With the first QS event of the year; the Corona Open China done and dusted, the 2020 season is well and truly underway. And there’s a lot to look forward to. SA has a new representative on the World Tour, surfing has finally made it to the Olympics and G-Land is back baby. Here’s to a brilliant 2020!
Featured Image – Greg Ewing ©
Matty McG Made It!
In case you have been living under a rock, Matty McG sealed the deal on the rock. And man oh man was it a dramatic finale to the QS season. To have solidified his position on the 2020 CT roster, Big McG needed to make the semifinals at Haleiwa. Either that, or enter the Sunset Bowl pressure cooker for a last gasp effort. Every heat Matt surfed was a nail-bitting affair. Every turn had us on the edge of our seats. And Matty delivered! How beautiful is it to have another Saffa on tour? We lost Mikey and we gained Matty. For such a small surfing nation, South Africa always delivers.
Growing up on a righthand point break, there’s no doubt the first half of the 2020 season is going to be McG’s money maker. The dollar dropper. Gold Coast, Bells Beach, Margies and J-Bay, will be Matt’s bread and butter. But the Big McG isn’t ignorant to his weaknesses. Or averse to facing them, in fact quite the contrary, after a strike mission which he’s currently embarking on with Jordy and the O’Neill crew to Mozam, Matty will be returning to Hawaii to compete at the Volcom Pipe Pro to work on his backhand pig-dog prowess and will (time permitting) schedule in a G-Land strike mission to acquaint himself with the famed reef. A determined young fellow is McG and we predict he’s going to be on the dream tour for many years to come. Stay tuned for a full-length piece on Matty in the print mag.
G-Land is back on Tour
The last time the professional surfing world stepped foot on Grajagan Land was way back in 1997 where Luke Egan took top honours. The surf world has long since forgotten about G-Land and exchanged it for shinier Indonesian pearls such as Desert Point, Lakey Peak and Macaronis. But G-Land remains. And it pumps out filthy pits like Muizenberg pumps out professional grovellers. The last time you considered G-Land in the last five years was either because you’re over the age of 45 or because you went to Bali and a skinny Indonesian sporting a thick moustache puffing a clove cigarette snuck up behind you and offered you a “G-Land Speed Boat” before inquiring whether you’d like a “Massadge” or some form of narcotic – which depending on your virtuousness you either accepted or declined.
Anyway, G-Land will be sick as! The wave has everything one could possibly desire. Power, speed, hollow, and you can lay down some insane rail carves. It’s a welcome Cloud Break replacement.
Enjoy this here video below of the 1995 Quiksilver G-Land Pro. And notice how hard the pros were bogging! Around the 1 minute mark, there’s a certain competitor who spends the whole wave dodging the barrel. I mean, did he not get the memo? Perhaps he didn’t want the score. Maybe he didn’t dig barrels? Even you could’ve made a heat on the CT back then.
Surfing Made it (to the Olympics)
We made it baby! Finally, they recognise us. The sporting world approves. They no longer view us as a bunch of weed-smoking hippies lying under palm trees waiting for the wind to swing offshore. The big leagues here we come. We can now set foot in the Olympic Village and rub shoulders with professional Race Walkers, Badminton players and of course who could forget the most entertaining of them all, professional Curlers!? Wooohoooooo!!
The more important question is: Is Fernando Aguerre, pres of the ISA, now the most powerful man in the world of professional surfing? You can just imagine Fernando at dinner, “Stuff the WSL and their perfectly layed out pretentious website. The ISA made it and we didn’t even need a functioning website to make it happen! Let the haters hate, my name is Fernando and they call me ‘“Mr Surfing!’”
Regardless, here at Zag, we’re frothing for the Olympics. It’s going to be dope. We’re particularly frothing on the tag team event, where the constrictive format is sure to inspire outlandish performances where perhaps someone might do something that will move the sport forward. Here’s to the Olympics.
The Challenger Series
The WSL has added two further QS10 000 to the roster; The Sydney Surf Pro, which has been upgraded from a QS6000 to a QS10 000 and the Corona Piha Pro in New Zealand. If you’re an absolute surf frother like me and you actually watch QS events, you’ll know that the waves at the Sydney Surf Pro (generally) really really suck. But Piha seems like a proper surf spot. They surf it in the Cult of Freedom: New Zealand Part which you can enjoy by hitting play there above this text cuz.
The WSL has, in its wisdom, taken the QS10 000s and implemented a sub-series called the Challenger Series. Here’s what the WSL has to say about the series: “Challenger Series will look to build to a maximum of 10 events in the future and exist as the QS standard-bearer in terms of developing and identifying the next level of CT talent. There will be additional marketing and live event content to further elevate these important events and athletes.” – here at Zag we’re frothing. And QS events, when the waves are rippable can be extremely exciting to watch. In fact, don’t shoot me for saying this but there were moments when I much preferred watching the Ballito Pro than the J-Bay Open. I mean 4 man heats, big airs on rotation, massive carves, it’s a recipe for success.