“Claims” have long been a divisive issue amongst fans of professional surfing. Should one of our heroes pump arms, wag tongues, throw heads back after an exceptional ride? Moreover, should they after an unexceptional one? Likely not, ever, but the debate continues to rage.
All can agree that World Surf League Erik Logan’s “double deuces” whilst not barreled at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch goes well over the line.
Only “fire” emojis and “raised hands” emojis in the comments once he posted the clip of himself to his own Instagram account.
David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed the double d, the power of surf films, Dennis Jarvis’s genius and much, much more during our weekly chat. This super pod touches two hours in length and each minute is worth its weight in minutes.
Surf fans wring hands in worry over Kelly Slater’s financial health after surf great, onetime flame Gisele Bündchen, her ex-Tom Brady, Larry David exposed in cryptocurrency exchange collapse!
Things were going so wonderfully well for surf fans and their dreamed of reunion between Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen. The ink dried, almost instantly, on the Brazilian supermodel and her ex-husband, Tom Brady’s, divorce papers. She moved herself to Costa Rica, very near the ayahuasca retreat center where the world’s greatest surfer just so happens to sit on the board, and an announcement of conscious re-coupling seemed but days away.
Until, that is, cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed earlier this month.
Founded by Sam Bankman-Fried three years ago, the exchange promised to be the place that cryptocurrencies would be bought and sold. The future experienced in real time. No pesky “government printed dollar bills” getting in the way. Bright skies. Big horizons. Pure non-fungibility.
Megastars, including Larry David, Tom Brady, his ex-wife Bündchen were quick to sign on, invest, make beautiful commercials together.
The cryptocurrency market was rocked Friday by the collapse of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy and saw CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resign after his assets plummeted in worth from $16 billion at the beginning of the week to virtually nothing. The fall of FTX, which had been hailed as a trusted crypto platform, is set to have major consequences for its investors, several of whom are major figures on the field and in the business of sports.
One such prominent investor is Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB and his now ex-wife Gisele Bundchen are among the celebrity investors in FTX, as the two were announced as having taken major equity stakes in the company in 2021. He has served as a brand ambassador for the company and starred in its commercials, receiving cryptocurrency in return, while Bundchen was named the company’s environmental and social initiatives adviser.
Brady and FTX’s other major investors have now likely lost most if not all of their stake in the company, particularly after a deal for cryptocurrency giant Binance to rescue FTX fell through after a review of the company’s finances.
And it might be thought, amongst polite society, that Slater was spared the fall and would have plenty of reserves to sweep Bündchen out of financial despair.
Days ago, an earthquake rumbled across the surfing landscape when it was revealed that real company Netflix had considered purchasing our World Surf League in whole. Per reporting in the Wall Street Journal:
The company recently bid for the streaming rights for the ATP tennis tour for some European countries, including France and the U.K., but dropped out, one of the people said. It also discussed bidding for a series of other events including U.K. rights to the Women’s Tennis Association and cycling competitions, the people said. The company late last year was in talks to buy the World Surf League, but negotiations fell apart because the two organizations couldn’t reach an agreement on a price, people familiar with the potential deal said. Some Netflix executives believe that given the size of its platform, Netflix could turn lesser-known sports like surfing into big franchises, and create new sporting tournaments or events, the people said.
So many questions, including what the difference on price between the World Surf League and Netflix was, how radically the streaming giant would alter the tour, what would happen to CEO Erik Logan.
Things have only gotten murkier since in the wake of an ultra-cryptic tweet from Chief Revenue Officer Cherie R. Cohen.
Cohen, whose preferred pronouns are she/her, was responding to another tweet from a Media Universe Cartographer referencing the Journal piece and reading:
BREAKING: The least surprising sports news of 2022. As I’ve pointed out many times: Of all major streamers, Netflix is the only one without sports. Their interest in #sports and their newly launched ad biz coinciding, is not coincidental.
A coy winking emoji plus the hashtag #surfsUP.
What could this possibly mean?
Another buyer in the wings?
Deal not dead?
In miracle for impatient butt n boob connoisseurs, Surfer (The Girl) contest featuring scantily clad women who don’t surf winner announced!
Tyler Wright not saying anything. Busy reading ocean.
Surfer (The Girl). An event riding the coat tails of the once great Surfer magazine. Loosely formatted like a traditional Beauty Pageant, a selection of 18-25’s are judged and ranked online by their physical attributes whilst wearing bikinis.
