WSL's Horror Run Continues, Mason Finally Meets the Reef, and Waves Glorious Waves

9 Jan 2021 2 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was January 8 2021

1. The WSL Is on Hold Once Again

Well, thank the Laird that 2020 is behind us, hey? The WSL, who had the most horrific of horror years as far as professional sporting orgs go, couldn't have welcomed the end of the bad year quick enough. Now, to take a big sip of water and check out how their first week of 2021 went...

The next major CT, the Sunset Pro cancelled. Oof. The following major CT event, the Santa Cruz Open... "postponed". Double oof.

Wow. For the full details on yet another road-block for professional surfing competition, read the news story here. And for a frank look at just how probable a WSL CT restart at Bells on April 1 is, you just have to read Nick Carroll's story, What Are the Real Chances of a Tour Down Under.

Not yet reported is the surfers' reaction to all this, which, just between you and me, I'm hearing is not good at all. "Fuming" is the unsubstantiated word I heard to descrube the mood amongst are world's most talented wave riders (again, keep this just between us). Understandably too, many of these surfers signed up on being away from their homes and families for three months, during a pandemic, over Christmas, to surf three events – in a country doing much worse with this crisis than their own – with word they'd be able to have a charter flight home organised and special arrangements of a group quarantine upon return. All of that's, apparently gone (allegedly!). And those three events have turned into one.

Anyway, how's your 2021 going so far? 

2. Margies Pumped

Not everyone had a bad opening to the year though, especially the hard charging and talented surfers of Australia's southwest. It was really good on Wednesday. To see more photos and the full story, click on through over here.

Photo: Tom Pearsall/Drfitwood Photography

Photo: Tom Pearsall/Drfitwood Photography

3. Following Julian Wilson

Red Bull's wonderful new YouTube series, Following, stalks Julian Wilson as he enters Hawaii for the greatest surfing competition in the world, the Pipe Masters. Once again, the most intriguing part of this is seeing the surfer break down and analyse the intricacies of handling a wave like Pipe with their coach. Would have been great if the camera was on the man when he found out via press release (is that how he found out?) that Sunset was off and he was free to head home to quarantine in a city hotel for two weeks.

4. Hawaii and Cali Have Also Been Pumping!

It has been truly an exceptional North American winter for waves. It's been hard to keep up. Just waves waves waves, everywhere, all the time. Good thing we've got this incredible gallery of insane photos from San Diego to Maverick's to Hawaii so we can take a moment to stop, breathe in, and absorb. Check out the Gallery: North Pacific Overdrive (Part 1), over here.

And here's a clip of Mikey Wright getting spat out of a Pipe pit this week. Just one of a million incredible kegs this past fortnight and beyond.

5. Following Kanoa Igarashi

Another episode of Red Bull's pro surfer stalker series, this time with Japanese American star Kanoa Igarashi as he gets around Hawaii on a non-comp day. Kinda nice to see that Kanoa sleeps in a bunk bed, right? So much extra space in his room to do activities.

6. So this is How the Vans Triple Crown Will Work this Year

It's not a Hawaiian winter without the Triple Crown. It just isn't. Too legendary, too classic, too much history. But with no real events on offer, they're making it a digital affair this year. You might have already heard that, but here's a little more detail on just how it will be judged thanks to WSL head judge Pritamo Ahrendt.

7. Some of the Best Gold Coast Waves From Last Year

It's never too late for a 2020 retrospective, and so we again dive back into the cursed year to relive some of the most non cursed moments: the waves. Here's some highlights from the machine-like Gold Coast points by Surf On Mars with the likes of Steph, Mick, Parko, Nikki Van Djik, Occy, Nick Vasicek, Ethan Ewing and more.

8. Eli Hanneman Is Very Good

Remember, if you want to give your clip emotional depth, put the interview parts in black and white, the opening B-roll in slow motion, and chuck an atmospheric noise on the soundtrack. You can say anything! That's not to say that this clip of 17 year old rising star Eli Hanneman isn't very good. It is. This one is a Californian surf trip featuring the Maui natural-footer ripping the bag in beachies and the Kelly pool.

9. Nate Fletcher Did... This

I've no words for this gigantic launch of an aerial from the great Nate Fletcher. How can it be that this is also the guy that got the most memorable wave from the infamous Code Red swell at Tahiti in 2011? You can't be this great at more than one thing. It's not fair. Give one back, Mr. Fletcher!

10. How is it Possible Mason Ho Never Actually Hits the Reef?

Turns out, he does. Your weekly installment of Mason Ho stoke and madness, and it has as much stoke and madness as ever.

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

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