Pro Surfing Gets Cancelled, Julian's Rail Slide (Wasn't the First), and What Do We Think of the New Palm Springs Wave Pool?

19 Mar 2020 2 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Looks kinda gnarly...

Looks kinda gnarly...


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was March 20 2020

1. Surfing Is Over (Till June At Least)

I left my phone at home and went for a swim on Tuesday morning. A full two hours with my soul left unbothered by the incessent buzzing of awful news and updates on the apocalypse. It was nice. When I finally got home, I figured, sure, there'll be news, but nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that massively affects the sport and culture of surfing in an unprecedented, gamechanging way. I opened up my laptop, turned on my phone... And that's when I saw him.

That's when I saw Erik. Erik Logan, the new WSL CEO.

I hadn't seen him before, not really, never heard his voice, never seen him in a video. Yet, here he was, via a press release, via a Twitter video, via a YouTube clip, delivering the worst news I've heard in a ratshit 2020: The sport of surfing is cancelled till at the very least the end of June.

No Bells. No Margies. No G-Land. Will professional surfing competitions ever come back?

You can watch the video below and pull all the vital information. But I'll leave it with this one thought re the new WSL boss dog: How many global pandemic crisises did Sophie Goldschmidt allow to cancel the WSL during her tenure as CEO. Not a good look for Logan, I reckon. Not a good look at all.

2. It's Been Pumping on the Goldy

In this weird, dark, lonely kind of time we're all going through in the grips of the Corona Virus pandemic, Cyclone Gretel gently reminded us that surfing isn't like other sports, that its connection to nature puts it in a realm beyond organisations. That no matter how different our world gets, waves will keep breaking. Whether we'll be allowed to go out and surf them might be another matter, whether we'll be alive to surf them, too, is a dark question for the future, but the waves... they'll still be there. And when we do surf them, so to will be surfers there ready to drop in on us. And I think that's beautiful. These were some of them on the Gold Coast during Cyclone Gretel this week.

3. Julian Wilson Did a Rail Slide

There's three types of people in this world. 1. Those that think this is rad. 2. Those that think this is bringing surfing one step closer to being as kooky as those kitesurfers in the early 2000s who used to wear boardshorts over their westuits (so kooky). And 3. Those who don't even know this happened and don't give a damn. Whatever you think about this, there's no denying just how smooth the execution of this manouevre is by Julian. It's so buttery, when he finally gets it.

Red Bull sent out a press release this week with some audacious language about this feat, though. Have a read:

"Fast forward to 2020 and Julian Wilson has done just that. Julian, always one for having “serious fun” took this idea he had as a child and with the help if Andy Green and Red Bull built the world’s first surfable skate rail, which he has successfully surfed as the first to ever do so. ... The Rail Project by Julian Wilson is a world first and another show of Julian pushing the boundaries of surf."

But real ones know this is not by a mile a first in surfing. Wade Goodall did this in the Clarence River (surfing the boat wake wave that birthed Greg Webber's wave pool idea) during his Creative Destruction series of 2010.

4. The First Ever Wave Pool Comp In Australia

On Sunday, Surfing Victoria broke new ground by taking to the Tullamarine Airport pool, URBNSURF Melbourne, and running a surf comp in it. Unfortunately, due to the world falling apart, they were unable to have the crowds and the food trucks and the live DJs and the beers that were meant to lend the "party" element to the name of the event (The 2020 Melbourne Pool Party), but the broadcast did give us an insight into what surfing events in the future might look like. The event started slow, as surfers rode two "turn-based" waves of each side and slowly got eliminated. But as the day wore on, the sun started setting, and they turned up the juice for the finals, it actually became pretty sick viewing. The event had a boardriders vibe, but under lights at night. Throw an event with the same format, but add a crowd and the world's best surfers into it, and it'd be a pretty big hit. Nothing to replace what we already have, but certainly something worth tuning into.

5. All In, Season 2 Episode 1

The kings of surf content in the digital era, Red Bull bring us another high-end docu-series about professional surfing. This year they're following Steph Gilmore and Kanoa Igarashi from around mid-last year in France as they try and win World Titles and whatnot. Highlight: "The GOAT just took a beating!" when they flashback to Kanoa beating Kelly in Bali.

6. Snaketales – Sydney Surf Pro Manly

Is Jake Paterson the best independent maker of surf content on the YouTube? Here he is with his team for the first QS Challenger Event, the Sydney Surf Pro at Manly. What a damn shame that the QS is pretty well done for the next bunch of months and we won't be seeing one of these again for a loooooong time. What are we going to do instead? Have you guys seen the Office?

7. Weird Waves Is Back, Breaking Down Wave Pools

Ah yes, he's back. After a full month hiatus, Dylan Graves excellent series Weird Waves returns to us with an episode about wave pools. Graves hits the new Palm Springs California pool and in the process does a really tidy job of explaining how all the different pools work, as well as some tallying up of surf pool history, including hitting up that old Malaysian wave pool (which actually looks pretty fun?!).

If you just want to see the new Palm Springs pool, scrub to the 17 minute mark. What do we reckon? And more importantly, what do we reckon of Kalani Robb's moustachioed cowboy hat look? I think it's the shit! The most genius thing, however, is that they put the workers in the pool in lab coats. Wonderful mad scientists in the lab aesthetics.

8. From the Inbox: Riley Edwards' Showreel

"A collection of some of my favorite surf moments throughout 2019 shot in Indonesia and Australia." Riley Edwards cut up his highlights that include the surfing of Italo Ferreira, Jordy Smith, Wade Carmichael, Mitch Parkinson, Ricardo Christie, and more, and then threw a rad New Order track over the top. I'm in.

9. A Corner of the Earth is Now Available online

Young independent surf filmmaker Spencer Frost released his excellent travel doc to Vimeo and iTunes so that we can all watch it for under $10. And what a perfect time to be given access to a beautiful surf movie you might not have seen yet, hey? What else are we gonna do? Watch the Office?

10. The Best of Kolohe Andino

10. John John Florence Surfing Haleiwa

John John dropped this clip to YouTube just as I was about to publish This Week In Surfing this week, and in doing so, he pushed Kolohe Andino's WSL Best Of clip out of the frame. The irony of John John taking the limelight from Kolohe, however small, without even meaning to is a little bit funny. Just a little bit. Hey, how good's John John at surfing though? Pretty good, hey.

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

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