A bold pro-milquetoast agenda!
Surfline, the world’s largest surf website, has had a very long run at the top. What started as a telephone call in service turned online in 1995 and has been a go to for any serious surfer since. I’ve always been fascinated by it. Thousands upon thousands of eyeballs coming every day for surf reports. Captive eyeballs since no one else has the camera network etc. I always imagined how powerful the editorial voice could, in theory, be.
Brands killed, brands made. The world shaped.
And maybe, the specter of this power kept Surfline from ever trying to discover an editorial voice, preferring to stay safely in the bland where no hurt feelings dwell.
Until last week.
It appears that new-look Surfline (the site has changed and cameras are no longer offered freely) has decided it is going to be the Fox News of surf media. A bullish mouthpiece of the current administration. A bold pro-milquetoast agenda.
The transition was signaled by a softball interview with World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt and continues today with unvarnished excitement about Olympic surfing’s schedule which, apparently has locked down dates. Let’s read a touch together?
So we did what anyone curious about surfing and the Olympics would do — called the ISA’s Fernando Aguerre, who, by his own admission, “knows more about surfing in the Olympics than anyone on earth.” And who are we to argue? It was Aguerre’s vision, drive and commitment that led to surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Games.
Turns out, those dates are placeholders. “This is one of difficulties in having a competition in the ocean,” Aguerre said. “They need initial competition dates to put some pins on the wall to start selling tickets. And if we have a good swell, we’ll run then — but if not, we have all the way through August 9th to run. They do the same thing in sailing — if there’s no wind, they can’t run, but they need to have dates on the board.”
This is good news, obviously. Surfing in the Games needs four days to run, and a two-week waiting period is essentially the same as a current men’s WCT event. Decent chance of surf.
More good news: there is flexibility. It’ll be the ISA — not the IOC or Tokyo — making the call to run each day. They can run a few hours during the morning offshores, then hold till the next day, etc. Just like a ‘CT event.
I think it is wonderful that Surfline has found its voice though I do wonder if the Huff-Po inspired The Inertia will get testy. What do you think? Do you think the Huff-Po inspired The Inertia will get testy?