Who’s Gonna Beat Medina At Supertubos?
The forecast is fire.
And before the champagne could dry on Julian Wilson’s lips, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal is here.
According to Kanoa Igarashi, “The forecast is absolutely insane. Every single day looks good. It’s going to be crazy.”
So yeah, we’re pretty psyched. But not as psyched as Stab‘s cheery leader, Ashton Goggans, who is positively obsessed with the Rectangle nation.
Ashton loves the Portuguese people, the food, the culture, the surf. He often recites Portuguese psalms to uninitiated Americans (his coworkers). In fact, would his work have allowed it, he probably would have moved there months ago.
If we were to guess, Stab’s Editor in Scarf is currently sitting on Supertubos beach with coffee and surfboard in hand, a black beanie covering just the tips of his ears whilst he awaits the European sunrise. Upon its arrival, Ashton will take the time to ingratiate himself with the locals before paddling and out riding not every but every other wave, that grin of a Florida-grom-who-made-it never leaving his face.
And then shortly after Owen Wright, Zeke Lau, and Ryan Callinan will take the water and a horn will blow.
Below are our favorites for the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Big, windy waves with tubes all but guaranteed? There’s no one more solid than Owen Wright. The Aussie’s mantis-like frame can both extend for huge lip gouges or contract when negotiating the world’s trickiest tubes. Whether it’s eight-foot Cloudy or chest-high Chopes, Owen is the best frontside tuberider currently on Tour, and we’d be shocked if he lost early given the Portuguese forecast.
Given his wins at Pipe and Teahupo’o, it would be silly to call Jeremy Flores a darkhorse at any tube-related event, though perhaps he gets so deep that he remains outside of mainstream vision. This is certainly not the case for any of Jezza’s competitors, who shudder when the Frenchman’s name lands next to theirs in the draw. The dude is a fucking jedi in the pit and will dominate out here.
While I was initially enamored by his stylo-progressive approach, Julian’s conservative and choke-heavy competitive performances led to my severe disenchantment with the Sunny Coast posterboy. Julian’s unhinged approach in both France and Lemoore, however, has swung me back in his corner – I’ll be rooting for Jules to further minimize his World Title deficit in Portugal, which as revealed a couple days ago, is not as daunting as it once seemed.
Pinned as an unlikely favorite to win the Quikky Pro, Kolohe was shafted by the long dick of sound speed. Because our premonition was derailed by scientific oversight (thanks, WSL!), the laws of the universe dictate that he gets a do-over in Portugal. So Kolohe, this is your shot. Wear a watch and don’t fuck it up.
I don’t generally pick Ace Buchan for these kinds of things, because it’s hard to get excited watching someone who does the same “money” turn on every wave, especially when that “money” turn is actually just a standard backside snap. But when it comes to heavier surf, Ace sheds his formulaic approach and starts flipping it under the ledge, making for a dramatic viewing experience. We’ll expect nothing less from him here.
The guy got so barreled at La Grav last week, we just assume he’ll continue into Supertubos.
The forecast is calling for big swell and hard side-offshore winds, which like in Hawaii, equates to sizable lefts colliding with a perfect punt breeze. As far as I’m concerned, Italo Ferreira is the best surfer ever at small-to-mid-sized Off the Wall lefts, where he’s just as likely to get regurgitated from a tumultuous pit as he is to land 10 massive airs in a half hour. Don’t be surprised if Italo does the same at Supers.
Wearing the Yellow Jersey but not technically in the lead, and also having just lost to a World Title contender at his marquee event, Medina should be ravenous heading into Portugal. It’s time to let the big dogs eat.
“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel
Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?
What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?
Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.
UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island
Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…
These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers
What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.
Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex
Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.
While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay
...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.
Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?
Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.
Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers
An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.
PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua
Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.
Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine
Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.
The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo
Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast
Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.