WSL*: “Confirmed: Women’s WCT trophy to be same as men’s!”

*World Sharkfeed League confuses and exhausts surf fans!

Do you like satire spooned onto your morning gruel? I do, and this is a bonanza.

Although it is unclear how long this one-day old Instagram account will exist given its use of the WSL logo and initials etc, we must enjoy while we can, especially since it’s driving surf fans nuts.

Twelve hours ago, the IG account @worldsurfleagues appeared. Shortly after, it had 4712 fans.

The first post went after the prizemoney thing. 

And the fans went bananas.

sophiemhickey@brianneworth !!! one small step towards equality…one very small step.
colgcThe size of the trophy? So thats equality? 🤔😂😂
harpy_harvey@colgc 🤯 don’t worry about equal prize money just give them the same trophy 🤣
neeskapetaWas the trophy the only thing of even footing? Prize money? Air time?
virginievdh👍👍👍
lukeweinertI thought size doesn’t matter #joking
chanymullinsYay, well done @wsl 🙂
lillypollardGood start WSL. Now prizemoney.
artesurfIt was half the trophy before? Thought it was just a diferent disign…

A post that announces “the acquisition of soul surfing” was met with similar confusion.

From rabid, but stupid, surf fans.

mdennu98Money money money. That’s what it’s all about ey
therealferbersacYou must be kidding right surfing is not about money at least it wasn’t until you took over 🤑
worldsurfleagues@therealferbersac it’s all about money now, it used to be drugs, but now it’s just hard cash 💰
lapuyadelavida😢
mdennu98@worldsurfleagues Soul? Arsehole!

A third post festoons a photo of Chiba with a Slater/WSL pool.

Now, the standard cure for depression is drugs, exercise and so forth. But isn’t this an all-size-fits beatitude for gloom in general?

And how long y’think before this account gets yanked?

Click here, by the way. 


Teach me everything about your surfing...

how-to-surf: “Like sliding across the kitchen floor in socks!”

Magazine for future engineers and serial killers breaks down the Sport of Kings!

It is summer in North America and time for the annual roll out of surf-related stories and articles in non-surf magazines. I generally like to peruse and giggle, rudely, about a misused term or misapplied lesson but enjoy the different perspective from, say, the Seventeen gal or Esquire guy. It’s like reading The Inertia except good and this morning I stumbled upon a gem Popular Mechanics’ How to Start Surfing.

When I was in high school, it was the future engineers and serial killers who loved their Popular Mechanics and so I wondered what sort of tips these sorts are being given today. The first few paragraphs not only didn’t disappoint, they mesmerized!

For all the great mystique surrounding surfing, it’s actually not that hard to ride a wave. On a huge board, in the right conditions, with a decent instructor, most people will get to their feet the first day. And it feels amazing—like sliding across the kitchen floor in your socks, only the floor is the ocean, and you’re walking on water.

The hard part comes when you love that feeling. When you decide you want to surf for real, and on your own. There’s equipment to master. Rules. Lingo. Tides. Swells. The sea is always changing, and you have to learn how and when it’s willing to play. You’ll go out in slop. You’ll get turned back by waves that are too big. You’ll get tossed around underwater and cut your feet on rocks and get smacked with your board. It’s humbling.

But it’s also worth it. One day, maybe in a year, or two years, or even three, you’ll paddle like mad into a glassy, green, unbroken wave, slide down its slope and dig your board’s edge (the rail) into its face, sailing right across its heft in a low crouch. When the wave breaks around you, you’ll skid out in front of the foam, letting it carry you farther in toward the beach, until you finally sink into the sea, face to the sky in exaltation, while your board pops out from under you like a champagne cork.

“Look!” a mom will say, towing her small child toward the beach, plastic bucket in hand. “A surfer!”

Bravo and well done, but it is the rest of the piece that truly amazed. Popular Mechanics broke down exactly what ocean temperatures require what wetsuit, questions from a non-surfer which includes, “How do I take off a wetsuit?”

A visual guide.

And the most simple/helpful lineup etiquette guide ever.

The rider has the right of way.

Don’t ditch your board.

Don’t drop in.

Face the horizon.

Again, bravo. The Inertia… are you taking notes?


Wait: I’m hideous at math but…

Is the WSL using a silly algorithm to both claim that pay 'tween men and women is equal while paying women half as much?

I will warn you, from the outset, that this should not be a post BUT I’ve been puzzling over World Surf League sexism and the subsequent media story and the sub-subsequent World Surf League response since I pressed “publish” on the cut n pasterpiece “#metoo: WSL steps in sexist tar pit!” earlier today.

To review, the WSL sanctioned a something star in South Africa where Jordy Smith purposely threw his heats (is this legal as it pertains to sport betting?) and the female winner appeared to earn exactly half as much as her male counterpart.

A photo of both winners, the female holding a 4000 rand big cardboard cheque and the male holding an 8000 rand big cardboard cheque, made the rounds and the event sponsor threw the WSL under the bus saying that it was there policy and the WSL South African spokesperson responded by saying:

“It highlights an issue, but it’s a very complicated one,” he said.

The WSL argument comes down to the concept of prize-money-per-surfer, which it says shows the equality of pay between male and female competitors.

It works like this: say there are 10 surfers competing for a total pot of $100 in prize money. That works out to a ratio of $10-per-surfer. The winner gets $50, and the runners up get the rest.

Now say there is a female competition of five surfers. At the same ratio of $10-per-surfer, the total prize money is $50. The winner gets only $25.

