Opinion

5.22.13

Opinion

Contently Incomplete

By pandering to our shrinking attention spans, modern surf films are losing their charm

With progression inevitably comes exclusion. Things are left behind, and we seldom stop to look back. We’ve moved on. Progressed. Matured, maybe. But nostalgia creeps in the wake of what was lost, and we become curiously aware of something missing. Pick any of the best modern films and you’ll see the same phenomenon: Bottom turn to air. Bottom turn to air. The occasional pump into a barrel. Bottom turn to tail throw. Cue lifestyle shot. Nobody’s paddling anymore. Nobody’s taking off, dropping in, linking maneuvers, or kicking out. It’s all been left on the cutting room floor. Deemed unnecessary. We never get to see that moment when the wave stacks up and the surfer decides to go for it. The complete ride in surf films is on the verge of extinction.

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5.16.13

Opinion

Hype Beasts

The recent swell at Teahupoo was a spectacle, but were the tow-ins worth celebrating?

The much-hyped swell event at Teahupoo has quickly become a real-time global spectacle. Whether or not that spectacle is worth celebrating, however, is something to consider.

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5.9.13

Opinion

Let’s Begin Again

John Florence's latest clip raises the bar, by going back to basics

We've been lulled into a stupor by endless clips of logos being waxed followed by mediocre sessions in head-high mush. Begin Again stirred something deep inside us: a memory of what surf films used to be like.

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5.5.13

Opinion

The Big Fix

How to Save Pro Surfing (A Fan’s Perspective)


If surfing is so beautiful why is contest surfing so ugly? That’s the question I ask virtually every time I’m watch an ASP event online. Have you ever watched an ASP event online for more than 30 minutes at a time? If you have and don’t work directly for or in the surf industry, I’m surprised you haven’t killed yourself yet. It’s basically state-sponsored torture. Where the hell do you think the term waterboarding came from? Don’t believe me? A quick Google search for “ASP waterboarding” returned 2,860,000 results. You can’t argue with evidence like that.

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4.18.13

Features

The Church of Yew

An argument for surfing as a religion

Of all the wacky ideas I’ve heard in my life, possibly the wackiest came from an unlikely source: George Downing. A friend told me that at one time George was trying to make a serious bid to have surfing declared an official religion.

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4.1.13

Opinion

Spot vs. Break

Does Your Wave Even Qualify As A Real Surf Spot?

There are two surf "zones" in this world: "surf spots,"and the lesser categorized "breaks." A surf spot comes with cultural trappings—history and legend—which transcend national borders and linguistic barriers. It is also, 99.9 percent of the time, a really good wave. A break is a beach or a reef or a physical outcropping of geography, man-made or not, where waves break and surfers ride, but without any cultural significance, without any distinguishing facet or global renown. A break is simply a place where swell meets shoreline and waves topple over. A surf spot, however, is a much grander entity.

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3.10.13

Opinion

Video Games Will Evolve Our Sport

Surfers can train for real-life scenarios by playing video games

Video games could make you a better surfer. A better athlete. I know that sounds ridiculous, but right now, in one of the most competitive professional athletic leagues in the world, the evidence exists to prove it.

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9.26.12

Opinion

The Decision

Rob Gilley on the void Dane Reynolds left on the World Tour

I don’t know if you follow traditional sports, but a couple of years ago one of the most famous basketball players of all time, LeBron James, became an unrestricted free agent.

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6.12.12

Opinion

The Last SUPper

Rob Gilley on where SUPs fit into our aquatic world.

Recently a friend of mine took me to a hidden surf spot. Not a full-on secret spot really, but more of an out-of-the-way place that I had never surfed or shot before. The weird part is that it’s not too far from my house.

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10.20.11

Opinion

Requiem for a Dream Tour

Rabbit Bartholomew on the parallels between the Tour's past and present

Rabbit Bartholomew is the only man I’ve ever seen cry while describing a wave he’d once surfed. Fair to say surfing means a bit to him. So when the former World Champion took the reins of the ASP in 1998 and found it moribund, and a poor reflection of what surfing was all about, he set about transforming it into what would become known as “The Dream Tour.”

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