Is This the Best Man-Made Wave Yet?! Matt Banting Is Back Wth a Vengeance, & Sierra Kerr Is the Future

23 Aug 2019 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was August 23, 2019

1. Is This The Best Man-Made Wave Yet?

That wave pool somewhere in Queensland that goes by the moniker of Surf Lakes, you know, the one with the big steam punk plunger thing, they got the plunger working again! This time Surf Lakes cranked up the plunge to unpredented plunge levels, pumping out a siiiiiiiick looking wedge that star bodyboarding legend Ben Player humbly tested out. The release of the photos of the break – which they're calling The Island – one of which you can see above, have been the subject of some ridicule after Surf Lakes stated the wave was eight foot (it isn't) and then showcasing a lie-down rather than stand-up surfer to showcase that. But, c'mon, let's be adults here, we know that press releases around this kind of stuff are going to throw big claims around, and we also know an incredible looking wedge when we see one, whether or not it's being surfed lying down or standing up. And this looks genuinely incredible. 

This is what Ben Player, a World Bodyboarding Champ that's surfed every kind of wave, at every size and ferocity all over the world, had to say about it:

"It was like a crazy fantasy to be surfing waves that incredible in a small pool at Yeppoon. Pound for pound as powerful as anything I have surfed in the ocean at that size."

Surf Lakes also released a video of the smaller wave section being surfed by Occy. This is what they had to say about the video they released below, as well as:

"Meanwhile, over at Occys Peak, Mark Occhilupo was testing out the wave he helped design. Occy's Peak is smaller than The Island, breaks both left and right, and is designed as a more user-friendly barrel-to-turn wave."

So, do you reckon this is the best wave pool yet? I reckon it is. Here's my kook's ranking of wave pools I've never surfed that are currently out there:

1. This
2. Waco, Texas
3. Kelly's Pool
4. The WaveGarden Cove Test Facility Thing In Spain
5. Moorabbin Wave Pool circa 1995.

Will be interesting to see where the first full size WaveGarden Cove design will land in this kook's ranking when it starts breaking near Melbourne airport before Christmas. The winner, ultimately, will be the pool that a surfing public can actually use, and get more than one wave an hour in.


2. Matt Banting Is Back on that World Beating Trajectory

Matt Banting is so so so on the way back. He’s seventh on the QS right now (the top ranked male Australian) and is dropping clips like this absolute banger filmed in South Africa, Portugal, France and home in Australia. If you could invest in surfers, you’d 100% be investing in this guy now before he gets back on the CT and takes out one of the European CT events in 2020. How is the hang time he gets on some of these airs?! (It's also worth noting that Banting is still only 25-years-old, he was a measly 20 when he qualified for the CT last time around).

3. John John Florence Makes Sense of Nonsense Beachie

John John, out of the water with injury, has really been filling out his internet quota of late – regularly updating his YouTube like he’s a mid-ranked CT surfer who needs to make sure his content is constantly ticking over, and not like he’s, you know, the John John Florence. Sweet as for us though because now we get to see sessions like this one from 2017 at a North Shore sand bank that popped up and went mad after a big swell had pushed a heap of sand off the reef at Pipe.

4. Our Guy Chippa in Tasmania

The Adelio wetsuit team that is Robbie Rickard, Andrew Mooney and Coby Perkovich, anchored by absolute A-grader Chippa Wilson headed down to that cold place where the 2019 Coleman medal winner is from (Tasmania) and went surfing and drinking and surfing. Chippa does some truly mental stuff after the 3.30 mark. Shout out to the tight edit from Billy-Lee Pope (who was so cold, ey).

5. Sierra Kerr in the Ments

Me, in 2039: "Saw that Sierra Kerr finally announced her retirement. Did you know that her dad was a pro surfer too? Yeah, nah he was really good! Obviously not as good as his ten time World Champ and three time Olympic gold medallist daughter. But yeah he won Mavericks once and made the Pipe Masters final the year Parko won, you know back when we could surf in the ocean…. Oh, how those were the days."

Stranger at the bus stop: "For the last time, please leave me alone old man."

6. Mick Fanning and the Creatures Team at Lowers

This is branded surf web content at its finest. Just a bunch of really good surfing from surfers we really want to watch, (Mick! Griff Colapinto! Ethan Ewing!) with some unapologetic close-ups of the product they're spruiking in use and looking all nice. And that’s a wrap!

7. Mark Healey on the Occ-Cast

So much gets covered here in the Mark Healey’s episode of the Occ-Cast, but honestly the whole thing is made worthwhile at 19.55 when Healey tells the story of that fabled day at Cloudbreak, where he found himself underneath the biggest set like that we’ve ever seen. You could hear stories about this day a million times and never get sick of it. “You chose to be here, you could be on a couch somewhere watching a movie, you did this to yourself.” Classic.

8. Kanoa Takes Us Around the US Open and the Surf Ranch

Red Bull’s vloggy surf series for their Japanese American star Kanoa Igarashi takes us behind the scenes to the US Open at Kanoa’s hometown of Huntington. Kanoa loses. So he goes to Kelly’s Surf Ranch. Kanoa is world no.5 at the moment, and a dark horse for Teahupo’o, especially considering the not gangbusters forecast. I dunno guys, watching these vlogs, I just can not tell if they're good or not anymore. They're all just blending into each other, and I can’t remember any of them… but so long as they never stop, never ever stop, never ever ever stop, everything will be alright.

9. Ross Clarke Jones' Time on Survivor ends

The great RCJ has been on the current season of Australian Survivor and has been an absolute star of the show. The funniest, most entertaining of all 24 who started out, while also playing a pretty decent and understated game that could have taken him all the way to the end. Sadly, Ross broke his ankle while competing in one of the show's challenges when the rope he was swinging from snapped. The injury he sustained forced him to retire, which sucks. But we should recognise that this is the greatest performance of a surfer on reality tv we've seen, ever. Deadset gold was Ross.

Here's a comment from a fan on Ross's Instagram that sums it all up:

"Fark bro just thought I'd have a scroll before watching tonight's show, couldn't help but read the comments, mate you were going all the way, the best TV viewing since Mad Wax but still not better than Mad Wax and All Down The Line on VHS ... live long ya Legend"

10. J.O.B. Lands In Aus

Jamie O’Brien makes the spur of the moment decision to come to Australia from Bali, lands, eats food, buys clothes, goes surfing and yeah… if you ever wanted to watch Jamie O’Brien get around Warringah Mall and then drive south or north to not really get waves, boy is this the clip for you!!! You have to admire how much stoke and entertainment he can pull out of not a lot, though, don’t you? He kinda rules.

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

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