Pritamo puts the focus back on youth

Stu Nettle
Form Guide

“The judges have been asking a lot of the surfers,” said Ronnie Blakey during yesterday’s Quiksilver Pro webcast and the statement did more than just fill the dead air.

In his understated way Blakey was driving at the most pronounced change to CT surfing from this year to last - the lowball judging.

Though it’s only one contest it’s worth comparing the Quiksilver Pro 2018 to last year’s event. Take the number of excellent-range scores for instance. In 2017 there were 54 8-plus rides compared to just 19 this year, and every single one of them featured exciting, risky surfing.

Also, the average scoring wave in 2017 was 6.86, while this year it was over a point less at 5.82.

Together, these numbers bear out Blakey’s point: it's getting harder to impress the judges.

Usually you’ll read about everything the WSL does via press release. They may not speak to the surf media but the WSL knows how to work the PR machine and every shift in strategy, personnel, sponsorship, or scheduling cops an email blast. The change in judging, however, passed undetected.

Actually, I should say almost undetected, because new Head Judge Pritamo Ahrendt slyly hinted at it in a February press release announcing his promotion.

“I am excited for this opportunity to oversee the panel and ensure the judging is fair and consistent,” said Pritamo before subtly announcing his intentions, “while also adapting as the world's best surfers break down new performance barriers."

The key word there is adapting.

Griffin Colapinto during Round 1 at Snapper

There’s an old saying, “He who praises everybody, praises nobody” and it can be applied to the Richie Porta era of judging. Over the last five years high scores have become increasingly meaningless. Everyone’s getting them. Sure, you need high scores to win, but if you can manufacture them with standard moves then where’s the motivation to go big? To get progressive?

Nobody was being truly praised for breaking down the performance barriers because four wraps to the beach would fetch the same score. When conservative surfing (yeah I know, a relative term in this context) and progression are equally weighted then the system can be gamed. You’ve heard all that stuff about old age and treachery.

As the judges adapt to the surfers, the surfers will reply in kind. And make no mistake, Pritamo's new decree will change the complexion of the CT. Most obviously we can say goodbye to the journeymen and anyone with brittle ankles. Last year the average age on tour was 27 but that’ll drop as the CT becomes unkind to anyone who can’t absorb the shock of an eight foot hanger into the flats.

Barrel riding will remain the great leveller, as evidenced by Griffin Colapinto, but Bells? Rio? Surf Ranch? Or anywhere the wind blows onshore..?

I imagine there'll also be changes around priority and being on the best waves, especially when they start running the dual heat formats, which the WSL has said they'll increasingly do. Will Gabs still be able to manufacture excellent scores on non-priority waves? It remains to be seen.

Of the 19 8-plus rides awarded during the Quiksilver Pro, in every instance bar two, that person won the heat. In other words, anyone who got a wave that registered in the excellent range progressed.

It may not have been spelled out in a press release but the judges have clearly spoken.

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 11:49am

While comparing eras, I flashed on Shane Beschen's famous 'Perfect 30' heat in 1996 - three waves, three barrels - and contrasted it against Griffin Colapinto who scored 10 points for doing what Beschen did to score 30 points, yet he did it all on the one wave.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 11:59am

Will be interesting if Bells is a good size and you need drawn out turns. Will they reward the monster power beastie turns (which are bloody hard to do and link up on that wave) or go with the flicky Gabs surgeon turns plus a few rotations? I hope they back the beasties.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 12:03pm

Flicky Gabs??

