Interview and photos courtesy Arnette/Carl Steindler
We recently caught up with Freddy P in his San Clemente abode to discuss what he thinks of the new WCT format, his feelings regarding his loss to Brett Simpson in horrible waves, and his humble beginnings with Arnette. Freddy, who is an outspoken critic on the ASP didn't hold anything back, lucky for you guys. Enjoy!
Arnette: What do you think about the new CT format this year?
Fred Patacchia: It's a bummer that we had to get rid of about 16 guys who were world class surfers, but on the other hand we are trying to utilize swell window with only four days to run a contest. Also, with the new format we get to surf twice in a non-elimination setting if we get far enough.
AR: Are you talking about Round 4? What's the deal with that?
FP: Well, basically now Round 4 is just like Round 1 where we surf a three-man heat again and the winner of Round 4 gets a slot straight into the quarters whereas the losers have to go back to a man on man format in Round 5. I think its cool because it gives the fans more time to watch their favorite surfers in action and also takes a little bit of the pressure off of us as well as gives us the opportunity to try bigger moves and not surf as conservative as we may in an elimination round. It allows us to utilize a bigger bag of tricks and definitely makes it more interesting for the spectators. Not to mention more time in the water especially if the waves are really good.
AR: Yeah, who doesn't want to surf with two guys when the waves are perfect?
FP: Seriously! Especially at a place like Pipeline where its hard enough to get a wave to begin with. Hahaha.
AR: Who's your favorite WCT webcast commentator?
FP: That's a tough one because I really don't get to see (hear) them as much as everybody else but I guess I'd have to say Martin "Pottz" Potter because he's really honest and gives some great insights. Also Occy is absolutely hilarious and always pretty entertaining.
AR: You use to ride for Arnette back in the day…the beginning. So, we were wondering if you think the company now has a different vibe about it? Tell us the truth.
FP: Arnette was my first sponsor ever and I was so stoked. They were like the "hype" sunglass company and everybody was rocking their Catfish and Hotcakes, it was totally fresh and new. I even think they spelled the name differently. Nowadays, it definitely seems that they're making a huge comeback and their designs are on the cutting edge and getting people really psyched.
It feels great to be a part of a positive family where everything is moving forward and the people who work there really care about the product instead of just popping out glasses to make a quick buck. It also makes me stoked to ride for a company with a family vibe as opposed to that whole corporate feel, and I get excited when people comment on the frames and tell me how sick they think they are. It's always nice to ride for a company that takes pride in the product that they're putting out there.
AR: So what's the story with your board? Do you want to talk about what happened?
FP: Well, it's unfortunate because we just cut 16 surfers off tour and we're doing that to utilize swell window so it doesn't take as long to run an event. Basically we had time and didn't have to surf and the waves were pretty bad, so Pat O'Connell (contest director) came up to me and asked if I wanted to surf and I told him no, it looks like garbage.
In actuality, it really comes down to how many chances you get, if you don't get a chance to better a score and only catch two waves in a heat like both Brett Simpson and I did in that one it really shows that there weren't enough waves out there to compete in to begin with. The board was just me letting out some of my frustrations, it's all part of a sport. Nobody likes to lose, especially in bad conditions when they can't show their full potential.
AR: Did Brett want to surf; don't you both have to agree?
FP: Yes, Brett wanted to surf. He was down there all day and he was psyching, and you know what, as a competitor I feel like Brett made the right decision. He's probably a better small wave surfer than I am and he probably thought, "Hey, if I'm going to beat Fred then these are the conditions that I have the best chance of doing it in" and I can respect that. At this level of the sport we are all pretty fierce competitors and I would've done the same thing to him had it been maxing out Teahupoo and he didn't want to go out…so he made the right call. Anything you have to do to beat your opponent, that's what you have to do. It's all part of the game.
AR: The waves look pretty good down there the next morning…
FP: Yeah, tell me about it! I believe if we would've surfed then I would have smoked him, bottom line. It would have been a much better heat and instead of winning with a total score of a 10, which is what he had, we would have been dropping much higher scores and the fans would have been thoroughly entertained.
Regardless of the way the heat went Brett is one of my good friends and I have no ill will or personal vendetta against him. If I should be mad at anyone it should be myself for not putting my foot down and refusing to put the jersey on especially with plenty of time left in the window and swell on the way.
AR: Well, there's always France.
FP: True, there is always France and Lowers was my first 33rd of the year so it will probably be a throwaway. We still have 4 more events so I'm trying not to focus too hard on this loss and just gather myself to kill it in France. It's funny because I was more mad at myself for losing in Teahupoo where I got a 5th than I am for losing here at Trestles. It's like I was so close I should've won but I guess with a 33rd it's a little easier to swallow and get over.
AR: Ya we'll we know you'll kill out there. Thanks for your time Freddy!
FP: For sure. Anytime for you boys…now let's go for a surf.