Julian Wilson says yes to Olympics!

But only if it's held in a wave pool… 

There are a lot of people out there who really ache at the idea of surfing becoming an Olympic sport.

Oh, the corruption, oh the drugs, oh the… pointlessness of men and women tossing balls and running hither and yon, faces red like pomegranates.

And what does the Olympiad do except feed a nationalism that rewards the country with the most money to spend?

Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Ethiopia, they’ve all got massive populations. How’s their medal count compared to puny Great Britain, Australia or Germany?

I get it. 

But when those sixteen days in August swings around, we’ll cry with the winners and losers on the podium and cast darting eyes at the rippling bodies flexing beneath the orange-hot sunbeams of Rio De Janeiro.

And, so, if only to give yourself another reason to watch, wouldn’t you like it if there was a surfing event?

The world number seven, Julian Wilson, who left Rio yesterday with a last-place screwed up in his pocket, does.

“I think it would be great,” Julian told the Sunshine Coast Daily.

“I don’t know what type of format would work but I think any opportunity for surfers to participate in some sort of team sport would be great (because normally) it’s so individual.”

But…and here’s the thing… only if it’s held in a pool.

“If they can lock down a really good wave pool then we (would) have something solid and tangible but I think it would be pretty hard if you had to rely on the ocean,” he said.

Does that strike you, as it does to me, as an odd thing to say?

Isn’t the WSL world champion, the undisputed measure of surfing greatness, decided in whatever shit happens to swish onto second-rate beaches?

And, therefore, if fairness must be fed into the equation to determine a  Olympic winner, does that mean the 2020 Olympic Champion will be surfing’s legitimate champ?

Photo: Belly? | Photo: Belly?

Rio: Kelly Slater passes out!

...falls on his face, wakes up and says, "Thank God I'm not in Brazil!"

Everyone is mad at Rio! I wrote this morning that it was nice to see the pros surf waves that I wouldn’t even but Rory Parker slammed so me hard I can’t get up!

He is very right!

Nobody wants to see Roger Federer play cracked cement’d net-less tennis!

But don’t you want to know what Kelly Slater has been doing while Kolohe Andino gets Zika?

Passing out!

He posted a video on his Instagram feed of himself doing a faceplant doing a yoga class but not just any yoga class. A Wim Hof yoga class! Do you not know who Wim Hof is? Vice says:

Wim Hof first caught the attention of scientists when he proved he was able to stay submerged in ice for one hour and 53 minutes without his core body temperature changing. Since then, he’s climbed Mount Everest in his shorts, resisted altitude sickness, completed a marathon in the Namibian Desert with no water, and proven—under a laboratory setting—that he’s able to influence his autonomic nervous system and immune system at will.

And Kelly says:

When you’re doing a breathing class with #WimHof on #FridayThe13th under a #NewMoon and Mercury is heavily in #Retrograde and you pass out and fall on your face, start dreaming and wake up wondering where tf you are and why does your face feel like you just got tackled on the football field and somebody was filming it all…but you think it’s funny. (Smiley)

Amazing. And there is Kelly getting his anti-age/weird/# on while the rest of his tour mates are in Brazil. Still. I am so fascinated by that country’s wild geo-political thing that I’d rather be there than on Mt. Everest naked. Have you seen the movie Everest? Brutal. And actually, I wouldn’t be on whatever beach the contest is at but in Brasilia trying to figure out what Dilma’s next play is.

You? Where would you rather be?

Kelly Slater passes out during yoga session! from BeachGrit on Vimeo.

Gabriel Medina's back-flip enlivened round two, thrown into little one-turn beachbreak waves. | Photo: WSL

Round Two: Oi Rio Pro!

Should Wimbledon take place on cracked public concrete?

Wake up, check my email, Rio ran.

Good, great, grand! Clicked on the analyzer, surf looks kind of fun. I’d paddle out. In those conditions. Not in Rio, where everyone agrees the water is poison.

Well, not everyone. Only scientists and competitors and locals. People looking to earn a buck, the WSL/IOC, they say it’s fine. Don’t worry. You’re far more likely to die from stray gunfire between heats than some crazy waterborne illness.

And, you know, say a pro catches some mystery bug that ruins his body, makes his cock rot off? They’d probably name it after him. That’d be neat.

“I’m sorry to tell you, you’ve got a bad case of Desouzitis.”

“But that is my name, Doctor!”

“I know. I just made it up. Kind of cool, right? Also, your dick is gonna fall off.”

Maybe that’s a bit over the top. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I just drive around in a van offering free pap smears. Never actually claim to possess medical training. Not my fault if women assume.

Watched Adriano three tap the first wave of the day for a 6.33. Mel calling it from behind the mic.

“Exciting, electric, fast, crisp. All of those adjectives that describe the type of surfing we see from Adriano. No mistakes whatsoever there. Gets three maneuvers done, I think that’s a great way to start.”

Okay, so that’s how it’s gonna go. The Condor drew turd polishing duty. Term’s never been more literal.

“This is the kind of thing, you know, you would find at your home beach. Right? That’s the kind of wave here. And that’s why it belongs on the tour. I beat on this a lot. I apologize for all you folks in there, you know? Because there’s a lot of people who feel like Brazil shouldn’t be here. But I believe, truly, that this is a part of the year where you get to see what these world’s best would do on a beach break that you have around your house. Right? You’re not gonna have Fiji draining, you’re not gonna have Tahiti in your backyard, you’re not gonna have all, uh, all of these other breaks. You know, J Bay. But you will have something similar to this.”

