3 unforgettable moments from an incredible day of surfing in Teahupo’o

Days like yesterday are what pro surfing is all about. Perfect conditions, stunning surf and a lot at stake as the WSL final five are now set in stone. If you weren’t glued to your screen like I was yesterday afternoon, hit play above. There were plenty of amazing moments to relive as the action continues today – on the day of the final.

A heartbreak for some, a celebration of clutch surfing for others. As Joe Turpel mentioned above, Griffin was on fire yesterday at Teahupo’o. After some heavy wipeouts in his opening runs that dropped him in the elimination round, the surfer from San Clemente, Calif. lit up, sinking incredibly deep at the start of his round of 16 against Yago Dora for score a downside. 9.00. It was a must-have situation for Griffin if he was to clinch his spot at Trestles, but Yago came from behind in the final minutes to take the win and open the door for Kanoa to ride a few rounds later.

However, Kanoa had to win his round against Jadson Andre to take Griffin’s place. With two minutes remaining (four minutes, above), it didn’t look like it was going to happen, until Kanoa took off on one of the best waves of the day, went crazy and reappeared, earning a 9.70, the lead and last place at Trestles. Talk about the clutch.

2. Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge prove that experience reigns supreme in waves of consequence

Age is just a number. Really. We started the day with Nate and Kelly taking on Filipe Toledo in a three-way opener, and Kelly showed he knows how to get high scores on the legendary wave. “It’s about playing with the foam ball,” he said in an interview after the round. In other words, if you’re not nearly sunk, you’re not deep enough.

This sent Hedge and Toledo to an elimination round, where Nate showed just how far you can go at Teahupo’o, dropping a 9.43 for a disappearing act that blew everyone away and sent it off. in the round of 16. There, Nate and Kelly continued their dominance, losing 6:30 and 5:00 p.m., respectively.

Nate’s victory over Jack Robinson was particularly telling. Jack is a surgical tuberider, as you can see with this wave that blew Peter Mel away. With nine minutes left, Kaipo and Pete were already talking about Jack’s potential to win the event, but Nate must have heard them, as he dropped 9.87 and 8.43 in quick succession, riding his instincts while eliminating J-Rob.

Want more proof for my claim about the experiment? Check out Kauli Vaast’s heat against Ethan Ewing. Ethan started strong, but Kauli came from behind, simply getting deeper and longer barrels with intimate knowledge of positioning and speed management on his home break.

3. Matt McGillivray’s 10

It’s hard to stop talking about this wave, or this kid. Let’s start with the child. Matt has been on a tear this season. He started the season as a substitute wild card, and a third-place finish at Margaret River earned him just enough points to qualify for the second half of the season. Seeing him up close at the US Open a few weeks ago showed just how built this guy is. He has the build of a rugby player. Watching him muscle through that wild fall was almost unsurprising.

Matt McGillivray at Teahupoo

Matt emerges from a wave he shouldn’t have. Photo: Damien Poullenot/World Surfing League.

Those were just my first three. There were so many more. Nat Young and Miguel Pupo had a great shootout in the final seven minutes of their elimination round. Jadson and Italo had their own back-and-forth action. Ethan Ewing had a last-minute 8.67 against Michel Bourez to clinch his place in the final five. Caio Ibelli had the best wave of the first round with a 9.67. I’m sure I missed a few key moments, so please speak up.

Comments are closed.