A leaked email confirms worst suspicions!
With tomorrow’s airing of Founders’ Cup live on CBS from Lemoore’s Surf Ranch it is official. The World Surf League has liberated waves from the ocean. Before Kelly Slater’s great revolution waves had been hideously oppressed by nature. They had been starved and flogged. They had been brutalized but also brutalized us with their fickle behavior. Waves were altogether impossible to trust, maybe due their starving and flogging but still. Forecasts would predict their arrival but they wouldn’t come. Or they would come somewhere they weren’t supposed to. Or they would come just for a few moments, for a tease before leaving Kieren Perrow scratching his wet hair, stone-faced.
But now they are liberated from fate and will march happily when the powers tell them to march.
Such total power. Such complete control.
And have you wondered how surfing would look locked behind a high wooden fence and how the World Surf League would exercise its total power and complete control? Would it be benevolent or fascist? Hands off or iron-fisted?
I have wondered and watched. Who gets invited and who doesn’t. What they post on social media and what gets deleted. It has long felt, to me, that there is a creeping consolidation of narrative. That the total power and complete control of the waves is being foisted upon the surfers themselves and today a leaked missive from the League confirms.
We are extremely excited for the Founders’ Cup of Surfing and are stoked that our athletes are spending time at Surf Ranch. We would like to remind you to please respect the space as a training center and venue, which includes avoiding any brand endorsements that imply an association with Surf Ranch, including on social media.
When on the property, please do not endorse products (through product placement). This includes, for example, products placed in front of the wave, within the locker room, etc. You are of course allowed to post footage of your performances and rides at Surf Ranch and tag your sponsors while doing so.
A useful rule of thumb is that if you look at a potential post and see a product in association with Surf Ranch imagery, or if you see a post at Surf Ranch and assume it is a paid advertisement or contractual commitment with a brand, it is likely to have crossed the line. On the other hand, if it is sharing an experience or a nod to the event, without product placement or product endorsement, it is not an issue.
We respect and encourage you to have endorsement deals and have prominent social media presences, but ask that avoid implying Surf Ranch is part of such deals.
If you have any questions, please reach out to any one of us. I will send you some detailed examples next week of posts that are ok and posts that are not.
Thank you for all your support.
While most totalitarian regimes begin seeming innocuous, the World Surf League has decided to buck that trend and go full fascist straight out of the gate. The implications of the above are honestly wild and, if extrapolated, render sponsorship deals with professional competitive surfers moot. The “useful rule of thumb” could be applied to any post whatsoever. Any post of any thing could be seen as a “paid advertisement or contractual commitment with a brand…” because they are, but it is the surfer reaping the ever dwindling benefits and not the World Surf League.
What’s more, it shows the League’s willingness to assert total, complete authority over what happens behind the fence. That damned, god-forsaken place. I can only hope the pro surfers themselves have enough backbone to tell the League to fuck right off and post all sorts of brand products in front of the wave, within the locker room, etc. You can take our waves but you can never take our freedom!
Fuck those bastards.
And I am only getting started. I haven’t felt righteous indignation like this since… since… Swiss airlines stranded my poor family in Zurich for an extra four days, without real apology, at the end of our Alpine vacation.
Fuck all those bastards.
More to come.