Watch: Richie Porta Discusses "Best Heat In The History Of The Sport"
Ostensibly, this clip is designed to explain how judges will score Teahupoo.
Barrels in case you were wondering...
More insightful is Richie Porta replaying vision and anecdotes from the 2014 Semi-Final between JJF and Slater, that show how fluid judging can sometimes be.
The opening exchange has JJF scored 9.90 and Slater a 10.
Says Richie: "John's wave is amazing, it could've been a 10. If Kelly hadn't of got the wave straight after it, it would've been a 10."
Everyone understands that surfing is scored subjectively, but that quip from Richie belies how this can alter the outcomes.
Anyway, it's worth watching just to enjoy that heat once more. And for what it's worth, Slater's wave shouldn't have been a 10. He didn't ride up the wall to "avoid the foamball", as Richie mistakenly explains it.
Slater was sucked up the face, there's no foamball when it happens, so nothing to avoid, but fortunate for him he corrects the error and turns it into a positive, and gullible judges believe it.
9.50 for mine. Totally objective, of course.
John John wins the heat.
And the Final too.