Alana Blanchard

The Celebrity Profile

Alana Blanchard is late. We’ve chosen to meet for lunch in Newport Beach for an interview at an old-money restaurant on the waterfront, the kind where you can pull your yacht up to a slip in the back before motoring out to…another restaurant for cocktails? Your investment banker’s office? The yacht shop to buy another yacht? I do not know where you motor a yacht after lunch.

I do know that several people appear to be arriving by yacht, and that this is the type of place where the entry door features a brass plaque that reads, “Dress Code,” with no further explanation. The men’s restroom features ornately framed New Yorker cartoons, the raison d’etre for all of which seems to be that “the wife” can be a real pain in the ass, am I right you guys? In the bar, where I wait, the crowd runs older, but all the women are made up to look much younger than they are in the manner of the Southern California spring. Flowing maxi dresses, Tory Burch sandals, collagen injections, double-cheek kisses.

Alana is late because…well, because of course she’s late. She’s a busy woman—Internet celebrity, Sports Illustrated and Maxim swimsuit model, watery sex icon, and, oh yeah, Women’s World Tour surfer. She’s on the go so much that meeting up for this lunch in Southern California—one hour, that’s it—was something that took a few months of planning. When she finally had an open spot to make it into town, Monday became Tuesday morning became Tuesday afternoon became Wednesday morning became Wednesday lunch before she had to jet off again. Now it’s one o’clock, and we’ll have to leave by two. And now she is running late.

Alana Blanchard is the 10th-ranked female surfer in the world, and she is easily one of the most famous surfers on the planet, male or female. If that seems preposterous, it’s not.

But of course she’s also charming about it, and of course I get continual text message updates that indicate that she’s on her way, and she’s so sorry, is that OK? Of course it’s OK. I sit in the bar, and I watch rubber-molded women knock back elderflower cocktails with impressive efficiency. I wonder about what they’ll do with the rest of their day, and I decide that the word “treatment”—spa, botox, psychologist’s—will probably be involved in whatever’s next. Fifteen minutes later, Alana is here, 5’7″, light tan, long sandy-blonde hair down and straight, black jeans and a black top—an outfit that looks so effortless when set in relief against the women in the bar that I wonder if they’ll order one more and forego whatever treatment was scheduled to be next.

As we are seated on the patio, and as we make small chat, and as I contemplate the yachts in the back, I realize how ridiculous it is that I’m here, given that, to me, Alana Blanchard is more or less just a name I’ve heard a few times. I know next to nothing about her. I know that she is 23. I know that she is from Kauai. I know that she surfs. I know that surely there is somebody more qualified to write about her. And that’s about all I know. And then I realize that it’s exceedingly likely that I have been given this assignment primarily because I’m a married father of two with a daughter, and because I will behave myself around someone whose fame in surfing has much to do with…well, not surfing. In fact, Alana has become much bigger than a surfer, morphed into something much closer to an actual celebrity, which is why I was asked not to shadow her for a few days in the manner of the typical surf magazine profile, but rather to do a sit-down lunch, to treat Alana the celebrity in the same way that a men’s magazine would treat her.

Here’s something I learned when I did some last-minute enterprise reporting in the bar, by which I mean I Googled Alana Blanchard: Alana is not an uncommon name. And yet, type “Alana” into the world’s largest search engine and wait for it to suggest a search, and the first result will be “Alana Blanchard.” The next will be “Alana Blanchard bikinis.”

This will be followed by “Alana Thompson.” Alana Thompson, I now know because I clicked on that link, is the child reality TV sensation that your white-trash cousins know as “Honey Boo Boo.” I don’t know anything about Honey Boo Boo, but I know enough to know that plenty of people in Internetland really have a lot to say about Honey Boo Boo. The next search result will be “Alana de la Garza,” who, best as I could tell, is the actress who played a stern-but-sexy D.A.-type on Law & Order.

The point isn’t that Alana Blanchard is more popular than Honey Boo Boo and the lady from Law & Order. The point is that Alana Blanchard’s bikini is more popular than those two as well.

