Here’s To Firsts

Adriano Photo: Scotty Hammonds

Way back in September while Adriano de Souza was still sitting on the top-spot with just four events left, I wrote a half-scathing-half-complimentary (incidentally clairvoyant) article about his dominance. It wasn’t very flattering; in fact I wrote a few quips like:

“Watching Adriano shit on our idols in heats is like watching the douchey guy dressed like Fred Durst at the party take home the hottest chick at the end of the night.” And: “If he were to win the title, surf journalists will have the same motivation to do a story on it the same way you felt when mom woke you up for school in the morning in 6th grade, like, ‘Awww, do I haaaave to?!’”

I swear it got nicer after that last line. But, honestly, since September has the sentiment really changed?

‘Cause even yesterday we posted a “Go Mick Fanning Go” article. And I also know I wanted Mick to win because in the newest issue I interviewed him for a lengthy albeit kickass feature that hinted at a fourth world-title, so…would’ve been good timing, right? But shame on me. How selfish. And shame on any (English-spoken) sighs heard round the world. Shame on all the haters.

‘Cause a fourth one for Fanning is good news, but a first one for Adriano is goddamn history.

Also, good thing there was a camera on the beach to show the crowd’s screaming, crying, singing, rejoicing, absolutely Brazilian exuberance, because Pottz’ voice over the webcast sounded like a teenage kid that just discovered his girlfriend was pregnant. A potent concoction of baffled and rattled. Raffled.

I admit I was a little raffled.

‘Cause sure, I’d love to see Slater get that 12th and final one. Or Mick get his fourth. But hell if the rest of the tour ain’t hungry and clawing for just ONE. For their first. And I support that. I support change and variety and motherfucking first-times. SURFING’s always supported the youngsters and misfits and grommets-on-the-verge-of-blowing-up. 28-year-old Brazilians with clothing sponsors that still perplex me included.

Adriano included.

So I’ve talked my shit in the past, and admittedly, I was rooting for Mick, and then Kerr, and then Mason today before I surrendered to your relentless, brilliant, blue-collar tenacity, Adriano. Your game is the pillars we built this country on. So American, but so not!

And yet again I admit that you are the best in the world, Adriano. Fair and square, full-stop. And I report and acknowledge this fact proudly. Without sigh. Without bias. Without a doubt. This truth does not hurt.

Yes, fuck it; I’m up, mom! It’s metaphorically sixth grade and I had my school outfit laid out at the foot of my bed last night before I went to sleep, ready and dreaming for this new day. It is thrilling to think of how much there is to learn. —Beau Flemister