Let It Ride: Betting on The Quiksilver Gold Coast

I’ve got the itch. You know the itch you get on 4 pm on a Friday to grab a cold beer? That’s the one. I’m not itching to drink but it feels the same. I’m looking to throw down some bets on surfing.

NCAA Tourney Draws Fans To Las Vegas Gambling House

The first stop of the tour, The Quiksilver and Roxy Gold Coast, is days away and you can see the Ubet favorites here. Below are a couple of our favorite underdog bets for the Snapper Contest.

Here’s how it works. Ubet assigns each surfer a number that correlates to their odds of winning. For example, John John Florence is the favorite for the 2018 WSL Championship and his number is 3.25. If you put $10 down and he wins, you would get a $32.25 payout. Alternatively, an underdog like Zeke Lau has a number of 151. A $10 bet on the Hawaiian would pay $1,510. Get it? Good.

Bet 1: Silvana Lima 

PAY-Silvana-Lima

I know this one is risky. I’d put $10 on Silvana Lima making the finals of the Roxy Gold Coast. The Brazilian veteran is coming off a great 2017 campaign with a win at Trestles, taking out Lakey Peterson and Steph Gilmore in the process.

Ubet currently has Silvana Lima at 17 points, meaning a $10 bet would win $170. I’d hedge this bet with a couple safer $5 bets on Tyler Wright (2.75) and Steph Gilmore (2.75) and possibly throw in Sage Erickson (13) in there as well.

Bet 2: Gabriel Medina

fcs-gabriel-medina-backside-fin-throw

We at Surfheater HQ have a feeling Medina (7.5) is going to come out of the gates firing in 2018. Gabe took home the trophy in 2014 and had a great second half of 2017. He’s definitely due for another big win. The only two surfers with better odds are JJF and Felipe both at 6. That’s not a bad bet, but we think Medina is the one to target.

Bet 3: Connor Coffin

872ebc6017d6655243170cd82d385699.jpg

Snapper is a wave well suited for the California kid and this year Connor (17) has something to prove. We’re putting $10 that he will make the finals. I’m not as confident in this bet as the others (and Vegas isn’t either) but I think there’s a solid chance of a hit. If you are feeling lucky, you might want to take a look at Kanoa Igarashi (17),  Wade Carmichael (30) or Adrian Buchan (30).

It’s interesting that they are not offering odds on the Brazilian Rookie Michael Rodrigues. We’ve seen some recent clips of him ripping in Australia and feel he may be a surprise underdog.

We’d love to hear your bets. Leave them in the comments. If you know of a quasi-legal way to bet on the WSL in the USA email us at surfheater@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram.

 

 

 

Single Fin Wavestorm The Perfect Storm

Product Review: I Turned My Wavestorm Into A Single Fin

I’m in love with soft top surfboards. I started surfing them in the 90’s with an old, heavy waterlogged Doyle and spent most of my teens and early 20’s running a surf camp on INT soft tops (see below) and spending more time on the softies than hard boards.

Taylor Lobdell Soft Top Surfing in Newport Beach.

 

205757_1050918201466_1228_n.jpg
Surf Camp Days 2004

Lately, I’ve been recovering from some surgeries and mostly surfing a Wavestorm up in San Francisco. It’s a surprisingly good Ocean Beach board. No joke. Paddles fast, you can hunt down waves and get in them super early.

Last month, I surfed with my cousin down at Pleasure Point. As we were suiting up, I noticed he had installed an obnoxiously pink single fin to his Wavestorm. I gave it a whirl in solid 6 to 10 foot Pleasure. I honestly couldn’t feel much of a difference because the waves were so good, but I was intrigued.

I looked around online and found “The Perfect Storm” single fin which promised to “Turbocharge your Foamie.” I ordered one off Amazon and about 2 days later (thanks Prime) a small cardboard box showed up at my doorstep.

Side note: I recently pre-ordered some bonzer type fins from Fang Surf. They are small little “side bite fins” that supposedly let you have an “almost finless feel”. I will review as soon as they arrive. Ok..back to the review.

IMG_4246

Installation is super easy, and you can actually do it on the beach because all the tools, including a pink screwdriver are included. You basically punch an extra hole through the “deck pad” of the Wavestorm and screw it in. There are plugs for the two side fins so they don’t take on water.

