The Most Important Serious Journalism Stories Of The Year
2019 SPF: Where only eagles dare.
Big Dick Power Surfer sprung to life in 1992 when Mark Occhilupo planted his entire quiver in the fertile sands of France.
He is a spiritual entity that exists in the form of the deranged thoughts in the core’s collective consciousness which help protect surfing from what Bobby Martinez was afraid of. He has won various medals and accolades for his performances as surfing’s only real alpha journalist and he hopes to soon be sued by the Olympics.
This year, his Speed Power Flow column on Stab was a hit in terms of typos and confusing earnest dads who surf in hats on Facebook. It featured a mix of searing opinions, polarizing questions and hard-hitting truths that all the other journalists were too beta to ask.
As 2019 comes to an end and confused earnest dads on Facebook prepare to say “See you next decade” to their loved ones, it was time to revisit the year in speed, power and flow.
There Is Only One Man Who Can End The Invincible Summer Of The Brazilian Storm
A Brazilian surfer has won every single CT event held at Duranbah in the past 10 years and that’s just a fact.
Their dominance is unquestionable and, at times, it seems permanent.
But there is one man capable of changing that. He’s an electrifying surfer from an island with a very rich history. Somebody who knows what it feels like to be a champion. A man whose hair cut has been a hot topic of late. He is the chosen one, the only person who can end this invincible summer of the Brazilian Storm.
Of course, we are talking about the UK’s own Russell Winter.
The former CT competitor and 2002 Newquay Boardmasters champion is exactly the salt of the earth we need to balance out all this spicy Latino pepper. Look for him to mount a Kenny Powers-esque comeback to professional surfing that will return the entire industry to its glory days of paying a bunch of people from outside surfing millions of dollars to come in and fuck literally everything up.
Come on Russ, let’s bring this shit back to Wall Street.
Bonus journalism: This edition of SPF also said that Jadson Andre would finish the 2019 season as the number 1 surfer in the world (on the QS). He ended up finishing second, a mere 600 points behind Frederico Morias.
The Pros And Cons Of Crucifying 11-Time World Champion Kelly Slater
Kelly Slater has long been regarded as Jesus of the surf.
He saved surfing from Damien Hardman, just like how Jesus saved a bunch of people from a boring wedding when he turned water into wine. But while Jesus was a renowned carpenter, it appears Kelly has lost his ability to build a solid foundation in a heat.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is held around Easter every year — which is a holiday built on redemption. With the 50-month-storm brewing, the stage was set for Kelly to win the event and start paving the path to a 12th World Title.
Instead, he lost in the Quarters with a 5.67 heat total.
Which begs the question — does 11-Time World Champion Kelly Slater need to get crucified if he wants to win again?
Let’s weigh it out.
-Formalize his place as a deity
-Gets to ascend the rankings
-Party when he wakes up
-Could be pretty cool to see him back on old boards
-Outerknown already makes loincloth, win/win for product placement
-Might not come back
-Could make foot injury worse
-Erik Logan in general
Would Kelly have won Bells if he was crucified first? The pros seem to outweigh the cons, but it’s tough to say. I do know that Jesus had to make it through trials while Kelly is at least always seeded in the main event.
Does Kelly Slater Need To Pay For Sex And Get A DUI?
Is Kelly Slater back?
That’s the question everyone is asking, but it’s stupid because the answer is obvious. He has attended one of those Hillary Clinton parties where you eat people and now his competitive fire has been raging (no offense Malibu) and he wants to rip heads off so to speak. But in order to come back, he has to actually come back from something.
And what is he coming back from?
A few years in his 40s in which he surfed better than what anyone should ever expect from a 40-year-old? That Joe Rogan podcast? A foot injury? (lol)
These things are beige as fuck. Everyone knows the further you stray away from glory, the greater the comeback. Just ask Tiger Woods.
DUIs are the national pastime of Florida and Southeast Asia is known for cheap labor. Nobody seems to mind that he pays them for making surfboards, but if he paid them for making love it would be an international headline — a perfect valley to set up for the peak of his 12th World Title.
Something to consider as he definitely wouldn’t be the first bald guy getting all sweaty in Singapore on a business trip.
Mid-2000s Surf Industry Redeemed In Western Australia By John John Florence And Kolohe Andino
The surf industry was invented in Irvine, California in 2003.
Shortly thereafter, it experienced a rapid period of growth thanks to core surf shops such as Macy’s and TJ Maxx. When the industry was at its prime, John John Florence and Kolohe Andino were the princes. They were the heirs to the throne and all of its doubloons. There was not enough room in the future for anyone else.
Then the financial crisis of 2008 hit and people had to stop living their baller ass lives in ill-fitting Quiksilver logo tees because they couldn’t afford to pay the mortgages on their $85,000 houses in Midland City, Ohio. And everything changed.
