Is the World Surf League striving for diversity in an ethical way?
Professional surf is one of the roughest games in town and nobody not nobody from any other sport’s league or union or association would dare disagree with me. There is the agony of paddling out in the best conditions mother nature/K. Perrow can muster against one, or sometimes two, other professional surfers. There is giving it your best shot, your honest to goodness best shot, in front of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of professional surf fans dotting the globe. There is the arbitrary nature of judging even when you are giving it your honest to goodness best shot.
There is Instagram where your legacy can be laid to ruins by a few choice comments.
And a heat at just wrapped Uluwatu, home of the Margaret River Pro, featuring two professional surfers in their prime is catching more heat than any other. Maybe you watched it. Maybe you watched Julian Wilson vs. Kolohe Andino bash each other’s tenderloins in that heat. Longtom described thusly:
Kolohe got absolutely cooked by this phenomenon (the overcooking of Julian’s scores). He was clearly the better surfer, on the better waves doing the better surfing against Julian in semi one. It seemed that at some sub-conscious level they were going to pay whatever Julian did with big scores. Kolohe’s presser was meek. He had nothing to say, no fire to let out, as Joe would put it. Even Strider was shocked at both the call and Brother’s obsequiousness to it.
Matt Biolos agreed with Longtom, commenenting on disposable fin FCSs Instagram page, “Sorry. Blatant rip off.”
But do you agree? Was it blatant? And a rip off?
(And do you think Julian Wilson’s fan page Instagram account feat. two lines of loudly crying face emoji is directed at Mayhem or indicates the proprietor’s sadness?)
Watch for yourself.
And now let’s chat some more. You know that I have been pushing for a Julian Wilson championship for many, many years but is the World Surf League nefariously pushing now too? Do they want the current number one, chased very heatedly by no less than four Brazilians, to stay world number one no matter the cost or ethics? For diversity’s sake etc.?
Is this professional surfing’s separate but equal moment? It’s Plessy v. Ferguson?
Something to ponder.