Gabriel Medina, Your Claim Is Broken

Some people view claims through a lens of disgust. They hate them with that same sense of deep, burning, kind of confused yet still non-negotiable hatred you’d find in a Korean War veteran hearing a Drake song for the first time. Maybe Hotline Bling.

I’m not one of those people.

I like claims. Sure, they’re pests when used to reach for a 5.67 in the dying seconds of a Round 3 heat, sandwiched between two floaters and some feigned excitement from Potts. But when they’re almost-involuntary products of raw emotion? Spastic waves of energy that are born in the heart, travel through the body and die at the tip of an unexplained middle finger pointed at the judges? How could you hate that? Sorry, Johnny Motorcycle, but there are few things in life dumber than letting an insecure quest for perceived toughness get in the way of real feeling or fun.

Even a pre-planned claim — like Andy Irons’ shotgun at Teahupo’o — can be rad. Andy’s in particular was a big, bold statement that screamed nobody is fucking riding that wave better than me. So if you feel it, flex it. Emotion is what sucks us all into sports.

But then I see this thing from Gabriel Medina and I’m appalled.

He looks like an unconfident artist revealing his latest work. Or a Manhattan flasher prying open a dirty beige robe at a group of Central Park strangers to reveal his poor endowments.

Gabe, I love you and I want to see you succeed. So next time you claim, do it right. Hit an unsuspecting Ski driver with some up yours arms. Eat a fake turkey leg. Thrust your hips at your overwhelmingly large female fan base on the beach and feel the rise of the tide as their biologies respond to the excitement (while, ironically, smelling a bit low). Cool?

Oh, and great air by the way.