Australian pro surfer Mikey Wright (brother of Championship Tour surfers Tyler and Owen Wright) just threw down a serious hammer in the progression of surfing airs: the world’s first surfing McTwist caught on video.
The post was originally from footage that filmer Wade Carroll had of Wright, which Wright put up on Instagram one day ago as a bigger clip that ended with the McTwist. Carroll then posted just the McTwist clip on his own Instagram account shortly after Wright, with the text: “Mctwist? @mikeywright1?”
From here a debate has been sparked, but in reality there is no debate to be made whether or not this is a McTwist. Surely we cannot confirm this was the first-ever time anyone on a surfboard landed a McTwist, but we can certainly confirm that it’s the first time that anyone has gotten it on film.
Professional snowboarders Todd Richards and Pierre Wikberg were quick to point out the world-first on their own Instagram accounts. Both have long called surfers out for mistakenly naming airs, with the crux of their angst centered around what is the consensus of degree-rotation within the surfing community for particular airs.
To be fair, we must remember that skaters and snowboarders first created these airs, and surfers are now only being able to do them.
@mikeywright1 posted the first ever McTwist on a surfboard yesterday! @wadeecarroll. Strangely enough the surf media still hasn't mentioned it… I mean there are already quite a few surfers calling it: inverted 360 indi, slob backside full rotation, pretzel twisty flip, backside flip, backflip or just flip on Mikey's Instagram already… I've included @btoddrichards and the inventor of the McTwist Mr @mikemcgill in this video for those who fail to see what trick we are talking about. Let's get on the same page and call the tricks surfers are emulating for what they are. It's not that difficult. And no, the wave isn't a launch ramp. The wave is a moving quarterpipe and tricks are called thereafter. Say there was a photographer, filmer, team manager and a dozen other surfers on the beach when Mikey landed this they would all likely call it a different name Why.., yeah that's something I've debated for years, maybe decades. Let the reporting and trick naming begin. Please no fake news. @stab @surfer_magazine @surfline @theinertia #surfersandtricknames
Wikberg gives a bit of more footage as to the origins of the McTwist, with inventor of the trick Mike McGill talking about it. It clearly shows the near-identical rotations in Wright’s air to that of the airs by McGill and Richards shown.
Richards didn’t delve too far into the debate, but on his own post of the clip he added this insight: “@mikeywright1 doing a perfect McTwist on a surfboard. Between @live.fast.die.old (Albee Layer) and Mikey, the lines between sports are officially dust. Now … if we can all just agree this is a 540 and not a “full rotation”!!!
Whatever your feelings on the hot debate with naming surfing airs, we defer to the knowledge of those who created and named these airs (skaters and snowboarders), and admit that this is clearly the first McTwist on a surfboard that the world has seen. We’re excited to see where Wright, Layer and others continue to push the air game in surfing.