Aside from its commitment to equality, the World Surf League has really leaned into environmental stewardship in these past few years. Professional surfers, on the Championship Tour, can regularly be seen planting small bushes in various bluffs, much booth talk can be heard from Joe Turpel and gang about various environment and Jessi Miley-Dyer plus Erik Logan things.
But who could have guessed, who might have imagined how robust the efforts actually were. Soft Close Hydraulic Hinge
With 2022 drawing to a close, the World Surf League’s Chief People and Purpose Officer, Emily Hofer, has shared, “The ocean is our arena, it’s our office — many of us would describe it as home. We believe that the future of surfing depends on the health of the ocean; and it’s our duty to ensure that the ocean is protected for surfers to come.”
-Reduced emissions by almost 50 percent from the 2018 baseline year;
-Educated 35,000 global youth on cultural and environmental stewardship;
-Removed 100 tons of plastic from Indonesian waterways;
-Conserved almost 350,000 hectares of coastal land — including prime surf ecosystems at Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica and Grajagan Bay, Java, Indonesia (famously known to those in the know as “G-Land”).
“Sports have the power to inspire hearts and minds,” Hofer added at the end. “Anything related to protecting the ocean or the earth is a really good way to leverage sports and the inspirational power of sports.”
But how do you think the reduced emissions came to be?
Ahhhh, the mid-season cut. Professional surfers told they are no longer allowed to get on to airplanes and fly to exotic locations.
Less helping hands in planting small bushes, I suppose, but an overall win.
"I apologise to Makana Pang for paddling out at Pipeline two days ago and seriously almost injuring Makana, and possibly ruining his career."
Do you watch any of those surfing blogs on YouTube? I do. It’s a guilty indulgence.
Sorta like secretly enjoying Hollywood rom-coms or bikie-grade methamphetamine.
I can’t get enough of it.
Nathan Florence is the standout.
There’s something about the unproduced, uncut rawness of his videos that encapsulates the surfing experience so much more closely than a tightly edited performance clip.
The paddle out. The sets on the head. The lineup chat.
Jazz is what’s between the notes ‘n that. Plus he hooks.
It’s obviously a model that resonates. His audience and view rates are through the wazoo.
But for every one Nathan Florence there’s a thousand Parker Seidels.
For a while now I’ve had a story bubbling in the back of my mind about the YouTube surfer. This second generation of GoPro-weilding content creators holding up the likes of JOB and Ben Gravy as their heroes.
Never not online. Dedicated to recording every aspect of the lineup. Slow-mo non head-dips.Going over the falls. Hi-5s and bro-slaps with their buddies on the beach.
Actual surfing skill not required.
Parker is one such acolyte. Only he plies his trade out at Pipeline.
There’s dozens of videos posted to his YouTube Channel with titles like:
RAW FOOTAGE LEARNING HOW TO SURF EP 1
CAUGHT INSIDE AT PIPELINE *HUMBLING*
SCARY DAY AT PIPELINE *ALMOST DROWNED*
I SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN OUT HERE *VERY BIG DAY AT PIPELINE*
Anyway, the kid has lived up to his clickbait clips, outing himself as the non-duckdiving VAL who almost decapitated young Pipe charger Makana Pang out there the other day.
You read Makana’s impassioned, level-headed plea for kooks to stop paddling out in conditions they can’t handle, after his mid-tube collision with an errant learner’s board.
A post shared by M A K A N A (@m_pang)
A bit of instagram sleuthing quickly uncovered Parker as the board’s owner.
Now, Parker, a fresh-faced teen who has apparently only started surfing in the last 18 months, has taken to YouTube to apologise for his actions.
Only thing is, this wasn’t the only strife he’d gotten himself into chasing content over the last few days.
“I just want to make this video to apologise for my actions this past week. I just want to express how sorry and how terrible I feel right now, and I just wish I could take back what i have done because i was being so stupid. I was being an idiot. For going to the Big Island and being super uneducated and getting super close to the lava and not knowing anything about what I was doing.”
Turns out Parker had also hopped over to the slopes of active volcano Mauna Loa and tried to roast some marshmallows in the lava flow, which has been threatening homes on the Big Island for a couple of weeks now. Of course he recorded clips of it all for his YouTube channel. Big sign of disrespect to local Hawaiian customs. Then he and his group apparently became lost for hours on the volcanic slopes, putting themselves at further risk.
