Day 2 At The Billabong Rio Masters

by stab December 17, 2017 2 min read

I couldn’t believe they were running the contest today. Slightly overhead, lumpy, bumpy Backdoor/Aints/Gums is what we woke up to, and in my mind the day was a write-off. But due to a brutal Hawaiian season, the WSL is in a serious time crunch, so there we were. Surfing slightly overhead, lumpy, bumpy Backdoor/Aints/Gums to determine a Pipeline Master.  

I never made it down to the comp today. Watching the first heats from our Log Cabins dungeon, I told myself I wouldn’t bother with the 1/4 mile trek unless they went into Round 2. My glutes were still enraged from last week’s beach walk.

Medina was scheduled for the first heat of Round 2 against Dusty Payne, and while world title race wouldn’t have officially ended with a Medina loss, there was no way I would miss Medina’s survival fight, and if he were to lose, his explosive reaction.

(Un)Fortunately I never got the chance. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 16 at 11.31.40 AM

The waves this season have been 50 Shades of wack. Photo: WSL/Poullenot

One of the WSL execs explained the severity of the wave situation on the webcast. In less blunt terms, he said that while they recognize the waves are shitty today, if they want to finish the event in the best conditions possible (most likely Monday or Tuesday), they’d have to run the earlier rounds in shitty surf. While not ideal, I agree this is the most reasonable response to the situation. 

But god damn, if I had turned on the webcast without any knowledge of the competition’ setting, hand-on-heart I would have assumed it was at Barra de Tijuca. The short-period energy, kinky sandbars, and blue-green water reeked of Brazil. Well maybe it didn’t reek of Brazil but you get what I’m saying. 

Competition-wise, it was an understandably lackluster affair. Buchan won with cookie-cutter backside hooks, O’Leary advanced with a two punchy frontside hacks, and Italo brought some life to the morning with an off-balance rotation. I’d be scared of this guy if the conditions remained the same throughout the event. Hell, even Filipe becomes a major threat in waves like this.  

Tomorrow the swell is meant to be small but building throughout the day. A new, longer-period NW swell will hopefully bring a couple tubes into play, but only time will tell. 

Ashton and I are going surfing now. Feel free to watch the live Rockies cam and rate our performance.

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