"Your people, sir, - your people is a great beast!"
Late last week I became very extremely frustrated with the World Surf League and its President of Content, Media, Studios and Crispy Boys Erik “ELo” Logan for delivering a slate of shoulder programing so ill-conceived, so bland, so tepid, so utterly divorced from anything I have ever loved about surfing plus Oprah Winfrey Network-approved that I lost my motherfucking mind then delivered a barely coherent, way too long, rambling call to arms.
A vaguely decipherable screed.
You might have thought I was kidding.
I was not.
Santa Monica’s vision of surfing, what they want from it, what they want for it, is shit. Utter complete shit replete with every shitty modern trope under the sun. Surfing as healthy. Surfing as unifying. Surfing as evolved. Surfing as environmentally considerate. Surfing as easy to understand, easier to do, easiest to sell broadly with absolutely no barrier to entry.
The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun, etc.
And seriously, fuck that. But equally seriously, how many times in surfing’s history has the power shifted from the corporate overlords back to The People™? Maybe it was that way when Drew Kampion was alive in the 1960s mists but it has never been that way in my lifetime. Surfing, as an idea, has always been held by monied interests too cloistered to even imagine reaching.
And I’m not kidding.
The Biggest Little Website in Surfing will likely pass Santa Monica’s own worldsurfleague.com in traffic by the end of this month. Almost for sure and obviously I know that the WSL has robust social media channels, apps, etc. but those are all manipulatable and largely fake.
We actually have real power and to ignore that feels like an enormous waste.
But what to do?
Unfortunately I am purely destructive. I love blowing holes in the Wall of Positive Noise but once the cursed thing comes tumbling down what should it be replaced with?
I only know that I want Luke Cederman and his band of merry men to be allowed free access, with camera, to all World Surf League events plus the disappearing of any bloodless rounds but besides that I don’t know.
We’re The People™ and one of my favorite quotes of all time, attributed to Alexander Hamilton, hero of a fabulous musical, is “Your people, sir, – your people is a great beast!”
Alexander Hamilton was an elitist bastard but tell me, what would really turn you on? How do you feel surfing should be represented outside of the current contest structure which we can easily mold?
What do you want to watch?
It’s time to pound our ninety-five theses onto Santa Monica’s door.