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Surf for Love, Not for Gold Writer William Finnegan on why surfing in the Olympics is a horrible idea

what youth on surfing in the olympics

William Finnegan is easily one of the best writers we’ve got. He can articulate the nuances of surfing to the masses and usually does so by surrounding it with caution tape. And he recently nailed it again, for The New York Times, and this time he’s taken aim at surfing’s “bid” for entry into the Olympics.

We’ve all been monitoring the ridiculous idea for a while now — hoping the the dysfunction we have within our own competitive arenas would be enough to dissuade the Olympic committee from coming near us. But it looks as though we’re “sexy” enough to be considered for 2020 in Japan anyway. And that’s sketchy.

Surfing photographs well. It makes mesmerizing video. It is not, however, a spectator sport. With the exception of a few spots, on random days — contest organizers struggle to find just these spots and days — it is wildly boring to watch. The action is hard to see from shore, and there’s usually not much of it. Lulls between waves are long, rides mostly short and unexciting. Surfers themselves can watch waves for hours, but they’re accustomed to lulls. Everybody else is much happier with the highlight reel. William Finnegan, The New York Times

Read the perfect protest in The New York Times here.

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