Son of a bitch and I’m just gonna come in hot here because I’m boozed and because Stab‘s repackaging of BSR Cablepark’s press release was not only a crime against literature it was a crime against truth. A crime against fun. A crime against anything good or decent.
A crime against surfing and son of a motherfucking bitch.
Did you read? Are you caught up?
Let me fill you in. A young man from New Jersey tragically died from brain-eating amoeba after surfing the BSR Cablepark’s fabulous new wave that seemed both more enjoyable and more democratic than Kelly Slater’s. The Centers for Disease control and Health Department tested the facility and while not finding any Naegleria fowleri, the hideously responsible villain, concluded that, “epidemiologic and environmental assessment indicate that exposure likely occurred at this (Waco) facility.”
Today, after CDC tests and scares that hit too close to home for anyone who has visited BSR Cablepark in Waco, the wavepool, Royal Flush Water Slide and Lazy River have been cleared of the brain eating amoeba that took the life of New Jersey’s Fab Stabile at the end of September.
The news of Fab’s death fell on the back of Stab High and raised anxiety into the highest tier. After plenty of research, it became apparent that the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, is incredibly rare…and incredibly deadly. According to the CDC, out of 143 known cases in the United States, only four infected individuals have survived.
Every year, come winter, BSR shuts down then reopens in spring, on March 1st. On September 30th, following the tragic death and pending investigation, the park closed its doors a month earlier than it did in 2017, October 31st.
It was an embarrassing lie, plain and simple. A lie of omission and exactly in line with our brave post-truth era. Oh some will read that as a repudiation of Donald J. Trump but he is just dancing in the ballroom frequented by Nazi Germany’s leadership before him. The left is dancing in the same ballroom popularized by Stalin’s Soviet Union before them.
Post-truth ain’t nothing new. It is the language of the fearful. The language of bastards too scared of honesty to be able to read, react and play.
And fuck it all. Fuck them all.
I get why BSR Cablepark denied denied denied. They’ve certainly got some serious lawsuits on the horizon but for Stab to jump in and release straight propaganda as legitimate is… is… well, it is fucking infuriating.
All of this stupid surf lie bullshit reminds me most of the Andy Irons’ autopsy release.
Do you remember? It was delayed for many months before being loosed with a note from the family reading, in part:
The autopsy concludes that Andy died a natural death from a sudden cardiac arrest due to a severe blockage of a main artery of the heart. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a prominent forensic pathologist in San Antonio, TX, who has consulted on many high-profile cases, was asked to review and explain the autopsy results to the family.
He states: “This is a very straightforward case. Mr. Irons died of a heart attack due to focal severe coronary atherosclerosis, i.e., ‘hardening of the arteries.’ He had an atherosclerotic plaque producing 70%-80% narrowing of his anterior descending coronary artery. This is very severe narrowing. A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery, is commonly associated with sudden death.”
The surf media pounced on the “Oh! He died of a heart attack!” angle. Another lie of omission but not quite as infuriating. That could have been viewed from the “covering heartbroken loved ones” point of view. Not the clear and utter bullshit of corporate protectionism or even worse Stab’s crowing about the airing of its Stab High on television tomorrow, though I do suppose it makes sense coming from a chubby, bejeweled boy hungry to call the police for something he couldn’t handle himself.
And here is something I struggle with as a “surf journalist.” Is it even vaguely important to get to the bottom of a story or are our rose colored lenses part of our charm? Is that what people always want?
Fuck it all if it is what people want. Our truth is far rosier and don’t need obfuscating lies as cover. Yes our heroes are cocaine addled. Yes our pools are deadly.
CNN: Dead New Jersey surfer “likely” exposed to brain-eating amoeba at Waco Pool!
Water samples taken by local, state and federal health officials at the beginning of the month ‘found evidence of Naegleria fowleri,’ the amoeba that causes the infection, according to the health district.
The health department concluded, “epidemiologic and environmental assessment indicate that exposure likely occurred at this facility.”
Although the amoeba itself was not found in water samples from the park, “the presence of fecal indicator organisms, high turbidity, low free chlorine levels, and other ameba that occur along with N. fowleri indicate conditions favorable for N. fowleri growth.
