Stab Magazine | Which Top CT Flyboys Just Joined The Red Bull Airborne Roster

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'


Which Top CT Flyboys Just Joined The Red Bull Airborne Roster

Hint: They’re Brazilian and willing risk limb for Gold Coast glory. 

news // Apr 3, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you are a fan of professional surfing, there are few things in life as exciting as the lead-up to a brand new WSL season.

Mostly because you, like me, are a fan of professional surfing and the sources of your excitement are limited to speed, power, flow and trying to find clever ways to insult 1989 World Champion Martin Potter.

But also because some interesting shit happens.

Kelly Slater surfs in mid-tier QS events. John John remembers his Instagram password. New clips drop, sometimes serving as warning shots fired in the direction of 34 different bows —  like this (Jordy) and this (Kolohe) and kinda this (Jack) and not really this (Wilian).

World Title contenders usually use roll into a fresh season with a renewed sense of focus and an updated lexicon of mundane quotes to drop in post-heat interviews. They typically keep the extracurriculars to a minimum — but apparently not Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo.

We’ve been informed that they will surf in the Red Bull Airborne on the Gold Coast. The event shares a waiting period with the Quik Pro, April 3 – 13, and only takes four hours to run. It could be held at the Superbank or the Pretty Fun Bank of Duranbah.

Now, two questions.

First: What about injury?

This doesn’t apply so much to Filipe, as he technically hasn’t fallen on an air attempt since Dickie Toledo tried one in Ubatuba in ‘94. He was swimming around between the legs then, which were presumably adorned in a speedo.

However, you may recall that Italo buckled himself two years ago after starting the year with a Quarterfinal finish at Snapper. The culprit? An air. The location? D-bah. But of course he would still enter this event and that’s why we adore him.

Just a reminder, this is the type of thing Filipe does with ease at a wave, that until the double alley-oop in 2017, was decidedly not an “air wave”.

Second: Are air guys fucked or nah?

In 2009, Mick Fanning won his second World Title and Modern Collective came out in the same year. That was 10 years ago. There used to be a big difference between the world’s most exciting surfers and the world’s best competitive surfers. These days, not so much.

I almost thought that last year marked the return of the Air Guy — with Stab High, of course, and with the somewhat renegade cast at the Red Bull Airborne in France. But, as this contest will probably reveal, the modern freesurfing Air Guy will have a hard time cutting it against the modern CT Air Guy. Especially in the constricting format of a heat.

But that is definitely not to say the highlight reel will make you feel anything like Chippa Wilson’s Video No.4

It’s probably worth noting that the Airborne event offers a $70k purse with $20k going straight to the champ.

At press time, sources close to the WSL have confirmed that you cannot script this.


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