Logan (pictured) heavily lei'd.
Logan (pictured) heavily lei'd.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan attempts to deflect attention from “cartoonish” Surfline wave height imbroglio swirling around Tahiti Pro by donning world’s largest lei!

Master showman.

The World Surf League has been besieged for most of its 2022 Championship Tour season by rotten waves that are forecasted to be either epic or legendary by Surfline before each event. The League’s “official forecasting partner” has not been shy in pumping expectations through the roof and continuing rosy outlooks through contest windows even as the miserable reality is observable.

Post-truth, I suppose.

Well, things really hit a head in Tahiti where Surfline’s already cartoonish wave-size calls have reached hitherto unseen levels of absurdity. Five-to-seven feet and offshore deemed too flat to kick off the much-anticipated Outerknown Tahiti Pro.

Surfline, feeling pressure, continued a barrage of evidence-free wave-size calls, its senior forecast manager lashing out that BeachGrit only cares about “clicks with #fakenews.

Playbook, I guess.

The World Surf League’s deputy commissioner Renato Hickel, in charge of the green and red light buttons for the event, threw fans into further confused disarray, yesterday, by breaking with Surfline and generously calling its insistence that waves were still five-to-seven still “too small to surf.”

Imbroglio reaching maximum public embarrassment, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan took it upon himself to deflect attention by donning the world’s largest lei.

In a video that has since been removed, Logan takes to the stage wearing green shorts and a blue polo, staggering under the weight of so many flowers around his neck, breathing hard while thanking Tahitians for welcoming the world’s best surfers back to Teahupoo for the first time in three years.

The move, classic sleight of hand, seems to be having its intended result as the aforementioned BeachGrit has turned its attention toward Logan’s amazing lei and is, thus far, ignoring yet another day of Surfline shame.

Master showmanship, I think.

Open Thread: Comment Live, Day One pt. 2 of Outerknown Tahiti Pro where the only thing we have to fear is fear itself and reef!

Or another day of forever holds?

The WSL's Renato Hickel goes rogue! Calls Surfline's five to seven one to two.

Surf fans left in a confused disarray as WSL eschews partner forecaster Surfline’s “cartoonish” five-to-seven-foot wave-size call as it cancels Outerknown Pro for day due to “one-to-two-foot” waves!

And Surfline's chief forecaster comes out swinging, “Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight. But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

As reported yesterday, Surfline, the world’s preeminent surf forecaster and official partner of the WSL, predicted “five-to-seven-foot” waves for Teahupoo on Monday.

A little time on Surfline’s own  Teahupoo cam, hosted by Havae Bungalows right there on the point, however, revealed one-foot lines folding onto ‘emselves on the famous reef. 

Barely enough wave-power, as I wrote yesterday, to propel an SUP or one of those fantastic pedalo devices that so thrilled spectators at Burleigh Heads last week. 

As readers, and Surfline’s own Senior Forecast manager Jonathan Warren, were quick to point out, the screen-grab of little waves used in the story was from Sunday.

French Polynesia, of course, is on the other side of the international date line to Australia. Monday here, Sunday there.

“Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight,” Warren wrote. “But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

All very good, and true, points.

Warren included a still from the cam of a Teahupoo drainer that might’ve been almost four foot at the takeoff.

A correct forecast, then, might’ve been one-to-two with the real occasional bigger set.

Wave of the day!

So what did today bring? 

If you were to ask Mr Renato Hickel, the WSL’s own man making the calls on whether or not the event is to run, the waves are “one-to-two-foot.” 

Five-to-seven-(Surfline) foot, Teahupoo, Monday, August 15.

The waves are building, said the famously handsome Brazilian and former beau of four-time world champion Lisa Andersen, but too small for competition.

I watched for twenty minutes and saw a couple of lazy three-footers.

The contest was put on hold for many hours until, even with the rideable sets making reluctant cameos, the plug was pulled until tomoz, or maybe Thursday, when Surfline is calling for a mighty ten-to-fifteen feet of oceanic madness.

Strap yourself in!

Open Thread: Comment Live on the Outerknown Tahiti Pro where courage and a willingness to just go for it, whether it is a conversation or a spontaneous trip or pitching over a ledge onto dry reef is a really attractive quality!

Go time (maybe).

Do you know where this wave is?
Do you know where this wave is?

European news service breaks number one rule in surfing, commits cardinal sin by outing secret location of heavily localized wave!

Heads will roll.

There are a good handful of rules in surfing that we, on the inside, know and generally respect. Person closest to the peak has priority (unless the person not as close to the peak has been surfing the spot for fifty-plus years then he or she is allowed to drop in and also throw board rocks), don’t paddle out at a new spot with more than two Brazilians in tow, ride each wave all the way to the beach and throw a shaka when fins hit the sand etc. but none is as precious as NOT outing the location of secret waves.

Breaking that rule is to commit surfing’s cardinal sin and, thus, surfers around the world woke this morning, mouths agape, to the revelation that euronews.com, a major French television, radio station and internet news service, not only outed a wave but provided detailed directions on how to get there.

The headline of the story screamed, “This secret surf spot 15,000km from Paris is hosting part of the 2024 Olympic Games” and, once clicked upon, read:

The next Olympic games will take place in Paris in 2024. However, it’s just been announced that the surfing competitions are going to take place a little further away from the French capital than you might expect…

15,716 kilometres away to be precise, in the village of Teahupo’o on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

It’s around a 20 hour flight to Papeete, the island’s capital. After that visitors need to cross through the rural areas of Tahiti’s jungle to get to the southern part of the island.

There in black and white, or white and black if you prefer the reverse screen on you phone/computer.

Teahupo’o which can be accessed by flying to Papeete then crossing through rural jungle to arrive south.

Like providing a map and putting a big X where the treasure is.

"X" not exact.
“X” not exact.

There is no telling how Teahupoo’s locals will react to this indignity but if they are anything like Lunada Bay’s Bay Boys, across the Pacific in California, things might get very dicey.

More as the story develops.