Question: Is WSL discriminatory?

Does the World Surf League reflect our diversity?

Let’s get right to the point today. Let’s not come in with some sort of pithy lead, some sort of vaguely clever, but only vaguely clever in the moment, introduction. Let’s just put our heads down and ask a very difficult question.

Is the World Surf League discriminatory?

Think of all the waves on tour and when they occur. Snapper (summer), Maggies (summer), Bells (fall), Rio (perpetual summer), Fiji (tropics), J-Bay (winter), Tahiti (tropics), Trestles (indian summer), France (fall), Portugal (fall), Pipe (Hawaii).

And how many of them are cold-ish?

One. Maybe sometimes Bells and Portugal too.

And how many of them are proper cold?


Does the league think that fine waves don’t break in proper cold water? Does the league believe that “surfing” only happens warm?

For shame. And let’s stand behind our brothers surfing in the upcoming Cold War in winter New Jersey. They say you will not experience a colder cold. Very freezing etc. Let’s stand behind them and glare at the draconian, discriminatory World Surf League. Let’s shout NOT MY PRESIDENT! I mean…. ummmmm GO TO HELL PAUL SPEAKER! Or….. wait. Something angry but pithy.

Crème: Noa’s Lost Archives

One last hurrah underfoot the fabled R Dot

Do you know what is probably the worst part of being a pro surfer? It’s not the airports or the reef rash or the inability to maintain any semblance of a normal relationship, but rather the putting on and peeling off of stickers.

Have you considered the density of modern pro’s quiver? It’s close to a million surfboards. Do you know how many sponsors they possess? If you’re Adriano or Medina, it’s about three hundred-thousand. And what’s three hundred-thousand stickers by one million surfboards by two sides per board? A fucking death sentence.

I actually heard that Gab’s boards come pre-rigged with laminated cut-outs below the resin. This means less drag in the water but more importantly, he’s not spending hours every week adorning his foamy crafts.

But what happens if he loses a sponsor? Does he throw the boards out? Or does he give them to a little favela fella, in hopes of inspiring a life-altering dedication to a far-fetched dream? Chances are he throws them out. Can’t risk spawning the next Gabriel Medina. Could be his competition in fifteen years.

Well, Noa Deane recently faced this conundrum with his shift from R Dot to V Stone.

The video below shows Noa flexing, hard, on some Rusty-nosed foam. He surfs a well-known set of points in Mexico, performing a series of tubes, carves, and very much only straight airs. Literally not a rotation in sight. He must’ve taken Christian Fletcher’s air-rev shots without a hint of lime nor a grain of salt.

But back to the point.

When 2017 came a-knockin’, do you think Noz spent the time to de-Rusty his bevy of sleds, or did he simply place Stone directly atop R Dot? These are the questions that addle my brain!

Deal: Let’s get some new-ish boards!

Life is a wonderful win-win with the Surfboard Broker!

Two years ago on the walk to Lower Trestles, I came across a sticker on the tracks that read #surfboardbroker and was curious to know who was worthy of such a title. Flipped through Instagram and found out there was a guy in Carlsbad, California who was changing the way people buy, trade, and sell surfboards.

Like all great business enterprises in their infancy, Surfboard Broker began out of a garage selling surfboards they procures from trips to the team houses on the North Shore as well as buying pro trade-ins direct from shapers. They post their live stock to Instagram and delete the board’s post once it sells; offering shipping for reasonable prices.

Last year, a giant purple bitch was flinging its sexy self into the shores of San Diego- thrice the size of a normal winter swell. In the back of my car, I had two boards. A 5’10 thruster, and a 5’4 Hypto Krypto. Neither would please her. I needed girth! I needed more foam.

The Hypto Krytpo I knew was like buying a Toyota being that it had high re-sell value so I set up a meeting with the Surfboard Broker and pawned it off with a set of fins for $400 dollars credit.

I went through the racks of boards and found a 7’4 Minigun hand shaped by Rusty Preisendorfer that had never been ridden. It was made for one of his employees so it already was discounted but by God was it beautiful! Double stringer, six ounce glass, five fin option, tinted a deep purple and with an 80’s beak for getting one down the face when it mattered most. The guy that it was made for thought it was a tad too narrow, so for a trade and $250 out of pocket, I was able to secure a board in time for the swell.

