I didn’t watch the U.S. Open. Not for even one second, not even when I was actually in Huntington Beach (looking for parking, mostly) for our Lily and Matt Meola party. It was fun. Yesterday afternoon, when the finals were happening, I was climbing around in the mud under my house fixing my leaky plumbing. I found a dead rat, and the space under my house is only high enough for me to wiggle through like a flatworm. I can’t even lift my head up. It’s horrible under there. I wish I watched the final of the Vans U.S. Open, instead, despite the complete awfulness of the conditions. Apparently, Filipe Toledo won, and I am not surprised. I don’t think anyone is.
“Filipe Toledo became the smart-money pick to take the Vans US Open of Surfing the moment the Surfline surf forecast was locked in for the week,” wrote the WSL. In other words, when the waves are tiny, Toledo shines–which, I think, while boring as shit to watch, is actually a pretty underrated talent.
According to all the stuff I read about his win (one WSL article), Toledo carved out his second US Open win by “blazing through his last three heats Sunday showing off his wide repertoire of stunning small-wave moves. While he relied heavily on his acrobatic rotations whenever he was behind, Toledo spent plenty of time showing off his vicious rail game. He was cutting deep all day.”
I did read something interesting, though–there’s a kid named Ethan Ewing floating around that apparently surfs like Andy Irons. Everyone’s gushing about him, which would be a lot of pressure on a 17-year-old that probably really looked up to Andy Irons. I guess he’s not planning on competing ion the CT next year, even if he qualifies. I don’t know why. He beat the reigning world champ, Adriano DeSouza, though, and came very close to taking the US Open. That’s got to be a confidence booster, despite doing those things in waves that weren’t exactly waves. Mick Fanning’s been singing his praises for a while now, and Darren Handley is shaping for him. Kid is going places in surfing, that’s for sure.
Ethan Ewing, the 17-year-old who everyone says surfs just like a young Andy. Photo: WSL/Rowland
Toledo’s win nets him $100,000, while Ewing’s runner up finish means he pads his wallet with $20,000. Kanoa Igarashi went home in third place, and ADS just missed the podium.
I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. I can’t do a heat breakdown, because I didn’t watch them. But you can see the full results and heat replays on Worldsurfleague.com.