Category Archives: Stoked Blogs

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“A Day in Port-A” … Your Next Surf Trip: Texas?


Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.40.38 PM

I’ve talked a bit about the Texas surf culture in the past (need a reminder? Click HERE). It’s an eclectic mix of weirdness and stoke. Having lived in the state for two years, you can believe me when I say that good surf is extremely rare, decent surf is infrequent, and poor surf prevails. When we do get lucky, though, magic happens.

Attesting to that fact are Corpus Christi locals Nate Floyd, Morgan Falkner, and Tegan Gainin. Their recent edit, A Day in Port A, will make you want to get up grab your log and go play. I dare you to tell me this doesn’t look like an absolute blast.

Keep an eye out for their full length film coming out late 2016!

Hot Wax Surf Shop


In today’s culture the surfing industry is exploding with new and inventive technology, progressive riding styles, and new companies and shops popping up all over the US. However, most surfers have their favorite local shop in their hometown that has been there for their every need. Whether you have the need for a new board because you snapped your last Dumpster Diver on an Air Reverse or a new pair of sunglasses because you ran them over with your truck rushing to make the sunrise paddle out, there’s a specific shop you go to.

shop logo

In Wilmington, NC that shop is Hot Wax Surf Shop. The shop is located at 4510 Hoggard Drive, right off of S. College Road and directly across from the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. Owner and surfboard shaper Michael Paul opened the shop in 1986 and has been shaping boards in this shop and before the shop for 33 years. With time and repetition comes experience, Paul started out shaping boards with legend Ed Barbera on the North Shore of Oahu. After gaining enough experience, Paul went on to start his own surfboard line. This line of boards is known as Proline Surfboards. Paul himself has personally tested his hand shaped boards in some of the biggest and best surf across the world. The most notable locations that Paul has surfed are places like: Jeffery’s Bay, Tavarua, Fiji, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Indonesia. As an avid surfer, Paul is willing to push the boundaries in terms of conventional surfboard design. Due to this enthusiasm for the sport, at Hot Wax you can order a completely custom board fit to your wildest specifications that Paul will obviously shape himself. In addition to carrying Paul’s hand shaped Proline surfboards, the option for a completely custom board, Hot Wax also carries all of the big brand name boards. The shop, including Paul’s shaping room boasts a 5000 square foot shop floor with an upstairs portion that holds all of the surfboards, bodyboards, and skimboards they sell.


If you are ever on the East Coast chasing a storm, end up a student at UNCW, or are just taking a day trip down to one of the many surf spots Eastern NC has to offer, stop by Hot Wax and check it out. If you do get the chance to attend UNCW as a student, definitely take advantage of the 10% discount you will receive when shopping at Hot Wax simply for attending the University right across S. College Rd.


The shop always has the newest gear and most popular brands on the market and the staff is extremely friendly and eager to use their vast knowledge to assist customers in the best purchases possible. The shop is open 7-days a week and no matter what you are looking for, Hot Wax Surf Shop is sure to have the product you are looking for in-stock or in route to the shop. Also, checkout their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.

-Contributed by crs4Surf

Earth Day and Ocean Pollution Awareness


Today, 4/22/15, is a really special day. On Earth Day we pay homage to our home and planet. It is a day for recognizing and continuing our behavioral practice in protecting our environment. However, we have not really been on our best behavior with dealing with the environment, nor have we changed our brutal methods in how we obtain resources from our environment. Additionally, we are not the best at effectively managing and disposing our waste. In turn this waste, mainly plastics, are being transported by rivers, streams, and drainage sewers to our oceans. According to oceanographic research and personal accounts of seafaring individuals, there appears to be what is called, “garbage patches” in our oceans. Journalistic reports of “garbage patches” surfaced around 2007, but were not given much attention, and were rather looked upon as myth. Analogically speaking, the state of Texas was considered to be the size of the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the North Pacific Gyre.


As many years has past since the discovery of these so called, “garbage patches”, the myth soon turned into a horrible fact. “In 2010, eight million tons of plastic trash ended up in the ocean from coastal countries—far more than the total that has been measured floating on the surface in the ocean’s “garbage patches” (Laura Parker, National Geographic 2015). It is baffling to hear that this statistic is not accounting for the trash on the surface, this is insane. Many other statistics since 2010 have been released about the percentage of waste in our oceans.

Now lets just take a second to think about all this. We are revolving around an ecological circle, where everything has an effect. If we are dumping waste into the ocean, and this waste is also dissolving into smaller micro-sized particles, who do you think is first consuming that? A fish does not just have to come across a piece of plastic and directly consume it. A fish can simply eat smaller organisms or planktons that could have been potentially feeding on these dissolved toxic micro-sized particles, considering the accumulating percentage of waste in the ocean. Lastly, the fish is consumed by us with all of the toxic biological/chemical matter it ingested . We are eating and taking in toxic and poison. Is that ok with you?

Zak Noyle’s famous picture of the “Indo Trash Barrel”, should be a constant reminder to us as surfers. Do you really want to be surfing in trash? Should you have to feel worried about getting sick from entering our oceans? It sucks to see beaches closing down due to dirty water conditions. If we don’t take the proper precautions and steps to a better methodology in handling our waste and where we dispose of it, we will be surfing in “trash barrels” (not just in Indo or Bali), or not surfing at all due to unsanitary and harmful water conditions.

Earth Day goes beyond just saying, “Go Green”, or “I pledge to recycle”. Earth Day is about turning words and thoughts into action. Informing, educating, and making others aware of these environmental concerns are of the utmost importance. Who is going to go before Congress and Committee panels to reinforce or redirect funding towards the environment? It is up to us to take the initiative to uphold the protection of our environment.

For more information on the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and Ocean Pollution. Check out the Vice News Documentary three part series called, “An Ocean Full of Plastic”. It is free on Youtube. Another cool documentary to check out is one that is actually sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation called, “Plastic Paradise”, which describes Angela Sun’s personal journey to the island Midway Atoll, where she also comes across the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.












