Margaret River Pro: Day 5
Two Aussie victors in Men's and Women's Finals at Margies and a Men's Final fought between two former child prodigies, one local, the other considered unbeatable at the venue. History will show the local took it out, obeying a clear directive from judges sent earlier in the day about how to disrupt the formulaic perfection of the John Florence approach.
It was an air reverse, launched with abandon and messily landed which led to the divorce between John and the Margies trophy.
More about how we got here in a minute.
First, the girls. The Semis and Finals were a bit of a comedown - both in comparison to the Men's Quarters and the previous day of women's surfing on Saturday. There was no Pickles high point to swoon over. Gabby took the first Semi with a last wave bomb for an 8.73 over Courtney which looked a clear changing of the guard.
Izzy Nichols wrapped the Semi against Bronte with just two strong rides including a three-turn banger for an 8.93 which was the high point of the day as far as women's performance went.
The Final was a tepid affair, marked by safety surfing, sitting out of position, and a general lack of energy. Gabby looked satisfied just to be there and Izzy won comfortably with a mid range 6.77. That win puts her on tour for the rest of the year, including G-Land and Teahupoo. I hope your pigdog is up to scratch Izzy because you are going to need it.
The 'special relationship', in geopolitical terms, is understood to refer to the tight bond between the USA and UK, particularly under Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. It was invoked today to account for the union between John Florence and Margaret River, considered to be unique and unbreakable.
Generally, I'm an enthusiastic proponent of this view. If there was any problem with the Final's Day it was that we didn't get to see enough of John. His opening ride against Griffin Colapinto, the first one we saw of him today cut through the dross like a diamond-tipped drill. No-one can cut against the grain of the Margaret River trim line like John. That point still holds true, despite the loss to Jack.
Griff got smoked. The scoreline flattered him. His one service to the comp was showing how to beat John. Scoring fatigue was obviously an issue for the judges after seeing three-plus years of essentially the same line from John, despite no-one else getting near it. When Griff threw a weird flat spin air on the end section with no preamble turns - an air that would have scored a 6 in Brazil - and was awarded an 8.73, the signal was sent.
You won't beat John at his own game, they said in effect. It was a white flag concealing a live grenade.
Whether Robinson paid heed off his own surf IQ or was well advised by Coach Bemrose, that was the winning formula and he employed it.
Italo tried to huck in his QF against Matty McGillivray and fell on an attempt that would have got a 10. They would have had no choice after the 8.73.
Madness in my eyes. All that era-defining surfing from John in 2017 (and 2019) without a single 10 and judges were ready to throw it away for a single closeout air.
Three turns and a closeout hit. It's essentially a very constrained playing field, almost wavepool-esque in its requirement for a certain type of surfing. It suited Ethan Ewing perfectly. He had the 9's to trouble John in the Final. Was near perfect against Nat Young and will rue his Semi-Final against Jack Robbo. Holding the highest score of the heat he fell repeatedly trying to spike a back-up score. Mentally, he still doesn't seem quite there, on a day where he had the surfing to go all the way, at least to the Finals.
Jack was pumped up today. Dial set at 11. Generally, I don't believe what people say. I believe what they do, and the way they act. Jack talks of calm energy but twitches uncontrollably. He spent half a heat hassling and jockeying for position with Jordy Smith, only winning because Jordy retreated to safety surfing as time pressure built on both surfers. He consistently looked skitzier all day than his opponents and had to recover turns that almost got away from him. Huge end section blasts were the one reliable feature of his repertoire.
Therefore, and with maximum respect, I call bullshit on Jack's “calm energy”. This is a ruse, a method he has found to detune the arousal level which he himself admitted, saying, “I get way too excited, I'm just trying to keep it together”.
I like this right-on-the-edge-of-spontaneous-combustion energy he brings, even if he has to try and prevent a conflagration with “calm energy”. It's going to be sick at Chopes.
The Final. Look, it was a great comp...but the Woz made the Final damn near unwatchable by continually cutting away from live action to ads, including ads about the comp itself. We were three rides in before we'd even seen a live wave. We spent the crucial opening five minutes catching up on replays. Mass market fans will not dig, proper fans are enraged. ELO, do us a solid and sort this shit out, pretty please with strawberries on top. Just show the goddamn Final live.
