Right Now, Brazil Is Better At Surfing Than Australia and That's Kind Of A Good Thing, Plus John John at Snapper and the Fun Boys Mini Movie

21 Dec 2018 6 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Sloane

Photo: WSL/Sloane

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was December 21, 2018

1. Medina Won Pipe and the Title (And Brazil Is Definitely Better Than Australia At the Moment)

If you, like me, work from home – then you didn't get much work done on Tuesday morning this week. Instead you were glued to the webcast of the best day in pro surfing, the best World Title in a few years. If you wagged, you picked an unreal day for it.

Two months or so ago I wrote about how it was a bummer that the Title would be going down to Pipe. Not because it was going to Pipe, but rather because we would be forced to wait two months of no CT events for what seemed an inevitable result – A Gabriel Medina World Title. However, I'll say now that I'd gladly wait out any ridiculous event scheduling if it meant we'd end on a day like we did Tuesday. There really is just no substitute for the combination of bombing Pipe and the greatest achievement our sport has to offer on the line.

At the end of the day, it was Gabriel Medina who took the World Title, and he took it with absolute dominance. He was incredible, and apart from a semi-final with Jordy Smith that could have gone either way, he was perfect all day.

Julian Wilson was admirable, but ultimately the outcome was out of his hands, it turns out his Title was lost before he had even boarded a flight for the Islands. But for Julian that's two World Title campaigns in two years... and if we've learnt anything from watching how these things play out, it's consistency more than anything else that nets you a World Title. And Julian Wilson has never been more consistent in his whole career than now. That World Title window is well and truly wide open for him. The concern is that it will also be wide open for Gabby, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira and, uh, the guy who wasn't there this year... John John Florence. All of whom are younger than he. That's a brutal field to overcome, but this year he proved he's capable.

For the best write up of how it all played out, please read the excellent Sean Doherty day's recap, if you haven't aready. 

And now that we've reached the end, it seems a good time to look back at the year and peruse the results to  make some meaning out of it and, okay, it's loading, alright let's have a loo... what the hell!!!?

Have you guys seen this?

Of the 11 events on the men's CT in 2018, Brazil won nine of them! Julian Wilson was the only non-Brazilian to win an event this year (on the men’s side). It was Julian v Brazil!

Even when we add in the women’s CT, where Brazil is disproportionately underrepresented, it becomes a dominant nine wins from 21 events across the board. Australia woud be the next best with five wins. Check it out:

Aus, five wins (Steph three and Jules two)
US, four wins (Conlogue and Peterson two each)
Hawaii, two wins (Carissa Moore)
France, one win (Defay took Uluwatu)

Here's a cool quote from Owen Wright's Instagram on the matter:

"Massive congratulations to this absolute legend @gabrielmedina your deserved it! 2x world champ. love you bruv! Also want to say how inspired I am by BRAZIL 🇧🇷 and their surfers competitive dominance! this year has been one for the history books. They won the world title, triple crown, world junior title, 9 out 11 world tour events. Congratulations!!! you guys have been a real force this year and It has inspired me"

So, competitively, right now, it would be head in the sand thinking to believe anything other than that Brazil are the greatest surfing nation on the planet. And you know what? It's kind of sick. Hear me out. 

To illustrate my point as to why this is kind of rad for Australian surfing, and surfing in general, I'm going to drop a comment here I saw somewhere on Facebook this week. It goes like this:

"Wouldn't it be great if Brazil had there own tour and the rest of the world had there own tour. I think everyone would be happy then!!!!"

The same fellow then also added:

"...it just seems that no one likes brazilian surfers and brazilian surfers don't like anyone else so makes sense to have your own tour."

Ridiculous right? Under that logic, Australia shouldn’t play against England in the Ashes. NSW and Queensland can forget about State of Origin, and Collingwood should be banished from the AFL altogether.

Ultimately WSL surfing is a contest, and contests are heightened by rivalry. This fellow on Facebook has actually tapped into something that could make this all the better. He hates Brazillian surfing so much he wants it banished from his world completely. That's brilliant, and that should be cultivated positively to make pro surfing an even greater show. Medina is World Champ again. Mick and Parko have retired. Can Julian Wilson, alongside our Steph, save us? Let's embrace this.

Anyway, here're the highlights from the last day of pro surfing in 2018:

2. Medina Won, The Rip Curl Behind The Scenes Clip

World Title days are the most interesting days we have in pro surfing, especially when they go down at the Banzai Pipeline. Rip Curl give us the full day from a behind the scenes Gabriel Medina perspective. 

3. North Shore Gold From Before The Masters

How do you feel about slow motion in surf clips? It can really ruin a clip if not done well. In this clip – featuring stars like Ryan Callinan, Griffin Colapinto, Jamie O’Brien , Jay Davies, Owen Wright and so many more tearing going hard at some  bombing Pipeline – it is done well. Really well. A wonderful edit.

4. Mick Fanning Tells Us Why Medina is So Good

Mick Fanning knows a thing or two about dramatic World Title victories, so who better than to talk through Gabriel Medina’s World Title takedown. “He’s untouchable,” says Mick.

5. The Fun Boys Mini Movie Is Surf Christmas Videofied

Harry Triglone delivers us a Christmas gift with this ten minute Fun Boys movie starring Wade Goodall, Creed McTaggart, Shaun Manners, Ozzie Wright, and Beau Foster being the funnest fun boys a fun boy could be. The best collection of free surf legends being legends in a surf movie together since Surf Cassette 2, I reckon. Merry Christmas everyone!

6. JJF Surfing Snapper This Week

Hey, remember when the Pipe Masters was on, and John John Florence wasn’t there? He wasn’t there to surf in the event. And he wasn’t there to hand over the World Title trophy to Gabriel Medina. So where was he? Turns out he was surfing Rainbow. It also turns out that John John Florence will be competing in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on a yacht called Winning Appliances. Definitely worth flicking over and checking in on between the cricket and leftover turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

7. Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson For Former

A new clip starring Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson?! Hell freaking yeah! It’s for their label Former, so it’s of course in black and white and quite dark and comes soundtracked with some sparse new wavey sounds. I spent my early 20s sporting a big floppy asymmetrical haircut and wearing nothing but black, listening exclusively to Nick Cave and Joy Division, so don’t get me wrong, I like this kinda thing, but I am definitely looking forward to when Dane and Craig get back into colour and melody. C’mon, it’s Christmas for goodness sakes. Shoot me a rainbow! Boys are shredding in any case.

8. I Forgot About Mundaka, It Rules!

Mundaka! I remember Mundaka! They used to hold CTs there and throw the winner off the port into the water and it was pretty freaking sick, remember that? A high performance left on the CT? Those were the days. Too bad it didn’t deliver contestable surf for about 5 years running, cause as we can see here, it’s still a bloody unbelievably good wave.

9. Parko Gives A Billabong House Tour

Why is this content always so engaging? It's the same every year. The same surfers, the same houses on the North Shore. Yet every year we get a new clip where they give us a behind the scenes tour of the places the surfers stay, and it is always enjoyable. It's one of life's mysteries, akin to hanging gardens of Babylon. The highlight here is, as usual, the Andy Irons anecdotes.

10. Te Kehukehu Butler Is Good At Surfing

Kehu Butler, out of Mount Monganui, New Zealand is the Australasian Junior Champ and a super talent to keep an eye on. Seriously, watch this space – cause the kid's got moxie. His buddy and filmer Billy Lee Pope dropped this clip this week and it’s a good time. Hit play.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Look after your mates this Christmas.

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