Stab Magazine | Jordy Smith Raids J-Bay, Post-Lowers
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Jordy Smith Raids J-Bay, Post-Lowers

Celebrating a California win with a dash to South Africa’s brightest jewel.

news // Sep 27, 2016
Words by Words
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It didn’t look like too much on the charts, and didn’t have that hype that swells so often get, locally. Whenever there is a notable swell moving up the east coast of South Africa, a hum grows louder. Cape Town surfers start heading up the coast with the swell, East London surfers start heading down to meet it, and some Durban surfers head for the airport instead of bothering to drive through the Transkei (yeah, it’s too gnarly).

This particular swell slipped, for most parts, under the radar. It wasn’t lighting up the forecast models by any standards, but one perfect, powerful four-foot wave at Supertubes could quite easily be the best wave of many surfers’ lives.

Fresh off his Lowers win, Jordy Smith was one surfer who appeared out of the blue for this swell, and obviously scored some gems. He did time accepting the congratulations of many thrilled South Africans, still buzzing on his victory abroad, met a bunch of excited groms at nearby Cape St Francis after a few at the beachie, and then headed out for some Supers runners.

Runners there were: Flawless Supertubes, nothing too big, and not out of control crowded. Not that a mob out at Supers really worries Jordy. After all the years of coming to J-Bay, hanging with the locals and being eternally well-mannered, he doesn’t have many stumbling blocks when it comes to wave count out there.

Jordy Jbay a10

“It’s pretty amazing to be in the world title conversation at this stage,” says Mr Smith. He’s been here before, but there’s something… different about Jordy this year.

It was a fit and motivated Jordy in the water. And, a determined Jordy, preparing for the Euro leg. Jordy has killed it in Europe before, and his approach this year is to adapt.

“Absolutely anything can happen in Europe,” he said. ”It might be a flawless four-to-six foot outside bank with long walls, or it might be big tubes on the beach. It might be a rip bowl one day and it might be tiny and onshore the next. I think that the surfers who do the best in Europe are those surfers who are able to adapt and change the quickest.”

The recent J-Bay session and the coming Euro leg is all about the world title race for Jordy. “It’s pretty amazing to be in the world title conversation at this stage,” he says. “Looking back to 2014 I had a great run in Europe and then last year I never got that opportunity.”

Which leads on to Hawaii… “I’m amped for Hawaii and I am totally focused on Pipe. I’m going to hang at Pipe for the whole season and ride Pipe in all conditions. I just want to get to understand that wave as much as I can and feel comfortable out there in as many different moods as the wave can produce.”

But for now, he’s happy lighting up the best wave in South Africa.

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