Some quick takes from an epic day of competition.
Helmets are a thing.
In a move that seems like it’s been a long time coming, many competitors are electing to don helmets in their heats when taking on a wave of such consequence as El Fronton. In the professional surfing ranks Owen Wright, who sustained an almost life ending and altering concussion injury surfing Pipe that took years to recover from, has capped up in many a heat. Additionally many of the female surfing Pro’s went with some variation of head covering when competing at Pipeline and Teahupoo this year.
Riders like Javier Henriquez, Armidas Soliveres, Aitor Ojeda and Ethan Capdeville (Son of legendary French rider Nicholas Capdeville) and many others all elected to go with some skull candy to help protect their noggin’. Given the current evidence arising in multiple sports around the world on the long term affects of head knocks and concussions helmeting up at 8-10 foot Fronton feels like a wise choice.
The judges are paying commitment.
There’s no doubt that Fronton has been absolutely pumping for the early rounds, with many delicious images and clips spilling out of the tumultuous tunnels riders have been packing. We’ve been critical of the judging here at Infoamed this year, but so far it seems the judges are getting it right in terms of what they are scoring at Fronton. It’s not enough to sly shoulder hop and then drag the dong onto a big round barrel on the rights and hope for a score above a 6.
If competitors want to go into the great to excellent range they have to show commitment and come in from deep and somewhat behind the peak on their waves. This means sitting closer in on the reef on take off and backdooring the section. See Lewy Finnigan’s final score in his round 6 heat for what we mean. Sitting in third with minutes remaining, Lewy drained a deep right hander. Only a mid sized wave compared to what had been ridden previously in the heat, but the judges paid it a 7+ because he took off behind the peak and committed to the backdoor.
Tristan enters the danger zone.
Current carry over world champ and tour leader Tristan Roberts had a slow heat in his round 6. Sitting in third and needing a score of 9+ to take first place and a skip the elimination round 7, all he could muster was a basic flip for a 3.35, good enough for second, but now placing him in danger of losing early and almost gifting the world title to Tanner McDaniel. He faces Aussie up and comer Marli Dunn and Frenchman Yann Saluan in heat number in the fourth heat of round 7.
Fuck me Moz.
Amuary Levernhe relocated to the Canaries ten years ago as the shark attack problem ravaged his home in the Reunion islands. Since then he’s been on almost every swell that has ploughed into the Fronton line up.
It took just over five minutes for the man they call Moz to sow up his round 6 heat with a highest score of the day 9.75 for an absolute freight train of a left and a similar backdoored right topped with a lofty invert for a score of 9.
Add these efforts to his demolition of heats in the Quarters, Semis and Final in the tours first event at 8 foot Arica back in May where he scored back to back to back perfect tens in each heat and finished with a perfect heat total of 20 in the final, it’s no stretch to say that Amuary is far and away the best bodyboarder in heavy conditions and a more than probable finalist and more than possible winner in this years a Fronton event.