What Is an Australian Grand Slam of Surfing? Pumping Bali, and POV Ride a One Minute Tube at Skeleton Bay

25 Jul 2020 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

A future WSL Australian Grand Slam of Surfing Venue. Photo: WSL/Shield

A future WSL Australian Grand Slam of Surfing Venue. Photo: WSL/Shield

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was July 25 2020

1. An Unprecedented Run of Empy Mentawai Perfection

I'm not sure I've read the word "unprecedented" so much in my life the last couple of months, but here it is again with this absolutely ridiculous swell that hit the Mentawai Islands while they just so happened to be deserted of surf tourism. Check out this series of video diary entries from the crew at Kandui Resort over here, cause it's just plain outrageous. Here, below, is one of the seven clips that will make you equally stoked and tortured.

2. The WSL Announced the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing

What in the world of surf focus group market research do we have on our hands here? After announcing some of the most radical changes to the structure of competitive surfing we've seen in decades last week (read Nick Carroll's take on all that over here), the WSL have come back with even more announcements this week – namely some pro surf comp events to fill the void left behind by COVID-19. It's called the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing (sick name).

So what is it? It's two broadcast-only strike mission events that will play out over the two month period of September and October. Where are they? This is where it gets really interesting. One of them is at South Stradbroke Island – a place you can't always name when publishing photos of – which will be called the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast. The other is called the Margaret River Pro – no prizes for guessing where that one will be. The men's and women's winners of the series will be able to select a charity to donate $20,000.

Sure, it's not a Championship Tour, but it is something... and with no CT qualification in the way, there's a couple pretty good names attached to one or both of the events. Alongside Steph Gilmore and Julian Wilson, we've got Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge, Dingo Morrison and Joel Parkinson all donning heat rashies again at South Straddie, and Taj Burrow is locked in for the Margies event.

I couldn't find a clip promoting the Grand Slam of Aus in general, so here's one of Chris Coté saying some things about some other WSL stuff instead.

3. Swell, Swell, Swell... Too Much Swell

Two quick things: One, check out the photos and breakdown from the swell that ha-ha-hammered the East Coast of Australia this time last week.

Two, get ready for more. Yep, we're looking at a deep East Coast Low gearing up to hit the mid to southern half of NSW around Tuesday. The full details are in Coastalwatch Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney's Swell Alert over here.

Chris Lougher’s epic Deadmans pit, Wednesday the 15th. Photo: Phillip Morris

Chris Lougher’s epic Deadmans pit, Wednesday the 15th. Photo: Phillip Morris


4. The Ocean Is Biting Off Big Chunks of the Central Coast Off

Massive swells on the East Coast of Aus don't just bring joy and awe and wonder... they also elevate significant erosion problems for coastal communities all over the place. This time it's Wamberal on the NSW Central Coast, where some residents with beachfront properties have literally had to evacuate their homes for fear they might collapse onto the beaches below. Sean Doherty wrote in depth about it.

"The panic belies the fact that this scene at Wamberal was not only predicted, not only likely… but has actually happened before. How did we get here? How long have you got? This issue has been thrashed around the yard for 40 years." Writes Seano. Read it, it's good.

5. Torren Martyn's Next Surf Movie is an NZ Morcycle Surf Roadie

The king of beautiful wanderlusty surf clips packed with stylish twin-fin surfing is brewing up another! Torren Martyn has again teamed up with filmmaker Ishka Folkwell and his wetty sponsor needessentials to make Lost Track. It comes out next month, and a quick look at the teaser, combined with the track record of their movies come before, and we're pretty confident it will be really really good.

6. Jordy by Morgan

Auteur Morgan Massen puts his lens and deft touch on the edit to South African superstar Jordy Smith. "...while there are many surfers I admire for their style in the water, Jordy Smith has distinguished himself on a level above all else," says Morgan, forgetting for a moment the existence of John John Florence, Steph Gilmore, Dane Reynolds and like 25 other surfers in the world. It's a rad clip though, shot across South Africa, Indonesia and Hawaii.

7. This Was Bali This Week

The 'Surfers of Bali' YouTube once again provides the goods with footage of pumping Uluwatu on Saturday July 18. Here is my favourite YouTube comment under the edit:

"The white water on those beasts really looks like a stampede of horses!"

Man, do I have a Guinness ad for that guy.

8. Checking In on the Continuing Rise of Prodigy Eli Hanneman

They call him the best 17-year-old in the world. I've no idea if that's true, but he is a lot better than all of us were at 17. Here's a highlight reel from the Hawaiian winter just past, shot on Maui and the North Shore of Oahu.

9. Nathan Florence Teaches Us How To Not Get Worked In A Shutting Down Tube

If you have 28 minutes to spare, and like pulling into massive tubes that sometimes shut down on you, this tutorial by one of the best barrel-riders on the planet, Nathan Florence, might be of interest to you.

10. Nic Von Rupp Gets Really Tubed In Namibia

The Von Froth YouTube Series keeps on rolling, this time heading to Skeleton Bay to get tubed for a really really long time. If you want to skip straight to the one-minute barrel, click to the 4.17 mark or thereabouts.

One last thing... 

R.I.P Derek Ho. What an absolute legend. Let's watch these clips of him over the last couple of years still being the man at Pipeline.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone, stay safe.

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