A Bunch of Young Aussie Legends Made a Classic Surf Vid, the Olympics Be Cancelled, and Imogen Caldwell Shaaaacked

27 Mar 2020 1 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Image: Morgan Maassen/O'Neill

Image: Morgan Maassen/O'Neill


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was March 27 2020

1. Your Weekly COVID Surfing Update

I guess this is a new regular part of our surfing week, huh. How did the Coronavirus affect the surfing internet world this week? Well, the main way was that after the Canadian Olympic team said they wouldn't be sending any athletes to Tokyo 2020, the Australian team said they'd be doing the same, then country after country followed until, finaaaally, the IOC stated they'd be postponing the games.

So, Steph Gillmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Owen Wright and Julian Wilson will not be surfing in Tokyo in 2020... and our long awaited Olympic Games debut will be a little more long awaited. That ISA President guy must be sooooo spewing about all this.

In other "how COVID-19 is affecting surf culture" areas, keep your browser dialled to Coastalwatch for Nick Carroll's ongoing series, 'cause man's been typing up a storm. Yesterday he spoke to a bunch of shapers to hear how they're coping amid this financial catastrophe, that follows his reporting on the closing of Sydney beaches last weekend, and also checking in with a bunch of surfers around the world to see where they're at before then. I've got two more stories of his in my inbox too (one on Surf Schools, and one speaking to DR Karl about the science of surfing within the pandemic) , they'll be up shortly.

Till then, here's Koa Rothman surfing relatively uncrowded Pipeline durfing quarantine:

2. John John Is Good

JJF, his little brothers and Eli Olson serve up a single session of punts and airs and jumps on the North Shore before the self isolating began. Notice John John's non-Hurley hat. Reminds me of simpler times, when millionaire surfers no longer being with their major surf brand sponsor was the issue dominating the surf URLs. Oh, take me back to being a surfer in January, checking John John's Instagram with a microscope for Hurley stickers. What a peaceful world that was.

3. Ep 2 of All In – Steph and Kanoa On Losing

"In the smaller room is a large bed he makes up himself, several record albums he rarely plays, a telephone that seldom rings. The larger room has a kitchen on one side and, on the other, adjacent to a sofa, is a fireplace from which are hung boxing trunks and T-shirts to dry, and a photograph of him when he was the champion, and also a television set. The set is usually on except when Patterson is sleeping, or when he is sparring across the road inside the clubhouse (the ring is rigged over what was once the dance floor), or when, in a rare moment of painful honesty, he reveals to a visitor what it is like to be the loser."

That's from Gay Talese's 1964 profile of boxer Floyd Patterson, titled, The Loser. You should read it, it rules. In a 2010 NY mag interview, the icon of creative non-fiction explained his fascination with profiling sports stars who don't win:

"If you lose, you lose more than the game — you can lose your job. If you’re a prizefighter and you lose too many fights, you can’t fight anymore. Most of these people, of course, are young. They’re 25, 26, 27, and if you’re a pitcher who gets knocked out too much, you lose your job. And when you lose your job and you’re 28 and you’ve trained from the age of 9 or 10, you have little to fall back on."

Anyway, this episode by Red Bull is kinda sorta kinda maybe sorta a little bit like that (kinda).

4. Let's Watch The 2007 Quik Pro

Content in the time of corona is an interesting beast – with sports leagues around the world at a standstill, they've been left to find something, anything, to keep their mass audiences engaged with them. The Montreal Canadiens hockey team has been broadcasting video game simulations of their scheduled matches, the WSL have turned to the vaults and have started unleashing old surf event webcasts – this week they're blowing the dust off the 2007 Gold Coast event and jamming it in the VCR. Good times.

5. Indie Surf Film, Fairy, Absolutely Rips

A bunch of young Aussie shredders getting together to put together a full proper surf video instead of just uploading single video clips to their personal Instagram and YouTube accounts? You just absolutely love to see it. Massive props to the surfers Jamie Krups, Kalani Ball, Samson Coulter, Seb Raubenheimer, Ben Penny, Noah Collins, Benjamin Howard, Kael Walsh, Letty Mortensen, Fraser Dovell, Holly Wawn and Harry Bryant in making something super sick. Especially Jamie Krups and Oscar O'shea for being the creative drives behind it. Kinda reminds me of the surf videos you'd stumble across as a grom and watch a million times. It's great stuff! (Also, Total Control on the soundtrack? Nice!)

6. The WSL Has a New TV/YouTube Show, Whaddawe Reckon?

Have you ever been travelling in the US, where after a long day of sightseeing and walking past Iraq War veterans begging on the street, you come back to your hotel or whatever and chuck on the telly for a bit of a break – and then you discover all these weird TV panel shows you had no idea existed, and you think to yourself, “Man, America is so much more America than I thought America could be…”? Is that just me? Ah, well, anyway, that’s what watching this new WSL show feels like. Sure, it features surfers like Italo from the rest of the world. But that “rest of the world” vibe (and it really is only a vibe) is exactly the feeling I’m talking about. What do you think? (P.S. This isn't a slight on Coté, he's cool.)

7. The Best of Kanoa

Kanoa Igarashi's highlight reel from four years on the Championship Tour. Remember when he was super little and whenever he was pictured or filmed surfing it was alongside Leo Fioravanti, Jack Robbo and Mikey Wright? Who'd have picked Kanoa to be the first to win a CT out of those four? Not me (my money was on Mikey, then Leo...).

8. Imogen Caldwell by Morgan Maassen

The 24 year old West Aussie tube wrangler gets video profiled by the auteur-like Morgan Maassen and, like most everything Morgan produces, it’s quite beautiful. How’s those lefthand tubes Caldwell is rifling? Proper desert bombs!

9. Conner Coffin Surfing Rincon With Dolphins

When this is all over, I'm flying to California to watch American TV and surf Rincon. A total bucket-list wave.

10. Surfers Are Doing Viral Instagram Challenges 

Last week model Gal Gadot got a bunch of celebrities to film themselves singing John Lennon's "Imagine". The stunt got completely ripped apart by the whole world for being tone deaf. Unrelated: this week surfers across the world are playing guitar originals, doing pushups, posting surf shots and tagging other surfers to do the same. It's been a thing that is happening, and more than anything, you really just have to agree that, ultimately, it is something that is happening and that it is a thing. Here is Kelly Slater. Thank you Kelly:

Bonus... I am an idiot

My friend Vaughan Blakey wasn't getting tagged in any viral challenges, so he asked me to make one and to tag him. So I did. Here is me recreating the WSL theme tune with my voice. Can't wait for this to go viral and umm, I dunno, get likes? Is that the goal here? Sick!

And that was this week in surfing. Stay safe everyone, stay home.

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