5.33? Them's fighting words!
Nobody Likes Losing, Especially Kolohe Andino
RIP Kolohe's Locker.
It was a moody morning in Southern California.
Yesterday’s sunny skies, calm winds, and fledgling lines were replaced with gray and bumpy and bleh. While the waves weren’t bad per se, they were difficult to surf, which kinda defeats the purpose of Lowers. This wave is meant to make Bob and Jane look like rockstars, not leave Kolohe bogging in the flats. Speaking of…
Kolohe: another Lowers loss, another sore hand.
Have you ever seen Kolohe surf Lowers out of a contest jersey? He’s incredible. Smooth, powerful, commanding. Then, without fail, Kolohe slips on his lycra and everything goes to hell. Turns look forced, airs lose their pop, and there's a chronic deficit of flow. But surely, surely this would be the year that Kolohe breaks his curse and takes California to victory (for the first time since 2009(!)). Right? Wrong.
In his round two joust with Jadson Andre, Kolohe waited too long to get a wave, surfed a very average 7.17, and was left needing a mid-5 in the dying minutes. Taking off on his final attempt, Kolohe nailed the first turn, slipped on the second and the third, then capped it with a small, clean rotation.
Kolohe didn’t hear the score, which was four-tenths of a point short, until he’d reached the competitors' area. After a moment of contemplation, Kolohe cocked his head, thought eh, fuck it, and belted his locker like heartbroken sixth grader. You could almost hear Dave Prodan, screaming to the control center, “Switch to camera 4!”
But if there's one thing to remember from this event, it's not Kolohe's uncharacteristic surfing, nor his characteristic outburst, but his altruism toward victims of the recent hurricanes back east. In a recent Instagram post, Kolohe pledged his Lowers contest winnings to the people of Florida and Texas. Because Kolohe lost in round two ($10k payout), and because he pledged a minimum of $20,000, Kolohe will be paying a healthy sum out of pocket to help those in need. Nothing like charitable giving to mend a broken heart.
A fun stat.
Today on the webcast, Rondogg noted there are only eight surfers in the top-34 (25% of the total) who haven’t made a CT final in their careers. And this seems... incredibly low, no? Like really a lot of guys in finals.
Further research indicates that only sixteen surfers on tour (47%) have won an event, which helps Keanu Asing sleep at night but also tears at Kolohe's barely-mended heart.
The new priority rule.
Today we got to learn about a new and unreported rule from Leo and Wiggolly's heat. Richie Porta explains: "According to the new rule, priority can be awarded to a surfer (in this case Leo) if his competitor (in this case Wiggolly) makes a committed paddle for a wave in order to block another surfer, even in non-priority situations (i.e. the beginning of a heat).
Now I'm fine with the rule but, why not just go all the way and determine priority before the heat starts? Have a coin flip, a dick-measuring contest, whatever. If I wanted to see lineup jostling, I'd go to Lowers any other day of the year. Let the guys and gals shred in relative peace.
The 2017 Lowers Pro Champion progressed.
In an interview last week, Zeke Lau told me he was gonna stop “contest surfing” and start competing with confidence at Lowers. On the terrible waves he caught yesterday, Zeke did exactly that, turning would-be fours into sixes and sevens. Today he paired this aggressive surfing with impeccable wave selection and… voila! 17 points and an easy heat win. Only five more to go.
Round Two Results:
Heat 5: Jadson Andre 12.93 def. Kolohe Andino 12.50
Heat 6: Miguel Pupo 14.60 def. Michel Bourez 13.67
Heat 7: Joan Duru 14.83 def. Nat Young 10.50
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan 14.60 def. Stuart Kennedy 13.70
Heat 9: Wiggolly Dantas 14.84 def. Leonardo Fioravanti 7.60
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi 13.80 def. Caio Ibelli 11.30
Heat 11: Italo Ferreira 15.93 def. Jack Freestone 14.74
Heat 12: Ezekiel Lau 16.83 def. Ian Gouveia 10.50
Round Three Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza vs. Josh Kerr
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz vs. Italo Ferreira
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina vs. Jadson Andre
Heat 4: Frederico Morais vs. Ezekiel Lau
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan vs. Wiggolly Dantas
Heat 6: Jordy Smith vs. Evan Geiselman
Heat 7: John John Florence vs. Hiroto Ohhara
Heat 8: Conner Coffin vs. Jeremy Flores
Heat 9: Mick Fanning vs. Kanoa Igarashi
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo vs. Miguel Pupo
Heat 11: Joan Duru vs. Bede Durbidge
Heat 12: Julian Wilson vs. Ethan Ewing