World’s two most high-profile surfboard shapers and bandmate of Kelly Slater mount unified attack on World Surf League following innocuous hotel chain promo, “You continue to fulfil Bobby Martinez’s premonition. This is painfully awful!”

“Every shot of the place looks like a crime scene that’s been cleaned up…”

Four days ago, the WSL’s four million Instagram followers were gifted an innocuous promo spot for the Best and Western in Huntington Beach, California.

The Bee-Dubs HB ain’t the Raffles or the Four seasons, but what is? The hotel’s only hot tub gets a little crowded and the water suspiciously cloudy at times and the breakfast buffet is gonna cost y’fifty a head with a tip, but you’re on the beach, the beds are clean and the rooms are three times the size of their equivalent in Paris.

In the paid advertisement, San Clemente’s Anastasia Ashley, Queen Bitch on ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer and who appeared in a Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue alongside Kate Upton and Chrissy Teigen, gives a little PG POV action in the hotel, wake up, guzzle the coffee, go surf with pals.

 

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It’s a a lovely spot from the noted influencer whose face is as sharp, as pointed as the beak of a stork and who has the mysterious beauty of things seasoned by storms.

The response from surf fans, however, has shocked even hardened media pundits.

First, from the world’s two most high-profile surfboard shapers.

Carissa Moore’s shaper Matt Biolos, “What is this garbage?”

Jon Pyzel, maker of John John Florence’s fleet, “Pro surfing 2022?”

From the maker of Tour Notes and Kelly Slater bandmate Peter King,
“Every shot of the place looks like a crime scene that’s been cleaned up.”

Others,

“Well if everyone didn’t already think the WSL was a joke I’m pretty sure this sealed the deal.”

“wsl what have you become.”

“Good to see you didn’t fire the creative geniuses that thought “The Ultimate Surfer” was a good idea.”

“I heard this is the new format for the WSL final 5…whomever checks into the most Mid West Best Western Hotels, with speed, power flow and waffles to go will be determined the undisputed world champion of the discounted parking, by Chris Cote…”

“HB police dept always hits up that @bestwestern for crack and hookers.”

“Eric Logan needs to go.”

“Jeesus christttt. You continue to fulfil Bobby Martinez’s premonition. This is painfully awful. If this has anything to do with surfing please let me know.”

“F*ck ELO and the WSL. What the heck happened to the world’s best surfers, in the world’s best waves ???”

“Corporate whores.”

Anastasia’s response to the furore was typically classy, “If anyone is hating on a free breakfast, with inflation I’ll eat all the waffles I can.”

Why the passionate response, y’think?

Is there racism in there that I can’t see?

Or too white?

An intersectional void?

Too sexless given hotness of cast?

As dear Charlie is fond of saying, more questions than answers at this time.


Miles of smiles (pictured).

World Surf League CEO jubilantly pounds breast over just-wrapped Rip Curl Pro Finals: “The day will go down as the biggest day in pro surfing. The data and the numbers are undeniable.”

Full bloom.

Do you already miss competitive professional surfing or are you relieved that you can rest and relax until the very end of January 2023? Well, in either case it is a good time to reminisce about the season that was, leading to Filipe Toledo and Stephanie Gilmore championships there on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan took the opportunity to do just that, yesterday, and posted a jubilant chest to his preferred medium Instagram, penning:

It’s been a little over a week, and the excitement of the 2nd Annual Rip Curl WSL Finals is still in full bloom. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all the support and work on making this past Finals the Biggest Day in WSL History. This doesn’t happen without a global team of employees who have worked since last year to make this day even bigger and better. Thank you. Also, to our final ten surfers, what a tremendous year for every one of you, and the year-long performances that put you all in a position to win the world title was exciting to witness firsthand. And finally, to the fans, thank you. As each stop moved through the year, more and more excitement was building until the crescendo of what we saw at lower trestles with Filipe and Steph. The day will go down as the biggest day in pro surfing. The data and the numbers are undeniable.

