So much of life depends on your point of view. Well for the most part at least. I mean if you’ve been detained in a Balinese prison for a crime you didn’t commit, than yes, maybe life isn’t quite determined by your outlook. Because that’s just straight up terrible.
On one hand South Africa had a terrible year in surfing. We got our chips behind Jordy, we watched as he stood on the victor’s podium in Ballito, holding the trophy next to Willian Cardoso, the South African surf fans in a frenzy around the big man, bowing at his feet. The beach commentator stuck the mic in his face and asked: “Will you be winning your maiden world title this year Jordy?” To which the Jord responded emphatically: “Absolutely!!”
And we got behind our boy, as we South Africans do. Our boy says he’s bringing it home, who are we to doubt him. And the big man looked sharp, cocky, arrogant even, until he met those incalculable European beach breaks. It was there, in the old world, that the wheels came off. Perhaps those cobbled streets proved too much for his shocks. Or maybe Mother Nature had it in for the man. Regardless, Jordy entered Europe with a strong chance of bringing the title home and left with just a sliver of a hope.
It was roughly two years ago that Josh Salie (Mikey’s brother) and I sat in the Feb’s home watching Davey and Mikey flinging a ball between each other in their Muizenberg flat. Surrounded by windows and sliding doors, I wondered whether this was a good idea. Lest one of those windows shattered or Mr February walked in and gave the two a verbal walloping. And I considered how these two travelled the world together in search of QS glory. They can barely remember their phones and wallets on the way to Long Beach! But 2017 marked the year Mfeb went on a QS bender. He took out those early wins in the City Surf Series. Then surfed the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong like a seasoned vet. Calm as a cucumber. Mikey was ice cold. Waiting for bombs and throwing caution to the wind via tail high air reverses whenever the opportunity presented itself. He backed that 3rd place up with a 5th place at the following QS 10 000, the Vans US Open of Surfing. But then things kinda stuttered. Mikey entered the final QS 10 000 The Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach needing to make the Quarterfinals. Davey and Mikey surfed maxing Sunset like it was a walk in the park. Never looking uncomfortable in the big shifty surf. The commentators frothing on Davey’s man carves and tripping on Mikey ‘Freestyle’ February’s flow. But you know how this ends… it was not to be and Mikey fell just shy of that Quarter Finals finish, by the slimmest of margins in the final seconds. His 2017 CT dreams come ashore on the hard rocks of reality.
But let us not dwell on the negative, although Mikey missed CT qualification by one heat, his surfing was nothing short of Championship Tour material. His results were no fluke. No once off. He placed excellently in three of the biggest QS events of the season. Although we saw a man who just came short of his dream, we’ve also witnessed a boy who became a man. A man who now knows that he has what it takes to surf with the best in the world and take them down.
Even just as Jordy has the slimmest chances of a maiden world title, hope is not entirely lost for Mikey either. He needs both Zeke Lau and Italo Ferreira to double qualify for his CT wish to be answered. It’s a long shot for sure, especially considering Zeke’s lacklustre results and Italo’s injury troubles, but let’s not count our boys out before the fat lady sings…