8 Shocking Surf World Predictions For The Year Ahead
Nostradamus, Russell Grant, Mayan Calendar, Step Aside
1. John John Won't Win The 2017 World title
He probably won't even make Top 5.
Not that he isn't the best surfer in the world right now, forward slash ever. Not that I don't want him to win, I just feel like he might suffer that tricky title defence/second album syndrome. Just two male surfers have successfully defended maiden World Titles in the last three decades - Curren in '86, and AI in 2003.
If JJ were Snoop and 2016 was Doggystyle, 2017 will be The Doggfather.
Very forgettable. Highly regrettable.
2017 Top 10: 1. Medina 2. Smith 3. Andino 4. Wilson 5. Slater 6. Florence 7. Toledo 8. DeSouza 9. Parkinson 10. Ferreira
2. Carissa Moore Will
I'm baffled as to how Carissa doesn't win every heat and thus every event.
She's clearly the best she-surfer in the world by some measure... by 28% in fact. The only logical conclusion is that she's too nice.
Well not this year, 'Riss gonna get mad, then get even.
2017 Samsung Galaxy Women's World Tour Top 5: 1. Moore 2. Wright 3. Gilmore 4. Conlogue 5. Fitzgibbons
3. Surfing Will Continue Its Lame obsession With Iceland
Now I've got nothing against Iceland. Actually, that's not strictly true. I have 3 things against Iceland. 1. They eat puffins. 2. They voted not to pay back €3.8 billion to the UK and Holland after Icesave collapsed in 2008 (actually, I'm fine with em not paying Holland back...) and 3. The 'Viking Clap'. Cheeky fuckers stole that from Motherwell FC.
But it's not Iceland's fault the surf media is obsessed with it. It's surfing's fault. How many more surf film festivals do we need to sit through, blighted by Iceland pox? It's only a matter of time before the film festivals actual come up with 'Best Iceland Surf Film' category.
Look, we know surfers and surf film makers are some of the least creative, least original clones on the planet, but please. Can we move along now? Can we have a wee break from that waterfall? That right hander? That beach with the chunks of ice?
Q. How. Many. More. Times. ???
Expect a whole lot more of the same in 2017.
4. Someone Will Ride a 150ft Wave At Nazaré... and/or maybe die
This Nazaré business is completely out of hand. It's basically D-Bah... but 100ft.
Watching the BWWT event this past December was pretty sickening rather than pretty sick, the punishments being dished out were actually pretty hard to watch.
The crazy thing about the joint isn't just the size, the scale, the power, the lack of channel...it's the consistency. The thing breaks big like 50 times plus a year.
Eventually, just given the law of averages, something's got to give.
5. Joan Duru Will Win Rookie of the Year
The rarely-heard Frenchman is in a place to do some real damage on Tour this year, maybe.
Sure, rookie seasons can go Pete Tong in the blink of an eye, but I've got a feeling Joan's is going to go very right.
His post-interviews will be awkward and uncomfortable, a la Ferreira / Florence circa 2011, but no matter.
France is going to have a brand new surfing hero... and one actually from France to boot.
6. Social Media Scandal Will Bring Down A Pro Surf House of Cards
It's only a matter of time, surely, before someone gets found out. Caught with their pants down, so to speak.
In ye olde days, the mags decided what you saw, about four months minimum after it happened. The mags were at the mercy of like, 6 surf brands, the editor liked his job so avoided controversy.
There were no 'public interest stories', certainly no scandals. There were only a few dozen people in the whole world with both top end SLR cameras and the attention of the ten or so people who controlled who, what, when and where got printed.
Well surfing ain't immune. Prediction: self-congratulatory vegan Tia Blanco will be outed shovelling fois gras into her beautiful cake hole.
7. Surfboards Will Be... More or less exactly the same
Did you gasp when Clark foam collapsed? Did you rush out and buy a quiver of Surf Tech? And then Firewires? Did you sell a kidney and order one of those Aviso carbon thingies? or maybe you put down payment on the jet-board SUP?
or... are you basically riding exactly the same shizzum (albeit wider nosed, shorter, flatter) as you were in 2001... polyester resin on polyurethane foam? Yep, thought so.
8. Kelly Slater will morph into Nigel Slater
Unable to recapture the surfing form of days gone by, Kelly -- who'll still have something of a hunkering for the limelight -- will instead turn to cookery and health food recipes to lord it over the great unwashed.
As the tyranny of expertise we've become accustomed to in recent years in almost every aspect of our lives develops further, Slates will dish out a chia recipe here, a health food tip there in order to maintain something of a sense of worth. He'll be gluten and sugar shaming the shit out of you, whilst simultaneously peddling $200 granddad shirts.