Screw you, Surfline and probably Stab.
The U.S Open of Surfing, biggest surf contest in the entire world, has wrapped but you wouldn’t even know it, would you. No. And why? Why didn’t you read of the tens upon tens of thousands of fans packing Huntington’s beach? About tour-clinching wins by Maui’s Eli Hangmen and San Clemente’s Lawyer Sinbad?
The surf media is no longer valuable.
It’s true, and sad, but also true as highlighted, properly, by master shaper Matt Biolos.
Lost surfboards, currently crushing the Vissla CT shaper rankings, absolutely lit in to Surfline and Stab in a scintillating missive, declaring:
Still stoked from Sunday @usopenofsurf. @elihanneman @sawyerlindblad and @crosbycola with career making performances. But I’m a bit sad for them. The complete and total lack of surf media covering the event.
In the past, the events would be crawling with surf journalists, reporting on the comp, in detail.
There was easily 20,000+ people on the beach. Thousands more up/down Main St. In the surf shops , restaurants, bars. Scantily clad girls, surf stoked groms and tuned-in surf fans clashed together with inland OC masses, looking for fun on a summer weekend. Big VIP tents, filled with event sponsors mingling with what’s left of surf industry stalwarts. Brand leaders, Mktg directors, Team managers, Sales Reps, Announcers, Coaches, Athlete Managers and gruff surfboard shapers. All passionate as always.
Waves and weather were great. Peaky, punchy, fun Ca warm water beach break. Not typical one turn, close-out/Huntington hopping, hoping for quick close out on the sand. Most days stayed glassy past noon. Waves were surfed top to bottom, with multiple maneuvers. Everyone there was saying the same thing, every day: “Damn, waves look so fun out there”.
But somehow, someway, we’ve managed to lose any semblance of surf media. No magazines…at all. Not one person from a Surfing website. To thier credit, @stab tossed up a 2 min story, written by someone who wasn’t even there, saying the waves were shit and then running through #ChallengerSeries qualification scenarios. Yet overlooking the events winner (Eli, ranked 4rth on CS) out of possible qualifying (Sorry Ethan).
The @wsl site has heat replays and a few click through, video highlights, but that’s like @mlb or @nfl having to do their own news!
Where’s the @espn of surfing?
The elephant in the room? @surfline, who’s global HQ has been anchored 100 yards from HB pier, for decades. Not a peep on the website, or even the IG feed. Can’t be bothered. Those parasites content to take everyones money, to check waves on “cams”. Nothing goes on Surfline without paying Surfline.
Where’s that leave us?
Can someone step-up?
I’d sure support it.
Thankfully, at the end, I suppose, there is BeachGrit.
The People’s Surf Blog.
I visited Inherent Bummer’s epic Factory by the Sea, this year and it was in Huntington while the U.S. Open was in town and reported upon it, I think.
Brett Simpson and I had a lovely conversation.