We are entering a golden age!
BeachGrit is just over three years old now and what a wild adventure it has been, particularly as it relates to the World Surf League. When we first started the World Surf League was called the Association of Surfing Professionals and lead by the handsome + capable Brodie Carr. Soon, though, a no money bid was made + accepted and one Paul Speaker was introduced to us all. Clearly a tool from the start, Paul buttoned up his polo and headed on to business shows, spouting nonsense about how many people watch professional surfing, how much money Kelly Slater makes and how shallow Cloudbreak is.
All of a sudden the World Surf League was the easiest thing on earth of which to make fun. Completely out of touch with and dismissive of the poor wretches too desperately smitten by professional surfing not to watch.
We were caught in a bad romance and the WSL mocked us, rolling out the Channel Four News Team minus the laughs as our commentators while Paul Speaker went out seeking big-dollar non-endemic sponsors because why wouldn’t they want access to the 25 billion people around the world that he claimed were tuning in?
Things reached a critical nadir when title sponsor Samsung’s phones started blowing people’s faces off before pulling out entirely. Other sponsors fell away and the endemic brands continued on in their surf industry apocalypse unable to pick up any slack.
And then a spring. A thaw. It seemed the WSL gave up on attracting the mythical masses, recognizing it a failed strategy, and through nonstop needling, I got Paul Speaker fired. He was replaced with a Sophie Goldschmidt who seems kind enough and also not petrified of a one-one-one interview.
Most importantly, though, our own Steve “Longtom” Shearer became, de facto, the main voice of the League. His coverage over the past season is the envy of all other surf media and he has become the literate, fun, irreverent, knowledgable personality so desperately missing.
Which brings us to this new Facebook deal. Maybe it is exactly what we need. A simple, no nonsense media partnership that provides more bandwidth than YouTube but mostly for the already existing and/or genuinely probable fan. There will be more time, I would imagine, for interstitial programming and I would recommend that BeachGrit be given a show. It will star Longtom and there will be appearances by Nick Carroll, Negatron, Ashton Goggans (a rematch made in heaven), Derek Rielly, me and you.
Tell me it wouldn’t sparkle. Tell me you wouldn’t at the very least hate watch.