The SurfBoard Broker offers a service that is far better than dealing with randoms off Craigslist when it comes to buying and selling used surfboards. No price haggling or dings hidden by stickers and wax, just a very efficient way of consolidating a quiver to get what you really want/need. The young biz is booming having expanded to Hawaii and Australia.

This convenience of being able to swap and trade gives one the ability to rotate out surfboards and try a variety of designs and shapes without ever having to shell out for custom.

And here is an idea. Order a new board, ride it and if you don’t like it, instead of continuing to surf a dud, trade it in for something different until you find that magic sled. Or you can always rotate around the forecast. Trade a groveler for a step up when the swell calls for it and trade back when it drops.

Doesn’t hurt shapers either as many deal with the Surfboard Broker as a way to off set the costs of their surf teams. You see, a guy like Tim Stamps will make a batch of boards with back ups ranging in size for his team riders to travel and use in competition. But let’s say they only feel comfortable surfing on two of twelve, those other ten that have nothing wrong with them other than being dismissed by a hard to please pro, are scooped up by the Surfboard Broker and sold for a fair price.

Everybody wins.

Shapers keep progressing designs while pros and average joes get to experiment and know what it likes to ride boards with foam white as snow.

Crème: The Rebirth of Parkinson?

The Parkinsons derive from an extraordinary gene pool!

Ain’t family genes a funny thing? Some of them are great, while others produce a lineage of obese, unintelligent curmudgeons, whose only purpose on Earth is to maintain the stock indices of Mountain Dew and Cheetos. The Parkinson family leans slightly towards the “great” side.

Of course we know about Joel — world champ, silky railwork, world’s most handsome surfer. But did you know of his cousin, lil Mitchy Parko?

Mitch is in his early twenties and like Joel resides on Queensland’s Gold Coast. He’s taken up the family traditions of getting exceptionally tubed and snagging any wave he desires along the Superbank. Through this snakery he’s garnered a bit of a reputation in the lineup, but to his credit he surfs the wave better than most.

But is Mitch the next Joel? Not even close. While Mitch demonstrates a comparable affinity for the tube and an afternoon tinnie, the complete dearth of carves in this video tells me that he failed to inherit Joel’s most profitable trait. Instead of searing railwork, Mitch learned to toss a few decent airs. Certainly not an equal trade-off, but a typical millenial response to an ever-changing surfosphere.

I miss the old Parko though. According to Occy, this will be his last year on Tour. With any luck that means Billabong will send him to roping right-handers for promo material after his retirement. Then again, we haven’t seen much from Taj recently, so… shit.

TV Battle: Red Bull vs the WSL!

We are the jury! We decide who does professional surfing best!

Today (I think) the Volcom Pipe Pro begins and the surf forecast is very promising. Big and tubes. I think. Etc. The event itself is a Qualifying Series 3000 meaning it is slightly better than Maroubra’s Carve Pro (a 1000) and slightly worse than Merewether’s Maitland and Port Steven’s Toyota Pro (a 6000) but you would not know of its middling placement if you only looked at the participating surfers. It’s a sparkling who’s who feat. Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson (?), Taj Burrow (?) etc.

To watch this brilliance we shall all go here, to Red Bull TV not the World Surf League, because this is a Red Bull production. Red Bull’s cameras, Red Bull’s announcer team, Red Bull’s roving reporters, Red Bull’s graphics packages, Red Bull’s dance. Of course Volcom, as presenting sponsor, had their say but, for the most part, what we will see over the next few days, is the first clearly distinct vision of professional surfing* since the ASP became the WSL and put everything under one roof.

Which will be fun for us, the viewer, don’t you think? Fun but also a great responsibility. Let us be an impartial jury, deliberate in our assessment. Let us watch soberly, jotting notes on what we like about Red Bull’s production, seeing if there are any nice surprises like call-in guests etc. Let us be open minded and fair and let us, at the end, declare a winner.

Who is better and producing professional surfing, Red Bull or the WSL?

*Red Bull’s production of the Cape Fear event does not count since it was a novelty.