Which is probably why, when you Google Alana Blanchard, here’s what you get: You get a photo of Alana Blanchard disrobing in a shower while giggling at something just off frame (a shoot for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, I’d later find out). You get a link to a YouTube video that I didn’t click on but which has a still image of what appears to be Alana Blanchard’s wet sideboob. You get Alana Blanchard in a bikini, slightly bent forward, giving you a come-hither stare (SI again). And finally, there in the bottom right corner, you get what I think is a picture of Alana Blanchard doing a bottom turn on a surfboard on a wave, but which is probably just a picture of Alana Blanchard’s ass in a thong. I’m hard pressed to say, because the photo is so closely cropped that I couldn’t tell what is actually happening on that wave, let alone how Alana Blanchard is riding it.

When you search for Alana Blanchard, you also get an excerpt from a Wikipedia entry that reads, “Alana Rene Blanchard is an American professional surfer and Bikini Model.” I do not know why “Bikini Model” is capitalized in this description and “professional surfer” is not, but I think it means something. Finally, at the bottom of the page, you get Google’s list of “Searches related to Alana Blanchard.” Among these are: “Alana Blanchard hot,” “Alana Blanchard photos,” “Alana Blanchard video,” “Alana Blanchard wallpaper,” “Alana Blanchard Instagram.” One thing you do not get, out of the eight suggested searches, is “Alana Blanchard surfer.” (Although, if you do a Google Image search for Alana Blanchard, the second recommended subcategory is “Bottom Turn.” And this, men of the world, is why everyone thinks that we are disgusting pigs.)

Despite the fact that nobody seems to notice, at the time of this search, Alana Blanchard is the 10th-ranked female surfer in the world, and she is easily one of the most famous surfers on the planet, male or female. If that seems preposterous, it’s not. Consider that fame is simply a metric of how many people recognize you, and then consider Alana’s 675,000-and-climbing Instagram followers, 200,000 more than Kelly Slater.

The question with the obvious answer is why? So let’s cut the shit. As we sit in this restaurant in the sun, and as I look out at the yachts, I know and Alana Blanchard knows that she is famous because she is attractive, and more specifically, she is famous because she looks good in a bikini. And I know and she knows that she is also famous because she seems aware of this fact, is unapologetic about it, and actively promotes it, regularly posting pictures of herself in a bikini online. And, lastly, I know and she knows that it would be incredibly fucking stupid to stop right there and choose to dismiss Alana Blanchard as simply a nice ass with a surfer attached to it, to ignore her considerable surfing accomplishments, even if plenty of people do.

GALLERY:

But whatever. Because as we sit here on the back patio of this restaurant, and as I wonder when a Bento box became a lunch thing, and as Alana and I talk, I realize that Alana Blanchard is very aware of everything I’ve just written. She just doesn’t care.

“This is what’s comfortable,” she says, confidently. “Think about it like this—this is my job. If I went to a regular job, if I was a secretary or something, I’d want to look good. I’d dress up for that part. I like looking cute. So I want to look cute in the water. Because I’m a girl. Female athletes have bad reps of being butchy and all that. I just thought, I’m going to be a girl and see if I can do this. It’s probably half the reason I’m here. Not necessarily because I’m wearing little bathing suits, but because I actually wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be feminine.”

As I listen to Alana say this, I imagine a thousand feminists’ heads exploding in unison. Then I walk myself, as quickly as possible, through what I would presume to be their argument—that Blanchard’s fame has come primarily from the fact that she has sexualized herself, and that the sexualization of women in this way robs them and, to an extent, all women, of their humanity and their individuality and their natural female power. Maybe I got it right and maybe I didn’t, but before I can think it all the way through, I start to think about the historical precedent in surfing, and the fact that it was only two decades ago that Lisa Andersen and her generation made headlines by wearing boardshorts, a move that was taken as a statement regarding gender equality. Then I think about the fact that, although she says she did not do so consciously, Alana Blanchard and her bikinis have made headlines for exactly the opposite reason—not because she wanted to be able to dress like the guys, but because she wanted to be able to dress like the girls. Those girls. The sex-icon girls.

