A new day has dawned.
Riding high on the impending success of Apple+ Television’s much ballyhooed Make or Break, the World Surf League has adopted a new aggressive tone. On its back foot for the better part of five years, the League has broadcast an either apologetic or pathetic timbre in communiques though all that changed with the suspension of longboard champion Joel Tudor via an excoriating missive from Senior Vice President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer.
“Hello everyone,” it began before turning sharply caustic. “I wanted to address a post that our 2021 Men’s Longboard champion made on his IG account yesterday that was both inaccurate and misleading related to the WSL’s approach to equality. Joel created confusion and called into question whether female athletes competing on the Longboard Tour receive equal prize money. It is important that you know, and that you hear directly from me, that we take great pride in the fact that our male and female longboard athletes all receive equal prize money.”
World Surf League CEO Erik Logan continued the bold resonance in Bells where he cut mutinous petition-signing surfers down to size with slashing barbs such as “It is inconceivable that we could, should, or would eliminate the mid-season cut, which is the foundation of our redesigned Championship Tour.” And “I feel obligated to say that the petition was painfully untrue in many respects – and wrongly attempted to portray an adversarial relationship. I have a lot to say about this.”
Now, professional surf fans are feeling the heat.
In an email sent out this morning signaling the potential running of today’s men’s round 1, the WSL communication department hissed, “In case you’ve been under a rock for the past month, the Margaret River Pro will decide the Mid-season Cut. Every surfer in the draw will be looking to put up big scores to stay inside the cut line. Lucky for them (and us), WSL rules and judging expert Rich Porta is here to break down how they can do just that. Watch the crucial event live April 24 to May 4 on worldsurfleague.com.”
Those who choose the active under-rock living lifestyle viciously and publicly shamed.
Porta, in any case, tells the surfers to “surf big” and to go for “big combinations.”
We’d all better watch. Or else…