Stab Magazine | The First Half Of Men's Round Three Was (Almost) Painful To Watch

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The First Half Of Men’s Round Three Was (Almost) Painful To Watch

Parko, John John and Jordy reflect on a mindless afternoon at Snapper. 

news // Mar 18, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

If Joel Parkinson is feeling butterflies, you’re watching something special. The Snapper local and former Quiksilver Pro champion confessed to as much as he lined up a careless Snapper grinder for a 9.67 during one of the several mind-boggling heats this afternoon.

“I did (get butterflies) on that one,” he said, “but it still had chatter on the wave,” he said.

He backed it up with a 7.67 for a comfortable win over Brazilian Miguel Pupo. When asked if these were some of the best conditions he’d ever contested at Snapper, Parko played it down.

“Probably not. It wasn’t that good,” he said, then added, “Maybe I forgot how good it was. I just thought it was an average three foot. If it had of been a touch bigger and a touch more east in the swell it would have been amazing but it’s kinda south and goes away from it, so it’s a bit cutback-central. As I said I’m looking for a dream wave, a barrel from top to bottom,” he said.

As the tide continued to bottom out, however, the surf entered another realm. Italo Ferreira was up next, dropping a 9.77 to knock out fellow Brazilian Caio Ibelli. It capped a remarkable day for the former rookie of the year who in round two dropped a perfect ten with a high-velocity rotation the heat prior.

Reigning world champ John John Florence struggled to find his rhythm against Australian wildcard, Mikey Wright. The south coast, mullet-man opened up with a dreamy one behind the rock, flying out of the tube and into a speed carve in the bowl. He controlled the heat for the majority, watching on as John John coughed up a set wave and blew an air reverse when classical lines and tube riding would have sufficed.

“It was definitely a high-risk option,” said John afterwards. “I think that was my free surf self coming out, you know. That wave I was pumping down the line and the wind was blowing back into it and I was like, how can I not do an air right now? Which probably wasn’t the best competitively,” he said.

With two minutes remaining, the world champ jagged an inside nugget under Wright’s priority glueing four stabs and hacks to the pocket before getting drained on the inside. He emerged and gaffed another turn, dropping down another ledge and into the tube for a 7.90 and a narrow victory.

“I have some things to work on from that heat, which is cool to have and make it,” he said. “I made some mistakes.”

And finally, Jordy Smith who somehow escaped round three despite his opponent, rookie Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau racking up a perfect ten for the day’s best tube: a freighting, sheet-glass drainer in which he stood tall for a moment before stepping on the gas and weaving above the foam ball.

“To be honest, in that heat, that’s exactly why we do this tour because to get moments like that where you’re in an arena, going neck and neck, wave for wave. That’s it for me; that’s the pinnacle,” said Jordy.


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