"When the live experience is as good or better then there'll be full migration to the the Facebook platform," the WSL's gloriously titled Senior Vice President of Global Brand Identity, Dave Prodan told BeachGrit. "Before that, it exists on the WSL platform." | Photo: WSL

Facebook Buys Exclusive WSL Broadcast Rights!

But no panic! Webcast still lives on the WSL site, at least for a little longer… 

Earlier today, the WSL announced they’d signed a two-year exclusive broadcast rights deal with Facebook.

All of the WSL’s big events, the men’s and women’s WCTs, the big-wavers, the WQS 10,000s and the World Juniors. Facebook has got ’em.

“This is game-changing for the sport in many ways and, with current and new fans front of mind, we can retain the free offering to fans, and it allows us to deliver the world’s best surfing to even more people on Facebook’s platform,” said the company’s lovely, if non-surfing, CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

“We’re excited to help WSL continue to serve and grow this vibrant community and usher in a new era of surf broadcasting on Facebook Watch (the company’s US-only video platform),” Facebook’s Head of Global Sports Partnerships, Dan Reed said.

Which means, eventually, you’re going to have to sign up for a Facebook account, along with all its voyeuristic time-wasting and addictive stalking, to watch WCT events.

But not just yet.

“When the live experience is as good or better then there’ll be full migration to the the Facebook platform,” the WSL’s gloriously titled Senior Vice President of Global Brand Identity, Dave Prodan told BeachGrit. “Before that, it exists on the WSL platform.”

Prodan said there’s no time-frame on when it’ll become Facebook only, “Suffice to say that the current product is sophisticated. Facebook have talented developers so we’re excited to see what they come up with.”

Did Facebook cough up a little cash in the deal?

“It’s a media rights deal so a revenue component as well as promotion across the two-billion person platform. The WSL rights are very in demand.”

Of course, a Facebook-only broadcast kills the fun when your progressive workplace stiffs FB during operating hours, and only opens the gate for an hour at lunch.

If you live in Australia and have become panicked that Fox Sports won’t be running WCT events, you can relax. This is a digital-rights deal only.

“Linear broadcast ala Fox Sports in Australia won’t be affected,” said Prodan.

The Monster Girls in maybe happier days.

Shock: Monster Energy’s “mistreatment of women”!

Is Monster Energy not the bastion of feminism it appears to be?

Most mornings find the earth in the same rough condition it was in the preceding night. Governments plodding along. Businesses making a little money. A vague scandal involving African or Eastern European politicians.

Some mornings, though, find the earth shaken off its very axis by some shocking news that no one, not even the best minds, saw coming.

This is one of those mornings for it was revealed that Monster Energy, home of the Monster Girl, is being sued for sexual discrimination.

Give your heart a few minutes to take it in. Home… of… the Monster Girl.

And now let us turn to Business Insider.

“Monster Energy is in hot water after allegations of sexist and abusive behavior by executives.

“The Coca-Cola-backed beverage company has been hit with five lawsuits involving the mistreatment of women, HuffPost reports. In one case, makeup artist Sara Rabuse, who had worked with Monster, claims she was strangled by her then-boyfriend, an executive at the company.

“The ex-boyfriend, Brent Hamilton, was arrested on charges of assault in 2016 after an argument.

“Hamilton is still the head of music marketing at Monster Energy. Monster told HuffPost that there was nothing to suggest ‘he has a violent or abusive history or that he and his ex-girlfriend would have gotten into a private domestic dispute as alleged.’

“In another lawsuit, region manager Page Zeringue claims she faced sexual discrimination after she began dating a more senior executive, John Kenneally.

“After beginning their relationship, Zeringue was promoted twice by her boss, Kenneally. But later Zeringue claimed Kenneally threatened to fire her if she broke up with him, according to the report.

“Zeringue told HuffPost that when she brought up issues with HR, she received a write-up filled with ‘fabricated, illegitimate, vague complaints and issues.’

