Wright recalls her relationship with her Father as a source of great stress and mentions his early-onset dementia. I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot.
How nuts has women’s surfing exploded into mainstream consciousness in the last little while. It’s been on a slow burn but the thing went supernova after the release of Girls Can’t Surf, then International Women’s Day and now the release of Tyler Wright’s bombshell confessional in ESPN.
It’s a crazy case of cometh the hour, cometh the gal.
I feel so ecstatic about all this I can’t hardly breathe.
Pumped to see my pal Pauls get some long overdue reco and money in the bank. Pumped that Tyler has come out with no adverse reactions. Pumped she retro-fitted herself from a millionaire pro-surfer at 16 to a frustrated academic : “I don’t fucking dream of this shit. I want to read books. I want to go to school”.
That’s just too good.
What do you want? A million-dollar contract and a life travelling the world going surfing or sitting in that hot classroom trying to get your head around The Tempest? If she had her time again she’d take the sweaty classroom and the Shakespeare.
Great. If that is what she believes it’s OK by me.
I really mean that.
She says she suffers from PTSD. How the hell do we know otherwise?
Your subjective experience is your own. Ain’t no-one can tell you how it is for you and you alone when the thoughts are racing around the fringes of the mind at three am. I’m pumped that some of the demons and the strangeness of the Wright family have now been put into the public domain.
It’s a very singular family dynamic.
” I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot. We got him into a ute, drove him home and I got some help from his mate. That caused me great distress and some trauma. If Tyler claims her upbringing caused her distress and trauma then who are we to question it?”
To quote Tolstoy’s famous Anna Karenina principle: “Happy families are all alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.
Wright recalls her relationship with her Father as a source of great stress and mentions his early-onset dementia. I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot. We got him into a ute, drove him home and I got some help from his mate. That caused me great distress and some trauma. If Tyler claims her upbringing caused her distress and trauma then who are we to question it?
On the surface it might seem ridiculous and absurd. A multi-millionaire young athlete with two world titles to her name- more set-up than most of the poor schmucks busting their asses trying to make payments – playing what seems like a classic woke victim card.
A woman with all the earthly riches and fame that eluded earlier generations of women pro surfers claiming to be oppressed in an existential fashion, to the point of life and death, by the very thing that has elevated her into the sporting pantheon?
This is incredible stuff. Tolstoy could not compress this into a novel a thousand pages long.
I do not disrespect this untameable zebra of an athlete for a second.
I hope you all radically revise your position vis a vis Tyler Wright as I have done. More than anything I’m pumped that this anger, this rage she references will be a cleansing fire for the cutesy-wutesy but diabolically dysfunctional charade of women’s pro surfing.
All the body image pressure, the self loathing, the home-schooled pathway, homophobia, racism the psycho Dads etc etc – it’s all fair game now.
All thrown on the pyre of Tyler’s righteous fury. What a wonderful development.
Who will be the next to flame on?
I predict Carissa. Steph may follow suit.
Which opens up the delicious possibility of the three women surfers at the top of the tree rampaging gloriously through this garden of truth, all with “honest eyes” and unencumbered by the need to appease an organisation or sponsors. I don’t think the implications of what Tyler has done are fully appreciated.
Walking this path of woke may not be the easiest path for Tyler, long term. She has rebranded herself as an ally, claimed to be a beneficiary of white supremacist structures and that these structures need to be dismantled.
British academic and author Kehinde Andrews in a recent book claims “rebranding a racist product is not a step in the right direction. It is a kick in the teeth to all those who suffer the impacts of white supremacy”.
See what I mean? Very tricky path to tread.
You could get called out and cancelled in a heartbeat if the walk doesn’t match the talk.
We don’t have to agree with Tyler to dig this new frisson added to the impenetrable bland of normal WSL programming. I thought I would never get back the brain cells I lost listening to the young Tyler’s pressers.
Now I know she is studying, reading books. Reading fugging books! What lies ahead. Big words, maybe some interesting thoughts. Big statements.
Anything will be a vast improvement on the “it’s all good #blessed” talk of recent times.
Surf fan wise, I’m a Gilmore gal.
I like the flow and the style, the double-hand layback cutbacks. Tyler is a little too predictable on the heavy backfoot for me.
Women’s surfing just got more interesting than it has for years. Finally some personalities let off the leash.
Can we find some common ground and enjoyment at least on that?