Surf Quiz: What Would You Do?

Hot daughter of surf pal, a car park vulture, kid wave hog… 

Scenario #1:

Bob’s a surf friend. You don’t know his wife, you’ve never been to his house, but you’re both regulars at the same spot. Over the years you’ve grown familiar enough to chat between sets, just small talk, never anything deep. He’s got a tow-headed little girl, kind of obnoxious in a precocious my-parents-love-me-soooo-much kind of way, who you watched grow from a tiny little thing on one of her dad’s old shortboards into an awkward tween on her own custom shape.

Life happens and one of you has a minor schedule adjustment. Your sessions don’t link up anymore, it’s just head nods and waves on the way in and out of the parking lot for a few years.

Now it’s the first day of kind-of Summer. Sunny, windless, warm. The water temp is in the high 60’s (20 Celsius), a little chilly, but just warm enough for the first bareback session of the year.

The waves aren’t great, but there’s something, and it’s just too nice out to not surf. So you grab a log and paddle out.

Twenty minutes into your session along comes Bob. How’s it going? Oh great, great. Daughter just got her driver’s license, can you believe it? She’s on her way down. I offered to give her a ride, but you know how teenagers are.

There she is now, he says, pointing to a statuesque blonde on the beach.

Holy hell, ugly duckling in full effect. She’s grown a foot since you last saw her, looks like a full-grown woman.

As you’re floating there, mulling over your slow march toward death, she knee paddles out on her single fin, causing two rapid fire thoughts.

Jesus Christ!

When did teenagers start waxing?

As the second spins across your brain Bob turns his head, glances over, catches you looking.

What would you do?

Scenario #2

It’s a three day weekend, the beach is packed, and you’ve just spent the last half hour circling the streets looking for parking. Finally, there it is, an empty spot! Score!

You pop on your turn signal, hit the brakes, and the guy behind you whips into oncoming traffic and snakes your spot. Toot your horn, hands raised, what the fuck?, but he just pretends not to see you. Whatever, deep breath, move on.

You end up parking ten blocks inland and hoofing it down.

Strolling across the sand you see the guy who stole your spot catch a wave. He’s a very good surfer,  dismantles the thing all the way to the beach.

Twenty minutes later you’re paddling back to the peak after a fun one, when you see Mr Dickhead take off on the wave of the day. He fades, sets up for a barrel, and you find yourself in the perfect position to ruin him.

What would you do?

Scenario #3

Winter break has rolled around, and your normally uncrowded mid-morning weekday session is packed full of stupid fucking children. Laughing and yelling and just being general annoyances. The young are the worst, flexible little bastards with no etiquette, safe in the knowledge they can do whatever they want without any consequences.

One particular little bastard is burning everyone in the lineup. Seventeen or so, stickers all over his sparkling white new board, not even trying to position himself properly, just going in front on every wave.

He stuffs you three waves in a row, rather than lose your cool you catch a wave in and decide not to surf until all the rotten little fuckers are back in class.

A couple months later you’re suiting up in the parking lot as he’s getting ready to leave. He starts his car, pops it in reverse, and you notice he’s left his board on the ground behind his car. He’s staring at his phone, texting away, not paying attention.

What would you do?


Master Class: John John teaches barrel!

John John, Kelly and Bruce Irons instruct you how to flow, backside!

Who are the men you love watching most surf Oahu’s famed Pipeline? Jamie O? Mason Ho? Kelly? John John? Bruce Irons? Well guess what the fantastic filmmaker Tyge Landa has for you here?

Kelly, John John and Bruce! And in extremely super slo-mo! Extremely super slo-mo, drones and the GoPro angle are the gifts of this decade. Which is your favorite? My least favorite is the GoPro angle but my most favorite is extremely super slo-mo. It puts me in a very jazzy mood. I also like to kid myself that I am learning how to surf better in observing extremely super slowed down technique. “So that’s how John John does it…” I say to myself. Then paddle out at my home break and go over the falls just like I’ve been doing for years.

Neil Young plays the soundtrack. Do you like him solo or as part of the quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young? Or not at all?

Kelly / John / Bruce / Pipeline 1800mm 400fps from Tyge Landa on Vimeo.


How to: torture your wife!

