PRE EUROPE POWER WANKINGS
Part 1 of Vico's Trestles Post Mortem
Despite all the expectations/hype, Trestles put on a forgettable show this yeah. Between fog, flabby tides and waves really close to the contestable minima, it was kinda cranked to gas mark 'meh'...
A show of sorts was still on offer however (for those of you, like me, tragic enough to actually watch webcasts), aided by a judging panel who set the bar really high for such below-par conditions: good scores would not be dropped on a single manoeuvre wave, no one-trick ponies, nobody JadsonAndreing his way to the final (yes, it's a verb now).
For small wave perverts, the pure technical aspect of watching the world's best stretching space and shredding the bag out of meek, flimsy slop made good watching. As for the title race, a finale flourish in oh-so-dramatic fashion in Hawaii seems on the cards. Bravo.
Enjoy reading and as usual, these Power Wankings are totally subjective and largely biased, so do not hesitate to leave your comments, insults, hate mail, threats and livestock carcasses by my doorstep.
- Julien 'Vico' Hamel
#31 Kieren PERROW - Trestles #25 - ASP #34:
Kieren is pushing it 1977 Elvis style, refusing to leave the stage when the time was right, thus tarnishing an otherwise really honourable career with each appearance.
More than 70% of last places since the beginning of the season (the rest being two 2nd lasts in his "forté" venues hollow reef waves ...) and an overall heat average for 2013 close to the absurd... Watching Kieren surfing Trestles this year was an awkward experience, like witnessing a string of violent spasms with a surfboard. It is high time for Kieren to let go, and no one would blame him if he wanted to call it quits in the middle of the season. His surfing was sometimes so neurasthenic, so off-everything that it was painful to bear, rough and pompous, with an obvious lack of linking between his manoeuvres, the control on the landings of his floaters more than doubtful, his constant arm flailing strangely reminded of this video of a German dude being chased by bees, and not to mention the unique ugliness of his layback. Why didn't he retire after his Pipe Master title? Kieren is pushing it 1977 Elvis style, refusing to leave the stage when the time was right, thus tarnishing an otherwise really honourable career with each appearance.
#30 Bede DURBIDGE - Trestles #13 - ASP #21:
11.17pts heat average, worst total of the 13th placers. Not enough Bede. Soft, boring, a lot of pivots: all but one of his -average to bad- heat scores were given on his mechanical backhand. Not a lot of variety, tail release or little sparkles, what was considered as "solid contest surfing" a few years ago is now barely average. Time to spice up his repertoire as he's going down fast on both qualifying circuits and may be realizing a little too late that his runner-up and top 5 finishes in the late naughties's are long, long gone. Oh and he looks a little bit like a sheep, no? Anyone...?
#29 Raoni MONTEIRO - Trestles #25 - ASP #31:
This isn't Raoni. I'm sure you understand.
Fast on the way up, slow on the way down...
Fast on the way up, slow on the way down... Lost too much speed by pushing too hard on the wrong sections, maybe due to the fact he's so eager for a result. Sometimes in this case the hardest part is to channel your energy and your frustration into one very little section. Determination can give you extra confidence and help you landing turns you would never land usually, just by sheer will, but this time the waves were just too soft for Raoni's raw, powerful tenacity.
#28 Fat WILKINSON - Trestles #25 - ASP #22 :
This year at Trestles, Wilko fell on every single one of his waves but one and scored an insulting heat average of 10,68pts. Knowing the potential and versatility of this dude, you can't help but being torn in between conflicting feelings: wanting him to do bad so you can chuckle at him for being tubby, on the other hand, wanting him to get his shit together so he can stay on tour as a beacon of semi-interestingness on an other dull dross of mechanical surf robots.
#27 Damien HOBGOOD - Trestles #25 - ASP #26:
Technically speaking there's nothing you can hate in Damo's surfing: he always hits the sweet spot, maintains composure at all stage of the maneuver, only to release the exact amount of pressure to add extra flair yet without losing control. It tends to appear somehow less radical, vertical, a tad slower but there's hardly a weak moment, a double pump, a misreading in his lines. He got this 25th just because he suffered the comparison with faster, more flamboyant goofy footers in the better waves of the previous heats (Freddie P, Miguel, Kai...), while against to the oh-so-boring Bede in a wave-starving heat. Unlucky all year long, low on both rankings, let's hope the ASP will at least throw him a sick retirement party.
#26 Travis LOGIE - Trestles #5 - ASP #19:
Unsurprisingly, über-compact Travis (I didn't write midget) did some damage on lilliputian Trestles. Just like in Snapper, his backside hooks were unmatchable, setting up a judging scale of his own when it comes to destroying waves on your backhand. By far one of the most technical, torqued-out small wave surfer on Tour, the management of his weight transfers and rail/tail release were stupid good, letting everybody 2 points behind. Will need to find back and release the inner -little- beast that helped him qualify in Teahupoo a couple of years ago if he wants to stay away from the qualifying bubble during the next 3 barrel-themed events.