Tears in Santa Monica.
Oh but certainly you’ve seen it, by now, and many multiple times. Jordan Anast’s stunning image of a longboarder mid-contest, at famed San Onofre, and that juvenile great white shark shooting skyward in the background. Snapped October 22, the photograph has taken on a life of its own, being featured in every major and minor media across the globe, most recently CNN.
Anast told the left-leaning service, “I didn’t know until I looked closely after, and saw the structures of the fins. Then I realized it was a great white shark.”
Wonderful and, officially, the most viral snap in surfing’s history.
Well, the longboarding contest was not a sanctioned World Surf League event, rather a local San Onofre Surf Club shootout, thus leaving the “global home of surfing” far away from the glorious spotlight.
As you know, the World Surf League has been on a campaign to radically alter surfing’s past, present and future since its establishment in 2015 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Top officials quickly declared that it was actually founded 39 years earlier, in 1976, and dipped into various Wikipedias to burnish the narrative.
Kelly Slater’s first WSL championship, for example, came in 1992.
Sixteen years before the WSL came to be.
In any case, the most viral moment in non-Stalinist WSL history was when Mick Fanning became entangled with a great white shark during a contest in South Africa.
The moment was flashed on screens, globally, including CNN and World Surf League brass did their best to leverage into the stratospheric growth we are witnessing today.
Numbers to the moon.
Not, though, as high as this newest San Onofre sensation.
The question, I suppose, will the World Surf League absorb the San Onofre Longboard Club in order to lay claim or is Santa Monica’s hatred of longboarding more powerful?
Currently more questions than answers.