Noa Deane is the Best Freesurfer in the World, is his the Clip of the Year? Plus, Wavepool Updates and World Title Possibilities

1 Nov 2019 1 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was November 1, 2019

1. Noa Deane and What Just Might Be the Clip of the Year

The professional freesurf superstar is a dying breed, dying artform. In the post Modern Collective era, they hardly even exist and are instead evolving slowly into a weird form of surfer/YouTube Star/Content Creator. Necessity is the mother of invention, I suppose. Necessity in this case being paid to surf for a living, and invention being creating weekly YouTube videos where the surfer describes every single thing they do in their never-ending day to day existence. Noa Deane, however, is very much a remaining master of the millenial form – a 2019 version of a Dane Reynolds-like performance, he's going harder, faster, higher and surfing with more fury in this edit than anyone else we've seen in 2019 (I think, hit me with an alternative?), and his longtime edit partner Mikey Mallalieu is serving it with the perfect digital palate in this exceptional clip. RU.BU 994 is what a perfect surfing edit looks like in 2019. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

2. Creed Stars in Neon Jungle

Is Billabong’s Life’s Better in Boardshorts series the best series we have at the moment? Chapter 11 sees Creed McTaggart and Kai Hing join Mega Artana and Tai Graham in Indonesia to hit some unknown-ish reefs and rip the waves that break above them apart. Some serious pits dominate the second half of this clip, so make sure you at the very least catch that.

3. No World Titles Were Decided in Portugal

Yes, the men’s and women’s Rip Curl Pros in Portugal were run and won, by Italo Ferreira and Caroline Marks specifically, and not by either Gabriel Medina or Carissa Moore, which means we’ll all be waiting till late December before we can crown the 2019 Champs.

In case you missed it, read Sean Doherty’s excellent wrap of the event over here, because there’s no-one better.

So, what’s the situation heading to Pipe and Honolua Bay then? Well here is what the WSL sent out. Ladies first:

Three Women's World Title Contenders: 
Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson & Caroline Marks

  • If Carissa Moore wins Maui she clinches the World Title;
  • If Moore gets a 2nd Lakey Peterson needs a 1st to take the World Title from Moore;
  • If Moore gets a 3rd Peterson needs a 2nd & Caroline Marks a 1st;
  • If Moore gets a 5th/9th/17th Peterson needs 3rd & Marks a 2nd to force a 3 way Tie Surf Off for World Title decision in Maui;

So what does that realistically mean?

It means that please please pretty please let’s have a final at Maui between Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson at pumping Honolua. A winner takes all heat for the 2019 World Title? That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

But who will win? Well, the history says it’s 100%, put your house on it and risk the kids’ futures all the way Carissa Moore. Of the five events since Maui has been back on the schedule, Moore has made the final four times, winning it three times. Her worst result is a fifth. Lakey Peterson on on the other hand has only gotten as far as fifth a single time, and that was back in 2014. The wildcard here, however, is Caroline Marks. Who knows what she can do? She’s surfed the event once for an unmemorable 13th. If she does defy the odds, she’ll be the youngest World Champ in the history of the sport, dethroning Moore. All she has to do to do it is win the event, and hope Carissa doesn't the final with her when she does it.

For the men, from the WSL again we have this:

Five Men's World Title Contenders: 
Italo Ferreira
, Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Jordy Smith & Kolohe Andino

  • If Italo Ferreira wins Pipe he clinches the World Title;
  • If  Ferreira gets a 2nd Gabriel Medina & Filipe Toledo will need a 1st to take the World Title from Ferreira;
  • If Ferreira gets a 3rd Medina needs a 2nd, Toledo & Jordy Smith a 1st;
  • If Ferreira gets 5th, Medina needs a 3rd, Toledo a 2nd, Smith a 1st;
  • If Ferreira gets 9th, Medina needs a 5th, Toledo a 3rd, Jordy a 2nd & Kolohe Andino a 1st ;
  • If Ferreira gets 17th/33rd, Medina & Toledo will need a 9th, Smith a 5th & Andino a 2nd

So what does that realistically mean?

It means that the Title is Medina’s unless Italo can keep Gabby from finishing a single result better than him (which he won’t). Oh, and that if Jordy wins Pipe, and Italo doesn’t make the final, Jordy will win the Title. The rest all seems too unlikely. And why do we think Italo won’t beat Medina at Pipe? History. History times two:

Italo is the most wildly inconsistent surfer we have – in his entire history of Championship Tour events, he has never strung together three positive results in a row (credit: the great Nick Carroll pointed this out to me the other day). Two? Sure. Three? Ha, noooo way! And guess who just had back to back finals in the last two CT events? That’s right, ya boy Italo. For Italo to win the Title, he’d have to break his whole career hoodoo here with an unprecedented third decent performance in a row, and he has to do that at Pipe. Now if we also look at his past Pipe performances, we’ve got a 13th, a 5th, a 13th and a 13th. That’s hardly the kind of history you want to bet your lunch on.

