"I Know 90% Of The Beach Was Rooting For Griff, But At Least The Trophy Is Staying In San Clemente" - Stab Mag

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Filipe and Future Filipe. Frame: Hurley

“I Know 90% Of The Beach Was Rooting For Griff, But At Least The Trophy Is Staying In San Clemente”

Filipe Toledo has lived in SC longer than the E-Bikes have — so why was his camp so small?

elsewhere // Nov 28, 2023
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Warning: This entire video is in Portuguese. Video: Hurley

Filipe has lived in San Clemente for nearly a decade.

That’s longer than some of Griffin’s red-coated fan base has been alive.

But despite contributing to San Clemente’s tax revenue for nine years, learning a new language (with shocking fluency), and raising/supporting his entire family in the “Spanish village by the sea”, Filipe’s support group on the beach was orders of magnitude smaller than Griffin’s and mostly consisted of close family and friends.

Apparently, the Toledo camp was eager to convert whoever they could to the dynasty to bolster their numbers, even “adopting” a 24-year-old New Jersey man to the fold, who documented his experience here.

In the clip above (which — just warning you — is completely in Portuguese with no subtitles), you’ll see Filipe, his wife, Ananda Marcal, and their closest insiders share what went into Toledo’s second world title win.

But why didn’t San Clemente get behind Filipe more? Some answers are obvious — Griffin’s narrative is delicious: as a “Zillenial”, Griffin grew up in a San Clemente that still had a few teeth left in its mouth — still some needles on the ground, a couple more fights at T-Street, no E-Bikes, and rent prices that weren’t vomit-inducing. He represents the last of a San Clemente that many locals mourn.

He also has the working-class ethos that surf towns try to project — the son of a schoolteacher and a stay-at-home mother, a far cry from the caricature of a 30-something-tech-bro-who-moved-his-family-South carting around 6 hellions in a golf cart. Surf cities are inherently insular, and Griffin is the epitome of “in”.

But, another reason — perhaps — that Filipe didn’t get the backing he probably deserved is that the exclusivity that surf towns breed also creates perpetual outsiders, people who feel like they are never “in” no matter how much time they spend in an area.

Call them “transplants”, or “blow-ins”, or “outsiders”, it seems that for those who didn’t choose to be conceived west of the 5, north of Cristianitos, or south of Estrella there can sometimes be a perpetual state of otherness felt by those in San Clemente and other beautiful, blessed, but guarded coastal enclaves.

Whether this is good or bad isn’t for me to decide, but in terms of taxes paid, time spent, languages learned, and families raised, maybe (by virtue of quantitative statistics alone) Filipe deserves more yellow-and-black 77 hats on the beach on Finals Day next time.

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