Filipe Toledo And Coco Ho Win Rumble At The Ranch
Pro surfing is back—condensed, co-ed, and actually somewhat captivating. And, the Brazilian males dominate what is fast becoming their fave spot on tour.
It couldn’t help but feel like salt in the wound, the number of times surfers and commentators brought up the fact that the majority of California’s coast was lake-flat.
It probably came up about as many times as Coco’s Ho’s injury sustained at “a wave system in Texas.”
With the exception of a few mysto zones north of Santa Cruz, they were right to believe there wasn’t a more surfable wave within 400 miles of Surf Ranch today.
Regardless, it was nice to have today’s action playing in the background, the first event we've seen this many 'CT surfers in this year, and the rotation of commentary duos Joe Turpel and Rosy Hodge, as well as Chris Cote and Peter Mel, felt oddly comforting.
Kolohe Andino drew a wildcard in North County San Diego screw foot Alyssa Spencer, the teenage ‘QS hopeful. Brother looked like there was plenty of zing in him, but couldn’t take out Filipe and Coco, Filipe bobbling an early setup turn straight out the gates—slipups like this admittedly make for some of the day’s most heartbreaking moments in the pool, the wave peeling off as pure wasted potentiality.
Regardless Filipe and Coco dusted Kolohe and Alyssa 14.07 to 11.34.
Behind them in the draw, Kelly Slater and Sage Erickson beat Hawaiian duo Seth Moniz and Carissa Moore, which had to feel good for Sage after the long pause on her re-qualification year. Leg strength being paramount at Surf Ranch, Carollupo and ADS’s solid foundations got them to the Semis, taking out wildcard Kirra Pinkerton and Conner Coffin 10.2 and 15.6 before going down to Kanoa Igarashi.
Kanoa and Tati took down event favorites Griffin Colapinto and last Ranch event winner Lakey Peterson. Kanoa Igarashi bounced between Dark Arts and standard epoxy Sharp Eyes on the right and left, respectively, and dropped a 9 in his Semifinal, after Caroline Marks and Adriano de Souza laid down a gauntlet with a 16.17 combined score that Tati and Kanoa barely nudged out, earning them a spot in the finals.
While neither could deliver a proper score on the right, Sage carried whatever effort her and Slater made against Filipe Toledo and Coco Ho, both regular footers dropping their best scores on their backhands—a massive 8.93, and more than respectable 7.03.
Kanoa and Tati came up against Filipe and Coco in the final. Coco Ho might have the most polished technique on tour, a fact more than visible at the Ranch. She dropped a 6.57 on her right, but fell short a little on the left. Filipe backed her up with the biggest score of the event, a 9.67 on which, and in true fashion, Filipe dropped two healthy alley-oops. Having to better a near-perfect ride on his weak side, Filipe’s left was a victory lap novelty show, Filipe going to his famous pop-shuv revert to switch tube ride.
You could imagine Kanoa running through all his motivational platitudes as he paddled into his last right of the final, needing to drop an 8.82 to best Filipe’s circus act and knowing that Tati had done the hard work of giving him an almost one-point distance between her and Coco’s scoring waves. After blowing the right on a bobbled blow tail, Kanoa threw everything he had at his left only to come up a solid point short, news which Pat O and Pete Mel offered Fil and Coco enthusiastically, their win meaning that
After six months of nada, The Rumble’s condensed, coed, four-hour format is a tremendous improvement from the cumbersome, multi-day events we’ve seen previously. Will the event be seen as enough of a success to continue developing such formats? One thing's for sure, however, and that is that on the men's side of the draw, no one can get near the Brazilians in this wave tank. In tomorrow's cautious post-mortem celebration on today’s event in Santa Monica, there will be one indisputable fact: no one is beating a Brazilian in the central valley before 2025.