Was John lowballed in the Final? I believe so.
His one-footed layback snap was a turn only Clay Marzo could attempt, let alone grease flawlessly in a Final.
His smaller back-up had the best opening turn of the Final.
The crucial point spread was the one between John's back-up, judged a 7, and the lofted air-rev with messy landing from Robbo, judged an 8.07. I think those scores should have been reversed.
No matter, Jack took the clear message about how to beat John and executed it. You could see John prickle up, as he did when Matty McGillivray tried to open up a lead. Only this time, the sets stopped coming and he could not find the aerial answer back he was looking for. The clock ticked down with Jack in front.
OK, the question answered. John is beatable. Even if it took questionable means to do it.
The shakedown: Toledo wears the yellow.
Two Aussies in the Top 5.
The Big Dog is let back in the yard for the back half of the year. In his own words, “Really excited. I feel ready”.
Bizarrely, Medina will be one of the few with any experience at G-land.
God, I've missed him.
// STEVE SHEARER
Kaipo falling on his final turn of phrase: cherry on top of the broadcast disasters
That was kind of funny but missing the start of the heat and the first. 3 waves was a complete cock up. Imagine that happening in any other sport. And then to cut away from WSL live to a WSL ad ? WTF. They also didn’t give us scores. We could see JR got ahead but we’re not told what wave. Really really poor for any actual surf fan.
Thanks for the series Free.
Complements the action nicely.
Thanks Freeride. Your daily synopsis was the icing on what was a very rich mud cake.
Like every comp we watch there was so much to digest. My take home points:
- John is still the best out there. You can’t just get bored with his approach, no one else has the skill to do what he does. As is with surfing, the waves potentially dictated that final, as did judges that enjoy airs.
- Ethan is phenomenal. He is not AI, MF or anyone else. He is himself and if I were a betting man, I’d wager he’ll be holding the silverware at J-Bay or El Salvador this year. His approach makes Jack’s look skittish and immature.
- The WSL is so far off becoming the mainstream world sporting event they aim to be. Unprofessionalism reeks at every turn (thank goodness)
- The Women’s tour feels to be in a state of flux. The rookies who promised so much in the first couple of events are tossed, veterans have been cut and inexperience reigned in what was a fairly low-fi end to the competition. I feel the talent is definitely there or coming very soon (Molly, Caitlin summers, Sierra Kerr etc) and with another year or two at these new locations will see amazing things for this side of the comp.
- Australia’s future in world surfing is settling into a good new place.
Completely agree on the ‘he’s not AI or Occy or Curren’
thx steve- absolutely agree with everything you’ve said
….great event overall,…but ah, watching jjf out there leaves me wondering whether air’s are raising the bar or lowering it … a full noise layback carve under the lip gives me shivers- an air reverse gives me yawns…huey help me if that is the strategy to win contests
i’ve missed gabs too - he irks me no end - but talk about fearless and ferocious surfing
Thanks, Steve = the event featured some great surfing and the MYC added some drama and incentive - there were much better waves and conditions than the early forecasts had us expecting.
"particularly under Tony Blair and Bill Clinton"
I thought it was Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who were ideological soul-mates.
That's Margs for ya. And after all that..
I still can't forgive Jordy.
Or the Wozzle.
No way the turn was the best. Tube woulda been a nice bonus. Like a cover drive on day 4 before a declaration vs a 6. T20 vs test cricket.
It was a nice turn indeed. But I think , maybe ,probably the pit would have been more epic, sorry "clutch". Jack would have killed for that one.
Spot on report, thanks Steve. Yeah, too many add breaks during live action, especially in the final. Frustrating indeed! Regardless, the two Aussie victories were still enjoyable to watch. Main Break was the real winner though, despite what some say and think. Her power and many moods are a proper test for any would be champion surfer. Agree too about the judges seemingly falling a little out of love with John's amazing surfing in the final. Great to see Jack channelling his nervous energy and twitch power in home waters. He joins Dave Macaualy and Jodie Cooper as West Aussies who have won it as a CT event. Taj and Mel Redman were locals who also won it, but it was a QS comp those years. Nice to see Aussie surfing showing more signs of revival and hunger.
Enjoyed your reports again FR. Cheers.
