A Small Fat Nothing Burger - Stab Mag
No Slats this year to suck us in. CalTex will be the WSL's solo CT rep. Photo by WSL

A Small Fat Nothing Burger

The Snapper CS will be a tough act to follow for Manly. Here’s why.

news // May 18, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Snapper Challenger Series provided CT grade entertainment owing to big names, cooking waves, and a tonne of hype as a result of the mid-year cut. More than 30 of the 51 surfers who began this season on the CT were in the mix and 16K+ eyes and ears were tuned into the YT livestream in the round of 64 at Snapper courtesy of Jimmy Slade’s guest appearance. Currently, the longboard event in Manly has just 2.5K. It is the quarterfinals. Btw, Joel Tudor where you @?

Snapper had a lot going for it as a CS event. Formerly a CT spot, and the current hub of Australia’s surf industry, the Tweed/Gold Coast zone is home to 13x World Titles (Wayne ‘Rabs’ Bartholomew, Peter Townsend, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore), the Boardriders HQ (Quik, Bong, Roxy, RVCA, DC, Element, Von Zipper), and just about every major board building factory/subdivision on the East coast (DHD, JS, Sharpeye, Channel Islands, Pyzel, Mayhem, Chilli etc). 

An east coast surf Mecca? Sure, if you want to put it that way. 

The Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is considered the world’s largest human gathering with almost 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019. Comparable numbers to Kirra on a cyclone swell. Photo by Juan Medina

Oddly enough, “Kirra,” referring to the third prong of the Superbank and the surrounding neighborhood, is an aboriginal term for “gathering place.” Apt. Many gathered over the event window, and the broadcast fetched the highest viewership numbers in the Challenger Series’ short history.

Manly, by contrast, is a hub of milfs, active wear, poke bowls, unaffordable coastal housing and on occasion, psycho south swell slabs. Coined ‘Manly’ by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788 who noted the Gayemagal people’s “confidence and manly behavior which made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place” in his memoir, shortly before they were ‘settled’ somewhere a little less fitting for a lux beachfront home, it is your classic Northern Beaches beachbreak facing dead east. Pros: bittuva swell magnet, good rip bowls, nice people to look at. Cons: crowds, metered parking, tourists.

Manly, just now. Photo from Surfline

Of the 160 names in the draw at Manly, just one of them is still on the CT – Callum Robson. The other 31 CT surfers have jetted off to Indo to warm up for G-Land. Just quietly, the Grajagan forecast looks spicy. Conditions at present look like this, and there’s not a whole lot more of it predicted for the rest of the week apart from a modest bump on Friday. 

Can’t blame my CT bros for giving this one a miss.

Credit: Surfline

A tough act to follow? Certainly. 1/31 CTers in the draw is the most telling sign. 

Eat up.


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