Many of the world’s consummate surfing professionals all gathered together for the Quiksilver Pro France in Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France from October 4th to the 15th to showcase their elite skills and determine who is the king of the French point break. The weather for the competition was favorable, though by no means perfect, with mild overcast weather during the majority of the competition’s duration. The wave breaks at the Quiksilver Pro France were very moderate breaks, averaging between 4ft. and 8ft. tall overall. The break types were varied, but for the most part they were relatively soft and even mushy breaks at times, giving the professional surfers at the event the ability to get very comfortable on the wave without virtually any fear of a traumatic wipeout in the event of a serious error.
To emphasize the small stature of the wave breaks at the Quiksilver Pro France in 2016, there was a lot of pumping coming from nearly all of the surfers competing at this event. What is implied by pumping, is that the surfing competitors had to repeatedly stomp the front end of their boards on smaller waves to keep their momentum going and avoid being left behind by the slower, mushy type wave that seemed to be prevalent at this event. Sometimes, as in the case of John John Florence in the semifinals, surfers at the Quiksilver Pro France would even have to pump their way back into the break when the section they were riding became too mushy to even hang onto. In order to provide readers with some in depth information on the results of the 2016 Quiksilver Pro France event, each contest round starting at Round 4 and going through the Finals will now be broken down and analyzed here.
Beginning with the recap of Round 4 of the Quiksilver Pro France, Heat 1 demonstrated some solid runs and decent wave scores, although there were no exceptional or outstanding performances to speak of. Heat 1 included the competitors M. Banting, K. Asing, and A. de Souza, and the Heat 1 scoring was very tight between these three elite men’s pro surfers. M. Banting came in first place within the Heat 1 segment of Round 4, bring in a score of 14.43 overall, taking first in the heat by a margin of less than one whole point. Second place in Heat 1, Round 4 was K. Asing, who had a decent performance making the best out of the small, mushy waves he had to contend with. He had some nice looking snaps and cutbacks, earning him a 13.76 score in Heat 1. Third place in Heat 1 ended up being A. de Souza, who barely lost to K. Asing by a margin of only 0.2 points overall. The average wave score in Heat 1 was 6.95, which turned out to be the second highest average in Round 4.
The second heat in Round 4 ended up being the most impressive heat in all of the fourth round, with some really high scores coming from both first and second place. The three competitors involved in Heat 2, Round 4 were F. Toledo, J. Florence, and S. Kennedy, with F. Toledo bringing in the highest overall score of the entire fourth round. First place in Heat 2 was F. Toledo, who ended up with a highly impressive score of 18.50 overall. Toledo had a flawless performance in the fourth round, executing some outstanding cutbacks and reversions during his performance in heat two. Second place in Heat 2 ended up being J. Florence, who truly performed on the same level as F. Toledo since he only lost to him by 0.03 points overall with a score of 18.47. Coming in third place in Heat 2 turned out to be S. Kennedy, who was far behind Florence and Toledo in terms of scoring and performance. Kennedy brought in a 12.03, which isn’t a horrible score by any means, but his launch and maneuvering were less than outstanding which explains his moderate scoring level. With an average wave score of 8.17 in Heat 2, Round 4, this is definitely the most exciting heat of the fourth round.
Heat 3, Round 4 proved to be a much less impressive heat than Heat 2 was, as it saw two out of three scores under 10 points overall. The three competitors in Heat 3 were G. Medina, C. Ibelli, and K. Andino, with G. Medina being the only surfer in Heat 3 to bring in a score that was above 10 points. Medina’s Heat 3 score was 14.17, a decent score considering the other Heat 3 scores were fairly low. His ability to pump through the waves and keep his momentum going in spite of a mushy, uneven break allowed him to score as well as he did in Heat 3. Second place in Heat 3 was C. Ibelli, coming in with a score of 9.13 overall. Ibelli was able to take second over K. Andino by a tiny margin of less than half a point, with Andino earning a score of 8.74 in the third heat of Round 4. The average wave score in Heat 3 ended up being 5.34, which was the second lowest in the entire fourth round.
