Insights from the opening salvo at Snapper Rocks
The seething, spitting brown ocean of a week ago was replaced this morning by placid green spinners at Snapper Rocks. The ocean’s tired and it looked like The Pass at Byron Bay out there this morning. Al Knost would have won heats out there today, and while it would have made a great longboarding wave, it was tough to flare. Guys who had spent their entire offseason thinking about coiling up on their first wave at Snapper and just letting the dogs out, unleashing hell, imagined themselves “dropping the hammer” or “stabbing the dagger” or whatever it is this year, suddenly found a wave that wouldn’t push back at all. The tour got lucky with surf last year, but in terms of swell here at Snapper we are a week late and a buck short.
Medina wins the World Title, Julian Wilson claims the Pipe Masters
Phil McNamara has spent the past three afternoons disguised as a Hawaiian hau bush. Down on the beach, tucked under the foliage, he’s been watching on silently as his boy, Mick Fanning, scours the reef between Pipe and Off The Wall looking for a potential world title wave. Phil meanwhile counts waves, counts heads, counts […]
Before Gabriel Medina won the 2014 World Title at Pipe, Sean Doherty predicted the impact it'd have on surfing. He was right.
December 1, 2014 By the time you read this, Gabriel Medina may have become the first Brazilian world surfing champion and may have taken the first step toward becoming the next dominant force in pro surfing. Or he may not. But the very prospect of him winning the title on the back of a breakout […]
A report from the front lines after Round 2 at the Pipe Masters
I’ve borrowed the title for today’s column from a poetic Dustin Barca missive posted online this morning, rallying for the rights of native Hawaiians, the war cry refrain at odds with the manner of Barca himself this winter on the North Shore, who’s been convivial in and out of the water, surfing a board with […]
Sean Doherty talks Medina, Fanning, Slater, and the 2014 Pipe Masters
You’d find it hard to believe that in a few days time the 2014 World Title will be decided here at The Pipeline. She isn’t exactly at her best right now. While there has been plenty of swell this week, it’s failed to dislodge the warehouse-sized sandbar that’s currently sitting on the Pipe side of […]
Mick Fanning wins at Supertubes as Medina, Slater, and the rest of us watch in shock
Mick Fanning went full-Mick Fanning today, and seemed to sneak into a Final and World Title race by doing the exact thing he’s always done. His consistency in Portugal was unparalleled, but drowned out by the noise from the hype machine of days past. Today, the buzz quieted. Fanning did as Fanning does, and things […]
Huge upsets at Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal
And so round three started and all interest was in Kelly and Gabe, who surfed in consecutive heats. World title scenarios were flashed up on the screen. The two guys they respectively surfed against ran down for their heats and no one even noticed. People were already looking at the draw and who Kelly and Gabe would meet in the finals.
Sean Doherty makes a case for his version of pro surfing
If you were given a blank piece of paper and told to go off and design pro surfing, what would you do? What type of glorious Mister Squiggle/Jackson Pollock abstract masterpiece would you sketch? It’s a favorite exercise of people who claim to have absolutely no interest in pro surfing whatsoever, people who then sit […]
From Los Angeles, Alex Gray looks back on his cold-water surf expedition through the Aleutian Arc
It started with an Aleutian swell in November—that generally means Hawaii. Instead, you went to the source. Early November for me is always Hawaii, but it sounded too intriguing for me not to go–a surf trip to Alaska. Burkard hit me up, told me Pete and Josh were coming, and gave me the gist of […]
The young Brazilian dominated the competition at Cloudbreak
When he woke this morning – presuming he went to bed…he may not have – I’m certain Stuart Gibson never expected to be naked, in a boat, waving a Brazilian flag in front of an indeterminate but significant global audience, but yet there he was. “Gibbo” is the resident photographer/barman on Namotu Island, a Tasmanian, […]