IMG_4285

My first real session was in 2 to 3′ playful and glassy Ocean Beach. As I was paddling out, I saw a little wedgy peak on offer so I swung and went. I faded the take off and did a quick shimmy to the front half of the board. I crouched low and the board stayed in the pocket for a good 4 seconds! It was an effortless trim. Usually, with a thruster set up, it’s a chore to set a really good line and hold it in the critical part of the wave.

902ff5f516f2cea6b57863a1524b3f91.jpg
Photo by Perfect Storm Fins

I caught a couple more waves. My best one was a backside left where I was fairly deep but it was a solid little chest high runner. I set a line, and again just stuck to the wave. I felt like I could really push off my bottom turns as well. I’ve surfed with the single fin for about 2 weeks now and really don’t think I will go back to the thruster set up.

The highlight of the whole experience was this week at Ocean Beach. It was a dreamy day. About head high with crossed up low tide barrels. I pull in one, in full trim and going fast. I pull out and no other than pro surfer Ace Buchan is “Yewing” as I pull out. Stoked.

IMG_4284.PNG

Downsides? Honestly, the pinkness of the fin screams kook. But you don’t really paddle out on a Wavestorm trying to be serious anyway, so it sort of works. I could see it being a good gift for a younger Wavestormer who wants their board to stick out from the rest, even if they don’t have the skills to really notice the performance. Another downside is that the size of the fin makes it hard to ride the board all the way to shore without possibly breaking off on the sand/reef/etc.

Purists will say these Chinese made boards have no soul. They are killing the industry. I get it. I’m not saying for everyone to grab Wavestorms, tell your local shaper to suck it and join the soft top revolution, but it is a nice addition to your quiver for when the waves are too small, too big or you just want to pack closeouts and not worry about shrapnel from a 6 foot piece of fiber glass.

In conclusion, the Perfect Storm single fin is an insanely fun addition to an already fun board. Would recommend to anyone. See you out there.

 

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Power Rankings

With Snapper just around the corner, we’re here to evaluate the top 34 surfers with our pre-season power rankings.

#33 Tomas Hermes – Brazil – Rookie

The 30 year old WQS journeyman finally qualified after a strong second place finish at the US Open and a semi-final finish in Haleiwa. His stature (5’5”) and style remind us of a regular footed Tom Carroll with a penchant for big finishing moves. If he can link together a couple big turns and throw down some airs at Snapper, he could have a good start to the season.

#34 Michael Rodriques – Brazil – Rookie 

An explosive air game and powerful hooks define Michael’s surfing. The relatively unknown rookie qualified with a strong showing through Europe and hopes to make a splash at Snapper. If he can overcome the rookie nerves and surf with confidence, he may turn some heads with a solid result on the Gold Coast.

Worst Waves of the World: San Francisco Edition

99 times out of 100 I walk out of the water from a surf session a changed man. No, seriously. I have more energy. I breathe easier. My skin feels good. I get to my car, shake off my wetsuit, turn on the radio and feel good.

Last week, I found myself on the wrong side of that ratio. That towel change was not serene. I was seething. Why the fuck did I paddle out at Fort Point, one of the worst waves in the world?

Surfline-EPK-Surf-Poster-Fort-Point.jpg
This is a mirage Photo: Jeremiah Klein 

To those not familiar, Fort Point is the not-so-secret spot located right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The wave looks idyllic. Swells come from the Pacific Ocean, cross under the bridge, and wrap around a man made point.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers began working on Fort Point during the civil war, arming the structure with 103 cannons and soldiers stood watch for an enemy that never came. The history is interesting and the setting is beautiful, the wave is not.

Golden_Gate_Bridge_deck_-_Fort_Point_01.jpg
Fort Point Photo: 

The wave only really breaks at a low tide and requires a rock dance like no other to approach the water. Once your in the cold water, you are at the mercy of the tides. Usually, the tide is trying to suck you around and through The Golden Gate – straight out to the Pacific Ocean.

If you can manage the current, you then have to deal with the locals who consist of SUPpers without borders who paddle for every bump in the water, sea kayaks, kneeboarders, kooks who paddle out for the Instagram shot, and maybe a couple rippers who have the spot dialed and catch the one wave that barrels every 30 minutes. It’s truly a menagerie of kookiness out there.

After about 30 minutes of paddling, positioning, paddling some more, getting stared down and then repositioning I thought to myself “Fuck it – I’m going for one.” I tried sitting deep. I let the current take me out. I thought I could somehow go deeper then everyone else. I didn’t realize it’s almost impossible to stay in the position for a good one out there. I paddled back in to where the SUPpers were on the outside.

