Tow surfing may have just been re-invented! Let's celebrate!
Tow surfing is super out. Right? Like, yuck. Like, frowny-face. Like, girlfriend please. Much of it, I would imagine, is Laird Hamilton’s fault. Right? Like, that guy. Like, lame. Like, OMG was totally last decade.
But man and ski carried so much promise! We were going to ride 100 ft waves! We were going to be super prog and shreddy even on mutants! We were going to force the earth to submit to our will!
And then it all disappeared. Or mostly disappeared.
It seems as if the craftiness, and steel backbone, of the big wave surfer is being respected very much more than simply letting go of a rope, whenever there is an option these days. Take for example Maui’s Jaws. Tow was the only show five years ago. Now it is paddle.
Also I think that having noisy, exhaust spewing beasts in our pristine environment roils even the hardest spirit. It’s not right. It’s not natural.
But now look at this new thing, out today. Look at this man being towed across an open bay (lake?) by a drone. Could this a re-imagining of the Strapped Generation? Could this help us to ride 100 ft waves without filling the air with smoke and noise?
Does Laird Hamilton watch this footage and think, “Oh. My. God.”
Even more, though, just picture taking your new tow drone out on a small day at your local. SUPs would cower in your wake and if they dared paddle on you might get decapitated.
In this episode of #TourNotes, and which you can access via the WSL site at the bottom of the page, is a tribute to the Hurley Pro, an event that soared hither and yon, upwards and sideways and through a torrent of tears and hissed accusations.
First, he swats Matt Wilkinson, the early leader for the world title in round two.
Second, he almost doubles John John Florence’s heat score to give the current number one a second-last place.
Third, Michel Bourez is similarly despatched in round five.
It takes eventual contest winner Jordy Smith to extinguish Simpo’s flame in the quarter finals.
“It took the Lowers Giant to get me. Sucked the air right out of me!” says Simpo.
This #TourNotes is not memorable for those things, but these: we see John John gamely shake the hand of Simpo after losing what he clearly thought was an unloseable heat; a not very gorgeous boy is set up to ask Kelly for John John’s autograph and, best of all, Miguel Pupo makes fun of Michel Bourez and his ghastly backside hop: “When I saw that Bourez air, I think it was…cute. (It made me) remember when I was young and I pulled my first air”.
Filipe, meanwhile, is busy with baby showers and his Fantasy Surfer team.
Four essential ingredients! You won't believe what they are!
One evening, not long ago, I got drunk with a couple lawyers and a journalist employed by our local paper. POG and vodkas, loads of gossip. Very fun.
The journo, a gorgeous and intelligent young woman who is, sadly, happily paired off, was complaining about the censorship she deals with at her job. Because our local paper ain’t hardly a hard news. More like the Springfield Shopper.
A bit tipsy, we chatted about the state of journalism and our very different roles within that world. She’s a committed soul. Got a degree and everything. Truly believes she can make the world a better place. I’m a bit more jaded. Don’t know if objective “truth” exists at all. If it does, damn sure I won’t recognize it.
She called me a “citizen journalist.” I think it was meant as a compliment. I didn’t take it as such. It’s a term I don’t much care for. Like “blogger.” Don’t call me a fucking blogger.
After looking up the meaning of boffin, I skimmed it. In summary: surfers need to be fit.
Duh. Closes with:
There is no ideal body type for surfing — this is a reason why surfing is such an inclusive sport. I have worked with successful athletes that are short and stocky, to tall and lanky and everything in between.
Feel-good nonsense, of course. Two body types work best. Short and skinny, or short and stocky.
Yeah, couple tall dudes always around. But they’re freaks. Being big ain’t good for acrobatic shit. Just reaching stuff on the top shelf. And paddling. Long-ass monkey arms are good for paddling.
Got me thinking, though. Could you build the perfect pro surfer? What would it take? What would they need?
But the honest-to-fake-god truth is that, if you want to be more than an above-average surfer, you need to start shredding before your balls sprout their first hairs. And you probably want to have an early puberty too. Growing in leaps and bounds in your late teens and early twenties fucking sucks. I speak from personal experience. A late in life body change will fuck your shit up forever.
Lily white life:This might be US specific. I don’t know. Not terribly familiar with race relations in other countries.
But here in the good ol’ US of A we did a fairly effective job of keeping the darker races away from the ocean.Especially in the OC, home to California’s surf industry ghetto and, to this day, one of the honkiest places on Earth.
