15 July, 2017 15 July, 2017

Three Lessons from Round One at J-Bay

Show J-Bay Some Love

I once knew this guy, some guy that I studied with, can’t remember his name, but he certainly had a particularly interesting way of attracting girls. If he saw a lady he liked, he’d walk over to her, and just sorta place himself in her line of vision. She’d then (hopefully) take notice of him, say something, and he’d start up a conversation, one thing would lead to the next, and boom, they’d end up in some sort of undefined form of courting. Needless to say, it worked for the man, his technique unconventional, yet it rendered him prosperous. Perhaps it worked because he was notably easy on the eyes, a classically handsome man, had similar face to Ronnie Blakey come to think of it, and he dressed really well, using colour tones that worked with his skin. If Supertubes had to be compared to one of those wonderful women he attracted, she’d be exactly the opposite. She’d be powerful, strong, highly independent and most importantly, if you want her love, you’ve gotta love her first. She ain’t showing you no love just cause you placed yourself in her line of vision. Nobody’s rocking up at J-Bay one day before the contest starts, hot off the Ballito Pro and wins J-Bay. No no noooo. You wanna understand how she breaks, where she gets hollow, what wave angle works best on the reef, where to speed up, where to slow down, when to high line and when to bottom turn. You want love from J-Bay, you got to show her your love first.

With four J-Bay wins under his belt, Fanning has showed much love. Image: Ewing

Backhand Barrels are a Gamble

Going for a backhand barrel at Supertubes is like drawing a thousand rand at a Capitec ATM, going to your fav gambling institute and seeing if you can come out on top. Not in terms of odds, but rather, you never really know what the outcomes going to be. And also, just to clarify, we’re not talking about the cheap thrills shampoo sections Ian Gouveia was opting for, we’re talking about proper actual barrels. Like a barrel you can’t come out the doggy door of. Supertubes serves up a tricky barrel at best. The top of the point is more almondy, and the bottom often closes out. Getting (properly) barreled at Supers is a risk, and getting (properly) barreled at Supers on your backhand is a high risk. Unless you’re a seasoned J-Bay local like Mr Stevie Saywer and understand Supertubes’ every mood and swell direction, perhaps you’d would be better off smashing that lip from start to finish.

Ian Gouveia is a backhand tube pig. He can’t help himself. He just wants the barrel, event if it’s small and pokey. Image: WSL/Cestari

Don’t Claim to Early

Ahhhh Wiggolly Dantas. What a terrible terrible shame. Wiggolly had the tall order of dealing with Mr Joel Parkinson in heat 1 of the morning. Joel basically cruises to wins out at J-Bay. Supertubes is where Joel presents planet earth with a lesson in flow. Joel Parkinson won at J-Bay as a wildcard in 1999 and since then, he’s always been somebody to watch out for. Drawing Parko at classic J-Bay is like getting blamed for a crime you didn’t commit. It’s unfair at best. But Wiggolly, Wiggolly for a split second had Parko in a sticky position. After a typical fire house rooster tail, Wiggolly bottom turned into a drainer of a pit, he had no other choice, the wave was running off and Wiggolly had decisions to make. He pulled in, threw all his chips down (cause backhand barrels are a gamble), navigated two, three meaty sections before coming out. Wiggolly then, so filled with elation that his chips had substantiated, threw down one of the biggest claims the beach had ever seen, hell I bet he looked his mother straight in eye from that wave. But the wave was only half done, Wiggolly bogged his next bottom turn and fell off. Just for a second, Wiggolly had Parko on the ropes.    

A claim that will go down in the history books. Image: WSL/Tostee

1 Comment

  1. Glen Drysdale
    16 July, 2017 at 1:09 pm · Reply

    Great piece Cyle, love the tone and humour!

    Exceptional surfing to kick off the event.
    Agreed with the unfortunate Wiggoly claim. That’s like trying to draw R1000 at a Capitec ATM only for the slip to read:

    ‘The amount you have requested exceeds your available balance.’

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