Lounge chair critics can go to hell, says the world champion and noted commentator…
Filipe won. Who cares? Not me. Another luck of the draw garbage wave catching contest, though I’m sure the wildcards are pretty jazzed, as they should be. A quarter or semi result against the “world’s best” is damn impressive, regardless of wave quality.
The highlight of my night was a candid lapse from the hairiest back in surfing, Mr Martin Potter. Prompted by a remark from Turpel regarding the difficulty some surfers have adjusting to life in the public eye, Pottz took the ball and ran with it. (At around 50min, if video doesn’t autoplay at the correct spot)
“First of all, Joe, I think, who are those critics, number one? Where are they? They’re probably sitting on their lounge, right now, not… These guys are some of the world’s best, being put in challenging conditions. Keanu’s here for a reason. He’s fought his way onto the tour and he belongs, you know? Obviously there’s those guys out there that’ll sit back and go ‘Oh, he doesn’t belong to be on tour,’ but, I mean, who are these people, anyway? Does it even matter what they say? I think you’ve gotta put all that stuff aside.”
Good advice, for the surfers. It’s true, people love to hate.If you put yourself out there you’re gonna get ripped to shreds. Either learn to deal, or retreat from the public eye. Go to college, become an accountant.
For competitive surfing as a whole… maybe might not be the best tack to take.
Surfing is relatively unique in that it improves when removed from a competitive context. Fitting your surfing into the neat little package necessary to consistently grab the scores you need means dialing it down. Trying your hardest doesn’t win heats, linking together a series of sevens does. Which is why guys like ADS and Fanning do so well. They’re not trying to surf their best, they’re just trying to win. Which they do, albeit in a repetitively uninspiring fashion.
The rich bastards who own surfing, the former drug smugglers who ran the industry for decades, the wannabe yuppie fucks slinging trash from the Orange County ghetto, or the big money Johnny-come-latelies trying to cash in ten years too late, would love nothing more than to control the discourse. Tell us what, or who, is cool. Sell those shorts, offshore production and watch the money roll in. And that can work, if you’re fine with a perpetual feast then famine cycle, and stay positioned to dump your stake the moment things starting heading south again.
But that only works for the guys on top. Their golden parachutes will settle them safely in their beachfront mansions. Lay everyone off, watch the company burn, emerge from the ashes when the trend cycles back around. But the work-a-day chumps, the guys drawing a paycheck, they get left in the lurch. Without the fans, the haters, the internet experts, they’ve got nothing. If the dialogue stops the talking heads are left spewing nonsense into the void.
Once you remove the criticism, whether it takes the form of just condemnation of the current judging criteria, racist anti-Brazilian diatribe, or web based click bait pseudo-journalism, there’s not much left.
Because the WSL is selling a bland, boring, bullshit product. Without the spice supplied by outside sources it all just tastes like crap.