Surf Europe en 30 WCT-ERS SET TO CONTEST CASCAIS BILLABONG PRIME Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:01:24 +0000 Surf Europe ff2e822451c07ee965546aaaac967e6a Last year Jadson Andre dominated. After a runner's up finish in France, can he back up? Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 12.00.10 The main event is about to kick off. After warm-up gigs in the form of the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro France WCT and Cascais Women's Pro WCT event, the real deal starts tomorrow with the Cascais Billabong Prime. Now, as we all know and are all well aware, Primes are the new WCT. Why? Four man heats! Instant Rd 1 elimination! Funner-webcasts*! Massive spoiler alerts at every horn! Expensive, gluten-free wheat among the WQS chaff includes the likes of Jordy, Mick, Taj, Julian, Michel... and 25 other WCT tour stars! Now, cynics among you, it is in no way to do with winning an extra 50 grand on top of this year's already improved prize money via the Portuguese Waves Series Cascais Trophy. No, no, no, no! Nothing whatsoever to do with that. It is everything to do with the surfers' boundless love for Portugal, for Cascais, for the Prime format. And a little bit to do with scheduling, in that they have to be here anyway next week for the WCT, and it's long way to fly home (to Oz, Brazil, etc) and come back. But only a little bit that. Mainly the love! The forecast is a bit like this: TUESDAY 7th Oct: Carcavelos SURF: 2-3’+ W windswell/swell and NW swell wrap. Bigger surf with chest/shoulder high sets develops in PM. WIND: W/WSW around 5kts becoming SW 7-12kts in the afternoon. Guincho SURF: 5-7’+ NW swell and W windswell mix. Plus, well overhead sets still likely. WIND: Becoming SW/WSW 7-12kts.   * A matter of opinion of course. But what is fact is the webcast team offers the chance to listen to former Surf Europe (long-since fired) penman Ben Mondy, plus... Occy! And also Dog Marsh! And others! ]]> SEA SHEPHERD AUSTRALIA DIRECTOR ON W.A. SHARK ATTACK AFTERMATH Fri, 03 Oct 2014 13:04:34 +0000 Surf Europe safe_image-3 Following yesterday's shark attack on WA surfer Sean Pollard, who lost a hand and one arm, Sea Shepherd director Jeff Hansen has spoken out against the policy of catching and killing sharks immediately after attack, as a kind of futile revenge. "If this is an eye for an eye sort of mentality, it's not going to make any difference, and it's proven through experience all over the world that culling and killing sharks does not work." "We have nature on a grand scale off our doorstep ... unfortunately at times we get caught in the middle of that and we have these tragic incidents, but we need to learn from what has happened here." Hansen maintains no sharks should have been killed, and urged the Australian Government to rethink its policy. "There is no such thing as a rogue shark, they don't exist - they exist in Hollywood in films like Jaws and that's it." While Facebook comments and forums tend to light up with public outrage at the killing of these large fish, public opinion is probably more balanced in reality, especially on surf coastlines where attacks happen, among people who actually go in the water regularly. It seems comment forums tend to favour one, trendier side of the argument (if you judged the Scottish independence referendum by social media, you think about 99% of the vote would be 'Yes'). One interesting take on the debate came from Taj Burrow via STAB mag recently, where he said (shark culling is) "A heated subject over here at the moment. It gets people pretty upset. First of all, I don’t think culling is the appropriate word for it. We fish everything that is in the ocean and I don’t really see why it’s any different for the great white. We rape the ocean already and because none of these creatures have ever been caught it’s out of balance. So I don’t think it should be called culling.
