Looks like Strange Ben was spot on he urged Medina to embrace his villainous role. We can’t wait for his next iteration.
Looks like Strange Ben was spot on he urged Medina to embrace his villainous role. We can’t wait for his next iteration.
And the beat goes on! More on the branding of our beloved professional surfers. Click here for part one.
With wisdom far beyond his years, Kelly Slater is clearly the Aging Master on tour. He has battled and survived Pamela Anderson, a short acting career, balding, injuries, his own mind, and a constant target on his back since the early 90s to garner 11 World Titles becoming arguably the greatest athlete to ever live. And now, he’s taken nature into his own hands and manifested his very own wave. Is there anything this man cannot do?
I’ve heard he’s not such a hot basketball player.
Master Slater has conquered the art of aging, a truth illuminated further with the recent retirement of Mick Fanning. He will outlast us all. Only Yoda can stand toe to toe with this man. They are the same height, that is neat.
The radical maneuvers of the San Clemente local are reminiscent of the trapeze work of the famed Boy Wonder aka Robin, Batman’s right hand man-boy.
With the same angst and impatience that Robin took to the streets of Gotham, we hope Griffin Colapinto will take to the waves of the World Tour. He surfs with reckless abandon, uncaring of who he hurts or how — including himself. Classic Marvel tale.
The question always remains, when will Boy Wonder become Man Wonder?
The Sultan of Stoke.
The Fantom of Froth.
The King of Kawabunga.
The Emperor of Epic.
The Caliph of Classic.
The General of Gotcha!
The Bosshog of Bitchin.
The Sherpa of Shaka.
And his hair reminds me of string cheese.
We’re rootin’ for you this year, Spirit Guide…even if you’re not on tour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or DM us on Instagram.
As in any professional sport, the athletes naturally brand themselves — whether they like it, plan it, or hate it, there are certain qualities that come to define athletes.
A simple example to start. Kobe Bryant, for the entirety of his career, outside of Los Angeles was the villain. An unapologetic psychopath. A silent, deadly assassin. Hated but respected.
In this article, I am going to explore the current branding of several professional surfers, providing critiques, suggestions, and observations. I apologize if I offend anyone, and I’m sure I will.
2. Gabriel Medina: Evil Overlord
Gabriel, simply put, must embrace his role and his brand, which has quite organically sprouted into the villain of the WSL. Gabriel is the Jafar of the League and it would behoove him, and us all, to grab his serpent staff and accept the\ role with open arms. Every great story pins good versus evil, and in surfing it should be no different.
Not everyone can play the villain, so young Medina should take this role as a compliment, and run with it. Become the Jafar you were meant to be, Gabriel. Fear not, for you will no power like you never have before. Embrace the dark side! Perhaps, Gabriel can recruit his stepfather Charlie to sit on his shoulder like Jafar’s trusty, loud-mouthed sidekick parrot, Iago. Actually, as it is now, that’s not so far from reality.
3. Julian Wilson: Prince Charming
I mean, look at this man. If he doesn’t scream Prince Charming then slap my ass and call me Nancy, because I’m going out tonight!
Every villain must, must, must have an adversarial prince with whom to go to battle against. Julian fits this mold and he does it with ease. Ever since he willingly paddled quite literally into the jaws of a Great White Shark to help Mick Fanning escape imminent danger, he has been the Surfing World’s Prince Charming. Now, if we could only get him a few more wins and lodged like broccoli between buck teeth in the running for a World Title. The stage with its bright lights will soon be set. The marquee matchup: Good vs. Evil. Let us drink. Let us dine. Let us sing. Onward.
Coming up next: the Aging Master, Boy Wonder, and a String Cheese Spirit Guide…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My hands are shaking. No, I’m not angry. I’m not fuming with indignation or disgust. I’ve simply had far too much to drink. Coffee.
With an energized mind I tend to focus on things I despise. A curse? Perhaps, but I write on.
“I would never donate to any charity that would help sharks. I hope they all die,” said President Trump.
Chas Smith of BEACHGRIT recently (not that recently, but I’ve been drinking) wrote about the President’s statement, referencing the ancient proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Chas went on to dub President Trump an honorary surfer, which can only mean that Chas Smith shares our leader’s contempt for the large fish.
I, too, am terrified of these underwater beasts, but alas I am not so quick-fingered and impulsive (sounds like a teenage boy aiming for the slip for the first time).
I want to wholeheartedly disagree, but I then fantasize about a world without sharks. It’s fluffy, and safe and there aren’t any sharks.
Tut, tut. There are reasons this world should not exist. Namely, science. The ecosystem exists in a delicate balance, the ocean especially. Sharks provide invaluable skills that keep said ecosystem in balance and, thus, thriving. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard the arguments. Are they true?
When an ecosystem is thriving, its reefs are healthy and full. When those reefs are healthy and full they provide the infrastructure that grant people like Chas and every other surfer those things called waves.
Alas, I, too am not getting out of bed to campaign for sharks, nor are any of these others surfers, let alone the professionals. So, although Chas is, perhaps, wrong to lend his support of the President’s bedtime remarks, I fear I’m no different.
This topic, however, got me to thinking: What do professional surfers campaign for?
I don’t see them banding together to protest any sort of ecological or oceanic preservation or anything of the sort? Why is that? DGAF? One would think these surfers would do all they could to protest and rally their fans and supporters to champion ocean conservation efforts.
Aside from the bald one, Kelly Slater, I’m hard-pressed to think of any professional watermen that have outwardly, vocally, passionately stood to protect the very oceans in which they make their living.
Perhaps that’s it there. Their livings are made traveling the world surfing the most beautiful waves it has to offer. Life is good. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
To rock the proverbial boat may be unwise. Examples have manifested aplenty, no one more so than Colin Kapernick.
This all being said, I could very well be dead wrong – and I hope I am, but if these surfers are out there campaigning and supporting efforts to conserve our oceans, their voices have not reached the likes of me and I’m much closer to the sport than most.
I’m going to do some digging. Let’s find out who stands for what in professional surfing. Stay tuned.
-S. Ben Willoughby