“I want to apologise to all the people I have offended and I have definitely learned from this experience. I’ve received a lot of death threats and a lot of hate. I know what i did was wrong and stupid and disrespectful.
“From the bottom of my heart I want to apologise and I know saying sorry isn’t enough. I know this will take time to fix. I am educating myself about what I have done. I just feel terrible. I want to apologise to all the natives on the Big Island for what I have done.”
“I also want to apologise to Makana Pang for paddling out at Pipeline two days ago and seriously almost injuring Makana, and possibly ruining his career. I just wanted to say I was very, very selfish in that moment. I shouldn’t have been out there. The waves were way too big. Not only did I put myself at risk but I also put a lot of other surfers at risk who have trained their whole lives to be there and it was just super selfish for me to paddle out in those waves. I’m glad that he’s ok but it could have been way worse. I know what I did was wrong. Just wanted to make this video to apologise even though I know this is going to take a lot of time to fix.”
It was all enough for young Parker to finally see the error of his ways.
“I am definitely taking a break from social media. I am definitely getting off Instagram. And YouTube. For a long long time. I just want to own up to my mistakes and my wrongs. I have learned a lot from this. I will learn and I will grow. I lost my job this morning. I feel like people are basically out there to kill me right now. It’s kinda scary but I just wanted to let you guys know I am taking a break and I am deeply, deeply sorry for my actions and I will do better and think more before I do things. I apologise. I’m sorry.”
Parker, who looks to be barely out of his teens, is less a cause of the problem than a symptom.
No one’s begrudging the likes of Nathan Florence, JOB, Koa etc making a living with their videos. They’re professionals. They belong in the line-=up.
But should they now be posting warnings at the start of their clips?
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. VALS GET CRACKS.
Or could we even go a step further?
Have a guided discussion, a collective moment of introspection, on the levels of self-aggrandising narcissism we have descended to as a society in the social media age?
This cultural morasse we find ourselves in?
Could YouTube be disbanded? Instragram disconnected? Modems tossed in the bin, Smart phones placed in bedside drawers. Humanity strolling out into the sunlight together. Finally unfiltered. Finally unplugged.
Or will the content creation machine continue on its inexorable roll?
Probs. Cunts’ll do anything for a click nowadays.
‘Cept here on Beach Grit.
But if you had to choose between being an international singing sensation or a noted wrangler of big waves which would you choose? Of course the two are not mutually exclusive. Makua Rothman, son of North Shore strongman Eddie, for example has conquered both worlds but it is exceptionally rare and, to be honest, I don’t know if you have the necessary double threat skillset.
Adored by fawning audiences whilst crooning or sliding down the face of monsters?
Well, British singer-songwriter Sam Ryder came to the aforementioned crossroads and chose the microphone. In a stirring interview with the BBC, the Eurovision musical contest runner-up declared that it was a horror surfing accident in Hawaii that guided his destiny.
“I was surfing in Hawaii and my board snapped. Then I got hit by a wave and I very nearly drowned,” he told Auntie. “It pushed me down so far into the water. And the turbulence of the water, the power, is incredible. Fighting against it, you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.”
The terror left him bed-ridden for a week, pondering what to make of his life.
“Obviously, the golden rule in surfing is ‘never underestimate the sea,'” he continued, “but until it goes wrong, you can’t fathom it. You’re like, ‘I am insignificant in this body of water’. But that day was important to me because I wanted to be very good at surfing and ride the big waves – but [the accident] put me back on my true purpose. I was like, ‘You can’t do the thing you love most, which is music and singing, if you’re at the bottom of the sea.'”
Ryder, who has luxurious long hair and soft beard, went on to amass more than 14 million TikTok fans, a record deal and Eurovision success.
As an American, I only really know of the business from Will Ferrell’s very funny Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Also, though, are you sad not to be able to watch Ryder on the World Surf League’s Big Wave World Tour?
The World Surf League, which will kick off its 2023 Championship Tour in mere weeks, was rocked overnight as an adoring public began questioning its popularity. Much was made, last year, by WSL CEO Erik Logan of the absolute exploding growth of professional surfing at its highest level. Millions upon millions of new fans devouring broadcasts, snatching up merchandise, packing beaches and nowhere more than Brazil.
