Those, here, who have been around for a handful of years will certainly recall the near-perfect Beth Greve. Hired as World Surf League Chief of Marketing, or some such as the WSL loves nothing more than made-up titles, Greve was billed as a “purveyor of cool,” and flexed in classic WSL fashion. Interviews about cool, herself, surfing, etc.
Then she actually went surfing.
Per the Pulitzer Prize winning William Finnegan:
As if to confirm everyone’s suspicions, Beth Greve, the W.S.L.’s chief commercial officer, was photographed in Bali lugging a beginner’s board across the beach with the fins put in backward. Backward Fins Beth became famous in surf world—more than half a million views on @kook_of_the_day. And then BeachGrit, an Australian Web site that delights in trolling the W.S.L., blew up the image to billboard size and installed it on a freeway in Lemoore, just in time for the Surf Ranch Pro. The billboard shot zoomed around the surfing Internet.
Slater saw it. He is a tireless online poster, with a rare degree of patience. On his Instagram feed, a magnet for cranks of all kinds, he has spent years debating flat-Earthers, laying out innumerable scientific proofs that the planet is round. He’s a well-informed environmentalist; right-wing flamethrowers rain hellfire on him for that, and he often takes the trouble to reply to them individually. When the Backward Fins Beth billboard went viral, Slater showed a tiny bit of pique. On the BeachGrit Instagram feed, he wrote, “Funny. Cheap. Character Revealing.” The BeachGrit crew was ecstatic. They had successfully trolled the king.
That’s what it was. Chief Commercial Officer but, anyhow, yeah. “Backward Fin Beth” was born then depressingly quit very much too quickly and was lost to history.
For her spirit, it appears, lives in current Chief Executive Officer Erik Logan who, just moments ago on a World Surf League Billabong Pro Pipeline spot, spun kook magic.
Logan, who has not been afraid to dance to the beat of his own surf-adjacent drummer, has not yet stepped all the way right in it.
For in that Billabong Pro Pipeline spot Logan appeared to be unaware that Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku and gun slingin’ actor John Wayne were two different people. The Oklahoman insisted on referring to the aforementioned Kahanamoku, whose full name was Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, as “The Duke” or the nickname of the other aforementioned Wayne.
Questions surrounding Logan’s actual surf knowledge have percolated for years but this blunder shows he is as clueless as feared. He, for sure, had zero idea that Duke’s name was Duke.
Oh I know he reads, here, and know he wants to try, and, therefore, should really enlist someone to be his surf tutor.
A from-the-grave Beth Greve?
Who would you suggest?