You’re gonna want to re-live these monster airs.
Above: How’s the view from up there Nicky G? Frame grab courtesy: Bodyboard Nation
Look, you could honestly fill a book with the amount of ridiculous airs that have been done at northern Chile’s El Gringo, but with Day 2 of the wave’s World Tour contest set to resume we thought we’d re-live five of our favourites (in no particular order). As always, if you reckon we’ve missed any let us know in the comments section below.
1. Nick Gornall, CGI pyrotechnics, 2012
In 2012 Nicky G didn’t yet have the celebrity following he has now, but he was sure on his way. And it was punts like this – while freesurfing during the window of the contest, of which he was a wildcard that year – that solidified his A-grade status in the game. This has gotta be up there with biggest ever, do you think?
2. Jacob Romero, the biggest move of 2013
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The above “biggest move” claim wasn’t made by us, but by the world’s top riders and by all of you reading this. Jacob’s invert – during his quarterfinal against Dave Winchester – was voted as the Biggest Move of the Year in Riptide’s annual Bodyboarder of the Year awards and it’s not hard to see why. Sure, he didn’t land it, but do you think he’d have any intact bones left if he’d tried to?
3. Guilherme Tamega, the competitive animal, 2011
Enough words have been written on the competitive fire of six-time World Champ GT, but if there’s one wave that epitomises everything the man brings to the table it’s this balls-to-the-wall roll during his 2011 quarterfinal (skip to 0:38 in to check it out). It might be a tad hard to tell, but GT pretty much hucked this roll on to Gringo’s notorious dry rocks, which are ominously close to the impact zone. The move not only helped him win the contest and have the entire crowd gasping in disbelief, but it reminded everyone of the man’s grit and determination that has seen him at the top of elite bodyboarding for decades.
4. Jared Houston, the perfect air reverse? 2013
While it was pipped at the post as the Riptide Biggest Move of the Year for 2013 by another Chilean punt (see JRom’s invert above), Jerry’s flawlessly gigantic air reverse during a freersurfing sesh had tongues wagging around the world. Give it another spin and tell us how you reckon it compares.
5. Ryan Hardy, WTF? 2011
Alright, this one’s a bit of a novelty, but still pretty cool nonetheless. Tanner McDaniel’s Angry Dragon and Jake Stone’s progressive air antics (codewords for “who knows what to call those things?”) have copped plenty of attention in the past few years, but remember that time Hardballs hucked a tweaked and twisted creation on one of El Gringo’s pitching rights in 2011? Skip to 3:11 to check out the air and perhaps let us know what the hell you think it is. We have no idea. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?