What is your favorite DJ Khaled song? It’s a trick question! Each are works of pure art and impossible to rank. It would be like asking Megan Fox or Brian Austin Green “Who is your favorite daughter?” Futile and, frankly, rude. So you can understand the abundance of thoughts and prayers that came pouring in from all corners, yesterday, when it was revealed that the plus-sized music man was injured whilst riding an e-foil in in Miami.
Anyone who has ever dabbled knows that mastering an e-foil is… well, I guess not that difficult. I am not usually a quick study though was up and flying across a Wyoming lake on my very first attempt. A natural, maybe. There is an issue, I suppose, of finding the balance point. Too far forward and the nose dives into the water. Too far back and the thing shoots skyward, which is where we find dear DJ Khaled.
The manner in which he tumbles is particularly worrisome, as either the foil or the propeller could have removed his head from his torso. Deadly. Mercifully the damage only required a light massage.
Expert foiler Michael Schwab, anyhow, weighed in, writing, “You were attempting to e-foil, which is a lot harder than surfing, thank goodness you didn’t hit the foil! Hope you are back on the course asap!”
Oh. Is it? Well maybe I’m a sort of e-foil prodigy then.
The Kolohe Andino of still waters.
Back to DJ Khaled, though, light a candle for him today please.
Reeling World Surf League goes to war against Brazilian fan base, disables “live chat” feature on Portuguese broadcast of El Salvador Pro!
"We hope the entire WSL community stands with us in rejecting all forms of harassment and intimidation."
The Surf City El Salvador Pro is one day away from concluding and this, I suppose, is how this iteration of professional surfing ends. A last gasp of crypto and ladder sponsorships. Tourism boards defining “the world’s best waves.” A 51-year-old former champion with stunningly little shame. A truly bizarre spectacle lorded over by a billionaire, run into the ground by an Oklahoman by way of Oprah.
Bye bye bye.
The World Surf League will soon be a historical footnote, the answer to a Jeopardy question about failed sporting enterprises in the 2000s, but not, I guess, before lashing out at its most “passionate” base.
Yes, it appears that Brazil’s surf fans have been deemed a public enemy, one that needs to be silenced, and, yesterday, the Portuguese language broadcast cut its “live chat” feature taking their voices like Ursula took that little mermaid’s.
But you have certainly noticed the scrolling conversation off to the side of the YouTube feed? Oh those who participate there are not nearly as charming as those on BeachGrit’s patented Open Thread but they do seem to enjoy challenging the judges, complimenting high performance maneuvers, making small talk.
Except they are no longer allowed to if their native tongue is Portuguese.
As you know, rage against the League exploded into open hostility at the Surf Ranch Pro wherein fans, mostly from Brazil, became incensed at what certainly seemed to be suspect judging in heats featuring Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira. The two, each former champions, took to Instagram in the aftermath seeking clarity and the furiosity amongst their many admirers grew.
“I want to respond directly to those statements,” it began, “however, we first need to address a much more important issue. In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats, as a direct result of those statements. Those things should never happen in our sport or any sport, and we’re devastated that members of our community have been subject to them. It is an important reminder to us all that words have consequences. We hope the entire WSL community stands with us in rejecting all forms of harassment and intimidation.”
Heavy and now, possibly as punishment for “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence,” Portuguese has been banned.
Though do you think the move will have its intended outcome? Unable to live comment to each other during the El Salvador Pro will Brazilian surf fans come to see the light that Australian or American surfers are more marketable in the United States and therefore receive more points per move or… not?
Did China’s lashing out at brave protestors in Tiananmen Square silence dissent in that country?
I guess it did.
Judges at Surf City El Salvador Pro “clearly hate” Bali’s Rio Waida, “I don’t imagine Indonesian Instagram has the clout for it to matter”
"And how appropriate for the WSL to get a crypto sponsor just as the US gov launches lawsuits against the big exchanges and prices go through the floor."
How can this possibly feel like the longest event of the year with a reduced field?
