Who Will Win Bali? Who Will Win Shipsterns? And Why You Should Definitely Wag Work and Watch Surfing on Monday

9 May 2019 1 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Lol, let's run a comp at this wave! That'll be a laugh!

Lol, let's run a comp at this wave! That'll be a laugh!


Ten Things From Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was May 10, 2019

1. Shippies, There's A Comp At Shippies on Monday!

Easily the biggest thing in surfing this week is the out-of-nowhere announcement that, oh yes, Red Bull Cape Fear will be running on Monday, and it will be running at the isolated and notorious and terrifying and jaw-dropping and awesome and spectacular and interesting and big and weird and difficult and beatiful wave that is Shipstern Bluff down in cold old Tasmania.

Red Bull Cape Fear is a spectacular, invite-only special event where some of the world's best and biggest big wave chargers mix it with local hell men in powerful waves of consequence. And unlike a lot of things in professional surfing, Red Bull Cape Fear is an event that knows exactly what it is – built ground up in the post-Internet worldspecifically for a digital broadcast audience, it just really works. How they'll get it to work on an isolated treacherous bit of coast where the only way in is by boat, or a two hour walk through national parkland, I'm not sure... but when they do, it's going to make for incredible and unique viewing.

And to top it off, three time World Champion Mick Fanning will be one of the competitors. He'll be joining the likes of Mark Mathews, reigning Cape Fear Champion Russel Bierke, everyone's favourite charger Laurie Towner, three-time Jaws Champion Billy Kemper, millenium super-star Kai Lenny, as well as a host of local Shippies specialists like the Holmer-Cross brothers and Marti Paradisis... amongst others.

Here's some fun numbers that Red Bull threw in their press release for the event:

  • 20 invited surfers, including both Tasmanian locals who frequent the location, other key Australian surfers and international professional surfers. 
  • Triple-overhead waves, measuring up to 20-feet in height
  • 27 Olympic pools worth of water breaks over a shallow reef 
  • Waves breaking 10 meters from the rocks of Shipstern Bluff 
  • Surfers towed in at speeds up to 50km/h
  • One of the most difficult waves in the world, first surfed in the early 2000s
  • 30km boat ride to get to Shipstern Bluff or a multiple hour trek

So many numbers, and such impressive and nice looking numbers to boot! That's definitely numberwang!

For the sake of claiming it, I'm going to drop my tip for the win right here: Laurie Towner. He's good. He's been "the guy" at a heap of significant swells in the past couple of years, he's really good at Shippies and familiar with its various moods and tricky steps, and it also just feels like it's his time. So, yeah, go you good thing Loz!

So... if you feel like taking Monday off and setting up on the couch, I don't blame you. For now, here's a video of the 2016 Red Bull Cape Fear Champ at the 2019 venue.

2. Toledo and Yadin and Baron Shred Panama

So every week when I put out this list of all the stuff that surfing did on the internet in the last seven days I make sure to check the YouTube accounts of all the big surf companies for any new and interesting content I might have missed. Billabong often have stuff, Rip Curl too, Quiksilver about once every couple of months will have a ripper clip, but Hurley, oh boy, over the last two years Hurley never put out anything. So what a surprise this week to find that Hurley are dropping a new series called In and Around Water (so literal!) – and the first clip starring Filipe Toledo, Barron Mamiya and Yadin Nicol surfing in Panama is top notch! Can't wait for more.

3. Keramas Starts Monday

As if Monday wasn't already looking like an incredible day to slack off work and secretly watch surfing, what with Red Bull Cape Fear under a green light, the WSL CT gets back underway at Keramas on Monday too! And the WSL reckons it'll be on for Day 1. Here's what they said on their Facebook this morning:

"At this point it looks highly likely that the Corona Bali Protected will get underway on the first day of the waiting period! (May 13) It also looks like there will be more swell on tap later in the window (18-20th)."

Tips for the win? I have no idea, any of the Title leaders after two events like John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Jordy Smith, Filipe Toledo or Gabriel Medina (that's the top 5 in order) could absolutely destroy this thing. So maybe pick one of those, and/or Julian Wilson and Kolohe Andino. The same goes for the women too. Chuck the names of the top eight into a hat – Caroline Marks, Malia Manuel, Courtney Conlogue, Carissa Moore, Steph Gilmore, Lakey Peterson, Sally Fitz and Tatiana Weston Webb – and pick one at random, anyone could win. (That's some top notch analysis right there, thank you!)

For the sake of the claim, I'll pick Carissa Moore for this one, and with much less confidence, I'll pick John John Florence to take Bali in his best start to a year ever.

4. Mikey February Surfing A Beautiful and Empty Point

Isn't it nice to see a beautiful surfer who didn't quite fit the mould of the CT, come away and do great surfing elsewhere? Here's Mikey February soul cruising his way down a perfect and empty right point in West Africa. Surfing is so much more than the narrow parameters of competition heats, where surfers can't just... sort of... do less. And it's the doing of less where Mikey shines. (That's meant to be a compliment.)

5. The Largest Surf Park In The World Is Coming To South Korea

Wave Garden continue their dominance of the world wave pool space race (sure, the Kelly pool has the WSL, but what else?) with work starting on what will be the biggest wave pool complex thingy in the world. Where is it? It's in South Korea of course. Wave garden's press release this week revealed details like, "Plans for the Siheung Surf Park ... include a beach almost 1km long," and "business stage 1 will see the creation of Asia’s first Wavegarden Cove on a site covering 166,613m2, which is on track to open to the public in 2020," with the constuction of "a hotel, convention centre, marina, and ferris wheel".

So... does this mean surfing is getting its first Disneyland? I do not know. Usually Disneyland parks and luxury resorts of the like are in super warm climates, where lounging by the pool all day next to your schmick hotel is encouraged with beautiful weather. South Korea though, that place has, according to Lonely Planet, winters that are nasty and long, summers that are sweltering, and pleasant springs that are unfortunately very short. But what would I know, I live in Melbourne... by choice. (I am really cold right now, and it's raining sideways.) 

6. Luke Davis' Sweet Bali Edit

I haven't thought about Luke Davis in so long. Not since the days before YouTube Vlogs, back when pro free surfers made their crust by putting out nice highlight clips edited well to good music. Those were the days, and Luke Davis is still living them, thank you Luke!

7. Jamie O'Brien Invented Winch Whip Ins

Speaking of YouTube Surf-Vloggers, here's the OG Jamie O'Brien inventing a new way to whip into waves. Pretty genius, really.

8. Joel Tudor and Friends Slide California

Logging legend Joel Tudor offers us a change of pace with a ten minute longboarding clip that takes in a bunch of fun Californian waves, including Malibu and some sick lefthand pits on a mid-length somewhere.

9. Tanner Gudauskas Get a Board From Gumtree*

And by Gumtree, I of course mean Craigslist. This is a neat idea for a clip: Searching the Internet for a fun secondhand board like the rest of us, and then surfing it... like the rest of us. Tanner finds an old Channel Islands model you can't get any more called the Sashimi. Then he surfs it, as you do. Alright!

10. Ian Crane, Eli Olson and Timmy Reyes Score Pumping Tubes

For O'Neill and their new Strike Missions series, the American boys head down to the Carribean and score what they went for – thick barrels and fun waves. It looks so much warmer there than Melbourne right now. It really does. I. Am. So. Cold.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Let's eat some hearty soups!

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