The last few days of competition in Portugal have been heavy. The promised swell has arrived angrily from the Atlantic horizon, bringing with it a frenzy of froth and foam. It’s made for exciting viewing. The competing surfers suicidally pulling under the lips of the dark Supertubes pits, emerging heroically the right side of the barrel, or being driven into the sandy ocean floor under 10 foot or so of cold European water.
So when Jack Freestone tucked into this not insignificant Portuguese gem, he must have thought that the maximum was a given. Not quite.
According to the commentators who are paid to wax lyrical about the great sport of surfing, perfect 10’s should be reserved for those truly magical moments. The impossible escapes. Rides that separate the surfer not only from us mere mortals as fans, but from the other fantastically talented pros on the circuit. Clearly, the WSL judges have a different set of criteria. Because this ride was given 9 points. Surely 1 whole point less than it deserved?