Is it the inconsistency of the waves, and the fact we don’t expect anything more than three feet? Fun for us, no doubt. Not such a perfect canvas for world-class surfing.
Or is it the ungodly trio of Mitch Salaazar, Kaipo Guererro and Chris Cote? Men fond of words. Many, many words with little meaning, and all afforded more time than they should ever be given to speak them.
Whatever, it’s been painful.
Especially because Scotland is glorious right now, and watching pro surfing in mediocre waves seems like a chronic waste of daylight. It hasn’t rained in nearly three weeks here, the sun splits the sky every day, and the light stretches til midnight and beyond. The rivers and lochs we swim in every day are as warm as blood. There’s endless opportunity for all manner of fun beyond surfing, nevermind watching surfing.
The coast is largely a fading memory, as it can be in summer. The mountains, on the other hand, are green and clear and filled with bliss. I see clips of people grovelling for summer windswell and it looks like fun, in a way, but also desperate. Nothing compels me to seek it.
Yet here I am, sitting through back-to-back heat restarts, and watching scores so seemingly arbitrary that nothing makes sense anymore. Fives and sixes and sevens fall like lines on a fruit machine. It’s a delirium that casts me back to younger days when I would stand in pubs for hours feeding the machines in a stupor, leaving only to shuttle back and forth to the bar for more cashback from my student overdraft. Dark days.
But I’ll try to make no further mention of the scoring because I’m finding it genuinely perplexing.
What I can say is that eight of the top ten ranked surfers were gone before the quarter-final stage. Only Colapinto and Toledo making it through. There will be some shuffling of the top five before Rio, and at least that gives the remaining events some competitive edge.
You might say it was a day of upsets, but the waves are so inconsequential that there’s no real drama. One guy wins, another loses. In these conditions it’s mostly down to luck and judging chaos…sorry, criteria…to decide a winner.
A fucking lottery, in other words.
I do hope my mood isn’t doing any stellar performances a disservice, and please join me in a golf clap for Ian Gentil, Liam O’Brien and Barron Mamiya for dispatching Chianca, Ewing and Medina, respectively.
And now a more vigorous round of applause for Ian Gentil for his defeat of Italo in the quarter which sees the lanky Hawaiian in the first semi-final of his career.
The Toledo vs Waida heat was the slowest of the day, requiring two restarts before they were informed there would not be a third. The waves were mostly of the kind that only Toledo can make look interesting. Rio Waida did, too, just as he did yesterday, but the judges clearly hate him. I don’t imagine Indonesian Instagram has the clout for it to matter.
Leo Fiorovanti and childhood rival Kanoa Igarashi surfed an entertaining heat which saw the latter make it through to his first quarter-final of the year. A surprising stat for sure, but one that marks just how off the boil Kanoa has been this season.
He went on to lose to a typically spicy Toledo, but god only knows why he wasn’t rewarded for a Kerrupt on his final wave, a move we almost never see in competition, performed with some style and landed cleanly.
Connor O’Leary had a great run before hitting his ceiling against Colapinto in the quarter. Our current yellow jersey wearer has seemed infallible throughout the event, and it will be a joust to the death with Toledo for the victory.
“O’Leary’s backhand is filthy,” I noted at one point. And it is. And that’s all I’ll say about that, beyond noting that he’s quietly built a solidly unspectacular season, but I still don’t want to see him in a final five at Trestles.
Unfortunately that’s the way we have to look at this, isn’t it? Who will entertain us at Trestles. This comp is a pretty good marker for that, I reckon. A crumbly, cobblestone point where surfers mostly have to manufacture speed and power. What promise.
Much was made throughout the day of the physical demands of surfing two whole heats in a single day! And slippery rocks! Don’t forget the slippery rocks!
Honestly, have you ever heard such a fuss over rocks in your whole life? “Doin the rock dance…watch those rocks now…those rocks are lethal…they need to be so careful on those rocks…those rocks are so slippery…” etc etc and so on and so fucking forth.