Compare that history to Medina, in his past results we have a 1st, a 5th, a 13th, a 2nd, a 2nd, a 13th, a 9th, and a 5th.

Now back to back ninths through Europe in 2019 for Medina, compared to two thirds last year, and two firsts the year before is a serious comparative slump at this point of the season for his usual wet sail finishes to the CT. But whatever, It’s Gabriel freaking Medina. He’s got it.... Unless he doesn't... (but he does!).

4. Your Weekly Wave Pool Update:

– American Wave Machines – which is the company behind that strange coloured Texas wave pool where surfers do massive airs and Stab Magazine runs their air shows – have a new pool in New Jersey which is indoors and will be open to the public as soon as next month. 

– Bristol, UK saw the opening of their new WaveGarden cove style lagoon pool, a similar size to the one opening at Melbourne airport this summer. Apparently these waves are not yet full size, and the Melbourne pool's waves will be longer... but ahhh... another week, another week of looking at pools not being surfed by any of us on the internet, hey? Will it ever end?

5. Pipe's Open

Heeeeey, it's official! The Hawaiian Winter season is officially here. Officially official! Strap yourselves in guys, cause it's pretty much nothing but Hawaiian content and wave pool content from now till Christmas. It's been a good year, guys (has it though?), thanks for being a part of it.

6. Brett Burcher's Movie Is Very Good

A 21 minute passion project of Brett Burcher and filmmaker Darcy Ward, Engrained is one of the best surf movies you'll see this week. Travelling across Ireland, Scotland, Tasmania, the Australian desert and back home to the East Coast of Aus, the soulful big wave buffet features wave riding from the likes of, well, of course Brett Burcher, but also Russel Bierke, Sean Mawson, Louie Hynd, Elliot Marshall, Paul Morgan, and more.

7. Mason Ho At Desert Point

In basketball they have a term called a high-volume shooter. That's what Mason Ho is to surfing, I reckon. Here he is at the epic Indonesian lefthander, Desert Point. Has anyone opened an ice cream stand near here called Dessert Point? Someone, please do it! I can't because I no longer eat sugar and my life is a bland, flavourless pit of despair.

8. Russ Bierke's New Movie Is Spectacular

Russell Bierke and filmmaker Andrew Kaineader have this week released Flow State – a 15 minute movie that looks into what drives this young charger from the South Coast of New South Wales. This is the first major edit from Russ in about three years, and it's pretty damn spectacular. The final clip, a paddled in air drop at macking Shipsterns, has to be up there with the greatest waves ever ridden at the infamous Tassie slab. Must watch stuff. 

9. Potts, Kelly and Steph Talk Medina

Here’s a nice behind the scenes bit of content following Gabriel Medina over the course of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal featuring Steph Gilmore, Kelly and Potts narrating just how good he is, this pending three time World Champion. The best part of this, however, is watching Medina’s bizarre event losing faux pas play out in real time. Never change, Gabby!

10. Your Weekly QS Update: That Sunset Comp That Isn't the Major Sunset Comp Was Run

We've hit that time of year where the surfing world, everyone, absolutely everyone in surfing – except of course for surf media, cause that doesn't really exist or matter anymore – arrives on the North Shore of Oahu for the Hawaiian winter and the climax of the surfing year. And it all kinda sorta starts with this Vans Pro at Sunset Beach, a QS3,000 that's not to be confused with the QS10,000 Sunset event in December. South African David Van Zyl won it, and our Jack Robbo made the final, finishing third.

Jack Robbo's third place gives him another 1,680 points... which probably won't stay in his scoreline if he is to have a decent run of Sunset and Haleiwa for the all-important 10,000s that decide who makes the 2020 CT.

Also in your QS update this week, it's worth noting that rising Lennox star Mikey McDonagh won his first QS, a 1,000 event over in WA for the Cape Naturaliste Pro.

On the ladies' side of that little event, Clare Bevilacqua was the winner, and on her board was a proudly stamped Italian flag. She's gearing up for a tilt at Olympic Qualification for the Azzurri, her dad being Italian and herself being a duel citizen. Power to her. She's currently 56th on the World QS rankings.

The women's QS will be decided in Port Stephens from November 15, with a QS6000 there. One surfer worth keeping an eye on as that comes around is Zahli Kelly, who two weeks ago won a Japanese QS3000 and has slipped just into qualification areas in ninth. Reminder: Zahli Kelly is still just 15 years old!

Positive QS stat: Australia has 7 in the top 20 of the Men's QS, plus Jacob Willcox in 23rd and Caleb Tancred in 24th. That's the most of any country in the top 20 or the top 25. 

Dominant Brazil stat: Brazil has 6 in the top ten, and four in the top 5 of the men's QS. They're the best (men's) surfing nation on earth.

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

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