Gabriel Medina Spreads the Love

posted by / News, Photos / May 7, 2012

Lowers. Photo: Jimmicane

Lowers. Photo: Jimmicane

Saxon Boucher, Mike Parsons, Sal Masakela. Photo: Sherm

Saxon Boucher, Mike Parsons, Sal Masakela. Photo: Sherm

Grayson and Christian Fletcher. Photo: Sherm

Grayson and Christian Fletcher. Photo: Sherm

John John and crew, avoiding trains. Photo: Jimmicane

John John and crew, avoiding trains. Photo: Jimmicane

Nat Young. Photo: Sherm

Nat Young. Photo: Sherm

Glen Hall would fit in that thing. Photo: Jimmicane

Glen Hall would fit in that thing. Photo: Jimmicane

Dusty Payne loves him some Patriots. Photo: Sherm

Dusty Payne loves him some Patriots. Photo: Sherm

Shaper to the stars, Matt Biolos. Photo: Sherm

Shaper to the stars, Matt Biolos. Photo: Sherm

Occy. Legend. Photo: Sherm

Occy. Legend. Photo: Sherm

Sal Masakela. Photo: Sherm

Sal Masakela. Photo: Sherm

Glen Hall is Irish, which means he's always in it for the crack. En route to the final. Photo: Jimmicane

Glen Hall is Irish, which means he's always in it for the crack. En route to the final. Photo: Jimmicane

John John fell to Glenn Hall in the semis, but damn if he didn't impress us all week. Photo: Jimmicane

John John fell to Glenn Hall in the semis, but damn if he didn't impress us all week. Photo: Jimmicane

There he is again. Photo: Jimmicane

There he is again. Photo: Jimmicane

And there's Dane. He made it to the final day, parked in Gabriel Medina's spot, and then fell to the Zillian in the quarters. Photo: Jimmicane

And there's Dane. He made it to the final day, parked in Gabriel Medina's spot, and then fell to the Zillian in the quarters. Photo: Jimmicane

Gabriel's whole family made the trip stateside to root him on. Family support helps. Photo: Jimmicane

Gabriel's whole family made the trip stateside to root him on. Family support helps. Photo: Jimmicane

One of the only floaters we saw from Gabriel this contest. Photo: Jimmicane

One of the only floaters we saw from Gabriel this contest. Photo: Jimmicane

We saw more of this. Photo: Jimmicane

We saw more of this. Photo: Jimmicane


 

From the start, I didn’t wanna jinx it. Lord knows everyone else was trying to. The week before the event I’d been meeting with Gabriel Medina, surfing and hanging with him in pursuit of a story I’m writing for our next issue. “Gonna be great for the article if he wins it, huh?” said Rip Curl team manager Matt Myers. Yeah — obviously. But I wasn’t counting my chickens. Indeed, he had us craning our necks watching him out at Lowers and Salt Creek. But no one can make a call like that so early. Plus, it’s just bad luck.

But the kid had grown a couple inches, put on a few pounds. His power game had definitely bulked. And of course, his landing ratio was staggering. Frightening. People kept talking. Everyone around the office was saying the same thing, too. “How sick would it be if he wins?” As if all of his hard work and passion and twelve family members flown in from Brazil were to benefit the story.

But maybe, like everyone was hoping, this was all for the story. A man can dream, right? Consequently, the following week unfolded like a feature profile’s wet dream. Gabs was murdering. Heat win after heat win, 19-plus point total after 19-plus point total, Dane lashing after Dane lashing, slob air reverse after no-grab 360 air — well, you watched it. Until I found myself sitting beside Rip Curl marketing director Dylan Slater in the top tent watching the finals. And even he smugly said, without breaking gaze from the sea, “Gonna be good for the interview when he wins, huh?” And damn an in-form Irishman if it wasn’t. “Yes,” I replied. “You’re damn right it will.”

And then he won. Definitely his weakest heat of the whole event. But the waves were slow. And let’s face it, up until then, he was surfing twice as good as everyone. The entire time. Except maybe Brett Simpson. F–k, that was a close one. Nevertheless, it was a fine way to frame a feature. A fine gift for a well-wishing writer. It had to be. Thank you, Gabriel. You truly are too kind. —Beau Flemister

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  • Bruno

    There are people saying his surfing is boring and repetitive and his backside is average haha! it must be ´cause he´s so freaking good.

  • Alan

    Congrats Medina!

    Congrats Beau – lovely written!

  • Mik

    Agredable Senor Bruno! now, what would the blogdom be spewing if Kelly, Andy (RIP), Taj, Mick, Joel, Kerr, Owen, Jordy, et al were as consistent as this genius talent from South america? They’d be declaring him unbeatable, that’s what. And in fact, the only one’s on tour who can compete are John-John, who is in fact his equal, and until proven otherwise, who is superior in heavy surf—and Kelly, who has the ability to rise to the occasion against anyone at any time (ask anyone in the top 10 of the WCT during the past 20 years). Other than that, there is no one as consistent, not even Kerrzsy, as evidenced by results. Therefore, I, for one, think that anyone who doesn’t respect Medina needs to get counseling for racial/cultural/nationalistic weirdness………………

  • Jorge Jojó

    Congrats Medina for wins that event. Here in Brazil we believe that it´s time for our young boys to begin the new days from our surf. Also it´s time to create good conditions for support by sponsors and government, they have to believe in our young surfers.

    From Jorge,
    Rio de Janeiro city,
    Brazil.

  • the truth

    i can highly doubt anyone was cheering for glenn hall or ace buchan or even jeremy flores.. we can put these guys in the similar jail cell.

    their crime: no air game, no above the lip game, unable to perform beyond 1985 levels of surfing and causing rapid boredom in viewers.

  • yeah guy

    @Mik – You are my fav… But, you need to relax a bit, that Lowers contest was a Prime. Take a look at the current World Title rankings (After all, all that counts are World Titles), where is Medina? Of the big boys you mentioned above, how many were in this Prime Lowers’ event? Of the World Tour contests this year, where has Medina placed? I am not saying that he doesn’t surf well (I will say, in fact, that I, in fact, think he is a one trick pony, which is a fact), I am saying that World Tour events have a different feel, the World Tour is serious business. Most of the ‘QS guys are mental cases, that do not know how to play the game… not the same playing field, not the same as a World Tour event win and I would hope that a World Tour surfer (like Medina) would beat a bunch of ‘QS guys.

  • Honey Badger

    So is doing 2 ft. air reverses & lame “Superman” airs considered having an “air game”? LOL! only in modern day surfing would that weak crap be considered “progressive”. You should have points deducted from you if you do a superman air. Surfing is starting to look like rollerblading. The airs Bruce Irons was throwing a few years back look better than any air done during that entire event. And if you disagree, well then maybe extreme razor scootering is the sport for you…

  • Yamada Sakaboto

    Honey Badger speaks the truth.

  • yeah guy

    @Mik – Watch any of the Billabong Rio Pro? Looks like John – John isn’t the only one that can give your boy Medina a run for his money… he got taken out by a Wildcard, in case you missed it.