|Medina making it look easy.|
What I enjoyed most of all were the free surfs. The contest arrived just in time for a whole bunch of swell and I got up early on the preceding days of the contest and was able to snap a bunch of cool pics that I shared on my Instagram page. I bombarded instagramers that follow my feed with a flurry of snaps. I just hope I didn't flood their feeds too much, but I just had to share all those moments of the best in the world just ripping!
What amazed me the most about the free surfs was John John. That kid was just going for it all, letting it all hang loose, just like he did in the contest. That lay back hack and that "nose pick" slash that he performed all contest long was practiced during every free surf that I watched. The kid is amazing. He has so much flow, speed and power mixed in with this undeniable soul. I have no doubt that once John John puts his mind to it, he's going to win a couple titles. But presently, he just appears to be so frothy, in addition to his obvious youthfulness topped of with being full of such unquenchable funk. But what was the most amazing thing about John John was how many waves the kid catches in the 200+ crowd of human beings surfing Lowers. He catches waves all the time. From the outside, then on the inside, the kid caught almost 15 waves in an hour and half at Lowers, probably more. I never seen such a thing. When I surf lowers, I have a quota of 4 waves in 2 hours before I'll get frustrated. This kid catches 4 waves in about 10 minutes!
I was asked by this couple that were visiting from South Carolina who was my favorite surfer to watch. I replied John John. "Why?" They asked. My reply "Because he doesn't give a fuck. He just wants to surf and rip." But you gotta give it up to Jordy Smith, who won the whole thing. But Jordy won the final of the Hurley Pro. John John was the surfer of the contest. Here is a video I took of a free surf before the Men's second round heat to show why (John John has two waves in this video, the first and last clips).
Dirty Lens from Kookingitup on Vimeo.
I can't forget about the women. They were ripping Lowers to pieces. From Carissa Moore to Lakey Peterson, all the ladies were holding their own during the free surfs. Laura Enever and Bianca Buitendag impressed me the most during the days I watched the free surfs. Enever was very kind and polite to the other surfers, always jumping off a wave for a novice if she was out front. Very cool and respectful.
|Buitendag. Swayze actually captured this one while I was out surfing.|
|Blanchard. I wish I could throw like that.|
I also went out and surfed Church's for the first time ever. "Church" is the farthest break south at Trestles, just before the military campground. I surfed it during the Men's heats on the second to last day. And it was pumping. I couldn't believe how good that wave gets when the waves are head high and over. I caught probably my longest right of the summer that day, taking the wave from the top of the lineup all the way in to almost the rocky beach near the campgrounds. Yeah, I had to fight through long boarders, but I met a cool female surfer who could totally rip and we helped each other block off the dreaded wave hoggers.
|Slater taking flight|
|Jordy Smith crowd surfing|
|Clarissa Moore and Lakey Peterson are by far the most innovative women surfers in the world.|
|Coco Ho. All dudes dig her, but my wife always laughs when I say her name.|
|I'm a fan of a good bottom turn. Medina rips.|
|Another perfect bottom turn by Slater.|
|People hate on Medina all the time. They are just jealous. Let it go folks.|
Check out this short, two snap sequence of Slater just bombing the section.
|Travis Logie just throwing it.|
|Slater. Art in motion.|