Nathaniel Curran needs a handler. Enough with the stock-thrusters, stock-cars and Alpine Allstars shorts. The Fast and The Furious came out like a generation ago. It’s time for an image reload. What to do, what to do? Put this cat on a retro fish, let him grow his hair out, and put him in a Thomas Campbell movie. Teach him the ukulele. Three chords will do. Curran can surf – he’s proved it. But the kid is way too smooth, conservative and vanilla-frogurt forgettable to be relevant on the World Tour. What do you get if you subtract "Hawaiian" from Roy Powers? You get a perfect void. And you get Nathaniel Curran, In the last month, Nathaniel faced Fanning, Perrow, Taj, Thompson, Adriano, and Dingo. He was clean and tepid against all. He never embarrassed himself, and never really risked anything, save for a wild moment, when he lost control of his emotions and committed to a freefall float against Adriano. It won Nathaniel the heat. The rest of the time, Curran was content to let the wave do the hard work. When the wave is cooking Supers, that strategy can work.
Here’s my other theory on Nathaniel Curran: he’s actually passed out in a walk-in-closet, in a villa somewhere in South Africa. International Man of Mystery Tim Boal lovingly choked him out while stroking his hair and whispering witticisms in French Guianese Creole as he picked lint off his tuxedo jacket. Then Boal propped Curran up in the bathroom, and carefully studied his face, applying just the right make-up to assume the identity of Nathaniel Curran. Boal lost out in R1 to Miky Picon with the same lanky, tepid technique applied by Curran. But Curran made it through, so Tim studied his every move, copied his every mannerism, and surfed in his place. I wouldn’t put it past Tim Boal. He’s a dangerous man. Ex-KGB, most likely. He’s probably working for some Russian oligarch now. Clearing the way for corporate plundering of foreign nations. Quietly disappearing pesky reporters and environmentalists. If there is a god, Rasta is next on his hit list. And when Parko finally holds his World Title trophy up high, in front of a sea of adoring fans, it will really be Tim Boal in disguise, not Parko.
The 33rd at J-Bay isn’t surprising. But the 17th in Brazil will most likely cost Heitor Alves dearly. Heitor’s string of low results can be attributed to wave droughts. His attack remains sharp, dripping with orchestrated desperation – Slater gave Heitor the nod for move of the event in Brazil. Alves is easily the best technical surfer of the 5 sorry cases examined today - he goes through his turns twice as fast as Emslie. But Alves hasn’t been afforded the same luxuries other competitor’s have – and that’s a decent summation of both 2009 and Heitor’s whole career. Despite this, Alves usually finds a way to succeed. Last year, he salvaged a similarly low-rated first half of the season with a 5th at Trestles and consistency down the homestretch. Alves will need the same type of production this year to stay on tour.
Ha! For those of you who thought Aranburu’s Tahitian 3rd was a mere fluke, well, err… actually it appears you were right. Aritz “The Tits” has followed up his career pinnacle with two straight 33rds. But goddamned if I don’t love me some Aranburu! First of all, this weird little fucker tube rides like he’s going over Niagra Falls in a barrel. He cramps himself in there, throws himself over the ledge, and fuckin’ holds on for dear life. But he does not hold back. In his R1 last second loss to Michel Bourez, Aritz held the lead for nearly the whole heat, off a 8.83 two-barrel run through Impossibles. I thought I was going to get to savor another victory-lap Aritz interview – hearing Atitz on the mic is another reason I love me some Aranburu. Have you heard this macaroon talk? Aritz delivers his thoughts with the same brilliance of Andy Kaufman’s
I may have finally figured out Greg Emslie: His surfing is simply as dry as his sense of humor. As reference, I present