Shock: Kelly Slater “Not Planning” To Surf Rio!

Founders Cup, yes, Brazil and maybe Bali, no!

Last Friday, the WSL posted a very good story called Brazil’s Rich Surfing History Continues at the Oi Rio Pro.

The contest, which begins in one week, and shortly after the Founders Cup at Surf Ranch this weekend, is an event steeped in history and wrapped in notable historical monuments (churches and so forth) as well as a fabulous bucolic charm.

A slice:

The Church of Our Lady of Nazareth was built in 1630 and the surfers in the competition, when not paddling for priority, can take in the church’s incredible architecture and history from the water. The last 400 years, miraculously, haven’t seen much change.

Mick Fanning won his first title there in 2007; Kelly his seventh in 2005.

Brazil got history etc. Read here. 

But that ain’t enough to drag Kelly Slater there after the Founders Cup, where he’ll captain equal contest favourites USA (the other frontrunner is Brazil).

For the third year running, Kelly will be calling in sick for the Oi Rio Pro, an event he has missed four times out of the last seven years. In 2015, Kelly said the water, which scientists said was the equivalent of raw sewage, had made him sick and the following year was the epoch of the Zika virus. Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson and Kai Otton also tapped outta that one.

In a brief exchange on our telephones this morning, Kelly wrote he wasn’t “planning to” surf in Brazil and “might not surf til the J-Bay event. Not sure yet.”

Is it a pool thing? Is the tank light on a busted foot?

Kelly wrote it’s “somewhat” easier on his foot and that he’s not in pain and is only experiencing a “slight discomfort.”

When I asked whether or not he was worried of punitive action by the governing body of pro surfing if he surfs The Cup but not Rio, he politely tapped out with, “Sorry, not gonna jump into this clickbait. Hasn’t Jamie O humped a turtle today or anything?”

The WSL’s vice-president of strategic media announcements, Mr Dave Prodan, was contacted for comment. At the time of publishing, there was no response to a request for a description of the terrible punishment he must now prescribe for the former champion.


Mainstream: Pro surfing no longer ours!

Our small island has been invaded.

For so many years professional surfing has been our secret garden. A place only we knew existed. We could slip into its WSL app after work or sometimes even during work and be amongst 379 other likeminded souls. There we would sit, comforted by the velvety tones of Joe Turpel and insights into what it takes to be ’89 world champ. We would watch Jeremy Flores wiggle for an extra .3 or Adriano de Souza pump his fist and feel… ok. It was ok to watch because 378 other likeminded souls were watching too.

Our own private Idaho.

But no longer.

First the WSL did a deal with Facebook and we nervously laughed, then the WSL did a deal with CBS and we looked around confused. Now the WSL is doing a deal with Turner Broadcasting and Bleacher Sports and are you still here to even read the press release?

Bleacher Report Live – Turner Sports’ new premium sports streaming platform – has reached a wide-ranging partnership with World Surf League (WSL) to distribute live coverage of elite surfing competitions, while becoming the official destination for championship-caliber video on demand content, replays and highlights for the league. As part of the agreement, beginning this season, Turner Ignite Sports will also partner with WSL to sell sponsorship opportunities.

The new partnership – showcasing the world’s best professional surfing events – will begin with the inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, May 5-6. B/R Live will offer 12 hours of live Founders’ Cup coverage at the WSL Surf Ranch, in which five teams representing USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and a World Team will compete over the two-day specialty event held in Lemoore, Calif.

“World Surf League has an established community of very passionate fans and B/R Live will serve as a destination for those seeking direct access to these exciting competitions that showcase the best surfers in the world,” said Hania Poole, Vice President and General Manager, B/R Live. “From live event competitions to on-demand content and a deep collection of video highlights, we’re looking forward to creating the best experience for fans to discover this premium content on B/R Live.”

“It’s an exciting time for surfing and the World Surf League as the sport’s popularity and interest continues to grow,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL Chief Executive Officer. “Our new B/R Live partnership is evidence of this and we are thrilled to offer sports fans another way to enjoy incredible WSL surfing action live and on demand.”

WSL joins the growing portfolio of live sports events that will be available directly through B/R Live including UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, NBA League Pass games, 65 NCAA Championships, PGA Championship, National Lacrosse League, The Spring League, World Arm Wrestling League and more. B/R Live is currently available on iOS, Android and the Web.

Now I know how the gays felt when their bars turned into trendy drinking holes for open-minded social explorers.

We should make a secret handshake so we know who’s who. Right?


Weep: The forgotten original wave tank!

The pioneers left unloved on the sideline. But wait!

With all eyes turned toward Lemoore, California for this weekend’s Founders’ Cup let us take a few moments and weep for the wave pools that came before and did not capture CNN’s imagination. Let us think about that one pool in Dubai that produces two foot waves but doesn’t allow surfboards. Let us also remember Big Surf in Tempe, Arizona where Rick Kane won a drawing set plus a trip to Oahu’s North Shore.

They are all dead. Done. Washed up. Over. Financially bereft.

Oh.

Wait.

Big Surf in Tempe is hosting some fantastic concert series and let’s read about it real quick.

‘Tis the season for pool parties, outdoor music festivals, and events put on by local radio stations. And for events like ALT AZ 93.3’s first-ever Band Splash, which takes place this weekend at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe.

The outdoor concert event, which is being put on by the local radio station on Sunday, April 29, will feature eight hours of live performances by a mix of indie and alternative bands, including Dreamers, The Unlikely Candidates, and Robert DeLong.