– Broke the record for the most watched day in WSL history by 22%
– Over 8.3 million total Livestream views (and still counting)
– Over 1 million viewers on linear TV globally, with more airings to come!

We are excited to continue driving the sport forward by creating the largest platform for our surfers to showcase their amazing talents. Thank you! Bring on 2023.

Now, the amount of frustration with Final’s Day amongst “core” surf media has been a theme for a little over of the same aforementioned week and, as I read, it made me think that ELo and crew truly live in an alternative reality until I remembered that the Oklahoma native came to us via the great Oprah Winfrey.

I recalled putting my young daughter to bed, when she was an even younger daughter, to the soothing sounds of Oprah and Deepak Chopra guided meditations. Their voices so calming, so peaceful, forcing even the most hyperactive brain into a state of slumber. A theme, anyhow, of each meditation was positive reinforcement. Willing what you want into existence. Changing that existence through manifestation and I realized that our World Surf League has become completely Oprahfied.

Weird.

No?

But will it work? Will the power of Erik Logan’s public positive thinking create a utopia for “our” surfers to showcase their amazing talents?

Where do you put your money?


George (pictured) penning individual responses to those who dared to disagree.

Preeminent self-proclaimed surf authority ripped to grisly shreds by traditionally subservient fans after claiming Lower Trestles as one of world’s best waves: “Time to travel a little?”

Genius denied.

Sam George, the preeminent self-proclaimed most important voice in surfing, its guiding light and holder of all truths, once married to fictional surf royalty must have woken to quite a start this morning. I’d imagine his typical routine is to remove the cucumber slices covering his eyelids, blinking a few times before sitting up and sliding his footsies into OluKai slippers, making his way to the restroom to run a manicured hand through silver fox hair, affixing his beaded tiger’s eye brace around right wrist, heading to the kitchen in order to steep himself a cup of oolong tea and re-reading his most recent works.

And this morning it would have been his vigorous defense of Lower Trestles on likeminded website The Inertia which bills itself “the definitive voice of surf and outdoor.” His eyes would have lovingly caressed its title, “Defending Lower Trestles: Despite the WSL Finals Vitriol, It’s One of the World’s Best Surf Spots,” nodding at his bash of “earnest young reporters” bad-mouthing the much-ballyhooed Final’s Day, solemnly nodding upon reaching the line, “Take it from me, a surfer with both the authority and years of experience to make the following claim: they’re all wrong. Because the fact is that by any reasonable standard, Lower Trestles is one of the world’s best waves.”

He would have flowed through the poetry of the following few hundred gorgeous words, a thorough history of Lowers, what it meant for surfboard design and progression, how it remains the mark of progression, before reaching his final hammer.

But for a reminder of what it does provide, re-watch match one of the women’s event at this year’s world title finale. Honestly now, compared to anything you surf on a regular basis, would you call Lowers a “mediocre” wave?

I didn’t think so.

More forceful than anything ever written.

Now, he may not have initially imagined that his eyes would have drifted down toward the comments. Since The Inertia is, clearly, the “definitive voice,” its mollycoddled readers rarely add but there below George’s piece a whole six responses floated.

A sly smile must have crossed his handsome face, between sips of oolong. No doubt songs of praise, small monuments built to his genius.

mjp declared, “Trestles’ bathymetry changed a bit in the 80’s and it’s not a terrible wave , so therefore let’s decide the world champion there.”

Elwood added, “The fact is, that by any reasonable standard, Lower Trestles is not one of the world’s best waves.”

NotFromSoCal concluded, “Time to travel a little?”

A vicious ripping by The Inertia standards.

Brutal and unrelenting.

Oolong dribbling from George’s rage-trembling frown.

But do you agree with him or with The Inertites?