“Think about the top performers in the world. Look at Beyonce,” she explains. “She’s wearing these tiny little outfits, and everyone wants to see her sing because she’s looking amazing. Why can’t we? We want to look cute, too. Rihanna is wearing tiny little things. Not that we’re Rihanna and Beyonce, but they look hot, so why can’t we? Just because we’re athletes?”

And we’re back to the exploding of feminists’ heads. Except…is she wrong? At all? If equality is about choice, then isn’t Alana free to…oh, fuck it. I don’t know. Regardless, Alana says there was no calculated contemplation that informed her decision to surf contests in small bikinis. It was just happenstance, and perhaps a little bit of naivety.

“Looking back, I just didn’t care,” she says. “There’s a picture of me online in a straight thong at my first ’QS contest, thinking it’s totally normal. I just thought that’s what everyone wore, because coming from Kauai, that’s what everyone wore. Little bathing suits. Then at some point, I was like, ‘Oh, shit, I guess not all the girls wear these.’”

That realization didn’t stop her. “I didn’t care. I mean I still get hated on to this day, but I just don’t care. I think it looks cuter, and they stay on way better, too.”

I can’t speak to what form of women’s swimwear stays on the best, but clearly the Internet—and Blanchard’s legions of Instagram followers—have decided that her bikinis do, in fact, look “cute.” And Blanchard isn’t shy about the fact that much of her popularity is owed to those bikinis. Which explains why it’s tough to remember that Alana Blanchard can surf, that she’s more than just the girl who was played by Jack Nicholson’s daughter in the Bethany Hamilton biopic Soul Surfer. But Alana Blanchard can surf. Really well. Perhaps she hasn’t won any World Tour contests, and perhaps she’s not a favorite to ever win the World Title, but a lot of girls haven’t done either of those things. Alana Blanchard is the 10th-ranked female surfer in the world, and being the 10th best anything in the world, regardless of what you do or what you look like, is unfathomable for most of us.

“I had a good heat on the Gold Coast,” she says of a contest earlier in the year, “and the commentators were like, ‘I didn’t even know she could surf.’ I was like, ‘Thanks, guys.’”

“I am on the Tour,” she says, assertively, “and somehow people question that. I think people are just haters. When they see people doing well,
some people, if there’s something wrong, they’ll pick at that.”

In Blanchard’s case, it’s not that there’s anything wrong so much as it is that she’s easy to dismiss as a pretty face whose way was paved by being attractive. But of course being attractive doesn’t get you to the highest level as a professional athlete. And Blanchard’s surf pedigree runs deep—her father and uncle were vagabond surfers who finally ended up on Kauai in the ’70s, and Alana has been surfing since she was four.

“I had a good heat on the Gold Coast,” she says of a contest earlier in the year, “and the commentators were like, ‘I didn’t even know she could surf.’ I was like, ‘Thanks, guys.’ It’s cool that people finally know I can surf, but after that heat, everyone was saying, ‘Whoa, I didn’t even know you could surf.’”

Blanchard doesn’t necessarily blame sexism or a focus on her bikinis over her surfing for this misconception. It’s a misconception, she says, wrought by the fact that nobody watches women’s surfing.

“Obviously I wouldn’t be on the Tour if I wasn’t that good. But nobody sees our contests. We just had a contest in New Zealand, and no one heard about it. Not even my close friends.”

With the ASP under new management, a management that has plans to make promoting women’s surfing a priority, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t take advantage of Blanchard and all of her marketability, which is a polite way to say that it’s hard to imagine that they won’t promote women’s competitive surfing by selling its sex appeal. Girls frolicking in bikinis on beaches around the world, surfing, having a good time. That’s an easy sell. For her part, Blanchard has no problem being marketed as a sex symbol, so long as it doesn’t take away from her surfing.

