ON THE BOIL
CAN JORDY SMITH TURN A ROUGH START TO 2014 INTO A FEROCIOUS FINISH?
2014 hasn’t quite gone to script for Jordy Smith. It began promisingly. A big off season preparation and a declaration he would be putting free-surfing and video parts aside for a fresh and invigorated attack on the tour. All signs were positive. However, this was met with an abrupt slap in the face at the first event of the year, delivered by a shock second-round loss to veteran Tiago Pires.
Jordy bounced back at Margarets with a 5th place. Shaking off his loss on the Gold Coast, he showed signs of the brilliant form he is carrying. Only an angry Bede Durbidge, surfing on pure emotion after his controversial re-surf with Taj Burrow, could stop Jordy’s advance further into the event.
Then came Bells. The South African was in sublime nick. No one it seemed, not even Parko and Mick were matching the sheer brutality and water movement Jordy was dishing out in the bowl. His name repeated in post-heat interview after post-heat interview as the one to watch. Then in round five he met Julian Wilson.
Jordy started the heat well, putting the first keeper on the board – a 7.33. Julian then saw and raised Jordy with an 8.17.
This is when Jordy made his fatal mistake. Underestimating what Julian could do on a mid-size wave, Jordy let Jules take off under priority. J-dub went bananas, earning a 9.13.
Jordy knew he’d fucked up and it was written all over his face. He had no one to blame but himself. It was a breaking point for him. The South African Lion had a thorn in his paw. His eyes glazed over. Anger.
Then the southern ocean threw him a lifeline. A mid-sized wave rolled into the bowl and Jordy swooped with seconds to go. Jordy surfed that wave unlike any he’s surfed on tour before. He surfed as if his very life depended on the ten points he needed. He was furious, the rage volted through his body, through his feet and into his board. He fucking destroyed that wave. But it wasn’t to be … 9.93
Still, there are positives. The fire has been lit, and the best part is that it was Jordy himself who lit it. The Jordy we’ve been longing to see was unleashed.
By the time you read this he may have surfed his event in Brazil – an event he goes into as defending champion. But as I write the contest is two days away from beginning and I can't wait to see Jordy’s first wave, and the rest of his 2014.