Does Gabriel Medina Even Like Winning?
Here’s the current World Title situation.
What we’re beginning to learn about Gabriel Medina is that, despite his perception as a win-at-all costs competitor, it’s not actually the winning part that gets Medina off. Rather, it’s the competition itself. It’s becoming clear that Gabriel loves the art (…sport, war?) of competing more than he relishes in victory.
Hear me out:
You really think that this freakishly talented, tactically brilliant surfer couldn’t take the gold jersey at Snapper and run with it through Pipe if he really wanted to?
Because he pretty much did that in 2014 and, besides becoming the first Brazilian World Champ in the process, chances are he found it a little boring.
The ‘truth’ is, Gabby doesn’t come close to his potential until he sees someone worth chasing – typically John, but this year, Filipe and Julian. It’s then that he puts on the competitive blinders and goes into Terminator mode, which is one of the most incredible things to watch in professional surfing.
Gabby’s demeanor goes dark, his tactics become morally ambiguous, and his surfing, well, the guy doesn’t fucking fall.
This typically happens right around Teahupo’o, when the season passes its halfway mark and a World Title looms over the horizon. Then, with his prey clearly in vision, Medina begins the hunt.
He’s come up just shy in years past, but this season Gabby looks invincible.
With Julian out in the quarters in Portugal, Medina could have won the Title by winning the event. While it would be ludicrous to say Gabby threw his semi against Italo (which saw Medina surf 10+ waves to a 14-point total, with several passionate gesticulations thrown in for good measure), it wouldn’t surprise us if he’d prefer that the Title goes down at Pipe.
Because without some external force driving him to compete, Gabby becomes lifeless and lethargic.
He wants blood, and hell, so do we.
As it were, here are the Title scenarios heading into Pipe:
-If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at Pipeline he wins the World Title.
-If Gabriel Medina places 3rd at Pipeline, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need a 1st to win the World Title.
-If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th or worse at Pipeline, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need to make the final to win the World Title.
It ain’t a sure thing, but with Medina’s track record at Pipe and an ample lead over his competitors, things are looking damn good for the future 2x Champ.
Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More
A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.
“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”
Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…
Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different
With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…
WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’
Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?
Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners
Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence
Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth
A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.
Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video
He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.
Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions
They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.
The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5
Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.
Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise
Can you guess who?
Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson
Because it's the right thing to do, of course.
Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content.
A toast to ‘Toasted.’
Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela
Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…
“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”
How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…
A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…
Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event
Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.