In the classic '80s movie Weird Science, two geeky teenagers, inspired by Frankenstein, use an old computer to create a virtual girl and infuse her with everything they can conceive of to make their dream woman.
Apart from showing my age, I was thinking Sebastian Zietz may have somehow hit on a similar method in France. We can't confirm this, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the happily married Kauai native had used a supercomputer to create not the perfect dream woman, but the perfect competition to match his unique personality and set of surfing skills.
First on Seabass' dream competition list would have been barrels. Getting in the tube is what makes the Hawaiian smile the most and surf the best. And over the last three days, few have been grinning harder than Zietz. The French beachbreaks always provide the chance of a tube. You can't plan for them, you can't sit on a certain bank and wait for them, you have to hunt for them purely on instinct. And when it comes to chasing barrels on instinct, there are few better on the Championship Tour than Seabass.
In his master cheat sheet, Seabass would have asked for days of back-to-back surfing. No one on tour racks up more freesurfs or a bigger wavecount than Seabass and he's best when there is less waiting and thinking and more straight up surfing. With the comp running for three days from sunup to sundown, which is almost unheard of in France, Seabass had to surf his six heats in quick succession. With the waves pumping up and down the beach, he also managed plenty of freesurfs. Supremely fit, he was always fresh and sharp. So even with two minutes left in his Semi, he had the power, timing and strength to gouge three huge turns and log a 9.30, which powered him into the second Final of his career.
Along with the barrels and the nonstop surfing, in his secret laboratory Seabass obviously dialed up the water and air temps, both seasonally way above average. He must have also requested consistent, peaky banks that meant that winning heats relied on less strategy and more on instinctive surfing. The end result was pure, weird Seabass-science and a perfect storm of a surf competition that allowed him show all that is good in his competitive toolbox.
"I think I'm not asking for too much," he said simply. "I'm just stoked to be healthy and happy and to be surfing." With his takedowns of Michel Bourez, Owen Wright, Miguel Pupo, Kolohe Andino, he's done much more than that. He's now within 250 points of the Top 10, so he might want to take that secret machine with him to Portugal.