Disrupting The Industry- 3D Printed Surfboards



Shapers are modern day artists, they take a raw blank and sculpt it into the beautiful piece of art we call a surfboard. Think of Al Merrick as Michelangelo and Matt Biolos as Lorenzo Ghiberti, famous sculptors for those of you who haven’t picked up a book in awhile. It used to be the only way you could get a quality custom board was to surrender your creativity, and a months worth of rent, into the hands of one of the skilled foam sculptors of our time. Not anymore. Disrupt is your chisel, and your mind is the blank marble slate. They are giving you the ability to become Donatello and create your own version of David.

3D screen shot

Based out of Bondi, Disrupt is focused on 3 main ideas: educating people about the construction of surfboards, creativity, and innovation. They’re currently using a combination of 3D printing and CNC shaping to help you create the perfect custom board at a fraction of the cost. At the moment, full-scale 3D printing is still too costly due to a lack in commercial materials, hence the CNC shaping. To help improve 3D printing Disrupt is working with Australias largest 3D printing company researching and experimenting with different materials to lead the revolution of the surf industry.

How it works

If you have your dimensions dialed in on your magic stick and a 3D printer you can design your own 3d modeled shred sled. Then, when you’re finished digitally shaping the perfect board, Disrupt will print out a scaled version so you can physically see your masterpiece and edit your board if need be. Cool right? If you don’t trust yourself to create your own board without any help, have no fear. You can chat with the crew and give them an idea of what you want and they’ll do the dirty work. Once they’re finished, they’ll print you a scaled version and have you ok it, before moving on to full scale shaping.


Using 3D modeling software creates the opportunity for virtually unlimited creativity. Disrupt encourages you to be as creative as you can be with designing your board. Whether it’s putting some abstract art on the deck of your board or something really weird, like embedding someone’s ashes into a board or putting in an ipad with inductive charging. Yes, they’ve done both.


SmartSurfAs for innovation they have developed an app that can be paired with sensors placed inside the board to help you progress. The sensors include: pressure, accelerometer and gyro. After a surf you can download the data to your phone via Bluetooth and see if your rail to rail transition is harder and faster than the session before. These sensors could also have professional surfing implications. Instead of subjectivejudging through the eyes of the judges, objective data could be used to reveal which surfers are really turning harder and surfing faster. Lastly, envision a transition like the music industry has made. Hardly anyone buys CD’s anymore, it’s all about digital files. Using 3D modelling software the idea is that shapers all over the world can put their shapes onto the internet to be purchased. Say you want a board from a shaper in Australia but you’re in Canada; it’d be as simple as going on their website, buying and downloading the file, then printing it out.

Currently they are accepting orders in Australia and Europe, but hope to establish a presence in other international markets soon!


Margies Fantasy Picks


Well, here we are again; fantasy surfer crunch time. Margaret River has to be my least favorite spot on tour. [Rio’s a close second] Its a funky wave. Its got air sections, rail sections, the occasionally barrel section, but mostly bumpy sections. This makes it extremely difficult for me to assemble a team that I confidently feel has the ability to conquer everything thrown at them. As the trade deadline dwindles from days into mere hours and minutes, I’ll give you an inside look at my elite eight fantasy team.

Winning it all: Taj Burrow

Taj isn't afraid of anything West Oz throws his way.

Taj isn’t afraid of anything West Oz throws his way.

It’s his backyard and it’s going to be PUMPING. Not only does he have home field advantage, but Taj consistently performs well. Out of 18 years on tour, only twice has he finished outside the top 10. To get results like that you have to win a few events, and there’s no better place for Taj to snag a win then at home.



Charges big waves? Check. Proper rail game? Check. Airs? Double check. John John meets all the requirements for the 2015 Margaret River Pro. Since he was basically conceived in the barrel at pipeline, I imagine John John will find himself quite comfortable in 12′-20′ wave faces at Margies.

3-Josh Kerr

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP

Yep, another old aussie gets the nod. Last year Kerrzy made the finals but surfed like shit. This year maybe someone will remind the old bloke to wax his board and he’ll prove to be a good pick. He’s got the ability to put it hard on rail and his air game puts some of the young guns to shame.

4-Owen Wright


Whatever you’re doing this year, keep doing it. 2013 and 2014 weren’t really your years. This year though, you’re going to win an event. I’m not asking you to necessarily win this event, but please, don’t blow it before round 4. When he’s on, he’s tough to beat. The conditions suit you Owen, don’t be a kook.

5-Matt Banting

Matt Banting

This was one of the toughest decisions in selecting my team. The rookie costs a hefty 5 mil and only has 2 events under his belt. I’m hoping his nuts drop this event and he can show the veterans he knows how to use his lanky body to displace some serious aqua. Bantings forehand rail work is stylish and he can take to the air with the best of them. The only doubt I have is if he’ll be able to prove himself in heavy surf.


TomCarey_WA0047 Zietz

Come on Seabass, think back to that quarterfinal against Slater in 2013. Kelly flogged you with a perfect 20 while you put up a measly 4.10. Get fired up ya mad dog. Its about time you get some results, don’t let me down.

7-C.J. Hobgood


He sits near the bottom of the rankings, but has the potential to pull off an upset. His backhand is decent but where he will excel is relying on his experience. In a dream world, Seabass and Hobgood would knock Adriano into the redemption round, but we’ll have to wait and see.

8- Dusty Payne


I picked Dusty because he’s built like an ox and loves big cruddy surf. Hopefully he can find that mojo he had in Hawaii to lay down some solid scores. Bells was an unlucky draw so this event I’m expecting Mr. Payne to give everyone a run for their money. 

Passenger Clothing: A UK Surf and Adventure Company


As surfers we are also travelers, or in this case we are “Passengers”. We become a Passenger each time we set out on a new adventure to uncover what is unknown to us. Surf trips are more than just sea-riding, its about the journey to your destination, the people you meet, the culture, and your experience as a wanderer.


Passenger Clothing stands for something more than just your average surf attire company. The company originated from its inspirational roots that are derived from the founder’s personal interests in traveling and exploring the great outdoors, music, art and photography, and the sea. These interests and hobbies certainly tie in well with surfing. How could you not be psyched about this company?

