In this new series, The History of Surf, Jed Smith is going to be bringing you his insight into defining moments in surf. First up: combination manoeuvres and the protagonists who matter.
As it so often does, this week's Trestles Pro World Tour event gave us a glimpse of the outermost limits of progressive contest surfing. Although the event was won by Mick Fanning on the back of a more classical power surfing approach, the combo surfing of Filipe Toledo in the early rounds set tongues wagging. Big punts into big hacks into more big punts and hacks is the future and there's no one more consistent at it in a competitive jersey than Filipe Toledo. The energy in his surfing is something to be marvelled at.
Watch below the speed he is able to generate in any conditions, without compromising style. Check the high-velocity rotations he stomps, with a regularity unparalleled on Tour. And the power hacks, turns and punts he follows them up with down the line.
Before Toledo it was Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith setting the standard; two big men, throwing the kitchen sink at it. For Dane it was not a recipe for good contest results, though this was often the fault of the judging system.
"When the odds are against him, that's when his comp surfing comes out. You saw it at the Lowers contest in 2012. It has to be some of the best surfing ever done in a comp. There is not enough recognition for how good he is, there probably never will be. He should get more credit than some guys who've won world titles, just for how much he's done for progressive surfing," Noa Deane told Stab Magazine recently.
Outside the competitive arena, Dane's combos have set the standard for futuristic progressive surfing. Put on a pot of tea, sit back and enjoy Loaded.

And who could forget the great Australian free surfers, Ozzie Wright and Taj Burrow, featured here in the seminal early-naughties performance classic, Seven Days, Seven Slaves. The pair combined the early aerial steeze of Christian Fletcher and Archy with the fluid rail transitions of Ozzie’s section in particular brought air surfing into a different realm.classical power surfing.
"It was the first time cutties and airs and floaters had all been meshed so seamlessly. Before that you were either an air guy, or a power guy," remembers Vaughan Blakey, editor of Surfing World Magazine. "Ozzie’s section in particular brought air surfing into a different realm in terms of being a functional part of a surfer's repertoire.”

*Honourable Mention: John John Florence has been responsible for a handful of the most progressive combos ever seen...