If you haven’t been keeping up with THE ISLE, the web series by Matt Meola and Albee Layer that premiered last February, you won’t want to miss this latest episode that kicks off Season Two.
In the first episode of Season Two, we watch as Matt Meola, Albee Layer, John John Florence and the rest of their crew prepare for the end of the year swell at Jaws. When the swell finally arrives, things get serious and Matt Meola drops in on a wave that nearly takes his life leaving him completely rattled.
“I was just under forever, and that’s when I thought I was gonna black out,” says Matt Meola of what his best pal, Albee Layer, describes as one of the biggest waves he’s ever seen at Jaws.
This series is good stuff, and as noted by StabMag, “their show… is one of surfing’s best.”
Surfing is back at the X Games, and Jordy Smith can now boast the first X Games gold medal, which he scooped up in the Real Surf competition last month. The South African surfer captured the best footage and beat 7 other pro surfers for the $50,000 prize: Matt Meola, Josh Kerr, Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, Chippa Wilson, Dion Agius, and Albee Layer.
To mark the global expansion of the 2013 X Games, surfing was added to the X Games, along with two other disciplines. Real Surf made its first splash last month, April 2nd, as part of X Games Foz do Iguaçu. Employing the all-video Real Series format, featured in tandem with each on-site action sports competition, the X Games will stage three new international events — Foz do Iguaçu, Munich and Barcelona.
The winner was decided by a panel of surf industry experts who evaluated the best 60-second video edits. “Real Surf is a great opportunity to take the concept of ‘best surfers in the best waves’ to the logical extreme,” says surf journalist and XGames.com Surf Editor Jake Howard. “Allowing the surfers to go out, surf their favorite waves and put together a video edit they’re proud of showcases their talents to the fullest. Rather than leaving a winner up to chance, or the whims of the ocean by being limited to whatever waves show up in a 30-minute heat.”
Jordy beat Chippa Wilson in round one, then Josh Kerr in round two, and finally, Gabriel Medina in the last round. “Most of my video was filmed in Africa, in Mozambique. My girlfriend Lyndall told me about this spot and I never believed her at first. I was like, ‘Yeah yeah, babe, just another little wave…,’” explains Jordy. “She ended up taking me there and I scored some of the best waves I’ve had in the last ten years, so I dedicate this one to her. All my family, friends and sponsors have been a massive help, as well. I’m over the moon.”
Judges Taylor Steele, Kai Neville, Brad Gerlach and Chris Cote delivered the silver and bronze medals to Chippa Wilson and Dion Agius, respectively. Gabriel Medina was voted the best Real Surf video by the surfing fans.
Congrats to Jordy on his win! Check out some of the awesome footage above.
The Billabong Rio Pro is in full swing, and just in case you are missing John John Florence from the competition due to his ankle injury, don’t fret. “Begin Again,” the latest film effort by John John and his crew, showcase some of his pretty sick moves in a nice 4-plus minute clip ditty.
According to filmer, editor and pal Blake Kueny, it doesn’t mean starting from scratch. “Begin Again means a new beginning. It’s emptying out the hard drives and starting again fresh.” That means that all the footage in Begin Again is John John in his prime, pre-Snapper (before MRI scans and ice packs were even in the picture).
According to SURFER Magazine, “It is an A-grade cut. The edit is built on solid foundations. It’s what good surf films used to be: a great surfer in epic waves.”
We have to agree. You’ll enjoy this clip. It starts off with some close-up and artsy-ish footage set against a slower-paced “I’ve Got A Crush On You” by New York Philharmonic & Zubin Mehta. Then bam… on to John John and friends’ slick skills, set against a more aggressive “Feel It” by Wake Up Lucid.
Hopefully John John will be back in the saddle for Fiji, but for now enjoy this cool video of his friends and family: which also star Nathan Florence, Ivan Florence, Kiron Jabour, Koa Rothman, and Eli Olson. Filming by Damien Robertson, Daren Crawford, John John Florence and with Phantom footage from Chris Bryan.
Last but not least, savor the last clip, undoubtedly the future of surfing footage.
Announced last month, The Barrel is a year-long surf project where professional and amateur surfers, photographers and videographers around the world have the possibility to showcase their passion: Barrel surfing. It hopes to celebrate surfers’ collective passion for seeking out and riding barreling waves, where the water is hollow where the wave breaks.
There will be monthly episodes called “Monthly Grid”. The greatest clips will be awarded with prizes, like iON Cameras. It is all about skills, creativity and love to the waves.
“Whether you are 8 or 80 years old, if you love to surf, you love getting barreled; that’s what we go into the water seeking each day and talk about each afternoon,” explained Tony “Harro” Harrington, the project director.
Harrington has been shooting surf and snow around the globe for more than 20 years with more than 150 magazine covers to his name. He has brought together an international line-up of iconic surfers to participate in the iON The Barrel Movie, slated for November release. These include Reef McIntosh, Jamie Mitchell, Rusty Long, Ken “Skindog” Collins, Marty Paradisis, Peter Hayes, Justin “Jughead” Allport, Laurie Towner and a host of others.
“We’ll be on a hunt for barrels all year from Hawaii to Tahiti, up to Indonesia and down to Tasmania. The movie will track our journey and take audiences inside these beautiful, majestic waves” said Harrington.
The Barrel website will be a gathering place for surfers and videographers to shoot and share their barrels throughout the year, winning iON cameras, Carlton Dry prizes, surf adventure packages to Papatura Island Retreat in the Solomon Islands, a VIP travel prize to the movie launch at Turtle Bay Resort on Hawaii’s North Shore in November and plenty of products from Shapers Fins.
Shane Dorian rode the wave of his life last year at Jaws, and so fitting, he took home the top $50k prize for ride of the year at Billabong’s XXL big wave awards on Friday at The Grove Theater in Anaheim. Dorian also picked up another $5K for the Pacifico Tube award for the tube on the same wave.
The video by Elliot Leboe shows Shane’s incredible drop and tube on one of the biggest waves ever caught at Jaws, Maui. Two awards for one wave, and a total of $55K – sweet.
In the Jaws ride, we all saw a return to old-fashioned values in the form of Shane’s paddle entry to two-raised-arms barrel ride. This return to the good old days of tackling big waves without ski assistance is the “in” thing happening in surfing right now, and all of the awards (besides the wipeout) were given to paddle-power waves.
Shawn Dollar was the Paddle and Biggest Wave champ for his 61-footer for his ride at Cortes Bank, Keala Kennelly and Greg Long won Best Performances and Wipeout of The Year went to Chris Shanahan from The Right in Western Australia.
It was such a fun night! Thank you to Billabong for an incredible show. Congrats Shane Dorian and all of the other big wave athletes for this past year’s success. We can’t wait to see what everyone does this season!!
To check out Shane’s winning wave, wathc the video above.