He's 6'0", 80 kegs and rides boards second only in volume to Jordy. His air game may take prominence but I'd say Medina lays down some of the biggest turns on tour.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 12:14pm

Yeah I know he is a big unit, but I haven't seen him lay the really big, drawn out bottom turns and top turns say The Big O, Wilko or even Ace does. He seems more like a Kelly, surfing closer to the curl and requires that type of wave to do those multiple vertical snaps. Work on winki, doesn't work at Bells as Kelly knows from frustration.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 3:08pm

With all due respect, I'd say that Medina put twice as much power into his turns as Wilko - and about 10 times more precision.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 5:41pm

Precision without a doubt the guy is a freak with how accurate he is (and how brilliant overall), however I am old school and am a sucker for the big drawn out turn ala Occy which Wilko does. Yes he is a bit of throwback but I love that.

timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:30pm

I have to disagree with you RE wilko - his backhand is better than Gabbies IMHO. I'm not sure what you mean by precision but if you count surfing as close to the edge as possible and still executing, I don't think anyone's backhand is as good as wilko's. The way he blows the fins on massive, scary faces, its unreal.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 9:14am

Agree with you, my point was that Gabby is just so accurate as to where he wants to put the board he surgically dissects a wave, whereas Wilko is wilder and off the leash (which is what I enjoy) and probably more prone to a mistake now and again.

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 3:22pm

And if style is a factor ...which it always seems to be when mentioning Brazos, then Gabriel comes out miles ahead of Wilko who always looks like he's coming off three days in the saddle.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 5:48pm

Yep but he is original. Punk music was crap musically but was entertaining. Their is beauty in rubbish!

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 5:33am

Punk was brilliant! And Sex Pistols could actually play (except for Sid V - he could only snarl).

But I take your point that you really like Wilko's surfing, and fair enough. To me, though, he just looks like overcooked spaghetti in a headwind.

And btw, I'm no fan of flicky surfing. JJF at Margaret River and Adam Robbo at Bells come to mind as what I like to see.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 7:01am

"overcooked spaghetti in a headwind" Ha ha, nice!

Fleazool's picture
Fleazool's picture
Fleazool commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 1:38pm

That all may be true but wasn't it Parko's old school stylings that first pushed scores into the excellent range? Local knowledge helped of course, but all kegs & rail work for +8's.
I reckon there's still room for old school campaigners to keep the new school honest. Ace is a classic example. He looked unstoppable. Just didn't get the waves in the final.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 1:42pm

Parko got kegs, Ace too, and they're the great leveller. Wait till they're not on offer and watch who wins the heats.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 5:42pm

Brazilians by the gazillions.

timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:37pm

I'm with you mate: This is the dumb thing about 'progression', i'm all for scoring it but we cant forget what surfing is. "Just" kegs and rail work, that's what constitutes surfing for 99% of surfers, and arguably barely anyone does that better than Parko. If by 'progression' all we mean is 'new stuff' then the WSL is going to be nothing but an air competition, and to be honest I find that about as boring as watching the olympics.

If you want to be the best in the world you have to be amazing on the face, in the barrel and only then above the lip, in that order.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 4:36pm

I thought the scoring was mostly pretty good and it seemed to lift the level more which is what they want,more risk bigger turns.Good move by the wsl .

simba

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 5:34pm

10s need to be given very sparingly. The WSL seemed to use them last year to try to manufacture excitement and create a headline / talking point in some less than exciting contests.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the commentators actually told it like it is sometimes?

"he surfs in slow motion compared to ...."

"crikey, not another pissy little reverse in the whitewater"

"He is doing the poo stance again ."

"She waves her arms around way to much, make good moves look crappy - someone should tell her to work on her style"

Might get shunned at the after contest party though...

Frogg

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 5:46pm

Yeah, would be the life of the party for sure. They used to do that back in the olden days. I remember the broadcasters taking the piss when Bells was held at Phillip Island and they were calling it Blokes Island. Very entertaining. I reckon cricket is a funnier commentary than surfing and surfing is supposed to be edgier. Bulls excrement it is probably the most conservative of all the sports including AFL.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 7:13am

Jake Patterson was a bit like that. He was farken' funny. I think they sacked him unfortunately. Must have ruffled too many feathers. Ye gods I can't stand the commentators the have at the moment. Occy would be good I reckon.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 6:00pm

I still get more enjoyment out of watching Mick, Joel and Kelly than the younger era. Maybe they need to make an over forties tour? Or a single fin comp? But I don't think the wsl are targeting 40 yr plebs like myself.

dr-surf's picture
dr-surf's picture
dr-surf commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 6:12pm

To run this contest requires 4 1/2 days of competition. I watched 80% of the event and checked out what I missed later. To me, there were 6-10 waves of consequence surfed brilliantly and a couple of heats where the results weren't known until after the Hooter had blown.
Disappointing really after 4 1/2 days.

