Jordy Smith has an image problem. He’s a winner, but he’s not a likeable winner. Worse yet, he’s not even winning. But if he were to win a title, or even an event, he’d be the least likeable champion since Andy Irons. Confidence is necessary; but Jordy’s arrogance is icing on the cake. I love it. I wish he’d stop trying to feign modesty and simply turn the egotism up to 11. Right now he’s like Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore - a bit too much vinegar in his douche mix. He brags about doing anal with cougars and
At J-Bay, Jordy was improbably paired with Dane Reynolds in his first heat. Jordy met Dane last year at Chopes and came up short, blasting turns and airs with a hint of desperation while Dane casually slotted the victory. Pretty much the same story at J-Bay. Jordy opened up with an erect 8.5, off a keg and a 6-pack of porn-star carves . But at the end of his wave, he played it humble - instead of masturbating in his hand and flinging it towards GT, he kicked out. Opportunity lost.
One of the few interesting interviewees of the whole B-Bong media fuckfest was Taylor Knox. At one point, when asked about J-Bay, Taylor responded in a justifiably smug manner, with something along the lines of “I love it – J-Bay exposes surfers’ weaknesses.” The inference, of course, was that on a fundamental level, Taylor believes his surfing is rock solid, while some of his peers have developed their careers on shaky ground. Taylor is right. He approaches J-Bay’s begging sections with the same arrogance of an A-list celebrity being interviewed on
Whits is in a heated title race of a different variety this season – he’s competing with Kieren Perrow to reclaim the title of Premier Australian Journeyman. This blue-collar title race has an illustrious past – to qualify, you must never win an event. Luke Stedman won last year, as Ace and Bede graduated to the big leagues via victories. In ’07 Kai Otton beat out Whits by one spot. ’06 Whits won with an 8th place finish. ’05 the title went to Macca with a 5th in the ratings. In ’04 it was Nathan Hedge at 7th, and in ’03 it was Kieren with a 6th. It’s like a secret society of mediocrity, more powerful than the Stonemasons or Druids. They are led by Peter Townend, who set the standard for irrelevant yet ludicrously successful Australian Journeymen by actually winning the world title and Journeyman title in the same year – 1976 – when he captured the first world crown without winning an event. In ’09, Whits has made his push towards the podium in textbook fashion – three 9ths, a 5th, and a 17th . At J-Bay, Tommy lost to potential future-journeyman champ Ben Dunn in a wave-starved affair, and now Perrow is closing in on the lead. With the world title already decided, this is the race to watch.
If you weren’t a true student of the sport, you could easily be fooled into thinking that The Ginga Ninja is another illustrious winner of the Journeyman World Title. Not so – Mick has won multiple events in his distinguished career, elevating him above official journeyman status. His most recent win was the Bluetorch Pro at Huntington in 2000. Remember Bluetorch? Ah, the halcyon days of the Dotcom surf boom. That laughable era may have passed, but Mick Campbell has not. The Ginga Ninja is like a pint-sized, albino Dennis Rodman. Think about how slow best-mate Danny Wills looked in his last season, and marvel at the tattooed attack speed of Mick Campbell as he dives for proverbial loose balls. This twisted little bleached gibbon literally punches lips. He makes them cry. Placement is an art. It’s terrifying to consider what a surfer like Jordy Smith would do with the precision and torque of Mick Campbell. Yes, I know, Jordy sweats power and can do shocking things both above the lip and under the covers. But the snapping jab of a Ginga lip hit is nearly unrivaled. Two proud 9ths in a row for Mick Campbell, schooling higher-paid youngsters like Tim Reyes and Josh Kerr.
Back to the journeyman leitmotif: Kieren Perrow has waged perhaps the least impressive truly impressive comeback in the history of the ASP. Fellow society-members Macca and Hedgey should hire Perrow as a motivational speaker. Perrow has solidly reestablished himself in the Top 16 without anyone even noticing. KP is perhaps one of the most difficult surfers in the Top 45 to write about. He defies serious criticism by almost always out-performing his ability, defies attacks on his manhood by charging death closeouts, and deflects attacks on his character by being a normal, humble, likeable guy. An Anti-Jordy. This tapioca fuckwit is like kryptonite to the Power Rankings. He’s everything except entertaining. At J-Bay, KP bounced back from a Brazilian beating by downing Kekoa and giving Parko a polite run for his money. KP never put up a wave-score over 7, but he looked damn solid doing it. He failed to find the long pits at Impossibles, but his turns up top looked, well, almost like a geriatric Parko. Dare I say it. He looked that good.