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Beach Grit

Gimme: The velvety pipes of Todd Richards!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Snowboarding's Todd Richards is the answer to WSL commentary woes!

The World Surf League’s 2018 season will commence next month and, before last night, I had completely given up on any changes to the announcing crew. Oh you’ve read the gentle prodding directed toward the booth here for years. Like when the great surf historian Matt Warshaw wrote: “Martin Potter’s jaw-grinding voice sounds as if its been filtered through six espresso shots and a migraine headache.” And “Turpel hurts me on a both a professional and personal level.”

But what are we going to do? Every season the prodding gets less and less and less because I’ve lost hope. Complete and utter hope. The WSL is not going to change the lineup and, what’s even worse, before last night I couldn’t even imagine who they could/should introduce. Sal Masekela is too satisfied with his pro surfer friendships, Wassel too hyped, Todd Kline has gone fishing and Trippie Redd is busy leaning. Cote might be great but as a color man not the anchor that holds it all down.

There is no anchor to hold it all down. No savior.

Until last night.

I was watching Olympic snowboarding, you see, and into my ears flooded the velvety pipes of Todd Richards. He is NBC’s “man on the mountain” and was knowledgeable, authoritative, intelligent. He mixed the exact right amount of insider information with helpful beginner explanation all in a rich baritone. He knew when to talk and knew when to shut his mouth, letting the moment breathe.

And he’s handsome. Like, a more masculine/less pudgy Mexican nativity cherub version of Joe Turpel.

“So what?” you say. “Todd Richards ain’t no surfer…”

And I almost lunge across the coffee table right at you because yes he is. Todd Richards lives very near to me in bucolic North County San Diego, surfs often and well. He knows all the grabs, he knows all the jams off the top and squirts off the bottom. He knows it all and I don’t know how this very obvious solution had not become obvious to me before last night.

Todd Richards is the answer to all our surf commentary problems and we should all email the World Surf League’s Santa Monica office today and demand his inclusion. Maybe let’s try [email protected] and if that doesn’t work I’ll give you Dave Prodan’s phone number.