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 8:41pm

The scores were low because the waves were crap. Few sections here and there and a decent sandbank (not Kirra) for the finals but overall pretty shit despite the medias repeated attempts to tell us how pumping it was. Sounds like this new judge wants 3 air reverses to the beach rather than 3 sick carves, backwards step.

B Dub

MP's picture
MP's picture
MP commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 2:25pm

Runner-up Adrian Buchan was "breaking down new performance barriers" not. Adrian got scores in the excellent range by merely picking a set wave and doing four bog standard turns (plus a cutty) which where almost identical to each other. Something is very wrong with a judging panel that thinks that ride was excellent. There was no progressive element displayed and very little variety. Yes there was power, speed and flow but nothing to distinguish his surfing from surfing done by most pro surfers in the 90's. Message to the judging panel: "This is 2018, 12 year old groms are doing full rotation airs on a regular basis, even guys 40 years old in club comps are doing airs. When Buchan is pulling into triple overhead barrels from deep on the reef that is excellent surfing, when he is doing 4 backhand snaps and a cutback on a 4 foot wave that is average surfing. " Don't believe me? check round 3 heat 5 for when he was generously awarded an 8.33 for doing exactly that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcNoMdY9mI0

Goofball

DFB's picture
DFB's picture
DFB commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 9:18pm

Gabe is a big fan of the repeat back hand snap.
He was simply on auto pilot when he won snapper, 7 of the same turn in a row.
parko had the supposed 'great leveller' with an epic behind the rock barrel.
im aware that my comments are out of context (not this year, and that you're talking barrel v's barrel.)

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 10:02pm

Ace seems like an all right bloke....but I do question the impartiality of the judging when he got past Tomas Hermes

Prothero

DFB's picture
DFB's picture
DFB commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 10:07pm

Can you narrow down the time frame in you link? its 2.5hrs long haha

MP's picture
MP's picture
MP commented Saturday, 17 Mar 2018 at 10:33pm

Hi DFB, yeah fair enough the 8.33 scored ride is at the 22.26 minute mark on the video.

Goofball

fcalmon's picture
fcalmon's picture
fcalmon commented Sunday, 18 Mar 2018 at 11:16am

My humble opinion: What we are seeing now days is something that was not made for us. All of this is made for non surfers... All the forced drama end "emo" inserted in the commentators talk is unbearable. That may reflect on the judgement. They need to attract viewers

Swainy's picture
Swainy's picture
Swainy commented Sunday, 18 Mar 2018 at 7:33am

stunet wrote:

“The judges have been asking a lot of the surfers,” said Ronnie Blakey during yesterday’s Quiksilver Pro webcast and the statement did more than just fill the dead air.

In his understated way Blakey was driving at the most pronounced change to CT surfing from this year to last - the lowball judging.

Though it’s only one contest it’s worth comparing the Quiksilver Pro 2018 to last year’s event. Take the number of excellent-range scores for instance. In 2017 there were 54 8-plus rides compared to just 19 this year, and every single one of them featured exciting, risky surfing.

Also, the average scoring wave in 2017 was 6.86, while this year it was over a point less at 5.82.

Together, these numbers bear out Blakey’s point: it's getting harder to impress the judges.

Usually you’ll read about everything the WSL does via press release. They may not speak to the surf media but the WSL knows how to work the PR machine and every shift in strategy, personnel, sponsorship, or scheduling cops an email blast. The change in judging, however, passed undetected.

Actually, I should say almost undetected, because new Head Judge Pritamo Ahrendt slyly hinted at it in a February press release announcing his promotion.

