Our friends at DVS and Livelihood teamed up to chat with Dragon surfer Griffin Colapinto for a morning chat and a surf in his hometown of San Clemente, California. Discussing some history, where he’s at now and his plans for the future. Stay tuned for more from Griffin as he makes his way toward qualifying for surfing’s elite WSL World Tour. Watch the video below.
Our friends over at Men’s Fitness put together a gallery of some of the best gear for boating and the beach this summer. Amongst all the great product was our very own Liege from the H2O Floatable Collection. Take a look at the rest of the gallery.
And if you’re interested in our premium, polarized sunglasses that float, take a look at all of our H2O Floatable offerings.
Surfline just released a feature with two Dragon surfers, Evan Geiselman and Michael Dunphy, cruising up and down the Atlantic seaboard in search of waves, and to escape the insanity of Spring Break. Both young surfers are from the Eastern seaboard (Dunphy VI, Geiselman FL), and were on a mission to surf their hearts out while on home turf.
“Crowds were not an issue,” Dunphy explains. “It was pretty spread out everywhere we went, and everybody was really mellow. That’s just the Outer Banks for you: plenty to go around.”
The smooth goofy-footed Australian Adrian “Ace” Buchan fell half a point short of winning the Oi Rio Pro, settling for 2nd place, his best finish of the season. The wily veteran might not have the same air game that some of the younger surfers have, but precision carving and competition experience proved to be enough.
“It feels amazing to make the Final here,”Buchan told the WSL after. “I felt like I’d done some good surfing during the Australian leg, but I just wasn’t getting the results, so I just stuck to my guns and it’s worked out.”
After a number of lay days, the finals day was quick, and with a heavy lineup of the world’s best. Dragon teammates Mick Fanning and Owen Wright were there. Eventual winner Adriano De Souza was there. Australian powerhouses Matt Wilkinson and Joel Parkinson were there. Wildcard sensation Yago Dora was there. But in the end, Adrian and Adriano met up in the finals, with the Brazilian besting Ace by a score of 17.63 to 17.23.
Ace’s journey to the finals started in Round 1, where he was narrowly beat out by Brazil’s Ian Gouveia. In the knockout Round 2, he crushed Brazil’s Miguel Pupo by two and a half points. In round three, Ace beat out yet another Brazilian in Caio Ibelli by nearly two points. Skipping Round 5, the Australian handily dispatched South African title contender Jordy Smith by three points. He then beat out his fellow countryman Matt Wilkinson to earn a spot against De Souza.
“It feels good to surf a final against Adriano,” Ace said from the podium. “We grew up competing against each other and I’m so happy he was able to win in front of his home crowd.”
Dragon’s other surfers, Mick Fanning and Owen Wright, were both knocked out in the QFs, but both kept pace in the overall title race. Ace jumped up 12 spots to 12th place, while Fanning moved up 8 spots to where he currently sits in 11th. Wright is in a three-way tie for 2nd place with Jordy Smith and Adriano De Souza. Tour leader John John Florence is a mere 350 points ahead, while 5th place Matt Wilkinson is 7,650 points back.
The fourth event of the World Championship Tour of Surfing was held in Saquarema, a location that hasn’t hosted a Tour event in over a decade. The next stop on the Tour is the Outerknown Fiji Pro, set in Tavarua, Fiji, from June 4 – 16. For more information, visit the World Surf League website.
From the casual surf enthusiast to the most dedicated fan, Mick Fanning is a living legend. One of the sport’s most widely recognized names, the Gold Coast resident is back in the midst of a title run, looking stronger every event. As the 3-time world champion gets ready to defend his title at J-Bay, in South Africa, we wanted to revisit his recent office visit where he was kind enough to chat about the Tour, the virtue of time off, and that wave in The Search.
Dragon: So, it’s nice to have some time off? Mick Fanning: Yeah, it’s always good when you have six weeks back-to-back, just to get away for a bit and take the mind off it. It’s pretty grueling. Everyday you’re waking up and you have to make sure you’re at 100-percent; emotionally and physically. It’s good to step away from the beach for a little bit and do something different.