As incredible as JJ continues to be out at Mainbreak, I reckon at times that the aura surpasses the reality. It’s human nature of course. We see it in all our great sporting champions that we “fall in love with”. That alluring effect they have on our senses. Our insatiable desire to keep willing them on to continually produce greatness, to keep winning. Thing is though, over time, we start seeing things that aren’t really there & missing the things that are. Jack won that final fair & square. It’s called sport. Check the scorebook as they say. He beat this “unbeatable” presence in JJF, yet the sentiment almost refuses to acknowledge this great act.
Freeride, correct me if I’m wrong, but you were clearly barracking for JJF.
No, JJ is surfing on another level than everyone else.
Open your eyes.
The only thing that gets in his way is bogus judging
Spot on. JJ is getting ripped off like Slater did a few times. I think the WSL have to mix it up a bit to keep it interesting. I once questioned Mick Fanning about a ridiculous “loss” against Owen Right - Fanning absolutely killed him on performance in the heat, but WSL gave it to Owen. When I raised it with Fanning he just sort of shrugged and said something like swings and roundabouts- which I didn’t like because I was to focussed on performance. But in a way it shows that even the WSL recognised Owen’s determination and hard work and they gave him points for it. Makes the WSL look a bit human after all . And that’s really a good thing in a way, the ability to look at the bigger picture! Good on ya WSL, wrong performance winner, but right human call. It gets my tick. And even Mick seemed to appreciate it.
Stanley (still hanging in there and looking for an exit on a heavy barrel!! ;)
I should add that after Owen’s recovery he showed the world some of the best tube riding it’s ever seen, esp. in Tahiti. Never met Owen , but oh wow, he surf’s the Tahiti left as well as anyone.
The surfing ‘scorebook’ would have to be one of the most subjective and open to bias of any sport.
People talk of repetition etc….have a look at every single surfer on their back hand, we still lord 5 reos to the beach. There is seemingly a limit to the kinds of positions you can put your board and body of into on a wave.There is not much more they can do.
Therefore a ‘new’ look can seem better than old excellence……..it’s not new or better, it’s generally a different guy or girl doing much the same thing as their predecessors but at an opportune time when others are failing to do so.
Unfortunately the judges have made a rod for their back. Next year at Marggies we'll see the pro's taking off on closeouts or missing sections just to race down to the end to throw an air for the points. With JJ's surfing at Marggies the bar had been set for rail surfing to win, they just threw that out the window.Don't complain next year when someone like Ethan gets beaten by a one move air.
that end section is not as easy to blast as it looks, lots of angles working against you, it was the perfect response though for the conditions and with the size and sets tapering off in the arvo, doubt it would have been scored so highly if there was still 10ft sets consistently rolling in.
Thanks freeride, no one round here wants to discuss the fine points of pro surfing with me. !?
The highlights from this event - off it's tits, so many heats, so much shredding so tight in the pocket. Won't miss 'the convergence' though I thought Robbo won that too, his freefallin' 3rd story exit was my event highlight except for every wave Ethan caught.
Happy for Robbo, huge win at home gives the belief and maybe he won't have to use the fake calm all the time? He'll go deep at G-land too.
Izzy saw her chance and pounced for a CT event win yeew. Will be interesting to see which women have long left barrels in their skillset.
Anyhow I'm always glad I didn't drive all the way to WA to find out Margs is a right.
I doubt we'll get to see the women show their skillsets (or for some,lack of) in long left barrels at G land.
If the speedies section turns on,the blokes will be run in it.
The girls will likely surf their whole event at moneytrees.
That gives opportunities to show barrelriding skills too,but it's a wave one can avoid much of the barrel and stay out on the face to do turns if that's easier for them.
It's not a top to bottom start to finish freight train heavy barrel compared to speedies.
I think if they were to throw the girls into 6 foot plus speedies,it would be very similar to what the Pipe event was.
There'd be a handful of fairly good rides,but the performances would be scrutinized against the guys and the performance gap would be glaringly obvious.
It would be heavily brought to attention by a lot of waves being passed over and not ridden in heats that could of been,like at Pipe.
At least there'll still be some good surfing done by them on the moneytrees section,but i doubt there'll be many deep long barrels ridden by them.
There'll be a couple of sections they get in and out of,then go for the turns.
It's going to be a super successful event i'm sure,but i'm not expecting some groundbreaking new level women's barrelriding performances there.