“I am excited for this opportunity to oversee the panel and ensure the judging is fair and consistent,” said Pritamo before subtly announcing his intentions, “while also adapting as the world's best surfers break down new performance barriers."

The key word there is adapting.

Griffin Colapinto during Round 1 at Snapper

There’s an old saying, “He who praises everybody, praises nobody” and it can be applied to the Richie Porta era of judging. Over the last five years high scores have become increasingly meaningless. Everyone’s getting them. Sure, you need high scores to win, but if you can manufacture them with standard moves then where’s the motivation to go big? To get progressive?

Nobody was being truly praised for breaking down the performance barriers because four wraps to the beach would fetch the same score. When conservative surfing (yeah I know, a relative term in this context) and progression are equally weighted then the system can be gamed. You’ve heard all that stuff about old age and treachery.

As the judges adapt to the surfers, the surfers will reply in kind. And make no mistake, Pritamo's new decree will change the complexion of the CT. Most obviously we can say goodbye to the journeymen and anyone with brittle ankles. Last year the average age on tour was 27 but that’ll drop as the CT becomes unkind to anyone who can’t absorb the shock of an eight foot hanger into the flats.

Barrel riding will remain the great leveller, as evidenced by Griffin Colapinto, but Bells? Rio? Surf Ranch? Or anywhere the wind blows onshore..?

I imagine there'll also be changes around priority and being on the best waves, especially when they start running the dual heat formats, which the WSL has said they'll increasingly do. Will Gabs still be able to manufacture excellent scores on non-priority waves? It remains to be seen.

Of the 19 8-plus rides awarded during the Quiksilver Pro, in every instance bar two, that person won the heat. In other words, anyone who got a wave that registered in the excellent range progressed.

It may not have been spelled out in a press release but the judges have clearly spoken.

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Sunday, 18 Mar 2018 at 3:39pm

What exactly is progressive these days? Forced air reverses with no grab and slow recoveries are more stale in my mind than most of the older guys rail turns. Big controlled airs with good body position, no flailing arms, landed in the transition as to not waste the rest of the wave should be highly rewarded. The judging should differentiate between airs that are the same on paper. Not all complete rotations 5 feet above the lip are created equal. Medina tends to get super wide legged, no grab, poo stance lower body with upright upper body, flailing arms above his head and neck turning like an ice skater. John John with a good skate background and understanding stays tucked in lower, knees towards chest, grabs for a good amount of time and leads with the shoulder. These 2 in my mind should be scored accordingly but it seems the judging hasn't progressed nearly as much as they think the surfing has.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 2:45pm

Agree completely with you Ron. Jordy is another all arms and legs when he goes for airs, which compared to his rail work, should be left in the rack. Medina's accuracy and left hander tube riding are his best asset by far, despite his amazing air game. I think Toledo has one of the best air games as he uses it as part of the total wave and not a Hail Mary which the surfer I love to hate does (Medina). JJF is legend.

timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:27pm

Sure, I mean you could break down two roundouhse cutties in the same way. I think the judges do better than you think at breaking down airs, often its not about what the body does but what the board does - Gabby may not look as good but if he lands a backflip he lands a backflip. Degree of difficulty is more important that style IMHO. That should only get you a point max if the two airs are identical in terms of wave/height/rotation/landing.

timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:27pm

Sure, I mean you could break down two roundouhse cutties in the same way. I think the judges do better than you think at breaking down airs, often its not about what the body does but what the board does - Gabby may not look as good but if he lands a backflip he lands a backflip. Degree of difficulty is more important that style IMHO. That should only get you a point max if the two airs are identical in terms of wave/height/rotation/landing.