Bringing surf dad mentality into the marital bed… 

The last few months I’ve been on a mission to teach my wife how to read the ocean. She’s a strong swimmer, talented free diver, but an utter coward if there’s a touch of swell or scrap of exposed reef. Which is a problem, since we regularly swim long distances to shoot fish, and you can’t always count on using an easy keyhole to exit the water. And you never really know in Hawaii, a storm or gnarly little wind swell can spring up out of nowhere. Safely dragging your carcass, plus a bunch of very expensive gear, up the rocks as you’re battered by the ocean takes some learning.

It’s a hard thing to explain to my wife, the need to become comfortable in the surf.

“I just won’t go out when there are waves.”

“But you can’t know exactly when a swell hits.”

“Just check the surf report.”

“It doesn’t work like that.”

“Why not?”

“It just doesn’t. Look, you need to learn how to time waves. What if we get caught by a current and swept to a place where there’s no safe way out.”

“You shouldn’t be taking me somewhere like that.”

“Shits happens. You need to be ready.”

“No, if there’s a chance of that happening I just won’t go out.”

“Then you never can.”

It’s my fault, kinda. She said she wanted to surf a few years back, so I took her out on a small day at Laniakea. She got her ass handed to her.

To hear her tell the story, which I have, too many times, it was double overhead and I’m an irresponsible asshole for encouraging her to paddle out. It was chest high, max, and soft. Nothing dangerous , maybe a little too big to take out a green barney like her. But laying down and looking up throws off your perspective, and there’s no convincing her.

The million trips I’ve taken to the ER over the last fifteen years don’t help matters. She doesn’t trust me to keep her out of the danger I put myself in.

To hear her tell the story, which I have, too many times, it was double overhead and I’m an irresponsible asshole for encouraging her to paddle out. It was chest high, max, and soft. Nothing dangerous , maybe a little too big to take out a green barney like her. But laying down and looking up throws off your perspective, and there’s no convincing her.

So she hates surfing now. I’m more than fine with that. If she’d embraced the sport I’d be stuck ferrying her to shit surf, rather than having fun on my own. And some of the stuff she wanted me to do, like paddle her board out through the waves then hand it over once we’re outside… it’s just embarrassing. I’m married to an aspiring kook. It’s hard living with that knowledge.

Still, I’m going to beat this knowledge into her head if I have to use a stick to do it. She loves diving, and I’m a firm believer that you need to behave as though lifeguards don’t exist. Always be able to self rescue. Learn to use currents to your advantage, understand why, sometimes, the longest way in is the easiest. Sometimes you need to take a few beatings.

If you’re married, you probably already know, telling your wife anything works poorly.

So I let her make bad decisions. Yeah, I can see the current rampaging out through the channel, but when she insists that’s the best way to go I let her learn from her own mistakes. I kick over towards the reef and let a two foot swell push me in, then watch from shore as she grinds her way to exhaustion. Then I tease her for it. It’s a dick move, but I know what I’m doing and it frustrates me when someone who doesn’t second guesses me. And it’s not like she’s gonna leave me. No pre-nup, and my income is laughable.

That may be why I have such a love for playing in the ocean, the fact that knowledge goes so far to ameliorate danger. People can, and regularly do, die on days that are totally tame. They get swept into deep water, panic, drown. Number one cause of tourist death in Hawaii is snorkeling. It boggles the mind. It ain’t the ocean that’s killing them, water filled lungs notwithstanding. It’s fear and inexperience doing the deed.

Laughing and playing in water that will kill the typical landlubber is pure rapture. The culmination of decades of work. And that taste of terror and confidence on a big day, is there any better flavor?

Crazy how far it extends, that safety experience brings. I like to surf “big” waves, though whether they’re actually “big” is debatable, as the bar keeps hitting new heights. Let’s call it a sliding scale, it’s plenty large long before Dorian starts sweating.

It’s calculated risk, once you’ve got things dialed. Not foolhardy death wish territory. Yes, you can always die, but most likely you’ll just get hurt. Modern medicine is amazing. I’ve got a dead man’s ligament holding my arm together, and a nifty titanium gadget inside my head that lets me hear. A plastic surgeon kept me pretty after a freak accident fin to the face.

You’ve gotta have health insurance though, without it I’d be crippled. Both literally and financially.


Real Talk: Power Rankings Pre-Snapper!

What sort of season opener would it be without the cruel honesty of a pre-event critique?

Is it really only a week until the 2016 WCT season starts? Until the dance of the best surfers in the world rouse our dormant senses? But what is a season opener without a little real talk? Here, the writer Steve Shearer aka Longtom, swarms over the top 13.

