Have you noticed that the World Surf League is sorely lacking in a good rivalry? Oh, they tried to make one with John and Gabriel, but it appears that John is too bland to really get into it. Despite all the efforts with block-lettered advertisements, dramatic aerial shots, and moody images of John and Gabriel staring out at the ocean while wearing giant headphones, it just never panned out.
Hang on, though. What’s this? Is there a naturally-occurring rivalry brewing between Jesse Mendes and Mikey Wright? Probably not, but everyone likes to watch grown men pushing each other in parking lots over waves. In surfing, you’re only cool if you’re an adult who yells at other people like a colicky, asshole baby. Or, if you’re really, really cool, you pull their hair on a shitty one-foot wave before berating them about the importance of localism and ownership of waves. Then you’re the coolest.*
“Interesting free surf session this morning before the event started. Word on the street is @jesse_mendes had waited all morning for the wave he dropped in on @mikeywright1 and Mikey had just had a set wave!” wrote Jake Paterson of Snaketales fame on Instagram. “No love lost by the looks! Hahaha.”
Of course, since people love to watch people doing embarrassing things in parking lots, there were a lot of comments below. “Mickey is a nice guy, already surfed with him in Bolders (NSW), but he is like a little girl… more than his sister!” wrote one commenter. “Hahaha Jesse just putted him on his place! In a fight I would put some money on Jesse… and if I were Mickey, I would not go to Brazil soon. Brazil is not for beginners, just ask when Shane Dorian had a gun pointed to his head! Good luck Mickey.”
It should be noted, I think, that Jesse Mendes technically dropped in on Wright, then proceeded to try and shove him around on the street later. Wright just stood there, which is probably the smarter way to deal with the situation.
Then Kelly Slater threw his hat in the ring. @kimfeast_ looks like you and I when we met out there!” he wrote. “Keyboard warrior opinion here…I’ve surfed with them both a lot. @mikeywright1 is possibly the biggest frother I’ve ever seen and forgets other people exist when it starts barreling. He knew what he was doing here outpositioning @jesse_mendes in a tricky and crowded lineup. Or maybe he was getting Jesse back for paddling me around the point in our heat at sunset years ago, haha. Whichever it is, I’m sure we’ll all look forward to their next heat together.
*I’m just kidding. You’re not cool. You’re just an asshole.
Update: Paterson removed the video from his Instagram page. “I have taken my last post down due the all the aggressive comments,” he explained. “Sorry @jesse_mendes and @mikeywright1 it wasn’t my intentions.”