Another brick in the wall.
Mere days ago, at the dawn of the Billabong Pipeline Pro, I wondered if maybe, maybe, the World Surf League’s patented Wall of Positive Noise was beginning to crack. Students of professional surfing are well aware of the Wall, which the League began erecting soon after acquiring the Association of Surfing Professionals in 2012 for free. The only sentiments allowed, inside, are those unrelentingly cheerful, unfailingly cheery, even in the face of irrefutable truths otherwise.
Well, mere days ago, the League published, on its very own organ, a story lightly critical of Brazilian Filipe Toledo’s ability at Pipeline, writing, “It’s no secret that Pipeline is not Filipe Toledo’s strongest venue on Tour. While he’s arguably the fastest, most exciting surfer in the world in high-performance waves, there has been room for improvement when it comes to surfing heavy barrels like Pipe.”
A small break?
Small truths peeking through?
Toledo, for his part, proved the League very much correct by failing to paddle for decent waves on The Day of Days, earning a whopping 3.50 heat total and further cementing his reputation as the bravest coward.
But did sadness reign thereafter at the thought of hurt feelings?
Did one WSL staffer simply go off reservation?
Panic in the halls of Santa Monica that a situation had arisen needing to be immediately countered with an all-out absurdist campaign of unrelenting positivism?
Possibly and to whit: Yesterday’s historic women’s day two featured the “blood feud heat of the century” pitting mortal enemies Moana Jones Wong against Tatiana Weston-Webb. You certainly recall last year when Weston-Webb dropped in on Wong then proceeded to get “belted” both on land and Instagram as Wong unleashed a stream of insults including “if you have bad eyesight then don’t surf Pipe” amongst many others.
Well, in its wrap the World Surf League described the affair thusly:
On the other side of the draw, wildcard Moana Jones Wong continued to show the world why she’s considered one of the best women out at Pipeline. Dispatching longtime friend and one of last year’s Rip Curl WSL Finalists Tatiana Weston-Webb in the Round of 16 with her graceful tuberiding, she relished the underdog opportunity.
The Wall is back.