The puppetmasters over at the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association announced today that they would be honoring our favorite salacious siren, Stephanie Gilmore, as Waterman of the Year.
Most of the time SIMA are the worst. Self-congratulatory. Self-important. Irrelevant. But they can’t be that bad if they love Stephanie as much as we do, right!?
Imagine the last 10 years of women’s surfing without Steph’s rookie CT championship run in 2007. She was untouchable, right out of the gate!
Six title later, she’s proven to be one of the more deeply interesting and rich personalities in women’s surfing.
And her sweet-as-pie demeanor hasn’t kept her from turning a few heads and causing a few shit storms. Remember this lovely, lovely ad for the Roxy Pro Biarritz in 2013! Oh the drama that ensued! Roxy got nothing but heat for the scandalous spot! The bare skin! The suggestive sauntering! Oh, Stephanie!
That spot got poor Chad Wells fired, after the “senior surf manager” got on Facebook and, in all his working class nuance, wrote “Some butchy lesbos were representing surfing (in the past). Not rigged out sexy women who are in touch with their sexuality and know exactly how they are represented and marketed. 1 well ridden wave at the end of this clip would’ve made the critics happy.”
Anyhow, we loved the ad! We watched it So. Many. Times.
But beyond being “rigged out sexy” Stephanie was and is magic in the water. Beyond her gorgeous ripping in contests and clips, I’ve always loved “SINGLE”, that little clip Andrew Kidman released as part of his Spirit of Akasha. Kidman thought Gilmore’s lines at Greenmount were definitively Michael Peterson-esque, and threw Gilmore on a 6′ Parmenter channel-bottom single fin. The result was an epiphany, and resulted in a great story in The Surfer’s Journal and a gorgeous book.
Anyhow, Stephanie winning this award is some consolation for what has been an otherwise tough year, missing Margs, Rio, and now Fiji to a knee injury that she can’t seem to shake.
SIMA is throwing some sort of environmentalist award at Perry Farrell, whose music I hated when I was a kid.
Farrel was an “obvious” choice for Environmentalist of the Year because “Perry and his wife, Etty, are frequent Waterman’s Ball attendees making him the ideal recipient of the 2015 SIMA Environmentalist of the Year title. He has also been a long-time supporter of Surfrider Foundation.”
Which seems a stupid, shallow reason. Not to say Perry isn’t an environmental angel, just that SIMA’s reason seems idiotic.
And they are also posthumously giving the inimitable and sexually insatiable Doc Paskowitz a Lifetime Achievement Award, which is rad and something they should have done years ago. Because Doc was epic!