Stab Magazine | The WSL Just Fucked Up Its New Rule

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension


The WSL Just Fucked Up Its New Rule

…and more from day three of the Hurley Lowers Pro!

news // Sep 14, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Day three came and went like an atomic bomb, with heads flying everywhere and particularly devastating effects for Japanese(-American) bystanders. Let’s jump straight into the most explosive moments from the day!

Adriano’s depressing victory speech
In the first heat of the morning, Adriano de Souza traded sleepy sixes with Josh Kerr, whose sixes were slightly more sleepy than Adriano’s. As is tradition, the winner, Adriano de Souza, was approached by Rosie Hodge for an elevated victory speech. What transpired was, well, just watch:

His poor wife! (Skip to 36:10 for total darkness)

All week the commentary team has referenced Adriano’s heightened sense of solitude, his steely-eyed focus, etc., but this interview steers “professionalism” into the realms of depression. I understand he’s doing what he thinks is best to win win win!, but man, someone needs to remind Adriano that he surfs for a living. Like literally rides a little floaty toy in the ocean.

Medina gets flustered
Man, how weird have Medina’s last few years been? After his title in 2014, I would have bet my (parent’s) house on Gabby owning the next decade of competitive surfing. He seemed too omnitalented and too competitively savvy to fail. And yet, somehow, his results have rollercoastered over the last three seasons.

Today Gab lost to Jadson Andre, who surfed beautifully (for Jadson), in a heat that revealed the cracks in Medina’s game. Once behind in the match, Medina acted like a cornered animal — attacking anything in his field of vision and, in the process, losing his sense of balance and logic. He was taking bad waves, forcing maneuvers, and falling often. The old Gabby, Teenage Wunderkid Gabby, was untethered and cold as ice. The new Gabby, World Champion Gabby, has a status to uphold. And it’s much harder to keep a steady hand when you’ve got something at stake.

The 2017 Lowers Pro Champion …lost
In a heat that can only be described as alpha malic, two of the CT’s heavyweights traded haymakers over cobblestone. Huge turns, huge sprays, and two healthy heat scores were the outcomes, along with a winner (Fred) and loser (Zeke).

Zeke came into Lowers with a ballsy Instagram claim. And while he won’t be winning the 2017 Lowers Pro, he did succeed in the most important aspect of his promise: he surfed the way he does in freesurfs (which is really fucking good). Zeke’s loss came as a result of wave selection, but his surfing was as good as could be for the waves he caught. He should take confidence from this event and approach the remaining three in a similar fashion.  

John and Jordy are here to win
If Zeke vs. Freddy was a battle of the alpha males, then John vs. Jordy would (and hopefully will) be a clash of the titans. Both possess equal or greater power to Z&F but reside within the next stratosphere of natural surfing ability. Today, the two true title contenders confirmed their intentions.

Mick continues his dreary season
In Round 3 of Heat 9, the WSL’s new priority rule came into play — kind of. When the first wave entered the lineup, Kanoa and Mick turned their noses toward shore in order to catch it. Kanoa made a couple light paddles from the top of the peak, so Mick, who was waiting to see if Kanoa would take the wave, was forced to pull back. Kanoa waited until the last second to make his decision, which was ultimately to pass.

Mick’s hands went up, signalling for the judges to give him priority, as per the new rule. The judges denied Mick’s request and as a result Kanoa caught the best wave of the heat… and then the next best wave of the heat. Mick lost out early, again, which hurts my Fantasy team but moreso just hurts my heart. Fanning outside the Top 10 is not a world I wish to live in.*

Bede Durbidge goes all White Fijian
You know how Bede does. Clean wall, all rail, 18.43. Maybe should have Freddy P’d it. 

The heat of the day
Jordy, Frederico, and Ace, but not in that order. It was a proper battle, with each surfer holding the lead at some point in the match, but after thirty minutes it was the Man-o-War, Frederico Morais, who stung his competitors into submission. That forehand zap is lethal.

*BUT WAIT! The judges have changed their minds** (as a result of Mick’s tower-climb). There’s to be a resurf of Mick vs. Kanoa, first thing tomorrow!

**After giving the situation a second look, the judges, and Kieren Perrow, deemed that Kanoa had in fact blocked Mick from taking the wave, which should have given Mick priority, which would have changed the outcome of the heat. I find this motion to be correct, but also very unfair to Kanoa, who surfed an impeccable heat.

It’s true the WSL should have caught this in the moment, but, if we are to be fair (and what is Stab if not a bastion of impartiality?), this rule is not only new to the surfers, it’s new to the judges and commissioner as well. This case, Fanning v. League, will be referenced in surfing history books and studied by Supreme Tour judges for centuries to come***.

***Right next to this photo of Kanoa Igarashi.

Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 6.03.57 PM

“Are you fuckin serious?” Photo: WSL/Sherman

Round Three Results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza 12.77 def. Josh Kerr 12.03
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz 16.76 def. Italo Ferreira 7.04
Heat 3: Jadson Andre 15.76 def. Gabriel Medina 14.80
Heat 4: Frederico Morais 16.76 def. Ezekiel Lau 15.50
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan 15.50 def. Wiggolly Dantas 10.93
Heat 6: Jordy Smith 18.84 def. Evan Geiselman 14.83
Heat 7: John John Florence 19.07 def. Hiroto Ohhara 13.33
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores 16.47 def. Conner Coffin 15.60  
*Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi vs. Mick Fanning UPCOMING
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo 16.93 def. Miguel Pupo 11.86
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge 18.43 def. Joan Duru 14.50 
Heat 12: Julian Wilson 17.44 def. Ethan Ewing 12.87
Remaining Round Three Match-Up:*

Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi vs. Mick Fanning UPCOMING
Round Four Results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza 16.80, Jadson Andre 16.07, Sebastian Zeitz 11.37
Heat 2: Frederico Morais 17.17, Jordy Smith 16.30, Adrian Buchan 16.10
Remaining Round Four Match-Ups:

Heat 3: John John Florence, Jeremy Flores, TBD
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo, Bede Durbidge, Julian Wilson


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Full Frame: His & Hers Tow Tango Somewhere In Aus

Date night with Imogen and Cortney Brown.

May 27, 2024

Top Two Women Axed Early, Three Join The 9+ Club, Kelly Reveals Reptile-Inspired Baby Name

Hint: it rhymes with Slater and could eat you (or a zebra).

May 26, 2024

The Stab Interview: 5x CT Winner, Budding Entrepreneur, And Stab High Invitee Julian Wilson

If you never retire, you can't call it a comeback.

May 25, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Lachlan Mckinnon

How often does a filmer pay for the surfer's plane ticket?

May 25, 2024

Hurley Can Now Legally Rent A Car

A quarter-century in the surf game is no small feat.

May 24, 2024

Airs On Trees: Bosiny Cracked The High-Performance Wood Surfboard Code 

Feat. Paulownia wood reinforced with Kevlar, these boards are as light as PU and loaded with spring. 

May 23, 2024

What’s In A Wedge?

Enjoyable water movement, explained by an expert.

May 23, 2024

Watch: Tosh Tudor In ‘Tube Therapy’

The 19-year old offers prescriptive insights into Desert Point karma, backside tube poise, and Off-The-Wall…

May 23, 2024

Swell’s En Route, Slater’s Involved, Here Comes Teahupo’o… 

A Tahiti Pro preview.

May 22, 2024

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024