Matthew Syed's excellent book 'Bounce'
has a whole chapter on sports people choking. How is it that highly skilled elite athletes can at times look... terrible? How is it that their talents can seem to desert them, just when they need them most? Syed argues that undue pressure causes the athlete to switch from the sub-conscious left brain to the conscious right, rendering techniques usually performed with ease to become impossibly hard. Tiago Pires, Portuguese Prince or Tiger, depending on your preference, has had something of a choking experience pretty much every heat he surfed in the Peniche WCT event. One on particular heat, an otherwise forgettable Rd2 vs Kolohe in 2012, a display of frustration from the Prince saw him throw a bras d'honneur (like flipping the bird but with clenched fist) to presumably the judges, live on Portuguese TV, on a Sunday. Portugal, we are lead to believe, was not amused.