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Posts Tagged ‘Gold Coast’

 

Event Champion Filipe Toledo reminding us that safety turns are a thing of the past.

Event Champion Filipe Toledo reminding us that safety turns are a thing of the past.

This years Quicksilver Gold Coast Pro at Snapper Rocks concluded in lack luster conditions that left all of us surf fans wondering what is to come of this surf season.  Despite meager conditions the competition did not fail to hold interest for die hard fans.  As top seeds kept falling in early rounds to surprisingly remarkable performances by the low seeds it reminded all that it really is any man’s ball game out there.  Sure everyone wants to see the best surfers in the world surfing against each other at the best waves in the world, but a major part of surfing is having the ability to surf sub par waves well.

Many got down on Kieren Perrow that he should have canceled the event due to wave quality.  I think an event cancellation should be the absolute last possible scenario.  We only have 11 events a year to watch as opposed to most other sports where fans get to view 20 plus games a season.  If an event gets canceled its a let down to both the fans and athletes alike.   What I think should be considered in extreme cases is a change of event venue.  We all know in places like Australia there are spots that are wave magnets and such waves should be all set to go as a back up venue.  In this case Duranbah would have been a logical option, a location that has been used as a back for Snapper in prior years.

Duranbah on one of its better days.

Duranbah on one of its better days.

Professionalism was another topic that came up strong a this years Quick Pro.  Josh Kerr was the first to lose his cool in round 3 when he gave his board a few shots with his fist on the way in.  Then an irate Gabriel Mendina got on the mic for a post heat interview with Peter Mel where he just decided to speak his mind freely, calling out the WSL, Perrow, and threatening Glen Hall using the F-bomb.  Last time a surfer sounded off that hard it was Bobby Martinez in the 2011 NYC event.  He was banned from competition for it.  In this case Mendina ended up with a fine.  Honestly why force guys to do a post heat interview after they lost?  Of course the guy is going to be upset.  Andy Irons blew up on a reporter once in the height of his career when he was asked how he felt about losing. His reply was “how the fuck do you think I feel?  I just lost”.  To top off the round three festivities Freddy Pataccia after posting one of the lowest heat scores of the event surfed his board right into the rocks.

One would say these guys need to show a better attitude considering the WSL is trying to build a larger non-surfing audience.  Of course one needs to remember that you are dealing with a bunch of surfers who got into this sport for its free form no rules type of feeling.  When one attempts to put it into a format and give fair and accurate scores for one surfers ride vs. another there is going to be quite the margin of subjection.  This on top the already unnatural environment created by these high profile contests are enough to make any surfer lose his mind.  Even Kelly Slater has destroyed more then one board in a post heat tantrum.  Lets face it surfing really isn’t a sport to be judged with numbers, but to be ascetically enjoyed.

We cannot control the ocean hour to hour let alone day to day.  I love watching surf contests now that I have been out of them for nearly ten years.  I for one couldn’t stand contests when I had to compete.   Competitive surfing will never sell to masses like other sports do.  Its too complicated for your average non-surfer to understand.  Fuck, my friends and I have trouble following the judging sometimes.  Instead of the WSL focusing on selling to this non-surfing audience they should cater to making it more entertaining for the surfing audience cause that is the market anyway.  There are close 20 million surfers world wide and that is who the WSL should be focusing on.

Eventually the event came down to Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo, a final I very much anticipated to be a show down and a half.  I even stayed home a little later from the bar to see it.  Toledo to his credit put on an amazing performance the entire event and didn’t disappoint running away with the final leaving Julian comboed for most of it.  More then anything I am proud of the the judges for allowing two of the more progressive guys to make it to the final.  Could this mean the WSL looks to reward explosive surfing in 2015?  Lets hope so.  We will have to wait for Bells to start June 1st.

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Talk about a load of absolute bullshit!  Worse then bullshit.  I think I would have much rather have been dragged through a pile of filthy, smelly bullshit any day then have to live through a month of poor surf like I have never seen anyplace, anytime, my entire life.  Yeah, it was not the best summer on record for California.  We only saw one really exceptionally large south swell all season, the sand bars at Santa Clara River Mouth were average, Lowers was average and packed, as was just about ever other place I surfed. Never the less I stayed wet with the minor south swells that graced our coast.

