It can be easy to forget -- what with his hugely underwhelming performance so far this year; what with the legions of keyboard warriors who insist on calling him a shoulder-hopper; what with his opponent, in this case, being John John Florence, who negotiates the tube better than anyone -- that Gabriel Medina tubes like a motherfucker. He tunnels with the fleet-footed facility of a mole on steroids. On his forehand, he gets deep, super deep; minute adjustments speed him towards the exit. He might not give you quite as many goosebumps, nor blow your mind with the same exquisite nonchalance, nor occupy the same position of privilege in your heart; but he is a little bit better at winning heats. Yesterday he picked off the better waves, surfed them flawlessly, and clearly deserved the win. The heat of the year so far, though a shame it had to happen so soon in the contest. And fuck, no more John John.