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 10:29am

If the judges had this attitude then the tour would be full of stinker styles. Absolutely cutbacks should be broken down in the same way. 2 guys do a cutback on the same size wave on the same section at the same speed and shaped arc. One guy has a poo stance, hunch back, arms out dead straight and looks like every second guy at your local. The second guy is Taylor knox and does his trade mark front arm to back arm drag combo. You want them scored the same because 'its what the board does'? Makes no sense.
This can be applied to every turn in surfing and should be applied to airs too. Once every surfer can do the same things how else do you seperate them?

timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook's picture
timmythereformedkook commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 10:04am

Turns are absolutely about what the board does, not what the body does, that's what surfing is. The reason technique is technique, and body position matters, is because of the way it effects what the board does. That's why a proper stance matters. Think of it this way, does a heap of compression though a bottom turn look good because is looks good, or because it creates drive?

That's the problem with your example, the guy doing a cutback with shitty technique WONT do the same cutback, it wont have drive, the transitions wont be smooth and he wont hold his speed.

IF, and only IF the manouvre is the same, then style is important. IF and only IF gabby and JJF land the same size full rote, with the same difficulty, then do you care about stance.

That was my original point, but from what you seem to be arguing, style is the only thing that matters. If that's the case then why don't we just give Ozzie Write a WC to every event and watch him win on a twin keel fish? Or maybe Ando on a Hypto? Those dudes are about as stylish as it gets.

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 4:51pm

You seem to be ignoring the part where i say 2 surfers doing the same thing. As in both boards doing the same thing. Once you have that then how else do you separate them?

I go back to my original example of Gabby and JJ doing an air, the same air in terms of what their boards are doing. I don't think they should be scored the same when their boards are doing the exact same thing but one guy looks like hes calm and in total control and the other guy looks like hes holding on by the last mm of his big toe nail, winding up the windows the whole time, then lands, lays back, nearly falls then stands up. Quite often for a large air they both get a 9-10. People seem to think because one of them looked out of control the whole time and nearly fell on the landing that it was more difficult to do? If we are talking about boards doing the exact same thing how is it fair that the guy who can do it more naturally and look better all the while doesnt get scored more?

I think we also may be on 2 different pages in terms of what we mean by style. I Dont want everyone to look like Ando. Parko is a good one to think about here. Some argue he gets under scored sometimes for making things look too easy. Slater and Fanning have figured out if they put fake accents on turns to make them look more critical they can get scored up. If you take matching parko and slater top turns (boards doing same thing) its obvious how slater makes them look more critical with arm possition and body language and parko doesnt. This is where surfing gets objective i guess.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 18 Mar 2018 at 6:09pm

Backyard to centre-stage
1960's-70's Surf movies soundtracked epic long rides with Down hill skate/ski or Hang Gliders.
Sky jumping was a distant cousin & tow skiers/deckerz never offered that freedom.
Wind surfers/Kite Surfers more like brothers in law.

Skateboarderz/Surfboardriders want a slice of pie. (But which judging model to copy?)
Oddly winter Olympics have many brothers in arms.
Snowboarders massive half pipe intimidates any pro surfer
Ski Jumping is long the epi-centre of the ultimate air...Ain't no puppet strings here
Luge/Skeleton barrel racers ...One sneeze at 140km/hr spells instant death.
Easily 20 hardcore winter Olympic decker events to over shadow any new rival deckheads.

Summer Olympics 50km/hr whitewater rapids again no walk in the park for surf pros.
A 10m high Diving Tower in Speedos enough to make Pros wee their Boardies.
Gymnasts dance on a 4 inch rail /Pro's are bound to massage tables anchored to jetskis.

Top deck judges need to wax the cunning of Sprint cycle priority....
The freedom of a floor routine with fluid Ice skating majesty & street cred of Skateboarderz.
Unfortunately these are arena sports. Off shore surfing is less accessible...(Dumb it down!)

If surfing were to focus on one or two big showstoppers then wave park becomes cheaper.
With population explosion... outdoors/indoors or wet/dry the new norm...no big difference.

eg: Diving Platform now scenic lookout Redbull women leaping waterfalls/Cliff faces.
Gymnastic Synch/Swim pool routines returning to beach aqua-cades of a century ago.
OZ Tour Cycling has TV /wineries/banks lining up...Scenic Rapids are hosting time trials.