Yves and Kelly, custodians of the planet. | Photo: Slater by @sensitiveseashellcollector

Pressure builds on sustainability activist Kelly Slater to gift Outerknown to environmental causes following Yves Chouinard’s shock decision to give away his $3 billion surf and climbing company Patagonia, “I was in Forbes magazine listed as a billionaire, which really, really pissed me off”

"The whole river is completely filled with floating fish, for miles and miles and miles. I have seen pictures and it makes me wanna cry," says Slater.

You might’ve seen in the press already, Yves Chouinard’s decision to give away Patagonia, the company he spent the last fifty years building into the multi-billion dollar operation it is today. 

I’ll admit. Patagonia, the brand, don’t do a hell of a lot for me. The ritual use of dull browns, the lingering smell of piety, the full silhouettes suited to the fashionably retarded.

I live in the city where the climate is temperate. I don’t climb, don’t fish, use a little of the ocean close to shore and what little nature I get is from the television. Fornication, perhaps, is the closest I get to God.

And, yet, I’ve always found Yvon Chouinard, the climber and surfer who founded Patagonia, deeply interesting. One of those men whom you would’ve loved as a childhood mentor. 

“He who dies with the least toys wins,” says Yves. “Because the more you know, the less you need… I was in Forbes magazine listed as a billionaire, which really, really pissed me off. I don’t have $1 billion in the bank. I don’t drive Lexuses.”

True to his word, instead of selling Patagonia or taking it public, Yves, who is eighty-three, has transferred his family’s ownership of the company into a trust and no-for-profit, “created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.”

And, now following the decision, pressure is mounting on renowned environmentalist Kelly Slater, whose work with Queensland wetlands and Californian deserts is the stuff of legend, to do the same with Outerknown, which, like Patagonia, was created as a bulwark against cheap, mass-produced clothing. 

“I am pretty depressed about the state of the world to be honest and our future in terms of pollution and humanity in a lot of ways,” Slater told Tracks magazine. “It feels like politics and religion and all sorts of things are pulling us apart more than they bring us together.

“I am pretty sensitive to it … it weighs heavy on my heart to be honest. I think about big things in the world a lot and for me it’s difficult to see and be ok with it. When you become aware of something but then you don’t know how to fix it, that’s when it becomes frustrating.

“I try and raise awareness with social media. I wish there was more time for myself to be able to just focus only on that. All the rivers in my hometown right now have completely been destroyed by the sugar cane and fertilizer industries. All the fish in the river outside my house just died, every single fish. The whole river is completely filled with floating fish right now, for miles and miles and miles. It’s the saddest thing you will ever see. I have just seen pictures and it makes me wanna cry.”

Don’t cry!

Be like Yves!

More as it comes.


Sexism (pictured).

Tasteless surf tabloid viciously slammed by Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing for ugly pattern of wanton sexism: “Per usual BeachGrit is disrespecting women. What will your daughter think?”

Many tears.

Reckless surf tabloid BeachGrit’s twin desks were sent reeling, this morning, after one of its principals was publicly accused of continuing a disturbing pattern of wanton sexism. The latest in a series of offending posts was carelessly uploaded to the website’s lightly trafficked Instagram account and featured a sixty-ish-year-old woman in a full wetsuit and jacket getting extremely barreled on a nine-foot longboard, blown out with the spit and sent into the atmosphere where she rode an airplane before doing a hands-free full rotation.

The Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, with a mission of supporting access, inclusion, equity and equal pay and promises to be “new wave of professional surfing,” immediately pounced on the ugly piece of content, declaring, “Per usual @beach.grit is disrespecting women. What will your daughter think @surfjournalist?”

Surf journalist Chas Smith had not considered asking his young daughter before sharing the video and immediately apologized to her for perpetuating such bigoted trash and promised he would be better.

Many tears flowed thereafter.

Smith thought about calling his older daughter, who plays soccer for Vanderbilt, to apologize to her as well, hoping beyond hope that she hadn’t seen the thoughtlessness which might have led her to believe she could do backflips to the atmosphere and ride an airplane after scoring a goal but couldn’t handle any more shame.

He is currently seeking help.