Interesting debate happening on another surf site at the moment about who is the overall better surfer.
Some think Medina due to his adaptability in all situations and very few weaknesses.
Others are saying the North Shore prince has got him covered due to the big wave skill set he has.
At bells they were head and shoulders above everyone else imo..
So who’s no.1?
Ps. Only base your answer on pure surfing talent, not attitude out of the water
First up, I don't and have never liked Medina, BUT, he has impressed in waves of consequence, ie, Chopes and Pipe. He was also pretty well polished recently at Bells. We also know what he's like in smaller scrappier waves too.
JJF can do it all, no doubt, proven in contests and freesurfing, but does he have the mongrel and drive to win multiple titles? I prefer JJF's style over Medina's which would tip me over for JJF being the better surfer.
On a side note, I found it interesting that Owen wasn't talked about in the mix at Bells like a few of the others. I personally thought he was a standout, convincingly winning his heats with good solid surfing and scores. He faced JJF early and gave him a run for his money.
Medina every day of the week.
Style you say ?
Medina’s style ? The word “ punk “ gets thrown around pretty easily. At its heart it means Not Giving A Fuck about convention or the opinions of others.
And that’s Medina.
He doesn’t give a fuck what you or I think . He just surfs as hard and radically as possible. He does it his way cause he knows he’s right and we will catch on later....or not. Function over form.
JJF’s over - affected zombie dead arms need a double tap
Subjective Blowin, just my thoughts and opinion....
“It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”.
Whoops, wrong thread.
Care to add your opinion Facto? Or just happy to write off blowin again?
Fitzy - I’m not having a go , just giving my opinion too. No right or wrong when it comes to judging style.
JJF is a more natural...it just comes easy to him. Medina is an animal full of mongrel dog with zero fucks given. JJF just seems to be nice whereas Medina wants to kick the opposition in the face. They are still pretty even but Medina will have more world titles than JJF. All the BS talk about family on the WSL tour is total garbage...the more mongrels on tour the better it will be.
Discussion happened here too. Probably more interesting. I dunno.
As stated previously, "that second paragraph of Gabby love is an impressive word salad, Blowie. You a vegan activist?
And I know, we all know, style don't mean shit in pro comp world, but Occy - and JJF - for mine. Watch 'em all day. Chuck in Dane too. Not Keahola. Well, yeah, him too.
Parko and Curren is a God-given."
Anyway, a hypothetical: if the Wizzle fizzled tomorrow, and comp surfing as it is took a big shit, who would you bother watching free-range? Where style might matter and the jockorama stuff not?
it’s hard to comprehend how good medina is. but jjf edges him imo. medina actually misses a fair % of airs whereas jjf seems to make a lot more. and jjf toys with the bigger stuff in a way that medina doesn’t - under and above the lip. (medina was right up there at bells admittedly.) i haven’t seen medina ride big waves (ie. paddle-in big-wave surfing) - can’t see medina winning the eddie or jaws tho i wouldn’t put it past him. i like jjf’s carving style more too. medina is a far better competitor - few or none can beat him on strategy. jjf is an average-decent strategist but wins on surfing ability. i think medina will probably end up with more world titles than jjf
“Anyway, a hypothetical: if the Wizzle fizzled tomorrow, and comp surfing as it is took a big shit, who would you bother watching free-range? Where style might matter and the jockorama stuff not?”
Johnny F, hands down..
Oh and there’s a lot of stuff on Swellnet more interesting than this! This is a way to pass the time on a rainy onshore Saturday in between changing crappy nappies
Medina is possibly better back hand.
But JJF better fore hand.
JJF is a better tube rider, has more power, but still as good as Medina above the lip.
IMHO JJF has a better style, but only fault JJF has or could be said and it's being picky, is something Stunet also noticed, JJF can be a bit repetitive at times, same section, same turn.
JJF is the complete package and a true waterman in every regard including big waves.
I might have some bias though as i just like JJF as a person from what I've seen and don't really like Medina as a person from what I've seen and tactics in water etc
The repetitiveness of JJF on the end section at Bells was only because the judges were rewarding it and he was confident that he would complete it each time. You do what you gotta do to win heats.
