There Will Be No Big WSL Events In Hawaii in 2019 (Probably), The WSL's Head Judge Is No Longer Head Judge, and Parko Rides Foils Now, Okay
COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING
Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was February 9, 2018
1. The WSL Might Lose Pipe?! No Pipe Masters? No CT In Hawaii at all?
Well, not quite, but some pretty wild stuff went down this week between the WSL and the city of Honolulu.
As you likely know, the WSL is bringing in some drastic changes to the way it presents its Championship Tour. The details are hazy, but amongst murmerings of a smaller roster of surfers on both the men's and women's CTs was the confirmation that the Pipe Masters would be moved from the final event of the year to the beginning event of the year. Likely to the spot that the QS3000 Volcom Pipe Pro currently holds, while that QS would take the spot Pipe currently holds in December. It makes so much sense for a whole host of reasons that we won't get into here, but essentially it would mean that for the coming Hawaiian Winter, we would have had two Pipe Masters events in the same season for the changeover. One at the end of 2018 season and one at the beginning of the 2019 season when the changes to the tour are introduced.
From the WSL's perspective, this is no big deal. It's the same amount of days that they have already had logged away "for decades" as their press release said. Same amount of competitors. Same permit. Same difference.
But the problem, it seems, is the WSL missed the deadline on the paperwork. And, somewhat strangely, the city of Honolulu is showing no leeway to the WSL whatsoever.
In a letter from Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell responding to WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, as published in an exellent though biased piece on Stab Magazine by Rory Parker, he states:
"As you know, the high quality of surf in Hawaii during the winter season is the reason we have so many organizations applying for the same beaches at the same time period. As such, we have a process in order to make a selection that is fair and systematic, and to ensure that everyone is treated equally.
I reviewed the variances you are requesting and I am unable to accommodate the WSL..."
Ha! That is wild! "Equally and fairly." Come on, it's the freaking Pipe Masters. THE PIPE MASTERS! I have no idea what other applications are being viewed, but I very very highly doubt they have the same cultural and historical significance as surfing's most important event. Not all surfing competitions are created equal.
CEO Goldschmidt's original letter looking for the special consideration included this spicy line:
"If it can not be run at this time, it will not be included in the 2019 tour."
So, there, there is the possibility that we won't have a CT event in Hawaii in 2019. Crazy. Also buried in the letter were little nuggest of major changes for the women's tour that would see a CT event held at Sunset Beach at the beginning of the year also, taking the place of the junior event held there every year. Sigh... that would have been pretty bloody cool.
The 2019 schedule was set to be announced in February, it's sure is going to be an interesting reaction to whatever it is we are presented with when that announcement comes.
But what is Hawaii without the cultural cornerstone of the home of surfing? I know Hawaii is many things, but obviously surfing is an important factor culturally in the islands, at least that's what we're constantly told. The home, spiritual and otherwise, of surfing etc. And Hawaii certainly can't be considered the home of surfing if it doesn't hold a single significant elite event in a given year. But for the WSL, the repurcussions are perhaps even more fundamentally drastic: What is a professional surfing organisation without a competition at the Pipeline? Can the WSL be considered seriously without its most important event?
Hopefully they can work this out, cause it seems a pretty dumb result of a missed deadline. I miss deadlines all the time, ask my editors. They love it.
Anyway, here is a clip on Occy's Pipe Masters win. It's great.
2. WSL Has A New Head Judge
Wow. This week was just blam blam bow pow kaboom splish splash rarrr with top-end WSL news (sorry, lost my mind a bit there). The WSL announced this week that head judge and social media comment punching bag of many years Richie Porta is stepping into a WSL development role. The new head judge is a fella by the name of Pritamo Ahrend.
Congratulations Pritamo! Do you envy him? It's a pretty sweet job, but check out a couple comments that were hitting Porta's Instagram this December (on a two and a half year old post):
“You coward!! Better not show up in Brazil next year, we will remember Ethan Ewing scores, you fucking scum”
We are waiting you In Brazil next year @richieporta #corrupt #bjj"
"Son of bitch!!! Come to Brazil!!! We wAiting for u!!!!!!!!!"
