Part deux! This time, ready your surf history books and....fire!
A few months ago, the longboarder-turned-jiujitsu-black-belt Joel Tudor became enraged by a picture of Kelly Slater wearing a blue belt in an Instagram photo. “Crock of shit – the guy has been wearing a blue belt for years in pics and always made excuses when I would call him on it!” he wrote in the comments pane. “If he wants his belt , tell him to go sign up and put in the work like everybody else who starts at white and goes through hell to graduate to blue – anybody on here talking shit to me more than likely doesn’t train and has zero clue about Jiu Jitsu.” Read all about it here!
Things went quiet, as far as I can tell, but yesterday Joel lobbed another missile toward the Slater camp, this time challenging Kelly’s appreciation of surf history.
On his Instagram account, @joeljitsu, he posted a picture of the lovely Phil Edwards and wrote alongside, “World’s first surf star/Phil Edwards – sadly, if I were to go to haleiwa today and show this pic to the top 44 ….. None of them would have a clue who he is!”
@jasonronis quickly chimed in, @kellyslater would
@joeljitsu responded with a dagger. @jasonronis nope
Ouch! Is true? I can’t believe so. I can’t believe that Kelly Slater would not know Phil Edwards if he saw his picture. Kelly prides himself, partially, on his astute memory. I have heard him recount waves, turn by turn, that he rode decades ago. The exact score he got etc. And it is feasible that his photographic recollection applies solely to hisself but….no Kelly would know for sure. Yeah?
Let’s ask Matt Warshaw as soon as he wakes up!
Update: Matt Warshaw was not sleeping! He was enjoying a wonderful, crisp fall morning walk with his son while sipping hot coffee. Is there anything better?
I ask him, would Kelly know a pic of Edwards, if it was pressed under his nose? And also, who amongst the current crop have the firmest grasp on surf history. He answers:
“Of course surf history knowledge is woeful among young surfers. They are top-level athletes. They are surf gods. They wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, get out there and put their tanned shoulder to the wheel of surfing progression. That’s it. That’s enough.
Some will eventually want to know about surfing’s past, and good for them. And good luck to them, because the writers and filmmakers and the rest of us have access to that knowledge have mostly made our sport’s past as flat and boring possible.
As to who among the pros has the any surf history knowledge, I have no idea. Slater, actually, just because he’s been around longer, and has had more contact with more of the older legend-y surfers among us.”
What would we be without Matt Warshaw? Genuinely flat and boring is what.