PHOTO: WSL / Sloane

Is it just us, or does it seem like every event on tour this year has raised the bar in surfing? Snapper saw unbelievable waves and surfing, Bells was nuts, Marggies was sharky but the finish at Uluwatu is going to be neat, and Keramas just fired up the whole surfing world. Not to mention, the entire CT has been on a beach clean-up brigade that is nothing short of inspiring and commendable. So about Keramas - Where do we even start?!

On the women’s side of the event, we saw the long-awaited return of California surfer Courtney Conlogue who has been sidelined due to injury. She unfortunately lost out in the second round to an in-form Tati Weston-Webb. In Round 3, the usual ladies who we see on finals day all excelled with the exception of Carissa Moore. Moore surfed amazingly, posting a two-wave total that would have seen her advance in almost any other heat, but an untouchable Sally Fitzgibbons and in form Malia Manuel would prove to be too much.

On the Men’s side of the event, it was fireworks from the very first heat - everyone was absolutely ripping! Tour rookie Griffin Colapinto was on a tear and made his way into a quarter-final result where he was stopped by The Spartan, Michel Bourez. Bourez looked like the man to beat on the clean, dreamy Karamas walls. John John finally seemed to be back to his normal superhuman self until Jesse Mendes’ last minute hail mary rotator took him down in Round 3. John John unfortunately injured his knee after bowing out and has tragically pulled out of the Uluwatu makeup event. Mikey Wright was given another wildcard spot and made great use of it, taking out former world #1 Julian Wilson in Round 3 and rounded it out with a solid semi-final finish. A few more good results and we could see the edgy surfer on tour next year!

The star of the event, however, was none other than everyone’s new favorite goofy foot, Italo Ferreira. There might not be a more likable personality on tour, and there is certainly no one with a backhand as polished and Italo’s. The speed, precision, and flair that we saw every time he stood up was unmatched all event. Whether it was vertical hooks on well overhead waves or cringeworthy punts into the flats, Italo was ticking all the boxes. His 10 point ride against Jordy in the semi-final was smoother than silk, and the salute claims to the crowd, for whatever reason, are so fun to watch! You can tell he is truly having fun, and it’s no surprise he walked away with a win and a solid lead on the Jeep Leaderboard. The yellow jersey is going to look good on him.

Switching back to the women’s event, it was Lakey Peterson who looked untouchable in the final. Her 8.33 against Tyler Wright made it clear that the Santa Barbara native has been training and ultra-focused on winning a world title. She reclaimed the number one spot and we’ll be seeing her in the yellow jersey in the next event.

On another note, one of the coolest things we saw all event (besides the surfing) was how much trash was picked up off the beach. From plastic bottles and wrappers, to syringes and other crazy objects, it’s very apparent that we as surfers need to do a better job of respecting the ocean. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds of trash were picked up during the week-long event, and according to the surfers, barely put a dent in what really needs to be done.

With World Surfing Day quickly approaching, we would like to take this time to invite everybody to our local beach clean up. It’s our turn to do our part in helping to keep the ocean and beach a clean and trash free environment for surfers now and future generations.

See you in the water!