The Weekender: Will artificial waves someday rule pro surfing?
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week—like a bear chasing a snowboarder—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
Tyler Wright Wins Margaret River Pro
She had the highest heat score of the event. She looked on point throughout. And she took it to Courtney Conlogue in the final with the highest heat score of the contest. With the win, Australian Tyler Wright closed the gap to 800 points in the overall points lead in the world title hunt, closing out the Australian leg of the tour as the women head to Brazil next month. Wright was the only surfer to tame Conlogue, as the Southern Californian didn’t lose a heat until the final. This was Wright’s second event win this season down under as she won the Gold Coast as well. With nine titles between them, Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore have yet to make a final this year. Despite that fact, they’re still ranked third and fifth, respectively.
Meanwhile, Joel Parkinson, Sebastian Zietz, Italo Ferreira and Julian Wilson cruised into the semi-final for the men, which will play out later today.
• MORE EDGE: Ryan Burch crafts innovative, custom surfboards
This is kind of a fun video that went semi-viral this week. In case you hadn’t noticed, trickery rules the Internet. But this one didn’t quite work. Snowboarder Kelly Murphy released a pretty realistic-looking video where she claims she’s backcountry snowboarding in Japan (that can’t be confirmed) and singing along to the Rihanna tunes coming through her headphones when a bear comes rumbling down the hill after her. “OMG! I was going through my snowboarding videos and I found a bear chasing me!!” she wrote, claiming she was riding an area known as Hakuba 47. Only problem is that the bear looks like a Kodiak and the only breeding specie on the island is the Asiatic Black Bear. Reporters and media outlets bombed her social media sites looking for answers and the vid has since been debunked. But nice try.
• MORE EDGE: Extreme Exposure: WSL sees changes at Margaret River
Indoor Surf Contests are the Rage
Surfing has fast become a mainstream sport and different artificial wave technologies are helping speed up the process. Between the Wave Garden and Kelly Slater Wave Company, the race is on to make the perfect artificial wave outdoors. And then there’s American Wave Machines’ Surfstream Technology, indoor surf machines that in the last couple of weeks have seen two indoor surf contests held on its waves.
The first, above, was in Quebec at Oasis Surf, where pro surfers Jamie O’Brien and Cheyne Magnusson showed up to try out the indoor wave that can be adjusted from a two-foot dribbler to a chest-high barreling prototype of something you’d find at a beach break on the ocean. “The performances from amateurs of all ages and the top pros who traveled north of the border were totally epic and the atmosphere was electric all day long,” said Magnusson. “It was rad to see how surf culture can thrive in a freezing, landlocked, area of the world!”
Then, a few days later, New Hampshire’s Surfs Up New Hampshire, an indoor surf park in the Granite State (which actually has some decent natural surf), three 16-year-olds—Parker Payne (Richardson, Texas), Jake Caster (Westford, Mass.) and Hunter Sims (Auburndale, Fla.)—took the top spots respectively. The only question remains, will we eventually see a world champion who hails from the indoor arena?
What’s On Tap
WorldSurfleague.com | 5 p.m. ET, Friday
The men’s semis are on the schedule next as the World Surf League will look to cap off its Australian leg this weekend in solid conditions at Margaret River.
Monster Energy Supercross
Fox | Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET
With only four events left on the schedule, St. Louis will host this weekend’s Supercross event as everybody in the 450SX class is chasing Ryan Dungey, who will try to string together three straight wins for the second time this season.
Martinique Surf Pro
Martiniquesurfpro.com | Sunday, 7 a.m. ET (or TBD, conditions pending)
Part of the Lesser Antilles and a Caribbean French colony, the island of Martinique will host the WSL’s Qualifying Series warriors this week as they work to qualify for the big leagues.