World Tour and competitive surfing is slowly dividing up into different categories. By it’s very nature, the surfer’s bodies dictate surfing skills and styles. Larger bodies and stronger physiques generally signify more power surfing, whilst light and nimble surfers who don’t weigh much tend towards loose, light and trick surfing. Another element that aids and abets surfing prowess is the age of the surfer. As a person gets older so does the elasticity of that person. Joints do not have as much give; muscles do not have that much stretch, and the psychosomatic correlations means that these surfers take fewer chances.
In professional surfing now we are starting to see the old crew taking shape. Kelly Slater is leading this crew and despite the fact that he is closing in on his 40th year, he is a bit of an exception to the rule. Along with him are Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, Damien Hobgood and Bede Durbidge to name but a few. They are not old people as such, they have just been competing for a long time and are not part of any new guard’ as such. While experience does make for a wily competitor, these surfers have certain mindsets and upper limits to their abilities an to their imaginations. They can win on a dime, but they are being pushed hard by the upstarts to maintain their foothold on the tour ratings.
Then there are the stalwarts. The surfers who have emerged and who have the drive, skill, ability and flair, combined with their youth, to see them through a decent few years on the Pro Tour still. Owen Wright fits into this category, as does Jordy and Adriano de Souza, as well as ‘The Spartan’ Michel Bourez. The most outrageous big airs and the biggest hacks, the futuristic spins and the solid carves. They have all the moves in their repertoire, but they still lack a little bit of experience. Sometimes choosing the wrong wave, sometimes going for the big moves when all they need is a medium score to win. It is from this crop that we are going to see our next few world champions, and they provide a large chunk of the collected excitement at a World Tour event. As soon as any one of these surfers’ ads contest savvy and experience to their game, they’re in the running for a World Title.
Finally, there is the new school. The phrase ‘new school’ has to adapt every few years, and reestablish who is in and who is out as the surfers find their places within the structure. The new school for 2012 is the phenomenal Gabriel Medina, the polished Julian Wilson, the all round talent that is John John Florence and phenomenon that is Kolohe ‘Brother’ Andino.
Finally, there is the new school. The phrase ‘new school’ has to adapt every few years, and reestablish who is in and who is out as the surfers find their places within the structure.
It’s going to be Brother’s first year on the World Tour, but he’s ready. Under the watchful eye of his coach and guide Mike ‘Snips’ Parsons, he is set to shake up the old guard, the stalwarts, the new school and whoever comes his way. Kolohe is the full package and will be winning World Tour events this year.
Don’t believe the hype?
Check out this footage released recently on his blog
Once you’ve seen it you might just become a believer.