Explained: Facebook’s approach to live sport!

"Dumb? The dumbest."

I am not a good businessman (hello BeachGrit!) and am genuinely confused by the machinations of the corporate world. Like, I remember driving through downtown Los Angeles as a younger man, looking up at all the tall buildings and wondering what all those workers were doing. Thousands upon thousands of workers punching on their computers and reporting to various vice-presidents but what were the workers punching and why so many of them and how did anything get done?

My mind couldn’t, and still can’t, fathom organizational hierarchy charts etc. but over the years I’ve picked up some tenants that appear to make businesses hum and one of the most important seems to be obfuscation. Just blurring the heck out of basic truths. Spin etc.

Well, our World Surf League has done a wonderful job of a muddled messaging from its very inception (hello Herr Paul Speaker!) and continues to throw pointless smoke. The failed Facebook rollout is prime example and, again I’m not a businessman, but what if instead of stretching the truth (hello “concurrent viewing numbers!) the League just came clean and explained how/why it didn’t work in plain language to its most ardent fans?

Would a little straight talk not cheer you up?

Thankfully, there are wonderful people in similar fields and here we have the great friend to explain, in plain language, our future. And without further ado:

The team I work for were very early adopters of this technology and did a deal with Facebook and a streaming video company (Facebook does not have the capability to live stream multi cam broadcast) to deliver weekly content in early 2016.

What we have found from doing the stream for 3 years is that despite Facebook claiming they do not “quash” or “algo” live video content, they do exactly that by preventing the video from appearing in your news feed.

This means that your streams only go out to a fraction of your audience.

In our case, we might get 200 live views reaching a total of 8,000 viewers, similar ratios to what the WSL gets for events so tells me they are on the same set up. It is worth pointing out there is NO regional coding. This is great except that we have 200,000 likes, so the engagement is less than 10% of the customer base and the only way to increase this is to pay money to Facebook. When we remind them that we did a deal with them their claim is that the “natural” setting of live video cannot be altered without a specific boost campaign.

This means that any live stream, unless boosted after the fact, (which isn’t strictly live event anymore) only ever goes out to a fraction of your engaged audience. So what the WSL have done is sign up to a service which actively prevents its customers from viewing the product.

Dumb? The dumbest. And they are only finding this out now because the numbers are way lower than what they would have predicted.

Choo-choo! Make way for the straight talk express!

Leo fioravanti kanoa igarashi
Soy Boy Face or Bandwagon Jumpers? You do the mathematics, the algorithm etc.

Are Leo Fioravanti and Kanoa Igarashi part of epidemic of “Feminised Men”?

"Decreasing testosterone levels among American men are causing them to behave in childish and feminine ways!"

It never rains, it pours, as they say. Just a few hours ago, you were asked, “Are you a surf bitch?”

It was a plaintiff wail, I suppose, about dwindling resources of masculinity.

(Do the test here!)

Now, and thanks to a kind BeachGrit reader who forwarded a link to the Return of Kings website (“a blog for heterosexual, masculine men) there appears another related phenomenon called the “Soy Boy Face.”

“There is no doubt that decreasing testosterone levels among American men are causing them to behave in childish and feminine ways,” writes ROK founder and men’s rights activist Roosh Valizadeh. “This is most clearly displayed in the ‘soy boy face’ pose that combines the feelings of excitement and fear into one faggotized package. Here are 36 pictures that show the soy boy epidemic is here to stay.”

Okay, that’s two of ’em. See the rest here, although I think you get the gist. 

Two questions.

Are Leo and Kanoa part of the Soy Boy Face epidemic and therefore examples of the feminisation of men? Or just plain ol bandwagon jumpers? 

And, two, it ain’t ok to say “faggotised” is it? Don’t that belong next to retard etc?

surf bitch
Have you sunk to new levels of self-disgust? Surf Bitch!

Quiz: Are you a “surf bitch”?

Try this simple questionnaire to see if you qualify!

One of the great challenges facing a man as he throws himself into serious work, marriage, family etc, is retaining his sense of self and at least a semblance of his masculinity.

No more getting lit four out of every seven nights. No more young people with yellow hair and big brown eyes doing young lovely things to you. Or your spirit soaring in that moment of oblivion at a music festival etc.

The benefits are many, of course: love, family, security.

But does getting married, and getting serious about work, turn you into a “surf bitch”?

Answer these questions to see if you qualify!

  1. Does the idea of buying a new surfboard fill you with as much fear as it does excitement? Do you wonder, How will I tell wife? Where can I hide board until I find the courage within to reveal? How long will it be before I can pass board off as secondhand? Surf Bitch.
  2. Do wet car seats and does sand on the floor cause a frisson of tension in your marriage? Do you, therefore, force pals to de-suit and sit on folded towels and hose feet off before being allowed entry into your Volvo SUV? Surf Bitch.
  3. Do you drive a Volvo SUV? Surf Bitch.
  4. Has your enforced layoff from every day surfing driven you into the arms of surf consumerism? Do you wonder, seriously, about the different characteristics of fins? Do you sit in your cubicle and wonder if your board is the correct literage? Do you believe every new surfboard model is a quantum leap forward in design and not just a way of retaining consumer interest? Surf Bitch.
  5. Are you so afraid of your nudity that you own a surf poncho? Surf Bitch.
  6. Have your yearly surf trips changed from Hawaii or the Ments to the Maldives or Sri Lanka because your partner “wants to learn to surf?” Surf Bitch. 
  7. Do you regularly miss epic dawn patrols because your partner wants you to watch the kids while he, she sleeps in? Surf Bitch.
  8. Have you ever sat in a beachfront cafe with partner eating eggs and discussing house prices while reef-foiled tubes spin off in front of you, driving you to new lows of self-disgust? Surf Bitch!

