Future Shock: Pro Surfing in Five Years; Big Wave Awards; Wilko Rings Bell
Down The Line Surf Podcast – Since 2005
Surf talk with Scott Bass and David Scales: This week we talk Bells, Wilko, WSL, XXL, Big Waves, TEN, Red Bull, Bill Sharp, Caio, Conner Coffin, Jay Davies, Kai Barger, Noa Deane, Keala Kennelly, Carissa Moore, Martin Potter, Kelly Slater, Reno Abellira, Farrah Fawcett, Smirnoff, Waimea Bay, North Shore, Peahi, Jason Bonham, Led Zepplin, Anderson Paak, G-Love, and so much more.
1) You’ll notice as we head into the spring and the annual big wave awards that there is no mention of XXL – it is now called the WSL Big Wave Awards.
- XXL is owned by Surfline- it is a brand and a trademark –
- Surfline shopped the brand to WSL who balked,
- and the WSL hired Bill Sharp (who apparently owns the Intellectual Property) –
- the man behind the concept.
- The man who brought us the K2 Big Wave awards (the first such awards won by Taylor Know)
- later to become the XXL sponsored by Billabong for years (until bong got into a financial rough patch),
- and now the WSL Big Wave Awards — on of a Big Wave awards show.
MY Ballot for the 2016 WSL Big Wave Awards –
FIVE BILLABONG RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
RANK ALL FIVE RIDES IN ORDER 1st THROUGH 5th
( 4 ) Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on December 6, 2015.
(Video by Ryan Moss.)
( 1 ) Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on February 10, 2016.
(Video by Dan Norkunas.)
( 3 ) Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on May 28, 2015.
(Video by Tim Bonython.)
( 5) Tyler Larronde (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 4, 2016.
(Video by Josh Pomer.)
( 2 ) Albee Layer (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on February 25, 2016.
(Video by Elliot Leboe.)
- b) PURE SCOT BARREL AWARD NOMINEE PHOTOS
SELECT THE ONE IMAGE you feel best depicts the emotional feeling of a Big Wave Tube experience
( ) Keala Kennelly at Teahupoo, Tahiti. Photo by Tim McKenna.
- c) FIVE TAG HEUER WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
SELECT THE ONE CLIP you feel shows the most spectacular wipeout of the year
( 5 ) Matt Becker at Maverick’s, California. (Video by Dan Norkunas.)
( 3 ) Pedro Calado at Puerto Escondido, Mexico. (Video by Daniel Balbuena.)
( 2 ) Tom Dosland at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii. (Video by Bruno Lemos.)
( 4 ) Garrett McNamara at Maverick’s, California. (Video by Chris Wilson)
( 1 ) Niccolo Porcella at Teahupoo, Tahiti. (Video by Tim Pruvost.)
2) Heard another interesting rumor that a group in Tahiti, Local names we all are familiar with are organizing a surf contest at Teahuppoo –
- slated for June – with a two week holding period.
- They apparently have Tahitian Gov. backing the event and are looking for partners. i.e a Major sponsor.
- There are so many specialist out there not under the WSL umbrella that could surf in an event at Teahuppo and make a splash.
All it takes is a solid clean 8’-10’ swell for this event to make headlines.
- That’s how Teahuppo became a WCT event.
- It was 8-12’- in a WQS event.
- It was way too gnarly for it too be a qualifying event.
- It made surfing headlines that year.
- Pro surfing HAD to make it a WCT event.
- Lots of North Shore chargers, Koa Rothmans-types; Keala Kennelley, a lot of Australian chargers, Anthony Walsh, Koby Abberton, Hippo,
- It wouldn’t be a for a lack of talent.
- All the Tahitians would surf in it.– even the name guys who surf as a wildcards in the WSL trials and main event.
- It would be very sticky politics for WSL to tell Tahitians they can’t surf in the WSL event because they surfed in a separate pro event at Teahuppo.
- It doesn’t work that way.
- Tahitians would flip out.
- They important thing is that they have gov. backing which means they could run it without a sponsor this year.
3) Also heard this from good source: ” I heard a rumor yesterday that Ziff and the mysterious fund at Goldman Sachs is over $100 million deep on WSL.”
Not a fact. Pure speculation; Look, we all hope the WSL doesn’t go away.
The WSL has made great strides.
Pro surfing is in a good place.
It’s obvious they are attempting to do it right.
They are trying to make the product as exciting as possible
But as fans of pro surfing;…
look I’m pretty old, and I’ve been a fan of pro surfing since that glorious image of Reno Abellira dropping on a monster Waimea Bay behemoth during the ‘75 Smirnoff graced my bedroom wall;
Right next to Farrah Fawcett swimsuit with nippage protruding
We’d be foolish as commentators to not ask ourselves… if, and I hope it is not true,…
…IF the landscape of pro surfing dramatically changes… what does it look like?
What does pro surfing look like in 5 years ;
What does pro surfing look like in 10 years?
4) I also heard that both TEN – The Enthusiast Network – the owners of Surfer & Surfing magazines –
- as well as RED BULL
- are waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces of pro surfing.
- The Enthusiast Network recently took over the Dew Tour from NBC
- and they already do a lot of events
- if the landscape of pro surfing changes dramatically TEN is the logical one to pick up the tour, license individual events to the brands and run it. Much like the old ASP model.
The wsl may have stumbled in a variety of ways, but there is no doubt that within five years we will know whether or not a top-heavy, high-prod value biz model works.
It does seem selling global sponsorship is horrifically difficult – global companies still operate largely on autonomous regional level.
It could be that Kelly’s Wave Pool will save the day; allowing for contestable, dynamic waves that a TV show can be scheduled around.
But is that really surfing? I think if it goes that route the demographic of consumers of contest surfing will be 12-18 year olds – which is exactly what TEN and Red Bull and the WSL for that matter, would welcome.
You and I and coastal dwelling core surf enthusiast, –not so much.
- Only in Australia would the ex-prime minister steal your wave.
- Student Ivy Thomas, 17, was snapped surfing alongside Tony Abbott at Tea Tree beach at Noosa, Queensland, on Easter Monday.
- “I paddled out and he was just sitting there on his board, waiting for a wave. It was so bizarre,” Thomas said.
- But when the wave came, surfing etiquette dictates that Thomas had right of way.
- Photographer Bailey Eldering caught her less-than-impressed facial expression as Abbott dropped in on her.
Duke – Duke Kahanamoku‘s house is currently for sale. I recently visited it with Duke’s biographer, Sandy Hall. Although it appears to be an entirely new structure, the builder / owner retained the core of the original house. The house sits on the same foundation, and the floors and stairway are still in place. The new sections are constructed around, and added to the former ones. Duke and his wife Nadine bought this house after their marriage in 1940. They were given a loan for the $12,000 purchase price from their friend, the incredibly wealthy Doris Duke, whose own home is located nearby.
The seller of this house is a surfer and he constructed a large stairway in a new retaining wall for easy access to the ocean at the base of Black Point. As you can see, the view towards Koko Head from the home is amazing, over the other neighbors below.