The tests were taken from the park’s Surf Resort, Royal Flush and Lazy River features. Those areas are to remain closed until “all health and safety issues have been addressed and mitigated appropriately,” the health department said, adding that the owner of the park is cooperating and working to develop a “comprehensive water quality management plan to include current regulatory requirements.”
The BSR Cable Park said on its website that it is installing a state-of-the-art filtration system on the three features to ensure that they are “as clear and clean as humanly possible.”
Contrast those results with the park’s press release.
It really is a bullish spin. Appropriately Trumpian.
“BSR SURF RESORT, Lazy River & Royal Flush slide WATER TESTS COME BACK CLEAN” and “BSR Determined to Go the Extra Mile, Set Highest Standards for Safety.”
First and foremost, on behalf of the entire staff at BSR Surf Resort, our hearts and prayers are with Fab Stabile’s family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community. A precious life has been lost, and we are deeply saddened for his loved ones.For the past two weeks, increased awareness of this incredibly rare disease, Naegleria fowleri, has swept the globe. What will come of all this news coverage and commentary? At BSR Surf Park, we are determined it will help save lives. Although comprehensive test results have now confirmed that the water at BSR Surf Resort meets every standard for safety, today I am announcing that we are going the extra mile and hiring a North Carolina firm to install a state-of-the-art filtration system to make our water in the surf, on lazy river, and at the Royal Flush slide is as clear and clean as humanly possible. It will take us to February to complete the installation of this new filtration system working very closely with local, state and CDC officials.
There are only a few of these man-made surf parks in the country today, but many more will be built. Our goal is to set the highest standard for these facilities. Going forward, BSR Surf Resort will have the cleanest water anywhere in the United States.
I built this water destination resort so people of all ages could learn to surf and wakeboard — and then go home safely to their families. We take pride in our park and the safety of every guest. And to be clear, it’s not just the guests that use the park. It’s also my family, our friends, and our employees that essentially live in our water. My two year-old twins play on that beach, and — as kids do — they drink the water every time. So you better believe my cousin, who tests and treats the water every day, is damn sure no one gets sick. BSR wants to thank everyone that has supported us from the start, and believed in what we are trying to do. We want to make people happy — and safe — and that’s what we are going to continue to do.
We will update you on our progress through social media and our webpage, and look forward to seeing everyone soon with clear, blue, clean water.
The World Surf League seems to really be hitting stride, really finding its voice. I sometimes joke at the perceived tone-deafness but whatever is happening now is pure art. It feels just too good and did you watch any of today’s finals? Of course Longtom has the best wrap around but you really should go back and watch some highlights.
It is like the day bent toward the WSL’s will. Remember, the forecast for the event was less than stellar. It was bad, even, but there, on finals day, the most perfect French waves streamed to shore with the best surfers in the world plying their trade magnificently.
A show in the best sense of the word and do you believe in manifestation?
I think we manifest the very thing we put out. If you’re putting out negativity, then you’re going to retrieve that same sentiment. If you emanate joy, it comes back to you.
Or maybe that was Robin Wright but no matter. The message is the same as it was when Kevin Costner declared, “If you build it, they will come.”
We mocked the WSL’s manifestation, or at least I did, but today there were near perfect waves for a French final and tomorrow there will be massive attendance at the beach with thousands of people worshipping their idols. Not literally tomorrow, obviously, the event is over, but figuratively tomorrow.
Don’t believe me? Examine this bit of Universe tinkering.
See it there in the bottom right corner? Massive attendance at the beach with thousands of people worshipping their idols?
Do you believe?
I do. Not literally believe, obviously, because I’m a Gen-X cynic, but figuratively believe.
No great insight to pick another epic showdown between Gabe and Julian Wilson as the heat of the contest. And that was what it was. Totally nutty. Julian threw an air, Gabe launched. Wilson greased a huge corked, inverted backside rotor. Judges took an age to award a unanimous ten. Gabby rode a million more waves but couldn't find the one to equal the boost. Again, it made the air show redundant.
Quik Pro Finals: Julian Wilson wins; Wilko weeps; Gabriel Medina new world number one!”
