Article

The New ASP Announcers

The ASP releases the lineup for the new commentary team

| posted on February 18, 2014
A new team of commentators will be stacking the scaffolding for the 2014 World Tour season. Photo: Glaser

A new team of commentators will be stacking the scaffolding for the 2014 World Tour season. Photo: Glaser

The ASP has announced the names of the nine commentators that will be calling the webcast for the upcoming 2014 season. The international commentary team will be composed of Pat Parnell, Joe Turpel, Ross Williams, and Martin Potter and will be supported by Peter Mel, Rosy Hodge, Todd Kline, Strider Wasilewski, and Ronnie Blakey.

The announcers will be joined by regional experts throughout the year as the Tour makes its way across the globe. In the past, the commentators varied between events, making it difficult to find a unifying tone for the webcast. The move to create a stalwart team falls in line with the ASP’s push to add cohesion to the webcasts this year. At one point last season, the ASP removed two of the commentators, Damien Fahrenfort and Jake Paterson, for what they deemed to be “inappropriate” commentary after the duo joked about betting beers on a heat and that Parko had received “world title points” at the Quik Pro France.

“For the first time in ASP history, we’ll have a dedicated and consistent team for the sport,” said Jed Pearson, SVP of content and programming with the ASP. “In addition to our core team, we look forward to utilizing regional resources around the world to ensure that the broadcast is the best possible quality for the fans.”

Noticeably absent on this list is Sal Masekala, who has worked extensively on the Tour in the past. It’s not clear if Masekela—along with the likes of other regional commentators like Dave Wassel, Sean Doherty, Reggae Ellis, etc.—will be making appearances as regional commentators.

What do you think of the new commentary team? Who would you like to see in the box next season? Who will you miss? Leave your answers in the comments.

2014 ASP International Commentary Team:

Pat Parnell
Born and raised in Southern California, Pat Parnell has been covering action sports for over two decades. He joins the ASP team as host and play-by-play commentator. Parnell’s Career highlights include a long tenure at NBC covering five Olympic Games, the Vans Triple Crown and the network premier of the Mavericks surf competition. He has also hosted an array of shows including eight seasons of the Emmy-award-winning World of Adventure Sports, FUEL TV’s The Daily Habit, as well as Surfer Poll, Billabong XXL and the NSL California Cup. He boasts several production credits including co-producing Paved New World for ESPN as well as producing segments for J.W.A.S. on NBC Sports and Surfer Magazine TV. In addition Parnell has worked in various roles with MTV and ESPN on both the summer and winter X Games.

Joe Turpel
Joe Turpel started surfing on the South shore of Oahu, Hawaii. His dad, a former lifeguard, surfer and sailor began pushing him and his sister into waves on the weekends. When Joe turned 13, his family moved to Laguna Niguel, California where he joined the high school surf team. He later went to the University of California, Santa Barbara where he competed on the surf team and clinched a national title. While studying Communications and Dramatic Arts he interned at the ABC affiliate, KEYT, in the Newsroom and Sports department. After graduation, he got his first announcing job working for the National Scholastic Surfing Association, and a year later in 2007 he delivered his first broadcast in Brazil. Turpel is entering his fifth year calling play by play for the WCT. He has also been the play-by-play voice for the Billabong Pipe Masters, Vans Triple Crown, Rip Curl Search Events and the Volcom Pipe Pro amongst others. Turpel has published work with Surfing Magazine and worked as the Associate Editor at Surfline.

Martin Potter
Originally born in England, Martin Potter moved to South Africa aged two. Potter has been involved in the sport of surfing for 38 years. He started at age 10, turned professional at 15 and competed in his first WCT event at 17. He came 8th in the world during his first year on Tour went on to win 16 WCT events and the World Title in 1989. He still holds the record for the largest winning margin to date (3800 points) and was the innovator of the aerial maneuver. Since competing in the WCT he has worked within the surfing industry as a coach, commentator, brand ambassador and mentor for numerous companies. Potter is married with three children and lives in Australia. He is still as passionate about surfing as he was aged 10 and surfs almost every day. Potter joins the ASP as an analyst.

Ross Williams
Ross Williams starred in Taylor Steele’s Momentum Series and became a professional surfer in 1990. He spent 10 years on the WCT, four of which he spent in the top 16. Following a broken foot in 2001 Williams retired from the Tour and, on recovery, became a free surfer and an ambassador for Reef. He has been married for 10 years and has three daughters. Williams will join the ASP team as an analyst. “My goal is to shed light on all the beautiful intricacies of competitive surfing with a passionate effort”.