DR: This is your 16th year on tour, how is it? To have to be ready physically, mentally and emotionally everyday to compete? MF: It does take its toll, you know? I had four years back-to-back where I was in a title race every year. Then by the end of that, I was pretty drained, you know? I didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to train, didn’t want to go surfing. I just had to have a breather. That was what last year was all about. Doing something different. Also, when you’re going through all those stages, you’re making progress; evolving your game and evolving your surfing. And then mentally, you’re always looking for something different. It’s always good to just stop, take a breather and look at [surfing] in a different light.
DR: Things have changed a lot since your first couple years on the tour. MF: It’s definitely different. When I first got on tour, it was more of a party scene, you know? Everyone was there for a good time. It was hilarious; so much fun. Then it started getting more and more professional. Back in the day we sort of used to all travel together and sort of be more companions. Now everyone has their own little entourage. It’s a lot more personalized for each person. Obviously, we all catch up at the end of events or whatever, but it’s definitely a lot more professional and a lot more personalized.
And the surfing level you see now is just incredible. You wouldn’t think of people doing huge airs at Bells and all kinds of weird stuff is going on.
DR: How are you feeling this year? MF: To be totally honest, I didn’t really think too much about going back in. I thought I could do the same thing and just fall straight back into where I was. But once I was doing it, I didn’t feel right. I felt like I was forcing something. So after [Western Australia] I was like, let’s change all this or else you’re never going to last. You won’t last six months. So I scrapped everything and just started again. I did that for Bells and I felt way better. More mentally and physically there. Just didn’t put so much pressure on the little things. Just, “Get ready in the morning,” and that was enough. Before it was like, “Preparation [is] key, have to be ready to go at any minute.” Now I can just switch it on a lot quicker and lighter. I’m feeling way more energized.
DR: To be fair, you’ve had some pretty tough early heats this year. [ed note: Kelly Slater in Rd. 1 at Snapper Rocks, Rd. 1 at Margies, and Rd. 3 at Bells Beach] MF: I guess that’s where my seeding is because I only did half the Tour last year. My seeding was pretty low. So running into those top guys early… it’s great. I want to surf against those guys. I don’t look at it as a burden. So having Kelly in round 3 at Bells… I was psyched. Bring it on.
I think that they are the people I want to push myself against. Win or lose you know you’re going out there to put on your best performance. So that’s excites me at the moment, for sure.
DR: As the Tour leaves Australia, is there somewhere you’re looking forward to the most? MF: I think everyone has the most fun when we go to Fiji. It’s sort of like camp vibes where everyone hangs out. You’re bunking in rooms together. It’s pretty awesome. I share a room with Ace [Adrian Buchan] and Parko [Joel Parkinson]. Just the stories, you know? It’s like going back to camp, You turn the lights out but everyone is still telling stories in bed. [laughs] It’s just comedy. It’s a place where everyone connects, too. We’re all eating together and surfing together, you find out a lot more about people and it brings that camaraderie back. It’s more personal for the surfers.
DR: You’ve known Owen Wright forever, was it cool watching him win [at Snapper Rocks]? MF: Definitely. You know, I was right there when it happened. When the injury happened.
DR: At Pipeline? MF: Yeah yeah. I was In the room when the ambulance came and when he came out of the hospital. He could barely walk. We had to pick him up and put him in the shower and stuff like that. It was pretty heavy.
Then throughout the year just kind of caught up with him… Seeing him become a dad, as well. It was really emotional. And then to see him go on and win…
Me and him had a heat together in that first event. We’re just standing there and I gave him a hug before we paddled out and I’m just overwhelmed with emotion. Like I wanted to start crying then and there. Just to see him with a jersey on was incredible. I’m so proud of how much he’s pushed himself to get back to where he is. It’s just awesome to see a friend come back from an injury like that.
DR: Stories like that are what supersede everything. MF: Yeah, for sure. I’ve been traveling with Owen… I think I took him on a trip too West Aus when he was 14. He was this skinny, little string bean. We’ve been doing trips since then. Just to see him grow has been hilarious. Obviously, growing up with Parko, too. He’s been one of my best friends and rivals over the years. So you have these friendships that are bigger than the actual sport.
