A perfect storm?
The World Surf League, founded in 2015, has had a banner last few years according to Chief of Executives Erik Logan. The former Oprah Winfrey Network president has been nothing if not bullish, in his role as influencer, posting many Instagram messages wherein the unprecedented growth, synergies and vectors, partnership ragout, REAL MOMENTUM is highlighted and celebrated.
With the mid-season cut now in the rearview, the League can focus on the remaining stops leading to San Clemente, California and the crowning of champions at 2 – 3ft Lower Trestles.
Exciting but surf fans, ever grouchy, still find room to complain. Too many surfers, waves not good enough, judging dumb, Jessi Miley-Dyer’s sunglasses, grouse, grouse, grouse.
Might there be enough discontent for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to realize another grand sportswashing opportunity?
You certainly recall just last year when LIV Golf sprung to life heaping millions of dollars on participants who left the nearly 100 year old PGA Tour in the dust.
So long, suckers.
The thought of an fresh league upending an established one would have been impossible if not for Saudi billions and herein lies a delectable tease from Momentum Generation funnyman Peter King.
The photographer responded, days ago, to a disgruntled surf fan frustrated by the “nauseating” WSL and wishing professional surfers could “go somewhere else” by saying, “One is coming very soon. Think LIV your but for surfing.”
“Your” certainly code for “tour.”
A paired down slam series featuring only the best surfers in only the best waves with only the best production team is certainly enticing, and long jibber-jabbered about, but what do you think? Which surfers would you like to see and where would you like to see them?
Kelly Slater, it must be noted, performs in a band with King, just got cut from the tour, has a history of biting the hand that fed (Quiksilver, Channel Islands) and would be a perfect frontman a la Phil Mickelson. His complete nonchalance after losing at Margaret River, staring at The Box, silently mocking the World Surf League was certainly telling.
But telling what?
The question must be asked, I suppose, if professional surfing would be worth anything to desert princes. The answer might be found in the World Surf League’s existing performative environmental silliness. Calling the ocean “our office and playground,” and vowing to protect it by having Connor O’Leary plant a bush in Torquay, Australia. Imagine how petrodollars could be cleaned with a semi-competent director pulling the strings.
Great Wall Motors.