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.