25 July, 2017 25 July, 2017


Film Director and Writer David Lynch has just wrapped up shooting his latest super natural thriller in Jeffrey’s Bay.

A collaborative effort with the production team responsible for ‘Sharknado’, it follows an out of control speed boat in search of a rogue shark, a flying green haired elf on a surfboard, the abduction and return of two super heats under bizarre circumstances, a silver surfer with no hair, believed to be from another planet, breaking and reshaping his foot and then…..more sharks.   

The flying green haired elf, Filipe Toledo: Thurtell

If you think that requires suspension of disbelief, what about 8 perfect 10’s surfed in a week? Still not sufficiently freaked out? How about a booger boarder dropping in on Kolohe Andino and getting away with it.   

The 2017 Corona Open J Bay had everything, including a new champion in Brazilian dynamo Filipe Toledo who defeated rookie tear away sensation Frederico Morais from Portugal.

The rookie sensation, Frederico Morais. Image: Thurtell

Yet amongst all the records, ground breaking performances and surreal events that made the 2017 Corona Open J Bay quite possibly the most unbelievable event in competitive surfing history, there were the definitive moments amongst the madness  that just made sense… the undeniable facts that clearly presented themselves at the world’s best point break.


Filipe Toledo is the most dynamic surfer in the world.

No question about it. The naysayers will point to his inability in heavy water, denouncing him as an aerial trickster whose approach is best suited to 3ft beach breaks.

What rubbish. Go to the heat analyser and watch his demolition job at proper 6 to 10ft Supers.

The most dynamic surfer in the world? You decide. Image: Ewing

Check out the flight control, dizzying height and the stability of landing in the flats from the two monster airs on the one wave that changed surfing history in Round 4.  Mix that with the beautiful rail work and blinding speed Toledo showcased the whole event and then tell me he’s a one trick pony?

He has no rival when it comes to all out variety.  And if a shark couldn’t stop him, neither could the man who surfed the perfect heat.

Even the big man’s 10’s couldn’t stop Filipe Toledo. Image Ewing


Jordy Smith has joined The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Jordy Smith can add the perfect 20 point heat to his already impressive list of achievements. There was no doubting the legitimacy of awarding him the perfect heat score: Set waves – check. Speed, power and flow – check. Degree of difficulty – check. Variety – check

Let me show you how it’s done kids. Image: WSL/Cestari

To witness a perfect heat, even online and far away from the magnitude of the event itself, it feels like you’ve been part of something singularly important, something that carries serious gravity amongst those who have achieved it.

That it happened to Jordy Smith at a venue so suited to his skill set and a place so close to his heart makes the historical moment it even more rewarding.

Jordy had to endure a lot this week in J Bay. Two re-surfs under extraordinary circumstances will always require a push of the re set button. No doubt about it. 

Very few people could have matched Toledo’s aerial antics in the first re-surf and he responded clinically and decisively in the Connor Coffin resurf in round 5, pushing the rail work and tube sense with bristling confidence.

But against Toledo in the quarters it was one way traffic. This means a re think at Chopes to get the world title hunt back on track. He’s still very much in it, but can’t afford to let the gap widen going into Trestles and Europe.


The rise of Morais.

Frederico Morais. The name sounds as slick as the surfing. And certainly not one that will be taken lightly in heat draws in the future.

Frederico took down 3 World Champions en route to the final, bagged one of the events’ perfect tens against Florence, and has shown the judges that a combination of flawless rail work, wave selection and strategic thinking can still work wonders in a world obsessed with the aerial approach.

Is it just me, or does Morais have a distinct Andy Irons look to his surfing? The knife edge turn from the deck onto rail, the follow through rotation with the arms, and quite possibly the closest resemblance… the pace?

Frederico took down 3 World Champions en route to the final. Image: Ewing

With a reshuffled top ten going into Chopes (including Toledo at 7) the world title race is still on.

Matt Wilkinson holds a slender 250pts lead over John Florence with Jordy Smith a mere 350pts behind him. Not to mention Owen Wright and De Souza who are still very much in the race. And of course, Medina lurking at no9. And we all know what he’s capable of at Chopes…

Will a goofy foot shark on a jet ski get the wild card, or will it be Slater in a moon boot, riding a modified quad fin Zimmer frame?

As we saw in J-bay, anything is possible…

See you at Chopes, I’m looking forward to denting the armchair again and watch the next chapter in the world title race unfold!

*Images © WSL 

**Words by Glen Drysdale


  1. Warwick H
    25 July, 2017 at 12:27 pm · Reply

    Agreed ! Was a fantastic event – drama , suspense, incredible surfing, and the star of the show… the perfect peeling waves of Supertubes !

  2. Jon G
    25 July, 2017 at 2:43 pm · Reply

    Stoked that Toledo is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Silencing all his “rail work” critics at JBay, the rail work theatre!
    The double-oop should have been a 15pt ride :]

  3. Tors10
    25 July, 2017 at 2:52 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the update, Chairman. I couldn’t watch the event, so it’s great to have the round up. Things are heating up!

  4. Jack
    25 July, 2017 at 3:12 pm · Reply

    “Slater in a moon boot, riding a modified quad fin Zimmer frame”
    Hahaha brilliant!!!-)))
    You know, I wouldn’t put it past him! After all hasn’t he won Chopes with a broken foot before?
    Toledo (the flying green haired elf) ripped the living cr@p out of those waves!
    What an EPIC event! Good job & shot for cramming all the epicness in this report Glen!

  5. Patrick
    25 July, 2017 at 5:05 pm · Reply

    Brilliant report of an unbelievable contest.

  6. Dale
    26 July, 2017 at 8:43 am · Reply

    Great review brother!

  7. Slay Jbay
    26 July, 2017 at 9:49 am · Reply

    Epic event….well done Koffie and Johny Bakker for staging the whole thing….ever so slightly annoyed that Smith had to re-surf those heats .No Camera angle on Coffin’s wave waaaat ?
    Glen great review again. Let us see how things for the Jordz goes cause as Shaun Thompson said SAFFA’s have been waiting 40 looooong years to get that WT. Last time to see Slater in a compo vest at Jbay ?

  8. Liam
    26 July, 2017 at 1:01 pm · Reply

    Very entertaining read Glen – I think Marvel should get you to write an alternative origin story for the Silver surfer!

  9. Byron
    27 July, 2017 at 8:57 am · Reply

    Top effort MDC-

    Definitely feels like this year has redefined surfing. Between JJF’s carves at Margaret’s and Toledo’s airs at Jbay-these two surfers have taken over from the old guard this year and ushered in a new era of surfing that leaves us mere mortals slack jawed in complete awe.

    Mind you if you look at Owen Wright’s reaction to Toledos wave-think the rest of the top 40 are also thinking WTF now?!

    Lets hope the run of epic waves continues and Chopes delivers. If Toledo can perform there-after his dismal no wave heat there last time-then we’ve got a legitimate all round world champ surfer like JJF. If he can’ deliver at heavy reef lefts- he’ll never be considered legit. But what’s crazy is he’s still so young so only a matter of time before he’s dominating out there-you’d think. Lukka.

  10. mark
    30 July, 2017 at 1:22 pm · Reply

    please can David Lynch make a sequel to the Lost Highway at the end of the road this year…. Holy Toledo

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