Tomorrow, he delivers The Rookies. Let’s begin.

 1. Adriano De Souza.

Rating: World Champ

Adriano De Souza world title
A thoroughly beautiful moment tween Mason Ho and Pipe Master/world champ Adriano De Souza. Photo: WSL

First principle for understanding Adriano De Souza: the ability to absorb, transmute, spiritualise and finally, alchemize the negative into the positive. To draw strength from it and return it to the world with interest.

All that internet hate? Ammunition. Kelly’s post-world title wavepool gazumping? Ammunition. All the thousand-fold subtle manifestations of racism and disrespect sent his way over the years. Pure ammo baby.

Would he, could he narrow the stance a few pleasing inches, loosen the hips and buttocks and showboat the title D? If the latest clip from Snapper is any guide probably not and why would he, he cracked the code and made Kelly his putinha*  along the way. All the perfect man-made waves in the world can’t take that away from him.

He never bothered to beautify his talent, instead figuring out and perfecting a simple and brutally efficient way of winning which exploits a psychological truth.  Namely, hit the first and last turns at 80%, with zero risk of falling. The serial position effect states that in any series the tendency is to remember the first and the last. Hence when Adriano hits the first turn hard and plants the last in a coffin, nails the lid shut and buries the fucker six feet under, judges, with no wandering corpses of half finished rides haunting their memory banks, automatically write a number beginning with eight. Two eights every heat, 16 total, will win just about everything. And it did.

My favourite moment from the Title last year was when, a month before Pipeline, he admitted that he wasn’t enjoying the pressure and finding it a real struggle. Grim little soviet demi-god! And then showed up at the Pipeline and wiped the floor with them.

Would he, could he narrow the stance a few pleasing inches, loosen the hips and buttocks and showboat the title D? If the latest clip from Snapper is any guide probably not and why would he, he cracked the code and made Kelly his putinha*  along the way. All the perfect man-made waves in the world can’t take that away from him.

*Little bitch.

2.Filipe Toledo

Rating: Four

"Board I break you!" Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker
“Board I break you!”
Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

It might sound counter-intuitive after the year that was, but could the Brazilian storm have peaked a little, or at least be going into a period of relative calm and quietude? They won everything, it’s hard to see any real competition for them. Like Genghis Khan after conquering the Russian steppe they might feel like echoing the sentiment of his words: “ I return once more to tranquility, I return to purity”.

Waging surfing warfare is tiring. Could we really begrudge them a little profit taking, an enjoying of the spoils, what romantic french poet Arthur Rimbaud called “the feast where all hearts opened and all wines flowed”.

If so and you’ll grant me that surfing wonderfully well is nothing but sublimated sex, a fundamentally libidinous dance for the pure of instinct then our fabulous Filipe might lose some of his pop and zesty electricity. Become more like Taj and Wilko. All tip and no iceberg, if you get my drift.

Who among us could court hostility to that kind of sensuality? If you occupied the shoes of our latin studs wouldn’t you sip from the cup,  take a moment out to enjoy it all: the wine,the women, youth and allow the competition to catch up?

If so and you’ll grant me that surfing wonderfully well is nothing but sublimated sex, a fundamentally libidinous dance for the pure of instinct then our fabulous Filipe might lose some of his pop and zesty electricity. Become more like Taj and Wilko. All tip and no iceberg, if you get my drift.

We’ll see, but if this unlikely event happens and Filipe comes out at Snapper looking sluggish and spent, you read it here first. Surfing as erotic contest. Could there be a reality more Gold Coast, more suited to our beloved Brazilians!

3. Gabriel Medina.

Rating: Three

Everyone's ears are cocked!
Everyone’s ears are cocked! Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

Let us not forget Gabby was the best surfer in the world last year, in the same way that Kelly Slater was the best surfer in the world the year that Joel Parkinson won his Title and even the following year when Fanning won.

We never thought that would be challenged did we? But Gabby is young enough and smart enough. He ended up one heat away from the Title. Who could have foreseen the black swan moment of the Glen Hall debacle? The “lost heat” at the Box. That won’t happen again.

There’s no cause for alarm or violent reaction in that simple observation. Everything about Gabby’s year- from the volume in the boards (which allowed the power of those tree trunk legs to be applied-buckets thrown skywards!) , the clutch tuberiding, the progression, the insouciant aerials ready to be thrown whenever needed. It all added up to a deserved title defence and a run at the Slater 11.