What's clear to all is the Olympic shoebox sports crave the Endless Summer model.
With Surfing heading for the goldfish bowl it attracts constant gaze but mostly out of pity.
A child googles"Sellout" - (definition) see : "Surfing" ...see also "WSL" & "Olympics".
Let's face it, all reads the same...now every kid knows it too.

Surfers ride Jetskis longer than waves! An honest judge should score bigger Jetski Contest!

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 2:51pm

Yep surfing in the Ollyimpics a joke all round. Unless it is like the recent tube fest at Kirra (those finals were Awesome - some of the closeouts the best bits), will be a real dud watching every man and his dog doing a reverse air on a 2 foot wave, or the mini barrels of Slaterpark. Anyone of a dozen Zillas to win.

timmythereformedkook's picture
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timmythereformedkook commented Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:43pm

I have to disagree with the title of this article, all we have seen from the judges is they are not throwing high scores, and that applies to everyone equally. What we saw is that deep barrels and powerful turns will still get you an excellent score if it was warranted. Julian didn't win because of the progressive elements of hits game, he won because he's amazing in the barrel and is a pipe master for a reason.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 7:52am

And deep barels are available how often?

Not at Bells, Mainbreak, Rio, Keramas (outside barrel, inside launch pad), and not at the Surf Ranch, or indeed anywhere the wind blows onshore.

If past years are any guide the whole season gets a couple of days at best of deep barrels and the rest of the time it's performance surfing, and that means progressive airs or rail turns if it's big enough.

Deep barrels will always be there but progressive airs are the new frontier, as Filipe showed last year when he surfed the 'old world' wave of J'Bay in a completely new way.

Never again will the tour favour the old guys as it has the last five to ten years.

timmythereformedkook's picture
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timmythereformedkook commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 9:20pm

Deep barrels are available at most of the events this year - Kirra, Winki (it does barrel if its big), JBay, Cloudbreak, Teaups, Hossager, Supertubes and Pipe. Thats 7 (oustide chance of 8) out of 11 events in 2018.

Its not just about barrels - there are waves for everything on tour. Look at the guys who have won Bells over the last 5 years, Jordy, Mick, Wilko and Adriano. Hardly the most 'progressive' set, maybe barring jordy, but they all won it with clean, powerful, technical turns on big open faced waves. No airs. Same at Mainbreak, the guys who look great out there do it with old fashioned surfing. Ok, JJF looked amazing last year, but he still did it with on rail surfing, and we haven't seen that from him again.

I don't think Filipe did surf JBay that progressively last year, I remember watching it and thinking that now he might actually win a world title because his 'old man' rail game had come along in leaps and bounds. Watching it again, its amazing how much he looked like Mick. It was all fundamentals, big, powerful, back foot surfing and nice round carves. No backflips. No full rotes. I'm not sure what you saw in that if you think we haven't seen that kind or quality of surfing at JBay before. Honestly I thought both Parko and Mick looked better in the 2014 final.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 9:27pm

Really? No full rotes by Filipe at J'Bay? Nothing progressive..?

Perhaps you wanna visit Heat Alanlyser or season highlights again...

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 9:33am

It'll be interesting to see whether or not Pritamo's much needed correction of the judging scale does favour young guys, or indeed progressive surfing.

Too early to tell.

What struck me, after pretty much watching every heat on every day of the Quikpro, was the lack of progressive surfing.
And not because the waves were shit, the waves were absolutely perfect and screaming out for it.
How many airs or even fins out surfing went down? Not much, bit from Griff Colapinto, bit from Kolohe. Other than that, it was pretty meat and potatoes.

Truth is, Pro surfing was way more progressive in the Dane era and the years following. Kelly's air at Bells in 2012, his massive air at New York in 2011.
Way bigger airs and more of them in that era immediately following Dane.

Judges went back to rewarding power surfing and turns.

