M-Rod and Hendrickson went toe-to-toe in Hawaii yesterday, but it wasn’t the first time pro surfers have come to blows.
Michael Rodrigues vs Tanner Hendrickson (yesterday)
Footage has emerged of a punch on yesterday in Hawaii between Brazilian Michael Rodrigues and Hawaiian Tanner Hendrickson. Hendrickson apparently had beef with the Brazilian ever since an interference in Huntington and responded by tackling him on the bike path. It was a relatively short-lived scuffle with Hendrickson probably just winning on points. The WSL however took a dim a view of the violence and withdrew Hendrickson’s place in the Pipeline Trials. It wasn’t the first time that Rodrigues had robbed fellow competitors the wrong way. Rumours of him and Joan Duru fighting on the Gold Coast did the rounds at the start of the year. He is of course not alone. There have been plenty of stoushes between surfers over the years. Here’s some of the best.
Mikey Wright vs Jesse Mendes
Well, calling this a fight is overplaying it somewhat, but Jesse Mendes and Mikey Wright squared up and pushed each other in the North Point carpark earlier this year after freesurf session. Now none of the contents in their handbags were dropped in the incident and they kissed and made up afterwards, but hey, we’ve got to fill the internet somehow don’t we?
Koby Abberton vs Jonny Boy Gomes
The Maroubra surfer famously went head-to-head with one of surfing’s most notorious psychos, Johnny-Boy Gomes, in a public toilet in Hawaii some time in the early 2000s. The winner of the blue has never been confirmed, but either way you wouldn’t have wanted to have been having a pre-Haleiwa session dump when those two started swinging in the cubicles.
Sunny Garcia vs Neco Padaratz
Sunny Garcia stands six foot tall and weighs in at 90 plus kilograms of Hawaiian muscle and was never afraid to throw most of that considerable heft around. The most visible encounter though was an altercation in the 2007 Pipe Masters with Neco Padaratz. Garcia initially punched the Brazilian in the head a few times in the water after a paddle skirmish, before chasing him up the beach. Padaratz was eventually forced to find cover in the judge’s box, before booking the next flight home.
Mick Campbell vs Andy Irons
In France in 2000 Mick Campbell and Andy Irons were having a post heat shower when the Australian took exception to some intense sledging by punching Irons bang on the nose. That punch would risk antagonizing all of Irons’ considerable Hawaiian posse, but Campbell was never one to take shit from anybody. Irons responded, rather lamely, by trying to brain Campo with his surfboard.
Dustin Barca vs Adriano de Souza
The two naturalfooters reportedly came to blows during the 2009 Billabong Pro in Tahiti. It was said Barca, now a successful MMA fighter, took offense to the Brazilian’s freesurfing paddling style and had it out onshore. After a few lay days the two faced each other in the next round. Barca may have won the fight, but it was De Souza who won the heat.
Johnny-Boy Gomes vs Everyone
Scores of professional surfers have tales of engagements with Gomes that range from being sent from the water to being viciously beaten. Australian surf writer Tim Baker said, “He's outrageously talented, but has soured more surf sessions for more people than any surfer alive.” In 1991 he was fined $1,000 by world tour officials for punching a fellow competitor during a match-up. In 1993 he slapped female pro surfer Jodie Cooper and in 1999 he was convicted of assault and fined $6,300 after breaking a surfer's nose during a beating at Chun's Reef on the North Shore. And that was just the reported incidents, which is surely the tip of the assault iceberg for Gomes.