All Photos: Damea Dorsey
Earlier today, I wrote that John John Florence was going to win the 2015 Drug Aware Pro Margaret River. I was wrong. Adriano de Souza won, and he looked damn good while doing it.
When I say “damn good,” I mean powerful. I mean concise. I mean smart, and I mean he looked like he couldn’t fall off of his surfboard. Personally, I don’t find Adriano’s brand of surfing to be the most stimulating. It’s robotic in one sense, redundant in another, and surprising in no sense at all. And let me be clear about this: none of that is a knock on Adriano. He’s a fan-fucking-tastic surfer and has accomplished more in his 28 years on Earth than my mind could ever rightfully appreciate. Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that his surfing doesn’t excite me.
The thing is that Adriano has figured out the intelligent way to win. He knows that you don’t need to land a full-rotation in order to make a heat (looking at you Filipe) and that three strong, fluid turns will still get you a nine. Honestly, it’s no different from a guy like Mick or Bede or Joel lately. The judging criteria doesn’t include a clause that states you must surf in a way that makes writer bitches like me sweat all over you — you just need to win your heat. And Adriano he did just that, all the way through the finals. He’s the new ratings leader and he very well deserves to be.
Now, whether or not three turns warrant a nine in 2015 a different discussion — one we’ll have next, shall we? (Spoiler alert: I think not). But hey, while we’re shaking fists and throwing stones at the WSL for being such wild crazy stupid asssholes, I might as well chuck this rock at that big glass Santa Monica window: we could’ve seen the conclusion of this event at The Box. This might have been the best Margaret River window that one could ever ask for, and there was surely a way to make the Semis and Final not become a battle of the cutback. Overall, Keiren Perrow and the guys that tell him what to say on the webcast do a great job at making the call. This event was only a faint blemish on a pedigree of excellence.
In summation: John John almost won the event, The Box almost declared a champion and a portly Online Editor almost wrote a contest recap that didn’t piss you off. Baby steps, I suppose. —Brendan “Might As Well Just Throw It Out There That I Hate Gluten Free Things, You Know, Since I’ve Been Writing Everything Else Off” Buckley