Final Fronton Thoughts.
We thought we’d let the dust settle on the Fronton King Pro before delving into a final analysis, and so without further ado, read on.
Fronton is fire.
Despite the historical significance that Pipeline holds as a place to crown world champions, Fronton is a worthy successor in the current world tour interation. It is truly a spectacular wave in its own right and signifies everything we want to represent about bodyboarding to the world. Heaving, heavy pits, giant air sections, risk and reward, Fronton has it all. Kooks don’t win at Fronton and it’s a worthy place to sort out the pretenders from the champions. With no Pipeline contest likely to happen in the foreseeable future, Fronton has established itself as a worthy successor to pipeline to crown our world champ.
Tristan is legit.
Yes, we made fun of the IBC judges propensity to reward Tristan’s backflips with seemingly above average scores, and yes we made fun of the flames on his retro board model, but we humble ourselves before the gathered to acknowledging Tristan as worthy world champion this year, and a likely world champion contender for many years moving forward into the future.
His focus and dedication this year was evident to all, and when the big moments came he stepped up and did what he had to do to win. Sitting in third in his round 9 heat with the minutes ticking down, Roberts came up clutch with a hung, flaring flip on a left bowl to get the score, a brave, all or nothing attempt that all but assured him this year’s WT. He backed it up by defeating Amuary Lavernhe, who had been easily the form rider of the event, in the most entertaining heat of the contest.
Congrats Tristan, and here’s to see more into the future.
The South African dominance.
A South African has now won five of the last seven world titles, including the last four in a row. Jared Houston, Iain Campbell and Tristan Roberts are all relatively young and
undoubtedly have the ability to secure even more titles for the rainbow nation in the future. It’s a golden period for S.A. something that shouldn’t go unacknowledged.
Hubb on Mt Rushmore.
Jeff Hubbard is 47 years old.
Let that sink in.
In the surfing world, Kelly Slater is oft venerated as an inspiration to ageing riders and an legend for continuing to compete at an advancing age. The truth is though, that outside of Kelly’s pipe win at the start of the year, he’s often unable to really mix it with his fellow younger competitors.
Hubb, on the other hand, is still a finals contender in each contest that he enters. Good in the tube, still the bench mark in the air as demonstrated by THAT contest winning bomb flip, fit, flexable and focused, there’s no reason Hubb couldn’t win a world title in the next few years and become the oldest bodyboarder to do so, a result that neither Mike Stewart or Guilherme Tamega were able to achieve. It’s time to give that Hubby guy his just deserves and acknowledge his place on the boogin’ world totem pole.
Pressure valve released.
It was great to watch Tristan surf after he became world champ. With the pressure off he surfed ever so much freer and more spectacularly. His heat against Moz was peppered with lofty air forwards and one insane air reverse that garnered him from a ten from the judges. There’s no denying that Tristan ,Tanner and Alan all looked tight and pressured as they tried to advanced through the comp, but Tristan was able to enjoy his win by just surfing and going big, which was a joy to watch.
IBC gets a tick.
Year 1, tour 1 for the fledgling IBC has to come away as a pass mark this year. From a cracking start at Arica to a spectacular final contest at Fronton, every event (bar maybe Sintra, but Sintra is always going to be Sintra) was held in contestable conditions in waves that allowed bodyboarders to showcase why we love what we can do on waves.
The Maldives Pro was the surprise packet of the year, with excellent government and community support paying off with great waves for the actual contest. If the IBC can maintain this momentum in the coming years they will provide a solid platform for showcasing bodyboarding to the world and ensuring fan support.
To hear more thoughts on the Fronton Pro listen to former World tour competitor Dallas Singer and Box beach legend Matt Palmer break it down below .