No way he'd do it freesurfing.
Yeah fair call LD
It’s like asking are apples or oranges better.
It’s such a highly subjective ‘sport’ and everyone’s opinion when comparing surfers in this ilk is highly biased.
I reckon it’d be interesting to see them both in the water live to judge (but then again that is just a snapshot of one set of conditions).
For the record I prefer John’s whole style and act out of any surfer on your.
Nb/ anyone who reckons Medina wouldn’t rule in massive waves is kidding, his skill level is too high to not be able to, he’s proven in the juice.
Both are imho GOAT surfers but since I have to pick one then I would pick JJF as my fave. He's got the skillz and style and class.
A thing to remember is that virtually all evidence of Medina’s ability comes from the 30 minute windows we see in heats. I reckon I’ve seen less than 10 minutes of him out of competition and I look for it. That’s limited exposure for big effect. Most of the good JJF gear has been in profile pieces.
Plus - you know someone is shaking shit up when the other pros start parroting their habits to try and grab a bit of their mojo.
The increased volume that crew are “ discovering “ : Medina.
And let’s talk vertical spray. That shit matters to me and to judges. It’s positioning and power. Only AI has rivalled Medina. Lots of power surfers do lots of spray, but when the spray shoots straight up from the lip heads turn and jaws drop.
Not much in it but for me its meds....by a fanny hair.
If I go to heaven, I’ll be whisked away to a desolate tropical island where I will remain going wave for wave with the most sublimely talented surfer John Florence. It will be a never ending session of a never ending set of reeling righthand tubes, walls and ramps, where I’m guessing he will smile at me as I paddle back up the point for my next one. But if I go to hell, I’ll be trapped in high rise unit without doors or windows and nothing but a non Apple laptop streaming a never ending WSL heat where Gabriel Medina will be surfing, and of course absolutely ruling. I will be staring at the pixels in amazement in the poorly lit room, completely in awe and on the edge of my seat for what this surfing lunatic might do next. All hail Medina I will be thinking. Medina will be in a perpetual come from behind situation and there will be nothing but a sense of expectation that he is going to get the score. So I feel it’s too hard to separate these two performance artists, and their different lines they draw. But for what’s its worth, I am definitely going to hell, and I’m pretty sure Charlie will be on the lounge with me cheering on the champ.
Hell for me would be damned to an eternity stuck in traffic with the radio blaring Joe Turpel doing a cover of Barney Gumble’s seminal classic Number 8 . Except the lyrics would be changed to his ear lacerating , tonal apogee “ nine point nine in the final “.
Anyone heard saffa commentating on the Krui pro, borderline insufferable:
‘Naaah the surfer in waaht hez disaahded to aktivaayt another raahd’
....makes Turpel sound smooth in comparison
Reminds me of the Curren v Occy debate as a grom. My preference then was mostly patriotic and the rage of youth - Occy all the way, but as I got older I appreciated Curren much more. Occy was abrasive and pure power, much the same as Medina. JJF not so smooth as Curren but a distinctly unique and now imitated style.
Overall I think I prefer JJF but in the same breath acknowledge Medina as probably the more aggressive surfer. If we factor in demeanour out of the water, most lean towards JJF but I think that's a little bit of cultural misunderstanding for Gabby and his absolute competitiveness.
Interesting CRG. My 2nd bought SW was the infamous New Blood one with the Occy profile (with his best buddy Dog Marsh) by Derek Hynd. The "stop these American wankers and we've got the young crew to do it" one. Which was really about 'stopping' the NSSA and Ian Cairns & PT, and their vision of how to produce champeen athlete surferz. By Derek Hynd.
As a double digit grom, I bought into the patriotic bollocks. Occ and the wild boys vs the robots. I was a young idiot. Mind, they were also very, very careful to always say that Curren was an outlier (mainly because it was obvious he was a very special surfer), all media at the time did, BUT it 'became' Occy vs Curren regardless.
