Ian Crane Is The Jeep Leaderboard Official World Champion Of Airs
And other notes from the Redbull Airborne, Quik Pro and Roxy Pro.
Round 2 was held at the Quik and Roxy Pro today but instead of a comprehensive breakdown, I will provide brief anecdotes about my life since moving here three years ago.
-I once observed a dad giving a surf lesson to (hopefully) his son. He was standing in knee-deep water, grabbing the board by the nose and guiding his kid into little whitewaters. He was fully nude, meaning that his dick was right in the kid’s face. This kid will surely gravitate towards the competitive side of surfing.
-Here’s a video of my friend trying to learn how to drive an automobile with a manual transmission. He burnt the clutch a few hours later, got stuck and ended up getting really good waves because of it.
-You’re not allowed to yell at the blackjack dealer at the casino in Biarritz. If you do, they have security come out and follow you around for the rest of the night. When you get too loud, the security guard will shush you, but he never gets physical.
-When I moved into a new apartment a month ago, my neighbor came out to say hello. She is about 90 years old and doesn’t speak any English. She told me of a place she once visited in the United States. “There is a large port. In France, we know it as the city of homosexuals.” She was talking about San Francisco and thoroughly enjoyed her trip there many years ago.
-Although I have visited a handful of wineries around the country, I have found wine from the Cote du Rhone region to be my favorite. It often has a higher alcohol content so you sneaky get drunker. Ryan Miller, what do you think?
The waves solid today, but warbly and walled and disgruntled in general. My guess is too long period combined with a lack of offshore wind to clean it up. There were some scary ones out there. I don’t thing the webcast served the conditions justice. Many broken boards — Conner even broke one paddling out at the start of his heat. Luckily, as Griffin Colapinto might put it, he had board #2 nearby.
The only two waves worth revisiting came from Marc Lacomare and Conner Coffin, who found some French pearls and were awarded nines. I don’t think luck plays as big a role as people assume. Both of these guys love surfing waves like this and know how to read the ocean when it’s being grumpy. It’s a skill.
On the women’s side, Steph Gilmore lost in a heat that Paige Hareb won with a total of 8.37. Tough go for the queen.
And we’d be remiss not to mention Jadson’s lobster dive, which blew out his ear drum and likely incited PTSD from the Box earlier this season.
Once Round 2 was wrapped, the Red Bull Airborne was called on. The tide began to drop and the bigger waves started breaking out the back, which made it peakier on the comp bank. Still, there was a lot current and many death ramps — it was fun to mind-punt but difficult to punt-punt. Not too many airs were actually being landed.
Matt Meola should win an award for the section he tried to hit in the first heat.
Subbing in for Mr. Big Dick is the below-average-endowment Michael Ciaramella.
The sections were huge and the landings were hard. Leon Glatzer kneed himself in the jaw and fucked up his teeth; Matt Banting got hurt too.
Finn McGill got a legitimate tube into a frontside grab (indy?) alleyoop, which would have been a 10 in the main event but earned a six in Airborne.
Stab High winners Chippa Wilson and Noa Deane had zero completions between them. To quote Dane Reynolds, maybe they’re just wavepool guys?
Reef Heazlewood stuck a zero-grav oop, Ian Crane stomped a lofty slob, and two Frenchman slipped past Julian Wilson and into the final.
It’s worth noting that CT surfers have won the first three Red Bull Airborne events (France 2018, Snapper and Keramas 2019), but with only one Tour member—Griffin Colapinto—qualified in the top-six of this Quik Pro launch party, the trend of CT surfers winning Airborne events looked destined cease.
Who better than Stab High double-finalist and the star of Red Bull’s latest, surprisingly hilarious, 21 Days episode, Ian Crane, to step up for the “air guys”?
In the final’s opening minutes, Kaipo Guerrero asked Vaughan Blakey who he thought would stick the best punt in the final. While mentioning how after his recent cameo on the 21 Days series, Crane-o had become something of the crowd favorite, the San Clemente kid took off on a foamy left, skirted past a Meola section, waited for the wave to reform, then launched into a mountainous frontside air off the inside section.
Due to the size disparity between the section he was on (big) and the section he hit (small), Ian’s air gained a few feet in appearance, turning a four-foot punt into a solid six, which was right around the score the judges gave him.
Red Bull correspondent Chris Binns was live in the competitors’ area, where he’d heard murmurs of Ian’s score being undercooked. When asked to comment on Crane-o’s punt, Sage Erickson said it should have been a nine. Stab‘s Ashton Goggans would have preferred a mid-six. Noa Deane ran away and hid behind a pillow.
“There’s a lot of tweakers in the Airborne event,” Vaughan Blakey said in reference to some sort of shifty maneuver. This was followed closely by, “There’s just no cush. Give ‘em the cush!”
Finn McGill was busy going full rambo with a number of indy variations, from a backside straight air with a reverse tweak to a backside full-rote that he landed just over the transition.
Local boys Maxime Huscenot and Nomme Mignot got busy greasing more traditional punts, with Nomme clocking four points for a fs rev and Maxime going three for a straighty.
Griffin Cola stuck a backside spin that was, “Just north of a chop hop,” according to Vaughan, and Reef, despite several heroic attempts, was only able to ride away from a tail-low lien, which he oddly claimed.
At one point in the final, Kerrzy started talking about how some CTers, himself included, had to suppress their natural surfing tendencies to perform well in WSL events. Kerrzy said that subduing his desire to fly and making his surfing more formulaic worked for some period of time, but by the end of his career it had stripped all the fun out of surfing, which then led to poor results.
Kaipo, the only regular WSL employee in the commentators’ booth, was quick to pivot out of that discussion into some meaningless drivel about how “stoked” he was to watch the Airborne event.
God forbid somebody says something real on the webcast.
As the clock ticked down, Crane was still in the lead. The San Clementine went for his patented backside starfish air rev on a huge section and nearly made it.
A few more no-makes from his competitors and Ian was home-free.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, etc.
An ecstatic Ian was greeted at the shoreline by a horde of friends and fans. Ashton Goggans kissed Crane-o on the top of the head before grabbing his board for the ritual chairing up the beach.
Charlie Medina nodded in approval.
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