"Wipe out! We're working on it. Paddling back out soon."
Yesterday, during the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask semifinals, the World Surf League’s internet feed crashed in the United States of America leaving great swaths of professional surf fans locked out of the action.
Technological glitches happen and I don’t fault the WSL, or its CEO Erik Logan, for the momentary troubles but I do blame them both for declaring “Wipe Out! We’re working on it. Paddling back out soon.”
Gabriel Medina was in the water battling against countryman Italo Ferreira who was wearing hot pants. It was tense, high-octane, a likely preview of finals day 2021. Professional surf fans were on the edge of their stools, early afternoon cocktails clutched tightly but unconsumed as the action was simply too great to turn away from.
All of a sudden nothing.
A suspended production.
Wild refreshing of browsers ensued which, eventually, was met by a bit of whimsy.
The professional surf fan’s blood, already boiling due the interruption, might have forgiven the WSL if surf jargon had not been incorporated into the message. “Wipe Out! We’re working on it. Paddling back out soon.” was a bridge too far.
Unconsumed cocktails were chucked at long-suffering dogs. Computers near cowering children.
What was otherwise an exceptional day turned dark and many lives will not fully recover.
“Wipe out! We’re working on it. Paddling back out soon.”