“Zeringue was fired two weeks later. Kenneally was put on paid leave after HuffPost reached out for its article, though Monster said that Zeringue’s departure was unrelated to the couple’s “consensual relationship.”

“Monster said in a statement to HuffPost that the lawsuits did not reflect a sexist culture at the company, and that the cases ‘are diverse, unrelated and do not remotely suggest a systemic environment of harassment or discrimination.'”

Home… of… the Monster Girl.

I still can’t believe it for I have attended many professional surf and professional skateboard events that feature these Monster Girls and their nitrogen-powered t-shirt cannons.

I have seen them “shake it” and “smile” while their dolled-up madam looked on.

Did you know they had a madam? An older women, maybe once a Monster Girl herself, that took care of the little things like touching up bronzer and mouthing the words “shake it” or maybe “shake them” (I am not a skilled lip reader) and “smile.”

First Harvey Weinstein and now this. I don’t even know what is happening.

The author applies the basic technique of Getting Spastic to get the (passably okay) shot, arms in the air, maybe screaming.

Democracy: Fake surf shots like a pro!

You ain't real good? It don't matter!

I’ll be the first to admit I ain’t the surfer I usually think I am. On a little runner, with easy-to-read shoulders, you might think, yeah, there’s something there.

But there ain’t.

Started too late, found solace in being too cool to try when I was on the cusp of being okay, didn’t join a boardriders club at an early-enough age, and the result is a sad lil man standing on a very crowded  wharf, the ship of good style and instinctive surfing long sailed.

One thing I do know, and this is something I learned from staring at thousands of photos as a magazine editor, is that you can fake a good surf shot.

Never had a good surf photo of yourself surfing?

Let me show you how.

Spastic isn’t a dirty word. On one hand, I’m glad we washed our hands of this epithet for anyone with cerebral palsy. How many kids did we torture with it at school? On the other hand, you’re not going to get a good surf shot if you think style means barely moving on a wave. The surf photos that work are the result of aggression and bold directional changes. Get spastic! Get your ass low to your board, coil up, throw your arms in the turn, scream if you have to. I know a guy who might be, and this is an extremely competitive division yes, the ugliest surfer in the world. I think he’s Swiss, maybe. Beautiful man, body like an Olympian. But the way he bounces on his board and throws himself at the lip makes for… photos. I watch him surf, spellbound sometimes, snapping the shots in my head, knowing, he could take some of these home and be on the cover of a magazine.

You’re not in the pocket and you’re nowhere near the lip. What a sad thing it is to see video of yourself on a wave for the first time. All those times you ragged on Alejo Muniz for not surfing critical enough? Oh god, look at this: you’re three pumps out on the face before you even started looking upward at the lip. Here’s the thing. If you think you should be stalling for the tube, that’s where you need to be doing your turns.

Airs go toward the beach not off the back. Running down the line and throwing yourself off the back of the wave won’t look like an air however fast your photographer hits the shutter button. If you want a flying kick-out shot to show your pals in Cleveland , sure, keep doing what you’re doing. If you want something approximating an air that’ll fool your pals at the beach, huck it towards the sand.

Think, one turn only: you’re not being scored on the wave, only the photo. Waste the entire wave if you have to. Murder five sections. Gather your speed and deliver.

Go retro-fab: Soul arches are the easiest damn thing in the world. Throw your back out, hands by your side, and collect your very 2009 photo at the door.

Young Japanese girl pictured surfing a tsunami.
Young Japanese girl pictured surfing a tsunami.

Nature: Tsunami alarm for west coast!

A wild scene from Alaska to San Francisco!

When I was a younger boy I dreamed of one day riding a tsunami. I grew up on the Oregon coast and there were signs on the main road to the beach that instructed what to do should a tsunami happen to come. I read their clarion calls to run for high ground but I always thought, “Hell no. I will run home, grab my rainbow Hawaiian Island Creation and surf that thing into the record books.”