Another interesting aspect of Passenger Clothing is their Ambassador Program. The program not only just sponsors surfers, but photographers and film-makers, along with outdoor enthusiasts. The flip side of the program is called, the “Wandering Collection”, and it describes stories and explorations of people traveling around the globe. One story that would catch your attention and is certainly interesting to read about is “Lets Be Nomads”. It is about a Belgian duo who take an American school bus and turn it into a mobile hostel. Their plan is to venture around Europe to shred the mountains in Austria and Switzerland, and also search for unknown European surf breaks.

One of the newest members of the Ambassador program is Barry Mottershead. He is from Cape, Town, South Africa and is an extraordinary underground big wave surfer. He surfs a big wave break called, “Mullaghmore” in Ireland where he has lived since 2003. According to Mottershead, “Its one of the heaviest waves on the planet, and it really scares me. It scares everyone who surfs it, no matter who you are. Its also a very technical wave, and locks you into a huge tube from the start which is unique compared to other big waves”. Big wave riders like Mottershead have brave souls and deserve a lot of respect. They are always putting their life on the line, and it is simply inspirational to see them pull into huge waves and drop in.

Besides Ireland, Mottershead has also traveled and surfed in different countries like the Philippines, Namibia, New Zealand, and Australia, but he insists that Ireland is home. “In the end I realized what I had been chasing was right under my nose back in Ireland, and I focused on just spending my time here and just trying to live my dream” says, Mottershead.

Not only does Mottershead just surf, but now he operates his own kayak company out of the Sligo County in Ireland. The company is called, “Sligo Kayak Tours”, and was established by Mottershead in 2014. The tours go through the inland waterways and estuaries of Sligo, where you may find seal colonies, megalithic tombs, and ancient shell middens. “Its the only job I’ve ever had that I love” says, Mottershead.

If you are interested in learning more about Barry Mottershead and his adventure tales, check out the rest of the story on Passenger’s website under the Ambassador Program section. Or watch his short video biography by Red Bull called, “This and Nothing Else”, it was a really fascinating visual of his life and background.

Passenger has also released it’s Spring and Summer 15′ clothing. Check out their look book, they have some pretty impressive attire.

  Passenger_Be Inspired Tee_LR      Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_004_HR (1)      Passenger_Custom Tee_LR

Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_002_HR

Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_001_HR  Passenger_Devon Shirt_LR 




Kelly’s Mid-life Crisis


Like any college student, I was simply procrastinating studying for my art history exam, lame right? I decided to scroll through instagram and I came across Slater’s picture announcing his retirement. Like most of you probably are, I was shocked. Kelly seems to have this knack for dropping really important news at really shitty times, like his split from Quik on April fools last year. I sat and stared at Kelly’s picture, and much like how my exam will go tomorrow, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. How could he leave us one event into a new world tour? Who will replace Kelly’s year round starting position on my fantasy team? Does the WSL really suck that bad? Below are my thoughts on the questions above.

What do people that are retired do? Golf lessons and apparently design furniture. (Photo: Gross/Getty images)


How could Kelly leave us one event into the new world tour?

Theres only one viable explanation. I’m not a doctor, but Mr. Slater currently has all the symptoms of a mid-life crisis. I don’t know how you can get a mid-life crisis when your job description is to travel the world and surf the best waves, but hey, what do I know? Google “average age for midlife crisis”, research shows the average age for a mid-life crisis for males is 43, what a coincidence. Like any other middle aged wealthy male experiencing a mid-life crisis, Slater has been dropping serious cash on a variety of things. For example: buying half of Firewire (good investment Kelly), starting Outerknown, getting involved with Purps, and lastly, partnering with PBTeen to create an eco-friendly furniture line. Sure, Kelly has always been environmentally conscious, but why the sudden desires to change the world? Webster defines a mid-life crisis as “ a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change.” As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.


Who will replace Kelly’s year round starting position on my fantasy team?

No one will. I can’t count on any of the other surfers on tour to consistently get the results that deserve a year round spot on my elite eight. Slater has been on tour before some of those guys were even born. You can’t fake experience.

Does the WSL really suck that bad? [explicit language]

Fortunately, if the “#happyapril1sttoeveryonebackhome” is true, this was all just a joke on all 1 million of his followers.

Golden Boy Gabe Gets Fined


Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 12.53.17 pmIt was a rocky start (especially for Freddy P) to the inaugural world surf league season. The frustration showed, and personally, I loved it. For spectators, it was entertaining as hell even in the knee-high conditions. Josh Kerr was bashing his board like it was a bloke that slept with his misses. Then there’s Freddy P, who posted a whopping heat total of 1.13. Really Freddy? His rock stomp scored better than his only other wave. How does that even happen? Medina criticized the WSL commissioner, and gave Glenn Hall a very public warning. This left me with a few unanswered questions: What was medina going to teach him? Why didn’t Peter Mel let him continue to entertain us? What is going to happen to the Brazilian golden boy?

While theres a lot of speculation around the first two questions, we got the truth about the last one. Thursday, the WSL came out with the following decision on the Medina/Hall interaction: “The World Surf League (WSL) Rules and Disciplinary Committee has completed its investigation into the Medina/Hall incident from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Following conversations with both parties involved as well as reviewing broadcast footage, the Rules and Disciplinary Committee has determined that Medina was in violation of the athlete Code of Conduct and has been fined as a result. Medina’s efforts following the incident to amend any public misperceptions about his and Hall’s relationship have been noted and appreciated. We wish all competitors good fortune at the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.” While we don’t the know the amount Gabe was fined, I personally think he got off light. Thinking back to J-Bay, Jeremy Flores was fined AND suspended for verbally bashing the judges. By not suspending Medina, the Rules and Disciplinary Committee has essentially said: go ahead and bash each other, as long you don’t bash us, no harm done. I like to see the athletes get fired up and didn’t mind hearing the F-bomb dropped in the webcast, but it would be nice to see some consistency across the board with suspensions and fines.

J-flo sarcastically applauding the judges before his suspension.


Anyways, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is approaching, and I can only hope these antics continue. Maybe we’ll see Jordy chuck a board from the top of the cliff, or Parko stab a grom with his fins after losing in round 1. In all seriousness, I hope there’s a decent swell for the Rip Curl Pro. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the best surfers in the world losing their shit, but I do want to see them actually surf.

