Overnight, after a weird year on the WSL tour, we have two new world champions for 2021 – Carissa and Gabs. Both dominated the unusual tour stops in this difficult year. Running a world tour with a pandemic raging wouldn’t have been easy – well done WSL.
I’ll never forget meeting Gabs at Bondi, 10 years ago when he was only a 17 year old grom. I rolled down the beach, bleary-eyed, and this skinny kid was busting some of the biggest airs I’ve seen at Bondi (it was only one foot!). When Gabs exited the water I ran up to him, sprouting questions, but at the time Gabs didn’t speak English and shrugged his shoulders at me. Sean Doherty shouted out from afar “Uge – you’re looking at a future world champion – the Brazillian storm is coming” – 10 years ago there were barely any Brazillian surfers on the tour…oh how right you were Seano, 3 world titles for Gabs now and the Brazilians dominate the sport.
I’ve shot and met Carissa in Hawaii, on the North Shore, she’s an elegant surfer, powerful, with a golden smile and a truly humble human.
My little groms are inspired, waxing up for their turn on the tour. They just can’t decide between skating or surfing. I tell ’em – both, aim high.
I hope you’re all doing well – there’s light at the end of the Delta tunnel. Here are some pics to remind you to dive into the ocean.