“I don’t mind it. I always look up to girls like Beyonce, or Anna Kournikova,” she says. “Girls who do something well but also look good. I think every girl loves to feel sexy and, sure, there’s some creeps out there, but I’m putting myself out there. I guess I’m just working with what I have. I never knew that people would be so focused on that, but if they are, then that’s their choice. I just want my surfing to show, too.”

As I listen to her say this, I suddenly realize that I’ve never seen Alana Blanchard surf. But just as soon the bill comes and I realize that I’ve never seen her Instagram account or her modeling photos, either. And as I hold the door for her, and as she walks through, and as I don’t look at her ass, and as I watch her walk out the door, I think about her response to my last question: “If you were going to write a profile about yourself, what would
you write?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “That’s a tricky one. It must be hard for you to write these things because everyone has a different opinion about everyone. I’m sure everyone perceives me in a different way. People are funny in that way, but I’m happy and that’s all that matters. So, you just can’t listen to those…funny people.”

And there she goes: A young woman who’s happy, who’s aware that she’s talented and attractive, and who’s not afraid to capitalize on either of those things, and who knows that those “funny people” don’t matter.

This article originally appeared in our November Issue.

Read two-time World Champion Carissa Moore’s take on the future of women’s surfing.

  • Mik

    Only Brad Melakian would write an article on Alana without first watching video of her surfing…

    Yet another example of his condescending attitude to the surf community.

    IE: he thinks that he is somehow better than the people he writes about… when in reality the upper tiers of professional surfing are dedicated to performance levels that are worthy of both his and our respect.

    Alana is one of those people. She has developed into a surfing superstar and not just because she is a very physically attractive woman. I’ll bet that she can surf circles around the writer in any surf arena, and many of your male readers.

    Next time SURFER, find a writer who has his act together.

    • Nick

      Thank you. I was thinking the exact same thing the whole time I was reading this. Melakian sounds like a pretentious asshole. He takes 2 paragraphs to tell us his judgmental thoughts about the people in the restaurant, (which is completely irrelevant to Alana), and then uses the rest of the story to tell us his judgmental thoughts about Alana. This belongs on a gossip site, not Surfer Mag.

    • Nora O’Malley

      /her act together.

  • Laura

    Mik, I absolutely do NOT agree with you. I think he is a very talented writer and I am sure my professor (I am studying literature) would think that, too. He writes pretty much that, what goes through one’s mind when you meet someone much less mature and on top of it very naïve. That’s very difficult! But he manages it extremely well with the help of the google quotes.
    But what makes me think: have you counted the “I’s” in her speeches yet? She doesn’t seem to think much about others and if they care. For me a very ignorant way of living which doesn’t convince at all with a sustainable life, which, in fact, defines surfing and it’s lifestyle.
    (I apologize for any mistakes, English isn’t my mother tongue!) Merci, Laura

    • Kooks McGee

      Surfing sustainable? Yea right! disposable petro chemical wetsuits, disposable petro chemical boards and accessories, putting out massive amounts of carbon to jet around the world to surf. Surfing is the biggest hypocrite when it comes to being sustainable and green. The only environmental issue the sport really concerns itself with is clean water and preventing certain coastal development to preserve breaks. Look at the response from surfers to protecting nest endangered seabirds and sea turtles along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Environment be damned as long as the surfer gets to surf his waves.

      • Laura

        thanks. i absolutely see your point and agree with you. but the question, that i’ve kept asking myself for years; is there any sport nowadays that actually respects the ecosystem and mother nature? building football stadions and clay clurts depenses chemicals into the ground and maybe evem somewhere else. trekking and climbing since it got so popular, disturbs the whole rhythm of high mountain areas (especially when people start to suffer because they can’t breathe or they feel weak when the oxigen they need isn’t enough, i think this is a clear sign, that human being just doesn’t belong there.) swimming has similar problems like surfing and if in a swimming pool, with football and tennis. snowsports are shit aswell, cycling aswell.. the only sport i can think of but which many doesn’t really accept in that category is yoga.. or danceing (just depends where) – or do you know any more?

    • Mik

      How can you defend a professional writer not watching footage of a professional woman surfer actually surfing, before writing an article about her that is specifically questioning her athletic substance? You can’t. Disagree all you want.

