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Carroll: “Put surfing in Special Olympics!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Venerated surf journalist has greatest idea of last decade!

You don’t get to be a venerated surf journalist by being just any dumb asshole. No. It takes work. Precision. Dedication. A lifetime of watching men in neoprene pantsuits, or virtually naked, dance upon the water.

The few who last a decade plus in this profession are uniquely qualified to weigh in on this or that. To truly call themselves “surf journalists.” I barely qualify even though I have spent the past fifteen years talking to Dane Reynolds et. al.

And I am very much put to shame by Nick Carroll, the most venerated surf journalist of all and maybe of all-time. He just weighed in on surfing’s inclusion into the Olympics, writing:

Surfing shouldn’t be in the Olympics, just in the Special Olympics.

The simplicity, beauty and truth of that one sentence is almost more than I can take. More than I could ever create. Also, an unsurprisingly, Nick Carroll is totally right.

Surfers are special. We think of ourselves as special, act special, want to be treated special, do special things. We belong in the Special Olympics.

For those unawares, the Special Olympics were founded by John F. Kennedy’s sister Eunice in 1962 in order to bring the wonders of athletic competition into the lives of the physically and intellectually disabled.

The organization has since grown into a gorgeous representation of humankind at its best. Its website reads:

Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. We are helping to make the world a better, healthier and more joyful place — one athlete, one volunteer, one family member at a time.

And just think what magnificent social reverberation would occur if the International Surfing Association informed the International Olympic Committee that we surfers chose to be with our peers. That we chose to be Special Olympians.

It would be a better Olympic story than Cool Runnings! A better Olympic story than the Miracle on Ice! A better Olympic story than Eddie the Eagle.

The best Olympic story of all time.

And thank you Nick Carroll.

ISA? Let’s do this thing!

Surf Journalism: BBC reporter gives lesson!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

On how to deliver the news on certain stories...

Let’s just take a few minutes to get real. Surfing is a very worthwhile thing to do but not all “surfing” is “surfing.” You know what I’m saying? Like, riding a SUP is not surfing. And wakeboarding is not surfing. And hydrofoiling across great stretches of ocean is not surfing. And riding an egg shape is not surfing unless it is foam. And dogs surfing is not surfing.

Things that aren’t surfing may still be fun but they are also not very worthwhile.

A BBC reporter understood this and delivered a story about surfing dogs with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm. Let’s watch.

Now, I bring this up because Surfer fawned over a recent clip of Gerry Lopez bodysurfing in a river. Let us watch then read.

Gerry Lopez has always been a trailblazer. When Pipeline got crowded, he bolted for Indonesia. When that got inudated with surfers, he headed for Oregon to snowboard. When river surfing got popular, he started bodysurfing in rivers.

Wait, what? Well, Lopez hasn’t stopped river surfing by any means. But he did just post a video on Instagram of him bodysurfing with a handplane in a river near his home of Bend, Oregon.

Lopez is no stranger to river surfing and displaying the possibilities of fun within them. A regular in the Bend, Oregon river surfing scene, Lopez recently told our own Senior Editor Jon Perino that river waves are perfect set-ups for bodysurfing.

So Lopez did just that. And as the timeless style master he is, Lopez did so while wearing a hat and sunglasses. Leave it to Lopez to introduce the world to river bodysurfing.

I understand that Gerry Lopez has earned the right to do whatever he wishes but large Germans have been doing this sort of thing for millennia. And calling Lopez’s hat/sunglass combo “timeless style” is sacrilegious.

We must be careful and deliver droll BBC style reports on news items that fail to clear our admittedly low bar lest we all become like The Inertia, which wrote:

Gerry Lopez knows water. He’s figured out a way to keep himself young, and it involves water, whether it’s in liquid form or frozen. He also knows surfing, and knows that surfing is all about having fun. Surfing doesn’t require a board–all it requires is a wave and a willingness to slide on it.

Fucking The Inertia

Winner: Surfing’s best video game!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

All bizarre but each captivating!

There is a new surf video game being released later this month for X-Box and Playstation called Surf World Series. It is described as:

An arcade-style representation of surfing, featuring monster waves to take on at a range of iconic locations.

These include places like Bell’s Beach, Australia and Waimea Bay, Hawaii, where you can tackle extreme waves, pulling off increasingly challenging tricks like kickflips, cutbacks and massive aerials, all while navigating towering tubes. Surf World Series features 44 solo challenges to complete, as well as online competition for up to 16 players in three different modes.

And looks like this:

Doesn’t the way the digital surfer slides around the wave seem so… typically odd? So… weirdly completely off? Like, the angle is all strange. Moving forward and sideways at the same time or something. How, in 2017, have video game makers not been able to capture even 3% of what surfing looks like?

Strange.

But it did make me wonder, what is the best surfing video game of all time? I offer the following for your consideration:

T&C’s Wood & Water Rage:

Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer:

Transworld Surf:

Sunny Garcia Surfing:

Championship Surfer (for Dreamcast):

Which wins? Which is surfing’s best video game? And when BeachGrit releases BeachGrit Pro Shred Man! what features/waves/worlds/moves do you think it should include?

Vicious: Kanoa’s deadly shoulder!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Small Kanoa Igarashi lowers the boom!

If there is one thing we haven’t thought enough about over the last twenty-four hours it is the Kanoa Igarashi on Filipe Toledo interference call that tilted our entire globe on its axis.

How even could we even? There are enough storylines, enough subplots, enough twists and turns to fill an entire episode of Game of Thrones. Kanoa Igarashi, for example, is now $100,000.00 richer. Filipe Toledo now has an actual nemesis. A small, Huntington Beach-based Japanese boy.

If professional surfing was Game of Thrones who, do you think, would Kanoa Igarashi be? Would he be… Ramsay Bolton? Or… Joffrey Baratheon? Or… Missandei?

And who would Filipe Toldeo be? Would he be… Tormund Giantsbane? Or… Samwell Tarly? Or… Grey Worm?

He would totally be Grey Worm but let’s transition back to the interference call that tiled our entire globe on its axis.

I hadn’t seen it up close until I watched this:

Are you even kidding me? Brett Simpson’s father, you may or may know, played NFL football on defense, I believe, and regularly brought the hurt. Did you think small and Japanese Kanoa Igarashi had it in him?

Watch again. Watch how he lowers his delicate shoulder to pummel straight into Filipe. He wasn’t trying to surf the wave no. He was trying to take a man stone cold out.

And the plot thickens. This is reaching Laird x Menstruation levels!

Watch: Tom Curren rides finless in Hossegor!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Rescue board takeoffs to skim!

This is old. I ain’t gonna pretend. Made in February 2016.

It flew onto my radar just then by virtue of, I don’t know, my search history of old men roaming nude beaches?

Whatever it is, it’s a fine piece of short course cinema that documents the three-time world champion Tom Curren returning to the joint he made famous back in the eighties (took a wife there, too, Marie, their kid Leanne Curren rips) and sloshing around on ridiculous surf equipment. You know the sort, the busted-in-half rescue board Tom uses to catch the wave before abandoning and jumping into a deep squat on his skimmer. It’s all very kooky, but all very cool.

I mean, you’re mid-fifties, you nailed riding the usual sleds, why not shake it up? Tom is remarkably coherent in the clip, something that always surprises me, given the times I met him in the nineties and the most I ever got was a simian grunt and eyes so red I wanted to lick them back to health.

The waves, meanwhile, don’t it make you want to bivouac at one of these beaches for the summer?