Good rhetoric. Solid talking point to trot out when the surf sucks. Unfortunate reality of competitive surfing. Waves come or they don’t. Always a chance a stop’ll get skunked.

But, you know, it’s not exactly something to go looking for. If surfing is a real sport, and I guess we’re pretending it is, if the surfers are the best in the world, which I think we can agree that they mostly are, dropping them into the mundane reality of the everyman’s life don’t make much sense.

Should Wimbledon take place on cracked public concrete? Would the NFL ever schedule playoff games at terribly maintained high school fields? Would NBA players be willing to risk their joints on wobbly asphalt? Stake their careers on net-less tilted rims?

Of course not. Because no one wants to see the world’s best compete in average conditions. And the WSL knows that. If they didn’t they’d put far more effort into broadcasting the ‘QS.

Pretending Brazil is ideal, that we tune in for some sort of how-to-surf-slop tutorial is damn disingenuous. We want to see the fantasy. World’s best in the world’s best.

I think we all understand the economic aspirations inherent in the Brazilian leg. Rio’s presence on tour has nothing to do with providing entertaining viewing. Efforts to convince the public otherwise shows just how stupid the WSL thinks we are. Or how little they care whether we like what we see.

Maybe they just think we’ll keep tuning in, regardless of what’s on offer. All the talk is targeted at the non-surfers supposedly watching. Make them think it’s exciting, then it is!

That approach could work, it’s not like they know what they’re looking at. Tested the concept on my wife, the only non-surfer within arm’s reach. Showed her Medina’s ten. Asked what she thought.

“That just looks like one of those whoopity-doos they all do. Is that like technical, or something I’m not aware of?”

Oi Rio Pro Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.00 def. Bino Lopes (BRA) 4.96
Heat 2: Deivid Silva (BRA) 14.73 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.50
Heat 3: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.34
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.40 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.90
Heat 5: Jack Freestone (AUS) 14.57 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.77
Heat 6: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.76 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.66
Heat 7: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.33 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.86
Heat 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.73 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.27
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.30 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.73
Heat 10: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 14.17 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.44
Heat 11: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 15.33 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.27
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.50 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.74

Oi Rio Pro Men’s Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 5: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Lucas Silveira (BRA)
Heat 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Marco Fernandez (BRA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jack Freestone (HAW)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)

Just in: The pros are better than you!

At surfing! Maybe other things too!

It is very early morning but not too early for the Rio Pro! Due the magic of technology, I am watching Gab Medina, Matt Banting and Keanu Asing? (it being so early and difficult for my eyes to see things under two feet tall) smash, crash and bash an under two foot lip.

Fly? Yeah. They’re doing that too.

And I totally get the complaints that are sure to rain down upon the World Surf League today. It sounds completely and utterly silly, for instance, for the commentators to discuss Kolohe’s “extremely technical surfing” when his is, quite literally, bent in half trying to push a miniature water lump but God bless them all! They only know one speed and that is hyperbole to the max!

What I am really enjoying is watching the pros smoke a wave that I would think twice about surfing. I would wander over to the fence, peer down upon it and think……..ummmmmm. But the pros! Can they surf anything? Anything at all? Gabs really did do some wonderful airs. I think Jack Freestone did something to his hair. Seabass. All I would have done, had I paddled out, is bog rail and pull into a closeout tube. I mind surf the gorgeous waves on tour, the Pipelines and Whatnots and think, “Yeah, I could surf ok if I was out with only one other man…” but watching that one other man surf trash makes me realize how much better the pros are than all of us. Me for sure but also you.

Also, what is a skateboarding track and how about that new Turtle Bay ad? 2006 techno!

Could you see a similar image appearing in a surfing magazine? Oh King of the Road!

Parker: Skate vs Surf!

Imagine a surf version of King of the Road? Would lame describe it?

Thrasher is a skateboarding institution. King of the Road is a damn amusing scavenger hunt competition that’s been running for somewhere around a decade.

The concept is pretty simple. Challenges are written up, a couple different skate teams travel around in vans earning points for completing them. Winners get a cover, maybe some money too.

Good fun in the hands of skaters. I’d love to see a surfy take on it. Mainly because it’d be the lamest thing on earth. No “piss your pants in public” challenges. More like “do some sit-ups while eating an acai bowl.”

This year Thrasher decided to try and make some money off the deal. Partnered with Vice Media, gave them first crack at running it.

Because it’s Vice, which used to maybe be kind of cool, but definitely isn’t anymore, they’re making a cash grab. New episodes are free for a moment, then you’ve gotta use your cable subscription to log in. Gotta be a US provider. They go up later on the Thrasher site but are apparently blocked outside the good ol’ US of A. And aren’t the full episodes anyway.

Or so the internet comments lead me to believe. Either way, it’s not too big of a deal. They’re up on some torrent sites if you know where to look. Or you can use a proxy. Always options for bypassing regional restrictions, or just straight up “stealing.”

I can just click and stream, ‘cuz I live in the greatest-ish country on Earth!

The first two episodes are up and worth a watch. Funny, great skating. Andy Roy is present, which is entertaining.

If you’re not familiar with Andy, he’s an amazingly talented skater/cautionary tale/prison rapist who should be long dead. Read his legendary Big Brother interview HERE.

Plus you get to marvel at Jake Phelps, who increasingly looks like he’s only kept mobile by necromantic arts.

Give it a watch.  Have a laugh at what amounts to a bunch of middle aged men making money by convincing young boys to do things that are dangerous, humiliating, illegal, or some combination of the three.