Meet the Next Presidents!
After what feels like eons of overhearing and missing references to Hollywood’s truest depiction of surfing, Point Break, I decided to sit myself in front of an oversized flat screen TV, fight my overstimulated brain’s inability to focus, and watch Keanu Reeves get his first tube. I should add that this first screening transpired in Baja. Nothing could be more fitting.
Perhaps you are the only living surfer who hasn’t seen this film, in which case, are you OK? I won’t spoil it, since Point Break is truly a masterpiece that Kathryn Bigelow has never really surpassed (Zero Dark Thirty, or as I like to call it Bring It On: The Department of Defense Chapter, doesn’t really capture the essence of water boarding), but I’ll request your patience as I explain the movie’s most important image and the train of thought it propelled me down.
In the first scene we’re introduced to a ragtag gang of hooligans who rob a bank wearing the masked visages of former presidents. They call themselves the Ex Presidents. Original. We can see, even with the masks, that they’re hot and tan. We later find out they’re surfers. No one gets hurt, usually, and we get the impression that they have some sort of goal. Maybe they are Robin Hood type characters. For the point of this story, it doesn’t matter. They’re the surfing former presidents, and, only minutes into the film, I can’t think about anything else but this very pressing comparison: who is the Donald Trump of surf? And then I ask: who is the Bernie Sanders of surf? And then I realize that I’ve stumbled upon the content that Beach Grit needs.
Allow me to present a follow up to my extremely satisfying ranking of hot surfers: an incomplete guide to who professional surfers would be as presidential candidates.
After all, what could be more pointless, more transiently gratifying, and more detrimental to society at large, than hot or not? Presidential campaigns.
The Big Three:
Donald Trump is Kolohe Andino.
Kolohe has never won a major competition (middle finger to the unfair and dishonest WSL judges who don’t take the technicality of his Stalefish seriously), but there are some very obvious parallels here. Both are American. Both like American flags and country music. Trump masquerades as a conservative, but Kolohe is actually a conservative. They’re both reality TV stars (surf fans basically watched Kolohe grow up). Kolohe is Trump if Trump actually had conviction and wasn’t just a bloated abscess.
Bernie Sanders is Kelly Slater.
Bernie and Kelly are consistent broken records. They’re Noam Chomsky lovers. They’re both attempting to revolutionize something (wave pools and antiquated socioeconomic systems). They defy age. They’re slightly grumpy and sort of bald. Don’t ask them stupid questions.
Joe Biden is Dane Reynolds.
Dane Reynolds is definitely not as handsy as our esteemed former VP, but these guys share more in common than one might initially expect: they’re family guys, they seem to be the most qualified for the job, but no one really knows what they’re doing, and they’re both attempting a “moon shot” of sorts. Where Joe would like to cure cancer, Dane would like to cure the diseased surf industry. Good luck, gentlemen.
The Pack (Definitely Not Going to Win and Only In It For the Book Deal):
Beto O’Rourke is Alex Knost.
These two are the Cool Guys. They’re both former band members. They’re in the Nice Hair Club. They think they’re charming but actually they come across as un petit cocky. They’re both intrinsically “just born to be in it” and also born to be shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.
Elizabeth Warren is Keala Kennelly
These two want, so desperately, to be accepted by the Cool Guy crowd. Truthfully, they have the chops, but they’re cheesy and no amount of prior credibility (or Teahupoo charging or Inertia party DJing) can propel these two to the top. They’re the pseudo edgy, not quite wise, grandmothers whose existence generally inspires eye rolls.
Kamala Harris is Coco Ho.
Both have the accolades and the style, but they aren’t quite elite enough to get the job done. And not for lack of sponsorship, which might be their downfall. Kamala will take donations from just about anyone, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, whom, as California’s Attorney General, she declined to prosecute after he donated $50,000 to her Senate campaign. Comparably, Coco Ho took money from Etnies which is equally as offensive.
Pete Buttigieg is Dillon Perillo.
Every competition needs a nice, polished guy to rally around, a good story, one that makes people feel warm and cheery, but when it comes down to it: no one actually wants the nice guy to win. That would be so boring and America is lots of things, but boring is not one of them. Pete and Dillon can be appreciated by the squares, the queers, the vets, and the punks, but they don’t have the ruthlessness required to be President of the United States. Because they’re people pleasers with nice chins and forced half smiles. Do they even really want the job? Probably not.
Tulsi Gabbard is Courtney Conlogue
If the presidential race was a street fight, Tulsi and Courtney are the clear winners. They’re by far the toughest bitches in the game. Tulsi did two combat tours as a medic in Iraq and Kuwait. She’s extremely determined, like Courtney, whom I’m told once ripped off a toenail at Lance’s Right and immediately paddled back out. Hard core. But maybe too hard core for the American public (or WSL judges)?
The Why Nots:
Amy Klobuchar is Layne Beachley
Amy and Layne are legit. They have the resumé for the gig. They’re also extremely unapproachable and honestly kind of intimidating which makes them unfortunately unelectable. I can’t confirm that Layne’s rage needs to be constantly fettered by a staff of frightened, shaking, lambs (like Amy’s wrath does) but have you ever seen her TedTalk? It’s intense. These two remind me of preschool teachers who turn a casual conversation into a lecture whenever possible. Scary.
Marianne Williamson is Kelia Moniz.
Both share extremely famous friends (Oprah and Hailey Bieber, respectively.) That’s all I know about these two. Here’s a participation prize, congrats!
Eric Swalwell is himself.
I swear Eric Swalwell is already on the tour.
Bill Weld is Mitch Coleborn.
Persistence, comes to mind when describing these two competitors. They’re likable, though definitely not winners, and therefore a wasted vote. But they will literally never give up. Even if it means running with Gary Johnson. Or in Mitch’s case, continuing to put on a jersey even if it’s not his size anymore.
There are roughly 700 more presidential candidates, according to ballotpedia.com, and while I know a bit about politicking, I know next to nothing about surfing. I couldn’t name a dozen pro surfers if I tried. But I have sources. Which is to say: I’m the Maureen Dowd of surfing. I, too, am “just born to be in it,” and, trust me boys, the pleasure is all mine.