Then one day an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan and the news reported that a tsunami was on its way. I was overjoyed and begged my father to drive to Sunset Beach so I could surf into the record books. He agreed and soon there we were, on the sand, with a handful of other tsunami watchers. I waited patiently for the monster to appear on the horizon. My plan was simple, as soon as I saw it I would run into the water with Hawaiian Island Creation, spin quickly, catch it and surf into downtown Coos Bay and there would be parades in my honor from Portland all the way down to Ashland after I succeeded.

We sat for a long time until someone declared that the tsunami had washed up already and measured six inches.

I was devastated. My shattered dreams mixing amongst the crabs and seashells.

Today, another tsunami was supposed to hit California from a 7.9 magnitude earthquake originating off Alaska. AOL reported:

Tsunami alerts were lifted on Tuesday for the U.S. West Coast and western Canada after a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska, sending the state’s coastal residents inland to seek shelter from possible tidal waves.

In Alaska, people packed into high schools and other evacuation centers after the quake hit shortly after midnight local time (0900 GMT).

Officials had warned residents as far south as San Francisco to be ready to evacuate coastal areas but by 5:15 a.m. PST (1315 GMT) the U.S. National Weather Service had lifted all tsunami advisories, watches and warnings for California, Oregon Washington and Alaska. Canadian officials lifted one for coastal British Colombia.

Can you believe AOL still exists? Me neither.

Matt (right): Did we just become friends? Jon: You're not a shaper! You're a big fat curly-headed fuck.

Pyzel-Mayhem collab: “Best shortboard ever!”

Koa Rothman refuses to return Pyzel-Mayhem collab after sensational debut session.

Last September, maybe a little before, I engaged two of the best shapers in the world in a novelty collaborative project. I took the man who creates the masterpieces that allow John John Florence to flourish, Mr Jon Pyzel, and another who designs Ferraris for Mason Ho, Kolohe Andino and the world champs Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright, Matt Biolos, and sold ’em on the idea of designing a board together.

Jon was into the charge, Matt less so.

At times it felt like a Harvey Weinstein-like character pressuring the pretty girl into something that didn’t feel ideal but perhaps it might, at a pinch, help her career.

Matt eventually relented for part one, the design, and you can read that here, but disappeared when it came to building the board for the reveal to see if it actually worked. What got spat out of Pyzel’s machine, however, was his outline meets Mayhem’s rocker and deck-line profile.

A pretty, if unusual, combination.

“It sure has the Mayhem nose,” said Pyzel, “That extra curve in the last few inches up there. I have a nose fetish when it come to surfboards.”

Did it work?

Pyzel, whose factory is in the little North Shore town of Waialua, cooked and baked a five-ten version that he figured would work for him.

“It looked good, not what I am used to my boards looking like, but sexy,” said Pyzel.  “The main things that stood out to me were the last few inches of nose rocker and the thickness flow through the last 18” in the tail. Both looked quite a bit different from one of my boards, but it wasn’t so far off from them. Pretty weird to create a board like this and have it come out so nice.”

And the response from his team?

“Well, I made it for myself to test first but then I talked to  Koa Rothman and since the waves had been smaller he was telling me he had been having amazing sessions on his new Voyager 1 and that it was his new favourite shortboard. I figured that it was a good frame of mind to be in to test a new board and since he lives three houses away and rides the same size boards as me, I told him to come over and grab the collab board and take it for a surf. He texted me the next morning  ‘Man, I’m sorry but I don’t think I can give it back. It’s one of the best short boards I’ve ridden.’”

Mayhem had been on a non-stop shaping tour around the world, Europe, South America, east coast USA, and so forth, and the collab board languished somewhere on the production line. But he said that despite an initial reticenc he enjoyed the collaborative experience because it forced him to re-imagine and rethink elements of his shaping that might’ve been operating on auto-pilot.

“It shined a light into the shadows,” said Mayhem.

(Note: a version of this story appears in the current issue of Surfing Life, which is on sale here.)