Why you should pay very close attention to Silvana Lima


Who? If you’re a young reader, chances are she hasn’t been on the tour since you’ve been paying attention to it. If you’re like the rest of us, chance are you don’t care about women’s surfing anyway. It’s cool, I agree… the guys are generally more exciting to watch. But Silvana Lima is the exception to that rule. Here’s why:

2.) Every wave is over head.

She’s a whopping 4’9” tall, maybe 100 pounds soaking wet. You know how those 12-year-old groms can rip apart knee high slop on a potato-chip shortboard without sinking? So can she. AND SHE’S 30! Days one and two of the Roxy Pro at Snapper this past week only confirmed that.

3.) She’s the reigning world champ’s polar opposite.

Take everything you know about Stephanie Gilmore and flip it upside-down, then put the two side-by-side in the same heat. It’s actually somewhat comical. Everything about the two from hair color to height to surfing style to native language clashes dramatically. After her world title last year, Steph admitted to me in an interview that her air game needs work. Silvana’s is already solidified. So far in the Roxy Pro, Silvana and Steph have had two heats together and have gone blow-for-blow. We’ll get see them duke it out once more in the quarter final too, and many more times this year I’m sure. Where Steph (5’10”/146) has to awkwardly pump out momentum in dwindling conditions, Silvana can throw her fins out the back and power through snaps on soft faces. The only thing the two have in common is an infectious smile.



4.) She’s tactfully anti-establishment.

She’s not sponsored… Anymore. She used to be, back in the day. Billabong picked her up young as a rising star, but they dropped her cold turkey after she blew out her knees without thinking twice. (They’re going to be kicking themselves when she wins the world title this year – yes, I’m calling it.) She hasn’t had any interest in modeling from the get-go; she just wants to be the best surfer in the world. After being dropped she crowdfunded her way through her knee rehab and back into competition relying on people who supported her as a person rather than corporations who use their female riders for their bodies. I am so happy that she hasn’t signed back on with a major corporate sponsor; her blank board is essentially a big FU to Billabong every time she launches it. Anyway, instead of walking away from the sport, she’s been scrapping her way back into it one unfunded step at a time only adding fuel to a fire that Billabong didn’t believe in. She’s also just plain DIFFERENT. Instead of bouncing into the water in a bikini posting Instagram clips showing more booty than barrels, Silvana usually runs into the water in shorts and a T-shirt, has a tattoos (really awesome ones actually) all over, and warms up with capoeira (martial art). Her Instagram (silvanalimasurf) consists only of some really rad surf shots/clips, her french bulldogs, training moments, and some funny selfies with her friends. It’s so clear that she’s doing what makes her happy, and kicking serious a** at it.

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5.) She started from nothing.

Silvana is actually one of those stories. She grew up in Paracuru, Brazil She learned to surf on a piece of wood. When she did have money to spare with her early success on the tour, she gave it back to where she came from – She took care of her family first, obviously, but after her runner-up year she donated her winnings back to her city’s surf team.


I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a superfan… but you should be one too. She’s a complete game-changer. Even though she’s been cast out of the spot light for the past few years, she’s now back in full force and better than ever. Watch for this tiny Brazilian spitfire to be the much needed spark that women’s professional surfing needs to push the limits today and for years to come.

image image


The Time I Almost Fell Off A Cliff In Australia


Below is an anecdote about the time I nearly died at Grinders.

8 A.M:

The sound of my alarm rings inches from ear. I blindly slap around to find my phone that’s hidden deep in between the couch cushions. I roll off of the couch and put on the only clothes I brought; jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of reefs. As I stumble into the kitchen still half asleep, Michael says, “ Grinders today?” in an eager but questionable tone. He’s already seated at the table in front of the open sliding glass door, eating what resembles a granola bar dropped in a bowl of milk. I go through a mental checklist to try and come up with something other then grinders. Note, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is in full swing this weekend. Bells is off limits, Winkipop has everybody and their closest mates surfing, plus we had already surfed Pt. Addis and the other go to spots with little luck the days before. “Yeah, I’m keen”, I reply hesitantly, as I pull my bread out of the toaster.

The view from the top of the cliff.

The view from the top of the cliff.

Two weeks before:

We had just finished surfing and Michael wanted to check grinders before heading home. We pull into this dirt car park and he jumps out, I follow. As we start heading into the bush following this small footpath, a fence with the cliché “locals only” carved into the wooden post appears. A brisk jump over and we keep moving down this narrowing trail if you could even call it that. Another 5 minutes passes and here I am, getting my first look at grinders. As I stand there looking over the 100 foot near vertical cliff, I think to my self, there’s no f**king way I’m ever surfing here.

Steep enough for ya?

Steep enough for ya?

8:30 A.M:

We’ve finished breakfast and are outside loading up the ute. Boards get tossed in, followed by towels, and wetsuits. We pull out of his driveway and start heading down the Great Ocean Road towards Grinders. It’s a nice day, upper 50’s/low 60’s, partly cloudy, a light onshore breeze, and a forecasted 4′ swell. We pull onto the dirt road leading to grinders and I can feel my adrenaline already starting to pump thinking about making it down this cliff. He throws the truck in park and we start making our way through the knee-high grass to the cliff side. We hop the fence again and this time its for real, I’m actually going to have make it down this cliff.

Not the actual fence, but you get the idea.

