Very impressive, considering he only competed in two events, and didn't manage to win either…
The 2015/2016 Big Wave World Tour is in the books, and Greg Long is el campeón !
Very impressive, considering he only competed in two events, and didn’t manage to win either. But the problem with the BWWT, you can talk shit all day about the events, but you can’t really hate on the competitors.
Greg Long is a top tier charger, no doubt. He’s no Shane Dorian, but who is? And Mr Dorian didn’t even break the top five, what a kook!
Now that all’s said and done it’s time to look back and nitpick. So much fun.
WSL evil empire aside, there are a ton of people behind the scenes working really hard to make shit go, and now we can tell them they suck. It was all wasted effort.
‘Cuz it’s kind of funny, despite the fact that this year has been chock full of huge swell, only three events went. Yes, Pe’ahi was glorious, but Todos was terrible. And it took me a while to remember the third contest. It’s mentioned, in passing, in today’s WSL press release:
While three events were ran during the 2015/2016 WSL Big Wave Tour, Long competed in only two – the Pe’ahi Challenge in Maui and the Todos Santos Challenge in Mexico – where his Finals’ berths garnered him enough points to best one of the most competitive fields in history.
But it took me a good ten minutes of googling to remember it was Chile. Remember? The “secret” contest, where the WSL claimed there was no infrastructure to support a webcast, then shut down the local team that proved them wrong?
Ever gracious, Mr Long’s statement is a treat.
“The 2015/2016 winter season has been one for the record books,” Long said. “There’s been record-breaking waves, more big swells, bigger barrels – basically every single level of performance in big wave surfing has just been shattered this year. For me, it is always an honor to be a part of that. It is a tremendous feeling being crowned the 2015/2016 WSL Big Wave World Tour Champion.”
All true, though the wast majority of those amazing occurrences took place outside of a heat. Because a big wave tour is still a stupid idea, and impossible to run, even during a year with an inordinate number of SSBBW type swells.
Let’s take a gander at the year end leader board, with bonus info featuring how much each guy won. I had to figure it out myself, because the WSL is very loud when it’s time to hype a comp, but very quiet when it’s time to dole out some bread.
Prizemoney varies based on swell size, so I had to kind of guess at what each guy won. Not too hard, I’m assuming Todos and Chile paid the lowest amount possible, Pe’ahi paid the most.
1. Greg Long: $18000 (Didn’t CJ Hobgood win the title in 2001 without any first place finishes? Or am I thinking of someone else?)
2. Makua Rothman: $15500 (Makua surfed in all three events, which means two big travel expenditures getting from his home rock to South America. And last minute inter-island flights aren’t exactly cheap either. Hawaiian Airlines has been using its monopoly to gouge the fuck out of Hawaii residents this year.)
3. Billy Kemper: $25000 (In my mind the real winner this year. That’s a nice chunk of change for a contest within driving distance of your home.)
4. Nic Lamb: $7000 (Lamb competed in all three events, which means he had to eat the cost of traveling from NorCal to Chile, then Mexico, then Hawaii. That’s brutal.)
5. Josh Kerr: $13500 (Kerr skipped Pe’ahi, and $13.5k ain’t a hell of a lot of money. Enough to ruin a life, but not enough to really improve one. But he earns real dough from this surf gig, so he’s the only guy on the list who probably doesn’t feel hammered so bad.)
I wonder what the future will bring.
Will the WSL realize the BWWT is a flop and can it, or sell it to the highest bidder?
Or does this model work for them? It’s a pretty sweet deal when they get to promo a possible swell, get everyone sharing and talking, knock that brand exposure out of the park. Then shut it down it last minute, no need to pay out.
The Eddie does much the same for Quik. Each year there’s no end of speculation, the term “Eddie swell” gets tossed about each time the buoys start to go nuts, but they’ve only had to fork out some cash slightly less than a third of the time.