Supertubos Dishes Out First 10 Of The Season, JJF’s Snapped Pyzel Starts A 3-Way Board Snatch - Stab Mag
'I yelled at my tele,' wrote one commenter. Me too. Callum Robson somehow knifed this drop with five minutes remaining before getting spat into the channel. Score was handed out seconds later. A unanimous 10 and the season's first. Photo by WSL

Supertubos Dishes Out First 10 Of The Season, JJF’s Snapped Pyzel Starts A 3-Way Board Snatch

But how much will Callum Robson’s excess baggage be for a Yeti cooler?

news // Mar 13, 2023
Words by Billy Wilson
Reading Time: 9 minutes

There was carnage this morning. Forget the pagan gods – it was biblical out there.

And on the second day, before He’d properly finished wresting order from the chaos, God said, ‘Let there be a Yeti® cool box already.’

Don’t you love the smell of fear and sardines in the morning? Part of the fear stemmed from the fact that – like an infantry regiment tip-toeing through the Mekong River Delta before dawn, under cover of darkness – no one could really see much yet. You kind of know what’s out there, and you know it wants to kill you, you’re just not sure how or where or when, or how undergunned you’ll be.


  • Callum Robson gets the season’s first 10 for late-drop into square brown pit – wins Yeti cooler for his efforts – WSL then called the event off (probs the right call)
  • John Florence loses heat to Rio Waida, two grown men try to snatch his broken Pyzel from a child in shorebreak 
  • Leandro Dora camp all get wins: Robbo, Yago, Gentil
  • 6/18 male surfers remaining are goofyfoots 
  • John Florence, Kelly Slater and Filipe Toledo axed
This went from laughter to boos pretty quickly. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League)

Caio Ibelli won the first heat, coming in halfway through to swap his 6’0 for a 6’4. He said afterwards he was ‘surprised they called the contest on without even seeing the waves, it was still dark.’ He also said that if he had an inflation vest he’d have definitely worn it. ‘Good luck, be safe,’ were apparently his parting words to his comrades-in-arms, pre paddle out.

Basically, Renato Hickel and co. had gone for the old ‘right, we’ll turn up before first light and get changed in the dark’ approach. You know the one: it could be shit or it could be pumping, but at least you’ll get wet, start the day off right.

Usually the situation’s a little different, though – a few feet of friendly swell on the forecast, say, and you’re not sure if it’s arrived yet. This morning, however, was fucking huge. And it’s not like Lt. Col. Hickel was leading his troops into battle. He was safely at the rear, barking orders into one of those portable field telephones, and starting to sound a little panicked. (I’m thinking of Nick Nolte’s character in The Thin Red Line, to whom the acting commish bears a passing resemblance.)

A drowning wouldn’t have been ideal on the optics front. Thankfully everyone made it out alive, in body if not in spirit.

Zeke got the vision, unfortunately not the score. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League)

Stumbling out of the chaos of the primeval soup, eliminated with a 4.33 heat total, Kolohe Andino cut a distinctly forlorn figure: unshaven, bedraggled, shoulders slumped… basically Castaway vibes except for the wetsuit and rashy. As he trudged up the beach contemplating his competitive mortality, all that unfulfilled promise, some little shite comes up and asks him for an autograph. The stones on the lad! For a moment you worried Kolohe might bayonet him with the nose of his Mayhem. But he handled the situation with grace, smiled good-naturedly at the absurdity of it all, signed his name.

When he was knocked out at Sunset, Kolohe was livid, smashed his board, raged against the dying of the light. Here he seemed resigned to his fate. This is the way Andino ends: not with a bang but a whimper.

The sense of chaos continued to build. Even with the dropping tide, a surge lapped at the feet of the contest site and the knees of the early-morning crowd, almost the entirety of which was caught off-guard. A mad scramble up the beach, the whitewater withdrawing, panic giving way to embarrassment and the cold, miserable reality of wet socks and shoes… there are few more satisfying sights. Meanwhile, in addition to the ten-foot lumps of swell assaulting the line-up from one direction, several feet of backwash ambushed it from the other.

