Sam George (insert) instructing surfers how to be non-racist.
Sam George (insert) instructing surfers how to be non-racist.

Preeminent surf thinker stuns global community, declares 2024 Olympic surfing location carries profoundly racist name!

The Place of Broken Social Contracts.

Olympic planners getting ready for the 2024 Games, exactly one year away, awoke dismayed this morning. Excitement had been building in the French capital since 2017 when the International Olympic Committee awarded Paris the honor of hosting the XXXIII Olympiad. Government employees scurried around dusting lamp posts, hiding rioters in dark corners and planning which venues would host what. The iconic Stade de France will take track and field events. Teahupo’o, all the way across the world in Tahiti, the newly added surfing portion.

Which leads us to this morning’s consternation.

For this morning the world’s preeminent surf thinker, Sam George, dropped a moral atomic bomb on the French organizers.

Teahupo’o, the name, or at the very least the pronunciation of the name, is racist.

Thought to mean “Place of Broken Skulls,” and oft called “The End of the Road,” Teahupo’o has long featured in the imaginations of surfers. It’s wildly thick lip, various shades of green and blue, folding over on the scary reef. Emerald mountains shooting skyward in the foreground. Boats, pink and red and orange, bobbing in the channel. It has long held surfing competitions, surfers, surf industry, surf media flying across the Pacific to cover events, each blathering overtly racist dribbles out of ignorant mouths.

George, who begins the lengthy piece titled “When the Olympics Begin at Teahupo’o, Shouldn’t Surfers Know How to Pronounce the Wave’s Name?” for emotionally sensitive website The Inertia by marching through history, declaring that the naming of of parts of Canada by a viking was racist and also the naming of Tasmania by a dutchman was racist before arriving at all the racist surf spot names including, but not limited to, Pipeline, Sunset Beach, Acid Drops etc.

The silver hair’d sixty-five-year-old, once married to Nia Peeples, takes a brief detour to excoriate readers for their mispronunciation of an Indonesian regency (it’s MENT-a-why, not men-TAU-wee, for cryin’ out loud) before arriving at Teahupo’o.

Shall we read, and learn, together?

And even though I know better, having grown up in Hawaii and spent considerable time in Polynesia, I’ve been mispronouncing Teahupo’o along with everybody else. Perhaps that’s why it seems to me that this ramp-up to the Summer Olympics is a good time to change that egregious habit. Soon the eyes of the world will be turned to a tiny, incredibly picturesque village on the island of Tahiti, perceived entirely in the context of international surfing. A village whose residents have, for decades now, been incredibly generous, sharing their remarkable natural resource with the hordes of foreigners who descend on this little slice of paradise every season to shoot their videos and hold their contests and establish their reputations and earn their salaries…and yet still say the place’s name wrong. Yeah, let’s fix that.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the proper pronunciation is “Tear-hoo-poh-oh.”


Do you have it?

Will you make a point of using correctly today?

This story number 4985 has been brought to you by the Linguistic Society of America which would like to remind you that Sam George is not now, nor never has been, a member.

"Without giving too much away, too soon, I have been forced to conclude that the man can not make good media. Like, at all."

Long awaited Amazon TV series Surf Girls Hawai’i ruined by “spectacularly untalented man”

Former WSL CEO Erik Logan's parting gift to the surf world!

I broke Amazon, and Chas made me do it. All I wanted to do was watch Surf Girls Hawai’i, a series recently released on Amazon Prime. Chas tried to lend his account to me, but he didn’t know the password. I am not judging. I forget passwords with reckless abansdon. In fact, I managed to lock two accounts at Amazon that I didn’t even know that I had. After much trial, I made it in. The world is mine.

About two years ago now, the women’s media platform Togethxr made a four-part film called Surf Girls Kaikaina. Owned by Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel, and Sue Bird, Togethxr has created a killer platform for women’s sports. Surf Girls Kaikaina painted a group portrait of teen surfer girls coming of age in Hawai’i, and focused on Hokulani Topping, Vaihitimahana Inso, Ēweleiʻula Wong, and Puamakamae DeSoto.

