In stunning fashion, Jack Robinson demolished the field at Sunset Beach to win the Vans World Cup of Surfing. Jack captured over 13,000 points in the final two Hawaii QS events and earned a spot in the Bigs next year. Finals day at Sunset was very entertaining in the 6-8 foot well-groomed, but highly challenging arena, and Jack was simply the class of the field the whole event. As one of our “Five to Watch in 2019”, Mr. Robinson has begun to meet expectations.
Many website and social media comment threads were a blur with praise and congratulatory comments for the young Australian who had been seen as a bit of a disappointment of sorts. A late bloomer if you will. However, he has recently seemed to have upped his game if nowhere else but in a few tremendous free surf sessions in waves of serious consequence. But as we have noted in the past, Jack does seem to thrive on the juicy stuff.
So, here we go. Jack is on tour.
But the questions begs: Is this tour set up for an exceptional talent like Jack Robinson?
Let us look ahead at what awaits the young man in 2020.
Snapper. If it’s the same 2′-3′ that we’ve seen the last few years, at either Snapper or Duranbah, Jack will have his hands full dealing with the air game of some of his new competitors. Anything a little above that size and his barrel-riding finesse just might allow him to squeak through some early heats. Over 6′, it’s fucking on and anything could happen.
Bells. This will be a repeating theme throughout the year: How big will it be? Small Rincon or Winki and he’s probably toast pretty quick for the same reasons as above. If it’s 6′ in the bowl, who knows? Bigger and we give his advanced rail game a great chance to upset a few campaigns.
Margies. Well, obviously anything at smoking North Point or the Box and Jack is an easy favorite. Big Main Break and he’s still a solid threat. Small-ish Main Break, and even with his advanced local knowledge, Jack will probably be tested. It’s not really an “air” wave so that might be a plus.
G-Land. This is the one we will all be waiting for as Jack in big reef tubes is as good as it gets. Pray for surf as this could be an insta-classic if Mother Nature comes to the party. The goofies may have a bit of an advantage here but only slightly. Mark this one on your calendar.
Rio. Just typing this location and there is a feeling of disappointment for our young warrior. However, remember last year! Some sick barrels can show up down the beach if Jack can somehow survive the inevitable smaller days. Probably not his best shot however.
J-Bay. Again, just give us a little size and Jack could easily end up on finals day. Barrelling right point, cold water, sharks, it’s right up his alley. Expect a solid result here if we see some surf.
Tahiti. Another prime venue for Jack. A barrel-fest if there was one, even on the smaller days Jack should be fine. Anything less then a semi would seem a disappointment. Could very well see a first CT win here for Jack.
Lemoore. Conversely from above, easily his worst venue all year. Not sure what to expect, to be honest.
Europe. We’ll do these two events together as they are very similar. If it’s got some size (repeating theme) either event could prove lucrative for Jack. If the surf is small and it becomes a whirlybird airshow, he may struggle.
Pipe. 6′ to 8′ Pipe and/or Backdoor is a feast for Jack. Bigger too. He has the experience, talent and the balls required so we would expect a big result here. Hopefully, it’s not north swell runners up Ehukai.
Editors note: We also love Jack as a perennial favorite for many Triple Crown titles as his past performances in Hawaii have obviously shown.
As noted above , this whole season will largely depend on the surf for Jack but unfortunately, the WSL will be running concurrent women’s events at 9 of the 11 venues. Nothing against the women, but as we’ve seen these overlapping events require a long window, and most swells simply just don’t last that long. Even if and when they do get surf, there will almost inevitably be a few smaller days in between. How Jack deals with that will be a huge consideration for his entire year. A little luck and he surfs around those small days to then truly shine on the better days.
We’re looking forward to at least a few of those events but also hope we don’t lose arguably one of the best freesurfers in the world today. Hopefully, he can still sneak a few trips in and around his new tour schedule.
Good luck Jack.