WSL Judges
Meet the panel that would've threw Kelly a 10 for his non-make at Trestles.

Why it sucks to be a WSL judge!

Now the punters want unmade airs scored?

How fluttery and depressing the response to Kelly Slater’s unmade air yesterday. The snarling, the bared teeth, the traumatised sphincters!

“Zero credibility”

“Ridiculously ripped off!!”

“You guys suck”

“So Stupid”

“You chicken-hearted motherfuckers! All you bastards are cunts!”

“How was that not a 10!!”

And, from Millar Moaz on the WSL website, “The [sic] Judgs kiled the contast… shame on you!!”

What the judges did do, was avoid emotion. Rulebook in-hand they stuck to the criteria,  dropping scores from 3.8 to 5.

No argument, no hesitation. The computer kicked out the high and the low, averaged the rest and… a 4.17.

Judges don’t give a score based on best intentions or how loud the crowd screams. Just cold hard truths.

Then again I would agree. I am a Judge.

Which means I’m just another paid cog in the wheel of the Jewish bankers’ Trojan horse, built to hold surfing back in the dark ages of three to the beach and keeping contests in big-city locations. Dutifully trained to change my scores whenever the head-judge nods his head up or down.

The Judges, the judging, I’ve heard it all. Big-ticket calls like this just fuel the fire of discontent at ground zero.

Another reason for eight-year-old Taj or Jack’s mum to accost me pre-surf in the car park two weeks after the comp, video evidence in hand.

“Everyone on the beach thought he got the score”

Another reason for the normally meek but now belligerently drunk fourth placing finalist shouting in my ear at the surf-comp after party.

“You guys don’t want me to win, ay.”

Another reason to send a text highlighting my inability to see how that window-washer turn was in fact a fins-free tail waft.

“That cost me the title”

How about we give the judges a break? It ain’t all roses.

The indignity of having muffins thrown at you by short-fused Hawaiians.

All day in the harsh sun, the only relief a sneaky behind the sunglasses cat-nap mid-heat

Pretending not to be hungover? That shit takes years of practice.

I can’t even imagine the leggy distractions walking past on the beach at some of these WSL events. I struggle with keeping an eye on the job when a seagull flies past.

People don’t realise and appreciate how hard it is to write a score down while juggling coffee and your lunch.

So lets just sweep this little noisy mess under the carpet and keep in mind it’s not always weeks spent in the best surf locations in the world for our judging panel…

… sometimes they have to go home to sweat out the coke.

(Read when BeachGrit was a cockmonger at the US Open!)

Hurley Pro: Scene of Kelly Slater’s Bum Flop!

Is four points just reward for this kind of barbarity?

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it is, roughly, a 95-5 split on the merits, or not, of Kelly Slater’s backside air, unmade, but ridden out of.

Kelly is a matchless surfer (and, once, a first-rate swordsman, if the rumours are to be believed) and he advanced down a mid-sized left at a canter, though on an oblique line. He looked strong and compact so it was evident that…something… was going to happen.

He threw his blade men the air, seemed to fly into smoke and was lost from view, struggled to get free, but jerked his body enough to remount his board.

Beauty or barbarity?

The photo editor of Surfing Magazine, a purist of the game, wrote: “I guess I’m alone on this one but It seems the world doesn’t care if someone lands on their feet or on their belly. it’s time to start practicing 1080s and just as long as part of my body lands on my board and I can stand up then it’s the craziest move ever. Ok cool. Got it.”

On the beach, a cheer burst from every lip. Men took off their caps and shouted; women clapped their hands again and again. To their inexpressible disgust, the unmade, but ridden out of, air scored a 4.17.

“The greatest underscore in the history of surfing,” said the noted photographer Nate Smith.

“Best four point ride ever!” said the big-wave surfer Mark Mathews.

Kelly is now dead and gone, from contest, beaten by Mick Fanning’s simple, but effective, windmills.

Watch the air here!

And a compressed version of the heat, here.

Meanwhile, Mike Ho, Shaun Tomson, Cheyne Horan, Simon Anderson and Rabs had a heritage heat. And it was rad!

And the quarter-finals are here, very soon!

Filipe Toledo v Joel Parkinson (BeachGrit says Filipe!)

Adriano de Souza v Wiggoly Dantas (BeachGrit says Wiggoly!)

Ace Buchan v Mick Fanning (BeachGrit says Mick!)

Gabriel Medina v Nat Young (BeachGrit says Gabriel!)

Impotent rage: Flying the bird

Kolohe Andino offers his indecent digit to the judges. But did he really want them to you know what his you know what?

