Stab Magazine | The Red Bull Airborne France Looked Like Legitimate Fun, Like Surfing!
406 Views

The Red Bull Airborne France Looked Like Legitimate Fun, Like Surfing!

Yago Dora wins the first non-pay-per-view air event of 2018. 

news // Oct 9, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Change is in the air here in the Southwest of France. Change and cigarette smoke and a little bit of rain. Two short weeks ago, the sun was shining upon naked bodies and the water was warm like a motel jacuzzi. Then came the snap. It went from boardshorts to 3 mils. Dicks out to scarves on. The joy of summer to the gloom of winter. Change.

Speaking of change, the organization whose judging pretty much rendered airs pointless in competition for the past ten years, the World Surf League, had its first big crack at running an air show.

The inaugural Red Bull Airborne was held at Les Culs Nuls today and you bet the format was nifty.

Eighteen surfers were broken up into six-man heats. Each competitor had two half-hour heats and was tasked with collecting two scores (total, not per heat). The nifty bit? Their best score was doubled, meaning they had the potential to get up to thirty points.

From there, the top six surfers were put into an hour-long final where they needed to find another two scores. The best surfer would win 30k.

So far, the forecast hasn’t been too kind to France for the 2018 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro. It’s nearly a week into the waiting period and there have only been eight heats. With head-high waves that were kind of fun but also really fucking annoying, the Airborne was sent out there today. And, buddy, it was something.

It didn’t feel like the WSL that we all know and love and say bad things about on the internet. There was no priority — gentleman’s rules only — and people were fucking around in the heats, cheering each other on, trying dumb shit, etc. It looked like legitimate fun. Like surfing.

Fifty-eight airs were completed, they say, and the highest three scores of the day came on frontside air reverses. There were plenty of entertaining no-makes, though. Stalefish. Big spins. Mistimed rodeo flips. The six-man format made for non-stop thrills. If the waves were better, it would have been a day to remember instead of faintly recall.

When it came time for the final, Yago sat on the inside bank while everyone else sat outside. Within ten minutes, he had control of the heat and the rest of the finalists realized they were stupid. There were a few moments of glory, but luck played a big part of it. A small French crowd stood in the rain and didn’t clap much. It was awkward and humorous.

Griffin made a last-minute move for the lead, but it wasn’t enough. And that was that for the first ever WSL Red Bull Airborne.

The day ended with rumors of an expanded Airborne tour — possibly with a focus on cities. Seems strange, but bringing surfing to the faces of New York is better than trying to force it onto the screens of Milwaukee, I suppose.

Either way, it’ll be fun to watch where this thing goes.

Red Bull Airborne Final Leaderboard:

1 – Yago Dora (BRA) 18.27

2 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 17.21

3 – Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.3

4 – Kalani David (HAW) 5.66

5 – Matt Meola (HAW) 5.40

6 – Eithan Osborne (USA) 0.00

Qualifying Round Leaderboard:

1 – Kalani David (HAW) 16.83

2 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.29

3 – Yago Dora (BRA) 13.83

4 – Matt Meola (HAW) 12.46

5 – Eithan Osborne (USA) 12.34

6 – Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.26

7 – Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.84

8 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.80

9 – Albee Layer (HAW) 9.76

10 – Eric Geiselman (USA) 9.60

11 – Mason Ho (HAW) 9.17

12 – Leif Engstrom (USA) 8.63

13 – Kael Walsh (AUS) 8.36

14 – Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 6.20

15 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 4.96

16 – William Aliotti (FRA) 2.60

17 – Chippa Wilson (AUS) 1.46

18 – Sebastian Williams (MEX) 0.00

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

2:14

Kelly and Local Gal to Win Teahupo’o?

Local insights and a firing forecast.

Aug 13, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Male) Surfers

Insights from the 2022 Stab Reader survey.

Aug 13, 2022

16:04

Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex

Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.

Aug 13, 2022

Tahiti Preview: The End Of The Road For 72% Of The CT

And hello there, blob of swell.

Aug 12, 2022

3:24

While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay

...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.

Aug 11, 2022

1:38

Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022

5:50

Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022
Advertisement