Stab Magazine | Filipe Toledo is untouchable amidst the rookie onslaught

Filipe Toledo is untouchable amidst the rookie onslaught

Today, Filipe Toledo firmed himself as the favourite to take out back to back Quiksilver Pros following a scintillating round three performance. Though, it was rookie Conner Coffin’s last second heroics that set the tone for a rookie onslaught in the early morning heats. Up against Brazilian standout and 2015 Rookie Of The Year, Italo […]

news // Mar 14, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today, Filipe Toledo firmed himself as the favourite to take out back to back Quiksilver Pros following a scintillating round three performance. Though, it was rookie Conner Coffin’s last second heroics that set the tone for a rookie onslaught in the early morning heats.

Up against Brazilian standout and 2015 Rookie Of The Year, Italo Ferreira, both surfers struggled for waves early. Conner up on a short-length runner at the 10-minute mark, driving hard off the bottom into his signature power gaff on his way to a layback closeout hit.

“I felt like the wave I surfed the best was my (opening) 6.67 with the layback at the end,” he said. “I made it but maybe fell at the end a little so maybe they nicked me for it for not riding out super cleanly.”

Italo answered, pegging a vertical hit in the pocket straight into a daring floater, and a series of tags down for a 7.83. The Brazilian won the battle of the back up scores, leaving Conner requiring something solid with less than 30 seconds on the clock. He shook of the nerves, dropping a series of heavy slashes, gaffs and a pointed layback jam on the long, wobbly runner for a 7.83 and a memorable win.

“There was only 20 seconds left so I knew I had to ride that one,” he said. “At first I was like, this wave is insane, I did a first wrap and I looked up and the wall was like meehhhh, dang it! I just tried to do what I could on it. I fell on the last turn on my wave yesterday and there was no way I was gonna do that again.”

If anything he enjoys the pressure situations, he said:

“I felt good (paddling into it). I was probably the most ‘in the moment’ on that wave of any wave in the whole heat. It was a tricky wave to ride, so I didn’t feel like I surfed it really well. It was just washy and bouncy and fat and I was just trying to connect the dots without screwing it up.”

Conner 3 Kirstin


“In those situations it can so easily go flat. But if you get the wave the worst thing you can do in my opinion is be all freaked out about it because that wave could easily not have come and you would’ve never had a chance. So when I get those last minute chances I’m like, alright, cool, if I don’t surf this wave as well as I can I’m not gonna get the score anyway, so it eliminates any negativity. You just wanna surf the wave well.”

The Santa Barbara native has worked hard over the offseason to iron out the kinks, both mental, technical and equipment-wise. Conner almost gave competitive surfing away in 2014 following a poor run of results on the notoriously gruelling WQS. He’s since re-enlisted the help of mentor and former World Tour surfer, Brad Gerlach, also spending the off-season working intimately with his shaper at nearby Channel Islands, testing the refinements on a bumper winter swell season at Rincon (one of California’s best right points).

“I’ve been working on (clearing my head) in life in general for the last couple of years,” he said.

“I’m just so stoked to be here and the whole experience of this, being 22 and being a pro surfer, it doesn’t get any better. You just wanna enjoy it all the time, win, lose or draw. If you’re not enjoying it why the fuck are you here?” he laughed.

Fellow rookie Caio Ibelli triumphed over tour veteran, Josh Kerr. But it was Filipe Toledo who wowed the crowds. Having added weight over the off-season he is close to untouchable in rippable Snapper conditions. He racked up the highest heat total of the early morning heats, a 16.6, comprised exclusively of rail surfing. His high score of 8.77 opened with a lightning layback hack and a series of hooks and carves, all performed with incredible speed, rhythm, and body positioning.

“I’m just trying to surf smart, use priority, and surf the waves I need to make heats,” he said.

“Yesterday was a big day. The rookies are pretty impressive. Conner is surfing so good, all the boys still in it are really dangerous. So I’m just trying to focus on my surfing and doing what I have to do against those guys.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Want Taj Burrow’s Boards? There’s 4 Up For Grabs

Wrap your mitts around one of TB's new Lost 'Lightspeed' weapons.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022


Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022


Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave

Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.

Aug 5, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge

A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…

Aug 5, 2022

When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In

Tahiti wildcards named.

Aug 5, 2022

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?

Aug 4, 2022

How Boardshorts Work

They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.

Aug 4, 2022

A Surf/Snow/Music Fez In The Heart Of Melbourne 

URBNSURF is throwing an action-sports/live music DOOF this month and Stab Premium members are getting…

Aug 4, 2022

Peace, Love, And Mung Beans: 7 Things I Learned From Mick Fanning

Ranging from surf travel hacks to philosophy to jingle lyrics.

Aug 2, 2022

The Three Million Dollar Chinese Storm

500 board orders, coaching armies, and trips around the world — here's how China’s Olympic…

Aug 1, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Does The Huntington Hop Actually Work?

Ed Templeton explains Huntington Beach, the ugliest maneuver in surfing returns, a horde of strange…

Aug 1, 2022