One of surfing’s popular media outlets dropped a bit of a stinker recently. Something about how the current Brazilian domination of competitive surfing is bad for business, or something to that point.
The ensuing backlash was quick and rather merciless.
They then compounded that with an attempt at a mea culpa, written in Portuguese no less, to which only seemed to fan the flames.
We don’t need to name names, as that isn’t the point we are trying to make here. And, we understand how, as a media outlet ourselves, one can, from time to time, “step in it,” so to speak.
We’ve had our share of those missteps.
There was that one time when we well, um, never mind.
Where were we?
Oh yes, very simply Gabriel Medina is the best competitive surfer on the planet right now and a few of his pals are right behind him in that regard.
If we take the recently completed Australian leg of the WSL CT, there is a clear distinction between the top three or four and the rest of the field and guess who resides in that top three of four?
Could a blonde haired, blue eyed, Southern Californian sell more Jeeps to middle America? Perhaps, but if the WSL is actually the governing body of the sport of professional surfing, as they claim to be, the race, religion or citizenship of its champions should be immaterial to them, and the rest of us.
But lets step back from that as we all know that the WSL is an entertainment enterprise with little or no actual desire to “govern” professional competitive surfing.
They blew into town to try and make a buck off of surfing and that’s what they are going to try to do.
Regardless, the underlying story here is much more about how Brazilian domination came to be.
A fair point could be made that if CT events are going to run in primarily smaller surf then the Brazilians will most likely continue to run the table. That’s just were they excel (Editors note: Gabby also charges) and no fault of theirs that they are dominating those events.
But with that in mind, where are the Californians and Australians?
Mostly beach break guys, smaller surf, etc.
Remember, just a few short years ago the tour was pretty much dominated by Australians Mick, Joel, Julian and Owen.
Yes, Kelly the freak has been in the mix literally forever, and during the Dream Tour days Andy was in also in that mix, but the Brazilian Storm really just filled a void that was created mostly by venue choices and a fall off of serious challengers.
California, with it’s huge talent pool and consistent surf, would seem to be, as usual, guilty of some serious under achievement. Kolohe, Kanoa, and Conner, and a few others are giving it a go, but one would think the Golden State would be popping out title contenders on a much more regular basis.
Perhaps Griff is going to change that?
The unfathomable reality being there hasn’t been a world champ from California since nineteen freaking ninety with Tom Curren.
Other than Hawaii’s great white haole, John Florence, and of course Andy, Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing, hasn’t put a serious world champ in the mix since Sonny Garcia back in 2000. And as much as we hope is not the case, Mr. Florence’s ongoing health issues could very well mean a shorted career for him, at least competitively.
Yes, Jordy has flared up on occasion but the reality being that the current crop of Brazilians, who are indeed dominating, are doing so without much push back.
An opportunity presented itself and they jumped on it.
Good for them.
Simply, someone needs to step up and do something about it.