Who Wore Cyclone Oma Best According To Mick Fanning, Joel Parko, Jack Freestone, Mitch Parko, Mitch Crews And More
Some of the Gold Coast’s finest weigh in on the recent tube fest.
If you follow surfing, Cyclone Oma has been pollinating your screen. As the swell progressed, it seemed it was the only thing happening in the surf world. Sure Jadson Andre won a QS event, and Europe had its moments, but neither stole the show – they’re minor talking points overshadowed by the massive weather event that blasted the Gold Coast in TNT fashion.
Over the past week, plenty of noteworthy barrel rides occurred. We saw Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson share a tube, Mick holding his line way behind the foam ball, exiting with ease behind a smiling Parko. Jack Freestone stopped our scrolls as did plenty of lesser known Aussie chargers stepping off across the Gold Coast – from Burleigh to Kirra and beyond.
After all the edits, the photos, and the hype, two questions remain: Who is the standout surfer of Oma and how does Oma chock up against the most memorable cyclones to hit the Gold Coast within memory?
For the answers, we tapped a few of Australia’s most excellent tube riders. After Mick, Joel, Jack, Mitch Parko, Dean Hazza, Tai ‘Buddha’ Graham, Brenno ‘Midget Magic’ Dorrington, Mitch Crews, and photog Scotty Hammonds weighed in, the answer was clear:
Jack Freestone wore Cyclone Oma best, followed closely behind by Toby Mossop.
We’ll hand the microphone over to the pros from here:
(A couple of two timers, below)
I’d say Jack got the most memorable waves, but Parko on his single fin was mental too! To be honest, with the winds, it was tough out there. After speaking with the guys on land, one sick wave would come through every hour, not every set. But if you were on them, you were getting a great wave. You had to have some luck on your side [laughs].
Either Toby Moss or Jack Freestone, it’s hard to split them. Jack surfed for eight hours a day, and Toby is about as good of a barrel rider as I’ve seen. It was definitely a swell for the books. I think 2004 was the last time I saw that size at the Alley. Last year, there were a few Kirra days in February that were on another level though.
Call me biased because we were partnered up the whole time during the swell, but it would have to be Freestone. He got that crazy barrel at Kirra that could be one of the best waves surfed there since it was the old Kirra. And then at 10 foot, scary Burleigh Sunday Morning he got this crazy stand tall one, plus so many more in-between. An honorable mention would have to go to Wade Carmichael and Brett Levingston for how hard they were sending it at mutant Currumbin Alley on Sunday.
I was away last year for Cyclone Linda, which hurt. So I can’t compare the two although I remember Kirra being all time for a day but didn’t see too much from the other points. But, Oma lasted three to four days with absolute pumping conditions. All three points lit up: Kirra, Burleigh and Alley. Not to mention Noosa and Byron, also. I can’t recall another cyclone bringing in as amazing waves as Oma just did. Burleigh and Alley on Saturday and Sunday were some of the biggest and cleanest barrels I’ve ever seen on the Gold Coast. The older, OG guys would be able to say another cyclone was better, but for me, Oma was pretty bloody memorable.
(A few from Mr. Carmichael)
In my opinion, it was Jarrod White. He was putting the most time and got the craziest wave at Burleigh during the biggest day.
(Jarrod White does the dance below)
Brenno ‘Midget Magic’ Dorrington:
Freestone was definitely one of the standouts at Kirra. Toby Mossop and a bunch of the Burleigh lads scored some epic ones. Then ya had all the Currumbin lads going mental! Seen so many sick ones this cyclone. The long tubes Jack and Toby got were fucken mental. Also, Clarkies’ one was a standout for me. For myself, I enjoyed Cyclone Gita more, I struggled to find good ones, but it seemed like all the other lads nailed. I had just as much fun watching all the boys scoring from the ski. Parko, Dingo, Hazza, Freestone and Crewsy were all getting nuts ones!
(View Clark Adam’s wave below)
I think overall, Toby Mossop was a standout. He got the most incredible wave I’ve ever seen at Burleigh. And he’s a legend! Be close between him and Freestone. Jack was on fire.
If you had a jet ski it was best ever. If not still it would be up there, but those crazy waves you saw of Burleigh and Currumbin, they were 100% not paddleable, the current was way too strong. I saw the best waves I’ve personally ever seen at home, but I couldn’t ride them ‘cos I had no ski. It was the worst type of torture you could ever do to me haha.
(Check out Toby’s wave below)
Jack Freestone stole the show. He got two of the best waves of the swell, one out at Kirra and a good one at the Alley Cats. He was also doing Jiu Jitsu on the ski before waves with Mitch Crews. I think Mitch just got his white belt! So stoked for him [Laughs]
This Cyclone wasn’t bad, fuck-all ran, wind was up to about 50-60kms – perfect kite weather. We’ve had a lot worse!
(One from the other Hazza twin, Shaun)
Tai ‘Buddha’ Graham:
Jack Freestone without a doubt! He put in the hours. I mean we all put in the hours, 10-plus a day but I was waking up at 4:30 and Jack was up at 4! [Laughs] He was everywhere while most guys just stayed in their spots. He got bombs at Kirra, then came to Burleigh, got some bombs with us boys, then got some bombs at the Alley. Plus he’s just a legend in the water. He was with Crewsy; both those boys have the good vibes.
OMA MVP one hundred percent!
It was a fucken epic four days of surfing. By Sunday morning there were some of the biggest, longest and cleanest barrels I’ve ever seen. It was the best cyclone in my books, for sure.
Also, wanna give an honorable mention to Billy Watson. He got some bombs but then he drove the ski for five hours straight making sure all the boys got waves. Toby Mossop got some big ones from Billy, Ian Byrne is about to get surgery, so Billy got him some good ones. He just went out of his way to give the guys that didn’t have a ski waves. Full on legend! He’s number two in my eyes not even because of his waves, although he got some stoinkers! But because he was happy enough to swing all his mates into bombs.
(Hit play below for one of Buddha’s drainers)
Scotty Hammonds (Jack’s film guy):
Jack was pretty on it! Mitch and him were always together, but Mitch didn’t get the waves Jack got [laughs].
We woke up every day for four days straight at 3:30. We’d meet at Mitch’s in the morning; he’d make us bullet coffees then the boys would be on it for eight-plus hours every day. After a huge day of long tubes, we would all meet back at Mitch’s to shower up and then head off to the Tugan Tav for ice cold beers, eat some food, play pool and then straight to bed by 8 to wake up and do it all over again.
Safe to say these boys were on it every single day of the swell and arguably put themselves into the best sessions of the entire cyclone!
(Scotty’s roll from one day of Oma below)
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