"Wilko do the math!"
These Are the Most Significant Things In Surfing RN
Jordy Smith drops by; we discuss.
Jordy Smith pulls his white Ford E350 Van in front of our office on Venice Blvd. It's a car that you wouldn’t expect a man with a shoe collection Undefeated would admire to be driving. With a swish of the door, all 6’3 of him booms into the building. He’s in a XXXL t-shirt, because, “they shrink down to double X after one wash.” His elastic waistband cords are cut at his kneecaps and he’s wearing Brand Black slides with socks. He’s California comfortable. His skin’s almond, fresh from Fiji and promoting his QS event, the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro. While in our office, he posed against a white backdrop and we asked him to discuss the present state of surfing. He politely stepped from the disciplined cocoon we're used to while wearing a Red Bull hat and speaking into a WSL microphone.
Few wear J-Bay with the same aplomb as Mr Smith.
Stab: Let’s talk about a Pay-Per-View model for the WSL.
Jordy: Bru, I just figured out this whole thing! Wilko was arguing with me, saying, “There’s no way my friends would pay 100 bucks for a yearly subscription.” I said you’d get the men’s and women’s CT's, QS's, Juniors and the Big Wave World Tour. And fuck it, throw each person who buys subscription a WSL jersey with their favourite surfer's number on the back. Wilko said, “No way, I’d rather pay 10 bucks a month.” I said, “Wilko, do the math, that’s 120 bucks a year,” I think a lot of people would pay 20 bucks an event. 20 bucks is as much as a coffee and a bagel these days. And, people are buying that like three times a day.
Let’s talk the Yellow Jersey and Wilko as a title contender.
Wilko’s finally buckled down and put his mind to the tour. He’s got the determination and self-belief. He probably believes more than ever that he can win a title. Before I don’t think he thought he could make the top five. But once he told himself, “Hey, I can do this” and showed himself he could, it started becoming a reality.
When the most recent swell hit J-Bay, Jordy drove through the night from Cape Town to Jeffreys Bay (7 hours). He surfed all day, then drove back home in the same 24 hours.
Can I beat him? Whatever I do, I just need to make sure I’m doing my shit right. When you start worrying about what everyone else is doing you set yourself up for failure. I used to do that when I was younger and it killed me.
Let’s talk when wavepools will be an official CT stop.
It’s quite a long time out, I’d say five years. Could be sooner with how fast the technology is improving though. But, it’s not like you can just pop those things out. You can’t be like, “Cool, we’re just going to download the upgrade and bang! Here's the new version.” But for the future of the tour, out of the 12 events, I think one event towards winning a world title should absolutely come from surfing in a wavepool.
"Even round two is a good watch this year."
Let’s discuss the skill level on the WCT this year.
This year is the most entertaining on tour ever. From how focused every surfer is to the level of surfing, it’s the most jam-packed, action packed, whatever the fuck you want to call it year in the history of surfing. If you look at the guys coming in last place, their results have nothing to do with how they actually surf.
Take Ethan Ewing for instance. He’s been tearing the whole year. He’s come up against really tough and experienced competitors and has been dropping 8’s and 9’s almost every heat. Or look at round one at Bells, for 12 heats there was an average of 17 or 18 point heat totals, that’s huge (it was actually just under 16, which is still significant). You had to be at 19 points to shout, “I’ve got this!” but even when you did that, someone could still beat you.
Any regular foot who doesn't dream of surfing Jeffreys Bay at some point in their life doesn't deserve their surfboard.
Jordy left the building. Twenty minutes later, Damien Fahrenfort’s phone buzzed. “Bru, Jordy just got into an accident by LAX. A car came into his lane and hit him head-on.” Jordy was fine, just shaken. Unsurprisingly, Ford E350’s can take a collision, as can Jordy and a week later he's standing on the winner's podium in Ballito.