Mason Ho Surfs Hurricane Swell Chaos, Italo's Andy Tribute, and Soli Bailey Ripping At Home

11 Sep 2020 3 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was September 11 2020

1. Another Tragic Death and The Growing Shark Concerns

As you no doubt know, this week was marked by another tragic shark attack death. Forty-six-year-old Nick Slater was the victim. It's the fourth fatal great white attack on the Australian east coast since June, and the first in a lifetime in the perceived safe surf playground that is the southern Gold Coast pointbreaks.

(P.S. There was a Coastalwatch Surf Cam screenshot used without authorisation all over the media at the time of the incident, and still being used, read the company statement on that here).

When Mick Fanning had the shark scare at the final of the J-Bay Open in 2015, the analogy of a bear walking onto centre court at Wimbledon and having a go at Roger Federer was thrown around. In some ways, that analogy seems more relevant with this Greenmount tragedy. Beyond the science and the data and the shark mitigation strategies that get endlessly debated every time these things come out, whether a surfer paddles out or not under the cloud of shark threat is really a gut-check thing. And beyond wave pools and baywaves, the superbank might have the quickest shark gut-check in the world. The idea of shark threat at the most populous spot we have couldn't have been further from the minds of surfers who paddle out there every day. But this week, that changed big time.

And with it, there may come a changing mindset on shark stuff for a larger slice of the surfing population.

Shooting from the hip here, but surfers are pretty damn self-serving when it comes to contentious issues – (how many surfers who all of a sudden started caring about mental health issues and "draconian" over-reaching of government bodies during the initial pandemic response are still talking about these things now that they're again free to surf?). For a huge population, this shark attack takes the issue far from the isolated beaches more synonmous with these horrific incidents, and brings them to Australia's surfing mecca. Whatever you think should be done either way, it's going to be talked about a whole lot in the coming weeks, that's for sure.

2. Italo Ferreira's Andy Irons Tribute

Never waste a crisis, so they say, and the long-reigning World Champ Italo Ferreira has really taken that to heart, hasn't he. What's this, like his 50th surf clip this year? While I haven't even finished that jigsaw puzzle I bought in March. Here's what Italo had to say about yet another wonderful high-energy edit:

"We decided to re-make one of my favourite Andy Irons’ videos. I’m not trying to compare my self to him, NEVER, he is my inspiration to get better and better. The movie is called Campaign, I watch it every day before my sessions...we tried to edit it with the same music and same manoeuvres but I’m goofy footer hahaha. I hope you guys like it and also get as inspired as I did. Thanks to all of Andy’s family for letting me do it."

It's just nice, isn't it?

3. Soli Bailey Rules, Man

Channel Islands have a new web series where they sit down with a surfer, chat about surfing and surfboards, and then surf a bunch of them near home. This episode with Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey sees him chatting his upbringing in the surf, winning the Volcom Pipe Pro in 2017 and subsequently landing on the CT, as well as how he’s been handling the Covid downtime. And, of course, he’s ripping. It’s worth every part of its 11 minutes and 30 seconds of your time.

4. Another Wild Bonython Clip, From This Wild Winter Just Gone

Bonython drives past the turn-off for the Cape and instead goes searching for some classic east coast bombies, dropping by Dylan Longbottom and his 17-year old monster chasing daughter Summa. It's 25 minutes-long, but it's a unique and direct edit that puts you right in the headlands and line-ups with the legends who surf these things over two days of incredible swell. And as usual, Bonython's footage is as crisp as it comes.

5. John John Goes Sailing

John John and his wife Lauryn on their first multi-day voyage around Oahu unassisted and made this quite nice 15 minute piece about it. It's a bit of inspiring, kind of makes you want to become a multi-millionaire superstar so you can get a big beautiful catamaran and sail it around your tropical island home, doesn't it? In seriousness though, he's quite a unique dude for the current world's best competitive surfer – between learning how to fly planes, paddling Molokai to Oahu, and captaining a yacht around... he knows what he likes and commits to it. I dig it.

6. Nathan Oldfield x Josie Prendergast

One of the most soulful surf filmmakers we have, Nathan Oldfield, turns his lens to the graceful logging of Josie Predergast for Billabong.

"Just a gold old fashioned down-the-coast surf trip," says Nathan. "Our days were a blur of early starts, long surfs, cafe hits, bumping in to old friends and new. Long conversations, afternoon glass-offs, early nights, surf, eat, sleep, repeat."

7. Meet Luke Condon, Whizz

Mikey Mallalieu is the young filmmaker behind some of the best clips of free surfers ever, most notably a host of Noa Deane’s clips (including Head Noise, his best ever). So when he’s behind a clip, you lift your head off the desk, perk up and check it out, they’re usually very good. Whizz is no exception. Starring Luke Condon, an underground Aussie charger, and promising board shaper, it's got a bit of power and a bunch of tubes. If he keeps surfing like this, he won’t be underground for too much longer. 

8. Mason Ho Surfs a Hurricane

Imagine Mason's stoke gland when he heard there was a rare hurricane swell heading for Oahu that would cause a heap of weird refracting victory at sea conditions and whatnot. He must have passed out from excitement.

As YouTube commenter Zen Babaloo points out: "At 2:20 he literally surfs on 4 different waves in one ride. Never seen that before." Just about sums it up.

9. Toledo's Best Stuff

Nine minutes of Filipe Toledo's best clips from the last three years and flipping hell it's something to behold. Most of all, I'm super into his reaction at 4.10.

10. John John and Ian Walsh

Watch John John and Ian Walsh go barrel for ridiculous barrel in this clip from Ian Walsh's movie, Distance Between Dreams. I have a hot take about John John Florence that I'd like to share with you: Pretty good at surfing, that John John. Pretty pretty pretty good.

P.S.

This WSL comp on the NSW Tweed Coast begins this sunday at 7am.

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

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