Not the actual fence, but you get the idea. Photo: Chris Burkard

8:50 A.M:

Michael leads; showing me what he thinks is the proper technique to navigating this sketchy ass cliff. First, you have two options. Either walk the plank, a small wooden board placed across a 15 foot deep hole, or walk along the foot wide ledge of the hole, which is also the edge of the 100 foot cliff. After successfully crossing the creaking, weathered board, I look up and there’s two pieces of rebar with rope knotted around it. You guessed it, we grabbed onto the rope and navigated the edge of the cliff until I watched Michael take a sharp right and start descending the cliff. Trying to follow his exact footsteps, I take the sharp right grasping the scattered pieces of rebar and century old rope whenever possible. This is where I started to notice my reefs were no match for the crumbling rock. I continue to slowly make my way down and as I approach the last 15 feet of the cliff, I realize there are no more makeshift steps or switchbacks to follow down. There’s just this same piece of rope tied to a piece of rebar that was slammed into the side of the cliff, dangling down to the small patch of sand and rock beneath us. I watch Michael carefully bend over and grab the rope with one arm, board underneath the other, and slowly start to repel the last 15 feet. Yeah, I said repel, like hold onto a rope and jump down a cliff, repel. Now it’s my turn. My heart’s in my throat; I tug on the rope to see if the surfer with an engineering hobby that decided to set up this contraption did a good enough job. Rope in one hand, board under the other; I start stepping down the last drop off with absolutely no confidence in this rope. Surprisingly, my feet hit the sand first and the rope didn’t give out on me as soon as I took my first step.

Grinders hike up


11 A.M.

We get out of the water and with high tide approaching, there’s even less beach than there was before. This is the first time it crossed my mind that I was going to have to get up this cliff. Michael takes off first, firmly grabbing the rope and shimmying up one handed with ease. As soon as he lets go of the rope, I start walking my way up the vertical face to catch up with Michael. Everything is going smoothly until we reach the sharp turn. I’m wet, I have my board under one arm, and my reefs are basically as good as using banana peels for shoes. Waiting for Michael to make the last steep step up before we’re pretty much home free, I feel myself starting to slip. I made a crucial mistake; having put one knee down made it impossible to re-stand up with out sliding. I’m trying to grab onto any rock I can find to hold myself in place until I can get better footing, but nothing is within arms distance. Every time I move a muscle I slip more. Michael is up the last step already when I yell that I’m slipping and he needs to get down here. At first it was funny to him until he looked over the edge and realized I was indeed slipping, and slipping a lot. The wind has picked up now. I feel it catching my board; I’m starting to contemplate whether I should just throw it and use both hands or just keep clinging for dear life. While Michael is making his way down the cliff for the second time today, I’m digging my one free hand into the dirt as hard as possible trying not to fall to a certain death. After what felt like an hour, Michael finally made it down to me and  I can hand off my board and now use both hands. I pull my self together and start moving up the cliff again, slowly. Moving at a sloth like pace, I finally made it to the top where we had a good laugh at my misfortunes.

Looking up the cliff.

A better picture of the hike up.

Moral of the story: be glad you don’t have to do this every day at your local spot.

John John Florence Claims Volcom Pipe Pro Title


John John Florence is no stranger to Pipeline/Backdoor. I mean, it’s essentially the kid’s backyard. The 22-year-old north shore local used his intimate knowledge of the reef to take home his fourth Volcom Pipe Pro title in a stacked final heat this past weekend.

Tricky conditions presented for the final day. With the wind and swell direction, backdoor was holding her mouth open for some deep barrels throughout the day like Kelly Slater’s perfect 10 in the Quarterfinal round.

John John earned his winning scores early in the heat with a 9.0 and an 8.43. In second was his north shore neighbor Mason Ho with a combined total of 15.9. Kelly Slater took third place with a 9.0 and Sebastian Zietz topped off the podium with an 8.47.

With an early win at home under his belt, John John’s looking poised and ready to chase down the world title in 2015 starting with the Aussie leg at the end of February!




5 College Majors For The Surf Minded Student


As my collegiate career is coming into the home stretch, I find more people asking me what I’m going to do when I leave the four year day dream that college is. This got me questioning myself, how am I going to function before 11am? I can’t keep my Monday-Thursday schedule? For those of you just starting the best four years of life, or you fifth year super seniors looking to switch up your major again , below is a list of five majors that could land you a job in the surf industry.


  1. Business

This one is an obvious choice; whether you decide to crunch numbers about board short sales, or deal with your employees bailing on work to catch a few waves, a business degree will have you covered. Business is usually a pretty large department depending on the university, resulting in some lectures having upwards of 75 students. If you are adamant about attending class and getting to know your professors, this can be a bitch. On the flip side, since classes are so big, no one will notice when you decide to get a quick session in instead of going to class.

You'll have a couple day dreams that look like this during those boring accounting lectures.

You’ll have a couple day dreams that look like this during those boring accounting lectures.

  1. Marketing

Lets be real, the surf industry is almost entirely based on marketing. We buy there stuff because it looks cool, its lightweight, its got NASA rocket technology to help you boost airs to mars, whatever crap they say to sell their product. A marketing degree most likely would fall into the same department as business, but less accounting, business law, and other classes that’ll cause you to have a mid life crisis at 21. Plus, you can take advantage of the large class sizes to get in some extra time to clear your mind in the ocean and come up with the next great marketing campaign.

It wouldn't be a bad day at work coming up with an ad like this.

It wouldn’t be a bad day at work coming up with an ad like this.

  1. Computer Science

This one might come as a surprise, but think about how often you watch surf videos, read surf articles, check the surf forecast. Someone needs to know how to make the interweb work. Being able to design, fix and maintain websites is crucial for any surf company. I’m sure they would rather hire someone with some surf knowledge than the average computer nerd.

It'd be super boring if you weren't creating an app dedicated to surfing.

It’d be super boring if you weren’t creating an app dedicated to surfing.


  1. Hospitality/ Tourism Management

I don’t know any surfer that wouldn’t want to work for a surf resort. Hell, i’m sure some of us would work for free as long as we got food, shelter, and to surf our brains out. A degree in tourism management would give you the skills  you need to run a surf resort. You’re, literally working with people who are on vacation all the time, there shouldn’t be to much to stress about as as long as none of their stuff gets stolen, and no one gets seriously injured.

Who would complain on something like this.

Who would complain on something like this.

  1. Any other major

If you’re being realistic, its not what you know, its who you know. Major in dance, art history, whatever you want. Just make sure you network and create a couple important relationships that can hook you up with something to cover all that financial aid money you spent on booze.


