Boom Town: World Surf League sees “mind-boggling” 7400% increase on Instagram all thanks to “extremely efficient” three person social media team!

I surf the likes!

But how “good” are you at your job? Like, do you care, at all, about your performance or are you there just punching the clock? Have you ever experienced “stratospheric growth” as part of your efforts or are you just another cog?

Well, even if you are a singular employee, one who wins both monthly and yearly performance awards, you do not hold a candle to our World Surf League’s three person social media team that has spiked a “mind-boggling” 7400% increase on Instagram.

What?

Whoa!

And let us go straight to Engage by Hashtag Sports for a peek behind that booming Wall of Positive Noise. A chat with the “Chief Community Officer Tim Greenberg who is “primarily responsible for overseeing numerous innovation projects while also managing content, original programming and strategy for the League’s social and digital channels.” Let us be inspired but also keep one eye out, knowing that when some people do their jobs very well it makes us all look bad.

During your tenure, World Surf League has seen 1,500% social fan growth across all platforms and a mind-boggling 7,400% increase on Instagram. To what do you attribute this audience growth, and more specifically, what’s been your approach to using technology to manage content, interact with your fan community, and expand your brand around the globe?

Firstly, our team is incredible—it’s not one person, it’s a total collaboration. When I came onboard to oversee and manage our social channels in 2013, and still now, the strategy has been fairly simple: great content programmed consistently over time yield results. Anything that we put out on our social channels, anything we distribute through our broadcast, we really want to make sure that we believe in it, and it is something that, regardless of scale and output, we want our fans want to see.

As a small team—we have three people on our social team who oversee and create daily content—we need to be extremely efficient. Leveraging technology to manage our content output is imperative because otherwise we would not be able to achieve the scale that we’ve been able to deliver, which is roughly 12 to 15 pieces per day on Facebook, an additional 5 to 6 on Instagram, and we’re now programming new platforms like TikTok. From a fan interaction perspective, social is also a great place for us to build community, in addition to achieving scale and reach, we’re using social as a tool to drive engagement.

We also strive to bring the beach to our fans no matter where they live. When we’re creating content that might seem mundane or ‘normal’ to us — like waxing a board— we ask ourselves: could this be interesting to somebody who doesn’t necessarily surf or have access to the ocean on a consistent basis? That perspective is something we try to keep in mind constantly.

Now, a few questions.

First, is Chief Community Officer a real position?

Second, should our World Surf League fire every single person except the social media three?

Third, what is the 1989 World Champion Martin “Pottz” Potter doing on his vacation?

Fourth, do you deserve to become fired from your job?

More as the story develops.


Apocalypse Now: “Walking sharks” just discovered in Australian waters create mass hysteria and a “siege-like” mentality in normally placid suburbs!

They're here.

I’ve been warning you. Been warning you and warning you and warning you that sharks are evolving at a disturbing rate. Learning. Growing. Adapting. Changing. Watching us from the deep while eating our feet. Wondering how those feet work. Thinking about growing some of their own. And now they are officially two arms, and two opposable thumbs, away from world domination.

But it is true.

Sharks have learned to walk.

Oh, I know it sounds like science-fiction. Like horrific science-fiction but the “man-eaters” cannot be taken lightly and, thankfully, inland Australians, normally content souping up Forza Horizon 3s and drinking Carlton beer are panicking wildly, mass purchasing generators, bottled water, bottled beer, pre-burnt steaks, plywooding themselves into single family homes.

Don’t believe? Well let us turn to Gizmodo for more.

Sharks have been around for a long time, emerging over 400 million years ago. New research shows that tropical ‘walking sharks’ appeared just 9 million years ago, making them the most recently evolved shark on the planet.

New research published in Marine and Freshwater Research describes nine species of walking shark, all of whom live in the waters off northern Australia, eastern Indonesia, and near the island of New Guinea. Walking sharks have been documented before, but the new research—a collaboration between the University of Queensland, Conservation International, and several other institutions—describes them an evolutionary context, including how they came to be a distinct genus.

A good thing, so far, that these walking sharks are only in northern Australia. Just imagine when the southern ones start walking too. I image they’ll head straight for Melbourne’s first ever functioning wave pool.

I imagine they’ll bring hell with them.


Red Scare: Surfers, today mostly alt-right ethno-nationalists, once feared to be “unknowing tools of the Communist cause!”

"...lack of self-discipline and disrespect for authority..."

Are you old enough to have experienced the might, the terror, the austere-yet-glorious aesthetic of Soviet Russia? Oh those were good years back when “enemy” meant something and garnered respect. Today’s grab bag of foes, both real and imagined, is enough to make even the most sober head spin. Enough to confuse even the very thoughtful.

Then, in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, there was one bad guy and he was fought by James Bond, Rocky Balboa and many Harrison Ford characters including Indiana Jones and President James Marshall.

Beautiful.

Sensible.

But did you know, for a brief moment in those glorious decades, that polite society feared that we surfers, we wave sliders, were seen as ripe for plucking by Communist forces? Hard to imagine, considering today’s surfers are mostly alt-right ethno-nationalists but it’s true as recently revealed by a letter to San Diego residents by a naval dentist and shall we learn about Captain Schlack and his crusade?

It’d be rude not to.

Captain Schlack warned, “How parents (of surfers) may become or be unknowing tools of the Communist cause through lack of close supervision and control of their children. The laxity in discipline of children and juveniles…seem effective softening methods preparing youth for the acceptance of the communist doctrine. In general, the trend towards lack of self-discipline and disrespect for authority makes youth and many adults ripe for plucking by those who would undermine our way of life.”