We fish everything else so what’s the difference
? In a nutshell, do you eat fish? If so, why are you crying about the killing of two fish in WA yesterday when commercial fishing kills some 93 million tonnes of wild fish/year? Or if you prefer, 250 000 tonnes of wild ocean creatures killed yesterday alone. All so you and your crew can guzzle sushi, being sure to post it first on your wretched Instagram... Well? Do let us know. Wanna know more about Sea Shepherd? Wanna know how to avoid an attack? Read about the world's sharkiest surf zones here. ]]>
TODAY AT THE QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:34:06 +0000 Paul Evans Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 19.30.34 I don't really need to do write this post. Without meaning to sound callous, cold, calculated, cynical and a bit of a... cunt, the shark attack in WA today meant that the traffic spiked anyway. I'm letting you into the dark, twisted side of web content here, but shark attacks are big winners on clicks. You don't need to think, create, any of those things. You bash out a few, vague, semi-factual lines, bung up a pic and whack it on Facebook. Then sit back and watch the traffic go batshit. Sad, but true. The only thing better than a shark attack post is a shark attack 'split post' or 'listicle'. That's one of those things where we let you read a few lines then make you click next or pg2, etc, for more. We quintruple our 'page impressions' without doing anything vaguely creative or original. The only thing better than a shark attack listicle is anything to do with Kelly Slater or Anastasia Ashley in the nude. That's the state of the game. That's 'new media.' If Kelly and Anastasia were both surfing nude and both got attacked by a shark, well, web editors the world over could take the rest of the month off. Again, sad, but true-ish. The other thing worth mentioning, before you lament, is that it's all your fault. You bought the fucking iPhone, didn't you? You consumed 'content' on your wretched 'tablet' didn't you? How much did you spend on printed surf media this month? Well? All. Your. Fault. Anyway, enough about you, let's crack on! Slater vs. Logie happened at 2pm. 2pm is an awful time to show up at the comp. You missed lunch and the only thing of note happening is the queue at the port-a-potty of just-lunched VIPs needing a shit. The VIP area isn't quite what you might expect. Rather than being full of rap stars, hard body models and Formula 1 drivers, it's full of three-years-olds. You 'd be amazed how many pre-school tots are waddling around the VIP. Meanwhile, the great unwashed, the plebs, the folk who constitute only a P and in no way merit a V or I go without the luxury of queueing to take a shit. If you are just a P and are watching the 2014 Quik Pro France, due to fact that the closest beach access is closed to the public, you must make the massive soft sand yomp up to Estagnots to relieve yourself. Ye of grumbling prostate, ye of busy bowel, stay by your computer. Stay and regale in Joey Turps' brand new verb tense, known as 'future perfect'. Future perfect is used for a surfing manoeuvre that's already happened, but is to be described in the future tense. "He'll check in for a vision" as he comes out of the tube, after the tube. 'He'll go out in front for a vertical stab" After he completes said vertical stab. Whatever. Dissing the commentary is even worse than Facebook commenting on the judging. Only an asshole would do that. Only an asshole that had never queued for a VIP shit, and probably never will. Meanwhile, in the sea, Jordy smoked Julian Wilson. Smoked. Taj mullered Kai Ottz. Mullered. Then Round 4 happened. I hate Round 4. I don't even like Round 2. I reckon once you lose, you lose. You should have your parking pass and wristband taken back and have to leave the site. All of this second and third chance shit is just part of an evil conspiracy to keep the same dudes at the top. What's that Kelly, you lost? Don't worry, we'll get you through the Quarters, somehow. Sure, it's part of an evil global conspiracy. It's the same people that promote culling of sharks and cover up chem trails stories and fitted up Assange and are putting fluoride in tap water and won't even let Joe Public go for a wee or a poo at a surf contest. It's a fucking outrage.   ]]> PLAYMATES WHO SURF: SYLVI BODI Mon, 29 Sep 2014 08:12:12 +0000 Tom Higson ©RichardKotch_Ppass12_ IMG_2634_ok3 Sylvi at P-Pass. Photo: Kotch As much as we’re thrilled to interview pro surfers and take pics of them standing next to white wall looking moody, a chance to find out why Hungarian Playmate, model and surfer Sylvi Bodi loves riding waves was a terrific diversion! 