From 2005 until 2013, the World Championship trophy was only touched by three men. Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson.
The surfing during those years was exciting. But the unfolding of it was not.
Things felt predictable — there was such a drastic gap between the Tour’s top 5 and the rest. You almost knew what was going to happen, you just didn’t know how it was going to happen, so you watched and you cheered and then you went out and bought yourself a pair of Taj Burrow’s signature trunks, size 32, and maybe a bar or two of wax while you were out. Hopefully not Mrs. Palmers.
Those were simpler days.
Today, the Tour is different. You get the feeling that anyone can beat anyone, and anything can happen at any time. That’s four uses of any in one sentence. That’s dynamism, baby.
You’ve got Strider Wasilewski talking about avocado toast, Matt Wilkinson apparently never wanting to lose another heat. Wildcards like Leonardo Fioravanti are taking out guys like Kelly and Adriano, and Caio Ibelli won’t let John John Florence win. It’s strange, all this. Strange and beautiful. It makes being a spectator that much more fun.
Above are some photos from today’s competition (Men’s Round 3, Women’s Round 2) and the best clip of the day.