Justified criticism from Tired of Winning and Nick Carroll that yesterday’s wrap was unjustly harsh to Keanu Asing, or that I wasn’t qualified to deliver the message. Maybe it was but nothing personal.
The harder the WSL wraps its athletes in fairy floss and spins magical thinking into them the more disposed I feel to tell the brutal truth. They spent the majority of Keanu’s stint in the booth quizzing him on how to win heats.
That was cruel. This is a man who clearly does not know how to win heats. His rookie year was so bad that even with an event win he was kicked to the QS curb. His return year, 2018, is even worse. The better, if much harder and more awkward questions would be: why do you keep losing and what do you need to do, to improve, to win heats?
Convict logic? Jumped the shark?
Instead of pumping the guy up with false hope and a bland denial of reality wouldn’t it more humane, as well as more sporting to simply state the obvious: the guy ain’t cutting it on the CT. At least give him a chance at some honest self-reflection and chance to improve. Pete Mel could simply observe his skill set isn’t up to scratch, his surfing is well below the criteria rather than the incessant droning that “He belongs here, he’s got a huge heart etc etc”
I say the numbers don’t lie and Asing’s are woeful. Nowhere near CT standard. Instead of pumping the guy up with false hope and a bland denial of reality wouldn’t it more humane, as well as more sporting to simply state the obvious: the guy ain’t cutting it on the CT. At least give him a chance at some honest self-reflection and chance to improve. Pete Mel could simply observe his skill set isn’t up to scratch, his surfing is well below the criteria rather than the incessant droning that “He belongs here, he’s got a huge heart etc etc”
In so many cases: Ethan Ewing, Matt Banting, Mike February, just to name three off the top of my head, there are many others, pro surfers seem helplessly caught in this spider web of deceit – an innocent fraud, to be sure – being wrapped around them in the guise of …. what? Kindness? Positivity? A memo written from middle management?
Positivity and kindness are great for children and the elderly but to sports people we owe the truth. It just works out better for everyone that way. My personal qualifications to deliver that message? In a BG surfwriter man-on-man or man on woman surf off at Surf Ranch I would beat Chas, only because he has a busted wing. Otherwise, just a guy who can read and understand numbers.
Snake is doing it right. Colapinto straight away fingered the reason for his heat loss: caught between two mindsets, even with Rosie coming in too hot. And he surfed an amazing heat. Zeke, even if the chest thumping is not to your taste ( I dig), has quickly figured how to win pretty and win ugly.
Dream day today in France. Six-foot glistening beachbreak. A day when pro surfing stands and delivers. You can never really foretell these moments, they just seem to pop up randomly like a magic mushroom in a cow paddock after rain. Ready to blow your mind.
Three-man Round 4 heats seem to deliver the magic. The first one with Connor Coffin, Jordy and Wilko was tight. Connor seemed a bit highballed for point-and-shoot tube rides. Jordy had mid-rangers. The crucial wave around which the heat turned was ridden by Matt Wilkinson with 9.42 remaining in a 30 minute heat. It was a wave which defined his whole year. He went upside down tight in the pocket on a medium-sized right. Once, twice, four times. A low six all day every day. He needed a 5.9. Judges gave it a 5.57, just .3 better than a two turn wave he opened on. It was perplexing.
Wilko was close to tears in the presser. Cooked on the inside and out.
“It felt like a point better,” he said “but it wasn’t.”
What now? Back to the QS? Or a devastatingly truncated career ending? There are no good options left for Wilko unless he wins Portugal and Pipe. I may be jumping the shark again here but the chances of that are nil.
The next heat will likely be the heat of the contest. Maybe the year. De Souza, Callinan and Cardoso. It opened right up, became Rimbaud’s famous banquet from Une saison En Enferat which all “hearts opened and all wines flowed”. Callinan blitzed the place with an improved Occy approach. Actually more like another Australian goofy-foot who came and went too quickly, Shaun Cansdell.
The great Adriano De Souza answered back. If there is anyone qualified to speak about winning heats, both through strategy, mental warfare and adapting skill set it is ADS. The first to get under Slater’s skin after AI and rattle his cage. One of the very few to totally update and perfect a skill set when most ossify and stagnate. For the first time all event a crowd on the beach felt the vibe. Callinan finished with a pair of nines. Check the analyser but it won’t have the sudden impact of the live viewing.