Right at the take off spot, there’s a submerged rock that shows its face on the bigger waves and causes a huge boil mid face. It’s not good kind of boil that you see before a wave really throws. It’s a boil boil.

sup-surf-fort-point-san-francisco-jean-rathle-photo-by-daniel-won.jpg
Damn Boil! Photo: Daniel Won

To be fair, there are a couple good barrels to be had out there if you want to sit inside of the rock, towards the point and dodge SUPs all day. All the good waves you see in pictures are of this wave. It barrels for about 2 seconds and you come out and there’s no shoulder to ride.

San-Francisco-Golden-Gate-Bridge-SUP-surf-sea-of-surfers.jpg
Are We Having Fun Yet?

To the few that have it dialed and can weave through that one barrel every so often – you can have it. I’m done with it.

After 30 minutes of not getting any waves, I paddled in to about mid point and caught an absolute mush burger. Rode it straight and hit the lip on an inside section and had to bail mid term because it was jacking up over the rocks. Admittedly, a kook maneuver and I paid for it. My ass was dragged across a rock and I hit my foot on another.

I shame paddled all the way over to the pier, did another rock dance and headed to the car. The fog horn’s moan echoed my deepest thoughts. Fuck this place. I’m never going back.

I don’t ever want to feel like I did that day.

 

Fort Point.jpg
You Can Have It

BeachGrit vs Stab Debate Turns Violent

 

Chas Smith, Prada loafer wearing BeachGrit co-founder took to the Surf Splendor Podcast to air his grievances against Stab’s Ashton Goggans. Chas has been poking Stab for a good while now, accusing them of “badvertorial” and their refusal to cover the Quik/Billabong merger.

Screen-Shot-2018-01-12-at-7.24.58-am
Source: Beachgrit

From SurfSplendor.com…

Today’s episode is a heated debate between surf media’s Ashton Goggans from Stab Magazine and Chas Smith from BeachGrit. Topics range from the professional to the very personal and tempers flare into a physical altercation (33 minute mark!). Chas’s mudslinging tactics, Stab’s comments section, deleted articles, payment withholdings from advertisers, it’s all covered here. Welcome to Surf Media Debate 2018

Ashton took Chas’s bait and showed up at the Surfrider office to defend Stab and the conversation devolved into  violence when Chas tried to wring Ashton’s neck for talking about his wife subsidizing his writing efforts. You can listen to the whole Podcast here (fast forward to about 30 mins for the confrontation).

Chas came out swinging in his opening statement. “I’m here to shit on Stab…and I want to rip his head off…in debate.”

The debate starts civil enough. Ashton asks Chas if its exhausting to shit on Stab all the time. Chas says its fun and looks up to “Norman Mailer…Hunter Thompson…Tom Wolfe… that generation of journalist and the fact that they are up there scrapping and getting in the mix.”

Ashton retorts that those writers were debating subjects and not just mud slinging The first 25 minutes of the debate can be summed up with this exchange.

“You are literally just trying to make Stab look bad because you have a personal vendetta” -Ashton

“That’s not true. I don’t try to make Stab look bad. They make Stab look bad.” – Chas

Things turn heated when the subject turns into the business models of their respective sites. Stab has the funds to pay writers with healthcare and has a thriving business model. Chas defends Beachgrit not paying their writers a living wage, saying that most surf writers don’t deserve to be paid.

You’re a 41 year old man who lives in a house in Cardiff that your rich wife bought you who’s never worked a full time real job in his fucking life. -Ashton Goggans

From there, it’s on and about 1 minute later, Chas leaps across the table to wring Ashtons neck.

Here’s Chas’s explanation of the fight.

But why? What in me broke? Let me try and explain. I purposefully don’t write much about my little family here because they didn’t ask for, nor deserve to be in, this crazy little spotlight. I am wildly proud of my wife, and daughters, what they do, who they are but they are not fodder for my BeachGrit work. Also, because she happens to be in our extreme sport universe, we keep a wall up.  She never feeds me rumors and I never try to leverage her contacts.

Ashton’s charge was, furthermore, insulting to her. To think that she would suffer a fool doddering around the house posting cheap surf stories is ridiculous. I make my salary through book advances/royalties/film options etc. and even not married to her would still be doing exactly what I’m doing in some inland shack. Maybe Las Vegas. It frustrates me greatly to even have to mention any of this.

No comment from Ashton or Stab yet.

Did Chas get the better of Ashton by baiting him into the show?

Did Ashton win the debate?

Let us know your thoughts.