Are the scales going back. Too early too tell. I think judges will reward it, as we saw with Filipe, but whether the pros respond in kind is yet to be determined.

Here, check this edit from 2012 Bells, 6 years ago. Airs and alley oops going down everywhere. Even Fanning was throwing airs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPi7KuH3VRA

MP's picture
MP's picture
MP commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 4:40pm

Yeah agreed freeride76, the sport is becoming less progressive in the competition arena. The free surfing is all time but the WSL surfers know it is usually not worth the risk vs reward factor. What stood out to me was a perfect example that while 10 point rides are scarce in 2018 they are still over scoring bog standard surfing was a heat I watched with one of the oldest surfers on tour. Adrian Buchan was gifted an 8.33 by the judging panel under Pritamo's guidance. Buchan's performance was as you call it "meat and potatoes" and consisted of four backhand snaps and a cutback at 3-4ft Snapper. Why would anyone attempt a risky (to both board and body) progressive move when wave selection alone can bag an excellent score.

Goofball

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 5:41pm

Yeah, I went back to the videotape and analysed the heat analyser heat by heat and saw that exact wave.

See, I watched every heat and Ace's surfing did not stand out to me ....I thought I must have missed something in the flesh.......but nup, that 8.33 was a joke.

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stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 6:30pm

Agree. In neither scale - this year and last - was that an 8.33.

Big hiccup from the judges.

leckiep's picture
leckiep's picture
leckiep commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 10:50am

Stu - unsure where to post but this seems as good a thread as any.

Was your ability to embed the stream of the Quik Pro on Swellnet an unintended (by the WSL) consequence of moving to FB as a broadcast platform or a sign that with the change of leadership from Speaker to Sophie that the swellnet/WSL relationship is thawing?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 11:09am

More so the former...

When we heard the WSL were switching to FB the lightbulb went on, so we did some dev work to build the page (it required a new design so comments could refresh while not refreshing the webcast stream).

There was always a risk the WSL would restrict the embedding capability of the webcast, however the WSL are small fry amongst world sport and none of those sports already on FB restrict embedding.

We're really not sure if the WSL expects people to embed the webcast ot not, but the fact is anyone watching it on Swellnet still sees the ads bought by WSL sponsors so the League doesn't lose out.

leckiep's picture
leckiep's picture
leckiep commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 11:42am

Good one. Hooray for those unintended consequences, and a bigger hooray for the (continued) innovative approach to content shown by you and the team.

Next question, and one that's a little more sensitive to the WSL freeze - if you watch the stream on FB it gives you an estimate of concurrent viewers.

Do the viewership numbers shown on the FB-stream include people watching on FB and also those watching the embedded stream on swellnet...?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 11:45am

Yeah they do. It counts any eyeballs on the FB stream irrespective of where it's embedded.

leckiep's picture
leckiep's picture
leckiep commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 12:12pm

Having watched a bit of the FB stream and noted the viewer numbers, oh dear :(

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 12:32pm

But just you watch them spruik the 'cumulative' numbers. The autoviews that occur when no-one is even watching the stream and exploit social media virality.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 12:09pm

oh-oh

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 1:11pm

Could this technology help Gary, Stu?

Gary can only ever be certain that two eyeballs are watching him but is reasonably sure that if trackable, the eyeball count on ol' Gaz would be pretty significant. Gary is also curious about how many eyeballs he could reach if he fully harnesses the power of these auto-play functions you talk about.

Is there a way to differentiate as to whether the eyeballs are focussed on Gary's front or back?

For your next holiday, why not get all up in Gary?
Gary, Indiana.
Nestled at the tip of Lake Michigan, the best spot for scoring a facey anywhere on the great lakes, Gary's such a delight that once you've come once, you're certain to want to come again.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 8:03am

Round 1 Rip Curl Bells 2017: 10 excellent range rides (8 point+)

Round 1 Rip Curl Bells 2018: 0 excellent range rides.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 8:16am

jeez Silvana was under scored on her last wave

simba

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