Watch: Snapper Favorite Mateus Herdy Loses Fin In Mid-Air
You have to see this to believe it.
Based on pre-event form, Mateus Herdy was a favorite going into the Snapper CS event.
With an aerial success rate above 50% and finely-tuned JS boards underfoot, it seemed only a gruesome injury or 29-minute flat spell could keep the Brazilian away from finals day.
Alas, it was actually a fin.
Needing a low-seven to advance from his Round 2 heat, Mateus took off on a mid-sized runner and started pumping down the line. After a few projection floats, the Brazilian waited for the inside double-up to take shape, where he then hucked a Crisco-clean air rev on the first available section. Poetry.
After greasing the air, Mateus shifted his feet back into position for the next available section, which was begging for a forehand wrap. Rotating his hips and shoulders like he’s done thousands of times before, Mateus squared up with the section but his board behaved…unusually. Rather than gripping the wall with its heelside rail, the JS slid and sunk simultaneously, causing its rider to tip over the toeside rail and forfeit the rest of the ride.
Mateus received a 5.77 for his efforts. He never caught another wave.
So what happened here?
Upon closer review, it’s apparent that Mateus’s fall (and subsequent heat loss) were not due to user error, but rather equipment malfunction. If you watch the slow-motion replay above, you can clearly see the Brazilian’s center fin flying out while he’s in the middle of his air. Mateus manages to land the air in spite of this, but his next turn attempt is doomed from the start.
As anyone who’s taken the center fin out of their HP shorty knows, these boards simply are not meant to function as a twin fin. And even if Mateus was talented enough to make his JS work with just side bites (spoiler alert: he probably is), the fact that it happened mid-wave meant Mateus had no idea that his next bottom turn would react significantly different from his last, leaving him at a severe disadvantage.
Had Mateus completed a solid turn on the next section and surfed the wave to its conclusion, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have gotten the required score.
Equipment malfunctions happen in every sport, and to every brand, but you hate to see their effects so blatantly impact an outcome.
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