Stab Magazine | Snake Paterson Breaks It All Down

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Snake Paterson Breaks It All Down

Wavepools, WSL restructuring, Europe and what’s left of this here title race.

news // Sep 27, 2017
Words by Rick Snowden
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Perhaps it’s the post-Lemoore comedown, or the thought of a WSL New World Order, but there’s a numbness where excitement for surf events used to be. Alas, the CT show must go on and the French Quik Pro is two weeks out. Time to divert our attention back to the Jeep leaderboard, cue speculation, fantasy teams and the hideous hour at which we’ll have to wake to view any European live action.

With the recent Central Californian non-ocean commotion, allow us to hand Stab’s mic over to our formidable ex-world tour surfer, former Pipe Master and passionate fan of competitive surfing, Jake ‘Snake’ Paterson. 

First thoughts on the Kelly’s Ranch hodown?
Best shit ever! It looks amazing from what I have seen. It’s going to be the way of the future for surf events, purely for the scheduling of events. You can do live TV and know when your favourite surfer is going to surf and when the final will be. It’s rippable, you can get Drained. For. Ages. Then it gets rippable again? Another drainer? And an air section! That all goes for over a minute long. What more do you want?

Gabriel Medina won the event because he is so strong forehand and backhand. I heard from Kanoa that the left was super hard to ride on your backhand. So the guys that have no weakness their dominate in the pool. Gabby, Julian Wilson, Mick Fanning, to name a few. The naturally talented guys are going to kill it if they can handle the pressure, but the middle of the road guys are going to get murdered. No lucky excellent scores based on rogue sets.

Will they need to train in the pool now?
For sure. To me it looks like there is a full system on the timing, where and when you do your turns and when to get barrelled. It will definitely take some getting used to. 

Anything else? Are you going to have a swing?
I would love to get an invite, it really does look like a dream. I would also like to see them play around with different wind directions. Whack a couple of fans so you get a onshore section to do a big punt then when the barrel section comes along it goes offshore. I guess that will be the next thing (laughs).

On the WSL’s proposed format:
I like it. It will prolong some of the top guys careers and for the new blood they can have a good go on the CT without having to worry about QS events. Love the idea of a battle for the title. It’s all exciting.

On the declining velocity of Matt Wilkinson:
Wilko will do OK in the back half and might loosen up now that he has dropped away from the title race. He doesn’t have the get-out-of-jail-free card with massive airs like the other guys. He relies on being sharp and being smart – and if one of those fails, it’s all over.

On the Jordy Smith x John Florence battle:
Jordy looks relaxed and he’s surfing the smartest heats I have ever seen. He hasn’t done as good as John in France or Portugal before, but to me he looks ready to battle John to the end. But he’ll need to have a big lead going into Pipe to take the title from John.

On Filipe’s missed opportunity:
The question should be where would he be if he didn’t get that interference in Brazil?! He could have gone on to a big result in Rio, maybe an ok result in Fiji and could very well be leading the title race. All because of a silly interference. Look out next year for this kid – he is nothing short of a freak. But like everyone says, he won’t win the title unless he puts some work into big left barrels.

On the the remainder of the year:
I think the Brazilians will dominate the European leg. They just seem to adapt really well to the changing conditions and Gabby and Filipe are both on fire at the moment.

For me it’s a two-man race now after the blood bath left behind at Trestles. I think Jordy will have a slight lead going into Pipe and then it will be a Jordy v John final at Pipe – the winner will win the title. Those are the guys, and that’s movie script, really!

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