Has Anybody Seen The 2015 World Champion?


All Photos: Jimmicane

We’re looking for a man that fits this description:

-Extraordinarily proficient at riding a surfboard
-Not entirely stupid/elects not to waste priority on a chest high closeout in a heat against Mick Fanning
-Skilled in a wide range of ocean conditions, for example:

  • -Can land an air reverse
  • -And a slob grab one, though the judges don’t reaaaally care
  • -Can make a wave cry using rail
  • -Is willing and able to assist in the event of a 12-footer at Teahupo’o

-Offers opportunity for significant financial gain to the WSL*

The man we are looking for is the 2015 World Champion. We’ve checked everywhere, and we can’t seem to find him.

The 2015 WSL Fiji Pro started today, at Cloudbreak and with love. Round 1 ran from start to finish and nobody truly lost — it’s impossible to lose in Fiji. Not only in a no losers round, just in general. The place is too good. And it was waaaay too good to the goofies today. The right-foot-forwarders posted six out of the day’s top seven heat totals. The men responsible for such a feat were named Wiggoly Dantas, Ace Buchan, Kai Otton, Gabriel Medina, Jadson Andre and Italo Ferreira. The lone regularfooter in there was Sebastian Zietz, who happened to take a swig of Jimmicane’s lucky beer before his heat. Whatever works, right?

Maybe.

The problem is that I just rattled off seven names, and there’s only one World Title. The problem expands and emulsifies when you take into account the fact that none of those seven names are even ranked in the WCT’s Top 10 right now. And that, friends, is exactly why we’re searching for our 2015 World Champ.

The Tour finds a new form starting at this event. The first four events — Snapper, Bells, Margaret River and Rio — typically favor progressive surfing (synonymous, apparently, with “air reverses”) and the next thread of events features a whole different animal. We’re talking Fiji, J-Bay and Tahiti. That slob grab ain’t doing you much good here. Well, maybe at J-Bay but you should probably do a standard grab anyway. Remember, the judges don’t reaaaaallly care.

Adriano, the perennial World Title contender, the guy with the tenacity or grit or whatever, the guy who eats a plate full of actual nails for breakfast, is currently ranked 1st and he didn’t win today. Filipe, the new christ, the guy that has something to prove and a world to prove it to, the guy we’re making a movie on is in 2nd and he didn’t win today either. Mick Fanning, who needs no introduction and only needs the carcasses of fellow competitors to wear on his skin and dance in the light of the moon did win today but does another Title for Mick really favor the WSL’s scheme*?

We’ll see. We’ll see a lot. Fiji’s only just 12 heats deep and with 39 left to run, plenty of things are going to happen between now and goodbye. Somebody might fall out of the race. Somebody might enter the race. Somebody, like CJ Hobgood who announced his retirement today, might decide not to race at all. At least you know where to come for updates.

*Just kidding on those. Go home conspiracy theorists, you’re drunker than me somehow. —Brendan Buckley

Special thanks to Namotu Island Resort.