      As for the English professor, it is one thing to say Melekian writes well, but it is another to evaluate his content in the context of whom he is writing about. IMO Melekian lacks credibility and tends to try to hide it by a condescending approach to whomever he is inferiorly interviewing. He’s a kook who routinely criticizes non-essential elements of surf stars lives.

      I don’t really care about Alana’s use of “I”, when she is being interviewed. I care about her ability as a woman surfer, and her physical looks factor in. Nobody is impressed by a chubby surfer. I might not want to have to fight someone who out weighs me by a 100 lbs, but impressed? No.

      I expect a professional athlete to be uber fit, like Kelly, JJ, Jordy, Mick, Joel, Julian, Kai, etc. Same for the women. In fact, the more fit they are, the more I respect them. I dated a Polish figure skater who was also a black-belt in Aikido, and a nationally recognized Latin dancer. She was impressive in every way. I also (very briefly) went out with a professional women surfer, and same thing. Uber fit, amazing woman. They expected the same from me, I can tell you. The work you put into your body as a surfer is fundamental to recognition. So it’s not just an unwarranted sex driven bias. It’s a reality that comes with the territory, and that is why Alana mesmerizes the surf community.

      Alanna is rad, and she is the most popular woman surfer in the world.

      Melekian is off base, and out of his element in Surfer magazine.

      He owed Alana the respect of seeing her surf, and the fact that he didn’t discounts anything he writes.

      • Laura

        what you are comparing with are two totally different styles of writing. and to set one thing clear: what Melekian wrote, is NOT an interview with alana. this is more an essay about the simple situation ‘someone like Melekian, meeting superstar Alana’. that is why he can chose freely the style of writing and he cleverly he chose the “I” perspective, which allows him to write all side-information that normally doesn’t belong into an interview but were for him as an subjective (!) autor somehow a big deal. he’s free to choose the content and he just chose the oppisite point of view from yours. you can do whatever you want with that but you can’t blame his writing skills. sorry..

    • rogah

      He is a talented and entertaining writer who isn’t afraid to make himself, his impressions, and even his biases part of the story. One thing he makes clear is that objectifying women comes very easy to him. Since he is part of the story he writes, it’s ok for the reader to wonder where this underlying antipathy to women who are both accomplished and attractive comes from. Is it just that he only got an hour with the subject of his article, or is it something more?

  • wyatt

    I hope, one day, my daughters look up to “girls who do something well but also look good.” Because – as we’ve learned from Rosa Parks, Sandra Day O’Connor, Joan of Arc, Susan Sontag, Nina Simone, Billie Jean-King, Julia Child, Golda Meir – it’s one thing to change the world but to change the world AND have a gym-toned buttocks? No THAT’S a goal worth reaching for.

  • larkstan

    Don’t be too concerned about the haters, Brad. Your article was well written and the use of Google search results (I almost capitalized Search Results) was pretty clever. You other guys: articles about activities or people are often written by someone outside the genre, often resulting in new perspectives and insights. What’s wrong with that? It seems to me that Brad’s comments were fairly balanced. And- Alana is a gorgeous woman who surfs very well.

    • wyatt

      This is a moderately well-written, breezy read, but the Google test is a false premise, manipulative and rookie to the core. To suppose that Alana is more famous than Honey Boo Boo – one of the biggest reality stars of the past five years (merit aside) – is laughable. Google William, Richard, Declan or Jeffrey and I promise you will find a host of random results (some proving relative fame for celeb outliers), but Google Axl, Ringo, Elvis and Joey and I promise you Rose, Starr, Costello & Ramone will be right top. Melekian’s tactic here is simply sophomoric. America knows Alana Thompson as Honey Boo Boo, that chubby Georgian who routinely draws 2+million viewers per
      episode. America knows Alana Blanchard as “oh yeah, that one butt chick” if they know her at all.

      This little surfing thing we do exists in a vacuum where we perceive any modicum of mainstream awareness as “celebrity,” but it never is.

    • Laura

      thank youu !