As the Surf Girls Kaikaina series progressed, it centered the girls’ Hawaiian culture and their efforts to find themselves both in and out of the water. Though contest surfing formed a piece of the story — Moana Jones and Carissa Moore both appeared — it was not foregrounded. Instead, director Monica Medellin centered the young womens relationships with surfing, the ocean, and their culture. The interviews, which took place in bedrooms and skateparks had a raw authenticity. It felt real.

So, I was excited to see a new version of the film appear with some fanfare and a release on a mainstream platform like Amazon Prime. The new version, renamed Surf Girls Hawai’i bears only a passing resemblance to its predecessor. Moana Jones receives top billing. Ēweleiʻula Wong and Puamakamae DeSoto reappear, while Brianne Cope and Maluhia Kinimaka join the cast. And while Medellin returns as director, the series receives a new executive producer.

I’m pretty sure you can see where this whole thing is headed. You are smart people. Have you already guessed the identity of the executive producer? Sure, you have. Of course, it’s Erik Logan, with one last parting gift. Without giving too much away, too soon, I have been forced to conclude that the man can not make good media. Like, at all.

The shift in vision is clear from the start.

Surf Girls Hawai’i puts contest surfing at the center of the story. The narrative arc becomes the effort to qualify for the Championship Tour and the stresses of competing. There’s a sequence devoted to training that predictably involves carrying rocks underwater. It’s like Ultimate Surfer got stuffed on a plane and flown to Hawai’i.

When the women involved have the opportunity to tell their stories, Surf Girls is at its best. But the interviews have lost their intimacy in favor of studio backdrops and professional makeup jobs. We learn about where the girls come from and how they learned to surf. The stories have a Hawaiian accent, sure, but the cultural connections are largely lost in favor of a kind of stock hard luck, long odds sports story-telling.

There’s nothing Hawaiian about the soundtrack either. With the exception of a brief bit of Moana playing ukulele, the scoring is mundane and unimaginative. The film now even sounds like Ultimate Surfer. It beats you over the head, like omg, isn’t this exciting?

Surf Girls Hawai’i plays like an extended advertisement for the WSL, and that’s almost certainly what Logan set out to make. In her original, Medellin trusted her material. She believed that this coming of age story about girls surfing in Hawai’i had something to tell us. There was less lip gloss and shine in Surf Girls Kaikaina, but far more authentic story-telling.

Watching Medellin’s original, I became invested in the girls involved, never mind their world rankings. And that’s the reality that kept intruding into the new version. The women in this film are young contest surfers who have a long — and maybe impossibly long — way go to to make it on Tour. After all, this isn’t the story of Sierra Kerr. Centering their heat surfing did the women in the film a disservice that I lay entirely at Logan’s door.

It takes a long time to get good at surfing, and an even longer time to get good at contest surfing. It requires a deep well of financial resources and a so, so many hours in good waves. Contest surfing is a painfully cruel business where only a small fraction of even the most talented surfers succeed. The best in the world are the best for a reason. No shade on anyone for not making it to the top level right away, or even ever.

What’s frustrating about Surf Girls Hawai’i is that it grew from a compelling concept. These women are plainly strong, engaging, and passionate characters. Tell me the story of these women, growing up in Hawai’i, finding their way in some of the world’s toughest lineups. Tell me about their fears, frustrations, and joys. Tell me about what it means to them to be Hawaiian and how their heritage shapes their relationship with the ocean and the wider world.

That’s the story Logan steamrollered in his desperate effort to sell contest surfing to the masses. And I think we all know by now, that they aren’t going to buy what he’s selling. The story that didn’t get told, that might have drawn people to follow these women and their journey, that might have shown the world something beautiful about women’s surfing and Hawai’i — I’m not sure he even saw that story and its value. And that’s a shame.

I really wanted to love this film. I got super stoked when I saw Togethxr promote it. I am a fan of what Togethxr is doing to elevate women’s sports and I couldn’t wait to see them wave their wand over women’s surfing. Medellin strikes me a talented film-maker and skilled interviewer. I look forward to seeing what she does next.

Too bad a spectacularly untalented man had to get in the way.

Premium subscription surf website reminds world that it has precisely zero female readers in glowing review of onetime surf brand Quiksilver film!

"While I don’t have a girlfriend myself, I can confirm no such thing happened to those in attendance during the watching of this film."