We never thought that would be challenged did we? But Gabby is young enough and smart enough. He ended up one heat away from the Title. Who could have foreseen the black swan moment of the Glen Hall debacle? The “lost heat” at the Box. That won’t happen again.

Four wins this year, easy Title Number Two.

4. Mick Fanning

Rating: Runner-up

Whats that thing tapping, on Michael Fannings chamber door? The Black Raven of Death? According to our favourite german Freddy Nietszsche it is danger which teaches us to know our resources, our shield and spear, our spirit, which compels us to be strong. White Lightning will take a year off to reset and hop on the sled but what happens if he takes a sharp blade to Snapper and carves it open from arsehole to breakfast, wins and then carries on at Bells?

Still a lot of gorgeous if’s to be answered in the case of Michael Fanning.

I’m just a regular recreational surfer without a nationalist bone in his body so the deification of Fanning as a mainstream Aussie celebrity is a phenomena beyond my ken. But out of all the formidable weapons life has arraigned against Fanning: from being traduced by Chas Smith, to the ripping of the hamstring off the bone, to the shark attack, to the death of the brothers. The most dangerous may be a recreational surfer that Fanning burns at the Superbank looking for revenge. Thus quoth the raven.

5. Julian Wilson

Rating: Six

 

Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

How confounding and confusing pro surfing must be for the most handsome man on tour. He surfed the best he’s ever surfed, got knocked out repeatedly and almost failed to qualify in 2014. Won Pipe to finish the year,  developed safety surfing to make heats only to be as a effective as a wax statue in the final as guys surfing to their full potential humiliated him.

It was like he was there, but he wasn’t there. Is that the curse of great beauty? As songwriter Clem Snide put it:

“Cause those paper cuts kept you from writing 

A poem so epic and true 

About how you are cursed with a beauty so great 

I’m sure that it’s hard being you “

It was easier two or three years ago seeing J-Dub turn his talents, the best bottom-turn-to-top-turn combo in the game, aerials, flawless technique, courage, into world titles. Now it seems some fundamental flaw might have derailed what seemed destined and the rise of the Brazilians has closed the door on anything but a consolation title some time in the future.

6. Italo Ferreira 

Rating: Seven

Easily the heat of the year, from a performance perspective and for title implications, was between Italo and Gabby Medina in the quarter-finals of the Portugal comp. Gabby was on fire, Gabby was steaming to an improbable world title defence, Gabby had just won France. An apex predator in full control of his environment to speak metaphorically and literally.

In the first 15 minutes he had Italo comboed. Never seen a man look more destined to win a heat and head to the finals. Sixteen minutes in, Italo stabs a hollow left in the throat. Five minutes later, hucks a tail-high full-rote backside air and reverses the combo. He just throws it back at Gabby like he was kicking him back a soccer ball on a dusty street, like a couple of kids playing around.

The heat ended with Italo maintaining the combo, Gabby tapping out. Here I have an image of Gabby frozen in my brain. In the post-heat presser, open-mouthed, stammering with that Arnie Schwarzenegger english, trying to process what had just happened but failing utterly. He did it to Kelly too. Twice. World Title possibility? Definitely.

7. John John Florence

Rating: Fifteen

John John Florence
Photo by Justin Jay/@justinjayphoto

Surf intelligence. There, I’ve put those two words together in the same sentence.

But it is a thing, a real phenomena, right?

We all recognise it when we see it: the guy or gal always in the right spot, catching the best waves, making the heavy look relaxing, easy. Surf intelligence exists but it tends to be a vicious, tyrannical weed of a mental faculty.

Problem is, being a pro surfer who does comps requires some basic skills in cognition. Like the ability to understand that a ten and a three will be beaten by two sevens. You could invent, and I would very much like to see it, a format where Florence would be World Champ for life.

Like any tinpot dictator it crowds out, smothers and ruthlessly exterminates it’s opposition, in this case any other form of intelligence. Surfing your brains out has more than the ring of truth to it.

Problem is, being a pro surfer who does comps requires some basic skills in cognition. Like the ability to understand that a ten and a three will be beaten by two sevens. You could invent, and I would very much like to see it, a format where Florence would be World Champ for life.

We saw what it would look like during the Eddie. Nothing to worry about except surf for an hour, no calculations required except those demanded by pure surf intelligence. Until that happens Florence is a prisoner to the vicissitudes of the ocean in a way that smarter competitors are not.