  • Lawaibob

    Alana rips! Totally agree the writer is a douche.

  • Audiosurfer

    I don’t really see why it’s such an awful thing that he didn’t watch a video of her surfing before writing for one simple reason. If this were a piece meant to assess Alana Blanchard’s skill level relative to the surfing world at large or predict her future performance in tournaments or something like that then yeah him not watching a video of her surfing is ridiculous.

    However, that’s not the point of the article. The point is to take a look at Alana Blanchard the person, and offer a look as to what she’s like. They even say at the beginning of the article that this is “The Celebrity Profile” which means that he’s really trying to assess her as a celebrity in the public eye, not so much just in terms of her ability to surf. When you look at it from that point of view what you end up with is an engaging and well written article, so I say props to the writer.

    • Mik

      How can you assess the person if you don’t research her surfing ability? It’s like faking a book report in high school when you haven’t read the book. Pathetic.

      • Audiosurfer

        That’d be like saying that you couldn’t write an essay about how someone is a great tennis player without taking a look at their love of movies. In the same way that the person’s love of movies is irrelevant when the essay is meant to talk about his/her skill at tennis, assessing Alana Blanchard’s personality and celebrity image isn’t something that really requires any in-depth knowledge on her surfing skill, as those two things are unrelated.

        Alana Blanchard as a celebrity and a personality can be completely divorced from Alana Blanchard the professional surfer without losing anything in trying to learn about Alana Blanchard the celebrity. While it couldn’t have hurt, it isn’t nearly as important in this instance as you’re trying to make it imo.

        • Mik

          Your logic is flipped. If you’re writing about a tennis player, you would have to be knowledgeable about their tennis game. What movies they watch may be interesting, but what matters first is their game, because if there was no credible game, no one would care.

          Alana is interesting because she is beautiful, and surfs… and then when everyone was dissing her surfing as inferior to her “assets”, she took her surfing to a much higher level. She was pretty and good, but now she’s pretty and rips. And the result is Numero Uno on the SURFER POLL. Above Carrissa, above Tyler, above Steph. So people don’t understand why, but surfers do: she’s the dream surfer girl. ANd Jack Freestone is a crazy happy man.

          Melekian unfortunately he thinks that the ability to write somehow makes him superior to the surfers he is writing about.

          And he’s wrong.

          Intelligence takes many forms, and the intelligence it takes to surf at the levels that Professional surfers do is high. Whether they can articulate it or not is basically irrelevant. What matters is their performance. Surfing is a very high form of Art / Athleticism. It is sexy in and of itself at that level, and it makes a sexy beast sexier.

          Alana is a sexy beast.

          Melekian is a condescending kook in an ultra hip world.

          • http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lposz3cocr1qep8ay.gif gannysesh

            It’s also worth keeping in mind that Melekian spent only an hour with her. I don’t think he’s going to gain a really rich assessment of her as a person in that time.

            So, either print your hour-long exchange with her as a straight interview, or, if you want to write a profile on her, do some actual research (beyond a google search to see which Alana comes up first).

          • Audiosurfer

            Now you’re arguing a separate thing. I’m saying that if you write about them as a tennis player, the movie watching is irrelevant. In a similar way, if you wanted to write about them as a movie watcher, their tennis skills become unimportant in the context of the essay (which isn’t talking about which would make for a more interesting read as you were saying).

            I agree with you that an article that featured more assessment of her actual surfing ability would be a more entertaining and useful read, however the logic you’re using there doesn’t quite work (while Alana Blanchard the surfer may take precedent over her other personality aspects when analyzing her as a whole, if your goal in writing on her is solely to focus on an aspect of her other than her being a surfer (as he tried to do here), then knowing whether she surfs well wouldn’t matter).

            So yeah in short don’t agree with all of your logic in critiquing him but I do agree with the critique (he definitely should’ve written an article that would highlight her as a competitor more). Wouldn’t say it makes him a bad writer per se, but his framing of the article definitely could’ve been better.

            Also Alana is indeed a sexy beast.