Times are totally different now. Stab is headquartered almost 20 miles from Orange County and the WSL has adopted a much more methodical system of racism to replace the overt version made popular when Jihad Kohdr was on tour.
The economy bounced back and the surf industry has since proven that it is perfectly capable of destroying itself without the aid of a financial crisis.
But with both John John and Kolohe in the final at Margaret River, the Costan Mesan prophecies of yore have proven true. Does that mean the surf industry is officially back? I don’t want to sell anybody some flip flops and a mortgage I know they’ll default on yet, but it’s on the right track.
See you at the Sublime cover band show.
Is Progression A Bigger Threat To Surfing Than Sharks?
As we all know, the North Shore’s gift to surfing sustained a knee injury after trying an air and has pulled out of competition until the further notice.
Yes, it will be sad to watch the J-Bay Open without Coco Ho around. Heal up, darling.
In other news, John John Florence also hurt himself trying an air (really more of a kick out) which has prompted a hot topic of debate in the intellectual surfing community.
Is modern-day surfing the biggest threat to modern-day surfing?
The recent string of injuries has earned airs a place amongst the most dangerous aspects of our sport — right there with sharks, drowning, and middle American department stores. And while there once was a time when it seemed as though airs were the most logical way to progress surfing, it is now apparent that Bede Durbidge was more of a prophet than a performer.
It’s called safety surfing for a reason.
Luckily, J-Bay is one of the safest waves on tour when you look at it that way — and especially if you completely negate the fact that Filipe Toledo does airs at pretty much every venue, lands most of them and almost never gets hurt.
From here on out, if you truly respect surfing and want it to progress healthily, you shouldn’t do anything that Gary Elkerton can’t do.
Will Kolohe Andino’s Yellow Jeep Be Repossessed By A Muscular Latin American?
It’s hard to separate politics from sport and surfing is no different.
Things have reached a boiling point ever since John John disgraced America by taking a knee in Brazil. It’s sad to see Nike using Hurley to push their liberal yahoo agenda and align John with Colin Kaepernick. Maybe he should focus more on progressive surfing, not culture.
Meanwhile, the right was in full force at J-Bay and there was plenty of conservative surfing to suit. Lots of cutting back in order to reduce the deficit and a staunch anti-abortion policy by the WSL via their continued commitment to Round 2. Some berths just aren’t meant to be.
These are polarizing times. Which is why we’re lucky to have Carve Visionary’s new Kingpin sunglasses which come with polarized lenses, making them the go-to for all acts of domestic violence. (Paid partnership with Carve.)
Anyway, by the Semifinals of J-Bay, the event pretty much looked like a Canal Off barbecue that somebody forced Kanoa to go to by promising that it would lead to some corporate sponsorship in Brazil.
So much happening in our sport. And we’re only one year out from the Olympics. What a time to be alive.
Helmets Don’t Actually Make You Safer
Folks, the 2019 WSL Saltwater Pro Teahupo’o was a wild ride.
The event featured a lot of helmets, probably the most that global surf fans had collectively seen since Rip Curl’s Tip To Tip campaign.
I’ve long maintained a belief that wearing a helmet in the water doesn’t actually make you safer, it makes those around you safer. This is just one of many inexplicable yet dependable rules that govern our sport — like never being able to break a board that you kind of want to break or Bruce Irons doing something stupid.
At Teahupo’o, this theory was confirmed as Owen Wright took out the comp after his helmet forced Gabriel Medina to surf a safer heat in the final. I will be submitting my full thesis to the SIMA Awards in hopes to win the Waterman Of The Year Award in 2020 and then accuse Dirk Ziff of being a German that doesn’t know how to swim like Christian Fletcher did to that one guy at the XXL Awards in 2010.
The Freshwater Pro Was The Best Contest Of The Year
In physics, a wave is the disturbance of a field in which a physical attribute oscillates repeatedly at each point or seems to move through space.
When you think about it, the Surf Ranch is literally the disturbance of a field and “repetitive oscillation” is the most accurate description of surfing there that has ever been written. Big credit to me as a surf journalist for stealing that.
Therefore, collectively, as physicists, we can assert that the Freshwater Pro indeed had the best waves of the year. And if you look at the comment sections, you’ll see that an international contingent of surfing enthusiasts agreed — it was the best contest of the year not counting all other contests.
I’d like to bring up some counterpoints. Criticism is not negativity.
-There are sections for airs/finners throughout the entire length of the wave.
-It’s weird to talk about an individual’s surfing when the ocean isn’t involved. When you eliminate the element of the elements and focus solely on PERFORMANCE, it feels…sport-ish. Like people who regurgitate what they hear about quarterbacks on ESPN and frequent Buffalo Wild Wings.
-It’s not actually freshwater. According to Wikipedia, freshwater has to be naturally occurring.
-Wikipedia also makes Olympic surfing sound like some sort of structured homoerotic ritual, but that’s because I just edited the page. By the way, the Olympic committee can expect to hear from my legal team about their use of “speed, power, and flow.”
