Reef Heazlewood really could be the next, more hi-fi Matt Wilko. This rodeo only strengthens the argument.
Three Heats, Three Hundred Airs At Keramas
Highlights from a taste of the Red Bull Airborne.
Onshore Keramas is pretty much designed for airs.
Not sure which religion has a deity that creates waves for people to jump around on, but it’s probably the same one that made Kuta nightclubs for the spread of venereal disease. A God both harsh and kind.
The Red Bull Airborne is not a disease — sexually transmitted or otherwise — and continues to add a little glitter to CT events. Three heats ran during a lay day from the rest of the comp at Keramas today.
A little refresher on the format: 18 competitors surf two 45-minute heats. Their top two airs factor into their scoreline, with their highest score being doubled. Then nobody complains about the seeding round, because it doesn’t exist, and the top 6 surfers go to the final where the best air wins.
Today, each competitor surfed their first heat. Highlights? You betcha.
-Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferriera were noticeably absent from the draw, presumably to Corona Bali Protect their knees and ankles.
-A lot of competitors seemed to have a trick in mind and would try it every wave. Fun to watch, no? But with more and more wave pools coming, the weight is on our culture to make sure it evolves more like skateboarding than figure skating.
-Eli Hanneman looks like remote control surfer. He’s 16 and has perfect form.
-Jack Freestone was stalefishing all over the place. Something about stalefish airs seems very vegan — the flexibility required, I think.
-Mason Ho tried a kickflip. He didn’t come close, but we applaud his efforts. Somewhere out there, Zoltan is smiling. Smiling and doing some magic tricks.
-Almost every wave featured an air or apathy — there was a lot of straight-legged-fuck-you-mom surfing going down when sections didn’t materialize. Somewhere out there, Dane is smiling. Smiling and surfing better than everybody.
-Noa Deane continued his ongoing commitment to the 1990s by doing a floater 360.
-The broadcast was looser than normal — Vaughan Blakey was in the booth and at one point, Strider was herding ducks. It turns out Kaipo has a history in skating and is impressively knowledgeable about grabs and shit. It felt over the top at times, though — he was a bit of a primadonna if you know what I’m saying. ; )
-Eric Geiselman stuck a small but cool Kerrupt flip and may have earned extra points for borrowing the commissioner's trick. Which explains why Kelly got extra points from Kieren Perrow last year for getting very barreled while event waiting periods are on.
-Only 6 out of the 18 competitors were goofyfoot, even though goofs won the first two Airborne events. A conspiracy theory alert was issued and I will look into how Big Oil is involved.
-Kalani David makes airs look too easy for his own good.
At the end of the day, Eric Geiselman, Eli Hanneman and Kalani David were the only three who pulled significant airs — still, it was rare to go more than a minute without seeing an entertaining attempt.
Each surfer gets another run before the final. Cross your fingers and pray to the STD Gods for better waves.
Red Bull Airborne Bali Qualifying Round Results (H1-3):
Heat 1: Eli Hanneman (HAW) 17.51 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.89, Chippa Wilson (AUS) 10.61, I Made Darma Yasa (IDN) 8.27, Noa Deane (AUS) 8.00, Lee Wilson (IDN) 4.14
Heat 2: Eric Geiselman (USA) 17.33 DEF. Eithan Osborne (USA) 4.93, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 2.20, Ian Crane (USA) , Matt Meola (HAW) , Mason Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Kalani David (HAW) 14.67 DEF. Finn McGill (HAW) 7.97, Jay Davies (AUS) 6.00, Yago Dora (BRA) 5.40, Bronson Meydi (IDN) 4.20, Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Red Bull Airborne Bali Remaining Qualifying Round Matchups (H4-6):
Heat 4: Ian Crane (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Mason Ho (HAW), Kalani David (HAW), I Made Darma Yasa (IDN)
Heat 5: Noa Deane (AUS), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Finn McGill (HAW), Eli Hanneman (HAW), Oliver Kurtz (USA), Eric Geiselman (USA)
Heat 6: Yago Dora (BRA), Chippa Wilson (AUS), Eithan Osborne (USA), Matt Meola (HAW), Lee Wilson (IDN), Bronson Meydi (IDN)