Peter Mel
A legendary big wave surfer and 2012 Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) Champion, Mel will join the ASP as an analyst and reporter. Mel has been a professional surfer for 25 years, both on the BWWT and the ASP Qualification Series. A Santa Cruz native, Mel has been at the forefront of big wave surfing for nearly two decades. He’s surfed some of the biggest waves ever ridden and was part of the inaugural mission to Cortes Bank in 2001. Mel has also made a name for himself on the big screen starring in several documentaries, including “Step into Liquid” and “Riding Giants”, as well as the film “Chasing Mavericks”. In 2010 his candor and charm fueled a secondary career as an online personality hosting ASP webcasts. He lives with his wife in Newport Beach and has two sons and a stepson.

Rosy Hodge
An experienced WCT competitor turned commentator, Hodge’s winning personality and surfing insight will ensure she is a great attribute to the ASP Broadcast team working as a reporter. Hodge grew up surfing the right-hand point breaks of east South Africa and managed to qualify for the WCT just one year after graduation from high school. After four years on Tour, from 2007 to 2010, she moved to the other side of the camera and has been commentating on surf competitions around the world for the past four years.

Todd Kline
Todd Kline is a former professional surfer who grew up in Florida. He surfed professionally for five years and achieved four wins on the ASP Qualification Series during that time. He also served as Quiksilver Marketing Director for 16 years. He now lives in San Clemete with his wife and son and competes in bass fishing tournaments when he’s not surfing. Kline has been interviewing athletes on the beach at ASP events for the last several years and will be a host and reporter as part of the ASP Broadcast team.

Strider Raspberry Wasilewski
Strider Wasilewski is a California native and professional surfer known for his a big-wave riding of Pipeline on North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii and Teahupoo in Tahiti. He will join the ASP commentary team as a reporter and analyst. Strider claimed his first surfing victory at the age of 12, winning the NSSA National Title, and continued to successfully compete throughout his teens. Following this Wasilewski took a different route to professional surfing, doing film and photo trips around the world and choosing to compete in contests only in Hawaii and Tahiti, where he still surfs. In 1994 he landed the cover of Surfer Magazine. Wasilewski has served as Team Captain, Team Manager and Marketing Manager at Quiksilver, during which time he discovered and signed Dane Reynolds and created the now legendary Quiksilver Pipe House. He has also produced and directed his own films including Circle One and Clay Marzos’ Just Add Water. He lives with his wife and two sons in Malibu, California. Wasilewski is excited to be part of the new ASP Broadcast team and bring his knowledge of the sport to the viewers in a unique and colorful way.

Ronnie Blakey 
Ronnie Blakey started his career in surfing in 1997 as an assistant editor at Tracks, Australia’s biggest surfing magazine, a position he held for two years before launching the magazine’s website as online editor. During his tenure the Tracks website quickly became one of the top five sport sites in Australia. In 2003 Ronnie became editor of Waves magazine, and, after three years began working as a freelance journalist contributing to various publications, including Surfer, TransworldSurf, Stab, Surf Europe, Zig Zag and Surfline. Since 2006 Ronnie has worked on many ASP event broadcasts and called over 20 WCT finals. Articulate, thoughtful and entertaining, Ronnie delivers expert analysis and unique insights into the strategies, elite athletes and world-class locations that make up professional. He will serve as analyst and reporter as part of the ASP Broadcast team in 2014.

  • My2Cents

    Blakey & Kline are totes legit. Some people have a problem with Turpel. Not sure why. Pat Parnell needs to update his surf vocabulary. Strider could be fun, especially if Raz-Bertleman shows up. All the others are fine. I hope BL makes some gets some mic time. That guy is rad. Stoked for 2014!