Tribute for Ricardo Dos Santos



At about noon on January 20, 2015, Ricardo Dos Santos passed away after fighting to stay alive from three fatal gunshot wounds. Dos Santos was only 24 years of age and had a bright surfing career in head of him. According to social media reports and other surf websites, the young Brazilian was trying to stop a group of locals from openly using, and probably dealing severe and dangerous drugs in front of children. Dos Santos, who has been trying to rid his local community of violence and crime approached the group of locals, and told them to conduct their private matters elsewhere. The frustrated and stubborn group of locals then began to walk away after the confrontation. Unfortunately, when Dos Santos turned his back and began walking towards his home, a member of the group named; Luiz Paulo Mota Brentano (25), pulled out a personal firearm and shot Dos Santos once in the back and two more times into the abdominal region, as Dos Santos turned around in utter despair. He was then quickly evacuated via paramedic helicopter to a nearby hospital, while he was still loosing a lot of blood from his wounds. Upon reaching the hospital, he slipped into a fatal coma, a coma Dos Santos would not wake up from. The Emergency Room team did all that they could to save the young Brazilian’s life, he was pronounced dead after a three hour long attempt to bring him back to life.

Brentano, who is surprisingly confirmed to be a police officer and was off-duty at the time of the event, is now in custody with his brother (17), who is identified as one of the accomplices in the tragic murder event. It is also known now that, Brentano has had a history of alleged misuse of police authority.

A message from the Dos Santos Family: “Our Ricardo is gone,” said his family moments after his passing. “He lived so much in his 24 years. It is a very hard time for us right now. We believe that there are better barrels where Ricardo is going and that he will be there getting barrels with Andy Irons. We want to say thank you to everyone for all of the support. Thanks for all of the opportunity for his life and career. Ricardo was so grateful for everything and for everyone.”

May our condolences from the DailyStoke community go out to friends and the Dos Santos family.

Ricardo Dos Santos is a recipient of the Andy Irons Forever Award in 2012 and Wave of the Winter for the year of 2012-2013. Dos Santos was an exceptionally awesome big wave tube rider and was awarded the Wave of the Winter award for an epic, unforgettable, ride in the tube at Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline.


Wave Works Surf Shop Review


Being apart of the surf industry and turning it into a reality is one of the ideal dreams almost every surfer has. Surfers attain this dream either at a young or old age. Some surfers want to be professional sponsored surfing athletes, others prefer to kick it and try to be free-surfers in hopes of getting sponsored to support their around the world travel costs, but some surfers like Dave Dodd aspire to one day own their own surf shop.

Dodd, 45, is a longtime Virginia Beach native and has grown up in the area all his life. Dodd finished his college studies at Old Dominion University and majored in business psychology. Besides surfing, Dodd plays bass guitar and skateboards. This dude is the real deal and certainly embraces “the hip surf culture”. He is currently a resident of Croatan beach. Dodd’s dream of running his own surf shop came true during July of 2013, with the opening of Wave Works Surf shop, which is located on the corner of 25th street and Pacific Avenue at Pacific Place Shopping Center.


Formerly a floor sales representative at Wave Riding Vehicles (Virginia Beach and Outer Banks Locations), Dodd did not see “a whole lot of room for advancement”, and was “tired of being a sales guy”. Instead he wanted to intensely pursue his dream of becoming the owner of his own shop and declare a state of independence to create Wave Works. Dodd specifically noted, “it was now or never” to open his own surf shop. In life there comes a time when all the right lemons are thrown at you, and it is simply an opportunity waiting to be seized, in order for dreams to become reality. According to Dodd, he is the guy, “living the Dream”.


Wave Works is not your ordinary surf shop; it is beyond your imagination. Most surf shops typically carry your average brands such as Billabong, O’Neil, Quicksilver, and Hurley. Wave Works has flown back into a time machine to revive the retro surf styles and attire of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Instead of the commonly seen brands in most surf shops, Wave Works sheds light on the smaller independent companies such as: Rhythm, Super, Katin, Hippytree, and Brixton. Besides the diverse clothing, Wave Works has everything a surfer needs from: Carver boards, trucks and wheels, skateboard decks, Xcel Wetsuits, and other surf accessories. Not only does Wave Works have a male section for clothes, but a female section as well. Wave Works also carries fresh surfboard brands that include: Super, Ultralite, and Sharp Eye. A used surfboard and consignment rack is available as well, and custom surfboards are ordered upon request.

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Currently, the Buy One Get One (BOGO) sale is still going on. Dodd is committed to helping out people, especially the locals when it comes to retail merchandise. Wave Work’s mission is to be a surf shop for the community that gives back to the people. Wave Works brings out good vibes and has a friendly atmosphere. There is no reason to frown upon this surf shop.

By this summer, Dodd would like to start conducting and setting up new surf contests for the local surfers around the area. All the money raised by the contests will be donated to charity.

Medina wins World Title; Wilson takes Pipe Masters


*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives yesterday.

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives last Friday.

Well, that was exciting.

Friday, December 20th marked the final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in clean, classic 8-foot Pipeline conditions.

The Rundown:
– Gabriel Medina brought the first ASP World Title to Brazil.
– Both Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning were knocked out of title contention by Alejandro Muniz.
– Medina eliminated wildcard Dusty Payne in round 3, opening the door to the Triple Crown Title.
– Julian Wilson came out of the shadows, defeating Medina in the closest Pipemasters’ final to date, claiming both the contest victory as well as the Triple Crown.

That’s the gist. But in reality it was WAY crazier than that! So keep reading.

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipemaster's

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters

After calling the remainder of the afternoon off on the previous day of competition (the best afternoon of the year I might add, but it was actually the right call at the time… but that’s an entirely different article) and with the Da Hui breathing down the ASP’s neck, commissioner Kieren Perrow had to get creative. Somehow, all of round 3 through the final heat would need to run between 8am and 4pm Friday to stay within the competition window and keep things legal. The result: shortened, overlapping heats – meaning more bodies in the water and ultimate priority were still factors in the equation.

This situation worked in favor of Gabriel Medina and Team Brazil (as they shall now be dubbed). Countryman Felipe Toledo fully admitted to intentionally blocking Dusty Payne’s waves in round 3, giving Medina an an edge (which he may or may not have needed) to knock the tenacious wildcard out of the competition while their heats overlapped. Alejandro Muniz turned the tide further in favor of Medina by snagging a buzzer-beating backdoor barrel to knock Kelly out in round 3. Muniz then sealed the deal in round 5 by taking down Mick Fanning, the last contender standing.


