The World Surf League, which will kick off its 2023 Championship Tour in mere weeks, was rocked overnight as an adoring public began questioning its popularity. Much was made, last year, by WSL CEO Erik Logan of the absolute exploding growth of professional surfing at its highest level. Millions upon millions of new fans devouring broadcasts, snatching up merchandise, packing beaches and nowhere more than Brazil.
Logan, and the rest of the League’s executive suite plus commentators, made much about the love their product received from South America’s largest nation. How adored they all were and the “passion” they were shown.
So much “passion,” it was uttered once every three years by the aforementioned team. Maybe more “passion” than had ever been unleashed before. Maybe the most “passion” of all time.
Until, that is, Harry Styles rolled into town.
The pop stud, who has been on a rocket to massive fame, was rolling into the country for a concert tonight, you see, when a truck carrying his merchandise was hijacked by armed gunmen. Per reporting, the bandits subdued the driver, took his truck and its loot of bedazzled t-shirts and fedoras and vanished into the warm night air of Curtiba, which happens to be outside of São Paulo.
More importantly, Curtiba also happens to be the home of World Surf League (née Association of Surfing Professionals) superstar Jihad Khodr. Of course you recall his campaign, which lasted from 2008 to 2009 and thrilled me because I enjoyed his name so much but also his passion.
In any case, no World Surf League merch truck has ever been hijacked in Brazil nor Australia nor Lemoore, California. Stephanie Gilmore jerseys and Italo Ferreira Jerseys and Ethan Ewing jerseys left unmolested. The adoring public wondering how popular the show really is.