Watch: Highlights from the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang
In grinding 6 to 8-foot Padang Padang barrels, 23-year-old South African Benji Brand, who cut his teeth growing up on the North Shore of Oahu, topped a field of 16 of the world’s best tuberiders with an electric all-day performance to claim The Cup.
With under four minutes remaining in the Championship Final, Brand was sitting in second place behind Clay Marzo (HAW) and needing an 8.84. Brand clawed to the bottom of the thickest wave of the day and sealed the deal with a double spitter across the reef for a 9.67. In the end, Brand was hoisted to victory in front of a raucous crowd, followed by Marzo in second place, former WSL World No. 1 Matt Wilkinson in third place, and the lone local Indonesian surfer to reach the Final, Raditya Rondi, in fourth.
On his run to the title, Brand scored countless amazingly deep tubes, including a 9.67 and 9.5, the two highest wave scores on the day. At the outset, Brand and Marzo looked like the surfers to beat in the event. Brand dominated the morning heats, winning both his Round 1 and 2 heats and posting the highest combined heat total of the opening two rounds. Marzo meanwhile put together a spectacular performance, capping off multiple deep frontside drainers, including an insane layback in which he did a full horizontal limbo lean on his back foot, pointed up to the sky, and somehow emerged from a deep the spitting inside bowl, amazing the massive crowd on hand at Padang Padang and watching on the webcast.
“This was my second time surfing in the Rip Curl Cup at Padang,” Marzo said, who also reached the Finals in 2016 and place fourth. “I don’t do contests, but I always hope I can get an invitation to return to this event. I can’t tell you how much fun we all had out there today.”
2019 Rip Curl Cup Final Results:
1. Benji Brand (ZAF) 17.94
2. Clay Marzo (HAW) 17.10
3. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.16
4. Raditya Rondi (IND) 12.17