162898_170869772944201_169342043096974_414932_2557671_n 155109_173852039312641_169342043096974_431512_7094230_n 154661_170869816277530_169342043096974_414935_1529546_n HOW DID YOU GET TURNED ON TO SURFING FIRST OF ALL? My first trip to Bali 5 years ago I took my very first surf lesson with my friend. I was still a beginner when I made a trip to G-Land two years later but I had no fear of the waves. First wave I got smashed, hit the reef, buckled my board. But I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter so I went back out and caught another set wave and made it all the way down passed Speedies reef. That was the best feeling I have ever had, that’s when I fell in love with surfing forever. WHAT’S THE HUNGARIAN SURF SCENE LIKE? MIKI DORA WAS HUNGARIAN! I know a few Hungarian surfers but they all have to travel far to find waves since we are land-locked. I’m trying to promote and show how exciting surfing culture is. ‘Da Cat’ was definitely a legend and the surfer that made surfing culture what it is today. I don’t think the world knows that he was Hungarian... 46WQ8417_2 Heels:Pal Nanasi YOU LIKE TO GO ON SURF TRIPS? I’ve surfed many waves but my favorites have been Cloudbreak, Restaurants, North Shore Kauai, P-Pass, Playgrounds, Mainland Mexico, Cokes, Lakey’s and Teahupoo. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT SURF TRIP TO HOSSEGOR... It was a very unexpected trip. When I got there I met up with some of the boys that I surfed with in Tahiti, I ended up signing a contract with Creatures of Leisure and Sexwax. Besides the fact that the waves were not great when I was there it was a very successful trip, I was stoked. IMGL1809_3 Photo: Swilly IS SURFING GOOD PHYSICAL TRAINING FOR MODELING? GOOD FOR THE SOUL? Honestly surfing is not good physical training for modeling because you mostly use your upper body and for modeling you need to focus more on your ass and legs. As far as models and Playboy bunnies go, I don’t think surfing the waves I surf would be good for their soul or their career... But for me, I don’t mind a few scars. WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SURFERS? IF KELLY SLATER HAD HAIR LIKE ADRIEN TOYON, WOULD THE WORLD BE A BETTER PLACE? I was wondering why most of the stylish surfers have long hair! Rob Machado, Adrien and one of my favorites and good friend Asher Pacey, I have never seen anyone ride the alaia as good as he does in heavy barrels. It is all about the style. It doesn’t mean the bald guys are left out... :) Of course I love Kelly and Dorian! 2K1Y9506_ok3small IMGL1905_3 7755RBWnew DO YOU THINK SURFING IS SEXIST? IS WOMEN'S PRO SURFING TOO SEXY OR NOT SEXY ENOUGH? One of my favorite things about surfing is to be close to nature. It’s funny when I see guys in the line-up wearing the full gear (helmet, booties, wetsuit). I love when the water is touching my skin. If I could surf naked everywhere, I would. I like to wear as little bikini as possible. Not only to be sexy but in Hawaii I learnt a little bikini gets you more waves. :) WOULD YOU RATHER READ A SURF MAG OR A FASHION/GLAMOUR MAG? I would much rather read your mag than any fashion/ glamour mag. The only time I’m flipping through the pages of Vogue is to get some inspiration to design dresses for my own clothing line, Sugarbird. Besides that I’m always reading Surf Europe. WOULD YOU ADVISE YOUNG GIRLS TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MODELLING OR A CAREER IN SURFING? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG YOU? I think both careers can be dangerous and very competitive in different ways. In modelling you are in the media’s hands. You have to be strong inside because for a young model there are many people trying to take advantage of you. The good side of it is you are creating art and expressing yourself, inspiring other people. In surfing you are in nature’s hands which to me is much safer than being in any other hands. You’re taking more physical risks but the rewards come much quicker. Whatever career you choose it has to come from inside. My advice to all young girls is to pursue your dreams, whatever they might be. ]]> WRIGHT WINS FORTY GRAND, REYNOLDS GET HIS CAR BEATEN TO FUCK SHIT Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:12:55 +0000 Paul Evans Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 21.29.16 Dressing for the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro France can be tricky. Not in the fashion sense, but just because the late September climate is something of the Continental. You need warm gear for the morning/evening shift but around lunch if the sun pokes out, or even if it doesn't, it can get warm. And thus a man is faced with the conundrum of being cold in shorts early but just right later. Or being just right leaving the house in the dewy, mist morn, but getting a sweat on from elevenses. I elected for a brush cotton shirt in navy. It provided warmth early, but even better, later when not needed for warmth, served as subterfuge as I wrapped it around my face like TE Lawrence of Arabia. I successfully avoided several people whom, rather than didn't want to talk to, just couldn't be arsed. You know what I'm talking about. They ran some of men's and all the rest of the women's at the spot called 'Guardians'. Which as well as being 'Goalkeeper' in French is also the newspaper of choice of champagne socialist liberal media elite of Great Britain. The Guardian loses £2million/week. That's more than Surf Europe. Tyler Wright won the women's and won well. The best news of all is that Courtney Conlogue made the final, which is totally awesome. Because of