But who could have seen that coming? Which surf fan might have put their hard earned money here? While we have been busily lighting candles for months now dreaming of a Gisele Bündchen x Kelly Slater reunion in order to usher in an era of prosperity last seen in 2005 – 2006, the surf broadcaster Selema Masekela was all the while dating movie superstar Lupita Nyong’o who just allowed him to become public.
The Kenyan actress, who became mass famous after her turn as Nakia in Black Panther, is deservedly loved by all. A bright light in her prime with exciting work in a gilded future.
Nuyong’o announced Masekela, who just finished announcing the Pipe Masters, as her boyfriend in a moving instagram post with the two dancing in various clothings.
Webby, who grew up in Geelong in Victoria but soon moved to nearby Torquay, HQ of the world’s surf industry, was the artist who redefined Quiksilver in the nineteen-eighties with radical hand-painted and wildly coloured prints that became the measure of cool not just within surf, but within fashion.
Where surf graphics had long been sunsets and waves, blues, yellows and reds, a continuation of the Endless Summer dream from 1966, Webby’s Ghetto Dog, Warpaint and Surfers of Fortune graphics for Quiksilver shifted the game a hard left.
It very much goes without saying that Barton Lynch is a gift to surfing. From the BL Blast Off Challenge to his various podcastings, Instagram messages and general tone, the Australian legend brings a sort of genteelness to our space. Something typically in short order.
Now, it would be thought that his admixture of experience, his trained eye and his ability to speak about nuances would have make Lynch the ideal color commentator for the World Surf League. Indeed, he did spend a year, or such, shoulder to shoulder with Joe Turpel, Ron Blakey et. al. giving surf fans the most aural joy of all but then, like that, he was brutally disappeared. Told that “his services were no longer needed.”
Well, rumors percolated through the industry that his “politics” had become an issue.
Surf fans scratched their heads furiously trying to figure out which of his “politics” were off-brand for the WSL. Which would cause troubles. Or scratched their heads furiously until days ago, that is, when an image was leaked featuring Lynch engaging his rail in a picture-perfect bottom turn at Sunset, white beard fluttering in the stiff breeze.
While the connection to Karl Marx and his various theories on production and workers etc. is readily apparent to adults, children around the globe made an instant connection to an earlier hammer of naughty and nice.
A pre-industrial revolution red.
Now, anyone who has ever studied political theory is well aware that the aforementioned is the ideal communist. An authoritarian who delivers gifts created in factories where no wages are paid or collected to everyone who has kept their heads down during the year and stayed off his enemies’ list. A singular figure who works to banish scarcity by delivering toys, without cost, to homes everywhere in the world.
A beacon of egalitarianism.
It is odd that the World Surf League would be so anti-communist, especially in this day and age where many more pressing troubles boil and bubble, but at least children can enjoy Santa absolutely ripping.
Kelly Slater, inset, croons while interlocutor David Scales and Joel Tudor rake over the ancient bones.
Three-time world champion surfer reignites decade-old jiujitsu blood feud with Kelly Slater in explosive new interview, “You’re embarrassing yourself! You’re embarrassing surfing!”
Tudor, who owns the Surfight Jiujitsu academy in Del Mar, California, was enraged by the photo.
“Crock of shit – the guy has been wearing a blue belt for years in pics and always made excuses when I would call him on it! If he wants his belt , tell him to go sign up and put in the work like everybody else who starts at white and goes through hell to graduate to blue – anybody on here talking shit to me more than likely doesn’t train and has zero clue about Jiu Jitsu.”
For those who don’t know, or care, the blue belt is the second rung in the jiujitsu ladder, white, blue, purple, brown and black, and takes at least two years of training five days a week to achieve.
Now, in an interview with Dave Scales on the Surf Splendor podcast, Tudor, who is forty-six, has reprised the famous feud explaining,
“In the jiujitsu world belts are fucking important and how people earn ‘em is super important. The hardest belt to earn is white to blue because you get fucking destroyed in the process to do it, the whippings you take is nothing you’ll ever forget. (Slater) was putting a fucking blue belt on and he was literally doing it because he didn’t want to look like a white belt. And in this sport, dude, that is the corniest fucking thing you could ever do. And we’re friends so I was just telling him, dude, you know how legitimate I am in this shit, you realise how fucking corny that is that you’re doing. You’re embarrassing yourself, you’re embarrassing surfing. You know how many surfers have gone through the wringer to their belts? It’s kind gnarly.”
Tudor then described the hoots of derision Slater would receive in his Surfight gym “if I explained to everybody, what if somebody gave themselves a blue belt?”
The famous flickering pointed tongue comes out and Tudor hisses,
“They’re gonna get smashed! They’d have a target on their heads!”
As “Year of Nepo Baby” controversy grips Hollywood, professional surfers jealously ponder which amongst themselves has benefited from ill-deserved gain!
Those, here, who indulge in more than simply surf news are certainly aware of the “Nepo Baby” controversy exploding throughout Hollywood. Long simmering, New York magazine’s Vulture released a cover featuring children of movie stars, who have become movie stars themselves. Children with a path to fame and fortune, connections and name recognition already pioneered for them.
Like psoriasis, the label was something you were born with, and those who had it found it equally irritating. Maude Apatow (daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann) told Porter magazine the term made her “sad.” It filled Zoë Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet) with “deep insecurity.” Gwyneth Paltrow (daughter of Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow) commiserated about it with Hailey Bieber (daughter of Stephen Baldwin and niece of Alec) on the latter’s YouTube channel: “People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there.’” Scratching the itch could only make it worse. At 16, the model and actress Lily-Rose Depp landed her first campaign with Chanel, the same house her mother, Vanessa Paradis, worked with; the year before, she’d made her film debut alongside her father, Johnny Depp. In a November Elle profile, she brushed off suggestions that her path had been cleared for her: “It just doesn’t make any sense.” The response was swift. On TikTok, floating heads begged Depp to “shut up and stop being delusional.” Her fellow models castigated her on Instagram. “i have many nepo baby friends whom i respect,” the top model Vittoria Ceretti wrote in an Instagram Story, “but i can’t stand listening to you compare yourself to me. i was not born on a comfy sexy pillow with a view.”
And erupts from there. A full historical analysis, current cultural ramifications, what it means, where it’s going.
In the aftermath, celebrity nepo babies are lashing out. Ice Cube’s baby saying he “gets his ass up and works everyday.” Kate Moss’s sister Lottie “so sick of others blaming nepotism for their lack of wealth.”
While many fingers are being pointed, professional surfers are busily patting themselves on the back. There are currently only two males on tour from professional surfing stock (I think): Kolohe Andino and Seth Moniz. Maybe none on the female side (unless I’m missing one).
Thus the question is begged, is surfing a paradise of meritocracy where hard work and devotion are the only things that matter and will bust down any door?
Should Hollywood turn its eye toward the beach and learn valuable lessons?