Nick Carroll: Christmas and New Year Wishes for the Surfing World

30 Dec 2018 8 Share

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

2018 saw the competitive retirements of two of our greatest ever surfers. Parko and Mick, legends.Photo: WSL/Cestari

2018 saw the competitive retirements of two of our greatest ever surfers. Parko and Mick, legends.Photo: WSL/Cestari

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I dunno what will happen in 2019, any more than anyone else. Tomorrow is one big bright unopened bar of wax as far as I’m concerned.

But 2018 has waxed a lotta boards, and it’s down to its last shitty, sandy little scrap, so here’s CW’s best wishes from a crazy cluttered year:

To WSL head judge Pritamo Ahrendt and the whole world tour judging roster, who are so mercilessly assassinated during every pro tour event by the online audience. From the commentary, you’d think the judges planned the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, and the election of Donald Trump, just to get into practice for rigging the CT. When in fact, they work super hard, get it right way more than they get it wrong, and basically carry the whole pro surfing construct on their shoulders, for less than half a CT second round loser’s prizemoney. Merry Christmas all of yas!

To the World Surf League’s executive and ownership. Dead set you have got to wonder if the team  are beginning to wonder what the hell they got themselves into with this pro surfing malarkey. They’ve spent nearly seven years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to make it all look like a normal sport, they’ve bought a wave pool and dragged in Facebook, aired those Jeep ads, and STILL the best shit happens because of some random storm in the North Pacific and an uneven reef slab near Ehukai Beach Park or off northern Maui, and a handful of surfers so skilled that not even most other surfers can comprehend what they’re doing. Hey guys! That last month in Hawaii? Whatever you try to do with it, pro surfing is not going to be better than that. That’s the best it’s EVER GOING TO BE. Happy New Year!

To Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson, who played the game so wonderfully on that final day at Pipe. Someone always cracks, I guess Filipe cracked, but neither of these two did. You’d have understood if JW had sorta chucked it in after Gabriel’s incredible door-slamming quarterfinal effort, I mean 19-plus in 90 seconds! Imagine being in Julian’s shoes and watching that happen? He didn’t chuck it in though, did he. That might count for a lot at some point in 2019. Merry Christmas Gabriel, Happy New Year Julian.

To Lyndie and Axel Irons, who spent so much of 2018 travelling with the AI documentary and talking with people, helping them understand some of who Andy was, and why things ended the way they did. An act of huge generosity by a family and a woman who’s had to put up with some serious shit. Here’s hoping 2019 brings some peace and good times.

To all the women who’ve been bullied by men in the surf this or any other year. Happy New Year! Tell ‘em to fuck off! That’s the last thing they’ll expect.

To Reuben Buchanan, mastermind of the fundraising effort behind the wave-pool company Surf Lakes, and its fantastic Mad Max scenario up in Yeppoon, Qld. May your plunger soon be fixed, Reuben! May it plunge like it’s never plunged before!

To everyone who had a scare this year on a Third World surf trip and ended up in hospital worrying if their insurance would cover it. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! You’re still here! Maybe a donation to the Indonesian tsunami fund wouldn’t be out of order.

To the valiant crew trying to persuade Newcastle City Council that building a concrete structure over 25 metres of sand beach, in an era of impending sea level rise, is as dumb as a pile of bricks. You guys are on the right side of history here. Remember, the other guys are elected officials, and one day soon, there’ll be another election. Happy 2019!

To Parko, Mick, and all the other 17,000-odd pro surfers of the past 43 years who are retired, through choice or otherwise, may your wax remain un-sandy, your kids grow up happy and your surf trips all be pretty good.

To Rob Bain, Dave Macaulay and Layne Beachley, who thought they were retired till that Masters event in the Azores brought it all flooding back, Australian surfing loves ya, champs!

To all the grommets, kooks, Adult Learners, grumpy old men, free-surfing superstars, weirdos, locals, hipsters, boogie-boarders, knee-boarders, skim-boarders, and whatever other type of boarder you can think up: Happy New Year!! However shit or brilliant you are, we’re all in this together.

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