Among other things, Captain Schlack didn’t like “surf riders” dropping wax on his sidewalk. He complained that surfers poured gasoline on his lawn and burned it. They broke windows, destroyed gardens, irritated dogs, woke him at night and cut through his P.B. Point yard to reach the beach below.

So there we have it and do you wish you were a little more rebellious or do you feel ok all fat, capitalistic and fat?


Death in the Afternoon: “Vindictive” South African sharks featuring mercury and arsenic levels “significantly higher than allowable limits” poisoning Australians!

Biting back from beyond the grave.

The very last thing Australia needs right now is another problem. The island nation, burning under a relentless summer sun, has had no peace for months. The sky is blackened. The earth is blackened. And the only small pleasure usually easy-going Australians can find is enjoying a piece of either battered or blackened fish with a generous side portion of chips.

And beer.

Well, leave it to the shark, the vicious, vindictive apex predator, to be a man-killer from beyond the grave. To kick Australians when they’re down. To rudely poison generations and generations of future leaders by infusing the Lucky Country’s national dish with hatred and death and it’s true. South African sharks are killing Australians as it has just been revealed they contain mercury and arsenic levels “significantly higher than allowable limits” but we must learn more. We must keep all our facts straight.

But let’s start at the other end. Until recently, the fish you ate with your chips in Australia was predominantly snapper, the country’s favourite recreational and commercial fish. This was massively over-fished and last year the government banned catches in a number of key waters until 2023 (angering many fishermen), and imposed stiff fines for transgressions.

Maybe sharks could fill the gap? However, in 1991 the Australian smooth hound shark industry had collapsed and they were being imported from New Zealand. Then that fishery became oversubscribed and the demand shifted to South Africa, an area which they must have known had poor shark management, or legal compliance. They’d found the perfect supplier.

That was good news for local shark fishers. According to Dr Enrico Gennari of the Oceans Research Institute, the smooth hound catch numbers were 17,558 sharks in 2016, 18,298 in 2017 and 30,112 in 2018 (the 2018 numbers convert to about 210 tonnes). “Fishing at current mortality rates, a decline in harvestable stock is certain,” he said. “I’m quite sure right now this species would be in the endangered category.”

But there’s a further problem the Australians may not know about and will be unhappy to discover. South African waters are far from pristine, with toxic runoff from factories and farms entering coastal waters. Local sharks are apex predators and, as bioaccumulators, they retain heavy metals like mercury and arsenic (eat a Mako shark steak at your peril).

They take in high levels of these human-produced chemicals and heavy metals from both skin absorption and from consuming their prey. These dangerous chemicals and metals add up over time and quickly reach levels dangerous to humans. They can cause various neurological diseases such as dementia.

According to a South African research report on shark meat, mercury readily vaporises and may stay in the atmosphere for up to a year. It ultimately accumulates in lake and sea sediments where it’s transformed into toxic methyl mercury, accumulating in fish tissue, especially those at the top of the aquatic food chain. By this means, it enters the human diet.

Arsenic is used in the production of pesticides, treated wood products, herbicides and insecticides and generally enters coastal waters through river runoff.

Research by Adina Bosch and others in Langebaan Lagoon found that one in three smooth hound sharks analysed in 2015 had methylmercury and arsenic levels significantly higher than allowable limits, and contained 14 other heavy metals.

Rude.

Extremely rude, heartless, cunning and rude.

And is there no way for man to win? No way from him to assert dominion over his number one foe?

More as the story develops.


Confronting: British wave pool to test “expert” bona fides of guests before allowing ‘em to surf three-foot “Beast”!

Shredders must now pass test before being allowed near Wavegarden Cove's "advanced" settings.

In a move that has sent shock-waves through post-Brexit/Megxit England, surfers will be now be assessed before being allowed to ride Wavegarden Cove’s Beast setting at The Wave in Bristol.

As anyone who’s ridden the joint will tell ya, its two-foot intermediate setting  (“like a gentle day at Snapper”) has gotten real old, real quick.

But what are you gonna do when your clientele are, essentially, kooks?

As The Wave’s Founder Nick Hounsfield told Jamie Tierney, who visited the place for BeachGrit, it isn’t technology holding the place back, it’s the surfing level of its customers.

“Quite a few people are struggling to be honest what their ability might be,” he said.

“My session was marred by a handful of beginners who struggled to make the drop every time and didn’t get out of way of the surfer behind them quickly enough,” wrote Jamie. “It seems like a pretty easy solution to this would be to require surfers to prove they can handle a mellow setting before graduating to one that’s more advanced.”

You mean, a license?

A License to Ride?

Well, here it is.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7g2lXxhW7U/

Over the course of January and February, The Wave will be running “assessment days” where surfers will be pass or fail their Licence to Ride exam.

Those who pass will get to ride the pool on its advanced settings, which includes the three-foot “Beast”, a short slabbing barrel.

To get your Licence to Ride you should be able to:

• Comfortably ride waves above 2.0m
• Paddle in large waves and strong currents
• Duckdive
• Take-off consistently
• Generate speed
• Perform turns
• Negotiate sections
• Demonstrate respectful surf etiquette

Ask yourself, and ask honestly, would you pass?

Are you really the shredder you think you are?

I’m good for about two of the above, surf etiquette and duckdiving, not sure about the rest.

Sign up here.