her heartwarming injury comeback narrative, you ask? Sure, kinda. But also because one of her sponsors, Swatch, wanted me to write a press release about it. And the Swiss pay the big bucks, thanks very much. I did that before I did this, obviously. You guys are getting Swatch's sloppy seconds. Without meaning to sound like a total dick, I had a 'meeting' scheduled at the event today. That's why I went. I got there during the women's semis. The surf was totally pumping, like really, really good. Up and down low folk were getting crazy long pits. It was all too much, I messaged my meeting saying 'something's come up', promising to return in two hours. I jogged to my car, to go surf. I drove to the spot, which is a wee bit out of the way. I'll spare you the details but anyway, it was good. Really, really good. But more crowded than one is accustomed to. There is no real car park, it's a park and walk. And while only a short walk, some folk still chance it by driving along the walking path. Woooopsy. Anyhows, a man some thirty paces behind me, on the walk back out, was cross. He'd not had a very good session. He was not happy about the crowd. He was not happy about anything at all, it would appear. At one stage, a car, a car with Spanish number plates was parked beside the path. Someone had written 'AQUI NON' in the windshield dirt. I marched on, listening to the muted yet pleasant afternoon birdsong when an almighty thud punctuated the avian chorus. I stopped and turned around to see the angry man hammering the bonnet of the Spanish plated car with a massive fallen tree brach. He was laying in to with the kind ferocity that seemed at odds with the tranquility and verdure of our surrounds. It was not like when Basil Fawlty hit his Mini for not starting. Nothing like it. Physical comedy it was not. It turned out that the car was the rental of none other than Dane Reynolds, Earth's other best surfer (you may recall I referred to John John as that in the last post). I sure hope Dane ticked the full liability waiver box and coughed the extra 14 euros/day. Because while our angry man did very little of note in the surf, he caused some serious fucking damage to the bonnet of that VW. Just as I arrived back at Guardians the event got called off. I'd missed the entire final... But! I'd had an email from Swatch! ]]> TODAY AT THE QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:05:34 +0000 Paul Evans Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 20.50.53 Wilko (portly, ponytail) drops in while Kelly (bald, trim) does an air!  This is because Wilko had 'priority'. Now, if that doesn't just thrill the shit out of you on so many levels, then you are not a fun person. And you and I will never be friends. Today at the Quiksilver Pro France, stuff happened. Thrilling, fascinating, compelling, edge-of-your-seat stuff. The thing is, I wasn't there. When I got to the end of my road, instead of turning left to Estagnots, I turned right for the A63 autoroute south. To San Sebastian, Spain. To my date with Orlando Bloom. More of that in a bit. Here's the highlights 'reel'. In brief: It started off clean and glassy, but chilly. Commentators talked a lot about the tide, very possibly in the 19th century unit of feet. Sun was out. Gabriel Medina thanked God, probably, in his post heat pow-wow. That's an interesting take on the Hebrew God of the Old Testament/interventionist debate. For Gabs, God could've been trying to free the Nigerian school girls or saving Yazidi 3-year-olds from being thrown in mass graves. But no, God was a bit busy for all that, making sure Gabs got more points than Tiago or Dane, obviously. Anyway, surf was fun as shit for you or I to go for an actual surf, but kinda not that much of a spectacle for jaded 38-year-olds such as myself to actually watch. I mean, when the QPF is held at kegging Graviere, as a spectacle, it's totally fucking rad. As good as any venue on tour to watch, bar Chopes and Pipe. But when it's just dudes going along waves in Seignosse it's kinda, how can I put it... missable. I like it when you don't know if they are going to make the take off. If you know they are going to make the take off, it does all seem kind of... futile.   The main news was that John John Florence, Earth's best surfer, wore shorts. It seems like he is the only one out of the whole tour who is taking this shit seriously. The only one who actually gets it, who realises the gravity of the situation. I mean, kids are watching, for fuck's sake. Julian Wilson, meanwhile, in the very same heat, shamelessly wore a spring suit. Yep, short arms, short legs. That one. Just typing that sentence has me coming out in hives. Unbelievably, God let him go through! God either switched his line of sight back to saving the Yazidi momentarily (before CJ's heat, presumably), or clearly doesn't have a fucking clue about proper neoprene shred attire etiquette. Meanwhile, almost everyone else wore full suits. Pussies. Around about the time the wind came up, I was getting ready to shake hands with Orlando (maybe even hug, if his security detail was light) in the outdoor museum of sculptor Eduardo Chillida. Not just shake hands/hug, but chat. Like me ask questions, him answer. That kind of thing. I was tasked with doing an interview with the cast and crew of 'Greasy Hands Preachers', a docu-flick about custom motorbikes. Anyway, I did the interview with the cast, the directors, but alas, no Orlando. Orlando stood me up. Dave Rasta did the exact same thing to me last year at the same Film Festival, the no show. From stood up by Rasta to stood up by Orlando in just 12 short months. I, it seems, am seriously moving up in the world.     ]]> WHICH EURO WQS CINDERELLA WILL FIT THE WCT SLIPPER? Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:02:58 +0000 Surf Europe The thing with the WQS is, it's dirty. It's filthy dirty. It's kinda like a cross between Romford greyhound races, where the favourite comes last and the 250-1 outsider romps home, and the Barclay's Premiership, where anyone can beat anyone on a weekly basis. It's cruel, it's random. It's hard to call. Dudes will be on fire, then inexplicably won't make a heat the rest of the year. There's hardly any rhyme or reason, which actually kinda makes it way more watchable than the WCT. Sort of. Here is's round of the the Euro princesses (with our assessment of their chance of qualifying in the next few years)


_CHR4668_web_72dpi Photo: Christie Strengths: Probably the most natural and pleasing-on-the-eye surfer in Europe, an unofficial title he took over from Jonathan Gonzalez. Joan has got a deadly backhand, charges, is an incredible tuberider and surfs the open face with creative flair. Weaknesses: Not aggressive enough in heats, lacking that steely resolve. Seems to surf within himself unless/until he makes a few rounds. We’re kind of bored of harping on about it, but Joan finished an excrutiating equal 15th (on equal points with Blake Thornton, who qualified) in 2009. At the time, it seemed like he’d get back in real soon, but that seems like an awfully long time ago now... “
Joan hasn’t yet found the consistency to churn out 7 good results in the same season
. It can also seem like a bit of an effort for him to do the Tour.” reckoned former coach Didier Piter. Up until recently, Joan was part of travelling trio with Martin and Lacomare (French Connexion), but now does the much of tour with better half Maud le Car. Kind of shy and not a big fan of the scene, that might suit him and help nudge his results up where his freesurfing screams they should be. Or not.


lacomare-CR2-testemale-0579 Photo: Testemale Strengths: Consistency, power, resources. Marco can put a shift in in pretty much any kind of surf, from slop to kegs. Weaknesses: Can seem a bit mechanical or over-coached compared with Joan. Not neccessarily a bad thing on the WQS, but he could get exposed on the WCT or whatever the fuck it's called when/if he ever gets there. “
It was a bit of a slap in the face getting so close to qualifying last year
, but it showed my surfing is where it needs be. It’s just made me even more fired up for this year,” reflected Marco on his close but no cigar 2013 season - his first full-time on the grind. Marco has been groomed for qualification for a number of years and has had everything you could possibly want in order to get there in his corner. He knuckled down in a big way for his 2013 run, something that helped channel his focus and end up just two spots away from the WCT. However, he could do with ignoring the conspiracy theorists and learning from close losses... Now let’s see if we can get through this whole text without mentioning Marco-Parko QPF2013... fuck! Apparently not.


huscenot-CR2-testemale-1950Photo: Testemale  Strengths: A precise, versatile surfer, with flourishes of extra rad. Weaknesses: Could do with a bit more devil about him... less Federer more McEnroe. For a long time Maxime was considered something of a dark horse, but now is more of just a horse. Having had a highly respectable junior career (including a World Title in 2012), he now needs to step up in the mens, come out of his shell and deliver. His repertoire has pretty much everything in abudance, as evidenced in his latest video edits, the next step would be to regain some of the ice cold heat strategy he showed as a grom.
No more Mr Nice Guy, lots more Mr Gnarly Cunt
To Draw in a Heat. “I’m feeling great about this season, I hope this is going to be my year” he said recently. So do we.    


  _CHR2335 Photo: Christie Strengths: Fierce backside, relishes competing. Weaknesses: On his forehand he sometimes looks a bit... gangly. Not that many Euros can say they’ve won a six-star as a teen, something that’s given Ramzi confidence that others have lacked historically. He has all the ingredients to make the qualification grade - except experience at some venues - and seeing Marco get close last year would have given him further relish for the task and self-belief, something he needs to draw upon to come back stronger from a silly Bali motorbike mishap that saw him out of the water for months this winter. That belief in his own ability, combined with a fondness for surfing heats akin to a young Flores could be ideal combination to see the lad step up on to the tour and go mad.
