A vile plan to repress The Great White North!
The World Surf League and Red Bull have had a notoriously frosty relationship though it does seem to have entered a detente. In less than two weeks, in France, the two will jointly host Red Bull’s Airborne, a version of the re-popularized air format. The WSL describes thusly:
For the first time in history, the World Surf League (WSL) will be hosting an aerial specialty event combining a cross-section of the world’s best surfers from the elite Championship Tour with a global field of specialists for the Red Bull Airborne France this October.
Josh Kerr, former Championship Tour (CT) surfer and universally-regarded as one of the most progressive aerialists in the history of surfing, is one of the co-developers of the Red Bull Airborne France and will serve as Event Director in October.
The Red Bull Airborne France will feature an 18-man field across six qualifying heats and a Final, and will run in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro France – the 9th Stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour.
Two remaining spots for the Red Bull Airborne France will be determined via an online submission site at wslairborne.com. The submissions will be judged by a panel including Event Director Josh Kerr, former CT stalwart and progressive surfing deity Taj Burrow, Ventura innovator Tim Curran and Santa Cruz’s aerial virtuoso Jason “Ratboy” Collins. The most deserving contestants — one surfer over 18 and one under 18 — will be awarded a spot in October’s competition.
Would you like two be one of the wildcards (enter here)? Do you have what it takes? Well, if you would like and do have what it takes but are also Canadian then there are extra hoops for you to jump through. Shall we read the fine print?
Winner Notification: The Winners will be notified by email, on or about September 16, 2018 and must acknowledge receipt of Sponsor’s notification within 48 hours. All decisions of Sponsor are final. All selected Winners are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules and will be required to sign a Declaration of Eligibility, written acceptance of agreement to these Official Rules, as well as enter into an Athlete Agreement and other requisite documentation in order to participate in the Event. In addition, potential winners from Canada, if any, will be required to correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without aid or assistance before being declared a winner.
What the hell WSL? What is this sort of punitive slap at The Great White North? It seems aimed at making sure that Canadian surf aerial specialists are both disenfranchised and shamed into not competing. Imagine winning one of the coveted wildcard spots. Imagine you have put it all together, the best airs of your life, and you’re set to go to France to compete both with and against your heroes. Then imagine an official from the World Surf League knocks on your Tofino door (or Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg… wherever your Canadian dream home is) holding a mathematical skill-testing question. This WSL official takes your phone and any calculators away, clicks her stopwatch and says, “Begin.”
Would you pass? I wouldn’t. I would fail even if the mathematical skill-testing question was 6 x 7.
And now we have a very real scandal on our hand.
What do you have against Canada, WSL?
I need answers and I need them now, eh.