Yeah, I wouldn't be that into it either. Here's Pritamo getting pitted at Cloudbreak last year:
3. Josh Moniz Won The Volcom Pipe Pro In A Nailbiter
The best QS of the year wrapped up on Sunday in spectacular fashion with local young star Josh Moniz clinching the event with a clutch Pipe drainer, seconds after one of the all time Pipe greats, Jamie O'Brien, took the lead with a ten point ride. Sick sick sick. It was sick.
4. The Other Guys Was Sick!
The highlights of this event were many, but at the top was the coverage including Vaughan Blakey on the mic on the main broadcast and then this alternate Other Guys commentary team starring Chris Binns of being the best guy ever fame and Travis Ferre of What Youth fame. Hit play and listen along as you make a grilled cheese sandwich with some shredded carrot.
5. Part 2 of The SW Fireside Chat
Surfing World Magazine recently hosted the first of their fireside chats series, taking on the Slater Wave Pool with the talking heads and opinions of surf writing legend Nick Carroll, Surfing World Editor Vaughan Blakey, two time World Champ Tom Carroll, Stab/Surf Europe/Beach Grit founder Derek Rielly, former World No.1 and one-time wave pool competitor Rob Bain, and wave pool creator/surfing futurist Greg Webber talking about it all on some couches. It was great.
But little did we know that all the most interesting thoughts and opinions around the pool would drop in part II of the same conversation! Just like The Godfather, no.2 is where it's at.
Where Part I went into great detail about what the experience of surfing the pool is actually like, the second half of the discussion bounces wildly about what this all means for surfing
6. Kolohe, Carissa, Lost Team At The Wavegarden
And the above wasn't the only wave pool content getting around this week, with this clip of the Lost team including Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore and Griffin Colapinto dropping to the Internet too. Fun fact: I emailed a representive of Urbn Surf this week to ask if I could surf the pool they're building at Tullamarine (Melbourne) when it opens. I haven't heard back, so I guess that's a no. Bummer.
7. Talon Clemow's Incredible Showreel
Talon Clemow is the man behind the incredible Cloudbreak documentary, Thundercloud. While his filmmaking skills are excellent, his bread and butter is water cinematography. This is his 2018 showreel and it's bloody unreal.
8. This Billabong Clip Is So Good
Sheeeeesh. Good surfing, good music, fun vibes… it really isn’t rocket science making a good surf clip, is it? And whoever confused the two, rocket science and surf clip making, is an idiot. AN IDIOT! Creed, Parko, Otis Carey, Shaun Manners, Ryan Callinan, Ethan Ewing, Jack Freestone and Kai Hing hit the Queensland points. And Parko rides a hydrofoil looking for a hug.
9. John John Shares His Secrets For How To Ride The Foam Ball
Back foot pressure? Okay. Done. I am now as good as John John. Thank you.
10. Some Backdoor Gold With John John and Friends
John John Florence, Makua Rothman and a bunch of other dudes who are really good at surfing really good waves scored Backdoor Pipe the best it's been all Hawaiian winter. So, yep, that's worth watching.
This Week's Classic Surf Music Memory
This Week In Surfing's Classic Surf Music Memory is brought to you by Summer Bright Lager
...and it's basically going to be me finding clips and tidbits where surfing has gloriously crossed over with music, and then us watching those clips.
And where better to start off than with the greatest surfing band with the greatest surfing band name in history, The Surfers. The Surfers were Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Peter King. They released one album in 1998 called Songs From The Pipe, which can be bought on iTunes today for around $10.
Here is an excerpt from a review I found of the record on Amazon:
"While most of their board-minded brethren seem interested in exploring the more raucous end of the rock spectrum via so-called surf-punk sounds, these guys--who actually hang ten for a living--wax as mellow as mellow can be on their debut."
Check out Summer Bright's Lager's Summer Sessions Music Tour this summer where unfortunately The Surfers won't be playing, but Alex Lahey will.
And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.
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