Stab Magazine | Yes, Gabriel Medina Is Still A Small Wave Savant

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Yes, Gabriel Medina Is Still A Small Wave Savant

“His airs are too high, they make me scared.” – Kalani Robb

cinema // Feb 17, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Gabriel Medina is huge in 2018. And no, I’m not referring to his social media following (which is prolific), but rather Gabby’s physical being, which has become quite impressive in the past few years. Standing just below 6 feet and carrying 170 pounds of Grade-A Brazilian beef, I’d be interested to see who, if anyone, on the current CT could take Gabby in a fist-fight. I think he and Zeke would be a solid matchup. 

And even beyond fisticuffs, with great size comes certain advantages in the surf. Gabby no longer bounces around in big windy surf, and he plows through a chandelier better than anyone on tour. Frail little boys can do no such thing.

However, with Gabby’s increased size and strength came a change in competitive approach — AKA shifting his focus from aerial to face-bound maneuvers. This is a transition which I’m definitely not a fan of, but I do understand. Making heats is nothing more than a numbers game, and turns are higher-percentage moves than punts. 

But Gabby’s regressive shift has made us wonder… does he still have that small wave, technical surfing in his back pocket? Or has it deteriorated on account of his strategic pivot?

Well, the above video, which features Medina surfing waist high (and very fun-looking) Salt Creek has put any of those concerns to rest. In fact, watching this brought me allllll the way back to France in 2009, when Medina beat Caio Ibelli in the Quiksilver King of the Grom International finals with a perfect 20 heat total.

Tell me this isn’t a 14-year-old, 110 pound version of the exact same magic you see above. It’s uncanny!


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