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Beach Grit

The day the World Surf League told me to beat it!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

The gravy train has derailed!

It is day five of the Oi Rio Pro or at least I think it is. Much like Kelly Slater our coverage of the event has gone missing. It would be impossibly rude to make Longtom wake up in the middle of a Byron night to watch the world’s better surfers dance in Brazil and so this morning, after receiving a text from Nobel Prize winner Jamie Tworkowski* that Gerry Lopez was on the mic and performing admirably, I decided to take the contest duties upon myself.

I sat down on a corinthian leather stool, breathed deeply through my nose and pressed www.worldsurfleague.com into the browser and there I was, or almost because then I had to press the “watch” button. I thought, after pressing, that Adriano de Souza’s face would pop onto my screen but instead the above window and the words, “Just sign up to watch live. It’s free.” followed by the standard “Continue with Facebook” “Continue with Google” and then, inexplicably, “we won’t post anything without asking.”

Post what without asking? My mind whirled into Cambridge Analytica territory. What on earth does the WSL want to post? Personality quizzes for my friends? Pleas for help? No, it was already too stressful so I pressed the “Not Now” option nestled into the left corner.

This took me back to the beginning and I pressed watch and was again taken to the “Continue with Facebook” “Continue with Google” “we won’t post anything without asking.”

Again and again and again. The same loop. There was no way out and I smashed “Not Now” more vigorously each and every time, sweat starting to bead on my forehead. I’ve downloaded your app, WSL. I’ve given you the better part of my youth but you want more. Always more. Why can’t you listen to my “Not Now”? Why can’t you respect my body and my choices? Why is “Not Now” not really an option?

I finally gave up, exhausted, without any professional surfing to soothe my soul.

So. Who is doing good? Is Gerry Lopez a sweet addition to the team? What about Chris Cote? Who did Chris replace anyhow? Is Julian Wilson still in the Jeep Leaderboard Yellow Jersey? More questions to come.

* I once had dinner with Emily Ratajkowski. She was a fine conversationalist and I thought her and Jamie Tworkowski would cut a striking figure and that they should get married and hyphenate Jamie and Emily Ratajkowski-Tworkowski. I was drinking Moscow Mules at that dinner out of a paper straw.