Stab Magazine | Watch: Griffin Colapinto's Pre-Season, Knee-Buckling, Californian Adventure
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Watch: Griffin Colapinto’s Pre-Season, Knee-Buckling, Californian Adventure

Even with a torn MCL, the CT sophomore is thirsty for a World Title in 2019. 

Words by stab

Griffin Colapinto stormed onto the CT, dropping a perfect-10 and securing a semifinal finish at the year’s first stop in 2018. 

From there the results drifted downhill, with the Californian providing plenty of highlight moments but never the consistency required to succeed on the elite Tour. 

This off-season, Griffin recalibrated and set his goals for 2019. They include:

  1. Win a CT event
  2. Qualify for the Olympics
  3. Win a World Title 

Lofty goals for any CT sophomore, but as any self-help book will tell you: with a healthy body and clear mind anything is possible. 

Then Griffin buckled his knee.

While attempting to doggydoor a tube at Spot X, Griffin’s back leg received the full force of a Pacific Ocean lip, punishing his MCL with what doctors called a Grade-2 Tear.

That was over a month ago, and as proven by his performance at Snapper, Griffin may be injured but remains undeterred from his (lofty) aspirations. We caught up with the Californian below, who shed some light on his off-season (see the video above shot over a fabulous run of California swell) and how he feels heading into the remainder of the CT season.  

Stab: Hey Griff, what did you think of the first event?
Griffin Colapinto: It was super fun. I didn’t do amazing or anything, but having it at Dbah, the waves were really sick – it was really good for airs. I feel like that wave has the best landings out of anywhere else on Tour. The cushion is so good, I think that’s why everybody was making so many airs. 

You and Seth had a really exciting heat. Did that just feel like an old NSSA match-up?
Oh yeah, that was classic. It was trippy that we had to go up against one another right away. Because Seth is such a good friend, I didn’t have nerves about not wanting to lose to him. I feel like we both were able to surf our best on the waves we got. 

This clip you’re releasing, it looks like you were out at all the same spots as Kolohe during his Home-ish clips. Is that right?
Yeah, pretty much. But we don’t really have the same tastes in music, so we didn’t do a collaboration. 

What was the standout session you had in making this film?
Probably that one session in Santa Cruz, the one where it was filmed from up above. That was a crazy seven-hour session. It was good for barrels and snaps and carves – everything you could want. 

You were up there with Kolohe, Crane-o, Nat Young, and probably a few other local guys. Whose surfing was getting you the most psyched?
Brother, for sure. I feel like when he and I surf together it can get pretty competitive, so yeah, it’s pretty fun. 

We heard you talking about your knee at Snapper. Could you tell us a little about the situation there?
Yeah, I tore my MCL on March 2nd, so it was like a month and 10 days ago. It was a grade-2, so I didn’t surf all the way until two days before my heat at Dbah, which was kind of hard. I didn’t wear a brace in my first heat, but then all the doctors were saying I needed to wear one in my second heat, so I had one on against Seth.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fKmx0PgEEnM

Did it affect your performance?
A couple of those airs I tried hurt on the landings. And then I actually had to ride a 5’10 instead of my normal 5’11, because you don’t have to move your feet around as much so it’s not as hard on the knee. 

How did you injure it originally?
I was trying to doggy-door a barrel and the lip landed right on me. 

Ouch. But to be back in the water after just a month seems really promising. 
Yeah, if you’re gonna do anything to your knee, injuring the MCL is probably the most minor thing you can do. Doctors told me it was supposed to be a 6-8 week recovery, but I was surfing again in three-and-a-half. 

You said there’s still pain, does that mean you’re at risk of re-injuring it?
The MCL is pretty sturdy, so it’ll be sore tight sometimes, but they actually get stronger where they were injured. 

Will Bells be a little bit easier on you, because it’s not as high-performance as Dbah?
Yeah, 100 percent. Honestly, Dbah was probably the worst case scenario for my knee. But Bells will be good because it doesn’t hurt when I do carves and blow-tails. It only hurts when I do airs. 

Last year you came out of the gates really hot, but you slowed down a bit in the back end of the season. What are your goals for this year on Tour?
I want to qualify for the Olympics, win a CT event, and win a World Title. 

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