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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Real Surf Final Underway

By Jake Howard
XGames.com

Gabriel Medina and Jordy Smith have advanced into the X Games Real Surf final. As X Games Foz rapidly approaches, Real Surf culminates with a battle between one of the most progressive goofy-footers in the world and one of the most powerful regular-footers. Voting runs from April 16 - 21.

Round two featured the quintessential old school versus new school duel. Ultimately, 19-year-old Medina edged out 11-time world champion Kelly Slater by a spread of 1,300 votes. Beating a Brazilian surf star in an online popularity contest was always going to be a tall order for Slater, but Medina's array of backflips, rotators, inverts and blow-tails made for a dazzling, undeniably successful edit. Slater opted for a more traditional route, featuring his ever-impressive repertoire of full-rail arcs and deeply threaded tube rides. Slater's stuff from Soup Bowls brought electricity and unexpectedness to the clip, but Medina's piece, primarily filmed at Off The Wall and Trestles, was purely performance based, which seemed to resonate with fans.

On the other side of the draw Smith handled Josh Kerr with relative ease, winning with over 70 percent of the vote. According to everybody but the judges at the recent Rip Curl Pro at Bells, Smith was hands-down the in-form surfer of the event. His rail work was refined and well timed. The same is true with his Real Surf edit. The interplay between power and progression is an intriguing part of his act, and he appears to be in a good groove. Standing 6'2" he's the biggest guy in Real Surf by a long shot, and it shows in his versatility. He seems to be back in the place he was a couple of years ago, when he vied for a world title.

And now the final is set, Brazilian versus South African. Goofy versus regular. Teen sensation versus 20-something vet. Voting runs through Sunday, April 21. Pick a winner.