Tom Curren is probably my favourite surfer if such a thing now exists for me.
A big difference between then and now. In & out of competition, both Occy & Curren were/are supreme stylists.
Gabby isn't for mine. Too upright and wide-stanced and weirdly stiff. AI-ish? And I'm not referring to Andy Irons.
Oh, and I've seen both JJF and Gabby live. And more importantly in the water. JJF was incredible. His calm in pretty extreme situations (it was solid...we were on big boards, and he was on something ridiculous, well to me, a step-up of 6'2? Who knows. He was more inside and swinging crazy late like it was nothing on whatever sneaked through) and the subsequent speed of reaction with this zen-like calmness was supernatural. Gabby was impressive. Airs always are, especially big and made, but it looked like another training session for him. Probably was.
JJF was surfing.
And a favourite quote from Curren, and I paraphrase, "yeah, I guess I'm the best in the world...at getting 4 waves to the beach in time."
That session with JJF would of been all time. Can you say where it was?
JJF was at the box , Facto was watching from between the flags at the rivermouth.
Funny, you mention the Box, Blowie, your boy didn't like it one bit that one particular year they ran it there at max level. Palpable erm, dislike.
Then there was his personal shark boycott via social media that particular year.
Hmmm. Gabby doesn't like the West?
Another reason to like him.
Unless you want a champion Brazilian surfer with 60,000,000 fawning Instagram followers raving about how everyone should be surfing WA.
Gold Coast is already a favella . That’s enough.
Oh yeah, the session regarding JJF was about a week before the comp. He seems to like the West. It was across the road from the Box.
Gabby's was during the comp one year a coupla breaks to the north.
Jeez, you really take some weird stuff personal, Blowie. Maybe all stuff on here, whether it's got anything to do with you directly, in reality, or not?
Haha, Gabby & Blowie, sitting in a tree...
What have I taken personally ?
For me it’s John John .. I prefer his style and flow and it feels more like he is connecting with the wave rather than fighting it . Gabriel still a great surfer but jjf has more class and is smoother . I actually like that his arms are relaxed . I prefer not seeing arms flap all about the place .
Me too Saltyone, JJ has such a good read on the waves, I reckon he's part dolphin.
Medina is insane, no question about ij but JJ imo is the more complete surfer.
(disclaimer- I'm a natural footer.)
Medina is the best board rider
JJ is the best wave rider
I prefer JJF's style over Gabby...much smoother..I also think JJF has a better surfing skill set...although Gabby probably has a better competion skill set
They are both ridiculous!!!
Somehow I think Gabby's aggression and lack of English resulting in clumsy interviewing (earlier in his career) has reduced many people appreciation of his surfing, wave choice and all round ability. From French beach breaks (some of his reads are unbelievable) to big Chopes where he continually picks the waves with the longest tubes are amazing, his speed control forehand and backhand in the barrel is the best.
JJF on a wide open faced right hander, with surface texture is untouchable!! Don't remember what he was like at Cloud Break?
All that said M February in east Africa is the best surfer in the world...cause somehow I could relate to what he was doing...flying down the line on a fish and getting tubed ahhhh
medina,fair bit of daylight jjf. i think his second highest scoring wave at bells.,i.e. that lip,airdrop to get down the line at speed on an eight foot wave was insane, and it gets like a seven or something.meanwhile the judges are throwing 8,s at laybacks. just sayin' that's all
Then there was his personal shark boycott via social media that particular year..although Gabby probably has a better competion skill set
Hard to compare the two when JJ is way ahead.
surfing is more than WSL....its also an art form.....one can be shit hot an know how to hassle the fuck out of the guy next to him, but in doing so they de base the art.....JJF is the man
JJF finishing turn Bells verse Medina finishing turn JBay. Medina way more critical
JJF on a wide open faced right hander, with surface texture is untouchable!! Don't remember what he was like at Cloud Break?
I think Italo, and gabbie a bit as well, competitively with their ability to land airs in heats at will (Italo more the airs and gabby can do it all).
JJF is a better surfer overall though.