Sunny Garcia. Photo: Peter Taras
It was just like any other day.
I woke up. Tossed in my old cotton sheets. Turned in my old cotton sheets. Got out of bed. Ate some cereal. Sipped some coffee. Kissed my woman. Pet my dog. Went to work. Worked. Then boom. All of the sudden, Sunny Garcia hated me.
Gabriel Medina landed an air at the Oi Rio Pro earlier today. It was a great air, a 10. Jimmicane snapped a photo of it and we decided to run it on Instagram. I was given the responsibility of captioning it. “Power surfing makes heats. Progressive surfing makes memories. Gabriel Medina just landed an air worth remembering at the Oi Rio Pro.”
And that’s when Sunny Garcia hated me.
“…I bet whoever wrote this quote sucks ass at at surfing anyway [fist emoticon]. Good surfing is always remembered your Mag sucks now that Flame is not there”
“don’t get me wrong I love watching guys do airs but saying power surfing makes heats and airs make memories lol give me a break the person that wrote this is a kook”
Sunny is a power surfing god, guru, goliath and more. I love the way he rides waves and I respect him like I respect my father. And I wholeheartedly respect his opinion. But I’ll stand by mine.
Honestly, I’d rather watch the best surfers in the world surf progressively than surf powerfully — especially in a place like Rio. Power surfing, bless its soul, should be an integral part of the high-performance surfing formula at least for the foreseeable future. But with some exceptions, most of the turns guys are getting high scores on today are just worse versions of the turns Sunny was doing when he won the title in 2000. That was 16 years ago.
And 16 years ago, Sunny’s surfing was progressive. Nobody could surf a wave the way he did. Even to this day, nobody can. Back then, Sunny’s surfing was raw and exciting and new and brave. And I’d like to think he surfed the way he did because he wanted to. Sounds obvious, but think about it. Sunny looked at waves and felt a genuine urge to belt the fuck out of them. These days, people surf that way in heats because it gets scores. There’s no feeling in it. For anyone.
Like I said, there are exceptions to all this. But I still think it’s safe to say that in 2016, airs are more exciting and emotional than power surfing. That’s why I’ll remember Gabriel Medina’s air more than I’ll remember the turns Davey Cathels did when he beat Filipe Toledo today.
Am I kook? Maybe. In comparison to Sunny, definitely.
I’m not going to post a clip of myself because it’d be the narcissistic straw that broke the camel/Online Editor’s back, but there’s footage of me out there. I’ve landed a few flips in my day and some of them were documented. Still got a stalefish reverse in me on a good day.
But I rarely ever do turns. I don’t like turns. —Brendan Buckley