The mainstream media reacts!
If you have been watching or reading the news during this past year it is assured you have heard the word “optics” related to the way an event or situation appears. The “optics” of politicians dating teenaged girls, for example, is not great even though dating teenaged girls is not necessarily illegal. The “optics” of meeting with lots of Russians during a presidential campaign even though Russians are wonderfully interesting and not banned, per se, are not the best.
You get it.
And the “optics” of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch replacing Lower Trestles on the upcoming World Surf League tour is not, I would imagine, how the powers wanted their exciting announcement to play in the public but that’s exactly how it is playing. Let’s read the Orange County Register!
Hurley Pro at Trestles removed from world tour, replaced by Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch.
The world’s best surfers won’t be battling at the cobblestone beach south of San Clemente, with the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro at Lower Trestles replaced with a stop at Kelly Slater’s new man-made wave hundreds of miles away from the coast.
The Hurley Pro has long been a popular surf contest for local surf fans, who can get an up-close, front-row seat to the world’s best surfers.
Surf Ranch replacing Lowers. An artificial wave replacing a real one. Man replacing God. Etc. Etc. And I don’t think this is exactly the case. I went off half-cocked the other day, writing that the WSL should be blamed for Lowers’ demise and, it should be, but my hurt obscured all the hardboiled surf journalism I did that day. Through hundreds of calls, emails, texts with tens of sources I baked it down to this.
The Hurley Pro was cut.
The Surf Ranch was added.
And they were two, unconnected, separate decisions based almost entirely on economics. And back to “optics”… would it not have played better to first add the Surf Ranch stop then a few weeks later cut Lowers?
Or would that have been dishonest?
What, do you think, was the asking price for title sponsorship of Lowers? I would have liked the World Surf League to hold a public auction. I know my partner Derek Rielly is not the biggest fan but I would have gone, raised my paddle and swapped my integrity if it could be saved and called the Hurley Pro brought to you by BeachGrit.
We would have had lots and lots of fun.