POWER WANKINGS PART 2
Vico fingers some middling to average surf talent
Missed part 1? Don't! Just click here
By Julien 'Vico' Hamel
#25 Patrick GUDAUSKAS - Trestles #5 - ASP #28:
Once every 47 events on the WCT, Patrick Gudauskas choses to surf normally, and it feels good. The ever-smiling Californian (or is it the abnormal length of his teeth?) finally got his act together, and in front of a cheering squad/local crowd in proper voice, took down some big names and even a bald feminine one, just by surfing smartly, cherry picking his waves patiently, and showing some proper poise and will to win, stomping and fighting his domination with authority, instead of just reassuring himself saying tired crap like "I'm still happy with this thirty-fourth Rd1 loss, you know, epic-frothing-legend-classic man" during post-heat interviews. Pat G belongs on the Tour, and it would be "classic" to have him on the Tour in 2014, and even more "frothing" if he chose to enter each heat like a gladiator and not like a grommet that even the judges don't feel bad about booting out.
#24 Miguel PUPO - Trestles #25 - ASP #26:
And another crap showing for Miggy Smalls in terrible string of results for such an amazing surfer. One of the fastest wave entries in the game, Pupo's amazing pop and air mastery were as exciting and cherished by the judges as they were underscored in his Rd2 bout versus Freddie P. His stupid-high air reverses were apparently no match against Freddie P's power surfing, and with a low 50's ranking on the WQS and well behind the bubble on the WCT, losing at his favourite spot on the Tour was certainly not part of his master plan. With 3 Primes and 3 WCT left this season, strictly no room for mistakes from now on.
#23 Freddie PATACCHIA - Trestles #13 - ASP #19:
Definitely the fittest he's ever been, Freddie P had a really uneven contest at Trestles, surfing rather poorly in Round 1 and 3, his main act being his Rd 2 versus Pupo when he surfed his sharpest since...well ever. Power, rhythm, control. Freddie seemed 10 years younger, eager to show he belongs more than ever on the tour. With 3 tube fest events to go on the Tour, you can bet good ol' Freddie (Gosh, he's 32 ! ) will still be there next year dropping random F-bombs and insults to the judges at will.
#22 Gabriel MEDINA - Trestles #13 - ASP #18:
Five 2nd lasts, one last, one third place. That's one shit season for last year's #7. Still a really good heat average (15.41pts), but sadly really good is not excellent (anymore) when it comes to contest surfing. As far as Trestles lefts suit is aerial/power surfing to a tee, his backside on the right-hander was not as aggressive as Freddie P's, not as driven as Nat's or CJ's, and certainly more on pivot on the backfoot than anybody else. Definitely shouldn't have tried to battle CJ on technical backside faceturns and flow. Without a doubt currently lost in the midst of the most challenging times of his young career, Gabes needs to go back to what was working for him the last couple of years: confidence, domination, overblown ego, passion and FUN in his surfing. And if the webcast could go a whole event without showing lingering shots of his step dad frowning out to see ad nauseum, well then wouldn't the world be a better place?
#21 Adam MELLING - Trestles #5 - ASP #23:
Finally a proper result for Mello, who as usual starts waking up by mid-season. After an excellent 2nd place in the Azores, he seems to have rejizzed his jazz. Still a long way to go, but Adam is already almost-requalified, which means he may feel less pressure and go through more heats as a result. As always, excellence in the choice of his lines, the precision of his turns and the variety of his repertoire, way more active during his heats and less mistakes in his wave selection, although he still throws in some random faceplants after an excellent turn. If only Mello was surfing at 50% of his potential straight from the beginning of the season, he would show his weird cubic face way more often after the Round 4... Oh consistency, you little bitch you!
#20 Adrian BUCHAN - Trestles #25 - ASP #13
Ace failed quietly in Trestles after his vibrant victory in Tahiti, and thus begun his third Triple Trouble triangle for 2013: one last place, one average and one good. If there is a logic there, he should then do better in Hossegor before a real good result in Peniche. This last place in Trestles, that usually brings him good points (his last bad result there dates back to 2008), confirms that it is never easy to bounce back from an event victory without making mistakes. An uninspired performance, repetitive and ponderous, lacking the precision and sharpness usually associated with his excellent backside surfing. A third 25th place that will count in his season total and is likely to push him far from his best finish of 2008.(6th)
#19 Brett SIMPSON - Trestles #13 - ASP #24:
After a shit first half of the year, and a shocker at his beloved U.S Open, Simpo, with a baby on the way (oh, did they mention that once on the webcast? FUCKEN GET OVER IT CUNTS EVERYONE HAS KIDS, THAT'S WHY THERE'S FUCKEN 7 BILLION HUMANS WANDERING AROUND THE PLANET) having shifted his priorities, Brett (no one says that , ever) went back to basics and admitted he had his best heat in a while...in the Azores. So he brought this momentum back to SoCal, surfed in his long-lost smart and sharp way, scoring two excellent heats before being knocked, not because of bad surfing, but because the ocean chose to go even smaller so that the waves became concave. Right around the bubble on the QS and down in the dregs on the CT, Simpo will have to bet on at least two excellent results between Prime and CT before year's end if he wants to remain on Tour. Don't put your Jarrad on it ('house', dummy).
#18 Jeremy FLORES - Trestles #13 - ASP #14:
Another disappointing result for Jeremy, on an event that usually fits him. After a first round where he was sometimes trying to hard, losing control, speed, rebound and contrasting with Melling's surgical precision, Jeremy was back in control and rhythm in Rd2: dominant, with top-to-bottom lines way more confident and steady. Against Kai Otton in Rd3, he rode with passion and more amplitude than the Australian, who, however, prevailed in the waves selection and savoured a strategic error from the Reunion Island lad. Jeremy showed more powerful surfing, not necessarily more fluid nor linked, but way more aggressive than usual, which can be a whiff of motivation for him, approaching the European leg. He didn't show much relish for the task though... still looks like he'd wouldn't mind being somewhere else...
#17 Alejo MUNIZ - Trestles #13 - ASP #29:
Strong from two great results in the last Prime events, Alejo, therefore already requalified for 2014, had an excellent event in Trestles, his best on the 'CT for the season (15,46pts heat average). Surfed with flair, variety, speed and excellent top to bottom rhythm and trajectories. His stance got a little narrower since his leg has healed, thank fuck for that. Excellent tail release, as tight and square on his backhand as he was going wide, strong and on the rail on the rights, Alejo did everything good except he was too many times unable to finish his waves. Now freed from the pressure of requalifying, there are high chances Alejo's gonna climb up the rankings in the next few months.
#16 Kai OTTON - Trestles #5 - ASP #12:
Three strong results since the beginning of the season and a merited top 12 for one of the most discrete yet lethal technicians on Tour. Fast, sharp, and vertical, mixing up amazingly well in the gutless conditions, Kai worked his way to the Quarters with a reaaaaaally low heat average of 12,71pts, showing that whatever the conditions, the opponents or even the venues are, cold blood, strong heat management skills and clean-yet-simple spiced-up surfing can calmly lead you up to the top, setting up a perfect example for the upcoming generations of contest surfers. He also has fantastic hair, and that's not something I say lightly.