Stab Magazine | That Filipe Toledo And John Florence Heat Was A Thrill

That Filipe Toledo And John Florence Heat Was A Thrill

Wilko’s out, and it’s time for Gabriel Medina and Mr Florence to slip away. 

news // Oct 9, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Conner Coffin’s almost a throwback,” said Ross Williams, finishing with, “He doesn’t have that fidgety style…” Either way, he got beaten by current world champ Adriano, proving that manoeuvres always trump style. At 24th on the Jeep Leader Board, Conner might have to start forcing a few moves, get a bit fidgety for points and a chance at requalification.

He looked good in loss, while Matt Banting looked average in victory against Italo Ferreira. Banting was grateful for the win. “It’s going to be good to have an opportunity going forward,” said Banting. “I was really just trying to deal with nerves and hope I was going to take it. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I’ll take it.”

The John John Florence v Ryan Callinan battle was a warm thrill, with John John powering through big carves and full rail turns as well as rotations giving him an early lead, banking 7.83 and an 8.97 for a convincing lead. After digesting the JJF scores and moves, Ryan knew he had to go for broke to have a chance. He threw a big rotation on his backhand and landed cleanly. Sitting in the top 10 on the QS is Callinan’s back up, he can requalify through that route.

John John wanted to come back. He was leaping and falling. while Callinan lurked. He needed a 7.67. There was a wave at the end, and it was John’s priority. John John went, blocking the final wave from Ryan leaving him stranded.

“I’m stoked for Ryan,” said John. “He really pushed me. It was a battle and it’s good when it’s a battle but it’s great when it’s over and you win. I’m feeling really good. I’ve surfed a couple of heats with the Yellow Jersey and I’m getting into a rhythm. When I came in the crowd was just crazy. I couldn’t even walk. It was like Oh. My. Gosh. But it was super fun”

Gabriel Medina in his round three heat, took to the sky for a lofty air–that he nearly made. It would have been a ten. He was fully inverted about ten feet above the lip but didn’t pull it off. Leo, on the other hand, was having a quiet start. He couldn’t find a score for the first ten minutes. He was playing patient, which has been working – the wildcard’s beaten Kelly twice of late. With 15 minutes to go, he was sitting with 1.16 and deeply combo’d. Gabby took to the air again and then Leo took to the barrel. It was a great tube, thick and deep, which he capped it off with a cool carve for 8.57.

The camera panned onto Pete Mel who had found one of Gabby’s boards with measurements on it, a rare find. Pete explained on the dims, the particular foil of the FCS2 fins, and started on a few other interesting facts until Charlie came and snatched it from him on camera. He then sat, watched the heat while the camera hung on him and hung on him and hung on him– he eventually smiled.

In the background, a split peak appeared with both surfers going to their forehand. Leo on the right, and Gabby on the left. Gabby fluffed his finish, and Leo hooked a 4.33 while needing a 4.77. It was a little frustrating, with everyone cheering for the underdog from Rome. Our world title contender came out unscathed, barely.

“That was a good win,” said Gabby “Leo is a dangerous guy. It was a tough heat. I was just trying to find a good one at the end.

To finish the script that “can’t be scripted”, Wilko was ushered out of the event by fellow goofy-footer Kai Otton. At this stage, one can’t help but feel sympathy for Wilko. He couldn’t buy a score out there. He bows out, and the two horse race pulls away from the pack.

The round four heat between Toledo, Florence and Kennedy was ethereal. John’s airs were crazy, but nothing could prepare us for the animal inside Mr Toledo. He took off on a good looking left, hucked himself into the air, spun perfectly with massive projection and a gymnast landing for a ten. That move could be one of the biggest and wildest airs of the year, and he finished it off with a tight little backhand crack to emphasise his dominance. John John was doing everything as well with barrels and airs, but Toledo was the man of the moment in the heat of the year.

Title race? To be honest, wide open.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022