Then August came along and it was as if the pacific ocean decided it wanted to fuck everyone who surfed in California over for the entire month.  Most days the report read 1-2 ft.  Some even read flat.  What little swell that did trickle up to the 805 was absolute crap not worth the drive.  Every day I kept hoping for things to pick up, but they didn’t.  When all was said and done I had surfed just five times in the entire month.  Since I started surfing I don’t think I can even remember a month that piss poor.  Some how I managed to not kill or maim myself,  end up in jail or get on a plane and disappear to a better surf locale.  Nope, I grinned and bared it like the rest of my fellow Californian surfers.  Lets just hope August was the sacrifice we needed for a good fall and even better winter.  If not I am going to have to move.  Here are my pathetic numbers:

Surf Sessions: 5
Days Surfed: 5
Time in the Water: 8 hrs
Waves Surfed: 172
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 22 

Spots Surfed:
Emma Wood: 1
Gold Coast: 1
Ocean Beach, San Francisco: 1
Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo: 1
New Jetty: 1

I have no top surf sessions this month cause basically they all sucked.  The Ocean Beach session was the best of the lot and that was just barely palatable.  To read about a month of misery and a look into a surfer’s brain when there are no waves check out the August ’13 edition of the surflog.

Here I am looking very enthusiastic after 1 out of the 5 surfs I had in August. Note the lack of waves in the background.

Here I am looking very enthusiastic after 1 out of the 5 surfs I had in August. Note the lack of waves in the background.

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June was quite the month. We had a few shitty wind swells, a few shitty south swells, but overall very little to get excited about.  As a matter of fact I think I have been more excited by watching Alfie switch sleeping spots all day.  June was also a break out month for me.  It was the month I stopped feeling sorry for myself and began surfing again instead of blaming it for all my problems.  That being the case I made the most out of every day of surf we had.  Here is how the month of June broke down.  By the way I have not done write ups on April or May so you will probably see those in the next few weeks.  Don’t forget to visit the Surflog to read about my surfing and life chronicled journal style everyday.

Number of Surf Sessions: 18
Days Surfed: 17
Time Spent in the Water: 27 hours
Number of Waves Surfed: 387
Waves per Hour: 14

Spots Surfed:
New Jetty – 5
Santa Clara River Mouth – 3
Stanleys – 2
Emma Wood – 2
C Street – 1
Zuma Beach – 1
Leo Carrillo – 1
Gold Coast – 1
Dredge – 1
Rincon – 1

Top 3 Sessions

3. 6/7/11 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Zuma Beach
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 38
I love Zuma.  Its one of my favorite waves in LA.  Sure its nothing more then heavy closed out glorified shore break, but I think by now everyone should know that is right up my ally.  Did I mention the backwash is sometimes bigger then the wave your paddling for?  The place can amplify just about any south swell in the water.  I checked Ventura Harbor early and it was looking doable but rather meager for my personal taste.  I knew my buddy Kevin was going down there and gave him a call to hitch a ride.  We cruised to Zuma and it was chest to head high and super punchy.  The wind was a bit onshore but it looked boostable to me.  As usual when I am at Zuma my froth meter goes berserk.  I tore on my suit and was out there for a boost and barrel fest.  Then after an hour it glassed off, but  got super lully.  Still there were some choice nugs to sink your teeth into.  I was having a ball till some local decided to sit right on top of me even though there were plenty of peaks for everyone. I tried to paddle away but the dude kept following me.  Finally I was just plain over it, stuck a backside air reverse and called it a day.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it angry local with all your super cool fly aways.

2. 6/5/11 PM Session: 3-5ft, Dredge
Time in the Water: 2.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 34
I got out of church and had four missed calls from all my Ventura friends.  I knew there was going to be some minor bump up in wind swell but I just figured I would nonchalantly cruise down to Emma Wood on high tide.  I called back my boy Ryan and he was frothing on Dredge.  Ryan rarely is stoked on anything so if he was pumped I knew I had to get down there.  Sure enough it was solid chest to head high with the occasional bigger set with very nice long right hand lines.  Some were easily peeling for 75 to 100 yards, an anomaly for Dredge.  There were about six guys on it and some slight cross chop from the SW wind.  I got out there and for the first hour it was a bit bumpy and just when I was about to bag it the wind died out and things glassed off.  For the next hour and a half it was a playground.  I had at least four that I nailed no less then nine turns on.  I would have surfed longer but I was exhausted between all the paddling, surfing and walking back up the beach.  What a great day of surfing.

1. 6/14/11 AM Session: 3-5ft, New Jetty

Time In Water: 3hrs
Waves Surfed: 35

A serious lack of motivation had me slacking this morning.  A small jump up on the buoys had me give it a shot.  Next thing I know Im standing on the dunes looking a super fun combo swell peaks at New Jetty, glassy, head high and only a few guys out.  Well it did not take me much time to throw on my suit and jump in the water.  I was joined by my friends Bobby B and Gordo, both happily married with kids, thus helping to restore my faith in relationships.  All I can say is I had a ball and surfed amazing as well.  What a session.  Everyone was just going off and super stoked to be out there.  As depressed as I was on both Sunday and Monday that is how stoked I was today.  A good surf always puts things in perspective.

 

Talk about excitement. Nobody knows how to have a good time quite like Alife.

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