Is this the same Steph who for the past few years has been walking aimlessly around contest sites, pining to be anywhere a little more cosmopolitan, or trapped inside a black and white monologue commercial about the ocean or about style?
Steph remains the most important surfer on the women’s tour, despite Tyler’s world titles and Carissa’s rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams.
And yet here’s Steph, rediscovering her competitive joie de vivre in Brazil, setting herself up with a big lead in the ratings and a clear shot at a seventh world title.
But while Steph winning in Brazil today might be good news for Steph and her legion of fan boys, it’s good news for the women’s tour.
Jake “Snake” Paterson sports a large tiger tattoo, and Steph employing his coaching services has indeed resulted in her rediscovering the eye of le tigre.
The lasting image of today – besides of course Steph Gilmore‘s luxodontic smile – was the sight of Phil Toledo flying out of the frame, and potentially out of the Southern Hemisphere with his backhand air during the men’s round.
No, this was the Steph of a few years back who toyed with the tour, winning titles at will.
Read more here: Surfer Mag