Well, are you?

Bloodless revolution: Online petition launched to ban wave-hungry child from beach!

Is this the future of localism?

Do you recall last summer when a teenager at Salt Creek, a gorgeous slice of sand in Orange County’s champagne escape of Dana Point, California, was slapped for his transgressions against an older surfer?

The story was the most hotly debated topics on BeachGrit in 2017, creating a schism between surfers on whether grom abuse is ever warranted and, in this case, whether it deserved police intervention.

The real winner in the whole drama was Michael Ciaramella, whose story about London Almida on BeachGrit summoned Christian Fletcher into the fray and ultimately led to a compelling interview.

Even the teen’s dad, Chris Almida, was moved to post an outpouring on the Facebook page of London’s coach Ian Cairns.

The incident at Salt Creek last week involving my family has brought many issues to the surface both positive and negative and I have decided that there is nothing to be gained for anyone by further action on my part and as such I have no intention to pursue any legal recourse. While I respectfully disagree with the idea that bullying is ever justified or that violence is merited as a response to “disrespect” or misbehavior, I can appreciate that others have a different view. It has been very hard to hear this negative feedback and I have run through the gamut of responses from defensive to anger to righteous indignation and finally to resolution that this must be made right. 

One bit of feedback that has rung true is that I need to take a deep look in the mirror and see what part I am playing in the creation of this dynamic. In looking deeply at what I have role modeled I can see the many ways that I have been selfish, aggressive, entitled and easily offended. While I tend to exhibit these traits in a passive aggressive manner they are none the less what I have unwittingly role modeled to my son. This behavior has set my wife into a mode of protection within our family that has been expressed outwardly when the same dynamic plays out in the wider world. For my part I do apologize – first to my family, to my friends and peers and to the surf community as a whole. My lack of acknowledgement and ownership of this behavior has ultimately created this situation and the blame lies squarely with me. I will continue to dive into the root of these issues and work to unravel this behavior and do better for my sons, wife and all.

In respect to London, he has as you may imagine, had to face some serious introspection and participate in some very difficult conversations. He has had to take ownership of how others have experienced him both positively and negatively. London is a good kid with no negative intentions and he will be working hard to show this by his actions and engagement with others.

In peace and aloha and with hope for a new beginning for all involved I offer my apology.”

Well, it appears, possibly, as if London hasn’t quite grasped the concept of respecting proper lineup etiquette. Sources in southern California say Almida has continued dropping in on long-time locals without fear of repercussion. These same sources claim the reason he doesn’t fear any blowback is because his mother, waiting on the beach, is allegedly very quick to call local police.

Fed up with the antics and not wanting to wait till the kid turns 18, where it’d be less of a legal battle to give him a physical deterrent for surfing without traditional manners, an online petition has been started to ban Almida and his family from Salt Creek under the guise that they drain taxpayers dollars with the various police calls etc.

Is this the future of localism? In an age where a smartphone video can be cut, edited, and posted to social media to instantly create a trial of public opinion, is this the only way to curb violence and bad behavior?

If you like this sort of bloodless bureaucratic revolution, you can sign here!

Photo by the great, the only Steve Sherman/@tsherms/WSL

Shocking: Kelly Slater walks back retirement plans!

Are you ready for some hot 2020 Olympic action?

Kelly Slater is the world’s greatest surfer and when he retires we will all be very sad and miss him dearly. We will wake up each morning with Kelly Slater-shaped holes in our hearts and spend the day trying to fill these Kelly Slater-shaped holes with booze and cocaine (buy here!) and Griffin Colapinto who we will say is “the next Kelly Slater.”

There will be many “next Kelly Slater’s” for us as the years drool on and each will contain hope but each will disappoint because who on earth could ever be the next Kelly Slater? Handsome both with hair and without, preternaturally talented, loved by surf legends and Hollywood stars, a competitive beast, 11x world champ.

Yes, the day will come when the ride ends and Kelly Slater even announced it seconds after Joel Parkinson announced his own retirement.

But now that Joel is forgotten and his moment in the spotlight marred is Kelly having second thoughts?

In a wide-ranging interview with WSL partner Surfline, CEO Sophie Goldschmidt seems to suggest that he is.

Surfline: Are there retirement events being planned for Kelly’s final year on tour?

Sophie: After his initial surprise announcement, Kelly then posted that he’s been threatening to retire for 10 years now, so don’t hold your breath on this. With the Olympics round the corner, and him being one of the most competitive people on the planet, there are no plans yet!

Take that (again), Joel.