The original comment by Noa Deane has assumed a quiet staying power and historical significance.
Fascism is very topical right now, very hot, and I will not throw two cents into the bubbling pot except to say anyone interested in the phenomenon is obliged to read Chapter 51, page 201 of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate.
I don’t believe I’ve misqoted him or misrepresented his words. If I have I’m sure he will correct me below the line.
I merely ask (apart from Medina’s revolt), what could be sexier than a genuine recreational surfer revolt against the WSL
As for what is mere “pageantry” and what is authentic, we will need five years to elapse before history can determine a judgement on that question.
I believe, having witnessed it first hand, that the successful recreational surfer revolt against the proposed WSL contest at Lennox Head, will pass the authentic test.
The other, more performative gestures being championed by Dual World Champion Tyler Wright, we will see.
I have an open mind on the question.
The revolt against the WSL comp at Lennox was about the loveliest, most genuine, inclusive, spontaneous thing I’ve ever witnessed in surfing. It united young and old, guys, gals, poor, rich etc etc.
No-one sought to self-aggrandise or boost their profile. Their was zero corporate sponsorship, virtue signalling or profit motive. It wasn’t sponsored by Rip Curl, not supported by Nike. There were no leaders, no followers.
I loves me a peasant revolt and this was about as pure an uprising against devious corporate control as you can get. Right up there with my fav uprising: the 1917 Kronsdadt Mutiny*.
Most beautifully, when it was done and dusted people put their heads down, waxed up whips and went back to the business of shred, without a skerrick of animosity.
By Prodan’s own measure, this was as good as it gets. It just so happens the organisation he represents was the “oppressor”, and thus surgically excised from his moral calculus.
Of course, much of the power and ready made branding of the revolt came down to the already extant slogan, #FucktheWSL.
If Prodan and Carroll wish to come to grips with anything counter-culture left in surfing, and stop chasing “sad echoes of what was cool” then it’s sitting right there in front of their noses via this simple slogan.
The response of the WSL to the overwhelming rec surfer revolt at Lennox?
Yep. No surprise. Cone of silence.
Bit of bitchy sour grapes sniping from Fanning in his “Getting Heated” ep with Ross.
The original comment by Noa Deane, who was a mere four months into his post-teen life, was ridiculed and moralised by the usual suspects but has assumed a quiet staying power and historical significance.
It’s worth a minor examination.It’s a sliding doors moment.
Then CEO Paul Speaker only announced the changeover from the ASP to the WSL on Sep 12 2014. At the time of Deane’s comments, the Surfer Poll Awards in early December of the same year the changeover hadn’t yet occurred.
It was still the ASP Pipe Masters.
If Deane had said “Fuck the ASP” the slogan would have dropped stone dead into the deep, dark well of history.
Like other outdated slogans such as “It takes a Tour to make a Title” and “world’s best surfers in the worlds best waves”.
How a twenty-year-old Deane was prescient enough to use the new organisations name in his slogan will go down as one of the great acts of future proofing what was left of the counter-cultural spirit of revolt left in surfing.
Which was the whole point: Deane’s missile was aimed at the corporatisation, the bland homogeneity of the Ziff takeover and push to Middle America.
The immediate blowback for Deane was swift, but the usual evangalizing nonsense missed the mark big time.
Fuck the WSL has endured, the blowback is long forgotten.
The results: Deane signed a five year 500K a year deal with Volcom in Jan 2017, not quite the fuck-you money Dane got from Quiksilver, but better than the deal for free wetsuits that Matty Banting signed this year.
No one knows how this will play out.
But the backlash against corporates and billionaire-backed organisations like the WSL acting as moral arbiters has legs, as evidenced by the enduring appeal of Noa Deane’s deathless phrase.
Woz might want to look in the mirror at its own social licence before they ride the woke hobby horse into the future.
*Sailors not peasants and brutally suppressed by the Red Army.