Rock Hopping Punts, A Soup Bowl, And The Usual Suspects - Stab Mag
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Yago Dora, came in real hot after being injured for the best part of a year. Today he stomped a torched inverted, no-grab, corkscrew full-rotation and copped a nine for it. Afterwards, he said that it was “the most exciting moment I’ve had since the injury.” Photo by WSL

Rock Hopping Punts, A Soup Bowl, And The Usual Suspects

A handful of airs and a whole lot of rocks on day one of El Salvador’s first ever CT event.

news // Jun 16, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Day one of El Salvador looked (and sounded) like someone stuffed an old pair of shoes, a bowling ball, and $3.74 in pennies into a washing mashing and hit the turbo jets. Here’s what happened:

TLDR

  • Waves started off appallingly bad, progressed to “not so bad”, to “pretty fun” by the end of the day
  • The wind blew ESE most of the day, great for airs, bad for everything else
  • Yago Dora landed an upside down hail-mary corkscrew in what he called “the most exciting moment he’s had since his injury.”
  • Filipe, Gabe, and Robbo dominated as they did at G-Land
  • Brisa Hennessey finds out why Punta Roca is called Punta Roca. (Hint: There’s a lot of rocks.)
  • Josh Burke, Kelly’s replacement, didn’t make his first heat, but looked surprisingly good. Who is this guy?

Just glad to get going…

The day started bright and early with Jesse Miley-Dyer calling the competition on using the words “really good” and “very excited.”  Two-foot, onshore Punta Roca filled the screen in the next shot, and everyone was mad. We don’t blame you if you went back to bed.

The worst part about the conditions – the wind – was also the only good part. The direction was ESE, which blows directly into the bowl at Punta Roca, and made for some proper air sections. Yago Dora hit them.

The day started with the Women’s Opening Round, where speed generation was the name of the game. Lakey and Courtney looked dominant in their heats, respectively demolishing the best two waves of the morning. Carissa looked like she was still warming up, and Tati looked she was still on Grajagan time, and lost.

Unfortunately, after coming out guns blazing, Brisa Hennessey sliced her heel open on a barnacle, finished her heat (somehow) and received 8 stitches. She still surfed her next heat against Caroline Marks, and surfed it fucking well despite hurty footy. She was barely edged out by Marks, but we’ll be damned if we don’t respect the grit.

Brisa, hammering in her first heat (Photo by Pat Nolan/World Surf League)

Much hullabaloo was made of the finesse needed to get in and out the water, and everyone seemed to find out why Punta Roca translates to “Rock Point.”  Well, everyone except Gabe and Jaddy, who ran across the rocks like they were playing footy on the beach.

By the time the Men’s opening round was in the water, the cheese breeze was full blast, and flashbacks of ruler edged Grajagan were making us wonder why we ever complained about a head high, offshore, Indonesian playground. The guys made the most of it, however, and the relatability of the conditions combined with completely unrelatable airs were the redeeming qualities of the day.

By the end of the Men’s OR, the wind had eased, and the women in the following Elimination Round were blessed with far more organized walls and significantly larger sets. The scores reflected it. Carissa put up a 15.83 heat total and Steph dropped a 14.4, both of which would have won almost every other heat of the day.  The ocean still looked a touch confused, but the conditions weren’t even comparable to the slop that the men dealt with throughout the day.

Not bad, but not quite firing either. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Come-Ups

Peak performance: Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina both looked like Jedi Masters at the peak of their powers

Hit replay: Mens OR, Heat 1: Jordy, Ethan, Yago

Monster maneuver: Yago’s upside down rock-hop full-rote in his first heat.

One-liners: “Chicken Joe…maybe the greatest goofy footer of all time” – Mitchell Salazar on goofy footers Connor O’Leary might look up to.

By far the most notable moment of the day was Yago Dora taking off extremely deep, chop-hopping over Mama Roca, and hucking the most inverted, no-grab, corkscrew full-rotation we’ve seen in competition for a long time. We’re not certain if he even thought he was going to land it.  Afterwards, he said that it was “the most exciting moment I’ve had since the injury.” He easily took the heat by virtue of the nine the judges threw at him. Oh, and Jordy went over the falls watching him clear for takeoff.

Yago counting the Insta likes. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Lakey seemed right at home early on. She kicked the teeth out of one of the best waves of the morning for a 6.83 to overcome Gabriela Bryan (who looked pretty fired up) and Tatiana (who looked a bit lost). Courtney and Isabella both showed flashes of potential competition winning form. Isabella maybe even flashes of a young Stephanie Gilmore. Style, confidence, and speed etc, even in the face of dismal conditions.

In the women’s elimination round, Carissa went beastmode against Tia Blanco, recovering from a slow opening heat. The waves suited her nicely, with more of an open, powerful wall than in the morning. TUS champ struggled. Despite the fact Riss still hasn’t won an event this season, we’d probably put money on her winning this one.

Ethan Ewing looked all style and flow, again, clicking about 30 turns (and a ~head dip~) in 3 or 4 waves. He would have easily won his heat had Yago not gone full ballistic missile mode. There’s hardly any point in re-hashing how damn technical Ethan is. It’s safe to say there isn’t a single surfer in the world who wouldn’t sacrifice a lot to surf like the blonde-headed boy from Straddy.