Cheeks out, coy knowing smirks to camera.
Slightly more classy than the wet t-shirt bikini contests of the 80’s but nonetheless a return to a more simpler time pre 2000’s when Women left the adverts of Surfing magazines, ventured to a beach near you to walk half naked on poorly made stages. Men leering and cheering. Pro-surfers whacking three to the beach in the background, watched only by half the judging panel.
It was hard graft scrolling though bikini shots on Instagram but the search for truth and justice in this case transcended the grind.
And It would seem the winner of Surfer (The Girl) was crowned back in June.
Or is it another example of just how capable the surf industry is of putting the blinders on unsuspecting doe-eyed surf journalists, numbed to controversy and criticism of their keepers after decades of boozy lunches and back slapping from low-tiered industry bottom feeders wielding company credit cards.
Rip Curl obviously under instruction from its first Woman CEO Brooke Farris has distanced itself from any ties to this brand smearing, cheap tit and arse fest and buried its association to the event into the darkest recesses of the internet.
One can only assume in the aftermath, a series of boardroom meetings were held.
Much finger pointing.
Deep shameful sighs and ultimately… stoic self-reflection and a steadfast new direction for the brand.
Team Rip Curl jumped straight into damage control with a new series of positive, socially aware, feel good stories on its website.
My personal favourite “Riding the wave of motherhood” featuring Team Rider Rosy Hodge, one of Rip Curls many strong female role models wearing stunningly practical, body positive swim attire, far removed from the tawdry promotional shots from Surfer (the Girl).
What do you have to say to other women who want to surf whilst pregnant?
“If you feel comfortable doing it, then go for it! Listening to your body is the key. I learned so much about my body and myself by staying in the water. There are opinions and arguments against surfing while pregnant, but I think ultimately, it’s your decision and it’s about what you are comfortable with. My advice is to get a board with lots of volume that you can still have complete control over and just keep it mellow.”
Rip Curl quick to distance itself from any form of controversy after its last minute withdrawal of its substantial $500 gift card to the second place getter at the recent Surfer (The Girl} Bikini focused beauty pangent was very mindful to its readership of prepubescent grommets considering having children to seek professional medical advice.
“We would like to note that what works for one person may not be right for another and that this interview contains one person’s personal view. It is not medical advice. For this reason, it is important to speak with your doctor and seek professional medical advice before deciding to surf while pregnant or after childbirth”
Kate Miller, Rip Curl’s Social Impact Specialist, says that:
The result reflects the significant investment the brand is making in transforming its business culture to a purpose-driven model. It also highlights a broader shift from a top-down approach to ethical sourcing, to knowing and collaborating with suppliers to drive positive social and environmental performance.
I was unable to find a statement from Rip Curls Social Impact Specialist about its involvement with the Surfer (The Girl) but must assume it’s still being carefully drafted.
Oh, and congratulaions of course to the winner of Surfer (The Girl) 2022 Ashlund Gardner!
Surfline, World Surf League, grammar aficionados left red-faced as “outrageous and contagious” start-up becomes most popular website in surfing by wildly large margin!
I wasn’t going to say anything but…. it feels wild chest pounding is what The People™ are really into these days.
Robust numbers reports. Wins across the board etc. Heretofore unforeseen growth.
The problem, though, is that be it politically left, politically right or Erik Logan, bald-faced lies are served as truth thus depressing those same The People™ when elections are lost, World Surf Leagues are not purchased by Netflix.
Big bummers all around.
Well, this little ol’ BeachGrit is, of course, for you, by you, and so we are pleased to announced that you are now, officially, the biggest surf website in the whole wide world.
A little under 5 million unique visitors last month.
Surfline and Magic Seaweed, combined, got 2.3 million.
The World Surf League much, much, much, much, much, much less.
The Inertia and Stab much lesser.
Hands are certainly being wrung in Santa Monica, Venice-adjacent, whatever “it city” from three years ago where Stab is currently setting up shop, trying to figure out how to replicate exceptionally poor grammar.
Consultants being hired in Surfline’s Huntington Beach offices to fire even more people so they can get down to the magic number of two.
The Inertia’s Zach Weisberg doubting, for the first time, the power of listicles.
Are you proud?
You should be.
Leave that candle burning on the windowsill unattended, for a moment, and crack into the vintage champagne.