          • Laura

            :)

          • Laura

            come on, give your testosterone a rest.

  • Taylor S

    “With the ASP under new management, a management that has
    plans to make promoting women’s surfing a priority, it’s hard to imagine that
    they wouldn’t take advantage of Blanchard and all of her marketability, which
    is a polite way to say that it’s hard to imagine that they won’t promote
    women’s competitive surfing by selling its sex appeal. Girls frolicking in
    bikinis on beaches around the world, surfing, having a good time. That’s an
    easy sell. For her part, Blanchard has no problem being marketed as a sex symbol,
    so long as it doesn’t take away from her surfing.”

    But OF COURSE it will. That is the exchange she has made by
    presenting herself the way she does. It’s not good or bad, there are just
    consequences. Personally, more power to her, but let’s be real – she’d likely
    be a better surfer, perhaps significantly so, if she were to focus all the
    energy devoted to her modeling into, well, surfing. Again, not good or bad,
    just a choice. She is clearly choosing to be an international sex symbol. If I were
    a smoking hot chick, I’d probably do the same thing. But just don’t act
    surprised when most people don’t know or care that you can surf.

    However, there is one thing that just does not stand, and
    that’s the corruption of the voting at Surfer Poll. Carissa Moore is the best
    female surfer in the world, and has been for years. Sally, Tyler, and Stephanie
    come behind her, but Carissa is BY FAR the best.

    Alana is not in the same league. We all know this. I mean,
    congratulations Alana for winning it, but do you feel like you deserve it? I
    wouldn’t.

    The issue is that Alana’s popularity introduced a MASS of
    voters, clearly a number rivaling the total number of REAL SURFERS who voted
    (wanna give us a breakdown of the numbers, Surfer Mag?), who have no business
    voting on surfing.

    Simple solution, though it might be too late, is to
    disqualify any surfer from the Poll who advertises the competition on social
    media (e.g. ‘Hey, vote for me!’).

    OR, make it so that only Surfer Magazine readers can vote.
    (Though it may be too hard for you all at the Mag to resist letting half a
    million Alana fanboys/girls purchase a magazine subscription.)

    I dunno. I hate to be the one promoting such a reactionary, dictatorial
    response to this, but it’s just sad to me that Surfer Poll (at least on the girls’
    side), possibly the truest measure of who the surfing world’s favorite surfers
    are, has now been compromised because of Alana Blanchard’s exploding
    popularity.

  • Guest

    I don’t see why it matters that much that the author didn’t watch the video. If the point of the article was to comment on her ability as a surfer then yeah that’d be alot worse, however the piece is more a look at her as a person and a celebrity, hence the whole “The Celebrity Profile” thing, so the focus is supposed to be more on who she is than her surfing skills. With that in mind, I found the piece to be engaging and well written, so good job to the author

  • disqus_0FhPlgeCIn

    Alana IS the Anna Kournikova of surfing – She looks good, but never wins

  • Lei

    http://leimo.tumblr.com/post/73661378431

    rant rant rant
    &
    right on VVV

  • Adam

    Why is there so much hate about the authors literary style?

  • Paul S

    Google Alana Blanchard’s name as images and here’s what you’ll get: mostly shots of Alana wearing a tiny little bikini or thong, pulled up tight, showing her rear end, and in a good deal of them she’s looking over her shoulder directly into the camera as if to say, “Look at my behind… ain’t it pretty?” Rinse and repeat. You’ve got a nice behind. So what? So have I. Oh yeah, there’s a smattering of photos here and there of her surfing.

  • Marissa

    But where can I find those adorable bikinis?

  • arillo smith

    How sad is it when a person’s appearance is the most important thing in their life. I can’t even begin to comment on her poor “role model” choice. Beyonce creates horrible music marketed for nine year olds and Anna Kournikova was never considered a top level tennis player. Alana should also learn that using the word “like” as an interjection makes her sound stupid.

    • ivan

      Even more sad to judge. If you don’t like it, don’t look at her. She’s a good surfer and probably a good person with a good heart. Sounds “like” a good combination.