Story by Craig Jarvis
So he took a tumble at the Quikkie Pro at Snapper, but Jordy Smith’s a big guy, in more ways than one. He takes a win with pride, and dutifully thanks everyone. When he loses, he loses well. In the heat of the moment he is the most savagely upset person on the planet, his heart seethes and his body is literally shaking with anger and frustration. He wants to win every heat, and anything else is a giant mistake.
Jordy being Jordy though, he gets over it real quick. He lives for the moment, and he moves on quickly, and starts focusing on the next event, his hot wife, the meal in front of him, the wine in his hand, or the beautiful sunshiny day Australia just gifted him.
Right now it’s understandable that Snapper Rocks isn’t on his favourite surf spot list. So, what is? We tagged along behind the scenes at an Oakley shoot for the new Heritage line, which we’re very fond of because to celebrate 30 years in the sport, Oakley have brought back to life the Razor Blades and Frogskins in original colours from the 70s. We extracted his five favourite surf spots in the world, and here they lie…
1. Mozambique. I’m not going to name the spot because there are a couple of guys who go there regularly, and they’d be a bit disappointed if I let the cat out of the bag completely. It’s not a secret spot though, as it’s had a fair share of traffic over the years, it’s just a fair mission to get to and even more of a challenge to get it good. We’ve figured out the charts pretty much, and know when it’s looking like it’s going to get good, but local climates can make a heap of changes up there. When you score it, like we did earlier this year, it’s the real deal. Full on sandbottom barrels. Warm water, pretty rural accommodation, mosquitoes and stifling humidity makes up the Mozambique package so it’s not going to ever get too crowded I guess, but we’re not going to reveal the exact spot.
2. Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay. It’s been my favourite wave since forever. When I was a grom I used to go there and stay at Cheron’s (former Billabong head honcho in South Africa) on the point, and just watch in awe at the waves, the pros ripping, as well as the locals who had the wave so dialed. I remember guys taking off on waves that looked like they were going to close out, and then they would make them easily, and I remember wondering to myself how they did that, and I probably learned quite a bit from just watching. It doesn’t matter how perfect it looks, Supers is actually quite a bit more complicated to surf than it looks. It’s easy enough to get a good one at the top and ride it all the way through, but to surf it in a competition when everyone has the same incredible scoring opportunity as you, it’s hard to make that difference. I’m so stoked that it’s back on the World Tour and that the ASP have managed to pull it off with the local JBU crew down there, and I’m frothing to get back down there and surf it in a World Tour environment again. Last time I surfed there in an event it was a six-star, and even then there was so much local support and cheering, and vuvuzelas (those South African trumpets that soccer fans love so much) were blasting whenever I took off, which is so uniquely South African.
3. New Pier, Durban. You know, I owe a lot to New Pier. When we were younger we could just hang all day at New Pier, surf as long as we possibly could, and just eat and hang out around the coffee shop and the surf shop right there. It’s what made a lot of my friends and I who we are today, and it has played a massive part in how we surf. The competitive surfers that grew from New Pier are all good to excellent surfers, and it’s because we had that wave to learn on. Nowadays the landscape has changed a bit along the beachfront, but it’s all good, and the waves still pump all day long. I’m just not there as often as I’d like to be, but the locals can up their wave count in my absence (laughs). When I’m in Cape Town and I see a really good swell is going to hit Durban I head up and hook up with my mates Wok and Chad and we hit it for like two big days, and then I head back down to Cape Town. So I still get in there when it’s all-time.
4. Restaurants, Fiji. I think I found my place with Restaurants last year at the Fiji Pro. I’ve always favoured rights you know, with my Supers and New Pier background, but with a wave like Restaurants if you figure it out, it’s just one of the most insane waves in the whole world. I think it’s also a wave that is quite a challenge to a backhander, particularly when it’s a bit smaller, but if you can find that rhythm, it’s a great wave to stay tight and in the pocket all the way through. When you’re watching sets come through, from wherever your viewpoint, it’s just mind-blowing. It just makes you want to get out there as fast as you possibly can. It can get quite gnarly as well. Micro and Travis have both had their time bouncing over the coral there, so it has its challenges. So it’s definitely in my top five waves, and it’s my favourite left in the world.
5. Mexico. There are some crazy waves in Salina Cruz in Mexico that I’ve been to on a few occasions that literally top it all. I went down there with Kai (Neville) and the boys one year and we got it so good. It’s probably the best kind of set-up for a natural-footer in the whole world, and although it’s Mexico and it has some challenges when it comes to traveling the area, once you’re out there at one of those points everything is forgotten. The sand bank setup is just made for performance surfing, and there are ridiculous barrels to be had. A good trip to Mexico, when you don’t have any missions on the road or travel dramas like car troubles or problems with locals, and then you score sick waves, has to be a highlight for any surfer the world over. I’ve had some of my best waves of my life on those points.