A lonely protest!
I am writing this wrap up well before finals day because, face it, none of the little details matter anyway.
I was a little hesitant to submit this cause I am giving up any anonymity, but I am okay with my kook status, and I am pretty sure these guys have it figured out by now.
I rode my first wave around 45 years ago and have run the gambit from solid to full kook, sometimes in one session.
But one thing is for sure, like all of you reading this, I have been hooked ever since that first wave.
Surfing, and the ocean in general, gets me through the hard times and makes the good ones all that much sweeter. It has given me trials and triumph, humiliation and enlightenment.
I owe my life to it.
I could spend the rest of my life looking at the ocean and never get bored and even if I am miles away and haven’t surfed for a while I am still always going to be dreaming of surfing good waves in good form.
Having said that, it pains me to say that I have no interest in any of this contest.
I used to be a contest junkie, and I still am, but like a shitty drug, it just gets old after awhile.
The only reason we put up with the WSL’s bullshit is that we just want to see good surfing, at spots we aspire to surf or are in awe of.
And watching through a contest not only gives us that it also gives us a look at spots in their true light. No cropped, edited-to-death footage that totally masks the true nature of a surf spot.
That alone would usually keep me coming.
The competitive end of it is cool and there has been plenty over the years to remember and learn from.
But the WSL, in its never ending quest to market our way of life to people who don’t care, have managed to fuck all of that up.
I tuned in for five minutes of this event and that was more than I could take.
It was the tail end of the Pupo/Italo heat and they were surfing well, but listening to qualified surfers who don’t understand their base bootlicking for the sake of complete kooks, with the same lame analogies, while the production team gave the same beat-down angles and timing miscues, brought me to a realization: None of it really matters. The names, the dramas, the titles and who won them.
They all turn into a blur, like most of the waves I have ridden in my lifetime. It doesn’t matter if I tune in, I will always be able to see the footage later and comment accordingly like the troll that I am.
In the end, the current structure and format is incompatible to functional viewing for anyone but us and with clowns who don’t surf at the top calling the shots it is never going to get better.
There will be epic moments and waves ridden, but at what cost to our collective sanity?
The WSL is better off going the way of the G-Land glory days, where there was plenty of time to put out a legendary documentary that had people eagerly waiting to see well before it came out, especially after hearing about it through the grapevine.
It might not have shown all the nuances of competition and of the spot itself, but it spared us the gaffes we continually bash ourselves over the head with now.
I know we can’t go backwards, but we sure as hell ain’t going forward like this.
To whoever wins, congratulations, you earned it, maybe, provided the judges didn’t fuck it up.
But I for one have shit to get done, and if I am gonna waste a few days glued to a screen, I at least want to feel like it wasn’t all for naught.
At this point I am more into finding waves on Google Maps that most people haven’t thought to look for.
I hope those who watch are rewarded with inspirational surfing.
Peace out to you all.
I know I said I was going to keep it short, but like the rest of my life, it didn’t work out as planned.