contributing top-scoring left and right) are added up to a maximum team total of 100.
  • Top three scoring teams out of the five qualify for the Final.

Then the Final rounds:

  • Three remaining teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
  • Each athlete surfs two waves per heat (left and right) - each wave scored out of 10. 
  • The athlete's best scoring single wave (out of either the left or right) will make up his or her heat total (out of a possible 10).
  • There will be five three-surfer heats in the Final.
  • Differing from the Qualifying Round, the Final will assign points for each heat placing toward the Team Total.
  • For Heats 1 - 3: 1st: 2 points, 2nd: 1 point, 3rd: 0 points
  • For Heats 4 - 5: 1st: 4 points, 2nd: 1 point, 3rd: 0 points
  • Heat 4 will be contested by women, heat 5 by men. 
  • Heats 4 and 5 will matter! Let's see who the Captains assign to these heats!

In preperation for the event, and the CT that will be going down there in September, a whole heap of surfers have been doing laps of the pool the last couple of days. Here's some of their posts, including Gabriel Medina, Caroline Marks, and "big boy/tight barrel" Jordy Smith:

A post shared by G. Medina (@gabrielmedina) on



A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl) on



A post shared by raimanaworld (@raimanaworld) on

2. Tatiana Weston Webb Jumped Ship To Brazil

So, Tatiana Weston Webb, the current World No. 4 who grew up on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, turns out she has a Brazillian mother and a British father and was in fact born on Brazillian soil, but she has always represented Hawaii when competing on the WSL. This week she announced that she'd be representing Brazil from here on with a view to qualifying and competing for South America's best surfing nation in the 2020 Olympics.

The decision, apparently, came after she was approached by Brazillan Surfing officials who have obviously finally seen that they have a GIANT discrepancy between the success of their men and their women in competitive surfing and have found an imediate patchwork solution. Top work guys.

The Internet reaction has been almost as hilarious as it was predictable. Everything from you must represent the country you grew up in, to she is taking away the opportunity of homegrown talent (lol, name the second best brazillian female surfer off the top of your head. SERIOUSLY TRY!). To that I'd say, hey, if my parents weren't from the USA, and I grew up on an island of Hawaii, while also being born in another country altogether, I'm not sure how loyal I would need to feel to that big powerful mainland (are Hawaiians overtly patriotic to the US? Honest question), particulary with the fact that up to this point in surfing history Hawaiians have never ever had to rep the U.S.A. flag!

And then if you're in Tatiana Weston Webb's shoes, and you see that ahead of you in contention for that spot in the 2020 Games will be Carissa Moore, Courtney Conlogue, possibly Lakey Peterson and then alongside you you'll also have Malia Manuel, Caroline Marks, Coco Ho etc... it's an easy, obvious and completely correctly decision to take that Green and Gold flag and say obrigado for the opportunity.

And aside from all that, this is the norm in world sport... which we have to accept surfing is now a part of, don't we?

A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl) on

3. Jordy Smith Is Good At Surfing

Watch this clip of Jordy Smith absolutely ripping like a mad man over the Australian leg, marvel at how good he freaking is, and then reflect on how over two and a bit events he won only three heats (from five). Isn't it wild? Still, that's one heat better than the World Champ at the moment.

4. The Big Wave Awards Happened And The Biggest Wave Record Was Broken (officially)

The WSL Big Wave Awards went down Saturday night America time in Santa Monica (which is a place in California, but is also the title for possibly Everclear's best song? What do you think? I mean it's gotta be this or "Heroin Girl", right? Leave your thoughts in the comments pls), and with it came the official acknowldgement that a wave ridden by Brazillian Rodrigo Koxa at famed giant wave spot, Nazare, Portugal as the largest wave ever ridden. The feat, which went down in November 2017, will be entered into the Guinness Book of Records. The wave was deemed to be 80 feet, two more than the previous held record of 78 feet of ocean surfed by Garrett McNamara in 2011. When looking at the video, it's quite obvious if you squint that this giant lump of swell is definitely 80 feet, and not 78 feet. Nor is it 82 feet. Science.

The wave obviously won the Quiksilver XXL Big Wave Award. Here is a list of the other winners from the 2018 WSL Big Wave Awards:

TUBE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER
Ian Walsh at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.

WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER
Andrew Cotton at Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017.

BIGGEST PADDLE AWARD WINNER
Aaron Gold  at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018.
 
RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER
Ian Walsh
 at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.

And here is Ian Walsh's ride of the year winner, cause it's really something...

5. The Dooley's Big Wednesday Episode

This week on a surfing podcast called The Dooley, Danny Johnson and Mike Jennings (that's me) dedicate an entire episode to rewatching Big Wednesday. "Matt Johnson on my board!" It was a fun time and Big Wednesday is a fun movie. And Bear Surfboards... Bear Surfboards didn't exist before it appeared in the film? No? Really?

6. Chippa Wilson and Nate Tyler In New Zealand

Two of the world's better aerialists go above the lip to some classic Beastie Boys for Octopus – their deck-grip company they have with Dion Agius. It was Dion Agius's birthday this week too. Happy Birthday, Dion.


OCTOPUS: AEROBICS from O C T O P U S on Vimeo.

7. Breath Was Released This Week

The classic Tim Winton kinda surf novel, kinda coming of age weird sex stuff novel had its film adaptation released this week and you should all go see it because I think it might be the greatest representation of surf culture to hit the silver screen ever. That's kind of a big statement, I know, but I mean it. I've seen it twice. It's very, very good. Go!

8. Watch This Byron Fella Get Super Pits On A 4'11"

The relatively unheard of Jyoti Walker turned heads this week when he dropped this clip of himself scoring tubes tubes tubes in Indonesia. Jyoti Walker, let's put some respect on that name!

9. The Best Shipsterns Ride You've Seen In Quite A While

James McKean, take a bow! The ride he gets at the end of this clip is outrageous. The rest of this Shippies clip, caught by Tim "If there's a significant swell hitting somwhere I'll be there" Bonython (nickname never caught on, not sure why), is pretty bonkers too. Featuring: Tyler Hollmer-Cross, James McKean, Zeb Critchlow, Bradley Norris, Mick Corbett, Jarryd Foster, Kipp Caddy, and Tobias Fahey. 

10. The Lipped Podcast's Dropped An Episode This Week

Jimmy and Cahill go in on previews of the Founders Cup, the Oi Rio Pro and speak to World No.1 Mr. Italo Ferreira. Should Italo be your new favourite surfer, you think? I think so. He isn't though, not yet. But maybe soon. Till then it'll remain a guy I saw do a handstand on his board at Lorne point in 1998. He's still top dog.

Bonus...

Did you like this shot Josh Kerr posted on his Insty this week? I did. I did a lot.

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

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