The next two heats mellowed out. Medina looked insane but still lost to Mikey Wright in round four. Rosie bought that to his attention and he gave a little smirk.
“We’ve had some weird heats,” he said “but I can’t say nothing.”
The Quarters were sick. Connor smacked a wave starved De Souza, who got lost paddling in the rip. I haven’t got the stats in front of me but I know R-Cal enjoys a solid winning record against Jordy and despite a patchy middle section of his heat he beat him comprehensively.
Julian and Mikey had the best Quarter of the four. Whatever Julian has done since Surf Ranch his surfing has never looked so free and so radical. He opened with a greased straight air to the flats first wave. Intention noted. A tad past the half way mark he pumped three times and launched a straight slob air, very high,that made a mockery of the red bull Air show. Judges lowballed it and in the end the heat looked closer than it was. Mikey was outclassed.
Final quarter was Medina hunting a line-up in the throes of deterioration from a niggling S wind and raging tidal flow. No man alive flenses the carcass of a decaying beachbreak like Gabe Medina. He proved that in last years Final and again, although the scores looked close at the end and Seabass surfed insane Gabby was dominant from start to final siren.
God it’s a relief when the back markers get out of the road and a man can be truly and honestly positive. I think the Tour should be stripped back after Surf Ranch and enter Europe lean and mean.
What? You think that’s convict logic too? PS: How good does Mikey Feb look on a Red Beauty?
Ah shit…. mutherfucker. I tapped again and hit the couch, thinking they would finish tomorrow. A little bing woke me up. They are finishing. They are finished.
Semi finals in classic French high tide left-hand shorebreak. Good looking crowd of mostly healthy people. R-Cal riding the wildcard dream wave over Coffin.
No great insight to pick another epic showdown between Gabe and Julian Wilson as the heat of the contest. And that was what it was. Totally nutty. Julian threw an air, Gabe launched. Wilson greased a huge corked, inverted backside rotor. Judges took an age to award a unanimous ten. Gabby rode a million more waves but couldn’t find the one to equal the boost. Again, it made the air show redundant.
What is it with all the studs getting their rigs out in the pressers? Is that building the audience?
A fog delay. Unbelieveable. They start the final. R-Cal gets a score, then another. The fog moves in again. I am hallucinating off my head. Sun sets, five minutes to go. Julian lays out another fully corked tail high backside rotation. That’s it.
Thats the victory.
Time to swill the Wilson kool-aid.
Quiksilver Pro France Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.34
2 – Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.23
Quiksilver Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.30 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.43
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.67 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.44
Quiksilver Pro France Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.50 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 7.83
QF 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.03
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.10 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.23
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.44 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.73
Quiksilver Pro France Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.50, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.20, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.80
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 18.53, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.50, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.44
Heat 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 13.96, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.90, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 6.70
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.90, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.10, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.07
2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Quiksilver Pro France):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 51,770 pts
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 47,125 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 33,490 pts
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 32,020 pts
From the fly-the-friendly-skies department: United Airlines is the best!
Five days ago I woke up grouchy, half-read that United Airlines was waiving surfboard baggage fees for surfers coming to California, in celebration of surfing becoming California’s official state sport, and popped off half-cocked. Something about it being an abomination, flying surfers to California from elsewhere to steal all our waves.
Well, if you can believe that in my grumpy fog, I both mis-read and misunderstood the announcement. In fact, all surfboard baggage fees either going to or originating from California are waved. A glorious gift!
Now, when the United Airlines representative read and reached out do you think he was chuckling and gentle or gruff and threatening?
I’ll tell you… chuckling and gentle!
Derek & Chas,
I admit I your story on United waiving the surfboard excess-baggage fee in California made me laugh. Funny. However, there is a slight correction to it. The surfboard excess-baggage fee is being waived for itineraries that start AND end in California. In other words, if you’re going from LA to Honolulu, your board fees would be waived. So it’s not just bringing the “hordes” of surfers to California that might happen, but “hordes” of Californians could be surfing elsewhere.
Oh United, never before has an airline spokesman been so kind. In honor, I am naming you The Official Airline of Chas Smith’s Rotten Attitude.