The oxygen has been sucked out of the surf world, overnight, as two roommates engaged in a “provocative man fight” during the currently underway U.S. Open of Surfing. Once-proud Surfer Magazine’s AI bot declared the event as “deep, profoundly sex sex.” Sam George, writing for The Inertia, stated, “They obviously haven’t spent much time surfing Steamer Lane.”

And yet.

A premium subscription surf website appeared to “cut through the noise” by reminding the world that it has precisely zero female readers. Two months ago, Stab ran a story on Tyler Wright’s horror cycle.

It’s hard when you put so much work into something, you feel great and then you have a period so horrible it hospitalises you 3 days out from an event,” the two-time world champion wrote on Instagram. “Competing after those 3 days of being mostly bedridden and unable to eat was the harsh reality of navigating my period while meeting requirements in my professional career. At times it’s deflating physically and emotionally, feeling like you have no say in it. Managing my period has been a journey. I’ve come along way from my teen years, not even knowing it wasn’t normal to suffer monthly excruciating pain that would lead to passing out, vomiting and hours on the toilet. These days my period management looks like a customised training program based around the 4 menstrual stages, listening and planning carefully for what my body needs – even if that means less time practicing in the water before comps, prioritising sleep and recovery leading up to my period and being aware this is the time I am at highest risk of injury. At this stage in my life I am also heavily reliant on painkillers while I menstruate. They aren’t ideal but my other option is to have surgery to try find and fix the reason for these debilitating periods. The surgery isn’t a guaranteed solution and I would have to take time off from competing as well as rebuilding.”

Stab decided to reframe the important issue as one of men battling back pain in the searing “Surfers vs. Menopause.”

Now, in glowing review of onetime surf brand Quiksilver’s new film, Stab, minus girl or even girlfriend, declares it “passes the test.”

Per Christian Bowcutt:

This passes the girlfriend test. Ironically, the ones least invested in surf culture often make its best critics. Unlike you they aren’t oogling over the planing hulls of Ryan Burch pickleforks as they slice down a Mexican point – they’re one dull clip away from hoping back on depop – While I don’t have a girlfriend myself, I can confirm no such thing happened to those in attendance during the watching of this film. It’s tight from start to finish.

Quiksilver, days ago, officially cut making any product. No shirts, no trunks, no nothing. The mountain and the wave will merely be slapped on whatever product and voila, pure licensing. More on that later.

Questions remain, though, about how much the writer was pickleforking non-girlfriends in the audience with his eyes.

An accurate read?

Stab directly contributing to the the surf’s demise aside, when was the last time you employed “the girlfriend test?”

Did it work?

This story number 4984 has been brought to you by Reddit which would like to remind you that it hosts the second largest incel community online.

Exclusive new details emerge about “provocative man fight” dominating conversation at U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach!

Wild times in Surf City.

Earlier today, footage was released of a provocative man fight at the U.S. Open of Surfing featuring one wearing no shirt and one wearing a striped shirt plus shoes. The action begins with the two speaking very closely before headbutts are given, small umbrellas thrown, punches delivered. As the waves in Huntington are, currently, 1 – 2 ft the man fight is assured to be the biggest thing that happened this year, thus, dominating conversation.

Once-proud Surfer Magazine’s AI bot declared the event as “deep, profoundly sex sex.” Sam George, writing for The Inertia, stated, “They obviously haven’t spent much time surfing Steamer Lane.”

Why were they tussling, though? Their chairs are clearly very intimate when the whole business began. And what happened afterward? Was there a wonderful make up or did the two remain bitter?

Well, BeachGrit, the leading source of ultra hard surf candy, just so happened to have a wonderful source witness the pas de deux with own eyes and report.

“That fight you just posted, they were roommates and one guy asked the other to move out. That’s what started it. Guy was hospitalized.”

I was very curious as to which guy, the one who appeared to take the lion’s share of abuse or the one who was not really moving at the end.

It turns out the one who was not really moving at the end was fetched by an ambulance and whisked into a medical facility where he remains to this day.

How do you like that?


Open Thread: Comment Live on Day Three of the U.S. Open of Surfing as public demands talky-talky!

Rocks local, this one goes out to you.