Stab Magazine | "We Could See The Biggest Rivalry In Surfing"- Jake "Snake" Paterson
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“We Could See The Biggest Rivalry In Surfing”- Jake “Snake” Paterson

Who’s going to beat John Florence or Gabs Medina? 

news // Nov 6, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Surfing is changing. Mick Fanning’s return is uncertain; Joel Parko’s teetering; Adriano de Souza won’t leave until he has to; and Kelly Slater, at 45, is “taking another stab at the title”. But in the past three years, it’s been two titles for the young and one for the “old”. And ADS, as Kelly put it, “threw one in there for the old guys.” 2016 was all fresh faces, ordinary waves and Kolohe Andino solidifying his slot in the “here to stay category”…we’ll see what happens to Matty Wilko.

John / Gabriel trading titles is the new “big thing” in competitive surfing. Although it’ll be less heated and emotional than the Fly in the Champagne-saga…presumably. 

We figured it was time to speculate and shot Jake “Snake” Paterson a few pointed questions on what to expect in the upcoming years regarding world titles.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-lojzw_ra1I

STAB: From 2017 to five years ahead, who will dominate? Do the older guys like Julian Wilson or Jordy Smith have the competitive headspace of these young prodigies?
It’s going to be the John v Gab show. He will have a crazy battle with Gabs in the next few years. Because they are so young, we could see the biggest rivalry in the history of surfing to go down over the next decade. 

Who else is in this conversation? Filipe Toledo? Kolohe Andino? 
I like where Kolohe is heading and would not be surprised if he is in the title mix in for the next few years. For Filipe, it’s going to depend on what kind of year it is for waves at places like Tahiti and Fiji and Pipe. The odd guy like Julian, Jordy, Filipe and Kolohe will throw their hat in the ring, but none are consistent enough in all conditions like John and Gabs. Let’s not forget about Mick, if he comes back next year, he will be in the mix for sure.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bJtz–uzttc

Based off skill alone, in the past few years, who should have won a world title? 
There are a group of surfers I call freaks because they’re so much better than the rest. Those are Kelly, Andy, Dane, JJ, Gabs, Filipe, Jordy, and Julian. John’s the best surfer to win the title since Gabriel, and before that it was Kelly. 

Will Kelly get sympathy points from the judges during his last title run? 
No chance, I think the judges have been hard on him as of late. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TWsEKwXCgF0

How long does it take rookies like Jack Freestone to enter the conversation?
It’s a long time unless their part of the “Freaks”. Both Jordy and Dane barely made the cut their rookie years. Jack’s air game is up there with the best of them, but he doesn’t have the big wave skills yet to make a run for a title.

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