Isabella Nichols Is Ruling, Reliving John John's Bells Brilliance, and One Year till the Olympics

26 Jul 2019 5 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Isabella Nichols in South Aus

Isabella Nichols in South Aus

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things From Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was July 26, 2019

1. Medina and Moore Smashed J-Bay

This news was pretty well a whole week ago,which makes it oooooold news, especially on the internet, but it did fall into the past seven days, and it's still the biggest thing that happened in those days. For the best reading on this, hit up your boy Sean Doherty for his excellent recap. The big news from J-Bay though is that Gabriel Medina won J-, which means his dominant backhalf of the year roll towards a title has begun an event early in 2019, and despite being just 7th in the rankings, he's the only guy to have won every single of the five events that remains. Honestly, if I'm one of the other dudes with a chance at the title, I am shitting myself about Gabriel Medina. Speaking of other dudes, this event also marks the signicant feat of Kolohe Andino taking the World no.1 ranking. He's the first Californian to get there since the internet has been a thing, I think, which is crazy. Quick, someone Google if a Californian (man) has ever been World No.1 in Kolohe's lifetime.

On the ladies' side, Carissa Moore saw a big opportunity in Steph Gilmore and World no.1 Sally Fitz both bombing out in the quarters, and she took that opportunity by the scruff of its neck and made it her own, getting to the final – she's the first surfer to have made three finals this year – and taking down Lakey Peterson for her first win (interestingly, no surfer has won two events yet this season). It puts her in the World no.1 spot and makes her the new favourite for the title. Keep in mind that the next CT is the Freshwater Pro pool comp. Moore has won that two years running (if you include the invitational event, which for an indication of form at this unique spot, you should), and I've got a feeling the conditions will be similar to those years again in 2019. That'll make her even tougher to reign in for Sally and Steph.

And while we're talking all things surfi comps... the countdown to the Olympics ticked over to less than a year this week, which the WSL celebrated with this very I-guess-this-is-what-sports-broadcasts-look-and-sound-like-in-America clip. They also launched this Olympic specific part of their website. Right now, the Australian Olympic team would be Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Julian Wilson, and Ryan Callinan. I don't hate it.

2. Torren Martyn's 20 Minuter is Unreal

Now forget all that elite competition surfing junk I just wasted 400 words on, and dive into this 20 minute video of beautiful surfing that's so far from numbered rashies and 30 minute heats, they may as well be different sports altogether. Torren Martyn stars in this vid for NeedsEssentials riding these lovely Morning of the Earth surfboards. It's probably the best surf video you'll watch this week. Unless you have an old copy of Doped Youth in your DVD player and feel like getting early 2000s nostalgic... then that'll be the best surf video you watch this week, but if you don't... this will be!

3. Vissla Released A Really Good Movie Too – Rolling Review

What is it, Good Alternative Surf Movie By Non-Major Surf Brand Week or something? Did I miss that memo? No matter, I'm stoked for it because Rolling Review starring the always entertaining Bryce Young is a damn fine piece of surf filmmaking. 

4. 90 Seconds of John John Greatness

John John dropping this highlights clip from all his old movies – Done, Begin Again, Again & Again, Enjoy, View From a Blue Moon, Twelve & Space – while at home recovering from injury as the WSL CT goes chasing for World Titles without him reminds me of when I'm home sick on a Saturday night and I can hear people partying, so I just flick through photos of good times on my phone and think, yeah, I kinda still got it... I kinda, sniff, still got it. I'm not missing out on anything. *Post shot to Instagram*

5. The New Search Episode Is Gonna Be A Banger

On July 27, Rip Curl will be releasing their latest Search Episode – Red Monkey Full Moon – for just 48 hours. The 18 minute shred-fest-buddy-clip stars Mick Fanning and Mason Ho and if you remember the last Search Episode that starred these two – Outer Inner Space – you'll know we're in for something as special as it is tripped out. Can't wait. (Oh and if you're in Bali, you'll be able to see it early at the wrap party for the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang, which'll include a live QnA with Mason.)

(Oh again, if you want to make sure you don't miss this movie for the 48 hours it's live, you can subscribe to Rippy's YouTube channel here.)


6. Isabella Nichols In South Aus

Hey, did you know who is ranked world no.1 on the Women's QS at the moment? It's your girl Isabella Nichols! Get around her! She's on 12,990 points, which would put her on the cusp of qualification if she didn't surf again this year. On the women's side of the QS there are just two 10,000s, one of those is next week at the US Open of Surfing; if things go well there, it could confirm Nichols' qualification on the 2020 CT. Anyway, this is a really nice clip of our future star from Queensland in the rugged and heavier coasts of South Oz – good viewing from the Red Bull team, as per usual.

7. Isabella Nichols In Indo

Doubling down on the 2015 World Junior Champ content with this clip called Voyage by Billabon, which sees her ripping Lakey Peak and Simuelue. We've seen a slow but undeniable surge in freesurf clips of women surfers this year (on high performance shortboards, logging has always been around) and it's a really nice development. I mean, can you remember a comp surfer, who's not on the CT, getting two high quality freesurfing clips, produced by two massive brands, in the same seven days? It's completely unprecedented in the post-Internet era. And it's about time.

8. American Longboarder Slides Australian Points

This guy's name is Saxon Williams. Unrelated: Remember the season of Big Brother where there was a guy named Saxon, only Saxon wasn't his real name, he just chose it 'cause someone else in the Big Brother House was also named John (or whatever his actual name was)? And then this Saxon fellow was rumoured to be dating Gretel Kileen after the show had finished. I wonder what he's up to these days... it's funny, isn't it, time... he was a surfer I'm pretty sure. Speaking of surfers on reality TV, did you see Ross Clarke Jones on Survivor this week? Unrelated to that, this clip: yeah, this guy in this clip. He surfs in Noosa. It's fine.

9. Meet Shama Beckford, Pro Surfer From Jamaica 

Of all the English accents in the world, Jamaican is head and shoulders the coolest. South African? Get outta here with that Power of One rubbish! Australian? Sick of it! Kiwi? Yeah, they're cool. But gimme Jamaican every day of the week. I vote we do everything we can to get Shama Beckford on the CT, every single wildcard for every single event if we have to, just so we can enjoy his post-heat interviews on the broadcast.

10. Benji Brand Won The Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang

The barrel-fest of a comp that is the Rip Curl Cup went off on Monday and Benji Brand took it out. The South African once won the "Go-Pro of the World" comp for a ridiculous Skeleton Bay barrel, and he can pack a tube at Pipe too... so it's no surprise he reigned supreme here on Monday.

Bonus... JJF Does Bells

John John released this clip from his Bells win just as I was about to hit publish on TWIS this week. Realistically this should be much higher in the list, but I'll slot it on the end here as a bonus instead. It's excellent, and the Tom Curren cameo at the end is all-time.

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

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