Jake Paterson: "I Wish John Had A Bit Of Andy In Him"
Snake on coaching, Keramas, rivalry, Kelly's appetite for attention and all that lay ahead for top tier competitive surfing.
What drives a man to reply to an extensive string of questions during what might be his only break in a busy year of surf coaching, selling sunscreen and running a surf store? Passion. Or boredom, or both. Yes, we just dialled up our veteran competitive wizard, Jake 'Snake' Paterson, to gather his thoughts on topical surf subjects and absorb some of his endless enthusiasm for #jerzeylyfe.
Right now we're back at our desks in Sydney and LA, staring at the ceiling, I mean, curating semi-compelling content to reasonably entertain the masses.
As John-mania began to recede, we were starting to feel a little deflated (or was it the overzealous New Year celebrations?) Kinda felt like a form of post-hype depression, for now, there's nothing left to win as far as competitive surfing goes. Or is there? Hold the phone, the Volcom Pipe Pro window opens on January 30. And what about the season ahead? We have new names, new events, more rivalry and controversy to get our kicks. We've rubbed our bottle and summoned the genie, so slide on down and reinvigorate your WSL addiction - if you have one.
The graduate and the (surrogate) father. Snake and Griffin. (Photo: WSL/Tony Heff)
Stab: Snake! What’ve you been doing with yourself?
Snake: Since I've been back from Hawaii I've been flat out in the surf store I own in Dunsborough, trying to hang with family and drinking way too much piss. But I guess that is what you do this time of year!
Any highlights from the year that was?
Zeke winning the Prime in Portugal, also his third at Bells. Kanoa beating Mick Fanning twice at Trestles, also winning the US Open and backing up his result at Pipe. Griffin Colapinto winning the Triple Crown and the QS ratings... It’s been a sick year.
So you’re thrilled with how the team performed?
I have a pretty big team. I couldn’t be happier with Griffin and Kanoa. I know Zeke has so much more to give, but I'm super excited he survived his first year on tour. Leo would be super disappointed on how 2017 went and so was I, a few small things didn’t go his way which really hurt his whole year. I really thought it was going to be Ramzi’s year but it wasn’t, so I was a little disappointed how that ended up. Marc got dealt some bullshit calls over the year which put a full downer on his year. Steph was one heat away from winning the title, heavy!
Miss Gilmore, at home early in 2017 with a clean line and a hopeful year ahead. Safe to say, she'll be looking at bettering her runner up result this time around. (Photo: Juan Medina)
What did you think of John going 2x?
He is a full freak and deserved the title for sure. From start to finish he was the man.
Jeremy’s final clincher?
Crazy shit. I personally think he didn’t get the score, but so stoked he did.
How about Gab’s form? Do we have a rivalry?
Rivalry, 100%. I wish John had a bit of Andy in him and that rivalry would get heated at times, that is what I want to see! Fired up battles where there is more than just points and money at stake. Gabby is a freak and you just never know when he will string results together like he did at the end of 2017. Gabby will be in the mix for the title in 2018, 100,000%
Thoughts on ‘The Drop In’?
Funny shit. Kelly had to put himself in the limelight somehow (laughs). He was getting smoked and we will see that wave and pictures for years to come.
Let’s get your thoughts on the year ahead… Keramas, who’ll dominate? Who’ll struggle?
Keramas is one of the best high-performance waves in the world and should be the best show ever. Natural footers will have an advantage for sure and the guys that have a good air game will also have an advantage.The smaller guys who can’t punt will struggle because of the speed and power of the wave.
And the wave pool addition?
I’m super excited about this event. Whoever puts their balls on the line will dominate. Everyone will be getting the same chances because you will only get limited opportunities. Gabby isn’t going to ride ten waves a heat, if you get my drift. It’s going to be the most even playing field of the year and think everyone has a chance to beat everyone. Maybe the guy who has been there the most before the event will dominate.
What are your thoughts on the loss of Lowers and Cloudy?
Well you lose Lowers and get Keramas – a fair trade I think. Then you lose Cloudbreak and get the wave pool. Pretty heavy, I think. Cloudbreak is one of the best waves in the world and one of the only waves on tour that goofyfooters have a slight advantage. It’s a big loss.
How about all these new faces on tour?
The Brazilian storm just got bigger! Five out of the new nine are from Brazil. Let’s do a whole new piece on the new qualifiers – it’s going to be a page long!
Who will dominate 2018?
Filipe is going to be the man to beat if he stays injury-free. The new tour set up falls straight into his advantage and the form he was in at some events in 2017 was untouchable. If he gets out of the gates early in Oz he will be lethal.
And for you?
It’s early days but I plan to coach at most of the CT events and same for QS events. My goal is to coach one of my guys to a World Title – maybe not in 2018 – but in the next few years. My 2018 New Years resolution is to surf more and not become a fat fuck like I have in the past (laughs).
How about the impending Volcom Pipe Pro?
It will be interesting to see if guys like Filipe and other title contenders do this event because in 2019 the tour will start at Pipe. As always, the Pipe specialists will dominate. Four man format is super hard, but think John will win and win easy.