Even better if you’ve got a highly educated mother who quit her career to raise the kids. Motivated, frustrated, devoid of personal interests. She’ll be more than happy to waste her weekends driving up and down the coast and sitting around, waiting for her offspring’s next heat.
Cultivate a lower than average intelligence:I’m not saying all pro surfers are dumb, only that it’s easier to attain laser beam focus on a solitary pursuit when there’s not much rattling around upstairs.
Outside interests are a death knell for blooming talent. What worse for an NSSA dominator than to discover a love for music, or painting, or reading? All of them are time sucks. Keep you out of the water thinking about more than sliding your next wave.
Thankfully, we have the home school system. You can yank your kid from school, keep those blinders on. Make sure that he’s cursed with chasing a dream he declared during childhood.
A love for Christ:So many Christian surf groups out there. Jesus-themed clothing companies sprout and die like weeds. Great for early career sponsorships. Free gear, some stickers. Maybe a few bucks for contest entry.
Yeah, the god shouters’ll never capture enough market share to finance a title campaign, but they can lend legitimacy to young talent. Stickers on the board, word of mouth referrals. A rep for being easy to manage, while lacking critical thinking skills, is a boon to any team manager. Pass the plate after chanting to the void, maybe wrangle enough to finance a boat trip, complete with church sanctioned photographer. He loves nothing more than shooting pics of moist young hairless boys. It’s his art!
There was that one time, right, when some guy cut you off riding an egg shape with flames no less, and it infuriated you. Oh his attitude only made it worse all arrogant and “what, bro, it was my wave…” vibey.
A nasty man. He cut off lots of other guys too and was wearing aqua-sox! Then you again and enough!
You ordered him to shore to hand him a beating.
But what if you pulled him underwater for a minute and were then on the line for attempted murder?
Oooo-ee! What a bad day!
This has, apparently, just happened in Hawaii (minus the egg shape with flames and aqua-sox) with a 39 year old man and a 19 year old boy.
Is twenty years too big a gap to rage?
But should it deserve an attempted murder charge?
Let’s, anyhow, read about it!
A 39-year-old man is facing an attempted murder charge in connection with a fight at a North Shore surf spot.
Police say the suspect and a 16-year-old boy were surfing at Velzyland when they got into a fight. Police say the suspect allegedly briefly held the victim underwater .
Police were called and the suspect was arrested at the scene for attempted murder. He has yet to be charged.
And what do you think? If you were a sitting judge would you toss the book at the 39 year old or wink his way and say, “Don’t do it again…” before winking again?
Rejoice! You could maybe still be a professional surfer! (But not me. Too skinny!)
Isn’t it wonderful to see stereotype turned straight upon its head? To be surprised by an unexpected outcome? To have the underdog come out on top, the dark horse pull ahead, the fates plundered? Of course it is and we were treated to a healthy portion of “Wow! Really?” just yesterday.
The final for the Hurley Pro in shrinking Trestles featuring one Filipe Toledo and one Jordy Smith.
Now, on paper, Filipe should clearly win. The lithe Brazilian barely tips the scales at 125 lbs (56 kg) and floats like a dainty butterfly on the morning breezes. He is exactly the body type that nature has crafted for our modern surfing game. Like a jockey! Oh his children will even be smaller than he, likely in the 105 lbs range (47 kg), and sail out to sea if the morning breezes are doing anything other than whispering.
Jordy, on the other hand, is described only ever as “big.” The World Surf League blasted out its victory missive as soon as the final horn blew and it screamed “The Big South African used his hips to hammer the smaller competition into submission!” Or something close (I didn’t in fact read past the word “big”).
And big he is.
I don’t dare as to guess his weight (? kg) but can comfortably assume that two Filipe Toledos and three of the future Toledo children could easily fit inside one of Jordy’s ham hocks and with room to spare!
And yet Jordy took the day! He was the one who soared on wings of eagles, who plundered the fates, who danced the samba and smiled so big.
A glorious, curvaceous surprise!
Which makes me wonder, in this age of Li’l Kim are skinny boys totally out of fashion? Without the proverbial “junk in the trunk” will tour surfers fall like autumn leaves?
Is Jordy Smith our Kim Kardashian?
And do you thrill at the democratization of body-type? That anyone regardless of form or figure can reach number 4 in the world and number 1 in the heart?