With the exception of K. Otton in Heat 4, Round 4, the scoring was exceptionally low, as Heat 4 also saw the lowest average wave score in the entire fourth round. The three competitors in the fourth heat were K. Otton, S. Zietz, and J. Wilson, with Otton being the only one to put up a strong performance. K. Otton ended up in 1st place in the fourth heat, with a score of 15.50 after executing a nearly flawless sequence of waves in Heat 4. Otton’s ability to make the most out of the smaller waves that were breaking at Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France allowed him to achieve the high score that he did. Second place in Heat 4, Round 4, ended up being S. Zietz who brought in a meager score of 6.30 overall. Third place in Heat 4 was J. Wilson, who came about as close to non-scoring as possible with a 2.33. These two competitors demonstrated a relative inability to make anything meaningful happen on the waves in Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The overall average wave score in Heat 4 was brought down significantly by Zietz and Wilson, and ended up being only 4.02.
Round 5 did not see any of the stellar scores that we saw in Round 4, and there were no scores that were over 15.00 at all. This reflects the small stature of the wave breaks in Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France during the Quiksilver Pro France, since it did not allow for the competitors to do anything especially complex or exceptional in terms of maneuvering or performing tricks on the break. Heat 1 in round five was a contest between K. Asing and S. Kennedy, and it was a very close battle between these two titans of men’s professional surfing. K. Asing managed to bring in a score of 11.00 overall, defeating S. Kennedy by only 0.07 points. S. Kennedy came in second place in Round 5, Heat 1, by earning a total score of 10.53 points. The average wave score in Round 5 came in as 5.38, which was the second lowest average in all of the fifth round.
Heat 2 of Round 5 turned out the lowest average wave score in the entire fifth heat, with the average coming out as 5.25 points. The two competitors in Heat 2 were also very well matched, as they were in Heat 1, with J. Florence being matched up against F. Toledo. It was an extremely close battle between these two professionals at the Quiksilver Pro France, with J. Florence coming in 1st place in Heat 2, Round 5. J. Florence earned a score of 10.64 overall, defeating A. de Souza by only 0.3 points in total. A. de Souza scored a 10.37, demonstrating once again just how close this micro contest between Florence and de Souza really was. Both surfers were able to stand tall on small-break waves, and stay sharp in spite of the mushy, lagging breaks they were forced to contend with.
Heat 3, Round 5 showed a dramatically improved performance from J. Wilson and C. Ibelli, who were able to make a serious comeback from their relatively weak performances in Round 4. J. Wilson and C. Ibelli went head to head in Heat 3, and actually ended up bringing in the highest average wave score of the entire fifth round, which was 6.93 points. The matchup in Heat 3, Round 5 was yet another very well-matched contest, with the margin between the two competitors being only 0.03. J. Wilson came in first place in Heat 3, bringing in a score of 13.87 points, which turned out to be the highest overall score in the entire fifth round. Second place in Heat 3, Round 5 was C. Ibelli who came in with a score of 13.84 points.
The fourth heat of Round 5 produced the second highest average wave score in the fifth round, which came in as 6.05 points. The two competitors engaged in contest within the fourth heat were K. Andino and S. Zietz, who both had impressive performances that earned them more than ten points each. K. Andino ended up taking first place in Heat 4, Round 5 with his scoring of 12.50 points at the Quiksilver Pro France. Second place in the fourth heat went to S. Zietz, when he managed to earn a scoring of 11.70 points overall. Both competitors had great rides, and their waves tended to be a little bit stronger than they were in round 4 allowing them to showcase more of their skills and cut harder into the break.
Moving into the quarterfinals, the first matchup in Heat 1 was between K. Asing and M. Banting. These two competitors had solid scores, and together they managed to earn the top average wave score in the entire quarterfinal round. The average wave score between these two surfers at the Quiksilver Pro France ended up being 6.43 overall. Beginning with K. Asing, he surfed his way into scoring a 13.04 overall, which came as the product of a series of well controlled and confident wave rides by Asing. He was able to use the small size of the wave to get very comfortable, and got into a nice rhythm for each one of his runs. Second place in Heat 1 of the quarterfinals went to M. Banting, who only lost to K. Asing by less than one point. M. Banting came in with a scoring of 12.67 points, and while he didn’t surf as well as K. Asing in the first heat, he still pulled his weight effectively and had a couple nice rides using his strengths of sharp cuts and quick transitions to his advantage.
