Plus a warning to Mandy Moore.
Sal Masakela, fallen from the heights of E! Entertainment Television fame to Red Bull’s third or fourth extreme sport option is in the booth, right now, calling gorgeously pumping Volcom Pro Pipe Pipeline. John John is allegedly out. Others are too but it is gorgeously pumping and Chris Cote is shining, Vaughn Dead neé Blakey is outshining his brother, Dave Wassel is making it clear that the ’89 World Champ is, in fact, mummified and has been for years.
And damned Sal Masekela. Damned hackneyed bro brah bro brah bro brah Sal Masekela.
But can I tell you a quick story, one that I swore I told you before but couldn’t find even after googling “BeachGrit Sal Masekela New York” and “BeachGrit Sal Masekela Hurricane?” One that popped right into my brain once I heard his “Bro brah big Pipe I surf Cloudbreak brah bro.” Is that ok?
The year was 2011 or some such and Quiksilver had secured the rights to a New York-based Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour event so sensational, so bombastic, that few imagined it could be pulled off. It would be, weeks later, in some of the best surf New York had ever seen but our story begins, weeks earlier, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District’s Standard Hotel.
It was the “event hotel” and the keycards had already been embossed with “Quiksilver Pro New York” imagery. Very chic but I was there not for future surf but because the professional skateboarding tour Street League was being held across the Hudson in Newark, New Jersey. My gorgeous wife represented famous skateboards and I was merely along for the ride.
In any case, some hurricane was threatening to hit the region but the Street League organizers decided they would have enough time to run the event no problem. My wife and I drove through the Holland Tunnel or Lincoln Tunnel or whichever Tunnel, watched, then drove back to the Standard.
Rain was already lashing the windows when we arrived to our home-away-from-home.
We went downstairs to eat dinner and happened upon Sal’s then girlfriend who we invited to join as she was solo.
“Where’s Sal?” My wife asked.
“He is staying in New Jersey because he is too afraid of the potential hurricane…” she responded.
“Oh bullshit.” My wife, notoriously opinionated, fired back. “I’ll hire you a car. You go get him.”
Sal’s girlfriend, inspired, agreed and left as soon as dinner ended.
I didn’t think much of it until, a few hours later, she invited us back downstairs to join her and Sal for a drink. I had already fallen asleep like a fat li’l Arab and was confused, off-kilter, but perpetually agreeable.
My wife and I went downstairs and there sat Sal and his then-girlfriend. He seemed upset and announced that he was frustrated that his then-girlfriend had put them both in danger by driving through steady rain and almost steady wind to get him.
An apparent “hurricane.”
I thought, “Oh.”
Then he proceeded to tell me that Nike, teasing Nike 6.0 representing the “six stars of extreme sports” and Hurley, had “credibility” in the “surfing and extreme sports” space thanks to him. That without Sal Masakela they would be seen as frauds and interlopers but because of him were accepted as “core participants.”
I thought, “I must still be sleeping…” while looking outside at the rain and possible wind.
Many months later he advised one-time pop celebrity Mandy Moore against climbing Mt. Everest due danger etc.
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