Filipe Toledo And What Constitutes A “Real Air”

by stab April 17, 2019 2 min read

“Tail high.” 

After spending two minutes and 50 seconds of my life with Filipe Toledo this afternoon, the best I’ve got for you is, “tail high.”

Some years ago on a boat trip in Indonesia, which used to be a thing surf magazines would send you on, photographer Jason Kenworthy and I got in a conversation about what constitutes a legit air and concluded that if the tail wasn’t higher than everything else it was just another chop hop. For context, we were watching 12-year-old John John Florence huck air reveres at three-foot Lance’s Right. To get the tail to touch the clouds, to get inverted and maintain control of the board, that was the mark of true talent then, as much as it is today. And, arguably, right now nobody does it with more flair and explosiveness than Fil.

A highlight reel from a sub-par run through the Gold Coast, with Snapper and Kirra uncooperative, a lot of the footage comes from down Fingal way. Most of the first half of the edit is spent logging tube time—something that seems all too easy for Filipe—before he finally clicks into that Toledo groove and goes, well, tail high. Air after air, rotation after rotation, Filipe’s emphatic about pointing the tail to the sky. 

And just a little bit of cocktail knowledge for you next time you’re at the bar with the boys discussing edits, the beats in this Filipe drop, “Dough (Ft. Balance)” by John Fitzgerald Scott Jr. and Saeed Crumpler, previously appeared in the critically acclaimed film, “Super Troopers 2.” 

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