Check Ya Later WSL Big Wave World Tour, Mason Ho Still the Most Entertaining Surfer in the World, & Tane Bowden Shreds

6 Sep 2019 2 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was September 6, 2019

1. Check Ya Later WSL Big Wave World Tour

There isn't much I care less about than competitive big wave surfing. Comp surfing? Love it. Big wave surfing? Incredible. But add the two together... spare me (with the notable exception of the Eddy, which like test cricket, brings the weight of history and legacy, transforming it into something long and slow into something truly awesome). Does it feel like to you that we're so wrapped up in a combination of – 1. The immense respect we have in our culture for the surfers that push the boundaries of riding giant waves. 2. The idea that big wave surfing translates to a more interesting show for non-core surfers, because it gets on the nightly news whenever some kind of record is reached, and thus could finally bring surfing to a mainstream audience. And 3. The drive to grow all aspects of the sport of surfing in the post ASP era – that we are blinded to the fact that big wave surfing is boring to watch over a long period of time and doesn't lend itself to the confines of a "sport"? Big wave surfing is more like the climbing of Everest, the scaling of El Capitan... it's man against nature over the span of decades, to see what can be done by people, to see what limits can be reached. These are men landing on the moon, putting them in colourful jerseys and pitting them against each other over a season... I dunno, it just doesn't make sense to me.

But not everyone is a cynical dickhead like me, and there has been some interest in the WSL Big Wave Tour in the WSL era, I guess, which makes the following big news: The Big Wave World Tour is no longer. That's right, the WSL announced this week that their hard to follow, limited run season will become a single event World Championship, after dropping Mavericks completely and evolving Nazare into a tow surfing only comp. Jaws will now cement itself further as the centre of the modern big wave surfing as the only remaining part of the once World Surf League Big Wave World Tour.

The WSL's daily update show announced it with a positive spin, calling it a "new and enhanced big wave platform", referrng to their new non-comp big wave stuff they'll be developing, which I'm not sure I understand. "WSL's new platform for Big Wave Surfing will deliver unrivaled big wave action through the new Strike Missions series, reimagined events, the Big Wave Awards, and year-round content, all centralized into a new digital home designed to spotlight the boundary-pushing performances by the big wave surfers."

To clarify, what I don't understand here is... what exactly is the WSL now? Are they a modern surf video maker? A sport's governing body and competitve league? A platform, like one you catch your train to work from? I have no idea, and I'm not 100 per cent sure they do either.

You can read the announcement and full interview with Pat O'Connell on the WSL's site. Or watch a tidbit of it at the 10.50 mark below.

2. Very Good Mason Ho Edit

What does summer surfing in Hawaii look like? It looks like this: Mason Ho having the hellest of hell times as only Mason Ho can.  Sometimes I wonder if Mason Ho can keep up with the whole doing simple little things that I've never seen before, and I think, "Yeah, nah, we have have seen all his fun tricks by now." And then he’ll do something as marvellously dumb as a an attempted air with a grab upon take-off (1.34), and we fall in love with his surfing all over again. Who thinks to do that before the wave has even really started? The man is a bizarre, brilliant surfing genius.

3. This Julian Clip is two weeks-old but let's watch it now!

Loaded to Julian’s YouTube channel and titled North Shore Boogie, here is an off centre single location clip of pure awesomeness. It’s Julian, it’s Pipeline, it’s great. 

4. Tane Bowden, Full Clip

Gold Coast gun (originally from New Zealand) Take Bowden drops a sick clip featuring a lot of airs and hi-fi surfing as well some tube time in Hawaii and the Gold Coast. Interestingly, the clip was edited by Alex Crews – the shaper of ACSOD Surfboards (and younger brother to Mitch Crews), renaissance man alert. The low-key best thing about this edit is that it’s just called, “Full Clip.” You have to respect not over-thinking it; just show up and blow up and chuck it on the Internet. Easy.

5. Chippa Wilson, Ozzie Wright and More Ruling Ulus on Single Fins

The Uluwatu single fin comp was run and won by Ozzie Wright (comp guy!) two weeks ago, but footage of the rad event is only getting around the Internet now. It features the likes of Dion Agius, Jim Banks and Jared Mell and is a hell of a lot of fun.

6. Bruno Santos Gets Lots of Barrels in the Mentawai Islands

Can ride a heavy lefthand tube, this guy. That’s not news. But it is something that's nice to reaffirm with a stellar edit packed with heaps of that in that archipelago of incredible lefts. Top work, Bruno.

7. Filipe's Boardshort Ad

Hurley released a bunch of silly ads on YouTube this week that feature their team doing silly things. The best is by far this one lampooning Filipe and his dad communicating by whistling, which if you've ever watched a live surfing event near the competitor's area, while Filipe is in the water, you'll know is a real... thing.

8. Nate Florence's Pipeline Point of View

5pm traffic jam at the world's most famous wave. This is how one of the best there negotiates the bumper to bumper, board to board madness that is the Banzai Pipeline line-up.

9. Archived John John Florence Session at Teahupo'o

Sticking with the Florence fam for a minute, John John dropped this clip this week that features a 2011 pumping Teahupo'o trip, narrated today by Albee Layer. It's hard to believe this was eight years ago, wasn't John about 12 years old eight years ago? Time flies.

10. Meet Mauro Diaz, He Is Good

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican exploded onto the surf internet out of nowhere this week with this clip surfing around Central America and Hawaii. Good for him! Epic name, too. Mauro Diaz. I'm jealous.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Go Joe Ingles!

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