The majority of the crowd spoke Portugese and sported gold and green.

When Mick went down, the beach erupted. To make it more interesting, Medina was in the water about to begin his quarter-final heat against Felipe Toledo. The excitement overtook the young Brazilian who immediately broke into celebration as well. After lunging up, pounding his chest, and hugging everyone in the water including Mick, Medina paddled to the beach to be carried up by what seemed like the entire nation of Brazil. Fifteen minutes into the heat, the celebration was still going on. Finally, Medina decided to surf the rest of it. Did Felipe let him take waves? Maybe. Either way, Medina came out of the heat victorious and advanced into the semis.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarterfinal heat.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarter-final heat.

Gabriel Medina. Semi-final heat

Gabriel Medina. Quarter-final heat

Medina, semi-final heat

Medina. Putting on a show in the remainder of his quarter-final heat.

Meanwhile, Julian Wilson was quietly slashing his way through the ranks. When Julian entered the water for his quarter final, he didn’t come out until the end of the contest. (Because of the condensed heat structure, he had to remain in the water and change out jerseys in the lineup.) The 26-year-old Aussie had to surf 5 heats on the day before facing Medina in what would be one of the most exciting Finals in professional surfing.

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Within the first minute, the two immediately exchanged blows in the final. The surfers both opted to favor their front-sides and split the peak for first wave that rolled through. Julian’s backdoor ride earned him a 9.93. Just seconds later, Medina turned around again and answered quickly with a perfect 10. on an even beefier backdoor barrel! Moments later, it was Medina again pulling an 8.0 out of the Pipeline with a fins-free finishing hack to top it off.

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems


The begining of Medina’s 8.0

...and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

…and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

But the heat wasn’t over until the last exchange before the buzzer. On the beach, we could see the set standing tall on the outer reefs as it marched toward the lineup.


Julian Wilson found the wave he was looking for…


…but Gabriel Medina answered.

“I asked him [Medina] if he wanted the first or the second [wave]. He said the second so I went,” Julian said after all was said and done. “I knew I got the score but I thought he might have come back on it.” When Medina’s last-ditch score came up short, “I just face-planted into the sand,” Julian said.


Julian Wilson was all smiles in his post face-plant victory interview.

Julian took down the newly crowned world champ with a whopping combined total of 19.63 for the heat against Medina’s 19.20. Julian walked away with the Billabong Pipemaster’s victory as well as the Vans Triple Crown title.





The very beginning of a very long party

Oh, all wasn’t lost for Dusty Payne, by the way. At the end of the day, he still had the highest combined heat total of the Triple Crown – a 19.64 (0.01 better than Julian’s) which he earned in the final of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, granting him the Hawaiian Airlines Best in Class award. Don’t you just love it when everybody wins?

*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Gabriel Medina: 2014 WCT Champion



Pipeline ended the 2014 WCT title race resulting in the first ever Brazilian winning the title. Gabriel Medina clinched the title as well as a spot in the record books next to Kelly slater for the youngest surfer to win a WCT title. The emotions showed when the horn rang and he realized he was this year’s champion. After making his way to the beach for a short celebration, Medina paddled back out and surfed his way into the finals falling just short of winning the Pipe Masters. Congratulations Gabriel Medina.

Surfing Sexism Overshadows Talent



Image via:

Alana Blanchard.
Photo URL:


Have you ever heard of Alana Blanchard? What comes to mind when you think of her? Howbout Anastasia Ashley? Be honest guys. How many thought “dat a*s” before carves or hacks?


On the flip side, have you ever heard of Silvana Lima? If you have, chances are your impression of her is “the fiery little Brazilian who throws those crazy airs!”

Photo URL:

Silvana Lima.
Photo URL:


Here is the sobering reality of women’s professional surfing: bums sell better than barrels.

Yes, I know the athletes are 80% naked while performing, but surf magazines shouldn’t be comparable to a Playboy. First and foremost, surfing is a sport and an art – and it deserves to be respected as such. The women’s surf industry, in particular, has faded from its roots. It’s now watered with profits generated by selling its athletes’ sexuality.

Don’t get me wrong! Silvana is a mulher bonita! During her career and her post-injury comeback, however, she has never put herself out there in a way that allowed sex appeal to overshadow her skill. The girl just wants to be the best surfer in the world and bring the title to Brazil (and bust an air or two over your head in the process). She is currently sitting comfortably on top of the QS this year with 25 heat wins – and she’s doing all this without sponsorship (anymore).


Take a look at Dimity Stoyle (11th/10 heat wins) and Johanne Defay (8th/13 heat wins). Both of these ladies absolutely rip and have been performing well despite their lack of major sponsorship. These ladies scrap to travel from one event to the next in order to compete professionally in the sport they are passionate about.

Johanne Defay.

Johanne Defay.
Photo URL:

Dimity Stoyle. Photo via:

Dimity Stoyle.
Photo URL:


Meanwhile, Blanchard (17th) has not won a SINGLE HEAT this ENTIRE YEAR. Judging by some of her post-heat interviews, she doesn’t really seem to care either. Rip Curl continues to back her with ringing endorsement and modeling gigs, throwing money her direction so she can travel the globe. Why SHOULD she care?

Yes, I know, Blanchard can actually surf alright. But it’s tough to look up to her or even take her seriously. You have to ask yourself, did she win the 2013 Surfer Poll because she charges (she was ranked 11th at the time)? Or did she win it because of sex-appeal publicity? Does she deserve to be held up to the likes or Rochelle Ballard (2000-2002), Lynne Boyer (1979), or Lisa Anderson (1992, 1994-1999)? Is this title about progressive surfing accomplishments? Or should we change the name (since that seems to be the thing to do in professional surfing these days) to something more suitable, like ASP Prom Queen/King?

