It 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.
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.