Stab Magazine | Observations from day 3 of France
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Observations from day 3 of France

Words by Damien Fahrenfort Day three of competition just wrapped up and wasn’t it just a treat compared to the tough, wonky conditions of the first two days? This morning kicked off with some groomed walls and uh, the gals… But Kieran nailed it this time. That evening glow allowed for all of us in […]

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

Words by Damien Fahrenfort

Day three of competition just wrapped up and wasn’t it just a treat compared to the tough, wonky conditions of the first two days? This morning kicked off with some groomed walls and uh, the gals… But Kieran nailed it this time. That evening glow allowed for all of us in the US to enjoy the firing waves. The surfing didn’t disappoint and the usual suspects prevailed, minus the odd upset. Below is my skewered and jaded account of what unfolded.

Jules getting it done.
Airs in that offshore wind are seriously hard and only the best of the best air guys can do them. Jules went out and turned two potentially three point rides into two sevens to take out Brett Simpson. Sure, Julian could’ve beat Simpo in his sleep but in the past he might have lost in a slow heat like that. It’s good to see him getting busy and piecing it all together. It’s that same form that Mick and Slater have when they’re on top. They make it happen no matter what the conditions are like. And, are sure to always be on the winning side of a slow heat.

Slater’s out for Portugal.
Age can be a bitch and it’s slowly been creeping up on Kelly. Sure, he’s still pulling off a hail mary from time to time but the chronic issues are starting to kick in. Let’s all remind ourselves that he’s almost in his mid-40s; that’s more than half way through his life. Now, I’m not making excuses for him but it looks as though he’s starting to really feel those aches and pains and when that starts, the fun ends. Kelly’s had two injuries in two surfs. First he concussed himself, then he may have separated his ribs. Whether he’s using it as an excuse or not, the king announced that he’ll be skipping Portugal and focusing on Pipe… unless the forecast for Portugal looks the best it’s ever been.

There’s a bit of energy, aye Brother?
Holy shit, how was that air? I bet when Kelly decided not to go on that wave he never expected Brother to crank one like that. Most airs like that are on account of perfect onshore air wind as opposed to howling offshore. It was a boost that could’ve been the closing scene to Cluster. Brother dismantled Kelly this morning and it might have something to do with him just coming fresh off a win. His confidence is soaring and let’s hope he is on the up and up. It would be great to see him find some form this year and qualify through the World Tour and not the QS.

Bede should’ve combo’d Ace.
The judges are still scoring claims, it’s crazy. Ace’s 7.83 to retake the lead consisted of one decent snap, two cutbacks, a wonky half turn finish and a claim. Boom, there you go Ace! The score you needed. The difference in surfing and wave size between Bede and Ace’s scoring waves was night and day. If you’re a backhand surfer you can get away with turning before the lip and getting high scores. It almost happened again with Gabs and CJ, but that’s a conversation for another observation.

Even that haters will love Gabs by the end of the year.
The kid’s becoming a genuinely good bloke. He’s casual, speaks well and looks like he’s really enjoying it. Plus, the young cat’s slaying all the best models Brazil has to offer. His backhand surfing is so far ahead of anyone on tour, including the natural footers. He got really robbed at Lowers in his heat with Mick when he unleashed on a right and didn’t get rewarded but it seems like the judges corrected it this time around. CJ ripped on his eight but the difference in surfing was uncanny. Gabs is turning through the lip, where most of the other goofyfooters take a harder bottom turn then turn slightly early. This excludes Owen of course, he and Gabs have a pendulum style bottom turn that’s drawn out long and smooth before they take a hefty top-turn.

This was Dane’s chance to shine.
And to show that he’s still one of the best surfers in the world, and I believe he did. Sure, he lost to Owen, who was tearing, but he did all he could on the waves he got. He turned hard and his moves looked good. What I see as the noticeable difference between the best freesurfers in the world and the best surfers on tour is their consistency. They tend to complete a lot more waves even while they’re doing moves that would make movie sections. Rumor is that he’s been surfing a ton while in France so let’s hope we get to see an edit soon.

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