The final days of quarantine have arrived for Championship Tour surfers stuck in their hotel rooms in Australia, and while we wait for them to hit eject and get back in the water, they've been dropping some spicy edits that flex their small wave game. There's also some Olympic news to catch up on, as well as another step forward for women's big wave surfing. In case you were too busy chasing waves this week, here's what you missed:
World No. 1 Says Farewell To Hawaii
John John Florence was the man to beat this winter in Hawaii. With a long-awaited and much-deserved maiden Pipe Masters victory, and a Digital Vans Triple Crown win under his belt, he's looking to keep the pace going through the Australian leg. And not just at Newcastle, Florence wants it all. In his last edit of the season in Hawaii, Florence shows exactly how he's tuning his equipment and competitive strategy for the waves that await him.
"Ten years ago I was more likely to just make a board work in conditions that it wasn't really designed for," Florence shared on Instagram. "But the past few years I've really enjoyed putting time into trying new shapes and board constructions to find the right board for every condition. Before we left for Australia it was all about the small wave quiver."
Italo Is Ready To Go!
Of all the surfers in quarantine, it's hard not to feel the worst for reigning World Champ Italo Ferreira, who has so much energy it's difficult to imagine him standing still, let alone being cooped up in the hotel room for two weeks. The Champ has been keeping busy with intense workouts he's filming for Instagram, and he's also found time to drop trademark edits. Fired up with all kinds of pent up enthusiasm, Italo will be hard to beat no matter what conditions Newcastle serves up for the first event.
Time To Think Small (Waves)
Newcastle and Narrabeen -- the sites of the first two CT events in Australia -- are very good beachbreaks, which can be almost world-class on their day. But, surfers would not be well placed to assume it was going to be big, hollow and clean on April 1. It's no surprise some of the best are flexing on their small-wave games, with Jack Robinson releasing a Snapt b-roll edit of his grovel prowess, and John John Florence dropping his own edit of small-wave board testing back home in Hawaii before he boarded a plane for Australia.
ISA World Surfing Games Coming This May
The International Surfing Association (ISA) confirmed this week that the 2021 Surf City El Salvador World Surfing Games will take place from May 29 - June 6. The World Surfing Games will mark the last event in Surfing's qualification system for Tokyo 2020, filling out the remaining slots for seven women and five men to head to the Olympic Games.
"This will be a major milestone for surfing and the most significant edition of the World Surfing Games in history. We will award 12 slots for Tokyo 2020 and will finally gain the full picture of who will participate in the Olympic Surfing competition that is to come this summer," ISA President Fernando Aguerre remarked.
Keala Goes Big At Red Bull Magnitude
On Tuesday, Red Bull announced its winners of the first-ever Red Bull Magnitude event, a season-long, all-female big-wave contest in Hawaii. The event spanned from December through February with Red Bull committing safety personnel and videographer and photographer resources to Waimea Bay, Jaws, and Oahu's Outer Reefs anytime forecasts called for waves larger than 15-feet Hawaiian. The expert judging panel of Kai Lenny, Mark Healey, Rochelle Ballard, and Betty Depolito crowned Keala Kennelly the Overall Winner, handing her a $25,000 check for her season's work and another $5,000 for grabbing the biggest wave of the competition: a 35-foot Outer Reef bomb.
"This year will definitely be remembered as a milestone, not solely because you had one of the biggest XXL swells of the decade but also because Red Bull put on a specialty female big-wave event," Kennelly says. "Magnitude was a great concept that gave women a platform and the much-lacking resources they needed. Having filmers and a jet ski safety team dedicated to us every time the contest would activate gave women big-wave surfers the opportunity to push their limits with more confidence and then have the video footage, not only to use to boost our profiles but also to review and learn from."
Hearts Out To The Moniz Ohana
This week, Tammy and Tony Moniz sadly lost their family home on Oahu in a tragic fire. Pillars of their community and parents to WSL surfers Seth, Josh and Kelia, it's a heartbreaking loss for one of Hawaii's most esteemed surfing families. Thankfully nobody was injured in the blaze. Local friends and family, as well as the surf community at large has quickly rallied to help offer them support in their time of loss.
"The outpouring of love has been immense," wrote Tammy on Instagram. "I am so blessed to live among a community, that extends across the globe, of truly generous and compassionate people."
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help them recover.