    • tony (ty) carson big island

      Almost Everybody likes to watch a train wreck,, this might be a good one

      • tony (ty) carson big island

        Dudes at surfer mag., you guys should do a story on the asp and Lewis Samuels, ( Matt Warshaw at EoS had enough guts to cover it). I’m sure you know the story by now, the asp, zoosea, hired Samuel’s to do his Power Rankings and posted them on the asp website, and low and behold, a couple of days later they were gone. A mystery. I guess some of the so called pro surfers couldn’t handle a little criticisim and maybe they and their sponsors put some pressure on the asp to remove Samuel’s Power Rankings. Nobody is taking responsibility for removing the Rankings. Seems it would have to be someone high up on the chain of command to remove them. Maybe Hardy or Speaker or both of them. No one knows for sure right now and no one is talking, A cover up at the asp and zoosea? Maybe. Hope somebody, somewhere, will let Samuels keep up the good work and let him keep telling it like it is. Peace….

  • Colin

    bring back Occy and Sal!

  • kookoo’s nest

    What happened with Dave Stansfield? I enjoyed when he was around commenting.

  • Glen Drysdale

    No Gerlach but you keep Turpel? That’s shameful. Thank you so very much for not including that f#ckwit GT.

    • Jason

      Gerlach is too self absorbed

  • Steve

    Really glad to have Masekela out of there.

  • Eric

    A solid list. I could easily quibble with Todd Kline (who takes us back to when surfing was on Wide World of Sports), or Strider (clearly pulling Industry strings), but the rest are the most solid group. Joe Turpel gets ripped, but he keeps it moving, and Potts, Rosy, and Blakey are as good as you can get in the booth as regulars. Would have liked Barton Lynch’s insight, along with the fact that he at least calls it like it is, though perhaps not as abrasively to the top brass ears as guys like Snake Patterson.

  • steve Nelson

    Joe turpel and Todd Cline. Two reasons why the new ASP leadership has already failed.

  • Bored with comps

    As for me I mostly quit watching the ASP events mostly because the commentary is boring and annoys me. It’s the same exact stuff event after event heat after heat. “He ripped that one all the way to beach! I don’t know if it was enough, but let’s look at the replay. Oh beautiful frontside carve blah blah blah…” It’s boring with the same voices telling people about same boring facts for 4 or 5 days of events. I used to watch the Volcom Championships in Newport just to hear those guys tell weird jokes and interesting stories, and to hear Bruce Irons commentate on a wave was hilarious. My girlfriend knows nothing about surfing and watched 5 minutes of the Oz open of surf and walked away saying it sounded more boring than watching them sit in-between waves.

  • evan

    Sounds like the previous announcers were trying to have some fun and make the broadcast interesting, as we all know surf commentary is boring as shit and often on mute anyways. Good luck with what sounds to be watered down approach. (no pun intended)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michael.Dado.Phares Michael Phares

    What, no GT?

  • Natas

    One word: OCCY!!!

  • Gary Montague-Fryer

    Yay. Septics and Aussies again. Way to go ASP. You do know their are other nationalities on tour, right? Corporate wankers.

  • EWL

    NOT a Pat Parnel fan. Sorry, he maybe a super nice dude in person but its snooze fest when he reports! I actually thought Sal would suck reporting surfing but he actually wasn’t too bad. If your dead set on a Pat then bring on Patty O’!

  • barney

    where’s wassel?

  • surfsnowguy

    anyone but Masekela please…he was painful and boring..this new team looks awesome!!!

  • ONV

    Wheres Wassel?

  • CV Hartline III

    You gotta have Sal! Please!

  • Dan Jenkin

    Great line up. Professional yet deeply engrained in the sport, which we are very serious about when we give credibility to all the announcers. Joe Turpel in particular brings a smoothness and confident/knowledgeable commentary to the play by play. Please grab Shane Dorian as much as possible, he’s the most humble, credible, and exciting commentator to pull into the booth when he’s not busy slaying massive slabs.

    • Hugh

      I’ll second Dorian!

      • ScoobyDude

        I’ll third. He sounds like a G, super insightful. Also glad to see another fan of turpel. blakey is the one that sucks.

    • h

      Shane Dorian is the best commentator on tour. Has the best insights and has actually surfed events with some of the guys on tour. He should be the headliner.

  • Ian

    First of all, where’s Occhy?
    The webcast needs more Australians; they have way more adjectives to describe waves and maneuvers. They are also just livelier in the booth. This is coming from an American.

  • ross m

    no occy! what the hell?!?!

  • Woody

    The OCC, SHANO,BARTON LYNCH…The ASP is BLOWING IT by not having these Pros. on the webcast. These guys bring reality to the event not some fake sounding bullshit!

    • Jason

      Lynch is good, that is one change I would make.

  • Woody

    Good thing you dumped Sal, the guy is a DOUCHE!

