When it comes to sports, it’s inevitable that someone’s going to get pissed. Regular athletes don’t usually become professional athletes without a whole lot of passion for their sport, and surfing is no different. Mix that passion with something that’s inherently nearly impossible to score properly and you’ve got a recipe for a boiling cauldron of anger. The only thing that saves pro surfing from falling into a Thunderdome scenario is the weird belief that surfers are just too laid back to care. But they do! So much! Here are The Inertia make a list of five times they really, really cared.
1. Kolohe Andino, Vans World Cup of Surfing
When Kolohe Andino first stepped the through CT door, the world had high expectations. He’d spent the majority of his youth winning contests and being touted as the next big thing. Groomed for constant success, Andino’s first few years on tour were a bit of a shocker. That might be why during the Vans World Cup of Surfing in 2013, when a wave turned to mush under his feet, he blew his top.
2. Kelly Slater, Rip Curl Pro
Kelly Slater owns more world titles than anyone else. He’s been called the greatest athlete ever. He’s both the youngest and the oldest to win a world title. Kelly Slater is the GOAT… but he wants to win and hates to lose.
After losing in the third round of the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal, Slater was (mistakenly) under the impression that he was out of contention for a twelfth world title. After Aritz Aranburu gave him the ol’ heave ho, Slater exited the water and took his frustrations out on his surfboard.
3. Joel Parkinson, Quik Pro
One can’t put together a list like this without the now-classic image of Joel Parkinson giving Kelly Slater the finger. Parkinson was on the ropes, needing a high nine to beat Slater. With just over two minutes left in the heat, Parko stoked into one that looked promising, stood up tall in a barrel, then watched as Slater used his priority to burn the living shit out of him. Parko watched Slater get barreled and win the heat from the most painful position: behind him.
The ASP weren’t all too happy with him. “It got me in some trouble,” Parkinson said. “Not too bad. It was all good. Just a little rap across the knuckles from the ASP. It’s a professional sport and there’s a lot of emotion in the middle of a contest like that. I meant no disrespect to Kelly. But it’s like any sport when someone is passionate about what they’re doing.”
4. Conner Coffin, Pipe Masters
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This piece was originally published on theinertia.com