“I still don’t know,” Gabriel Medina said afterward, still trying to put the past three heats and several hours into perspective. “I’m still trying to figure out how I did it.” Mick Fanning. Taj Burrow. Joel Parkinson. All former Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast champions, all country favorites, all regular-footers, all victim of Medina’s unexpected march to the event title. He did it with gusto and supreme confidence and a ferocious backhand attack, and with it, Medina became the first goofy-footer to win at Snapper Rocks since 2004.
Jordy Smith has grown a lot in his six seasons on surfing’s grandest stage. He survived the hype of his rookie season (2008), has finished runner-up on the year-end rankings (2010), has twice won an event that’s being reintroduced to the WCT and released some of the most exciting movie projects (Modern Collective, Bending Colours, Now Now) in the modern era of the sport. And it’s only now that Jordy is wrapping his head around dedicating a full year to the Tour.