Words Mimi LaMontagne
So, on Day Two of the Cascais Billabong Pro, just after Jeremy Flores won his round five heat against Carlos Munoz, he was interviewed by a fella named Ben Mondy. You might recognise the name from Surfline’s Power Rankings.
Now apparently Jeremy has been reading Surfline’s Power Rankings over the past few months, and didn’t really appreciate Ben’s commentary on him.
Post J-Bay, Ben wrote:
“If Jeremy had been as fast, aggressive and determined in his surfing as he was in his desire to rip the throat out of the head judge, he might have won his Round 2 heat against Seabass. Sure, it was close and could’ve gone either way, but he still blew his last wave and — with his dramatic dummy spit — maybe blown his career. He will now miss Tahiti, the event that was always going to be his best chance to salvage 2014.”
“I can tell you why Jeremy Flores is 33rd right now and it’s not because of judging rants, suspensions or social media callouts (although none of these will send you up the rankings). It’s because there isn’t a surfer on the Tour who falls off as much as Jeremy. Now, I’m no supercoach, or even a coach, but I’m pretty sure falling off your board affects your heat totals. Instead of #bringonthehaters and #whatanupset maybe he should go with #don’tfalloffsomuch.”
“For the first time for a long time, we saw Jeremy Flores not only furious but very, very fast in France. Putting aside his ability in waves of consequence, in his R1 win this was crisp, clean surfing in three-foot, zippy rights. On tour for over a decade and still only 26 sometimes I (we) can take for granted his ability to generate big spray and pure pace. He lost in R3 in shitty waves that deserted him again, but he is now taking stock after a decade and questioning his place in the surfing world order. For me, it’s pretty high, and he’s working harder than ever to be at the very center of it. His story is compelling, his will undeniable. Jeremy Flores is going nowhere.”
So here’s the conversation that went down between Ben and Jeremy, live on the webcast. You can watch said conversation in the video above, you’ve just gotta skip to 8:20:05.
Ben: Yeah, thanks guys. Jeremy – the last couple minutes the wall just went down. What um, how was that last wave? What do you think you needed to do?
Jeremy: I don’t know, maybe you should tell me, because I’ve been reading all the stuff you’ve been writing about me. So maybe you should tell me how to surf.
Jeremy: Tell me, what was I supposed to do?
Ben: Well, what you did mate. Go, attack it.
Ben: And get the big score. What you did. You know, you’re an amazing surfer. I’ve never not said that, that’s for sure.
Jeremy: Oh ok, that’s really nice to hear from you, because all that stuff I read is just negative. But thank you.
Ben: Nah, well, thanks Jeremy. I mean, I’m glad you’re reading it and I know you’re one of the world’s best surfers.
Jeremy: I’m joking. It’s fine.
Ben: No, well, you got me. You got me. But mate, what we wanna see from you, we know how good you are mate, everyone wants to see you succeed. And that’s a big thing. So you know, you’ve had a tough year. Can you turn it around mate? That’s my probably question – it’ll make people like me, maybe shut me up.
Jeremy went on to talk about his year, very open and honestly, and if you’d like to hear that next bit then skip to 8:21:00.
Our take? All we can say is this: it’s a pretty small world, this surf industry, and it ain’t easy being a surfer, nor a surf journo. Can’t make everybody happy, and sometimes, things come back to bite ya.