Our dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt appears on camera wearing a comforting yellow and recounts the unvarnished successes of the year from Mick Fanning’s retirement to the Surf Ranch Pro to equal pay amongst all surfers.
A true workers’ paradise.
Inspirational music plays in the background and when the WSL’s Ministry of Culture finished editing I’m sure they bowed slightly to the framed picture of ex-General Secretary Paul Speaker hanging upon the wall then threw very tight shakas in each other’s direction, shouting, “Job well done comrade!”
Was President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios Comrade Erik Logan overseeing the work even though he is yet to officially take the position?
And if this is a representation of his art we are in very good hands.
Though some degenerates didn’t love.
ed_geb64 wrote: “WSL get a real CEO not a Facebook sister…..bring back the aloha spirit. There are other ways to make money rather than force us into FB. WSL should be from surfers to surfers!”
ndsearing wrote: “If you can’t admit the Facebook failure and correct it for next year you need to resign. Surfing will never be a mainstream sport. It’s not built that way. When you alienate your core base of fans (surfers) to pander for $ and viewership your sport will suffer long term.”
The World Surf League quickly mustered ranking members like Joel Parkinson (ok sign, praying hands) and Conner Coffin (raise the roof raise the roof raise the roof) to suppress the small insurrection with beckgard adding, “Ignore the Haters Sophie…this middle-aged, land-locked, non-surfer LOVES following the WSL…men & women.”
Re-education camps will be set up forthwith Surf Ranch adjacent.
Now let us sing our anthem:
By exploding the mental strength of the united heart of our billion fans.
Dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt resounds the marching drums of the powerful, prosperous League.
Let’s go, great World Surf League from bright and pure Santa Monica.
Let’s drive unbelievers and degenerates into the sea.
Or maybe drown them underneath the never ending perfect waves of Surf Ranch.
Hail General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt.
Hail the World Surf League.
May it rule for 10000 years!
From the we-still-do-lists dept: The Five Best Things About Surfing in 2018!
Including why Italo Ferreira equals dangerous sex, Gabriel, rape fantasies and why Conner is tantric lovemaking, beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating…
Let’s start with the positive, shall we? Get the hard stuff over with. A bit of festive cheer before I revert to type.
These are the Five Best Things about Surfing in 2018.
1. The WSL Portrait Photographer
I’d love to name this individual, really I would, because they must have a cunt of a sense of humour. What sort of a photographer could take 37 (mostly objectively handsome men) and transform them into a Crufts line up? A bloody genius, that’s who.
The best of anything can’t be imitated. Razor-sharp commentary, genius mixing, classic cameos, and just simply funny as fuck. Nearly knocked me laughing off a high ladder this summer.
I suspect some people don’t really get it, and that makes it all the more appealing. Cali-centric surf media is a blight.
Best surf podcast going and it’s not really close.
Fair play to Scalesy for his efforts. I still listen, mostly, but it’s hit-and-miss these days now that there are too many cooks. Some things don’t scale, no pun intended.
And a nod to ONE HALF of Lipped. Can’t stomach the we’re-really-smart-and hardworking-and-no-cunt-appreciates-us tone anymore but Cahill Bell Warren, at least, is a man deserving of a voice and a great job somewhere – coaching or commentating most likely. Seems like a thoroughly bloody good bloke with a lot of insight and a lack of ego. His breakdowns and analysis of competition surfing are perhaps the best I’ve heard. Take note, WSL.
But Ain’t That Swell. How fucking good is it?
3. Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson
Mick Fanning. I love him, I do. Couldn’t fault him. And I can find fault in pretty much anyone. I love his surfing to bits. What’s not to love about precision and power? Did he ever make a mistake? I’ve never met him but I know I’d love him as a man. Definition of a legend. Knocks Slater out of the park, in my opinion.
HE’S MICK FANNING…HE’S THAT FUCKIN GOOD.
And Parko. My first real surf crush. The first guy I looked at and said “I want to surf like That Guy.” Smooth and beautiful. As precise as Mick but with his own stamp. So often made it look too easy. Bloody grateful he got the title he did. If he’d thrown his hands in the air a bit more and added a few hip jives he might have had five. But again, I’m bloody grateful he didn’t.
Dear Santa, for Christmas please can I have many, many future Parko and Fanning collabs. Cunts have a shit lot of great surfing still to do. And good on them for having the whereabouts to go out on top.
Stone cold legends, the pair of them. I know they’ve had all the plaudits going, but I truly believe we might never see their likes again. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.
