Stab Magazine | The Men's Quarterfinal Chess Challenge

And The Winners Of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Are... Watch The Pick-Up Episode 5, Presented by Vans, To Find Out

208 Views

The Men’s Quarterfinal Chess Challenge

“Variety is the key” to overcoming the backside blitz, says John John after winning in the quarters.

news // Mar 19, 2017
Words by Jed Smith
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was as close to a chess challenge as surfing gets. Glassy, rippable conditions prevailed for the men’s quarterfinal but it was slow and wobbly at times, forcing surfers to rely on their third eye or, in Medina’s case, some help from above, to get the end section to cooperate. 

“It was pretty tricky out there. I was a little nervous because I never got a good wave but I was believing in god – I was like just please god give me one!” Medina said. 

His quarterfinal clash with Slater heat lived up to its billings. It was a classic, coming down to the final exchange with the two dons going blow for blow to the crowd’s rapture on successive down the line Snapper reelers. 

Kell

The age gap from Kelly to Gabs is 23 years, but Kelly looks to be approaching this year with newfound vigour.

Slater made no secret of his tactics heading into the encounter and made good on his promise, wrapping Medina in a sticky web of bad waves, no priority and steadily increasing pressure. 

The final five minutes saw the pair engaged in an enthralling battle of wits for priority. Slater was desperate to keep Medina from finding a set with enough wall and lip-line to hang his backside on. He was successful up until the final few seconds, then the inevitable happened. Medina picked off a bomb, batted the first section into the heavens, following it up a lightning run of stabs and floats past Little Marley for a 9.17 and a dramatic win.  

medina

Is this Gabs at 80 percent? 

“I lost the priority with two or three minutes and I was like, I made a mistake. And then I made him go on that wave and then I was like now I need to calm down and wait for the good one. Thank god for that last one,” he said.  

John John Florence was the other standout in the quarters, opening his account against Brazil’s Italo Ferreira with a cute tube straight into an absolute melter of a frontside hack. 

“That was a fun one. I came out of the barrel with so much speed and it had such a nice wall. After yesterday when it had all that chop in it I was just dreaming today of doing a big open turn on an open face so it felt really good,” he said. 

John is the last natural footer left in the event and said variety was the key to overcoming the backside blitz at Snapper. 

“I think variety is the key. The goofy footers are a little more limited to backside turns one after another after another. Having that freedom to be able to do a variety of turns and snaps and airs and barrels helps a bit,” he said. 

Owena

No one predicted Owen’s strong a return.

Elsewhere, Matt Wilkinson was masterful in his selection and use of priority, overcoming hometown hero and perennial style master, Joel Parkinson in the first heat of the day. While Owen Wright continued his dream return to competition, showing ice cold composure and flawless flow to oust Australian rookie, Connor O’Leary. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023

23:26

Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023

The Eddie Aikau Invitational Is On

Grab a beverage and enjoy surfing's Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 22, 2023

The Women’s CT Is About To See A Generational Shift 

Only three women have won a Title in the past 15 years. Here's why that's…

Jan 22, 2023

4:58

“One For Marcio” – Albee Layer’s Tribute To Mad Dog

Imagine treating 30ft Jaws like Backdoor.

Jan 22, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Noa Deane, Jamie O’Brien, Parker Coffin, Cliff Kapono, and Brendan Buckley

Day 7: "It's like he feels more comfortable when it’s as gnarly as it gets."…

Jan 21, 2023

Five Reasons Why The Eddie Still Matters

With better waves around the world and likely no prize money, why is The Eddie…

Jan 20, 2023
Advertisement