Filipe Toledo Wins 2014 Vans US Open Of Surfing

posted by / ASP / August 3, 2014

Jordy Smith came, he saw, and then he was conquered by Adam Melling. Photo: Sherm

Jordy Smith came, he saw, and then he was conquered by Adam Melling. Photo: Sherm

Current WQS points leader Matt Banting fires a warning shot at the ‘CTers in the event. Photo: Taras

Current WQS points leader Matt Banting fires a warning shot at the ‘CTers in the event. Photo: Taras

Sally Fitzgibbons hates Ruby’s American Diner. Photo: Jimmicane

Sally Fitzgibbons hates Ruby’s American Diner. Photo: Jimmicane

Malia Manuel stretched all the way to a 3rd place result, tying her best performance of the year. Photo: Sherm

Malia Manuel stretched all the way to a 3rd place result, tying her best performance of the year. Photo: Sherm

The Golden State. Photo: Taras

The Golden State. Photo: Taras

Willian Cardoso can and will part the seas with a single turn. Photo: Taras

Willian Cardoso can and will part the seas with a single turn. Photo: Taras

Brett Simpson got bumped by Filipe Toledo in the Semis, but the hometown crowd was anything but displeased with Brett’s performance. Photo: Sherm

Brett Simpson got bumped by Filipe Toledo in the Semis, but the hometown crowd was anything but displeased with Brett’s performance. Photo: Sherm

Filipe Toledo and a very big, very pleased crowd. Photo: Antoine Justes

Filipe Toledo and a very big, very pleased crowd. Photo: Antoine Justes

The word petite doesn’t exactly come to mind. Willian Cardosa. Photo: Sherm

The word petite doesn’t exactly come to mind. Willian Cardosa. Photo: Sherm

The waiting game. Photo: Antoine Justes

The waiting game. Photo: Antoine Justes

The holy crusader in an anarchic land. Photo: Taras

The holy crusader in an anarchic land. Photo: Taras

Stephanie Gilmore bottom turns while a kid in a tan shirt sternly critiques it. Maybe he prefers more of a vertical approach? Photo: Antoine Justes

Stephanie Gilmore bottom turns while a kid in a tan shirt sternly critiques it. Maybe he prefers more of a vertical approach? Photo: Antoine Justes

Tyler Wright, winning and title racing. Photo: Taras

Tyler Wright, winning and title racing. Photo: Taras

Zen or abrasive Brazilian hip-hop? The world may never know. Filipe Toledo. Photp: Greg Gyselinck

Zen or abrasive Brazilian hip-hop? The world may never know. Filipe Toledo. Photp: Greg Gyselinck

Buffalo Bill finishes him. Photo: Antoine Justes

Buffalo Bill finishes him. Photo: Antoine Justes

9.03? We’ll take it! Photo: Jimmicane

9.03? We’ll take it! Photo: Jimmicane

Big Bill out the back and Little Fil closer in. This is the exchange in which Filipe snatched the win. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

Big Bill out the back and Little Fil closer in. This is the exchange in which Filipe snatched the win. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

A picture may be worth a thousand words… Photo: Taras

A picture may be worth a thousand words… Photo: Taras

…but some are also worth a hundred thousand dollars. Filipe Toledo, your 2014 Vans Us Open of Surfing champion. Photo: Jimmicane

…but some are also worth a hundred thousand dollars. Filipe Toledo, your 2014 Vans Us Open of Surfing champion. Photo: Jimmicane

Filipe and Willian stopped by the SURFING office together right before the contest started. We’re not saying that has anything to do with them both making the final, but we’re not saying it doesn’t. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

Filipe and Willian stopped by the SURFING office together right before the contest started. We’re not saying that has anything to do with them both making the final, but we’re not saying it doesn’t. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

Flowers on her head, world title on her mind. Steph Gilmore is in contention this year. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

Flowers on her head, world title on her mind. Steph Gilmore is back in contention this year. Photo: Greg Gyselinck

Hugs on top of hugs. Huntington Beach: where love happens. Photo: Sherm

Hugs on top of hugs. Huntington Beach: where love happens. Photo: Sherm

Many great stories were born during the undomesticated animal that was the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing. Stories about wild nights. About sex. About creeps on the beach, teens on the street and the bridge between those two parties of people: Jägermeister. But never mind any of that because today, the most important story of the event wrote itself. It was a story about surfing.

After a long week of sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating waves, it was time for the finals. Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright were the two gals who wore Huntington Beach the best and so they waltzed into the Women’s final. It was a slow dance at first — even requiring a heat restart — but things sped up once the feet started finding the wax. Tyler got the best wave of heat, earned 8.67 points for it and Steph had no response. After trading wins with Carissa Moore last year, HB was Tyler’s first win of 2014. Carissa still sits atop this year’s ratings but after this event, the difference between Carissa and Stephanie (who sits in 4th) is a petty 4000 points. It’s a four pony race. Mares, rather.

Then came Filipe Toledo and Willian Cardoso for the Men’s final. Let’s touch on that matchup for a moment — Willian is basically two Filipes. He is a hulk and if he were a marsupial hulk, he could fit Filipe in his pouch and nurture him. Their surfing is pretty black and white too. Buffalo Bill can part the seas with a single turn and Filipe is the most consistent aerialist in the world right now. You couldn’t cherry-pick a more drastically different pair of surfers and maybe that’s just what makes Huntington Beach what it is — weird, wild, layered, unpredictable and pretty tan. Turns out the judges were more in favor of Filipe’s brand of surfing. Although Big Bill had the highest scoring wave of the heat, Filipe found two big scores and ran away with it. He just moved his entire family from Brazil to San Clemente and they swarmed him, trudging through chest-deep water to celebrate this little moment of surrealism. Welcome to America, folks. Sure makes for one hell of a story.

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  • Mik

    I have no idea how Cardosa scored a 9.3 on a 3 ft wave with 3 backhand off the lips.

    Have any of the judges ever done, or even tried to do an air reverse? Especially on a gutless 2 ft wave? Getting the required speed was magical by Felipe.

    Not that Willian isn’t a good surfer. Same with Joel or Fanning or CJ or Tiago, or etc w/o a real air attack. All amazing talents — but the new world of surfing means you need both big airs AND a powerful rail game. And even if you’re not into airs yourselves, fellow blogmires, then face it. If you are an upper level surfer you have to know that airs are damn hard. Way harder than than 80% of the backhand of the lips we see, unless the backhand attack is beyond vertical, and on an 8 ft vertical pitching face. Felipe won, as he should have, and Willian should have been given a 7.5 max for that wave. Keep it real, eh? The past is past. Klieny can rant all he wants about how power surfing is still the big deal. But in today’s world it has to be backed up by a heavy air game. Fact.

  • Brosef

    Wrong. You’re spot on about Willian’s overly generous scores & Felipe deserving the win, but the rest? Not buying it. I get what your saying about variety, but airs reverses, if done on weak little end sections, are just as easy as any standard turn & should be scored accordingly. If airs are that difficult for you, start skateboarding. It will help your air game. If you think standard air reverses are that hard, then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe it’s you? Solid rail surfing, especially in the gutless crap on display at the US Open, is difficult. And to do it with style? Very few pull it off. And, no, I saw very little solid rail surfing in that comp. Even Willian’s turns were fairly standard.

  • Mik

    Your right. My air game sucks. Both in surfing and in skating. Rail, I can lay it down. And I equate air in skating to air in surfing. W/o solid air game ur not in the game.