That couldv'e been at Pipe,and it didn't really happen like the hype was indicating.
Chopes is the venue where they get the next solid chance at that,without the benefit of running the event on an easier section.
But then it's will they run in solid chopes or smallish chopes.
Again,the blokes will run on the bigger days,the girls the smaller ones no doubt.
It seems like after the Pipe debacle they have invested heavily in making sure the Women get the more user friendly conditions in the event window.
I wonder if that strategy will be sustainable at G-Land and more especially Teahupoo.
Definitely sustainablecat G land.
Moneytrees not speedies.
Wonder what excuse Tyler will use for not charging 6 ft speedies? Monyet Club? Nasalis larvatus envy?
Can't really see how the woz would be able to specify where on the break they will be surfing? I guess there's not many precedents as the comps aren't normally run at surf breaks covering large areas with multiple sections that are all good.
Moneytrees and speedies are well defined separate sections.
Moneytrees is the everyday bread and butter wave at G land.
Speedies at the end of the whole lineup only shows on the right swell direction with enough size in the swell.
I think it's the easiest break on the tour to select where they decide to run the event if they get the option of one section or the other.
But speedies probably won't show for more than a couple of days within 1 swell before the swell drops too much,if it's the right direction.
And when it gets too small there'll still be 6 foot sets at moneytrees.
The full woman's event at moneytrees and the guy's half at moneys and half at speedies is what i'm ecpecting to see.
Can we give Chelsea Georgeson a wildcard for G-Land, please?
Another good review, FR. We've been spoilt.
A few of my mental notes:
- Jordy's 'big' wave was the highlight. Both for the horrendous barrel dodge, and for the searing turn. He's finally on really good boards, and man it's a pleasure to watch.
- Ethan's got the best technique on the CT. Gotta get his head into fighting mode.
- JJF is phenomenal, but he lacks something - possibly imagination. Does the same thing over and over (like his Bells win a few years ago), and even if it's pretty and only he can do it, it becomes stale. I feel like he's mentally not quite there. Sue me.
- Jack was fresh air. Weird and wonderful. He won.
Miss Redgard would have looked Jordy in the eye and said -
So why Didnt you pull in .
With you on that IB, he earnt it.
Sally fitz was amazing at fiji all those years back with a busted ear drum..
She packed some really nice left cones at strickland comp last year too.
Spewin she wont be in gland comp, she would have been a standout for the girls side
I probably would have put a bet on Sally at g-land. Don’t know who else in the women’s will really go it. Suppose we will find out, perhaps one of the young crew.
Great pieces on the Margs pro over the duration Freeride. I imagine it’s not all lollipops and ice cream sitting down to meet a deadline on a topic you’ve already marinated in for the past ten hours. Much appreciated. They definitely add to the proceedings and I look forward to them as many others seem to do.
*As much as there is a current void of airs at Margs and the scope for potential is huge, I personally think that going the way of Heat Killer scores for airs on the end section is a dead end for viewers. Do we really need more comps determined on spins into the flats? Big airs on the first section maybe.
Strangely enough, it’s only since JJF rewrote what carving turns are possible at Margs that we start to recognise which other approaches to surfing the wave may be open to improvement. Someone needs to start attacking the lip on the first section. Airs out the back on the bigger days would not be the same retrograde step as devolving into an air war on the closeout end section.
*Medina could and does, ice turns like JJF’s final heat layback without raising a sweat. He’s the missing piece in the puzzle and I believe that he will elevate the game by taking a modern approach to the select lefthanders which stand up. They exist but they’re currently overlooked. Wait till Gabby starts burning the dreams of his opponents with sizzling forehand turns and Mainbreak will again shed its fraudulent tag as exclusively a competitive righthander.
*Perhaps Meditative is calm relative to unrestrained Robbo? Perhaps he’s actually trying to calm himself and not convince the viewers that he’s a still waters guru? Maybe he’d be jitterbugging like Italo if he wasn’t deliberately aiming for a more focused tasking of energy?
Whatever Robbo is doing …..I love it. Its winning events and winning over the allegiance of surf fans.
*I get that the WSL is driven to maximise advertising exposure by shoving sponsors down the viewers throats during the penultimate moments of the comp but the current method of prioritising it over live action is a slap in the face to the viewers. It underlines, in no uncertain terms, that the WSL doesn’t truly respect the surfing itself.