DR: Rip Curl’s The Search… that wave was insane. MF: It was one of those things where a friend just showed me a picture and he was like, “I can take you there… IF you [adhere] to these rules.” I’ll do anything [laughs] I didn’t even know where we were going. He was like, “You have to fly out on this day,” and even 12 hours before I didn’t know where I was flying to or anything. And when I landed in the country I still was like, “Where are we going? North, South, East or West?” [laughs] But it was incredible. Such an awesome experience. Just to get so lost in a place that you didn’t know about, it was really really cool. To be a passenger and have no expectations. Just going off a photo. It was awesome.
DR: They said you’re the fourth or fifth person to surf that wave. MF: I don’t know the exact number but it was very, very low. I’m so lucky. Hopefully, one day I’ll get to take friends there. Until then I’ll just go by myself. [laughs]
DR: A couple weeks and it’s back to Brazil? MF: Yeah, a couple weeks until Brazil. Brazil is always a hard one to get motivated for. It’s at a place that I haven’t been to since my first year on Tour. So it’ll be cool to see how it has changed. Then we have the good leg: Fiji, J-Bay, Teahupo’o, then Trestles. It’ll be really fun.
Shane Dorian, one of the most accomplished watermen and surfers in the sport’s history, recently released Lemon Pepper, a 7-minute video by Ryan Moss. Filled with striking visual imagery, a driving electronic beat, and, of course, incredible surfing, Shane answered a few questions about the making of Lemon Pepper and what’s next.
Dragon: Where does the title come from? Shane Dorion: Ryan Moss, the filmer/editor, and I tried for a few weeks to come up with some sort of name for the edit. It’s nothing significant, just an obscure rap lyric reference to a rapper named Rick Ross. Pretty random but I like the sound of it and I couldn’t think of anything better.
DR: The 7-minute video is packed with nearly 6-minutes of action. In a world where shorter videos are dominating, what was the impetus behind making a longer and visually impactful edit? SD: I think people get so inundated with ultra short-form clips these days via social media, I think it’s refreshing to see something a bit longer, that isn’t rushed along. We got pretty lucky, footage-wise, so we wanted to use most of the great stuff Ryan shot.
DR: Any specific waves or breaks in there that were your favorite? SD: It’s shot at random waves in Hawaii, some that are just fun shreddable waves and some ultra-rare slabs. The slabs are a favorite for sure. When surfing waves like that you really have to be switched on and focused because if you mess up you could be headed to the hospital.
p: Todd Glaser
DR: Was there a longer story behind the shark sighting mentioned in the beginning? SD: Not really, I surfed a really fun novelty wave for a couple hours with a friend and just after we came in a huge tiger shark was lurking right in the lineup, just cruising back and forth.
DR: There’s a little credits clip of you and your son. What’s it like being able to surf with your son now? Does it change your viewpoint on surfing at all? SD: For sure. I used to always wish the surf was overhead, now I am stoked when it’s waist high because my son froths to surf. He is little so waist high for me is head high for him. Surfing with your kids is amazing, it’s like you get to see surfing through their eyes: it’s new all over again.
DR: What’s the next project look like? What have you got on the horizon? SD: Next month we are releasing PROXIMITY, a new film by Taylor Steele. I am really excited to see that. He paired surfers from different generations together on trips, according to a common thread between the two surfers. I am paired up with Albee Layer. [Other pairings are] John Florence and Kelly [Slater], Rob Machado and Craig Anderson, and Dave Rasta and Stephanie Gilmore.
The beginning of April has been kind to Dragon surfers, as two of them have recently bagged covers. Longtime Dragon surfers Mikala Jones and Owen Wright landed on the covers of The Surfer’s Journal and Surfing World, respectively, with killer images. Mikala’s stands out because he’s also the photographer, while Owen’s story is amazing due to the fact he recently returned to the water (and World #1).
