Stab Magazine | Italo Extends The California Curse, Defeats Kolohe Andino With A Buzzer-Beater Punt
417 Views

Italo Extends The California Curse, Defeats Kolohe Andino With A Buzzer-Beater Punt

And Caroline Marks takes her first title in the women’s.

news // Apr 8, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kolohe Andino woke up at 3:30 am for two months straight in the lead-up to the 2019 Championship Tour.

How does that correlate with superior surfing performance, you ask? It doesn’t. But, it probably had a huge psychological impact on the young American, who, coming into his 8th season on Tour, had yet to win a CT event.

Californian surfers are brought up fucking soft and pampered,” Kolohe told Stab a few weeks back, regarding the decade-long gap since a male Golden Stater had won a CT event. “Miki Dora was one of the best surfers in the world, but he never competed. He was just this rad, fucking badass surf dude that lived on the beach, you know? And I feel like that spirit has kind of persisted within the California surfing culture. It’s always been more about seeming “cool” than it is trying to win at all costs.”

But Kolohe Andino said fuck that, ditched his phone for a whole month, and started waking up at Satan’s hour to train, then surf, then surf again, going to bed before 8 pm in preparation for the new season. Again, the physical advantages of this obsessive behavior are limited. However they made Kolohe feel invincible. Like he’d put in more work than anybody and therefore earned the right to win.

Andino K KELL5899 Cestari 

I ran into Kolohe this morning during the pre-comp warm-up.

The waves, if we’re being generous, were half of yesterday’s overhead, gin-clear splendor. Waist high and weak was today’s reality.

I asked Kolohe how he felt about the conditions.

“It’s alright,” he said. “Kinda like [Salt] Creek with an air wind.”

Shortly after, Kolohe saw a wave and darted toward the Dbah wall, tagging it a few times before paddling out for another. And another.

Brother catches a lot of waves in his freesurfs, and often quite bad ones, which is an act of dedication rather than poor judgment. He wants to be able to surf anything and surf it well.

Conner Coffin got robbed in Quarter one.

Needing a high-5 to defeat John Florence in the dying moments, Coffin laid down a Reynoldsian hack on a steep end section, leaning back into the wall and releasing the fins in brutal fashion. Not only is this an incredibly difficult maneuever from a technical standpoint, but it was such a welcome contrast to the stock air revs we’d seen from both competitors throughout the match. To my eye, it should have been enough to turn the heat. The judges disagreed. This would become a theme.

The other quarters: Kolohe defeated Seth Moniz with relentless aerial attempts. Medina looked more lost than my other sock, going down hard to the big man Jordy. Italo made quick work of Wade ‘the Blade’ Carmichael. 

Malia and Sally both ripped in the women’s semis, but they were no match for the speed and power of Carissa and Caroline. 

Moore C KELL6207 Cestari

Men’s Semi 1, between John and Kolohe, was like two six-year-olds throwing marshmallows at each other and trying not to laugh. Doing fake air revs into a relentless wind, the boys collected single-digit totals in a heat where nobody was a winner but Kolohe Andino advanced. All those shitty waves he surfed in the off-season were paying off. 

Then came Italo v. Jordy. The Brazilian started with a clean full-rote for 7-odd points. Jordy retaliated with a bigger, better spin that netted an extra point-and-a-half. Then he dropped a carve-to-straighty combo for a clean six, taking solid lead. 

Italo came back with another full-rotation, this one slightly bigger but off-kilter, and landed deep in the foam. He needed the same score as his previous air to take the lead, and the judges gave him a half-point bonus.

Jordy never recovered. 

Fair? Steph Gilmore didn’t think so. “I think Jordy beat Italo,” she wrote on Stab‘s Instagram.

Watch and decide for yourself. 

Before the women’s final, Caroline Marks’ coach Mike Parsons told his rising star: “If you stay on your feet, you’re going to win.”

To give a statement like that some context, Caroline was up against Carissa Moore – 3x World Champion and widely considered the best female surfer in the world.

Oh to be 17 and on top of the world! Photo: WSL 

Crazy as it may sound, Caroline embraced her coach’s optimism and earned her first CT win today, relying on her patented (in 1984) backside lippers to seal victories over Malia Manuel (semis) and Carissa Moore (final). In Dbah’s sideshore conditions, Caroline’s compact frame and low center-of-gravity provided a serious advantage over her competitors, who were forced to bounce around the chop while Caroline plowed right through it. 

Caroline’s victory is also historic in the sense of gender equality. In 2019, the WSL offers parity between its male and female athletes, meaning Caroline will head to Bells with $100,000 and the Jeep yellow jersey. Based off last year’s performance, the Florida teen is just as likely to win the second event of the season in Torquay. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yqNYE2cfNDo

Now, for the moment that everybody’s yapping about: the Men’s final. 

After winning Red Bull Airborne and putting together the best 40-minute competitive surfing performance we’ve ever seen (eight airs, no falls!), Italo Ferreira entered the final as the favorite over Kolohe ‘Alarm Clock’ Andino, who, to beat the horse well and truly dead, has never won a CT event.

You know what happened.

Italo did lots of little spins. Kolohe did slightly bigger spins with turns to follow. Italo needed a score at the end to win. Kolohe had priority. Kolohe let Italo go on a tiny burger (“I would have let that wave go 10/10 times,” Kolohe would say after the loss. “It was knee high.”). Italo spun a flat-3 that, despite how impressive it was from an athletic standpoint, didn’t seem like great “surfing”, or at least not better than what Kolohe had done in the same heat. Judges gave it the nod. Hell broke loose. 

Ferreira I KELL6876 Cestari

Normally at CT events, the judges reside in a high and hidden perch, completely out of sight (and mind) from the general spectators. But because this event took place at a back-up venue, which lacked critical infrastructure, the judges were in a ground-level tent right in the center of the beach. 

…Not a great place to judge a controversial heat.

After it was announced that Italo Ferreira had won the 2019 Quik Pro Dbah, spectators turned to the judges, offering single fingers and an array of insults as they made their way past the tents. While judges have become accustomed to facing hate online, this is one of the first times they’ve had to confront their critics on a tangible plane. 

But at the end of the day, it’s not (really) their fault.

Surfing is a subjective sport that’s judged with an inherently flawed system by inherently flawed humans. So before bashing the plucky Brazilian or cancelling your WSL subscription (oh wait, it’s free!), we beg you to keep one thought in mind:

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

(Also, vote in our poll below about whether or not Italo should have won.) 

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022

5:27

Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022

Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?

Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.

Sep 21, 2022

9:18

Life Comes At You Fast — So Does This Hectic Indo Clip

Finn McGill and a full-speed stint in Southeast Asia

Sep 21, 2022

Interview: Afghanistan Surf Champion Afridun Amu

From refugee to constitutional lawyer to university lecturer to Afghan surfing icon.

Sep 20, 2022

15:24

Bong Make ‘Another Good Call’ By Poaching Stab Cinematographer For West Oz Clip

Shut up, is that Occy doing punts?!

Sep 20, 2022

Exactly Where, When, And How Stephanie Gilmore Won Her 8 World Titles

Steph has won 341 heats in her 15 years on the CT — let's revisit…

Sep 20, 2022
Advertisement