Apres Lowers, Avant France
Buzzfeed meets TMZ for this p(r)etty (important) Instagram investigation.
If you were a millionaire, a Top-34 surfer, with three weeks to kill between events, what would you do? Cardio-train for the swirling European seas? Party for a couple weeks, then do a quick juice cleanse to get back in fighting shape? Wallow in your garage? The following six CTers had their own ideas of celebration and “training” between Lowers and France, and we thought it’d be fun to investigate their disparate meandering.
John Florence: North Shore, Oahu, USA
Summer on the North Shore is quiet. There are half the people, one-fifth the traffic, and one-tenth the waves of winter. Though when a swell does trickle in, it can be exceptionally fun, thanks in no small part to the dearth of surfers in the area. While hanging at home, John lucked into a small Northern Pacific lump and laid into it with the acrimony of a man who should be number one, but is number two in the world. The rest of his homestay was pretty flat, so chances are John’s been chomping at the bit to get into some Frenchie wedges.
Jordy Smith: Surf Snowdonia, Wales
No, Jordy didn’t go to Indo to film his Stab in the Dark feature during this gap. But after presenting the winner (Pyzel) last Thursday, Jordy jumped on a plane to Europe. Instead of heading straight to France, Jordy stopped off in Wales to surf the forest-borne gem of Snowdonia.
While enthralling in wave pool tech’s salad days, Snowdonia must have been disappointing for the African who, just two weeks ago, complained that Kelly’s wave wasn’t big enough for a man of his stature. If the Ranch couldn’t deliver the juice Jordy desires, then rolling, waist-high Wales must have been truly insufferable (as far as getting paid to surf goes).
Filipe Toledo: Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
On the flipside of Jordy, and likely taking into account California’s endless flatspell, Filipe used this time to explore the Mentawai Islands, where fun-to-epic waves are all but guaranteed in the month of September. It appears Filipe had a small horde friends and family in tow, making the trip as much of a Lowers celebration as it was surf training. Hopefully this pelagic reprieve has put Filipe in a good headspace for the European leg — his title hopes rely on multiple wins.
Mick Fanning/Jack Freestone: October Fest/Munich River wave, Germany
Another approach entirely comes from Mick Fanning and Jack Freestone, who’ve decided to drown their dismal 2017 seasons in pitchers of golden delight. It’s October Fest, baby! I don’t have all the details, but images of late nights, the clanking of over-filled pitchers, and a native lass’s beer-battered, checker-lined cleavage dance through my mind.
I can only assume that right around 2 PM, Mick woke up and thought, “We should probably go for a surf, hey boys?” Only problem being, Germany hasn’t much to offer in terms of coastal swell, but there is one spot in Deutschland that is always firing. Cue the Munich River.
Whether these escapades will help or hinder Mick’s season is irrelevant, as the three-time champ is almost entirely out of the title equation (the only thing that would matter to him). Meanwhile Jack, who sits at 28th on the rankings, likely needs two good results in the next three events to requalify through the CT. And considering his QS rank of 128, the CT is Jack’s only legitimate hope at requalifying for 2018. Hopefully he’s started his cleanse.
Kolohe Andino: His garage, USA
This San Clemente local has a deep adoration for his hometown, and when you include a comfortable abode, two dogs, and a beautiful fiancée to the equation, it makes another surf trip seem more burdensome than energizing. During the SoCal flat spell, Kolohe watched old surf movies and, inspired by the best of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, painted his Europe quiver as a tribute to surfing’s greats. How many paint jobs can you place?
Owen Wright: Switzerland
The most divergent vacation came from Owen Wright, who used the downtime to take his young family (girlfriend Kita and son Vali) to Switzerland. In the life of a professional surfer, significant others rarely receive the attention they deserve, so maybe this trip was a nod to Owen’s baby mama — or maybe it was just nice to get away from the ocean for a little. By all accounts, Owen and fam had a cracker time soaking in this northern European geoscape.
Now we ask you, dear commenters: whose approach will be most conducive to a result in France? The least?
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