Slater, in the next heat, was forced to launch himself off the precipice of one of these ten footers, and took an awfully long while to reach the trough of the wave. He probably had time to ponder his fate, both short-term and long-term, and/or count the seconds tick by on his Apple watch. Belly looked on, inscrutable as ever.

Lots of hidden steps today. Not even Kelly could see them in the fog. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League)

Inevitably, the broadcast also partook of the chaos. In that second heat of the morning, when few waves were being ridden, they cut to a full-screen interview with Ibelli exactly as Igarashi was paddling for a wave. Then with 5 mins to go, Slater and Igarashi’s world-tour prospects hanging in the balance, it was deemed a suitable moment to play a pre-recorded segment of Kanoa talking about a tennis player. Thus we missed one wave from Slater and one from Igarashi himself. There were replays, to be sure, but nobody tunes into live sport for the replays.

In the end both Slater and Igarashi advanced, but elimination was delayed only until the afternoon. Slater was beaten by fellow Round 2 survivor Joao Chianca. Needing a 5-point ride with a minute and a half left, he let pass under him a medium-size barrelling right that was caught instead by Joan Duru, surfing in the non-priority heat. Duru scored a mid-6.

Darkhorse Joan, big ups if you put money on his head. Big leaves falling in your account soon. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

Igarashi would lose to Sammy Pupo in one of the better Round 3 contests. The margin of defeat could have been narrower, indeed the result might conceivably have gone the other way. But for once the judges seemed ill-disposed towards him, perhaps because it was his opponent who manufactured the drama and not he. Pupo took the lead in the closing minutes, having trailed all heat.

For many of us, watching pro surfing is, to a large and possibly shameful degree, an exercise in schadenfreude: the desperation of a Hickel, the wet feet of an unsuspecting spectator, the humbling of an Igarashi. But unless you’re completely dead inside, the schadenfreude is surely punctuated by occasional moments of joy: beautiful, life-affirming moments that bloom suddenly and unexpectedly amid the weeds.

Callum Robson’s ten-point ride in the final heat of Round 2 was one such moment. Yesterday your correspondent presciently described Callum Robson as ‘a threat in hollow and unruly surf’. And now the cunt’s got himself one of those Yeti things, the prize offered this season to any surfer who achieves perfection. If he’s not trundling it up and down the beach handing out free Coronas for the remainder of the comp, it will be a missed marketing opportunity.

Cal-Ten after was walking on the clouds after being sneezed out of THAT pit. Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League

There were 5 minutes left of the heat. To dislodge Maxine Huscenot in second place Robson needed a mid-8, a score no one had yet got near. It didn’t seem likely. Huscenot possibly allowed himself to think that his luck might be about to change, but the crucial moment came and Robson had priority. He turned, paddled like fuck, and you wonder how much he remembers of the next five or six seconds – what details he retains, how long and how tightly he will cling to them. Perhaps in his dotage they’ll give him solace. Perhaps he’ll describe them to everyone he meets, while offering them a lukewarm stubby from his ancient-looking cooler.

He said afterwards he was going to go and write down some thoughts before his next heat. I for one would like to know what he wrote.

Slightly awkwardly, when the score dropped, Renato had just announced the comp was going on hold for a few hours, on account of the low tide and diminished opportunities. The surf gods smirked. Renato held firm, and it seemed like a strange call, but on reflection was probably the right one.

Joao, on hold. Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League

Huscenot, who now has two last-place finishes and a last-but-one from three events, stayed out for an hour after his heat, waiting for what he probably felt he was owed, some consoling vision of his own. He didn’t catch a single wave. The line-up did not fill with free-surfers; John John and Jack didn’t grab their step-ups and spend lunchtime trading tubes.

When heats resumed, the afternoon didn’t fully deliver on the promise of the morning. John John looked assured yesterday but he floundered somewhat today, and lost to Rio Waida. Jack, on the other hand, faced minimal resistance from Tiago Carrique, who had surfed valiantly in the morning. Ian Gentil continues his serene progress through the rounds, and Yago Dora also advanced, which I think makes it another full house for coach Leandro.