According to Alt AZ morning show host Mo Rodriguez, Band Splash came about because the station’s staff wanted to do “something unique and cool.”

“We were trying to do something different where it wasn’t just about seeing bands at a concert,” she says. “It was also about the experience of having fun with your friends and other things to do in between checking out bands.”

Son of a bitch. Are these bastards drafting off of Surf Ranch popularity? Is the pool made for the masses actually still valuable?

Shit.

Who’s playing Founders’ Cup?


Surf Fans Turn on Taj Burrow, Jack Freestone!

"Fuck bottled water!" say eco-warrior surf fans.

Hell hath no fury like a surf fan whose environmental conscience has been pricked.

Yesterday, the surfer-who-retired-too-early, Taj Burrow, along with Jack Freestone and Taylor Knox, posted an innocuous enough giveaway on his Instagram feed offering a dozen bottles of his company Villager’s “Electrolyte Enhanced PH Water.”

Now unless you’re really fucking stupid, you know that bottled water, and especially “enhanced water” is bullshit. A tax on the dumb.

Who else pays three bucks, or five, for a bottle of magic water that costs five cents to make? (Water out of the tap, which makes up most of bottled waters is one cent a litre or a cent-and-a-bit for a quart.)

As was reported by Men’s Health in a story called, Sorry, but alkaline water isn’t actually good for you,

Enter a new crop of “enhanced waters” that claim to offer more health benefits and hydrate you more than plain old H2O. These electrolyte-enhanced, vitamin-boosted super waters might sound great on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper, the science gets a bit murky.

According to the experts, most enhanced H2O just doesn’t live up to the hype. “You’re better off saving your money and sticking to tap water,” says Alissa Rumsey R.D., C.S.C.S., an expert in fueling athletic performance.

But selling it don’t make you a bad guy. A smart capitalist, yes.

Anyway, the three well-liked surfers threw the post up and…oowee… out came the eco-surfer warriors swinging. From some of Taj’s 320,000 followers.

tommy_nails Sad to see you guys pushing such an environmentally harmful product.

cutbackwal Shit, more plastic bottles 👎👎👎

futureselff Love your work taj but can’t believe so many pro surfers are involved in the single use plastic bottled water business … what the?

futureselff Just a heads up to everyone that bottled water (glass or plastic ) is 1000 times more expensive than water out of a tap… the catch is that half the bottled water being sold actually comes from the tap 🤦‍♂️

spencerrundo Really? A surfer pushing plastic products? Shame.

deerjames Boooo

shannon66s Bad idea

neillmcwill I’m all good. Got a tap

surfarcade ALOT OF PLASTIC

c_0llemanz A life living from surfing, and you go and indorse this product, plastic wrapped in [email protected]&King plastic, way to go @tajamos

m4rkm4c Might be healthy for humans but not the environment @villagergoods. Biodegradable packaging a must!

danielrobertjames1 Fuck bottled water.

mrpaulwyatt Just had a great week surfing the Maldives.. so many plastic bottles there now all over the beach and ocean 🌊😕

The heat was a little too much for Freestone.  His post was quickly disappeared.

Taylor Knox’s fans, meanwhile, were, to a person, uniformly pleased by the contest.

An age thing?

Of course, this Villager giveaway ain’t the worst marketing fail of all-time.

Read about those here!


Brazilians pictured celebrating the return of their Tati.

Shocking: Tatiana Weston-Webb swaps teams!

A move no one saw coming!

You know Tatiana Weston-Webb as a phenomenal Kauaian regular foot and/or The Mother of Dragons. She is currently world number four thanks to a fearless approach to the tube and loose limb’d snaps.  Oh she is a very fine surfer but guess what? She is dumping her Kauai/USA surf nationality and swapping teams, headed for Brazil instead.

It’s true! And let’s read a dollop of press release first.

Today I’m excited to announce that, moving forward, I will be representing Brasil on both the WSL Championship Tour as well as in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is a major decision for me and one that I’m really excited about.

Most folks aren’t aware that my Dad is originally from England and my Mom is originally from Brasil. Brasil where I was born, but I feel truly blessed to have been raised on beautiful Kauai – both the community and the waves played a huge role in shaping who I am as a surfer and as a person. I am very grateful for that.

However, Brasil has always been an important part of who I am and, recently, I was approached by the Brasilian Olympic Committee with an opportunity to represent the country in a major way. It’s always been a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics and when surfing was announced as an official Olympic sport, I knew that my dream had a chance of becoming a reality.

Brasil owns a huge part of my heart. I have family, friends and a terrific amount of support there. It’s a place that has always felt like home and I am beyond proud to represent such an amazing country with so much passion and dedication for our sport. While this change gives me the opportunity to represent Brasil in 2020, all spots have to be earned and I’ll be trying my best to qualify as one of the few surfers able to represent their countries in the Olympics.

I consider myself very fortunate to enjoy fan support from Hawaii, Brasil and around the world. Thank you everyone for understanding, respecting, and supporting my decision.

First Kanoa Igarashi headed to Japan and now this. Before long, the United States will not have any professional surfers left, everyone surfing for their roots. Do you care about this nationalist juggling? Or not? I’m of two minds. I love that, theoretically, racist soccer hooligans can now riot for eugenic pride at surf events but also… I don’t know… country of origin or residence or birth seems like a not important part of the overall professional surf experience.

Tatiana dates Jesse Mendes, anyhow, and he is Brazilian. Do you think this factored into her decision?

If you could surf for any nation on earth which would you choose?