8. Kelly Slater

Rating: Nine

618_348_kelly-slate-to-seaworld-free-the-orcas

Photo: Morgan Maassen

Leaving aside the twin objections that “athlete” is a dubious epithet whenapplied to surfers and surfing as “sport” is a concept mocked by the fact that only a minuscule percentage of surfers ever participate in competition, you have to acknowledge Slater as one of the most greatest sportspeople of any era.

Across time and space he’s been dominant like few others. Given that, can we find any useful analog sporting heroes which might help up make sense of this long tail of Slater’s career. Rory Parker called baseball’s Dead Ball Era to mind in his analysis of last years tour.

I know fuck-all about baseball but it got me thinking and researching. What I found might be pertinent. It was Babe Ruth who helped bring the Dead Ball Era to a close and who would go on to a long and storied career. The year was 1922, and Ruth got just two  hits in seventeen in the World Series and seemed washed up, an “exploded phenomenon” according to sportswriter Joe Vila.

By the time of the 1932 World Series, a hostile Chicago crowd was screaming insults at Ruth. With the count at two balls and two strikes Ruth gestured with one hand towards the centre field and hit the next pitch over the centre field fence. It became known as Babe Ruth’s called shot. The greatest answer back to hyena critics  circling the carcass of a dying career, ever.

Question: Has Kelly Slater got the called shot in him?

What calls you on Kelly? Pure spite for the baying hounds, the way Babe Ruth did? Or is there something else, some moment of greatness you are hoping to wrest from the maw of time. Do darker secrets loom? A special contract with the WSL, like the one you signed with Brodie Carr back in 2009 to forestall the rebel tour? We know alright.

The tour can carry on without you now. The slow slide down the rankings, the settling back to earth of the remnants of the exploded phenomena could be done in private.

But if you keep doing it, we’ll keep watching. Till the crack of doom, or you retire, whichever comes first.

9. Joel Parkinson

Rating: Fourteen

Photo: WSL
Photo: WSL

Idea for a ten thousand word long read: How Joel Parkinson, son of a genial bricklayer with sad eyes, became the most beautiful surfer in the world. Suffered humiliating defeats, came back from injury and late in career found himself World Champion, not by ascending to any state of grace but by crushing his art under heel and becoming a ruthless sportsman enslaved to a format requiring two sevens to progress.

Extirpated the highs and lows in his surfing, levelled the mountain and the valley, and found the Golden Mean. Not greatness but a winning mediocrity. Template for every world title since.

Where to now for Parko? Shitty last year, sitting in the middle of the rankings, 35 years of age. Remote chance of another title in this Brazilian era.

Could he reverse the instinct-atrophy required of him to become a contender, to remain a contender and rediscover that lightness of touch, that “outlaw feeling of doing something graceful”, in short, rediscover that intoxication which is a prerequisite for any kind of art or aesthetic activity to exist, not for points but for it’s own sake?

But I ask too much. Final paragraph: The tragedy of Parko.

10. Jordy Smith

Rating: Thirteen

Photo: WSL/Kirstin
Photo: WSL/Kirstin

Eight years of Jordy on tour gives us a career composed mostly of static, save the runner-up finish in 2010 and some highlights at Bells and J-Bay.

Through the white noise we can distinguish enough of  a clear signal to discern how the remainder will play out. He’s not going to charge the heavy lefts, not going to step up and dominate – do the work like a Fanning or a De Souza or even Parko did to get comfortable at Teahupoo or Pipe.

He’s happy to plod along, maybe too happy.

Why? Too much too soon, and too little expected for it. The curse of Dane and JJF.

Let us look one another in the eye, we surf commenters, and take the sacred cow of a Jordy Smith world title to the abattoir. It’s time we did so.

With the torque generated from that caboose and the finesse in the repertoire Jordy should win every event in overhead rights. Instead, we get Parko-lite and another midnight wanderer on the boulevard of broken dreams.

11. Kolohe Andino

Rating: Twenty-six

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 1.12.46 pm

Last December I (bravely) predicted an early exit at Pipe for California’s last great white hope. That came to pass. I now (equally bravely) predict the opposite for Snapper. Quarter-final finish minimum. Why?

The over-theatrical top turn, all paralysed force, substance without meaning, has been tamed.  There’s a willingness to engage in the blood feud, thus, anger as friend, as energy, as necessary ingredient. Happy, contented men do not make good competitors. Between the potency and the existence falls the shadow.

No more the shadow for Brother. Not a contender but a top ten finish.