Filipe’s brand of surfing was pretty much unbeatable today, and it’s hard to see him losing. Unless, of course, the Real Slim Shady decides to stand up and steal the judges hearts.

Robbo about to release the hardest mixtape of 1999 (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Jack Robinson, with a newly bleached hair, cruised through his heat with the confidence of a world champion. We’d probably surf that confident too if we’d gone back-to back.

Gabe was loose, confident, and despite saying it was “pretty hard to surf out there,” made mincemeat of the soup bowls on offer. New necklace too. Yeah you.

Who else looked good? Steph had a moment of elegance, Jacko put on for the everyman, and Miggy was driving it like he stole it.

Let-downs

Caught behind: Carlos Munoz and Callum Robson both looked lost in the soup. Maybe they thought there was still a limit to how many waves you can catch?

Blind mice: Nothing to see here. Judging was on point.

Say what?  JMD claiming the “waves look really fun” during the call.  

It’s surfing, the waves aren’t always firing, and that’s ok. But… can we agree not to pretend they’re good when they’re crumbly, chest high, and mixed up? We hate to use the word Orwellian with the WSL, mostly because it just seems like they’re frothed out and a touch misled, but watching Strider shout the words “I think the wind is already getting lighter,” while sitting in a field of whitecaps is at least somewhat questionable.

Ok. Enough complaining.

It was a bit disappointing – mostly on the front of empathy – to see Carlos Munoz flounder in his Central American CT debut. Hardly even paddled for a wave. Hopefully he bounces back in his Elimination heat against Griff.

Caught between Jaddy and Gabe, Callum looked like a lost puppy in a forest full of wolves. 

Miscellanea

Mitchell Salazar joined the commentary crew today and was full of Spanish lessons, Tik Tok references, and opinions. He’s got a lot of personality, and calls it how he sees it. Can’t hate on el hombre but it definitely felt like the rest of the crew didn’t know what to do with him. Maybe the funniest moment of the day was Kaipo trying (and failing) to say the Spanish pronunciation of his own name. Jah bless, Tio Kaipo.

Probably, you hadn’t heard of Josh Burke before this competition, and maybe you still haven’t heard of him. Kelly Slater’s replacement from Barbados put up a damn good fight against Sammy Pupo and Robbo, courtesy of a few hefty reverses and a whole lot of speed. He even had the lead for a bit.  We’d say he’s definitely a guy to watch, though his next matchup is a rough fixture against Italo.  

Josh can throw tail with the best of em. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Gamble Ramble

Well, your writer here won $15 on Betonline.ag courtesy of Caio’s patience. (And betonline.ag canceling my bets on Matty and Nat Young due to a matchup reshuffle, thank god.) Not sure if I can really toot my own horn about that one.

As for Mikey’s picks:

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. And sometimes you lose a lot…but you still win.

It seems that’s the case today, as our resident bet-lord and statistician Mikey C managed to lose 9 out of his 10 bets, and still profited $10. Absurd. Up the Jacko! You seriously can’t not like that guy.  Lets get him in the commentary booth between all of his heats.

R1 picks here*: 

⁃ $10 on Samuel Pupo at +285 to win $29 LOST

⁃ $5 on Jake Marshall at +425 to win $21 LOST

⁃ $10 on Bryan Perez at +500 to win $50 LOST

⁃ $20 on Jackson Baker at +500 to win $100 WON

⁃ $15 on Callum Robson at +350 to win $53 LOST

⁃ $20 on Jordy Smith at +175 to win $35 LOST

• $10 on Gabriel Bryan at +350 to win $35 LOST

• $10 on Brisa Hennessy at +155 to win $16 LOST

• $10 on Johanne Defay at +165 to win $17 LOST

Day 1 earnings: $10

Total event earnings: $10

Results

Surf City El Salvador Pro Women’s Opening Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.16 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.27, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 7.57
HEAT 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.13 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.50, Tia Blanco (USA) 8.67
HEAT 3: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.53 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 9.17, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 7.44
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.87 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 8.50, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.34

Surf City El Salvador Pro Women’s Elimination Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.66 DEF. Tia Blanco (USA) 7.84
HEAT 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.26 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.47
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 13.30 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 10.44
HEAT 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.40 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 9.13

Surf City El Salvador Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
HEAT 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)

Surf City El Salvador Pro Men’s Opening Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.27 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.00, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.73
HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.70 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.03, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 3.27
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.67 DEF. Josh Burke (BRB) 10.00, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 9.93
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 10.66, Bryan Perez (SLV) 8.96
HEAT 5: Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.84 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.17, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.50
HEAT 6: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.00 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 10.33, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.60
HEAT 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.86, Callum Robson (AUS) 4.70
HEAT 8: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 13.50 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.93, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 10.94

Surf City El Salvador Pro Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Bryan Perez (SLV)
HEAT 2: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Josh Burke (BRB)
HEAT 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
HEAT 5: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Carlos Munoz (CRI)
HEAT 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 8: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)

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