J-Bay is firing. The first round of the Corona Open is in the books, and it was a good one. After a few days of waiting for what looked to be a very good window, that window showed up and the waves poured through. So what happened? Here’s a quick rundown and some pretty pictures.
John John Florence is looking to get his gold jersey back, and he made it very clear with three waves that were over nine points. It was a staggering display of a man with more talent than anyone else on tour. Ian Gouveia and wildcard Dale Staples, who had the misfortune of drawing him, didn’t stand a chance. “The waves are firing right now, this is the best J-Bay I’ve surfed during the contest,” Florence said. “Being out there by yourself you can position yourself exactly where you want to be, taking off and then you have this big open canvas in front of you… it’s crazy.”
Jordy Smith has been in fine form this year. Sitting at number three in the rankings, just behind Wilko and John J0hn respectively, and J-Bay is his home turf. Someone forgot to tell Conner Coffin all that, though, because he ended up sending him straight into round two after he found one of the most perfect waves J-Bay could offer.
Slater’s heat with Julian Wilson and Kanoa Igarashi was a bit of a nail biter. In the end, Slater took the win, but not before Wilson very nearly took a last-minute lead. “This place is so beautiful – brisk weather, great waves, long walls and a lot of speed on the waves,” Slater said. “It’s such a fantastic place. This is surprising, I didn’t think we’d be surfing today but now we’ve got four or five really good days ahead and we’ll have a great contest. Before the heat, I said that if I got a good wave I would claim it, so I did.”
See a full recap on Worldsurfleague.com