The sport of surfing is primal in every aspect. Aggressive locals trying to prove that they are the alpha, crowded lineups and scarce waves, pecking orders, and mind games (and that’s just at the amateur level). When it comes to competitive surfing, most athletes are cordial and even friends, However, once in a blue moon, there is a bit of fire between two competitors. These post heat interviews and arguments never formulate into anything, but what if they did? Here are our top 5 Surf Fights that we want to see.
5. Jeremy Flores vs. Adriano De Souza
During a heat in the 2014 Gold Coast contest, Adriano De Souza (with priority) seemed to fade back into Jeremy Flores while dropping in on a wave. This caused the judges to deem an interference call on Jeremy eliminating his hopes of advancing. Whether or not Adriano did it on purpose, Jeremy had his mind made up. In a post heat interview, Flores voiced his frustrations and was clearly ready to throw hands with De Souza.
Imagine a French thorough bread versus a pint-sized Brazilian. While Jeremy would have the reach, Adriano is short and compact and could possibly land a haymaker or two. The fight would be a spectacle to say the least, but after a 12 round bout, the judges would rule in favor of Jeremy’s clean punches and brilliant defense.
4. Sunny Garcia vs. Any Surf Judge
It is no surprise that Sunny Garcia is not fond of losing heats. It is even more well known that Garcia is not fond of surfing judges. Sunny has broken doors in the judging panel, threatened physical injury upon them, and even slapped a head or two. But all of the WSL (ASP back then) fines could not stop this fiery Hawaiian from speaking his mind.
Ponder the idea of Sunny getting a chance between the ropes, better yet the Octagon, with Richie Porta or any WSL judge for that matter. It would be a blood bath. Teeth would be scattered across the floor reminiscent of all the scores Sunny thought he deserved during his heats. The round would be over within the first 50 seconds with a TKO and Sunny would take home his winnings. Let’s just hope he remembers to pay his taxes on them.
3. Gabriel Medina vs. Glen Hall
In a scrappy heat on the Gold Coast in 2015, Glenn Hall got the best of Gabriel Medina with some aggressive paddling and some F Bombs. Gabriel was clearly not happy losing to one of the worst surfers on tour and was especially not happy on the language that Glen used during the heat (I mean can you believe it!? He said the F word!? Jeeze!). Gabriel had an infamous post heat interview which ended up being most of the topic the whole entire event. We’re still not sure if there is bad blood between the two, but for our sake, let’s pretend that there still is and put the gloves on.
Glen would get pummeled. Similar to McGreggor vs. Mayweather fight, Glen would come out guns blazing while Medina would sit back waiting for the Irish man to tire himself out. Medina would pick Hall apart with key placed jabs and body shots as Hall’s right eye would swell shut and the ref would call the fight in 4 rounds.
2. Kelly Slater vs. the late Andy Irons
The rivalry between Kelly and Andy was one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. These two athletes took competitive surfing to a whole new level by growing their rivalry both in and out of the water. A Fly in the Champagne is a perfect documentation of just how heated these two got towards each other during their world title bouts. A.I. was the only surfer in this world that could knock Kelly Slater off of his game. He was one of a kind and is still my favorite surfer to watch.
Imagine if during their world title campaigns, Kelly and Andy got the chance to settle their differences. It would probably take place on a remote island in Fiji with no media allowed. A “No gloves” match that would be refereed by Kai Borg Garcia. The two would trade blows. Kelly would be more tactical mixing body and head shots picking his points, while Andy would be more raw and have a killer mentality. The fight would be split heading into the 10th round where Andy would deliver a knock out blow with a right hook to Kelly. A.I. wins the belt.
1. Bobby Martinez vs. the WSL
We all know how Bobby Martinez feels about the WSL…. and about Tennis. We don’t need to go into the details, but just know that Bobby Martinez has a deep hatred for the WSL and what it has done to competitive surfing. The WSL is an organization and not simply one person, but for this exercise lets pretend that the WSL is ex CEO Paul Speaker.
Bobby has been preparing for this fight since his heat win in New York many years ago. All of his training and hard work has come down to this. He has the eye of the tiger as he stares across the ring at a timid Paul Speaker. The bell rings as Bobby exits his corner. The fight ends in 10 seconds with one punch. Bobby is the victor.