It’s that time of year again, The Corona Open Jbay, it’s Christmas in July. There’s so much activity in Jbay right now, you can barely recognise the place. We’re going to keep you updated on all the happenings ‘round town. Keep an eye on our platforms. If you know what’s good.
Anyway, the first day of competition was windy. Howling. But there were waves and the world’s best, surfed them well. It was by no means the best surfing we’d seen on the famous point break strip, but the boys are only warming up and as competition continues, we’re bound to see some stellar performances.
Here are four things we noticed on the opening day of the comp.
Bang it Don’t Barrel it:
Supertubes offers you two types of barrels: small, chandeliery, doggy doorish, almondy lame things or wide open drainers (which are usually found at the Impossibles section of Supers). The commentators have been freaking out about travel time in the pit, but the judges, not so much. And thank the lord for that. For too long we’ve witnessed top athletes getting good scores for cheap-thrills-tubes.
In Heat 6 of Round 1, Julian did a couple of soft turns out back and then threaded his way through a small yet lengthy barrel. The commentators lost their minds! AND JULIAN’S THREADING THE BARREL, AND HE’S STILL IN IT! AND HE’S COMING OUT! AND OH MY WORD FOLKS HE’S COME OUT THE TUUUUUBE!! – or something to that extent. Lame. But the judges, they didn’t buy into the commentator’s auction of Julian’s antics and served him a 4.23 for a particularly childlike barrel. The moral of the story: if that thing ain’t draining, then you best get banging.
Judges LOVE Joan Duru’s Extended Bottom Turn (And so do we!)
The judges thoroughly enjoyed Joan Duru’s extended backhand bottom turns to lip bashes. And here at the Zag, we absolutely adored them. Joan Duru and Jbay seem like an unlikely pair. I mean the guy grew up surfing pounding French beach breaks. Pairing Joan Duru and Supertubes is like pairing boerewors and croissants. Two things people wouldn’t usually enjoy together. But someone had to invent sweet & sour pork. And Joan Duru is our sweet & sour croissant.
Joan Duru had the most gorgeous backhand approach we’d enjoyed all day. He does these loooooooooooooooooooong bottom turns, hanging around the trough of the wave for years, bottom turning round sections, and coming straight up vertical to blitz the lip.
We wanna know what fins Joan’s riding!? Where do they retail!? Anybody who bottom turns like that at Jbay deserves a pro model fin! Duru didn’t win his heat, Connor Coffin did, but who cares!? He ripped.
Matt McGillivary – The Kid’s Alright
On land, Matt’s one of the nicest most well-mannered humans you’ll ever meet. He greets you with a certain sense of kindness and spreads his life joy around with humility. He appears a level-headed individual that lives on the right side of the law. But his surfing is anything but. Matt’s a gritty competitor and his surfing is full tilt. Some competitors acquire scores from the judges by parading their superior flow (like Julian), but Matt demands scores by taking the risk. And to be honest, we prefer risk over flow. Matty Mc G constantly teeters between a fall and a monstrous lip blast.
In both Matt’s heats, he finished just shy of a win, but what’s important is that Matt acquired the highest wave score of both heats, which clearly shows, that Matt’s surfing is on an elite level.
Filipe’s Going to be Hard to Beat
Filipe has returned to Jbay wearing the same devilish blood red wetsuit he wore last year. He left the peroxide blond at home, but he didn’t forget the peroxide blond punk rock attitude.
Filipe attained the highest single wave score of the day and it was damn well deserved. Last year he silenced the critics, showing that he could surf big righthand point breaks, this year he’s proving that last year ain’t no fluke. For a short man, Toledo did some of the largest man carves we’d seen all day. He’s a small man that’s able to hold his rail perfectly in place through the most critical part of the wave. Toledo’s like those bodybuilders that do the ‘Clean and Jerk’, if you don’t know what that is, Google. But basically, it’s when bodybuilders pick up a weighted bar and hold it above their heads. Weird, I know. But Toledo’s carves are like when those bodybuilders hold those damn heavy weighted bars above their heads. He just holds and torques those carves through the meatiest part of the wave. And it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Enjoy a gallery of the day’s action below: