The World Surf League President of Content, Media and Studios (Erik "Elo" Logan) podcast is here!
I’ve never been able to hold a “corporate” job, all fault my own. I’m a butthole. Incorrigible but I’ve only just realized this within the last few years. Back when I was quitting my submarine captain gig at Disneyland by calling in “sick” with tuberculosis, back when I was passing all my students at Los Angeles City College as long as they didn’t tattle to administration on me for spending weeks per semester in the Middle East, I thought I was only playing funny angles as opposed to being an incorrigible butthole.
Oh I know Disneyland and Los Angeles City College are not “corporate” per se but imagine how much worse my modus would play in a real office?
I imagine very bad.
And so it is with much wonder and confusion that I observe Erik “ELo” Logan, President of Etc. at the World Surf League.
Generally, this is how I would describe professional world tour surfers (and professional “free surfers” as I understand they’re called).
Generally, too, I would be lying if I said that the only reason I don’t look away when my boyfriend forces me to watch “surf contests” on his iPad while we are cooking a nice, elegant meal is because there are (allegedly) hot babes on the tour.
I say allegedly because I’m still looking for them.
According to “Mimi” at a “magazine” with an exceedingly violent name, there are at least 10 hot surfers.
Sure, “Mimi’s” scoop of the century was published eight years ago and those guys are long gone, but the way I see it, there are only five hot professional surfers:
1. Christian Fletcher
This guy is basically Bodhi. He speaks in Radical Zen Koans and drives motorcycles with a death wish. He’s fast. His motorcycle even has a sticker that says “Live Fast, Die Last.” He invented “aerials.” He has a surprisingly-not-terrifying skull tattoo. 10/10.
2. Michael February
I saw one picture of this guy in GQ (congrats, Michael!) and I was sold. He looks both tall and whimsical, which I like. He also has the smile of a beauty pageant contestant, but I’m told he’s no longer on the tour anymore, why WSL? Why?
3. Chippa Wilson
I swear I don’t have a tattoo fetish, but this guy is smoking! He makes wetsuits look sexy and not like some amoebic neoprene tube sock. He also has a cool name and does sick “airs.” Hot.
4. Jack Freestone
Honorable Wonder Bread mention. Hot Dad entry. Athletic. Currently not blonde. By the way, what are you feeding your ginormous baby? He is very cute but I’m concerned he might smother you or your very hot wife in a few years.
Why Your Favorite Hot Surfer Didn’t Get Mentioned?
Julian Wilson — too predictable, too boring, too much of a bratty baby? Danny Fuller — lost his spot to Jack (there can only be one Hot Surf Dad) Craig Anderson — very beautiful woman (which is cool, if that’s what you’re into) Luke Davis — spends too much time perfecting his look for Instagram The Brazilians — too good at surfing to also be called hot
As I compiled this list, I recalled several of my boyfriend’s agitated conversations with fellow “surfers” about an “industry crisis.”
Might I propose a cause and a solution. There is an overwhelming drought of hot surfer dudes (isn’t this what riding waves is all about, being hot and picking up chicks?), so the WSL must recruit more, and then start making them eat whatever Jack Freestone is feeding his child.
Watch: A fabulous vision of surfing as imagined by Gucci!
Surf journalism is hard work. I woke up this morning ready to greet the day and smash out some important, lively yet restrained words. Taking my customary place in front of my alcohol-soaked computer and its wireless keyboard (a necessary purchase allowing me to type), I began searching for inspiration.
The hours passed and… nothing.
Kelly Slater did nothing noteworthy.
Laird Hamilton did not release any innovation.
The World Surf League is on hiatus for six more days and Mavericks is still cancelled.
Then I was forwarded this video announcing Gucci’s pre-fall 2019 line. I had, in fact, been forwarded it many times though hadn’t watched it. Desperation forced me to push play and I was swept into a glorious world where surfers and muscle people, punks and basketballers, tightrope walkers and artists live peaceful lives together in the acropolis.
I’m supposed to hate it, the coopting, cultural appropriation, the Jesus Christ Superstar vibe but…. I can’t help myself.
What’s wrong with me for loving this so much?
Is it because my mother forced me to watch Jesus Christ Superstar when I was a young boy?
Speaking of, what is the worst movie your parents forced on you as a child?
I was very disheartened today when I learned that the Middle Ages have been weaponized. There I was, minding my own business when a failing New York Times alert popped up on my phone, reading, “Far-right extremists have weaponized the Middle Ages. Medieval scholars fighting back.”
Each May, some 3,000 people descend on Kalamazoo, Mich., for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, which brings together academics and enthusiasts for four days of scholarly panels, performances and after-hours mead drinking.
But in recent years, the gathering affectionately known as “K’zoo” — and the field of medieval studies itself — has been shadowed by conflicts right out of the 21st century.
Since the 2016 presidential election, scholars have hotly debated the best way to counter the “weaponization” of the Middle Ages by a rising tide of far-right extremists.
The Middle Ages (roughly 5th to 15th centuries) certainly seemed like a violent time with plagues, the Crusades, etc. but I thought the study of the period was marked, in large part, by cavernous libraries and chubby, pale men with rheumy eyes.
I was not ready, nor was I even expecting, their weaponization.
And to know that they have been weaponized before surfing hurts. It stings. So let’s hurry and weaponize surfing.
But what can we weaponize?
All of it?
Breaking: “Secret project in the works. Highly cinematic, involves the ocean and #1 female surfer in the world!”
Yesterday the great Hollywood film producer Brian Grazer (Parenthood, Backdraft, 8 Mile etc.) posted a very cryptic message on Instagram. “Secret project in the works… it’s highly cinematic and involves the ocean and the #1 female surfer in the world!” Sitting on Mr. Grazer’s right was the statuesque Keala Kennelly and what do you think this secret project could be? What are your best guesses?
I had lunch with Brian Grazer once. He is a voracious collector of stories, tales, anecdotes. Inquisitive would be the best way to describe, I think. Curious. He had, anyhow, read about my best friend and my Middle Eastern adventures. We met in his office. He was kind. We ate something forgettable and he peppered us with questions. At the end, he walked us out and we said goodbye. Before reaching the door, though, we heard our names shouted. We turned around and there was Brian holding a very rococo pair of G-Unit jeans.
“Are these cool?” He asked.
“No.” We answered in unison.
I am excited for whatever he is working on with Ms Kennelly and wish them nothing but the best. I very much enjoy pop culture’s dance with surfing and wrote about it in the eponymous Cocaine + Surfing (buy here). Would you like to read?
Pop culture’s dance with surfing is always a funny thing. I suppose if surfers had any sort of understandable depth, or any depth full stop, then Hollywood would have pounced on them as archetypes and figured out long ago how to capture the specifics enough to make a surf blockbuster, but have you seen Hollywood’s surf films? Have you seen Chasing Mavericks or Blue Crush or Point Break (either of them) or North Shore or Big Wednesday or The Perfect Wave or Soul Surfer or In God’s Hands?
The best of them are laughably bad. The worst are a forgettable cringe.
Hollywood can’t get the surfer even halfway right and I think it’s a proximity issue. Many in Hollywood, many directors and producers and actors, think they surf. Their glittering town perched on the Pacific causes them to believe they know what it all means because they walk out of Malibu homes, grab a goofy yellowed seven-foot pintail and go sit in the puddle out front.
But surfing and belonging to surf are two entirely separate things. Belonging to surf, in my definition, is to be part of the surf industrial-complex. Those who either work for a surf brand in some capacity as a photographer, writer, shaper, or who have at some point in their lives. Those who have so oriented their lives around surf that they watch World Surf League events while chatting about professional surfer form on message boards. Those whose productivity slowly drains away because they surf instead of working.
Those who have pterygiums.
And that is exactly what Hollywood is missing as it relates to the surfer. Pterygiums, also called “surfer’s eye.” What WebMD describes as “a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines your eyelids and covers your eyeball. It usually forms on the side closest to your nose and grows toward the pupil area.”
Quite basically, pterygiums are scales. Scales that begin growing over the eye because surfers sit out in the water long enough thinking about where to put their hands and so God, in his transcendence, knows that they will go blind and puts scales over their eyes to protect them from the sun’s fiery wrath as it bounces off the water. They don’t generally cause blindness, but they cause blurriness of vision.
Surfers have scales covering their eyes. I have never met a director or producer with scales covering his and I have only met one actor who might be close to having them—Jimmy Caan’s boy, Scott. But almost every real surfer, every professional surfer or surf brand manager or executive vice-president to the bros has either full-blown pterygium or the beginnings of pterygium, or bones covering the inside of his ears, also known as “surfer’s ear.” He has chosen surfing over clear eyesight or over hearing. Sometimes over both. Scott Caan went one better, too. He chose to star in the remake of Hawaii Five-0, just so he could surf.
Can you imagine starring in the remake of Hawaii Five-0? For seven seasons?