Nike Lowers Pro Trestles – Gabriel Medina

If you’ve been following the Trestles event you’ll need no further explanation as to how Medina came through to the final stages and won the thing. For those of you that haven’t managed to catch up you can see 5 days worth of highlight reels on the Nike Lowers Pro website (useful links at the bottom of this post).

To summarise; he got air.

Not just on the sheen of the almost overhead waves on the second and third days, but even on the single foot slush towards the end of the final. He found kickers in every wave; slops or hollow. I suppose it proves that we (and the judges) continue to be fanatical of the gravity barrier. As ever, good waves, well executed score high, but nailing any kind of aerial with a sure-footed landing is getting the red-hot points. It’s fair to note that Medina wasn’t the only one up and away, John John Florence and Dane Reynolds were both up in the clouds several times on the final day.

You can’t take away from Medina though, he’s got some serious technical ability. He can carve so ridiculously tight, whipping the board hip-crunchingly fast, but he also manages to draw on fluidity the likes of which Jeremy Flores would have to think twice about. I for one haven’t been able to see much differentiation in skill between his front and backside riding.

Here’s a showreel of his journey through the competition:

Some of the interesting things from the competition not shown in the event, MVP and “that drop in”:

MVP – check out the MVP section of the Lower Pro site. Users were able to get on Facebook and vote for who they wanted to receive the MVP vote. That surfer would then enter the water with a yellow jersey on his back – as you’ll see from the show reel Medina was not only stealing the show with his surf, but doing so in yellow (THREE days out of five!).

[…]you the viewer will have the chance to choose the MVP, which will reward the surfer who pushes the boundaries of the sport by completing the most radical maneuver. To qualify for an MVP nomination, any single turn, air, or barrel must be performed on a critical part of the wave and display exceptional skill and flawless style.

“That drop in” – Glenn Hall was up against Medina in the final. He only managed to put together a 10.87 against Medina’s 15.67, but one single moment caused frustration for him. Readying for a nicely peeling A-frame he found himself impeded by Medina, see the screenshot below. Who do you think is deeper here? (Medina in yellow heading left, Hall in the pink heading right).

Medina Drop In Nike Lowers Pro Trestles
What’s interesting here is that, although it didn’t seem up to scratch for Medina’s aerial acrobatics (one of the few waves he didn’t use as a launch pad) it may well have suited Hall’s preferred style and pulled in some big points. We know from his success in China at the start of the year (where he pulled in the highest ranked ASP event for any Irish surfer to date) that he finds his big points in this kind of wave – concentrating on higher areas and drawing clean lines. Who knows, it may have made very little difference.

Glenn Hall Unhappy Nike Lowers Pro Trestles Event
Hall’s not entirely chuffed by it!

You can see the video for the final day, and all other days, here.

Check out the surfing events section to see highlights of previous event and what big ‘uns we’ve got coming up next.