Yesterday in the waning moments of Round 3 Heat 7 Kolohe Andino became very angry. He sat on his board, near Mick “White Lightening” Fanning and, at first, slapped the water. Shoulders slumped. Head hung. He slapped again and then turned toward the scaffolding and raised a lonely soldier high into the sky. A one-fingered saluted pointed at, it must be assumed, the judges in their perch. And as the buzzer sounded he did it once again except fiercer. His jaw tense, eyes blazing rage.

Were the judges offended? Difficult to say but they should have been. “The middle finger…” according to anthropologist Desmond Morris “…Is one of the most ancient insult gestures known. It is the penis and the curled fingers on either side are the testicles. By doing it, you are offering someone a phallic gesture. It is saying, ‘this is a phallus’ that you’re offering to people, which is a very primeval display.”

The Romans called it the “igitus impudicus or digits infamies”  (indecent or infamous digit). The mad emperor Caligula murderous and evil was said to have regularly offered his digitus infamis to be kissed by his enemies, just to flash his imperial nasty.

A Roman historian named Tacitus wrote that German tribes raised the middle finger to advancing Roman soldiers and that even squirrel monkeys use their erect penises to make rude gestures.

Its first documented use in the United States is from 1886. A pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters flashed his bird to a team photographer for the New York Giants, according to the BBC.

Kolohe means “rascal” in Hawaiian. Andino has Eastern European origins.

Joel Parkinson also, famously, wanted Kelly Slater to know.
Joel Parkinson also, famously, wanted Kelly Slater to …you know.


Courtney Conlogue

Just in: WSL doubles women’s prizemoney?

For the first time in history, the ladies will be earning the same as the gents…

In an interview with National Public Radio this past Wednesday, Courtney Conlogue dropped a bomb that I really want to believe.

(Click here)

The WSL has doubled the prize money for the women’s WSL, effective immediately. For the first time in history the ladies will be earning on an equal level with the men, with both genders competing for a respective $525,000 prize purse.

Which is just great. But is it true?

Not a word from the WSL, not a single “legitimate” surf publication covering it, nothing beyond a short radio interview from a source which I love, and which is typically factual, but isn’t exactly keyed in to the surf world.

I don’t know what’s going on. I know that my google-fu only turned up evidence, somewhat dated, that the prize money remains the same.

(Click here)

I know that, if I were involved with WSL promotion, I’d be shouting the news from the roof tops. I know that the WSL’s struggle to attract sponsorship dollars makes the notion of increasing expenses on the least popular half of the tour seem unrealistic.

I also know the ladies have been fucking killing it this event and that more revenue can only be a good thing for athletes who, even if they lack the killer instinct of Adam, can put on a damn good show when they aren’t relegated to onshore garbage.

(Watch this lil fin ditch…)

Hurley Pro: “This is not beautiful surfing!”

More real talk at Trestles and tears as Brother is evaporated… 

The torture of the sports commentator is his fallback on the cliche, If you’ve got nothing good to say about someone, don’t say anything.

But sports ain’t buddhism! Who cares how nice a surfer is to disabled kids or if his own child is stuck up there in the VIP area watching daddy choke? Charity is the sister of death!

At Trestles, today, and yesterday as already noted, a new level of comfort and experience has filled the WSL’s commentary team.

Earlier today, Pete Mel took the unfancied Miguel Pupo and gave him heat-winning advice.

(Read here).

And, in a round three heat between Nat Young and Kai Otton, Ross Williams and Chris Cote, loosed bold new tongues.

“I wouldn’t say we’re watching beautiful surfing,” said Cote. “This is not Gerry Loepz versus Gerry Lopez. These guys are … workers.

Ross Williams added, “They know where their bread and butter comes from. A lot of guys are artists and they paint a picture on a wave. Not these guys!”

Real talk!

Watch and listen here.

Now let’s examine the highlights!

Gabriel’s hammer against Bede Durbidge. The Champ writes his turns on pages of gold.

Mick Fanning scraped Kolohe Andino off the floor as if he was a piece of dirt.

And Filipe’s poisoned arrows are back!

Remaining Hurley Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.10 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.33
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.43 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.77

Hurley Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.84 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 4.80
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.30 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.27
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.27 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.83
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.63 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.90
Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.27 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.53
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.83 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.97
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.57
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 18.10 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 12.26
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.77 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.26
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.50 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 10.83
Heat 11: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.50 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.10
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) – Heat did not surf

Hurley Pro Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Owen Wright (BRA)