Friendly competition will push a sport to a whole new level. But a rivalry? That’ll shove it along. Simply put, a rivalry is the catalyst for progression in a sport. Not so simply put, nothing compares to a good old fashioned hot-blooded vendetta between two elite masters of a certain sport.
Surfing is a sport – yeah, we said it – and it thrives off rivalries just like any other competitive endeavor. And, honestly, how good are rivalries for the fan? So without further ado, here are five rivalries surfing needs right now.
John John Florence and Gabriel Medina Photo: ASP/Kirstin
1. Gabriel Medina vs John John Florence
This is the most obvious rivalry we need. And one might hope that it will come into fruition this year. Florence is 22, blonde and from Hawaii. Median is 21, brunette, of Brazil. Florence is widely considered the best surfer in the world but guess who won the world title last year? Medina. Juicy, isn’t it. And there are so many questions. Will Medina’s title light a fire in John on tour? Will the release of Florence’s movie push Medina to work on his freesurfing? Could this be the greatest rivalry our sport has ever seen? Our fingers are crossed.
2. Stephanie Gilmore vs Carissa Moore
While Stephanie Gilmore was becoming the best female surfer to have ever lived, Carissa Moore was becoming the new best female surfer to have ever lived. Gilmore’s already got six world titles to her name; Carissa has two. The duo are separated by a mere five years – which means they’re members of the same generation, yet still experience a gap in terms of maturity. As it stands, Gilmore will be the oldest competitor on the 2015 Women’s WCT, and Moore will be the hungriest she’s ever been. Look for these two to battle for the next few years, and to propel women’s surfing into a place that Wendy Botha only dreamed of.
3. John John Florence vs Jamie O’Brien
Imagine these two going at it at Pipeline – enough said.
4. Noa Deane vs Dane Reynolds
Every so often, a surfer emerges that captivates the entire world solely by virtue of raw talent. Dane Reynolds did it, and most recently, Noa Deane has done it.