The fact that the WSL can’t even conclude that they should give the women a few minutes to bask in the post final glow before sending the men out, instead of having the basic sense to not force themselves to ignore one over the other is amateur level dogshit.
Overall good fun throughout the comp. Cheers to Swellnet for hosting the excellent comments thread throughout.
Media has the weakest frontside carve in pro surfing history.
Show mea clip of him burying the rail.
You can’t because they don’t exist.
His backside is so repetitive and predictable that you know exactly what he will do before he takes off.
A backside snap repeated over and over .
"Media has the weakest frontside carve in pro surfing history. Show mea clip of him burying the rail."
(BTW, this was 2014, at the Hurley Pro).
Looks like he is falling
Me thinks he's surfing too fast for you to notice:
That’s a little better. But how hard did you have to search for that?
Plus the challenge was for a video clip of an actual gouging turn with the rail buried from nose to tail like JJ’
I claimed that’s BS because I’ve never seen it nor can I find a video clip of it.
I posted a photo above, but you simply retorted "Looks like he is falling".
Sounds like you've already made up your mind.
That’s a two foot wave almost ten years ago and sure looks like he is falling on his butt.
Sounds like you failed the challenge of finding a video clip.
My mind is made up because its the truth until evidence proves otherwise
Gabe doesn't really like mainbreak,it's one of his average events at best,and some years one of his throwaway events.
I don't think he'll ever grow in love with it at all.
He's like Kelly,Mick,Taj didn't like it much either.
And they're all forehand on the right.
The left fattens out too much and doesn't have a steep enough pocket often enough to allow Gabe or anyone to get their teeth into those kind of carves.
Otherwise we'd be seeing them do it all the time,like on the right.
Anyone else get bored of them just going right towards the end of the comp?
It’s basically the same combination of turns every wave.
Big outside turn, slower middle turn over the fatter section, then a closeout hit.
I was a bit over it by the end
Still impressive, but spot on Goofy
Yeah was a bit (found the commentary wearing me down in the end) but really enjoyed some of the late take offs / drops was it Barron Mamiya that took off under the lip at the top of that bomb, unbelievable...
It was boring after the first day, Two turns and float the 'convergence'.
surely there are some bomb deep lefts that allow some sic vert turns and a barrel perhaps?!?!
Shame the wozzle fuked up the opening of the final sorta threw a wet towel over the it and JJF wave was under scored but the heat was close very close .Robbo was up for it and took the bull by the horns and looked like a winner so congrats to him....as for the wsl they need to lift their game a lot but it was another winner for them....onwards to gland and i cant wait.
I mean with all respect to her, but please get rid of that seppo chick commentator, most painful voice and also ads for Bond University, what are the WSL trying to sell
The person who gets to g land now and camps on it all month will win. Gabs has had 3 days there and ripped cos he's a freak, but I reckon heaps of crew will get lost in the lineup and tide shifts. John John is the only one on tour with any real time at the joint, and that was grom days
Watched and rewatched the highest scoring waves. Apart from JJF's freakish layback it was a tiny bit underwhelming (especially considering earlier performances.)
Jack's air was the fastest and biggest launch of the contest, on a section where barely anybody was even attempting airs because of how tricky the section is.
Not saying it was a 10, but a score in the 8's was fair.
But yeah John's layback snap was sick, maybe scored lower because it wasn't a bomb, but arguably underscored.
I think all the judging was spot on in the final EXCEPT for the layback by JJF. I think it deserved an extra 1/2 point at least (by comparison)
I'm in no position to judge, but I feel like Jack's air in the final was over-scored. Sure it was a nice launch, but it wasn't exactly like a full rotation 360 stomped in the flats. It was a 180, landed almost off the back of the wave and convincingly saved in the whitewash. Also the only move on the wave and not a large wave at that. That said, still a very even contest overall and no issue with Jack taking the win.
Also, I think Jordy dodging that barrel was the right decision. It was a beautiful looking wave from land, but from his perspective, no guarantees it would hold up and let him out (Mainbreak not really known for it's barrels right?). Maybe to that you say "no guts, no glory", but would the risk have been worth the reward? The judging yesterday showed that they weren't really interested in scoring barrels, whereas a big turn in a critical pocket on a big wave was the perfect starting point for a big score.
