Over the weekend millions of surfers went surfing. There were pipes in Portugal, reos in Raglan and mush in Middleton. However, we aren’t here to talk about them. Because inland in California, various professionals rode a wave created by a big steel blade being ploughed through water. And just what you, the surf fan, needs is more analysis. So in the interest of flogging a newly born horse, here are some more bite sized surf chunks to wrap your laughing gear around.  

The Women

“Thunder only happens when it’s raining,” sang Carissa Moore backstage at the Surf Ranch, before crooning, “Players only love when they are playing.” Apart from paraphrasing Stevie Nicks’ questionable meteorological knowledge, Moore seemed to be love being a player over the weekend, constantly drawing the best lines. One of the big surprises was how the wave narrowed the performance gap between the women and the men. 

The Ramps

When Seth Moniz dropped his massive backflip from the new American Wave Machines Waco pool the day after the Founder’s Cup, it highlighted just what the Surf Ranch doesn’t have. Have you ever tried to manoeuvre a shopping trolley, laded with 10 cartons of beer, down three flights of stairs? Well, that’s why they have ramps. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. 

The Bottom Turns

Surfing’s oldest adage that the bottom turn is the foundation of all good surfing was tested over the weekend. Basically there weren’t any. The transitions are too lateral, the wave too fast. I like bottom turns. Like my youth, pubic hair and my first HT Holden, I missed them over the weekend. 

Lakey managed to find enough room for half a bottom turn. Photo: WSL

The Format

Trying to get my head around the complicated teams format, all be it after three gin and tonics the size of my head, I was reminded of the Douglas Adams quote about a character in his Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. “He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to centigrade in his head while his house is burning down.”  

riiiiiiiight ... wait, what?

The Equipment

“Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life,” said Aldous Huxley, the author, pacifist, satirist and owner of a mean backhand snap. “The only completely consistent people are the dead.” When Jordy Smith was forced onto to new equipment in the warm up sessions, there was a sense that the tub could be an exciting experimental hub for new design and prove Huxley’s theory. Yet it seemed most surfers opted for familiarity in an unfamiliar environment. Remember when Parko slayed the wave on a skimboard? That was pretty cool wasn’t it? When we could have had Adriano on an asymmetric or Kolohe on a winged keel, we had Toledo on his trusty tri-fin.