This past weekend as most of you know (and all of you should know), the northeast was pummeled with a pretty baffling amount of snow. I was super excited about it having not lost power and being a huge snow fan, I can see where most normal people would be over snow by now. Therefore, I will spare you the snow news that Torstein Horgmo was crowned the 2013 BEO Slopestyle Champion, and that Seth Wescott and Maelle Ricker were top dogs at the the Mt. Baker, Wash., Legendary Banked Slalom. I also won’t go on and on about how the Norwegians seemed to own everybody at the FIS World Cup Slopestyle event in Corvatsch, Switzerland. And I could go on about how crazy it is that two teenagers from Japan won the 2013 Burton European Open because I’m excited about the future of halfpipe snowboarding, but I will refrain for our northeastern fans who hate snow right now. It’s okay, I can take a week off..
Since snowboarding and skiing are off of the table, I will take you from the wintery snow to the sun and the sand. Surfing has been re-invited to the list of X-Games events!
A while back, surfing was a part the X Games. Dudes on board just cruising around massive waves and throwing big tricks is what surfing is, so it makes sense that it would be on the list. But while it was expect that dudes on boards would be cruising around massive waves and throwing big tricks, the X-Games producers didn’t really get what they were looking for. X-Games chose not to settle for a standard competitive format, so they experimented with a team format… and held it at Huntington Beach. Did X-Games really think that people would rather watch a guy fighting for a solid waist high wave would compete with a freestyle motocross rider throwing backflips and crazy looking body varials? I’ll go ahead and answer that for you, yes they did think that. And well, it was a disaster, thus surfing was then disinvited from X-Games..
With the recent announcement of surfing’s re-invitation, one only has to wonder if we are to be met with certain disappointment once again. Must surfing feel the shame of being out-shined by crazy kids on bikes and skateboards for yet another year? Well I’ll go ahead and answer this one for you too, the answer is no.
This year, the X-Games braintrust is getting it right. Instead of a generic head to head competition or a team competition, they are daring 8 of the world’s best surfers to produce video parts and seducing the bunch with a $50,000 prize. And while there is still plenty of time till its time to pick your fave, here is a breakdown of the 8 guys you’ll get to see…
Dion Agius: Dion is an artist. Every clip he puts out is fresh and unique, and he’s got dudes like Kai Neville and Joe G on his team. Look for his section to be the most creative of the bunch. Whether he wins or loses, it’s sure to be a viral masterpiece.
Josh Kerr: Kerrsy was an air guy before being an air guy was a thing. While it’s hard to say he’s favored to win this, it’s even harder to say that his airs won’t be so fine…
Gabriel Medina: Medina sticks airs with the consistency of an acrobat of like Cirque du Soleil or something, but his focus is on the trophies. A couple things can happen here: 1) His video part will come out looking like one of his competition heats and people will not vote for him because it will be about as boring as a high school history class or 2) He will show us what he surfs like and knock our socks off.
Matt Meola: One gnarly dude. He throws himself into that Maui wind and can still land the most tweaked of airs right into the flats. But his clips funnel into many different baskets. If he chooses to unload his best to the X-Games competition, it’ll mean some real trouble for his adversaries.
Kelly Slater: His strength is that he is Kelly Slater, and therefore he surfs like Kelly Slater. But his weakness is that he is Kelly Slater. And for those of you who are blissfully unaware of what this means is that, there’s a reason why Slater is arguably the best surfer competing on the waves today. It’s because he is a beast. But being on top of the surf world could mean that he might not put much effort into an X-Games video part. The ball is in the king’s court on this one.
Jordy Smith: Jordy surfs like an bull that throws sweet airs airs. His power is unmatched by anyone his age, and his airs are so fine. If you haven’t yet seen his biopic, Bending Colours, immediately watch it.
Chippa Wilson: Chippa lands things that most of the world seems to struggle to even comprehend, even his fellow surfers. And by the time we do comprehend what he has done, he lands something even more gnarly. Plus his name is Chippa, so even if you still can’t comprehend what he is throwing down, you can still vote for his very fun name.
Julian Wilson: Jules’ surfing is the full package. He often manages to find a way to mix his power with some sweet airs with some sick style. And while he often manages to do all that, he ALWAYS finds a way to make people want to go out and buy a board and learn how to surf. And if you already know how to surf, they he makes you want to go out and hit the next bunch of waves. Seeing how that’s the point, I’m sure Wilson will be hard to beat.
And as if $50k wasn’t enticing enough, theres a $10,000 bonus for the fan favorite. Therefore if you’re into surfing or want to see all that is possible of world class surfers, then check out the segments and vote for your favorite on April 2nd. Winners will be announced April 18-21 during X-Games Brazil 2013.
(Photo credit: Instagram: Kellyslater; Twitter: XGamesBrasil, Surfinglife Magazine)