Or, he could just disappear forever like Abdel El Harim.
Who? Exactly.


_LEX1735-Modifier Photo: Laurel Strengths: Determination, spark, self-confidence. Loss of main sponsor a few years ago has seemed to helped his hunger. He also has a strong name... 'Charles Martin' sounds like an RAF Squadron Leader,  or a head of a House of Lords sub committee on judicial reform. Weaknesses: Inconsistency. Some surfs he looks like the best surfer in the world, others, can’t do a turn. Another one of those well-rounded souls who can attack anything from waist high slop to grinding reefs, Charly seems to have evolved philosophically to a place where qualification doesn’t seem that improbable at all. Despite recent quasi-forays in Buddhist mantra, Charly does a good job of maintaining his heat-winning inner fire. Whether it be from needing the prize money, or from the myriad of global conspiracy theories spinning around his melon, more than his contemporaries, he seems to be able to switch on the anger in heats.
Form-wise, if he can stay on a roll that's seen him get a strong start to 2014, this is his year.


Vasco Ribeiro3 Photo: Carlos Pinto  Strengths: Repertoire. Weaknesses: Sometimes still looks like someone who grew too quickly.   It’s hard to believe Vasco is still a teenager, he’s been around for yonks. Groomed for greatness like Leo,  his fate will be decided by his ability to keep pace with omnipotent new generation while out-foxing the old WQS warhorses. Making finals in open events at 14 has heaped pressure, as has being the heir apparent to superstar Tiago. But the rise of Von Rupp, Kikas and fellow ‘Geezers could help Vasco flower by more evenly spreading the expectations of a surf mad nation. Being recently dropped by Quik would've hurt,
it's now sink or swim time. Or make butter. Or something.


Kikas1 Photo: Carlos Pinto Strengths: Carves, tubes, power. Weaknesses: His forehand can seem laboured in weak surf. One of those guys can seem to do better in heats than his form suggests, Triple Crown Rookie of the Year and a WCT heat win over Slater in Penchie in 2013 were decent feathers in Kikas’ cap. Dog Marsh, Frederico’s coach/confidante reckons,
“He’s right there with his surfing, the kid’s on fire. He just needs to put a solid run together and anything can happen.”
While beating Slater at Supertubos earned the sensational headlines, it was more of a case of Kelly fucking up than Kikas wildly ripping. Still, ability to perform in front of expectant Portugeezer crowds will do him no harm in the future, while any kind of competitve success on the North Shore is invalubale for confidence to draw upon at season’s end, when it’s needed most.


Timo-Young Guns-Japan-Taiwan-Nov 13-1271 Photo: Timo STRENGTHS: Groomed for greatness since a pipsqueak. More Hawaiian experience than some 30 year olds. WEAKNESSES: Power. Kinda like Jeremy Flores 2.0, with better style and less emotional baggage, but has he got the winning ability? Very possibly. Leo has it all laid out in front of him. Talent, know-how, wherewithall, heavy backing from sponsors. A few years ago,
Chas Smith asked him on the beach at Pipe if he was the ‘next Kelly Slater’, to which he replied, “Yeah maybe.”
This year, an amazing run of results has seem him rocket up to 29th, with 5 Primes to go.


Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 12.43.19 Photo: Bravo Strengths: Barrels, positive attitude Weaknesses: Small waves Curiously enough, it’s Von Rupp’s recent explosion as a freesurfer that has facilitated a recent flourish in the lycra jersey. Having made a name for himself as a charger around the world through video clips and photos, early 2014 saw him make heats and climb up the ratings. Or could it just be that he swapped his German passport for  Portuguese one? “I remember being at a comp in Brazil and losing it about a swell hitting Tahiti” admits Nic. “These days I’ve found a better balance there.” A wordly individual who’s much less crew-centric than some other Euro pros his age, if he ever did get on the WCT, he could ruffle a few feathers in the juice. (NOT PICTURED) Vincent Duviganac, 26, very slim chance Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, very slim chance Romain Cloitre, 25, very very slim chance Adrien Toyon, 24, no chance Hodei Collazo, 29, no chance Gony Zubizarreta, 29, no chance       ]]>
10 QUESTIONS WITH JOHANNE DEFAY Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:14:34 +0000 Paul Evans Fiji Women's Pro Raised in the Indian Ocean reefbreak juice of Reunion Island, Johanne was one of few Top 17 women whose stock rose in Fiji this year. Photo: Joli Interview by Archi Women's WCT rookie Johanne Defay recently posted a career-best 3rd at the SWATCH WOMEN's PRO TRESTLES, proving her 'high-performance' game can mix it as well as her well-touted reef/power credentials. We caught up with her for some insight into tour life... and not being a model. SE: With 2014 seeing a big increase in prize money and Fiji and Maui back on tour, you chose a good moment to jump on the Women’s WCT. Life’s pretty good? Johanne Defay: I’ve been really lucky. So far in the time I’ve been on tour, I’ve felt like life has changed in a massive way, but also very little, at the same time. In terms of the experiences, everything’s multiplied by a thousand. Surfing waves like Cloudbreak going off, being amongst the top girls, surfing in front of what feels like the whole world watching, that’s massive. But then step out of that bubble and you go home between events and do regular day to day stuff and you realize, the tour and pro surfing is really a small world, just one tiny part of a very big picture. You’re currently 10th in the ratings. Do you feel like the 10th best female surfer on the planet? JD: Not when I’m walking down the street anyway haha. It seems strange to think of things of those terms, I’ve not given much thought to my ranking. I just want to give a good account of myself and surf to my capability, now that I’ve been given this chance. Have you found your surfing matches up to the level needed on tour? Up to scratch or found wanting? JD: Not found wanting in any specific area as such. It’s more a question of little tweaks, details. All the girls surf well. For me, I’ve felt better surfing waves like Bells and Fiji, and that’s kind of apparent in my results at those two spots. Fiji in particular, because I felt like I surfed a legit world class wave in proper surf, and I held my own. Fiji seemed to cause some of the other women problems... True, but you need to take it in context, it’s a hard place to surf and not many of the girls had any experience of the wave beforehand. Cloudbreak is a heavy spot too, it’s intimidating. I just think it’ll take a bit of time for everyone to get used to surfing there, that’s all. I just hope I get the chance to go back next year and surf the event again. Two years ago you nearly gave it all up. Glad you didn’t? I’d found it really hard to step up from the juniors to the WQS. Then the crisis hit the surf business and at 19 I found myself without sponsors and without decent resutls. I went back home to Reunion Island to figure things out with my folks. We decided it’d be a big shame to just let those years of competing and training come to nothing, so we put together a program for my qualifying for the WCT within two years, and it worked. When you lost your sponsor did you feel it had to do with not looking like a model? Not having a perfect ass? That’s just the way the business is, those girls that can make the most of that, good luck to them. It’s certainly not nice to be told that you don’t have the right figure, but at the same time, it lights a fire for you to try even harder. Maybe I had it too easy when I was younger, results and sponsors came relatively easy for me and I took them for granted. So losing my sponsor game me a huge motivation that maybe I was lacking. Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 19.09.08 Johanne ripped Trestles for a 3rd place finish, making fans of the good people of America in the process. Photo: @johannedefay Instagram So what motivates you now? To surf for myself above all, and not for sponsors. To surf and enjoy it. To make my mark on the tour as best I can and prove myself. And to give something back to those who’ve stood by me and supported me. What about your deal with Jérémy (Flores)? He’s supported me financially, so I could go out and do the tour, and he’s been there to offer a bit of guidance after my first losses. I had a lot of highs and lows within a short space of time and he helped me deal with that, you need to be able to pick yourself up and go again pretty quickly. That’s the kind of advice you need from people who are experienced in life on the tour. When you see someone like Carissa Moore travelling with her dad, boyfriend, coach and cameraman, it’s those people who all offer invaluable support. Do you offer him some advice back? Not really, I don’t really have any advice for him regarding surfing, he’s so experienced on tour, he knows what he’s doing. It’s not really my place to speculate, but maybe he’s a little bit over it. Do women surfers peak earlier than men? It can seem that way. Noone over 30 on the womens tour, whereas the men seem to be getting older and older. It’s just a question of maturity, in surfing and in life! The thing that strikes me is that the men are more at ease on the World Tour and the women are less so. The other thing I guess that’s true across any sport is that when men want to start a family, they don’t need to stop competing. I was actually talking to Steph Gilmore about this recently and she told me that she sees herself sticking on tour a while. She likes the lifestyle, travelling, she’s not tied down. So maybe that’s the secret to longevity. ]]>