12. Matt Wilkinson 

Rating: Nineteen

Unknown-5-1000x666
Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

Shave him down, put him in a suit and Wilko could be like any other flabby-footed white collar suburban bean counter carrying twenty extra pounds around the mid-riff. A clock-punching nine-to-five workadaddy wage slave looking forwards to two weeks in the Maldives where he can ride an over-foamed fun board in head high reef waves over deep water.

But he ain’t, so from that perspective he’s punching well above his genetic weight and maximising return on his pro surfing investment. Every court needs a jester and Wilko fits that archetype admirably. A niche that is likely to enable him to ride the pro surfing gravy train for a few years yet.

Shave him down, put him in a suit and Wilko could be like any other flabby-footed white collar suburban bean counter carrying twenty extra pounds around the mid-riff. A clock-punching nine-to-five workadaddy wage slave looking forwards to two weeks in the Maldives

Given that he has the talent to be top ten for life we could probably remove the weight of expectation from Wilko and enjoy his career for what it is: a series of spluttering misfires that at some inexplicable and unexplainable point is likely to produce moments of unrestrained brilliance.

Surely you’d expect him to have a victory in him at some point in his career.

13. Taj Burrow

Rating: Seventeen

Taj Burrow retires
If this loosely slung rumour is true, Taj Burrow’s 19th year on tour will be his last. Will you miss his dazzling jams, and those enormous orang-utan sprays? An energy that never wavers? Twelve grand prix wins (including beating Kelly Slater in the final of the 2009 Pipe Masters, a Mundaka, and three Quiksilver Pro’s), a rookie of the year (1998) and two runner-up finishes (1999 and 2007). Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

This could be Taj’s last year on tour? My understanding of his career is always linked to the Ballad of Robbie Johnson. Robbie came up against Taj in the Pro Junior at North Narrabeen, when that was the only comp that mattered for young hopefuls.

Everyone present knew Robbie beat Taj fair and square but the judges pushed Taj through. He was the golden boy of Aussie surfing and it just wouldn’t do to have him knocked out by a no-name.

Robbie tried hard but the sponsors never came. That was his big moment and the injustice took his dream and made it bitter in his heart. Robbie became a working man, one of those who you’d see somewhere and think: he coulda, shoulda been pro.

And what did we get in exchange for the death of the dreams of Robbie Johnson? For someone to prosper, others must fail. We got a long career from Taj, but one attenuated by a refusal to step up when it was most needed. The cosmic balance wasn’t restored by the rorting of Robbie Johnson.

 


The push and the pull, the dropping of the shoulders. Who knew one lil air reverse could overwhelm… everything! This isn't the 10 Ms Silvana Lima scored in her round four heat, by the way, it's an expression session statement. | Photo: WSL

Is Surfing Sexist? Hell yes!

But Silvana Lima not getting paid to surf is not a reflection of sexism.

Silvana Lima is a very fine 30-ish year-old Brazilian surfer. She is small, maybe not even five feet, and aggressive. I watched her surf lots during the Swatch Pro in France and was impressed. Like, the waves were maybe one foot yet Silvana would totally shred them. Even airs and things. Aggressive turns. If there was a one-foot contest and it was open to both men and women I bet Silvana would win.

A few days ago she was on the BBC talking about how she must raise French bulldogs in order to make enough money to compete on World Tour. She said:

I don’t look like a model. I’m not a babe. I’m a surfer a, a professional one. The surf-wear brands, when it comes to women, they want both models and surfers. So if you don’t look like a model, you end up without a sponsor, which is what happened to me. You’re excluded, you’re disposable. Men don’t have these problems.

It would be nice for her to surf and do nothing else because she is very fine and aggressive but, and let me tell you a little secret…

SURFERS ARE NOT ATHLETES!

Surfers are not athletes. They may be dancers or…entertainers or…artists or…something but not athletes. And that means even if they are very skilled it does not mean they will get paid to surf. Because surfers are not athletes. They may be trapeze acts or…snake oil sellers or…free-form jazz aficionados or…something but not athletes. Some surfers are very athletic but no great, sponsored surfer is only an athlete and this applies equally to men and women.

Is surfing sexist?

Hell yes!

And in about 5000 ways.

But Silvana Lima not getting paid to surf is not a reflection of sexism. She just needs to figure out what kind of surfer she wants to be besides an athlete. Breeding French bulldogs seems better than lots of options anyhow.