I also super hate it. What fun!
I do not care about professional surfing. And then, two days ago, the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, began and I became so excited that I logged on while Dawn Patrol played. Dawn Patrol. The maybe worst thing that has ever touched the Internet. Why? Why on earth did I do that? Watching professional surfing is a tremendous waste of time, especially during the early rounds. The commentary, new starlet Chelsea Cannel aside, is utterly asinine. So bad that it is an assault on the decency of human speech. The waves very rarely put on any sort of display and the surfing, while clearly exceptional, rarely wows. Especially at stops like the Gold Coast and especially two days ago.
Why then? Why, why, why, why do I watch professional surfing? I have given my actions a hard look and have come to two concrete conclusions. I hate watch. I watch The Devil Wears Prada every time it is on because I hate Anne Hathaway. I hate her fetal alcohol eyes. I hate her hair and I hate how she is styled in the gaggiest couture in the silliest most affected way. I hate Adrian Grenier. I hate his doughy face and his whiny mouth and his curls. I hate their relationship, in the film, and I hate all their friends and I hate that Adrian Grenier is always prattling on about Jarlsberg cheese. I could go on all day because there is something very satisfying about hate watching. I get the same satisfaction out of the World Surf League. So part of it is, yes, hate watching. But there is something far greater.
I watch professional surfing because I love the outcasts and misfits and weirdos who make up the larger surf community. I love giggling on Twitter with Matt Warshaw and Really Super Jr. and Jamon Bagel and Sir Gorik Badinskas and Not Dane Reynolds. I love chatting about which tour bottom feeders should get cut with anyone and everyone but especially Austrians and French Moroccans. I love hoping against hope that CJ Hobgood will win each and every event so I can laugh with him about it later. I love looking at Matt Biolos’s Instagram. I love pulling out the iPhone, when heats are running, at important functions and watching the worst derelicts come look over my shoulder and carry on about Dane’s beer belly.
Much like Adrian Grenier prattling on about Jarlsberg cheese, I have spent the larger part of my surf journalism career claiming that surfing is cool. Only lately have I come to the true realization that it is not. It is where addicts with no real skill come and waste lives that once held promise. And it is the greatest community of all. So I watch because I hate but I also watch because I love. Two very fine emotions. Thank you, WSL for providing the platform. And if you start charging for it, I will burn down your fucking Santa Monica studio. Or at least figure out how to pirate the stream.