Who Lost $90k-Plus At The Quik Pro, The Gold Coast Party Bois And Which Of Surfing's Hottest Couples Is Procreating?
Welcome back to Gossip Girl, post-D-Bah or pre-Bells.
The first event of the season is over, but whispers from behind the WSL’s silver curtain have just begun. This edition of Gossip Girl features financial irks, junk food quirks, party works, and more!
Quik doesn't like Duranbah and Duranbah’s never worn a Quik Pro tee.
This year before the Quik Pro, Cyclone Oma burned a hole into the bank at Snapper so deep and dark that it cooked a damn juicy burger. There wasn't a chance of the ruler-straight lines we've come to expect. They moved over the hill to D-Bah for turns and airs and even a few little tubes – a fast-paced event loaded with great surfing and a little controversy! The decision to move to D-Bah, as a consumer and fan, was the right call.
As a marquee sponsor, not so much…
Quiksilver watched their merch sales during the event stagnate. At the Snapper site, each year they rely on the crowds to come through, purchase their merchandise–a 40-or-so dollar wearable memory. Due to the sheer amount of passionate surf fans who flood the Snapper amphitheater each year, Quiksilver manages to claw back some of those marketing investment dollars in the event.
Not this year.
The D-Bah setup is more WQS1000, with meager scaffolding and an event site rushed together – an amateur set up compared to the feat of engineering at Snapper. Can you imagine what would happen to a sponsor, if say, during the Australian Open of tennis the organisers had to move the event over the hill and left the park near-empty? Or, during the US Open at Huntington, there was a better bank at Newport and a smaller tent and event was erected down there? It really is one of those shitty and unfortunate situations which feels like it could only ever happen in surfing. Last year, Quik brought in well over $100k throughout the event in merch sales. This year, because it was run at D-Bah with less foot traffic, Quik reportedly only clocked $10k in sales. Rumor is, this reduced commerce is part of the reason the notion of the Quarterfinals moving back to Snapper, then gave a lay day, and finally finished at D-Bah in sub-par conditions. Meanwhile, during said lay day, D-Bah fired which it seems every single person who's ever been on the internet reacted to. According to the surfers, the event was never actually going to Snapper.
Win or lose, Kolohe still foods.
Kolohe Andino, in the time leading up to a World Tour Event, treats his body with absolute care.
He's up at 3:30 am each morning. He's training. He's on a health-oriented diet. He doesn't booze (actually he doesn't consume alcohol in general). According to reports, during dawn patrol, he's a caffeine-induced wave catching machine. But when the event ends, whether he's finished second for the fourth time of his career or 25th, Kolohe heads back to his residence and stuffs his gut with pizza, candy, soda and ice-cream. Instead of drinking his sorrows away, or celebrating in a champagne bath, he feasts on the devil's finest: y'know, gluten, sugar and dairy.
The Red Bull Airborne bois came to the Gold Coast to partaay.
This may not surprise, but during the Quik Pro most of the CTers are neither seen nor heard. You won't find them slugging pints at Eddie's Grub House, and you certainly won't see them in the sweat pit and grime-rich club better known as The Snake.
The Red Bull Airborne crew consists of lovable gents with insatiable appetites for life such as Chippa Wilson, Harry Bryant, Kael Walsh, Noa Deane, Eithan Osborne and more. The exact names are blurry but from our extracurricular activities, many of the Airborne surfers spent their nights on the Goldie sinking tins, staying out late and finding the party.
Yes, they only had to surf a few heats over two days, but it's refreshing to see some part of the World Tour still enjoys a surf, a drink and shaking off a hungover in their heat.
It's worth noting that the Airborne finalists consisted of four (out of six) surfers who also competed in the Quik Pro. Make of that what you will...
Another of surfing's hottest couples has a baby on the way.
Pat Gudang and Hanalei Reponty are both undeniably beautiful walks of life. Pat is tall, handsome, has golden skin and sun-kissed blonde hair - he's got a smile that invites and teeth like god's shoeshine. Hanalei's got a body that makes old men weep with golden hair that runs down to her lower back. She's tall and leggy and could walk a catwalk with aplomb if she chose to pursue a career in the runway arts. Instead, she has a swimsuit line and does some casual modeling on the side.
Looks aside, the two are one of the most gentle, welcoming and good-natured couples in surfing. Anyone who's shared a lineup or conversation with either couldn't say much negative - it's all positive vibes, right, warrior?
We're pleased that the married couple is bringing new life into this world. Whatever the sex of their offspring, that crazy diamond will shine.
No beers for Caroline.
Caroline Marks is the youngest surfer to make the World Tour, ever. She's seventeen years old and in her sophomore year. Because of her adolescence, if she wins an event or finishes runner up, there are no beers allowed on the podium. Corona is a primary sponsor of the WSL. Apart from their branding across all WSL events, each contest they wait patiently for the first and second place finishers to celebrate with their yellow Mexican bubbles.
If Caroline wins Bells again, and she probably will – the podium will go beverage-less. We predict Miss Marks on the podium frequently this season, she's that good - and surfs exactly to the judge's taste. With speed, power and stock.
Although, if Mikey Wright, Jeremy Flores or Wade Carmichael make the finals this year, it’s going to be a tough battle keeping that celebratory beverage off stage.
Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin and Jordy Smith can't figure out what exactly the judges are looking for.
Post-D-Bah the judging debate raged. John John beat Conner Coffin in the Quarters after Conner caught a wave at the buzzer and jammed into the oncoming section with a technical layback turn. When he went to the judges' tower booth to ask why he didn't get the score, they told him it was a bog. Upon rewatching, the judges admitted they were wrong.
The Kolohe/Italo dispute's been heard, analyzed and almost forgotten. The judges who took on an unruly crowd of surf fans in their booth, however, will never forget (usually the judges have a tower but due to the event being scraped together at D-Bah, it was a booth - directly in the line of passionate flame).
Jordy's heat against Italo is another that could have gone in favor of the South African. After the event, Stephanie Gilmore confessed on our IG that she thought Jordy should have won. Many agreed.
The question remains, what do the Americans, Australians and South Africans need to do to beat the Brazilian storm... and John?
Sebastian Zeitz has a new sponsor.
Seabass (14th in the world in 2018) lost his head-to-toe sponsor, Oakley, at the end of 2018. The purveyor of Frogskin is trimming their fat, entirely dropping Gold Coast Wildcard, Caio Ibelli, from their diet. The Bass remains on Oakley in terms of polarized lenses, albeit his paycheck took a severe cut. Recently, he's signed with boutique neoprene co, Volte. He's also joined a company/"movement" called Slow Yourself Down. How much this is affecting his overall salary is TBD. If anything, it's proof that even the top 20 surfers in the world need to scrap to make a surfing a sustainable career.
We hope as many surfing soccer parents read this piece as they do the Stab Rich List.
Until next time.