L-R: Mikala Jones, Owen Wright
We also want to wish Owen good luck in the quarterfinals (and beyond) in the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, that is currently on a lay day, but will hopefully run soon.
Evan Geiselman is one of the most exciting young surfers in the world. The young goofy-footer was on the cusp of the Championship Tour last year, and he hasn’t lost sight this year. He kicked off the year with a warm up win at the Ron Jon Pro at Cocoa Beach, FL, but the stakes will get higher with every contest. We snagged a little time with Evan before he competes at the first ever Barbados Surf Pro on St. Michael.
Dragon: You started the year off with a win at Ron Jon. Does it feel good to get started on the right foot? Evan Geiselman: For sure, getting heats under your belt is huge when you have a break and don’t compete for months so getting a win and surfing a bunch of heats felt good. Not a keeper for the overall year hopefully, but was nice to win.
DR: Ron Jon was held at your home in Florida. Does it help or hurt competing with home field advantage? EG: To be honest, I’ve only surfed Cocoa [Beach] only a handful of times so I didn’t really feel an advantage but I was really working on heat surfing and trying to keep how I surf a heat consistent!
photo: Ryan Miller
DR: You finished just off the mark at 19th in the QS last season, is the goal this year to qualify for the CT? EG: At the end of the year, yes, the goal is to be in those top 10 spots but I’m really looking at it as each event and consistency for the overall year and try to win.
DR: What will it take this year to do that? EG: I mean its really comes down to peaking in those Prime events. If I had the run I had last year in the Primes rather than them being in the 6,000 [range] I would have made the [World Championship] Tour, so really focusing on those 10,000-point events this year but every event I enter is just as important; that’s the consistency I’m working on.
DR: You’re the defending champ at the Vans Pro and the Chiba Open, does that add any pressure when you go compete there? Or are you just laser focused on the overall goal? EG: Every event needs to be laser focused. There [are] always going to be ups and downs but trying to get to the finals day of a event is always a good goal then dialing in finals day to win but I don’t feel pressure for those events. I just hope to put myself in those positions to win!
photo: Jimmy Wilson
DR: Which event or destination are you most looking forward to this year and why? EG: I’m going to Barbados for the next event and haven’t surfed the wave the competition is at. I like see new spots but again, I’m looking forward to every destination this year.
DR: What was it like growing up with an older brother to help you with your surfing? EG: I look up to my brother [Eric Geiselman], he’s one of the best out there so it’s awesome when we get to surf together but our schedules don’t link up much. Surfing together rarely happens but still to this day I look up to him.
DR: You’ve had over a year to look back at the injury you sustained at Pipe in late 2015. Is there anything you can take away from that whole experience? EG: Really it just helped me appreciate life. Surfing is awesome and what I love to do but as far as my competing I just feel lucky to still be here and have the chance to compete. Take things as they come and enjoy the experience. I’m really fortunate to call surfing my job and love what I do.
Owen Wright is back in business. The tall Australian defeated Matt Wilkinson in the finals of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 14.66 to 13.50, thus completing his miraculous return to form. “I couldn’t have done it without all the support of my friends, family, partner and my little baby boy,” Wright told the media following the win.
The former—and once again—title contender will be wearing the yellow jersey as the World Number One at the next stop at the Margaret River in Western Australia.
Wright, 27, hadn’t surfed competitively since December 2015, when he was unfortunately injured warming up for the Pipe Masters in Hawaii, where he sustained a TBI, and suffered concussion-like symptoms for more than a year.
After being cleared earlier this year by his doctor and WSL physicians, Owen got his feet wet at the QS in Newcastle in February, and then subsequently accepted a WSL wildcard spot to the 2017 CT. So roughly 15 months after suffering a life-threatening injury, with questions if Owen would ever regain his former surf form, the lanky Australian stands on top of the world.
“I think it was the start of February—I was sitting in the doctor’s office and there were question marks on the year,” Wright told local news after the victory. “So to be sitting here right now, we just pushed hard and went hard and confronted every fear of getting back into it. There were a lot of questions of getting back into the sport and back into pretty much what took me out and could have taken me out forever. I just kept going and kept doing it.”