  • Woody

    TOTALLY!

  • jolo

    ugh, except for ross williams, its just a bunch of industry puppets who won’t call out B.S. judging.

  • Tim

    Just thankful Chris Cote and Dave Wassel are off. Low brow redundant over-emphatic juveniles. Volcom Pipe Pro was a great show…. on mute. Should have Occy and Dorian as semi-regular guests through the season.

  • Sal Bust a Nut

    Thank god for Sal not making the cut. He was such a kook, dweeb, poser. He should comment for Dancing with the whatevahs

  • eric

    Great list. Not going to miss stansfield or masekela. And def not missing cote. Ross is on point, Dorian would be epic and repogle too.

  • glue narc

    so they keep turpel and lose masekela? thats like retaining ryan leaf and trading drew brees.

  • glue narc

    so they keep turpel and get rid of masekela? that’s like keeping ryan leaf and getting rid of drew brees.

  • glue narc

    so they keep turpel and get rid of masekela? thats like keeping ryan leaf and getting rid of drew brees.

  • Hugh

    Zosea is an American centric blandifying machine. Here’s an opportunity to set up a pirate audio commentary team of interesting and funny people.

  • David

    Occhy for color commentary. Dane Gudauskas was also solid

  • therealdmt

    Occhy would have been great. He might not have wanted to do it full time though. I like Joe Turpel being on there – he gets the best out of his partners and keeps things moving along. Potter, Peter Mel – great stuff.

    Thank Odin that arrogant blowhard Gerlach wasn’t included…

    I agree with another poster that the lineup probably could have used another Australian – they’re shameless homers in general, but they also really get into it!

  • matt

    These commentators are boring and part of why the asp is going down the drain being back dooma someone that actually calls it as it is and is entertaining

  • YES

    NO CHRIS COTE. YES.

  • whamo

    Why aren’t there any real Hawaiians on the team? Why is it all haole?

  • Danny

    Did you guys notice that the ASP posted a Power Rankings part 1 and did not posted the second part? Not only that, they also took down the part 1 from the website. It was a pretty harsh but fun PR. Even more than the one on Surfinline…maybe it hurt some egos? Either way its pretty strange,

  • Baydreamer

    Dooma and snake are hands down the most enjoyable duo. At least for the all day broadcast. I liked the free form style and attitude and trying to decipher their basterdized english. They took me far away from home as these events are and should be. Save the blah-cast for the tv cut-down rebroadcast. So what… they may not be hyper knowledgable on every competitor. It was fun to hear their passion for their countrymen and women plus cracks even on Slaters baldness and age to where they were broadcasting from, not to mention the infamous Comentators Cup. Humorous and refreshing. I chuckled all cast long, every time. I am for Bro-cast!

  • General DK

    What is shocking here to read is that Joe Turpel actually studied communications and dramatic arts, yet still managed to become the dullest announcer known to sports. Yes he keeps things moving, but in repetitive circles of blandness. The ASP needs to offer free lobotomies for anyone tuning in to his heats.

  • General DK

    Sam Lamiroy did the commentary for the 2011 Thurso Coldwater Classic. He was witty, insightful, entertaining and intelligent, AND he did it all without resorting to tired old surf language clichés. Half the listeners texting in were complimenting the announcing and not the surfing. In terms of natural flow, humor and precision of expression Lamiroy walks circles around all the above names. Why has the ASP not picked up on this guy?

  • Wiseone

    Thank God they dumped Sal, Strider is way better choice. Sal was annoying, and brought no real credentials in terms of professional surfing to the table

  • Randolf Settlemeyer

    Commentating is something to ponder. In the land of television, somenone onscreen reads from a teleprompter, then ad-libbed, professes some of their esteemed consciousness on a level for display to the masses. Then what have you, provides entertainment. Somewhere in the social-stratusphere of decades of brainwashing in a decorum vested in the surf, we’ve gotta know candidates of this profession, through surf company endorsement, compatriotism, and some level of cache memory, sorted reasoning expeditiously to an audience that should dispell all the rumors, conflict and the questionable tacit audiences’ speculation, that needs live entertainment. For real-time syndicated broadcastes of the future are segments necesssary for attachment. We’ve come to realize a surfer that does a kickflip or airdrops a ten foot ledge would be the ultimate form to assuage a dissentor, though uncapitulated through these mediums are all for acquisition. This is the reality.
    Therefore, if a free individual unbound by the formative ASP, or any other demanding parent organization should surmise, we must as a class decide how much will be spent for homegrown talent to flourish and not be allayed by defeat or the ultimate prize.
    So tell me – if a renowned commentator, whomever these may be, will put a price tag on talent if not to ascribe to such commercialism. The fact that, as individuals must find something in themselves to feel worth assimilation, circumventing the next generation, allthewhile adding their own level of expertise, is what makes surfing what it is, I guess.

