Keramas Crowns Two New World Number Ones
Lakey Peterson and Italo Ferreira take out the crown at Keramas!
We were promised progressive surfing at Keramas and on finals day it delivered.
Italo Ferreira arguably has the best backhand in the world right now and Lakey Peterson’s turns are more aggressive and appealing than half the men on tour.
Subsequently, they’re your two new world number ones. And frankly, there’s no-one more deserving.
There were four heats remaining today and despite the smallest conditions of the event window, Keramas still delivered.
No arrangement of adjectives will do justice to Italo or Lakey’s surfing today, but here’s a brief re-cap of the morning that decided two new leaders nonetheless.
Lakey Peterson wins her second event of the year
Lakey and Tyler had the exact same scoring waves in the semi’s – an 8 and a 7, but there was no comparisons between the two in the final.
Tyler made a few uncharacteristic errors (compared to title campaigns) and Lakey capitalised. There’s been a lot of talk around the improvement of the women’s rail surfing of late and Lakey is at the forefront of this movement.
The girls are yet to take to the air with the same consistency as their male counterparts, but it looks like the term ‘man turn’ won’t be making sense much longer.
With two wins each to their name after four events, just over 1000 points separate Lakey and Steph, and with less than a week until the Uluwatu make-up event, we’re in for a heated week on the Peninsula as Steph no doubt tries to regain the top spot.
Claiming is fine when Italo does it
Claiming is often frowned upon.
Regardless of who it is, when arrogance shines through a claim, internet commenters the world over will grimace and let their hatred be known.
However, for some reason, it’s hard to hate the claims of Italo. In fact, I hate it when he doesn’t claim.
I don’t know whether it’s because he’s stomping huge backside full rotations or just because he’s so damn likeable in general, but not once has one of Italo’s pocketful of eclectic mid-wave celebrations grinded my commenting gears.
Claims were aplenty this morning for Italo, but even more abundant were his number of excellent rides.
Even Kelly was blown away
Italo stomped the first 10-point ride of the Keramas event against Jordy – only the third of the year overall – and with 7.13 back-up kept Jordy’s pair of 8’s at bay.
Italo often lays back after a backside loft and it’s often easy to criticise airs of this manner, the full rotor Italo plugged in the semi though was nothing like this.
Landed clean, rattled off an extra two snaps (that were more than a little bonus) and then even through a shu-it on the inside section just to really make sure the ‘innovative and progressive’ category was ticked off.
He then when on to post the biggest heat total of the event against Michel with an 18.87. Even if Michel maintained his previous round form in the final, there was nothing or nobody who was taking down Italo today.
Hell, even the wave he rode switch-stance was highlight reel worthy.
Even Kelly was blown away…
Kelly Slater: Speed, Power, Flow, Variety…@italoferreira ticking all the boxes in the semi-final vs @jordysmith88 right now in the @wsl #CoronaBaliProtected live right now. Even a little shuvit just to make sure he got a little of everything in.
And Kelly’ – as per usual – is right.
The surfing performed by Italo today is at the forefront of modern surfing and the best we’ve witnessed in competition for some time.
Changes to the judging criteria in 2018 have pushed the surfers to their limits by raising the expected bar and we’re subsequently seeing the surfers adapt.
You won’t be seeing any more 10-point rides for safety surfing and we’re oh so thankful for it.
When queried by one hopeful and brave commenter about whether he (Kelly) would’ve won 11 world titles in this modern climate, Kelly responded:
“Very few guys worried me back then. Lots of deep talent now. It’s a different game.”
Now, we’re not here to speculate about how many titles Kelly would’ve won or not, but we will agree on one thing.
It really is a different game.
Looking to the Bukit
There’s one week until the CT returns to the Bukit Peninsula – specifically Uluwatu – for the first time in 10 years.
As you all know, the Margaret River Pro was cancelled due to shark activity and attacks, now the WSL is finishing off what started at Margies in Bali.
Rumours are swirling that John has injured his knee in a freesurf and with another 3rd Round loss at Keramas a World Title is almost certainly out of the equation for the reigning champ.
Meanwhile, Italo’s jumped into first place, Filipe has skipped over Jules into second and now the top 10 is starting to truly organise itself towards the middle of the year.
We know that Italo’s backhand is almost unbeatable, now we’ll see whether his forehand is as ferocious; something tells me taking down Italo at Uluwatu will be no easy feat. He’ll be running out of room for these CT winning tattoo’s in no time.
Let’s just hope that Pottz figures out who’s in the event and who’s not after picking Jeremy Flores (who pulled out of Margies) as his Uluwatu choice during the post-show.
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