"Every time we see a bad wave we don’t get excited to surf …"
The World Surf League, which has dubbed itself the “global home of surfing,” has been on the ropes of late. An insurrection after the Surf Ranch Pro wherein three former champions, each from Brazil, assailed the judging criteria and demanded account. After two days of fumbling, WSL CEO Erik Logan excoriated them in a scathing letter, declaring, that it was “unacceptable for any athlete to question the integrity of our judges.”
Veteran tour reporter JP Currie, shocked alongside all surf fans, declared Logan’s tone fell “somewhere between a dictator and a domestic abuser.”
Logan and his number two, Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, quickly retreated behind the Wall of Positive noice in order for the troubles to pass except it seems they are mounting.
The El Salvador Pro, in the second day of its waiting period, has gotten off to a slow start with lousy surf after putting on quite a show for the just wrapped ISA World Surfing Games.
Worse, though, Indonesian superstar Rio Waida has just laid bare the World Surf League’s main claim of hosting “the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves,” a mantra repeated over and over and over again, in a devastating new interview with CNN. After a brief introduction to the current Championship Tour number 20, the interview turns to why there are not more Indonesian surfers competing in the top ranks.
“In Indo, we have the best waves and every day is good waves. That’s why we kind of get spoiled,” Waida told the struggling news outlet. “If you go to Europe, it’s going to be cold and we have to put a wetsuit on and stuff; we don’t put wetsuits on in Indo. Every time we see a bad wave we don’t get excited to surf … But if we want to win, we have to go through that and then do our best in any conditions. So that’s kind of what I did and it’s working.”
World’s best surfers.
World’s increasingly mediocre waves.
It has been long known, of course, that in order to become a professional surfer, mastering sloppy 2ft nothings is essential. Once in the big leagues, though, all that scrap was once rewarded with a “dream.” Cloudbreak, G-Land, Mundaka, etc. These days, the best of the best are forced to slide for their supper in the aforementioned El Salvador, Surf Ranch, Saquarema all culminating at Lower Trestles.
Worse year over year and how much worse can it get before the Rio Waidas of the world, those hidden talent gems, take a look and think, “You know, no thanks?”
Or is the time finally exactly right for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to swoop and dominate?
I think CNN’s former boss Chris Licht might be available and willing to take the reins.