I wonder if any of the CT are flying to g-land early for this juice next week...
Surely anyone who was serious about doing well would be putting at least 10 days in before the start of the comp. Not going home etc.
Great recap Steve and also all the previous articles! WSL comps in prime work time viewing with good waves is hard to beat. Can't see it translating to non-surfers and onto Netflix but..
WSL kills the coverage with ads, Swellnet kills the coverage with ads. Their reply is 'you get what you pay for'.
I’m OK with running ads but FFS you have to be smart about placing them. We didn’t see the start of the final and missed the first three waves !!!! To a ad for the WSL and a event recap ?????? Neither making the WSL any money.
Can someone please remind me what it was that I did during the day at work when there was no comp on......
Thanks FR enjoyed the writing went looking for your write up each day.
Another great article Steve. How good to see two Aussies win. I really enjoyed the comp. Would have been tough surfing the big cross shore day. Massive test for eveyone.
Ethan Ewing is so good to watch. Stoked Connor Oleary got through. Love his backhand.
G Land is going to be mental.
The coverage of the final was appaling. Wasn't till ten or fifteen minutes to go that the viewer got any sense of heat rhythm, who was dominating, what was required etc. It felt like a throwback to the webcasts of old. Can anyone remember the Quik Pro France when the entire stream was lost five minutes from the end? Had to find out who won the next day.
Not feeling particularly nostalgic for those days.
Then again, and taking a cue from the Gra Murdoch School of Diplomacy, the Men's Final coverage felt like an anomaly. The Woz did much better for 99% of the contest, and I assume they'll look at it as an area to improve.
Like GF, I was also getting bored with the three turn formula. Not taking away from JJF's execution of it, but also not surprised the judges would issue scorecard relief when they saw something different.
You got to get it right for the final. Imagine not see the start of a NRL final or throwing to a break or recap while the balls in play ?
Went back and rewatched the Final.
The judges wanted something different: John gave it to them with a layback snap that only one other surfer on the planet can do (Clay Marzo). Ultra, ultra critical first turn flawlessly executed.
That should have been a 9.
His three turn banger for a 7 should have been an 8.
No disrespect to Jack, he surfed incredibly but I think the judges got this one wrong.
5 speed pumps and a messy air on the end section should not be an 8 at MR mainbreak.
damn shame the Finals are at Trestles again though- if it was Cloudbreak Jack would be a good chance to bring home the first Aussie World Title for almost a decade.
I've said it above in another reply, but we will now see the surfers race to the end section to huck an air to be rewarded by the judges. JJ set the bar and the tone of rail surfing for Marggies and the judges just threw that out of the window. They've stuffed it for the following years and watch the comments light up when in the future the beautiful rail work of someone like Ethan gets beaten by a one move air.
Cloud break final would be amazing
Yep, JJF’s 8.5 with that turn that he hadn’t thrown all contest plus two more solid hits compared to Jack’s 8.07 which while high difficulty a lot of the pros can do.
JJF’s first turn alone should have been an equal score to Jack’s air but the whole wave only got an extra 0.43.
I think wave height came into play? Sick JJF turns but on a mid wave. I'd have still given him the nod, but. I wonder if crowd cheers/'vibe' might come into it? It's a pleasure watching JJF surf in these conditions.
Could be scripted by JRR Tolken
local hero wins at home against new goat/
Small wave wizard holds yellow to keep the masses interested/
new goat vs old goat set to go full spinal tap at Gland/
Resurrection of the interim Jesus (Gabbs).
Lord Of The WSL
I was really excited to see Callum Robson succeed again with beautiful rail turns and old-fashioned grit under pressure. I'd love it if the tour turned in that direction.
The whole lot of them make some very scary but often pretty marginal waves look incredible - so hat's off to the talent that is the pro tour...but JJF's surfing, to me, nothing boring at all about his efficiency and power.
Like others, I couldn't watch the final, even though I was invested all contest long - it's like getting your head shoved in an unsophisticated marketing bucket of shite. So last century.
