10 April, 2017 10 April, 2017

The Chairman’s Report – Margaret River

The Chairman, (he reports on the WSL from his armchair), Glen Drysdale, is enamoured with JJF (who isn’t?) and keeping a stiff upper lip for Jordy, along with some more noteworthy commentary from the second event of the WCT.

WARNING: Surfing against John John Florence may be dangerous to your heat score and heart rate. Symptoms of JJF exposure include: Impaired wave selection, shattered self-confidence and questionable manoeuvre choice. If symptoms continue for more than 2 heats, consult your shaper, coach and QS Prime Schedule to ensure possible re-qualification.
Should you come into contact with this powerful combination high torque rail surfing, blended with unparalleled close out section dexterity, expect a violent combination of scores and a bruised ego.

JJF. Enough said. © WSL

John John Florence’s performance at Margaret River was intoxicating and utterly addictive. And for all the right reasons. Pure rail work, clean lines and monster hits on the death close out section that left the head spinning (and the competition flailing) heat after heat.

Powerful, open face, deep water rail work has always been emblematic at Margaret River, but never has it been demonstrated with such audacity and free flowing confidence. And certainly never on a 6’2” at 10 to 12ft.

Florence changed the trajectory and curve on what is possible when surfing waves that push back. We’ve seen glimpses of it before, but never has it been sustained throughout an event.
19:03, 19:27, 19:16, 19:27. That’s how his highest heat total score card read. Was it the smaller board point of difference, the angles in approach or comfort in the conditions? Or all of the above?

Jordy Smith’s rail game wasn’t enough this time around. © WSL

From a Saffa perspective, Jordy Smith recovered from a brutal tombstoning shocker in Round 4 to find his natural arc and rail torque against Jeremy Flores in Round 5 with some savage layback power hooks. In full glide on heavy water, Jordy’s sharpness on rail and economy of movement is a big asset.

But you need the waves to showcase the wares and his selection in the quarter final against Kolohe Andino drifted. Kolohe got the drainers with deep barrels, Jordy did the rail work. The deep barrels won.

The runner up, Kolohe Andino. © WSL

Isn’t it great to see Bianca Buitendag back where she belongs! Despite a Round 2 loss to Tatiana Weston-Webb, the tall and graceful goofy from Victoria Bay demonstrated the flow and repertoire to be a threat to anyone at any location. Hopefully with more WCT injury wildcard starts and a strong run on the QS, Bianca will be back where she belongs, flying the Saffa flag on tour in 2018.

Bring on Bells, the coffee percolator, title race spoilers and open face rail gouges!

Bianca Buitendag on the stage where she belongs. © WSL


  1. Jon
    11 April, 2017 at 9:15 am · Reply

    Ha ha, nice write up chairman!
    They should add reflective stripes to JJF’s yellow jersey, so it looks like a warning jacket.
    Look forward to the next report.

  2. Wade
    11 April, 2017 at 12:23 pm · Reply

    nice one Chairman……always a good read…….

    haha Jon thats true bro……..

  3. Alex
    11 April, 2017 at 1:59 pm · Reply

    They should called Florence’s board ‘The Saltwater Crocodile’ because only the nose poking out of the water hints at the terrifying power buried beneath it…

  4. Jonesy
    11 April, 2017 at 2:29 pm · Reply

    Lekka report Glen..spot on.My take on it is that we all know Jordy can stay with John in terms of power..Jordz has maybe a slight edge…..but technique is the JJF masterclass….I see a super matchup coming at bells which will leave the judges going WTF to score ’em…..Q:so what happens if both surfers hit a perfect 20 point heat ? Countback?That would blow a gasket or 3.

  5. Lyle
    11 April, 2017 at 9:05 pm · Reply

    Great report Meneer da Chair. Really difficult to talk about anyone other than JJF after that event. Oh, maybe Ross Williams. I think he deserves some credit and Pyzel for the salt water crocodile. Haha.

  6. Rory
    11 April, 2017 at 10:16 pm · Reply

    An informative and captivating read Chairman Glen

  7. Glen Drysdale
    12 April, 2017 at 2:53 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the feedback guys, it’s greatly appreciated.

    With such a dominant display on his ‘slat water crocodile’ JJF may have even more bit at Bells!

    It seems a distant memory, but who else agrees that Sea Bass deserved a 12 for that 10pt drainer?! Wave of the contest until JJF started gearing up…

    Looking forward to the Jordy vs JJF Bells showdown Jonesy.

    Q:so what happens if both surfers hit a perfect 20 point heat ? Countback? Good question that.

  8. Mark
    13 April, 2017 at 11:18 am · Reply

    JJF after that display it should be JJJJFF!!! Never before has there been such a masterclass in what true power surfing is…. thank you Jon Florence for upping the ante…. reminds me of the joke about what do you call the tomato lagging behind that gets squashed “ketchup!!” That’s what the rest of the top 44 needs to do….

  9. Deryck
    13 April, 2017 at 3:37 pm · Reply

    Brilliant stuff Glen…spot on as always!

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