Cease and desist.
Should The WSL Host A Contest At Hollister Ranch?
On October 9th, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1680 into law which mandates that poor people can surf Hollister Ranch now.
It’s a hot topic in the surfing community. Many people think it’s a step forward, a symbol of equality, a celebration of freedom. And what better way to celebrate freedom than with speed, power, flow as well as progressive or innovative maneuvers in the critical part of the wave.
That’s right: The WSL should host an event at Hollister Ranch.
With surfing at a crossroads between wave pools and everything that actually matters, The Ranch provides a unique opportunity to bring professional surfing back to the California coast. An event here represents everything that California stands for: Gorgeous, wide-open land and a general willingness to cover it with either billion-dollar homes or poorly-built apartments.
Logistically, the event here will require some infrastructure but nothing major — maybe just a parking structure for the fans. They could even keep the scaffolding there in order to minimize the environmental impact of building a new one every year.
That said, not everyone is “on board” and ready to thrust upon waves of equality. Some people think that Bill 6980 is whoring out what is essentially the last stretch of pristine California coastline other than the hundreds of miles north that everyone ignores. However, I spoke with one local surfer who seemed enthusiastic.
“I think it would be great to see a contest here at The Ranch. We’ve surfed these waves pretty much by ourselves for our entire lives, so it’d be cool to see what some of the best surfers in the world can do here.”
A source close to the WSL even said it’s “very likely” that an event will be held there as early as 2022. Much to look forward to.
Gabriel Medina Needs To Get His Priorities Straight
This edition of the SPF rankings is here a few weeks after the Rip Curl Oi Meo Pro has finished because taking off late is one of the most powerful things you can do in surfing.
Roll-ins are for pussies.
Anyway, if you watched that one episode of WSL’s critically acclaimed torched series Sound Waves, you already know that Kelly Slater works with a spiritual healer who changed his life by helping him stop win World Titles.
He refers to himself as a Life Coach but for the sake of this article, we’ll be referring to him as “Charlie Goldsmith” because it’s his actual name which it’s kind of funnier. We’re not here to make jokes, though.
Turns out there’s another CT surfer working with a coach named Charlie, but lately it seems like his pupil needs no formal instruction in order to lose a World Title. That’s right: We’re talking about Gabriel Medina. If anything is clear after the Oi Meo Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal, it’s that Gabriel needs to get his priorities straight.
The good news is that I am a certified Life Coach too now and I am willing to take on this case pro boner to ensure he too loses the Title like Kelly Slater. Here is my advice.
-Take the WSL’s lead and do something good for the environment by clearing out large plots of the Amazon Rainforest in order to pick up any plastic bottles that would have been hidden in the thick brush.
-You become who you surround yourself with, so it’s probably time for him to ditch your “party boy” lifestyle and hang out with good wholesome people like Adriano de Souza.
-Man up (by nature).
-If you’re going to interfere with anything, interfere with something fun like American presidential elections and get Occy to win somehow.
-And if you’re gonna incite death threats, at least give us Glenn Hall-esque interview and fluster Peter “The Condor” Mel first.
The concept of karma was invented in the traditional Buddhist colony of Byron Bay, Australia approximately 15 years ago.
In its most complex and authentic form, karma is the belief that if you do good things, good things will happen to you and if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you.
And if you ask any social media commenter other than Neymar (who’s not even Pele by the way), KARMA is the reason why Gabriel Medina lost the 2019 World Title race.
You know the story. The whole Caio Ibelli thing. I’d like to be the first to point out that Gabriel wasn’t even being a good Christian because if he was, he would have crucified Caio instead of simply burning him.
Which begs the question: Could Buddhism have saved Gabriel Medina’s World Title?
It’s hard to argue against it when you think about him accepting karma. And on top of that, Buddhism could have introduced Gabriel to other ways of thinking such as abandoning his ego which seems to have worked for Kelly Slater as he didn’t drop anything to steal the attention from Italo (yet).
With all that considered, I hereby advise Gabriel to spend his offseason at the Byron Bay drum circle, where the women can show him what a real armpit looks like.
Relationship woes? Existential crisis? Can’t go vert? Email [email protected] to resolve all of your issues. Namaste.
Watch: ‘Vacation’ Presented By Monster Energy
Stab Highway winners visit Kandui Resort.
The Stab Interview: Shaun Manners
On signing with Former, landing the cover of Surfing World and TSJ, his Cult of…
Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out
How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.
Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone
...and he might not go home all year.
John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle
Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.
Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls
Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.
Watch: When People Like This Speak, We Listen
Raw, extended conversations with Clyde Aikau and Eddie Aikau winner Luke Shepardson.
Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?
We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.
Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*
May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.
An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore
Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.
Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band
What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6
An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer
Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game
…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.
Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing
But will surf final CT event at Bells.
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up