Cynical bastards will point to the lack of evolution in their surfing over the years, the not really developing an “air game”. But those wankers probably add water to whisky.
4. My Favourite WSL (Male) Surfers
Most of you won’t know this, but my day job is actually as a teacher. It’s the reason I write under “JP” when everyone IRL calls me Jamie. People who call themselves by initials are utter wanks, but it’s my penance. It’s a thinly veiled disguise, but at least I haven’t been hauled in front of the headmaster again for shit I wrote on the internet.
The reason I divulge this now is because last week, in one of my classes, (a bottom set first year) I made a throwaway comment to a thick-set boy in the class which stitched me right up.
Let’s call him Bob.
“Bob,” I said.”If you were a vegetable you’d be a mung bean.”
Well. The next thing I know the entire class has turned into Lord of The Fliesand rounded on poor Bob (Piggy), roaring with laughter, pointing at him and chanting demonically…
“MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN!
“No, No!” I cried, helplessly. “I said MUNG bean!”
But it was no use.
I calmed them down eventually, but only after I explained what a mung bean was (not as straightforward as you might think to low-ability twelve year olds) and promised to give the rest of them vegetable nicknames for next lesson.
So in that spirit, and with neither the will nor the words to justify my favouritism, I thought I’d just assign my favourite male surfers types of sex.
Italo Ferreira = Choke sex. Or any kind of dangerous sex that exhilarates in a way that will push you right to the edge where you’ll either die or have the time of your life.
Gabriel Medina = Rape fantasies. You’re getting fucked, one way or another. You don’t want to like but you probably will.
Zeke Lau = Pounded with full eye contact. You’ll be too scared to move.
Conner Coffin = Tantric. Beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating. But when it goes, it goes.
Griffin Colapinto = First time sex, probably a few tears. There’ll be moments of pleasure, the potential is there. You’ll cry because there are so many more levels to hit and you just hope you reach them.
I love you guys. You’re why I watch.
5. Honourable Mentions
Indecision is one of my greatest foes, and I’ve already written too much, so here are some bulletpoints of other great things.
Steve Shearer, AKA Longtom’s contest wraps and writing in general. After what we’ve seen this season, I genuinely feel you’ve got the stamina to go a few rounds with Zeke Lau, maintaining eye contact throughout. I suspect you won’t take up the mantle again next season, and WCT contests will be duller for it. Your words sing, my friend.
Jordy’s nipples going over the falls at Pipe. Did any moment in pro surfing history sum up so succinctly the gulf between one surfer and another in the competitive arena?
Caroline Marks. Will be world champion, likely multiple times. Literally surfs and looks like Occy.
Rob Machado. I love Machado. I want to grow old just like Rob, but with a better van and a fucking haircut.
We joke and laugh and giggle and cajole surfing and professional surfing every day. It is undeniably ridiculous as it is fun and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… we put on black pantsuits and go sit in the ocean, waiting to wiggle our bottoms and spew out our arms and legs all akimbo.
BUT it is also deadly serious. Deadly deadly serious and this is why The Inertia-style Adult Learners are such shit with their, “the-best-surfer-is-the-one-having-the-most-fun” “calm-down-it’s-just-surfing” bullshit.
We have spent our lives here and tourists ain’t welcome.
That’s why it put a tear in my eye, this morning, to read about surfing in the Rockaways in The Failing New York Times and Mr. Brian James in particular.
Three years after Hurricane Sandy lashed the Rockaways, the boardwalk marched down the beach in broken segments as the public housing built under Robert Moses was hemmed in by condos. Out in the surf, not much changed as the bathymetry returned to normal, but the predominantly white, male crowd of surfers had.
Part of that shift happened when Louis Harris, 46, founded the East Coast chapter of the Black Surfing Association in 2016.
Mr. Harris bought his first surf board after moving to the Rockaways in 2006. After getting his bearings in remote beaches, he joined the crowd at Beach 90th Street.
“That’s when I saw B.J.,” Mr. Harris said.
Brian James — “B.J.” — the only other black man in the water, paddled over to Mr. Harris and asked if he wanted to hang out afterward.
“‘If you’re going to be a surfer, you have to take it seriously,’” Mr. Harris recalled him saying. “‘You’re a black guy. Everybody’s eyes are on you.’”
The rest of the story is beautiful but I would like to tip my cap to B.J. for proactively spouting truths in the lineup.
“If you’re going to be a surfer, you have to take it seriously.”
Tragedy: Surfer described as “ex-pro” dies night surfing at Topanga.
