Steph Gilmore Could Win The Title In The Next Couple Days, Parko's Iconic Career Gets A Sick Mini-Doc, and the WSL Game Is Not Super Good

5 Oct 2018 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: WSL/Poullenot

Photo: WSL/Poullenot

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 5, 2018

1. Quiksilver and Roxy Pros France Have Started

Well, actually, the Quiksilver Pro (men's side of the event) hasn't started yet, but the Roxy Pro has, and guess what, Steph Gilmore can very much win a record equalling seventh World Title this week! It's up to Lakey Peterson to stop her.

Here's how it works:

– If Gilmore wins in France, she wins the World Title.

– If Gilmore places 2nd and Lakey Peterson fails to win France, Gilmore wins the World Title.

– If Gilmore places 3rd and Peterson fails to place 3rd or better, Gilmore wins the World Title.

– If Gilmore places 5th, the World Title goes to Maui.

So essentially, Steph must make the semis to try and win the title. If she does, Peterson must match or better her result. If she doesn’t, it’s Steph’s. 

So far they've run Round 1, and both Steph and Lakey won their heats through to Round 3. 

2. Parko's Last Lap, Episode 2, Brings the Pain and the Glory of An Iconic Career

2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson announced his retirement back in July, and so now we’re getting a series of brilliant little documentaries on the great man as he finalises his last run through the Championship Tour. The latest is a corker that retells all the competitive hardship he went through to finally get that long deserved World Title, particularly that heartbreaking 2009 Title race against spiritual brother and ultimate rival Mick Fanning. The courage and character it took to walk down to the water at Pipeline that fabled day and chair up the beach the man who’d just taken his World Title away from him, my god is that some admirable shit. And it makes this some must-watch surf content!

3. Ryan Callinan Is The Man, Pretty Much Requalified

Last weekend Ryan Callinan went ahead and, excuse me if I exaggerate a tiny bit for a moment, became the biggest legend that has ever existed in the history of international sports. How’d he do that? The Novocastrian did that by winning the Portuguese QS10,000 (the EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira), adding 10,000 points to an already solid year and all but claiming himself a place on the Championship Tour in 2019.

Winning this event was no minor league small feat either, to take the trophy he had to go through CT World no.9  Kanoa Igarashi in the final (and that guy has been absolutely on fire lately), and the likely 2018 World Champ Mr. Gabriel Medina in the semis.

Callinan, with 19,360 points, is now second on the Qualifying Series rankings behind Kanoa Igarashi, who will likely double qualify on the CT.

To put those points in context, if Callinan were to just say, “Stuff it!” and stop surfing for the year, remaining on the points he has accrued so far this season, that 19,360 would have finished eighth in the 2017 and 10th in the 2016 Qualifying races, and that’s without striking out surfers who double qualified on the CT and the QS. In fact, in the last four years, the only time Callinan’s current score wouldn’t have seen him qualify was in the year he last qualified, 2015, when he finished 10th with 21,300 points. And this is all without taking into account that there are two more QS 10,000s left (in Hawaii!), where R-Cal will no doubt stockpile more points before the end of the season.

The win also makes him the world’s highest ranked QS surfer of right now, which mean he gets a spot at the CT event, the Quiksilver Pro France next week.

Here’s some quotes from Ryan Callinan after the win:

“I’m a pretty emotional guy, so it’s really overwhelming.”

“This year’s been a whirlwind I don’t know what’s happened to me, I’ve never won an event before and this is my second for this season!”

All of this is emotional for Callinan, for many reasons. Falling off a CT as a rookie, after a year of gut-wrenchingly close heat loss after heat loss, to bouncing back and requalifying two years later is no small feat. But his time since falling off the Championship Tour at the end of 2016 has also been marked with tragedy, losing his mother in May 2017, suddenly to a medical condition,  only 15 months after losing his father Garry to a long battle with cancer earlier in February 2016.

I think we can all agree the fact that Ryan is winning events and will (in theory) be on the Championship Tour once again next year is a fair dinkum triumph. Bloody good onya, Ryan Callinan!

It’s surfing’s feel good story of the year.

4. The Fizzlot Kids - SW Grombash 2018

There's a section in this clip where the winners of the SW Grom Bash – Ethan Stocks, Hinata Aizawa, Dakoda Walters, and Grayson Hinrichs – compete against each other on a Joel Fitzgerald twin-fin, commentated by Ronnie Blakey. It might be the most fun surf video section since Sabotaj's Bumbat Challenge. Just absolute gold. This year's SW Grom Bash video – The Fizzlot Kids – is such fun viewing. The SW team and filmer/editor Max Zappas nailed it.

5. Life's Better In Boardshorts, Chapter 6: Sunken City

How good is Newcastle? Heaps good is the answer to that question. In episode 6 of Billabong’s most excellent clip series featuring their most excellent team (Griffin Colapinto, Ryan Callinan, Jack Freestone, Creed, Shaun Manners, Ethan Ewing, Otis Carey, Dakoda Walters, Reef Heazlewood & Freddie Morais) they hit the heaps good Hunter Valley and then hit the road, shredding all that comes their wave. Not much else to say on this one, it’s a surf video like surf videos of yesteryear: Hell fun to watch and gets you psyched to go surfing. A+

6. The WSL Released A Game

Can you believe it? The WSL released an official mobile surfing game (out on iPhones for the moment, Android coming later). I've got a very long, very detailed review of this game brewing at the moment, but I'll give you a 3 point short version right here:

– Probably not as good as YouRiding.
– Why on earth would you make a WSL official game and not be able to compete on the CT in it?
– Still will probably play it far too much on the toilet, even though it's not very good.

7. Cool Surf Animation – Whale Tail

Independent American filmmaker Paul Ferraris has his students doing a project where they tell minor stories from their lives with animations. This one is his and it's great. It then turns into a psychy Torren Martyn clip.

8. Pipeline Turned On For the First Time This Season

People get angry when they see Christmas stuff in shops before November. It reminds them that the year is coming closer to its end, pushing all their hopes and goals for the year back at them. We're not ready for Christmas, we're not ready to be done with this year. Don't bring it sooner! But do we feel the same way about the opening day of Pipeline? I don't think so. It was October 2 this session went down. Nice and early.

9. Brendon Gibbens High Quality Ten-Minuter

By the main man Blake Myers, the stylish lanky fella with the quality air-game surfs WA, Portugal and Indonesia, and, of course, his home South Africa.

10. Nazare Guinness World Record

This week Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira was honoured with the very offical title of Guinness World Record holder for the wave she surfed, like a skier down a mountain, at Nazare, Portugal back in January. I will never not find the fact that they deemed this wave 68 feet high hilarious. Not because I think it's wrong, but because of just how precise it is in measurement. Not 66. Not 70. It's 68 feet. Just right. “Largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female” is the title of her record. Props to Maya Gabeira.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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