2013 Winners: Alana and Kelly. Both have contributed about an equal amount to professional surfing... right? Photo courtesy of:

2013 Winners: Alana and Kelly. Both have contributed about an equal amount to professional surfing… right?
Photo URL:


At the end of the day, I understand that professional surfing needs the financial support of the major surf brands to survive. Surf brands need to generate profits to survive. In order to generate profits, they have to sell desirable products and market those products desirable ways. That’s just business 101. But is this the reality? Or is “the marketing” actually changing the mentality of “the market”? Is the women’s surf industry promoting the wrong standards and ideals for the up and coming generation of athletes? You decide.

Carissa Moore.

Carissa Moore.

Why John John Should Be The Next World Champion, Not Medina


Medina has been getting a lot of hype lately fueling his already egotistical attitude. Yeah, he has the chance to win the world title. So what? So do a lot of other people, 7 if you want to be exact. If anyone should be winning their first world title this year, it should be John John.

Why do I think John John should be this year’s champion over Medina? To say JJF has taken surfing to a new level is an understatement. His free surfing abilities are at least ten times better than anyone on tour right now. No one can consistently throw huge alley oops or as stylish of carves as John John can. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What the hell does free-surfing have to do with winning the world title?” You’re right. Nothing, but if he competes like he free-surfs (which he does) he surfs better than the other 35 guys on tour.

What other surfer on tour punts airs into the stratosphere in a jersey?

Medina, simply surfs how the judges want him to surf, whereas John John surfs how he wants to surf. Combine this with a rigid scoring system that limits creativity, the result is unprogressive surfing getting rewarded. Again, you’re probably reading this thinking, “This guy is about as smart as a sack of bricks. If John John surfed to the judges scale, he’d get rewarded too.” The point here is, John John knows the scale and what he should do, but surfs WCT events like he wants to. It’s this free-surf approach that helps distinguish Florence from the rest of the guys on tour.

Lastly, John John’s demeanor shows he expects to make every wave he drops in on, whereas Gabe throws claims like they’re going out of style. This is no reason, not to win a world title, but the claims may have influenced the judges to be generous with a few tenths of a point. Over the course of the season, these tenths of points have quietly been adding up to extra points in the rankings. With this in mind, John Johns’s semi final of the Billabong Pro Tahiti was decided by a tenth of point, and the final by three hundredths of a point.Had John John or Kelly come out of a barrel and put on a performance worthy of an emmy award nomination, they could’ve won the event.

And just in case you disagree, here’s a clip for your viewing pleasure, to show why john john should win the tour this year.

5 Reasons Every Surfer Should Visit Australia


Recently I had the privilege to do a semester abroad in Australia. During my 6-month stay in the land down under, I can confidently say I spent more time surfing than in the classroom. Don’t get me wrong grades are important, but when the opportunity presents itself to surf world-class waves, you jump on it. Coming from a relatively small beach town with mediocre beach breaks to six-foot bells feels like what I imagine going from a mini van to a Mercedes would feel like. With this in mind below are my top five reasons every surfer should visit Australia at least once.


This one should be obvious; anyone remotely interested in surfing knows Australia produces some of the best waves consistently. The variety of waves in a relatively small area is unparalleled. My first week at uni I met a bloke that lived on the great ocean road, one street past bells. Through him I got to experience spots most tourists would never see. The dynamics of these spots varied greatly even though we were only traveling ten or fifteen minutes. Australia can serve up anything from the rippable walls of over crowded point breaks, to secluded, thick lipped, beach break barrels.

Bells beach Photo:ASP

2. The Babes

Remember the chick from Wolf Of Wall Street? The hot one? Yeah, she’s Australian. Granted, not all Australian females look like her, but for the most part they’re easy on the eye. The lulls between sets provide the perfect opportunity to scout out a potential date for the night.

Not bad right?

3. The Locals

There’s a reason that Melbourne, Australia has been chosen as the worlds most livable city for the past three years. In my opinion, Australians are the friendliest type of people. Within my first week of being in Australia I had made such close friends I felt like I was their all my life. Australians are generally very welcoming people. Embrace and it score as many free home cooked meals as you can imagine.

4. The Eats

Everyone knows the post surf hunger feeling that can only be satisfied by a meal that could feed a small village. Everyone that goes to Australia, surfer or not, has to try a Tim-tam slam. What is a Tim-tam slam you ask? It consists of two simple ingredients, Tim-tams and milk. Combine the two and you have the perfect post surf snack. The second unique Australian dish I recommend is chips, cheese, and gravy. Combine french fries, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite gravy to have a true blue aussie meal.

The Goods

5. The Scenery

Last, but definitely not least, is the landscape. I was never really big into photography before this trip, but the views in Australia certainly changed my perspective. There is no place else in the world that can rival the landscape of Australia. If you get the chance to go to Australia, do it, it will certainly be life changing.

Cairns Australia

Will Gabriel Medina bring the WCT title to Brazil in 2014?


Gabriel Medina could possibly be the first Brazilian to bring the coveted WCT title home to Brazil, if he should best veterans Slater and Parko. Medina, at the ripe age of 20, has the chance to be on the same pedestal as the legend him self, Kelly Slater, to share the record of the youngest surfer ever to win a WCT title.

Medina roughly has a one-stop advantage over Slater and Parkinson. Should Kelly or Joel have any hopes of robbing the young Brazilian of his title dreams, they need to perform at their highest level in the remaining three events. Looking back to last year’s tour, the tour veterans had strong showings in the ongoing and upcoming events. Mick Fanning, who is currently sitting in 4th in the rankings, is the defending champion of the Quiksilver Pro France, Parko had semi-final finishes in all three remaining events, and Kelly’s dominance at pipe last year, set the stage for an exciting finish to the title race.

Throughout the 2013 season Medina didn’t win a single event, eventually resulting in a 2nd or 3rd round finish in a majority of the events. In the upcoming days of the Quiksilver Pro France, the results of Slater, Fanning, and Medina, will ultimately determine the 2014 WCT title race. If Medina slips up and loses in the round of three or four, it will create the opportunity for Slater, Parko, and possibly Mick Fanning to determine the outcome of the 2014 WCT title race. As the rankings stand thus far, the “ball” is in Medinas court, he has the ability to determine whether the WCT title visits Brazil for the first time ever, or returns to Australia or the United States.

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP