Welsh surfers shouldn't complain, they should learn to shred!
There is a tiny little shit storm brewing in South Wales. Surf Snowdonia hasn’t invited the cream of Welsh surfing to show off their wave pool and the result is a significant amount of moaning, huffing and even grommet abuse which came to a head this weekend on social media.
Red Bull seem to have added fuel to the fire by organising a pro contest at the venue and also overlooking the Welsh brothers. A Swansea grommet opined that maybe RB weren’t that concerned by giving us lot a shot at bogging around with the best free surfers in the world. After a lengthy dressing down and character assassination he was instructed to “give up” surfing by two of his now former idols. High spirits indeed.
Ever since the invitee list for the press day in Snowdonia was released, there have been a fair few prominent Welsh surfers stating what a travesty it is that we were not represented at the facility. The Inertia, a racist but otherwise well-intentioned website, published an article suggesting it was a ‘PR disaster’ (click here), but people are forgetting that Surf Snowdonia is a business (see Oxford dictionary) and requires top talent to highlight what it is trying to sell.
The facility needs paying customers coming through the doors to pay the bills, they have consulted knowledgeable people in British surfing and have taken advice on whom to invite to surf their waves, for free, to showcase their machine.
The top surfers in Britain got the nod, among them, Oli Adams, Alan Stokes and Ben Skinner, all of whom’s talent is without reproach. They dutifully turned up, tore the lefts and rights to pieces and declared the place to be a success. Job done.
But oh, what’s this?
There’s a group of my peers that seem really upset about this. They are incensed that both Surf Snowdonia and Red Bull have not included any of us on their respective invitee lists: “Shame there were no Welsh surfers invited”, “Why are we not represented?” “We can compete at this level” so on and so forth.
Here’s the thing.
Firstly Surf Snowdonia is a private enterprise and they can do what the fuck they want. They made a choice on whom to invite and went with it. The fault can only be ours if we are not glaringly brilliant enough to get an invite. Red Bull are organising a pro contest. There are currently no real professional surfers in Wales. This, too can only be our fault, no-one elses.
Secondly, this facility is in North Wales, four hours away from the winging masses. Ordinarily we don’t give a shit about what goes on in North Wales, and from a surfing perspective there is a complete disconnect between the north and south of our green, wet country.
Very few of us make the drive up north to surf, we have plenty of waves down here. Why, suddenly, are we so concerned with getting a free ticket to surf a man-made wave in the middle of nowhere? If you want to surf it that bad, get in your car, drive up there, pay your entry fee and surf the bloody thing.
Lastly, the only PR disaster here is the fact that the moaners are inadvertently advertising our mediocrity. If there is no talent shining bright enough in Wales to get even an invite to a glorified bath tub then we really do have problems.
The only reason we’re not on any invite lists is because we have been deemed unworthy. Tough shit. If you don’t like it, do what Carwyn Williams did: get in your van, drive to Europe, put yourself up against Europe’s best and become a better surfer.
Put in the effort and refine your trade. That way you may get invited to things like this and you can stop sucking on your sour grapes and have some self-respect.