The second heat of the quarterfinals saw a matchup between J. Florence and F. Toledo, and this heat was where J. Florence really pulled away from F. Toledo when he bested him by a margin of more than three whole points. J. Florence had a very strong second heat performance, bringing in a 14.40 point score by reaching intense speeds on his best wave. Florence’s impressive performance in Heat 2 of the quarterfinals was too much for F. Toledo to hang with, since F. Toledo ended up with a score of 11.07 by the end of Heat 2. The average wave score for Heat 2 came in as 6.37, which was the second highest average of the entire quarterfinal round.
Heat 3 of the quarterfinals turned out to be an exciting heat, especially for G. Medina. Matched up against J. Wilson, G. Medina truly impressed the crowds when he surfed his way into earning a 15.07 point score at the 2016 Quiksilver Pro France event quarterfinals. G. Medina actually not only won Heat 3 against J. Wilson, but he also had the highest score in the entire quarterfinal round. Every one of G. Medina’s waves in Heat 3 was a clean, well-shaped wave that allowed him to hit high speed and stay steady under the breaking tubes. J. Wilson came in second place in Heat 3 of the quarterfinals, earning a decent score of 10.13 points overall. J. Wilson had some trouble on one of his waves, which brought his score down a bit from what it otherwise would have been. The average wave score in Heat 3 came out to be 6.30, which reflected the solid performance of G. Medina bringing up the overall Heat 3 average.
In Heat 4 of the quarterfinals at the 2016 Quiksilver Pro France, we saw a matchup between K. Andino and K. Otton. Neither one of these competitors had a very promising quarterfinals performance, given that their average wave score was the lowest in the entire quarterfinal round by a significant margin. With an average wave score of 5.66 in Heat 4, it was clear that K. Andino and K. Otton were definitely bringing up the rear in the quarterfinals. K. Andino took first place in the fourth heat, coming in with a score of 12.70 points overall. K. Andino had a decent heat four performance, but what really brought the average down was K. Otton’s second place performance that only earned him 9.93 points in total. K. Otton had some difficulty in finding the right wave in the quarterfinals, and this seemed to hinder his ability to perform and score at a high level in Heat 4.
The semifinals of the 2016 Quiksilver Pro France surfing event were definitely exciting for the fans, the judges, and the competitors as well as the contest came down to the wire before the final round. Heat 1 of the semifinals saw Hawaiian surfer Keanu Asing matched up against another Hawaiian surfing titan, John John Florence. It was an extremely close contest between these two Hawaiian native surfers, and it actually led to some controversy between fans that felt that the final judgment was slightly skewed. Coming in first place in Heat 1 of the semifinals turned out to be Keanu Asing, who had two strong wave scores of 8.67 and 8.27 which came out to a total Heat 1 score of 16.94 overall. John John Florence came in second place in Heat 1 due in large part to his weaker first wave score of 7.67, followed by his more solid second wave score of 8.40. With a total Heat 1 score of 16.07 in the semifinals, John John Florence ended up losing by only 0.87 points.
Heat 2 in the semifinals saw a matchup between Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina and American surfer Kolohe Andino. Unlike Heat 1, where there was a very close finish between competitors, Heat 2 ended up with Gabriel Medina soundly beating Kolohe Andino by a margin of almost three points. Gabriel Medina had the highest wave score in the entire semifinal round, with his Wave 2 score ending up at a whopping 9.0 points. This 9.0 wave score helped to seal the deal for Gabriel, since it brought his total score to 17.83 when combined with his Wave 1 score of 8.83. Kolohe Andino had a much tougher time scoring effectively in Heat 2 of the semifinals, coming in with a Wave 1 score of 7.33 and a Wave 2 score of 7.70 overall, earning him a 15.03 score in total.
The final round of the Quiksilver Pro France in 2016 saw a matchup between Keanu Asing and Gabriel Medina, which should have been an awesome climax to a great competition, but a damper was put on the final round when Gabriel Medina had his Wave 2 score disqualified due to interference. At any rate, Keanu Asing had a decent final round performance with a Wave 1 score of 6.67 and a Wave 2 score of 7.27, which came out to a final round total score of 13.94. Gabriel Medina had a Wave 1 score of 7.00, so it was very unfortunate that his Wave 2 score was disqualified since he could easily have won the Quiksilver Pro France with a solid Wave 2 score. In light of this development, Keanu Asing ended up taking the 1st place finish at the 2016 Quiksilver Pro France.