Fight for the Bight Wins, Joel Tudor (43) is Going For the Title, and What's the Go With That New Kelly Pool?

28 Feb 2020 3 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Yeah, good on yas.

Yeah, good on yas.


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was February 28, 2020

1. Equi-Nah, Not Here Mate


After years of campaigning from the Australian and International surf community, Norwegian energy giant Equinor has dropped their plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight! 

The news broke on Tuesday morning, with a statement from the oily dudes saying: "the project's potential is not commercially competitive". Righty-o, then. See you never.

Sean Doherty, Damien Cole, Heath Joske and other prominent campaigners at the forefront of this movement against Equinor responded saying that of course the energy company would never admit the withdrawal has anything to do with community backlash, as that may inspire similar responses in their projects elsewhere – it simply would never be in their interest. But that make no mistake, if you participated in the record breaking biggest surfer protest moment in history, and signed petitions, paddled out, or went off on Equinor's social channels, you indeed played a part in saving the Bight.

For the best reaction story to this news, I have to point you in the direction of our guy Sean Doherty and his piece The Bight Bites Back. Congratulations everyone!

2. Joel Tudor Is Worth A Mention

Kelly Slater-like this is. Joel Tudor, at 43 years old, won the Noosa Longboard Open this week. Tudor won his second World Title a full 16 years ago before he bailed on competitive longboarding and its weird high-performance, thruster-longboard scene. In the time since, he created the Duct Tape Invitational, which has had a direct effect on how the WSL runs and judges competitive longboarding today. He's an undeniable giant of influence here, all the while being brilliantly as divisive as possible and getting mega into martial arts. What a life. And how's this quote from his trophy presentation at Noosa:

"I actually came here to scout talent for my events that are coming up – that's what I said to Vads to pay my way here – but I ended up winning, so I'm going to go for a third world title this year."

Go for it, dude!

3. Mick Fanning... He Good

Because Mick has recently gotten back in the water after recovering from injury, Red Bull decided to just throw together a three minute highlight reel of the three-time World Champ surfing around home this time last year. But who needs an excuse to make a Fanning clip out of year-old footage? I certainly don't need an excuse to watch it. Do you watch this and miss Mick on tour? Does he remind you of a boxer in fight form, so highly attuned, so strong, so wound up and ready to be unleashed on every wave? Shit, he's good.

4. Brent Dorrington During Uesi

Have a read of the description that came with this video: "Brenno Dorrington scores an uncrowded East Coast point break during Cyclone Uesi."

An uncrowded East Coast Point Break?! During Cyclone Uesi?! 

How? How did he manage this? And have a look at the waves, it's absolutely cooking here. Keep an eye on Brent's right hand point prowess, it'll be featuring in the trials of the upcoming Corona Open Gold Coast. And he'll probably go alright.

5. The best of Rissa the Champ

Another in WSL's series of simply compiling all the best waves from one of the best surfers in their catalogue of athletes. Here's the four time and current World Champ Carissa Moore going absolutely mental and reminding me once again how much I love that Honolua Bay event that ends the season every year.

6. Damien Hobgood Is Good Out Cloudbreak

One of the best tuberiders in the game goes out and puts on a clinic at one of the best tubes in the world. Damien Hobgood + Cloudbreak = I'm going to watch this video. Extra points for getting back to those early 2000s, mainland american style roots and surfing with a backwards baseball cap. That's some Fred Durst stuff right there!

7. Slater Ripping The Other Day in Hawaii

Jack Coleman – who normailly films exclusively Alex Knost, foamie finless surfers and other goings on from surfing's alternative peripheries – dropped a clip of the most opposite to that you could possibly come to in surfing: Kelly Slater ripping on conventional craft in Hawaii. The result is one of the best clips we've seen of Kelly in some time. Beautiful.

8. Jordy and a Rugby World Cup Winner Go Surfing

I don't know anything about rugby, so I don't actually know if this is interesting or not. Is it? They're happy though, and I'm happy they're happy.

9. Sound Waves: Johanne Defay

Another episode from WSL's fly-on-the-wall, mic-on-the collar series Sound Waves. This one follows French phenom Johanne Defay getting around the Roxy Pro France. Of all the attempts at new and unique content the WSL has been experimenting with over the last year and a bit, this series is easily their best. It stays right in their lane of who they are – a professional surfing competition – while giving us stuff we can't get elsewhere – candid access to their stars at said surfing competitions beyond a conventional broadcast. The reality of a loss, what it means, how hard it hits Johanne at the end of this, before laughing and hugging the local girls on the beach... maaaan, this is the sort of thing that makes you care, the sort of thing that gives meaning to this meaningless "sport" we love. More, more, more of this please.

10. Your Weekly Dose of Wave Pool News: Kelly Pool For Coachella

I haven't dropped an update here in the world of wave pools for a while, but I can't not, not, not drop one this week. Not with the news that Slater is building a giant pool as part of some kind of inland American resort housing estate thing. The LA Times lead the story with the headline: "Golf is out, surf is in". And I can't tell you just how much I love that headline for what it says about where this sub-set of surf culture sits in greater society now – an interchangeable recreation with golf. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh. A lot. Maybe it has something to do with the original quotes thrown around wave pool development, that they would "democratise surfing". L. O. Fricken. L..

The story goes on: "A luxury resort proposed for the Coachella Valley is set to serve surfers instead of golfers with a wave-making machine that could stir up water for professional surfing competitions or kids playing on foam boards..." before detailing that the resort will have a $200-million complex built around a surf pool created by Kelly Slater Wave Co., and that they're promising "it will provide the largest, rideable open-barrel, human-made waves in the world". Wild. The development/resort/new suburb(?) will have homes available for between $1million and $5 million US. Plus, "there would be a private club and multiple dining venues". So, just like the wave pool stories of old, this will in no way affect me, you, or anyone we know. Stoked for those rich Americans though!

Stay tuned here for more on this as it develops, our guy Nick Carroll is brewing up a far more interesting and more in-depth piece of writing about this wave pool development. Till then, I'm gonna watch the movie Parasite over and over and over. It was really good.

The spot for this new Kelly Slater pool.

The spot for this new Kelly Slater pool.


Look at these dorks. I don't care if Australia doesn't win the surfing at the Olympics, but I do care that we at least smash these guys.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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