Logan, and the rest of the League’s executive suite plus commentators, made much about the love their product received from South America’s largest nation. How adored they all were and the “passion” they were shown.
So much “passion,” it was uttered once every three years by the aforementioned team. Maybe more “passion” than had ever been unleashed before. Maybe the most “passion” of all time.
Until, that is, Harry Styles rolled into town.
The pop stud, who has been on a rocket to massive fame, was rolling into the country for a concert tonight, you see, when a truck carrying his merchandise was hijacked by armed gunmen. Per reporting, the bandits subdued the driver, took his truck and its loot of bedazzled t-shirts and fedoras and vanished into the warm night air of Curtiba, which happens to be outside of São Paulo.
More importantly, Curtiba also happens to be the home of World Surf League (née Association of Surfing Professionals) superstar Jihad Khodr. Of course you recall his campaign, which lasted from 2008 to 2009 and thrilled me because I enjoyed his name so much but also his passion.
In any case, no World Surf League merch truck has ever been hijacked in Brazil nor Australia nor Lemoore, California. Stephanie Gilmore jerseys and Italo Ferreira Jerseys and Ethan Ewing jerseys left unmolested. The adoring public wondering how popular the show really is.
"I’m truly scared to see what the future holds for this lineup!”
A wild collision at Pipeline that nearly stole the head from hot local surfer Makuna Pang on Wednesday has drawn a wild response from locals and death threats to the VAL responsible.
“Look at this shit,” writes twenty-one-year-0ld Makana, son of legend shaper Dennis Pang. “I’ve gotten in the way tons of times out at Pipe, it happens, but if you cant even duck dive your round nose, squash tail plug on a four-foot day what the hell are you doing out there?
“This wave has taken more lives than any other wave on earth and inexperienced people paddling out because they’ve watched all the ‘Perfect Pipeline’ vlogs on youtube makes it twice as dangerous.
A post shared by M A K A N A (@m_pang)
“Any of you that have went out the past two swells have had a moment where a person(s) have gotten in the your way just paddling for or riding a wave I’m sure.
“Maybe you are even that guy getting in the way and you are the problem? Nearly every set last Friday was littered with random people in the way of The Boys while paddling for waves when there should be a clear runway.
“Two-thirds of the guys placing themselves underneath the locals don’t even belong sitting right there. The only people that should be sitting underneath the top dogs is the next generation of LOCAL teens.
“Just because you don’t see guys getting knocked out on the beach like before, doesn’t mean the amount of respect for the wave and people out there has changed.
“Be aware & If you are apart of this problem KINDLY GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY PLEASE OR DONT PADDLE OUT.”
Responses came in their hundreds from a who’s who of Pipe superstars and world champs, most of ’em calling for a return to the days of not-so-yore when fists were thrown with impunity.
The world longboard champ Joel Tudor summed up the prevailing mood with his treatise on the situation.
“Counted 92 people out that Friday and opted to watch instead of surf, at one point saw a set that had so many dudes paddling up the face it looked like salmon running…bodies were on top of each other …craziest shit I’ve seen in my 30 something years out there. Sadly though with the removal of localism it’s a wide open door to the masses, gone are the day of catching cracks for being a donkey …nowadays that donkey can risk your life and then sue ya for your house for hurting their feelings …anyone who owns anything out here or their family does is scared to death of what multiple live cams, drones and phones can record and because of that the old order and understanding has faded for this new era kook take over. I’m truly scared to see what the future holds for this lineup!”
The surfer model Kahealani Papke, who is Makana’s girlfriend, brought the fever down a little adding,
“The guy that bailed and hit @m_pang with his board is getting death threats. Don’t do that. He’s just being used as an example. The main focus of this post is to teach people that aren’t ready to paddle out to pipe to NOT do it. If you can’t duck dive then you sure as hell don’t belong out there. C’mon people this wave is one of the most dangerous waves out there it’s no joke maybe use your brain a little. Imagine if that board were to knock out @m_pang and he were to drown because you decided to paddle out when you shouldn’t have. Know your boundaries and if you have any doubts don’t go out before you accidentally kill someone.”
I hear it, I ain’t going near that joint.
What do you think possesses a soul to join the madness at the world’s heaviest wave with only rudimentary skills?
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