A select few surfing rounds and heats this very minute!
I knew it was going to happen this weekend. A heavy buzz hovering just over the heads of the people at the Hurley Pro. To them, to the hard-working, blue-collar, salt of the earth, it was the simply the Africanized trash bees singing The Internationale. But to me. I knew.
I knew a select few World Surf League professionals, Filipe Toledo included, were going to blast up to Lemoore, California somewhere between Friday the 15th and Sunday the 17th. And why a waiting period for a wave that neutralizes God? Because the Hurley Pro. In case it finished early then Kelly’s Creation would whir to life early. In case it finished late then late.
Nobody in power would tell me directly but nobody in power would deny and there are too many people on the fringes so it was eventually confirmed that today, right now, there they all are, ten or twelve or so professional WSL surfers. In the water. Surfing a competition.
I begged those in power to let me tag along. “The surf press isn’t the enemy!” I insisted. “The people have a right to know!” I shouted. But was rebuffed. So I said, “Screw you bastards” and thought about driving up anyhow and flying a drone over the pool to broadcast live back to you. The people. But then was told that it is impossible to fly a drone close enough because there is an airport too nearby and the FBI would come chasing. So I thought about renting a cherry picker to sit in an almond grove and beam what is happening over the fence to you. The people.
But then I thought again. If I had a multi-million dollar invention that represented a possible future of professional surfing and had vicious competitors gnashing at the gate I wouldn’t want the first real try at competition to be public either. What if the waves don’t work right? What if all the professionals surf each wave the exact same? Professional surfers are smart. They know that judges love 75% safety and so what if each takes off, does a wrap, gets barreled, comes out, does a little jam off the top then squirts into the flats?
What if it is super boring?
What if it is even more exciting than even the most optimistic can envision and high bleachers must be built immediately to seat the masses who will gnash at the gate?
Yes, I would want a dress rehearsal too. I would want a proper opportunity to kick the tires. And even though a first-ever surf competition is happening today, right now and even though I should be there as an honest critic I’ll give them this one.
But not another. Next time I’m either in the stands or in a cherry picker for you. The people.