Nonetheless nice to see Jack win at home - I really admire the man that has emerged from the over-indulged kid - but...personally "going to the air" at Main Break - that's ultimately why he won? For me airs are best when served up and rewarded in a theme park (wave pool); I'm unsure as to why its even interesting for modern surfing; as in get in a plane, go hang-gliding, windsurfing or ride a foil - they'll all show you how to fly, with much greater efficiency than a sub 7'0 surfboard. Sort of like watching an NRL player take an average AFL mark and the "crowd erupts with the majesty of his athleiticsm"
It was eight or nine minutes into the final before they went live action.
Could you imagine if the AFL or NRL did that, or the tennis?
They are trying to fit so much crap into the production it falls apart.
….and half it wasn’t even needed. Ads for the fucking WSL (I’m we are already watching) and event highlights !
I think the judging is still caught up in the novelty of airs. The risk factor of pulling in at Main break is pretty high I would think and dangerous. The art of getting in and out of a barrel there is underscored when an air for someone like Jack doesn't seem that risky, especially if it's the only manoeuvre on a wave offering gouge opportunities?
A huge air landed on the face and surfed out of, that scores for me, so spectacular but a whizzy on the close out? 6.5 max.
Who creamed the convergence should have its own trophy. Bravery on the Bricks award.
Paraphrasing but isn’t the judging criteria based around a surfer performing a variety/combination of manoeuvres in the most critical sections of the wave, preferably on the biggest waves on offer?
Judging just like umpiring will always be relatively controversial due to the human factor. Even with countless replays at normal speed & slow mo, decisions continue to be imperfect. It’s a bitter pill to swallow if you believe you’ve ended up on the wrong side but it’s also what makes winning so very sweet. Not only does the eventual winner need to be peaking their performance at the pointy end but more often than not you need that all important luck factor, the rub of the green if you will. Of course scrutiny should always be applied to judging & umpiring but it should always be relative & should never take any shine off the winner’s glow.
Nothing against Robbo, I actually think his highest scoring wave was the best wave of the heat(two critical moves ) and JJ's move was the best single turn in the heat. It was an incredibly close call and it went his way, that's the game.
Tour day to day analysis are great reads and reckon they’re really gaining steam. I think they’ve have always had a good viewer base but i feel like its growing steadily. Point being - Do you think anyone at WSL reads these and takes anything on board? I.e ad breaks in finals?
P.s loved the series as always. Cheers FR
Great read once again.
Its amazing how bad they are at scheduling ad breaks when the sport allows such a logical time to cut to one after a set has rolled thru. If I saw the wave live I wouldn't mind waiting for the replay.
My 2 cents worth - JJF was way underscored for his hack wave but I reckon if you go 4 foot above the lip at any comp the score is going excellent. I feel like the speed of JJF's 7 kept the score from going higher. JJF was the first one to try an air, which I reckon had a bit of influence on the outcome. Stoked for JR.
Are surfers just morons or what. The term "air reverse" should never be used. Full stop.......
The only airs I saw while watching yesterday were flat spin front side 360's. A full rotation is a 360 not a fucking "air reverse" have some fucking respect to the boardsports that have been doing this trick for decades. Educate yourself on the lingo or forever drive me nuts. An "air reverse" is a 180 revert. Nothing more nothing less.
But I do really enjoy the rest of your lyrical abilities when writing about other surf stuff.
inzider you're risking us adding 'air reverse' as a bingo word just to add to the tension in the comments lol
also commentary team will have to be schooled up on it's use
Noted, VJ. :-)
Reckon the Margs swell just hitting Bukit now.
Edit- Ulu 4-5 ft this morn
Thanks for the awesome daily write ups Freeride and to Swellnet for the live stream or more to the point allowing the banter.
Makes the circus that much more enjoyable and hilarious.
See you all virtually at G-land.
Oh and where do i donate to get Freeride over there hiding out in the jungle covering the comp gorilla style!!!
I like lamb
Goofy paradise for FR
I'll send $50 to help FR to get to G-Land if the product is something like this:
Maybe it's old age, or the fact that when I was Judging... there were no 'Airs', but...
Imagine a Contest where Airs were considered another manouever, with equal scoring, alongside a massive Rail-Carve or a JJF one foot off Layback...
I only watch the condensed heats, so if there were any attempts from the Head Judge to Justify Judging mistakes, luckily I missed them,
Glad to see Rab commentating (and doing a great job), but the Shrill from another, should surely go.. it's killing my ears.