Mini-Margo Ripping to Tool! the New QS, & Longboarders Take on the Kelly Pool

13 Sep 2019 2 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was September 13, 2019

1. The New QS

Out of seemingly nowhere this week, the WSL announced that it's kinda sorta overhauling their Qualifying Series as soon as next year. They'll be launching the "Challenger Series" – essentially a revamp of the six current QS10,000 events to include two more, with a look to making the series a full ten events in the future. For Australian QS grinders, the news is hugely impactful as the two events that have immediately been added are in Philip Island, Victoria and Piha, New Zealand. You can read a bit more about that it in Nick Carroll's excellent column here.

As a Victorian who grew up surfing on the east coast of Victoria, I love this news. To see a part of my surfing world represented on the big stage, and of course the opportunity it provides for young surfers in our region, is a ripper. But while overwhelmingly positive, it's a curious move from the WSL at the same time. Developing a QS 1,000 into a QS 10,000 (in the case of Phillip Island) is wild, particularly when Newy Surfest and Manly have been hard battling, long standing QS 6,000s with major legacies on our surfing cultural landscape. We've oft heard that the upgrading and downgrading of these events, their health and their standing hangs on outside investment... NSW Tourism, Hurley with the Aus Open and now Vissla with the Sydney Pro, in Manly's case being pivotal for their weighting as 6,000s. So what's the go with Phillip Island? A cold lonely bit of land that has no traffic lights, likely won't draw a crowd, and will probably be surfed on a big ol' beachbreak... Don't get me wrong, I want it there, I love that joint and think this is sick... but does this has to leave a sour taste in the mouth of the people who worked so hard to keep a surf comp in Manly and Newcastle surf cities? Have the WSL changed the goal posts of how their events are placed and held? It's interesting, is all, and it's going to be fun to see it play out.

Here is a video from an old Rip Curl Pro that explains Woolamai Beach – the most likely venue for the future QS 10,000 – as a back up venue for Bells.

2. Alex Knost Full Video, Tan Madonna

Surfing iconoclast Alex Knost directed and starred in a new 25 minute surf video for Vans called Tan Madonna. And while it’s pretty slow and affected at times (a lot of people definitely won’t like this), there is no denying that Knost is absolutely shredding here on his mid-length trip – which makes this surfari through Baja Mexico, Southern France, Australia and Indo a joy to watch. Cameos from Michael February, Lee Ann Curren, Harry Bryant and Karina Rozunko fill the vid out all nice too. It’s worth noting that the soundtrack was performed entirely by Al Knost and Lee Ann Curren – it’s rare that the surfers provide the soundtrack for their surfing themselves, and this probably proves why that’s the case. Sidenote: Knost thanks Tommy Wiseau and James Franco in the credits.

3. Sofia Mulanovich Won the ISA Games and Might Be Going to the Olympics

A full 15 years since she won the World Title in 2004, Sofia Mulanovich is still out here smoking Championship Tour big dogs and winning her way into the 2020 Games. What a story. Other stories out of the ISA Games are that Italo Ferreira was late to his heat (thanks to having his passport stolen in America) – Arriving with just nine minutes left, he grabbed Filipe's board, paddled out in jean shorts, and won. What a lord. Another story out of the ISA Games is that Australia won the Aloha Cup(?), and because it's the ISA, I have no idea what that really means. Yeeew!

4. Snake Tales From the QS in Spain

Jake Paterson’s QS series rejoins us for the Spanish QS10,000, the Abanca Galicia Classic Surf Pro in Playa Pantin, which finished up this week. For those keeping track of the QS – Matty Banting kept himself well and truly in the qualification circle with his best result of the year yet, a 5th (5200 points), Jack Robinson got himself back in the conversation with a 9th place and 3,700 points, pushing him up to 13th and just outside the bubble. While Brazillian Miguel Pupo won the thing, jumping 20 spots to third. 21 year old American Jake Marshall finished second and jumped 16 spots and into qualification contention. Unfortunately, a poor showing from Connor O’Leary dropped him just outside the qualification threshold. Some other strong Australian results to note were that of Merewether 19-year-old Morgan Cibilic making the quarters, and super-grom Caleb Tancred also making the quarters in his first ever 10,000 event.

5. New Surf Lakes Footage

If a week on the surfing internet goes by without some new wave pool footage, does surfing internet even exist? Push that terrifying existential question aside for a moment because Surf Lakes have released new footage of their slab creation thing with Jay Occhilupo taking it on. He then has a go of “Occy’s Peak”. The slab doesn’t look that good now, does it? Still, the variety of waves this place offers is pretty fun. Keen to see more.

6. Mini Margo Is Shredding!

A Margo clip with Tool on the soundtrack? What year is this? Where am I? What is happening? Micah Margieson (son of Brenden) is getting better with every clip, and this fresh one called L O A D, keeps the trend. (This actually came out two weeks ago, but I'm definitely not too proud to say I kooked it by missing it, and I'm frothing it way too hard to not give it some love this week.)

7. Mikey February Is Stylish As Hell

Style icon in the making, South African Mikey February hits Salina Cruz Mexico with trademark grace and it’s an absolute delight to watch. This is what a perfect two minute surf clip looks like.

8. Griffin Colapinto Is Vlogging Now

*Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" plays softly in the background.* Our favourite mainland American surfer joins the YouTube crew to show us behind the scenes of the US Open at Huntington Beach. It’s all worth it to see for a split second Griffin’s grandpa wearing a WSL Colapinto jersey. That’s too darling. It’s also worth noting that, like a lot of things, Griffin does surf vlogging better than his competitors.

9. World's Best Longboarders Hit The Kelly Pool

Ever wondered what world class longboarding would look like at the Kelly Slater pool? Well, our guy Harrison Roach  plus Justin Quintal, Honolua Blomfield and Rachael Tilly went there for the WSL and did it and it’s kinda sorta pretty cool. Harrison Roach rules.

10. Ulus Super Session with Slater, Freestone and More

After the Corona Bali Pro at the end of June, a neat swell hit Uluwatu and Kelly Slater, Jack Freestone, Jack Robinson, Mason Ho, Eli Hanneman, Rizal Tandjung, Zeke Lau, Ian Crane and Marlon Gerber were there to meet it.


Julian Wilson has been dropping one wave mini-clips to YouTube lately. Here is one.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone. Let's go Patty Mills!

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