That was the case at the Ballito Pro, the WSL said. There were twice as many male surfers as female ones: 36 compared to 18. To keep the same money-per-surfer ratio for men and women, the prize money for the female winner had to be half as much as the men.

“Men get double the prize money only because there are double the competitors,” Will Hayden-Smith said.

But I still don’t get it and everything still seems utterly sexist. Right? Like, if you are going to have equal prize money then shouldn’t female surfers get twice as much if there are half as many? And if you are going to penalize the females because there are less of them competing shouldn’t you damn well make sure that there are not less of them competing?

I remember when the WSL rolled out their “equality of pay” schtick and I thought, “How wonderful. They should advertise that more.” The fact they didn’t was confusing but just this moment right now I understand why they didn’t advertise more. And it is because it is a total lie. The World Surf League caps the number of female surfers competing and uses a silly algorithm to both claim that pay is equal while paying half as much.

Now I’ve got two corruption charges to chase. This Pulitzer is going to be so so so sweet.

More tomorrow.


"Actually, what he did, apparently, he was out there coaching all the other boys, trying to fire them up, encourage them to go the better waves." | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Explained: Why Jordy Smith Threw his Heat at the Ballito Pro!

"A tough one for Jordy!"

Are you watching the Ballito Pro, the big qualifying event that serves as a sort of warm-up event to J-Bay?

Last night, my electronic mailbox was hit by surf fans whose curiosity had been pricked by defending champion Jordy Smith’s horror round two heat score.

“Hiya baby. I’m just speculating,” wrote one, “but the dude was landing sick airs and then seemingly jumping off for a flailing fall. Was like watching the world cup. Could be a gammy ankle, is the only other plausible explanation I could give.”

In a heat with Seth Moniz (Hawaiia), Sammy Pupo (Brazil) and Costa Rican Noe Mar McGonagle, Jordy finished a distant last, his 5.63 total (his scoring waves were a 2.70 and a 2.93) the fourth lowest of the day.

What happened? Do heats actually get thrown? And why?

In this Facebook stream, the commentators explain (go to 2:49):

Commentator 1: “Of course, we have lost both finalists in Willian Cardoso and Jordy Smith. Scott (commentator 2)  you weren’t in the booth for that one, you were down on the beach. What do you think of the disinterest of Jordy Smith there?” 

Commentator 2: “Well, I’ve just got some information on that, and it was a really tough one for Jordy. He does love this event, he’s won it twice, he loves coming here, but his actual focus is on J-Bay. It’s the first time we’ve had such a close back-to-back window with the two events and that really was his focus. He didn’t want to keep progressing here. He wants to get down to J-Bay. I think you guys might’ve mentioned that and suggested that was the case. It’s a tough one for him. He loves the event, he sees the importance of it, but, actually, what he did, apparently, he was out there coaching all the other boys, trying to fire them up, encourage them to go the better waves. We saw that air he did. He was just having a bit of fun. It was a really tough one for Jordy. These CT surfers, I’m not sure if the viewers out there know but they need to surf one big QS event within their region. A tough one for Jordy.”

Tough!

Is making tour surfers hit a QS event silly?

Conversely, do you think the kindness of Jordy in the heat, encouraging others and so forth, was a lovely example to children whose parents might’ve dumped ’em in front of the Facebook Live stream as some sort of inhuman punishment? 


#metoo: WSL steps in sexist tar pit!

Female winner earns exactly half as much as her male counterpart!

You would think, in this historical moment right here, that one corporate rule would trump all others. Don’t pay women half as much as their male counterparts for the same work. And if you are going to pay women half as much as their male counterparts for the same work then don’t advertise it.

Well, the World Surf League, dances to the beat of its own drummer and decided yesterday, in South Africa, the time was right to kick feminism in the nuts.

And can we turn to The South African for details? It’d be rude not to.

Well, this is awkward. The Ballito Pro Junior competition has been chastised to high heaven after their prize money allocation drew accusations of sexism.

The Billabong-sponsored surfing tournament was held 40km north of Durban, and split into both a male and female category.

Surfing the same ocean, with the same equipment and being judged on the same criteria, the under 18 men’s winner walked away with R8 000. Meanwhile, the under 18 women’s champion took home R4 000.

Naturally, it didn’t take long for Facebook users to register their anger once the prizes were revealed

The official Facebook page for the Ballito Pro issued a brief statement on the site. They confirmed that the prize money was distributed by the World Surf League, suggesting it was up to them to right this wrong:

“The World Surf League is the governing and sanctioning body of the event that determines all prize money and rankings. We have brought this to their attention for further comment.”

ABC in Australia actually went to the World Surf League (I would have but am busy chasing up leads on corruption etc.) and here we have this:

WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith told Hack the Ballito Pro photo “on first glance does look like a huge disparity”.

“It highlights an issue, but it’s a very complicated one,” he said.

The WSL argument comes down to the concept of prize-money-per-surfer, which it says shows the equality of pay between male and female competitors.

It works like this: say there are 10 surfers competing for a total pot of $100 in prize money. That works out to a ratio of $10-per-surfer. The winner gets $50, and the runners up get the rest.

Now say there is a female competition of five surfers. At the same ratio of $10-per-surfer, the total prize money is $50. The winner gets only $25.

That was the case at the Ballito Pro, the WSL said. There were twice as many male surfers as female ones: 36 compared to 18. To keep the same money-per-surfer ratio for men and women, the prize money for the female winner had to be half as much as the men.

“Men get double the prize money only because there are double the competitors,” Will Hayden-Smith said.

That makes zero sense but even if it did, maybe someone should have thought about the optics? Do you like that word? “Optics.” I kind of do.

The World Surf League has glaucoma.