Victims of WSL’s Mid-Season Cut

JJF Under the Cut
John John always brings it at Margaret River.

If you’re reading this, then you already know.  

It’s finally happened.  The Great One, the King of Shredland, Kelly Slater has been forcibly removed from the tour – and without an heir.  

He’s fallen to the mid-season cut.

Is the prophecy of the Board in the Stone coming true before our very eyes!?! 

Under the Machiavellian leadership of Erik Logan, the tour surfers and fans alike have had to grit their teeth through four disenchanting events with unfortunate waves.

As I sat in the dark at the dinner table last night after coverage ended, staring into nothingness and barely eating my penne pasta with Vodka sauce and chicken, I couldn’t help but think that we are venturing ever further into The Great Lull. 

If you’re reading this, then you already know.

Then I looked at the forecast and it proves itself counter to my theory.  The waves are said to be substantial and clean through the end of the event.  

A welcome sight, if not for the obscure prophecy of my unmade surf film that I’m trying to fit into a square hole. 

The waves at Margaret River have been the best yet on this year’s tour and the blue bloods, especially the likes of John John Florence and Gabriel Medina, have finally come to life.  

John John, in particular, who has had many great moments at Margaret River over the years, is surfing like Denzel Washington – a man on fire! 

Gabe is there matching John’s each and every master stroke, though it measures a smidge secondary in comparison.  Medina’s technique and skill are every bit the equivalent of JJF’s, yet there still seems to be something missing from the influence and effect that the Brazilian’s surfing commands over me.  

It always feels a bit robotic, like another dark Prince from a different timeline.  (Darth Vader).  

Darth Medina Makes the Cut

As I’ve said before, the world’s best need good waves to put the true powers of their talents on display.  Otherwise, as we’ve seen, the whole endeavor feels like a walk in a pool with rain boots on.  

Not this time, though.  Not this contest.  Ladder and tourism ads in the middle of heats aside, the blue bloods have roared to life and I’m feeling the butterflies stir in my gut once more.   

The round of 32 has just ended and I intend to watch every remaining second. 

Let’s take care of a few housekeeping items before we move on.  

Here are the surfers who missed the mid-season cut:
Victims of the Cut

Notable misses are Kelly Slater, Kolohe Andino, and San Diego’s own Jake Marshall.  

Here are the surfers who made the mid-season cut:
Victors of the Cut

Big notables on this side of the slash are Barron Mamiya, Rio Waida, and Ian Gentil, who pulled out of Margaret River for medical reasons just before his round of 32 heat against Leonardo Fioravanti. 

This brings me back to a sad realization: Kelly Slater is no longer a blue blood.  The King has fallen.  

In a way, this is what he always wanted.  

I was watching the first episode of the Kelly Slater Lost Tapes, and he says in there:

“After having won so many titles, you don’t want to walk your way back down the ladder slowly.”

How appropriate it would be a ladder.  A Bailey Ladder?  

Jokes aside, this is revealing of the King.  It tells me that he can never walk away on his own.  It has to be taken from him.  He will never willingly descend from his throne, one rung at a time. 

In dramatic fashion, Kelly has always wanted to fall from the great heights he’s reached all at once.  

For the moment, he’s been given that gift.  The rug swept out from beneath his feet – just like he wanted – but the greats of any sport have always had trouble walking away on their own.

The call to competition will return, if it leaves our greatest champion, at all. One would doubt it could flutter away so easily, like dust in the wind.

The Surf Ranch Pro and Outerknown Tahiti are still to come and the WSL will give him the wildcard spots, I’m certain.  

The King will return, but will he have it in him to stay?

NOTE: The women’s cut will be determine today. More on that as it develops.

Father, surfer, poet.



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