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Jordy Smith, round one hammer time, Rio De Janeiro

“I just started the year off at home,” said Jordy Smith today on the sand of Barra Da Tijuca, Brazil, after posting the day’s second highest heat total (after Gabs Medina). “I wanted to let last year go. I have incredible people around me at the moment from my friends to my girlfriend. I also did a trip and I felt like I’d been behind the speed bump and couldn’t get past my injury. I was still feeling one step behind and then I went on a trip to Mozambique with my best friend and it changed everything for me. It got me over that hump and put a smile on my face again. It got me stoked again and I’m pumped.”

If that, in itself, don’t tell you a whole lot about Jordy’s deal this year, then his performance today should. Last year was unremarkable for the South African, but after narrowly missing out on doing better than 13th at Snapper, then scooping a third at Bells (for some of the whole event’s most inspired performances), it sure feels like Jordy is on this year.

And, ain’t it telling of the age we live in that, even though photog Ryan Miller (who shot this sequence) also sent a sequence of the air-reverse Jordy did in his heat, that a closeout belt should take precedence? Call us kinky for old-fashioned values, but the glimpse of fin through a thick lip into a knee-break landing puts more fizz in the blood than a frontside air-rev ever could, right now. Couple the turn you see here with a takeoff barrel beforehand, and you’ve got a 9.77, thanks. Round three, here comes Mr Smith.

Oh, and if you wanna dine on Jordy’s Guide To Rio, you can do that, like, right over here.

Photographer profile

Ryan Miller/

Ryan Miller, 33 years old, does not know how to write a bad email. Your pals at Stab have learnt to live vicariously through Miller’s red wine-fuelled letters from the road. His travels take him to some dreamy locales and, in those places, he scores all-time photos: “My favourite photo I’ve shot was of Benny Bourgeois in the Caribbean, with a fisheye. Often I just take photos, but rarely do I get to make one.” In an age of tail-highs and released fins, Ryan still most likes to shoot someone who can lay-down a big backside turn. Namely: Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds, Gabe Kling, Kekoa Bacalso, Damien Hobgood and Peter Mendia. Like most photogs, Miller misses Scott Aichner’s work. But, as far as contemporary inspiration? “Trying to see things through my daughter’s eyes. It’s wild to think about someone experiencing something totally new on almost a daily basis when, as adults, we rarely get to experience something truly new.”

Visit Ryan Miller/'s site here