The waves in question are Kolohe's at 3:12 and Italo's at 4:42.
"Nothing's Wrong With Saying A Score Was Generous." - Kelly Slater
The internet reacts in fire, fury, and opinion to the Italo Ferreira x Kolohe Andino final.
If you've never been to a WSL Championship Tour event, you might not be aware of the judges' on-location privacy. In the tallest of towers, the whole lot of them work diligently in near solitude - this was not the case at D-Bah, due to the late move and lack of set up at the contest venue.
Still, in their den, they compare and contrast each wave. They've got the technology to analyze. Every. Little. Thing. After all, it's twentynineteen...
Those side by side comparisons the commentators love to analyze on the webcast is the most basic of the judges' resources. It's worth noting that, out of the five judges scrutinizing each wave, at the Quik Pro, only one judge on the panel flew a Brazilian flag.
Surfing is, and will always be, subjective. And, in a competitive atmosphere with a playing field uneven to the most literal degree – criticism runs rampant.
After the final buzzer of the Quik Pro, Italo Ferreira was the victor in a heat that, at least for a moment, seemed Kolohe would break the California curse – winning the first event for the Golden slackers since Bobby Martinez won Chopes a decade back.
Following the event, as is a tradition in the dotcom world, the furious patrons took sides – some turning to nationalism, and occasional racism, others did their best to make sense of the two scores.
In short, this is what happened:
Brother's high score (6.5) consisted of a lofty, tail high air-reverse. He landed nose first, and with a final twirl, Kolohe finished the wave with a single tag.
Italo on a small wave that at first looked to offer no opportunity for a score jammed toward the end section, delivering a full-rote. He landed cleanly in the flats and supported the maneuver with a no claim claim – falling headfirst into the whitewash. Italo received a 7 – .14 points more than he needed to take the lead.
Was Italo's twist better than Kolohe's? If we're going off pure rotation, yes.
Should Kolohe have blocked Italo from that wave? Debatable.
After the event, he said, "I would let that wave go 10/10 times, and I would again. It was waist high." But Italo's ability to draw blood from a dried up vein is what crowned him Stab Surfer of the Year by 50 of the most influential surfers in the world (and what brought him his fourth event win in two years).
Was it enough to push him that painful .14 points above Kolohe in the final? According to surfing's heavy hitters via Instagram, not quite. When we ran a poll yesterday, out of a field of nearly 5k voters on our site, 75 percent feel Kolohe should have won the final. And a similar percent on the beach felt just as passionate about this. As Michael Ciaramella reported yesterday, following the final call the crowd turned on the judges. "After it was announced that Italo Ferreira had won the 2019 Quik Pro Dbah, spectators turned to the judges, offering single fingers and an array of insults as they made their way past the tents. While judges have become accustomed to facing hate online, this is one of the first times they've had to confront their critics on a tangible plane."
It was a loss that stung, Kolohe's fourth time finishing second. And, also one, that he took most professionally. After the event, Kolohe posted a photo of him with hands clasped and a smile on the podium with the two Quik Pro champs, Italo and 17-year-old Caroline Marks.
The caption read:
Just wanted to say congrats to the three other surfers (@italoferreira @caroline_markss @rissmoore10). Also, thanks to the @wsl for this awesome life we get to live. It truly is remarkable! Thanks.
However, as the internet, especially Instagram, is the hub for fire, fury, and opinion, let's take a look at what some of surfing's heaviest hitters (and a few mid-to-featherweights) had to say on our and the WSL's page yesterday.
All comments below were plucked between Italo versus Kolohe fan-offs, Brazil versus Australia and United States xeno-offs, and people who will happily indulge in all of the WSL's free and polished webcast, and then make a point to say "FUCK THE WSL" or "World Shame League" which all seems a little unfair.
Today, it's easier to publicly hate than love. Liking, however, has never been simpler (double tap!).
Kelly Slater: Oh wow. The triggered comments are funny. Nothing wrong with just saying a score might’ve been generous. Everyone still thinks Italo is the man and one cool cat but a forced, on the lip reverse was scored generously in light of the overall event picture. Lots of people also felt Conner should’ve beaten JJF.
Nathan "Noodles" Webster: Italo on another level talent wise to the rest with the exception of Gab and perhaps John and Fillipe and proved such all week. However it’s in my opinion that in this final Kolohes 6’5 was pretty equal to Italos last wave scored 7.0. Essentially giving what shoulda coulda woulda been a victory for Andino. Bee’s dick in it. Such is pro surfing. And hey. Probably wouldn’t be having any debate if WSL actually ran yesterday when the waves were pumping at Dbar compared to today’s dog shit. Always harder to separate surfers when the conditions was as bad as they were. The loser is us hard core fans actually.
Stephanie Gilmore (noting on another heat worth analyzing): I think Jordy beat Italo.
Keith Malloy (@thetorpedopeople): Ohhhh my God, judges on crack.
Hiroto Ohhara: Bigger wave, higher air tail more speed. Of course Kolohe.
Jimmy Wilson: Smaller wave, but Italo’s was a more technical air. Neither air should’ve been scored higher than a 6.5 based off their backup scores.
Chris Cote: #540 vs. #360