California has been belted with much wonderful surf over the past few days though tragedy struck last night near Malibu.
According to the CBS local news:
At about 11:40 p.m. Thursday, screaming was reported at Topanga State Beach, where sheriff’s deputies found a man who had been performing CPR on his brother. The two brothers had been out in the water for a night session of surfing.
As they surfed, the brothers lost track of each other, authorities said. One of them later found his brother face down in the water and dragged him to shore, where he performed CPR, but was not able to save him.
Sheriff’s deputies say the two brothers are skilled surfers in good physical shape. The brother who died had been a pro surfer at one point, according to a deputy. The surfer’s father and brother were both on the scene immediately after his death.
He was just identified as Damon Michael Geller, 48, of Pacific Palisades.
More as the story develops.
Advice: How to surf the holidays without killing anyone!
"Together, we’re going to get through this challenging time of joy and holiday cheer!"
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time for caroling and rum toddies and snowflakes on, well, whatever the fuck snowflakes fall on. I don’t know much about snow.
It’s also the season for paddling out to surf with 500 of your closest friends, their five children, their ten grandchildren, and their racist uncle. Christmas means apocalyptically crowded lineups, at least in Southern California.
There’s the dads pushing their precious darlings into waves, sending them bouncing down the face to splat into the white water, bobbing and sinking like bath toys. There’s the rippers finally out of school and ready to master that elusive air reverse. This time! This time I’m going to make it! Oh. Okay. Maybe next time. There’s someone’s inland relative on a Wavestorm, floating blissfully unaware into the impact zone.
Forget the good will toward men, you are going to want to kill everyone. Honestly, it’s not even Christmas week yet, and I already want to kill everyone.
A week or so ago, I had to ban myself from Rincon for yelling at a lady on a midlength. Maybe she deserved it, but mostly, she was the latest in a long line of annoyances on a day filled with them. I’m good at crowds, until I’m not. I haven’t decided entirely how long my ban lasts, but next week doesn’t seem like the best time to return to the scene of the crime.
What to do? I have assembled a few suggestions, because I am totally here to help my friends — even my friends who aren’t sure I’m an actual person. (I am! I promise Chas did not yell at the midlength lady. That was all me!)
Get of town. Travel enriches the mind — and if you do it right, it should get you away from the teeming holiday hordes. I recommend sharks. Find a spot with sharks. Big waves, if you are into that kind of thing, will help, too. But the sharks are essential. Sharks keep the crowds away. Assuming you don’t get eaten, you will while away the day as blissfully happy as the Wavestormers before the lip smashes their precious little faces.
Try snow sports. From what I understand, you can do fun things with snow. Like, slide around on it in a way that bears a resemblance to surfing. You’ll need a puffy jacket and other assorted warm clothing. Just buy the whole Patagonia catalogue and you should be fine. There are lift lines, which is a bummer, but also, resort lodges that sell snacks and beers. Unlike its crazy cousin, the ocean, snow is not super forgiving and may cause injury to falling humans. Maybe just avoid taking any risks at all, and spend your day on the resort balcony with the beer and the snacks, basking in the sun.
Practice Yoga. I have somehow managed to avoid ever doing yoga. I count this as an accomplishment right up there with finishing my Ph.D. But there are plenty of people who want to tell me all about its benefits. It makes us flexible and limber and healthy, they say. It’s an excuse to wear yoga pants, which I know you all want to do. Yoga also takes away our anger, winging it away like a bird flying higher and higher until it vanishes into the infinite blue. Let me know how that works out for you, yoga people.
Sell your boards. Just give it up. It’s never going to get better. You can find a new hobby, maybe something that you can do in a remote desert without any people for miles around. Maybe there could be tequila. I feel like tequila is good for going to the desert to do your new hobby. Also, there are no sharks in the desert. I’m starting to like the sound of this. Anyone want to buy my boards? Fins included! Futures, of course!
Drink heavily. Skip the desert and the effort of finding a new hobby. Stay home on the couch instead. Watch reruns. Avoid anything related to surfing. Sip the tequila you were going to take to the desert. When you run out of tequila, move straight on to vodka. It’s so alphabetical, that it’s inevitable. Wake up sometime after New Year’s and recycle your empties. Return to the lineup, refreshed and ready for more mayhem.
I believe in us. Together, we’re going to get through this challenging time of joy and holiday cheer! We’re going to go surfing and not kill anyone, not even the blank-faced, half-drowned beginner.
Maybe I better try the yoga after all.
Jon Pyzel and Matt Biolos by @theneedforshutterspeed/Step Bros