It’s partly symptomatic of the commentators having too much time to use all their words, but you’d never believe they’re talking about professional athletes. Imagine having to surf a three-foot pointbreak for an hour a day, and walking over some rocks to get there. Imagine!
Yesterday I took part in a mountain race that was eight miles long and climbed three and half thousand feet. It was twenty six degrees centigrade. We climbed for an hour to reach the first summit, sometimes following faint paths made by stalkers and animals, sometimes none. The route traversed a long ridge, tagging two more summits before descending back to the valley.
It took me an hour and fifty three minutes of solid effort, some others three hours and more. My heart rate topped out at 193 and averaged 172.
One runner was airlifted off by helicopter, another treated for a gruesome head injury. Two more crossed the line then fainted. Others nursed scrapes and cuts and blisters.
No-one bickered or squabbled or complained about their injuries. We quietly acknowledged the toughness of the route, drank some water, exchanged smiles and well dones, jumped in the river to cool off, then went home. It was absolutely nothing like surfing, in the best possible way.
And I would guess that almost every amateur runner put in more physical effort than it takes a full time professional surfer to compete on days like today at Punta Roca, even if they do need to cross some slippery rocks.
Leo Fiorovanti joined the booth late today to explain that “Tokash”, the mysterious logo adorning the scoreboard is a cryptocurrency token exchange, and also Leo’s personal sponsor. How gloriously appropriate for the WSL to get a crypto sponsor just as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have launched several lawsuits against the biggest exchanges in the game and prices have gone through the floor.
Bravo, WSL, you sponsorship whores, bravo.
The day closed with Barron Mamiya and Liam O”Brien sitting largely immobile in a ruffled, lukewarm ocean. O’Brien caught his second wave of the heat with just four minutes left on the clock, and only then in desperation. Then he lucked into an inside one under Mamiya’s priority just two minutes later for a 4.87 and victory.
It was a random wave after few opportunities and a mid-range score where two judges disagreed by a whole point. A fitting closure to the day’s proceedings.
Onto the semis we trudge. Ian Gentil faces Filipe Toledo on one side, Griffin Colapinto vs Liam O’Brien on the other.
More choppy three foot windswell you say? Superb. Can’t wait.
Surf world rejoices as cherished comedian Bill Murray finds sunset love with “Milkshake” songstress Kelis!
Of all the things that could have happened this year, was an alien spaceship crashing in Las Vegas and getting captured on police footage days after whistleblowers let it be known that the United States government has been sitting on twelve-ish UFOs for a long time high on your list of probabilities? What about Griffin Colapinto rounding into form and dominating the World Surf League?
Weird but delightful, the weirdest and most delightful, maybe, is the coupling of Bill Murray and Kelis. The beloved comedian, a surf world fixture, and the iconic songstress have, allegedly, been dating for a few short weeks now but have “hit it off” and are “spending time together.”
Back in January, Vegas was placing odds at 1/100000000000 on that one.
According to the report in Glamour, “Murray was spotted at Kelis’ Mighty Hoopla festival performance in Brockwell Park, South London on June 3. The actor proved to be a big fan by meeting up with Kelis post-show and snagging a quick pic (also featuring rapper Children of Zeus). If it were just one show, I’d guess that Murray is just a really big fan of ‘Milkshake,’ but the actor has allegedly been spotted at other Kelis shows, though the timeline is unclear.”
Though Murray is 72 and Kelis is 43, the age difference does not appear to be an issue leading surf fans to wonder if wedding bells are over the horizon and also if Kelly Slater might be called to officiate.
Standing in front of a beaming audience, love in the air and pronouncing the two man and wife would certainly eclipse.
Back to aliens, though, and the one just spotted in Nevada by a teenager who described the creature as having a “weird-looking face” and said, “I looked at it in the eyes, and my body just froze like having sleep paralysis.”
It must be noted that World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has been missing since the insurrection at Surf Ranch some two weeks ago.
More as the story develops.
Griff Colapinto, giving hell on day one. WSL
Comment live, Surf City El Salvador Pro, as Griffin Colapinto, Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo surge towards world title dream!