Stab Magazine | Jordy Smith's Cornucopias
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Jordy Smith’s Cornucopias

Jordy Smith has been called Man-Bear-Pig before, in reference to his unapologetic man-handling of waves. Doesn’t matter if he’s at Snapper, J-Bay, Chopes, Trestles or at home in New Pier, Jordy hits hard. He’s one the few men who looks truly comfortable at Bells and and doesn’t mind riding some extra chunk out there. Wanna […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jordy Smith has been called Man-Bear-Pig before, in reference to his unapologetic man-handling of waves. Doesn’t matter if he’s at Snapper, J-Bay, Chopes, Trestles or at home in New Pier, Jordy hits hard. He’s one the few men who looks truly comfortable at Bells and and doesn’t mind riding some extra chunk out there. Wanna know some of his most vivid memories from these waves? And, where he’d rather surf outta Trestles and New Pier? Dig on his words below.

Interview by Craig Jarvis
Portrait by Shinya Dalby

Stab: Which waves at Snapper are the best scorers?
Jordy: The swell direction has to be spot on at Snapper, otherwise you’ll be practicing cutbacks, which won’t get you the scores you need. If you’re looking for the barrel, you’ll find it deep behind the rock. I choose the waves that look small to start, but show the potential for growing down the line. Those are the highest scoring rides every time at Snapper. They stand up right ’til they closeout.

Bells ain’t always easy. What do you ride out there? Bells is a tricky wave, you need different equipment to surf it. I thicken my boards up and widen them to carry me through the flat spots. That volume also makes it way easier to catch waves. I enjoy Bells. If the contest moves to Winki, then even better.

Describe your best-ever session at your homebreak, New Pier in Durban. I was 17 and the bowl was going mental. It was five feet out the back and these four-foot bowl reforms were so perfect, I couldn’t believe it was New Pier. I thought I was surfing some secret new Indo discovery. Every single wave barrelled, some up to eight seconds. I was taking off, setting up and pulling in for over five hours.

Combing Reunion Island's rich soil with rake and rail. Photo by Ryan Miller

Combing Reunion Island’s rich soil with rake and rail. Photo by Ryan Miller

Trestles or New Pier? New Pier. Trestles is insane and actually the clichéd skatepark, and you can do anything out there, but if I had to choose I’d go for New Pier. Also, although it looks like a straightforward right-hander coming off a pier, there’s a lot to it. Having local knowledge is huge.

Please recall your best J-Bay wave during competition (10-point ride in 2012 against Pat Gudauskas and Filipe Toledo). You don’t get many 10s, so I store every one in the memory bank. At the start of that heat, I broke my fin paddling out. You don’t wanna waste time when Supers is firing. By the time I swapped boards, there’d already been eight-plus rides. I was so pissed. I needed a score with one minute on the clock. I saw this wave coming and was so excited paddling into it I almost slipped off my tail pad. The wave was a full speed track for carves, then it lined up over the Car Park section and I timed it perfectly – straight outta the barrel into a layback. I heard the commentator call ten points. I heard the crowd roar. That crowd cheering thing at Supers is insane.

Your rib-breaker at Chopes. Discuss. At that point, I was first in the world, aiming for a world title. When I saw that wave coming I knew it’d either be a 10-point ride or end in tears. I get way more excited about big lefts these days ’cause it’s something that’s so rare for me. I thought if I could get enough speed off the bottom I’d be able to stand up and let go the rail in what would’ve been the day’s best barrel. But, it ended in tears. It comes with the territory. The actual injury hurt like a bitch. I surfed the heat with broken ribs, but eventually couldn’t bear the pain.

You log most your time at Llandudno now. You can surf all day in Durban temperature, but Llandudno is such a different wave where I thought I could work on a different part of my surfing. It’s wedgy and powerful, the kind of setup that allows for a lot of airtime. I thought if I could do it in cold water, then when I got into warm water it’d be easy as pie. Another thing is that Llandudno is a full-on swell magnet, and that’s something I dig. It also barrels pretty hard and thick.

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