Stab Magazine | Five Things To Watch For Tomorrow At The Billabong Pro Tahiti

Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy Will Be Broadcast Live On June 21st and June 22nd from 5 PM - 10 PM PDT


Five Things To Watch For Tomorrow At The Billabong Pro Tahiti

A finals day primer.

news // Aug 13, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The argument could be made that Round 3 is the best round of a world tour contest. It’s where the plot really thickens. Today the WSL jammed through 20 heats, few of which disappointed, enroute to finishing Round 3. It was a long day and everyone’s fairly sunburned as they sip their well-earned Hinanos. The WSL is gunning to wrap this whole thing up tomorrow, and because time is of the essence, here’s what you need to know before you kick on the webcast: 

1. John John’s Redemption
Before John’s heat against Nat Young, he paddled out and sat alone in the water with his head down. There was no chatter in the channel with the caddies or shakas for adoring fans. Some would say he was just finding his head space, but within 30 seconds the wind switched offshore and the ocean started pulsing. Coincidence? We think not. John’s never won at Teahupoo, and now that he can summon the elements on command, we’re guessing it’s at the top of his list of things to do. He lost to Kelly in the final last year and Gabs in the semis the year before. At the moment, he appears a calm, cool, collected and clear favourite to go the distance.

2. Wilko’s Stamina
As you read this Matt Wilkinson’s coach, Glenn Hall, is at home with his wife welcoming a new baby into the world. Congratulations on the Mini-Me, Micro! In years past Wilko left to his own devices didn’t reek of focus, but he learned a lot from his meltdown during the back half of the season last year. He came into Tahiti dead set not to let the same thing happen again this lap around the track. So far, it’s all going according to plan. Ethan Ewing never really had a shot against Wilko in Round 3, even though he held the lead for awhile. Riding a 6’2”, Wilko explained that “it doesn’t really slow me down in the smaller waves and maybe it’ll help me get into a nug or two.” Mission accomplished. Micro can have his baby in peace knowing that his protégé has safely made it to finals day.

3. Owen’s Cinderella Story
Owen Wright’s probably not supposed be surfing Teahupoo. The head injury at Pipe in 2015 was serious, and while he’s long been cleared by the docs and says he’s physically sound, one has to imagine the potential of something happening at Teahupoo is greater given his fragile medical history. He’s not even wearing a helmet and clicked into a good groove in his Round 3 win over Ian Gouveia. He has his partner and their little baby here and he’s just been “cruising and enjoying himself,” but in the back of his cracked cranium one has to think he’s got a win on his mind. If that happens the conversation around the world title race gets a lot more interesting.

4. The Two Conners
Connor O’Leary and Conner Coffin, both winners today, now have a chance to assume the coveted role of dark horse. O’Leary has Wright in Round 4 and Coffin has Florence. Even though it’s no-losers round, moving straight into the quarters is a big deal for both world title contenders. O’Leary has Luke Egan in his corner giving him sage advice and making sure he’s well prepared. Coffin has his dad, Rich, cheering him on and caddying. Both have their benefits, and both surfers are riding a well-earned high. “I got tube at Teahupoo!” Coffin joked with Mick Fanning after his Round 2 win.

5. Jordy’s Last Stand
In the last heat of the day, Jordy Smith was up against U.S. Open champ Kanoa Igarashi. All the other world title contenders had won their heat. He really didn’t have a choice: win or go home. Getting the proverbial monkey off his back at Teahupoo, he’s into Round 4 with a real shot at going deep in the comp.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Holly Wawn

"I've had 4, 5, maybe 6 cars... I'm a car dealer I reckon."

Jun 13, 2024

A Miscalculated Shallow Dive, Neck-First, Into The Waters Of Japanese Surfing

How is surfing different in the land of cherry blossoms?

Jun 13, 2024

How Has Ian Crane Made 4/5 Stab High Finals?

And who he's most afraid of competing against in Japan.

Jun 13, 2024

“I Haven’t Seen Anyone That Young And That Keen For Heavy Waves In A Decade” —Shane Dorian

Jacob Turner is 16 years old and trying to paddle tow sets at Teahupo'o...on his…

Jun 12, 2024

Long Read: 1,000 Ways To Die In Indonesia

18,000 islands of beautiful people, world-class waves, and danger around every corner.

Jun 11, 2024

Watch: Craig Anderson And Kaito Ohashi Find (Mostly) Empty Waves In Southeast Asia

Oh, and enter to win a grand worth of DB gear.

Jun 11, 2024

Brad Gerlach Rode A 600cc Motorbike Through Europe’s 1980’s Psychedelic Renaissance  

"Fuck London. Let’s just buy motorcycles tomorrow and drive to France, man."

Jun 11, 2024

Caroline Marks Goes Two-In-A-Row And John John Florence Wins First CT Event Since 2020 At The Surf City El Salvador Pro

Plus, we asked Chris Cote for a look into the commentary team's psyche and Griff…

Jun 9, 2024

Why Is Mavericks Core Getting Overrun By Yuppies?

And other questions from our audience — answered by Pete Mel, Mick Fanning, and Joel…

Jun 9, 2024

Everything Worth Remembering From 4 (Mostly) Forgettable Quarterfinals In El Salvador

Plus, what's the consensus on the Griff vs. João kerfluffle?

Jun 8, 2024

Wildcard Big-dogs Italo, Yago Pops The Cork, And Griffin Cops An Ambiguous Interference On Day 2 In El Salvador

"Honestly, that was a bad... uhh I mean, a tough call." - Strider

Jun 8, 2024