Both Callinan and O’Leary are through to the last sixteen, making it a good day for Dog Marsh, too. Eyes twitching with nervous energy, he nonetheless had the look of a man who might know something we don’t.

Another angle of the season’s first 10 for good measure. Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League

Gamble Ramble was throwing around some wild odds today, and anyone who bet the underdogs capitalized. Mikey C’s biggest win came on the back of Big Dick Power Surfer’s pre-event prediction (go Joan!), but he was too scared to bite on the major JJF upset. Shame.

Men’s R2

  • $20 on Caio Ibelli at +135 (to win $27) WON
  • $50 on Kelly Slater at +165 (to win $83) LOST
  • $20 on Zeke Lau at +300 (to win $60) LOST
  • $10 on Maxime Huscenot at +550 (to win $55) LOST

Men’s R3

  • $40 on Joao Duru at +425 (to win $130) WON
  • $30 on Kelly Slater at +200 (to win $60) LOST
  • $20 on LOB at -130 (to win $15) LOST
  • $20 on Ian Gentil at +115 (to win $23) WON
  • $20 on Sammy Pupo at +350 (to win $70) WON
  • $10 on Thiago Carrique at +700 (to win $70) LOST
  • $20 on R-Cal at +240 (to win $48) WON
  • $20 on Barron Mamiya at +110 (to win $22) WON
  • $10 on M-Rod at +425 (to in $43) LOST
  • $20 on Matthew McGillivray at +250 (to win $50) LOST

Event Winner

  • $20 on Joao chianca at +1400 to win $280
  • $10 on Caio Ibelli at +6600 to win $660
  • $10 on LOB at +10000 to win $1000 LOST
  • $10 on Leo Fioravanti at +6600 to win $660 LOST
  • $75 on Gabriel Medina at +400 to win $300
  • $10 on Yago Dora at +5000 to win $500
  • $50 on Italo Ferreira at +650 to win $325
  • $15 on Sally fitz at +2500 to win $375
  • $50 on Tati WW at +600 to win $300

Day 2 earnings: $130

Event earnings: $76

Remaining Men’s R3 heats

  • $20 on Seth Moniz at +700 (to win $120)
  • $10 on Jack Baker at +550 (to win $55)

Women’s R3

  • $20 on Isabella Nichols at +160 (to win $32)
  • $100 on Tatiana Weston-Webb at -200 (to win $50)
  • $50 on Sally Fitzgibbon’s at +135 (to win $68)
  • $20 on Gabriela Bryan at +120 (to win $24)
  • $20 on Macy Callaghan at +135 (to win $27)
  • $20 on Caity Simmers at +120 (to win $24)

Make your own picks on

Miguel Pupo, wasn’t in great sorts after his heat today. Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League


MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Round of 32 Results:

  • HEAT 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.57 DEF. Carlos Munoz (CRC) 8.30
  • HEAT 2: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.27 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 9.66
  • HEAT 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.23 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 11.43
  • HEAT 4: Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.54 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.83
  • HEAT 5: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.84 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 6.17
  • HEAT 6: Callum Robson (AUS) 6.73 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 6.50
  • HEAT 7: Ian Gentil (HAW) 11.20 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 3.94
  • HEAT 8: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 14.40 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.27
  • HEAT 9: Jack Robinson (AUS) 10.93 DEF. Tiago Carrique (FRA) 5.93
  • HEAT 10: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.10 DEF. Jordy Smith (RSA) 10.07
  • HEAT 11: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 12.17 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.40
  • HEAT 12: Rio Waida (INA) 9.30 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 9.17
  • HEAT 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.94 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 3.73
  • HEAT 14: Yago Dora (BRA) 10.93 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 10.70
  • MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Elimination Round Results:
  • HEAT 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.57 DEF. Tiago Carrique (FRA) 4.57, Kolohe Andino (USA) 4.33
  • HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.00 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 6.20, Frederico Morais (POR) 5.46
  • HEAT 3: Joao Chianca (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 7.83, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 3.43
  • HEAT 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.16 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 12.50, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.84


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