Dear WSL: “I am not a retard!”
"The WSL presumes its audience is completely retarded," writes noted author.
Two years ago, I moved into an apartment on the beach, the rent including cable television the significance of which will soon become obvious.
First, a caveat.
I love surfing, the actual activity of surfing, taking whatever bit of fibreglass you like and going for a paddle, preferably away from as many other cunts as possible, getting the odd cover up or doing a semi-decent turn in between bogging rails and falling on drops. Happy days.
But the ins and outs of the surf “industry”, the contests, the web clips, the stickers on boards, the Dion Aguis’ in their German cars, failing miserably to cover up their balding melons with ridiculous dome knitwear, whinging that their five-star Airbnb’s have regulation Kleenex toilet paper rather than the more nuanced jet-stream Evian water bidets that really fuel the creative juices a “freesurfer” needs for survival.
Creativity starts from the ring piece, Oscar Wilde famously wrote.
What a terminal fucking wank the whole scene is.
Well, being as self-righteous as I am lazy, I put aside my disdain for the façade of professional surfing and opted to stay nuzzled up on the comfort of the couch and watch most of the 2015 Goldy Quikky event. I could have ridden my pushie a few clicks south to watch the whole shebang in real life but, you know, yuck.
Filipe was blowing minds, Turpel was blowing Pottz and I can’t really remember much else of 2015 apart from Owen Wright stroking into the bomb of the year at the Box like it was two-foot North Steyne and Mick belting that massive Noah to a pulp in the bristling offshore afternoon at J-Bay.
Recently, I decided to watch Steph Gilmore slay Honolua and realised what it is specifically about the WSL that leaves its viewers feeling abused and very unlikely to ever return – the WSL presumes its audience is completely retarded. Well fuck you, WSL. You harp on and on about the rules of the sport as though anyone watching your contest has only, just today, discovered the sport.
Joe Turps will painstakingly explain what a “Combo” is replete with a paragraph on the screen describing “Combo” too. Pottz will then throw in his waffling two cents about “Paddle Battles” and how, back in his day, before he was a neutered WSL employee, he actually was worth listening to.
Then they’ll cross to BL, frothing out almost to death in the channel, foam literally oozing from the edges of his mouth, fresh from watching some girl stink up a wave in a new and innovative way that no one could have previously envisaged and how it’s so lucky Micro Hall is a super coach otherwise there is no possible way anyone could even function another moment on Earth without his sage counsel.
It’s just a big, endless, backslapping, squirrel-gripping, human centipede farce.
I don’t tune in to see Conor McGregor belt the living shit out of some poor fella in a cage and have Joe Rogan seriously explain to me what a fist in the face, an elbow in the ear and a knee in the ribs will do.
WSL, why do you persist on assuming anyone watching your product has somehow stumbled upon you, completely forlorn and bewildered, in need of your patronizing guidance like we’re all in kindergarten?
And why do you feel the need to back-slap everyone as though a piece of honest commentary will have you all facing off against a sea of litigators? It’s pathetic.
(Editor’s note: Liam Carroll is the author of Sweet Dreams of Fanta, a lovely memoir of a boy who was a “fat tub of freckly lard… a young fella with bright eyes, open ears and big dreams, blessed with the invincible strength that every child has when they know with all their heart that the people they love the most in this world love them right back even more.” Mr Carroll, who is thirty-seven years old and lives in Sydney, also wrote the book Slippery, “a lad’s story about capitalism on steroids.”