Brutal. Absolutely brutal.
But how much surf royalty has southern California’s San Clemente produced? More than any other seaside hamlet anywhere on earth? Off the top of my head, I count Richard Nixon (father of Nixon watches), Shane Beschen (father of Noah), Chris Ward (father of Malia), Dino Andino (father of Kolohe).
All very fine but it is the penultimate on that esteemed list who is of most interest, today, for Malia Ward is set to star in this summer’s The Ultimate Surfer won by Zeke Lau and the most interesting for sure.
The 23-year-old USC graduate, who splits her time between Malibu and San Clemente, enjoys longboard skate dancing, tennis, acting and, of course, surfing.
Though did she enjoy her time the Surf Ranch set of The Ultimate Surfer?
Well, an impeccable source overhead young Ward describing her experience thusly:
“It was psychological hell. They took our phones and the producers plotted us against each other. I had no idea what was going on and hope I don’t look like an idiot.”
Oh the trap of dang reality television. As I recently shared, contestants in any show, lured in by promises of fame, an increased platform, fame, fame are but meat in Hollywood’s ravenous, and ravenously undiscerning, jaw. There is no care for emotional well-being, for truth. Only blood, ratings-spiking blood, will do and producers have spent the last two decades-plus sharpening their teeths on the bones of naive hopefulls.
The fact that World Surf League CEO Erik “ELo” Logan threw surfing’s young, vaguely innocent QS and QS-adjacent hopefuls to the jackals shows a level of cutthroat savagery not seen since he took the reins some three-ish years ago.
He came from Hollywood and either knows, or is vaguely aware, of the game.
Expect Surf Fan Island to be put into production next where the loving BeachGrit community is rounded up, boated to Anacapa and left without food or drink to die slow, dull deaths.
It won’t be televised.