    I mute the audio watching online events, then if the ASP charges a fee, I’d probably listen. Then again we would all probably earn less and pay more.
    These commentators can all kiss my ass.

  • Jeronemo Fortes

    Ascention is what this is about. The commentary team is spot on. Good luck in 2014!

  • xenophobe

    6 Americans, 2 South Africans, one Australian and one female. Weird xenophobic line-up for an international tour. The non-surfing ZOSEA board of directors main focus must be increasing the value of the ASP through US advertising and then flipping it for a profit in a couple of years. Big business and marketing; the surfing is irrelevant.

  • JM101

    What? No ex-NFL commentators to go along with the new leadership and “direction” of the ASP??

  • kw

    Yes Yes Dorian!

  • Steve

    No GT. That’s unreal. What a self absorbed wanker. Sometimes you wonder if he is going to give the mike to the pros and get them to interview him cause he’s where the actions at. Very unprofessional team in terms of no-one can commentate at a professional level.

  • Burt Stanley

    As the shares of ASP dwindle to a split from speculation for the coming South Korea Games show how Samsung prepairs to certainly provide. Some similar product type and embelleshment, say to a prototypical MRE, with the lettering “C-H-R-I-S-T” underscored, provided further brand and objetives from said commissioner, rank and file, to the president elect. Something of that Portugese sardine can which was equally distributed and allowed for commentary to the masses. For that reason, Kirra Jeffrey Fiji and Tahiti reputation proceeds them. Good job ASP, media and subsidiary.

  • tony (ty) carson big island

    Speaking of the asp, seems the asp recently hired Lewis Samuels to do his Power Rankings and evaluate the top 34 surfers. The asp them posted Samuel’s comments on the asp website. A few days latter Samuel’s comments dissapeared from the asp website. A mystery. It seems some of the surfers may not have liked some of Samuel’s comments about them and contacted their sponsors who then put preassure on the asp to remove Samue’scomments to be continued.

  • tony (ty) carson big island

    who then put pressure on the asp to remove Samuel’s comments. It seems the asp then caved in and removed them. But nothing on-line really dies, you can still see Samuel’s comments that the asp tried to get rid of at>daynolds.blogspot.co.nz<. It definietly seems like a cover up to get rid of Samuel's comments . There is a suspicion that some hush money has been paid also. Who gave the ok to delete the comments, the buck usually stops at the top, did Kieran Perrow, Terry Hardy or Paul Speaker give an OK to delete. No one is stepping up at this point. Maybe they are laying low and just hoping this whole thing blows over. Either way, I think the credability of the new asp and zoosea has been damaged.to be continued

  • adam may

    i’ll miss dave wassel & Alex gray – you guys better get in there! Great sense of humour both of you.. I liked wassel’s comment on a typical sl8r late drop at pipe – ‘if that was me, & I made that drop, you’d have to put me in a rubber room… That’s how insane it is.’ – Helped provide a gauge for the lay person/non-surfer (I’d imagine it would have anyway). If you guys ever come to NZ – employ me!! Plenty of options… My home (piha), raglan, taranaki, dunedin, gisborne.. :D

  • Johnny

    I’d bet money that Joe Turpel sucked at least one dick to get this position.

  • A US Aussie fan

    Barton Lynch is one of my favorite commentators of all time. The energy and excitement that bubbles out of him while watching the guys rip is contagious. And his analytical abilities are second to none. Barton- you rip in the commentators booth and in the water. The ASP is blowing it by not keeping BL in the mix.
    And what happened to Sean Dougherty??? They kept Joe “special moment” Turpel and not Dougherty??? Oh… I know what happened, they gave Sean the job, but when he heard that he was going to have to continue working with Turpel, he said “no thanks”. I don’t blame him.

  • Lagarto

    I’d definately like to see some variety in that mix. You know, different cultures and point of views. No European and no South American representative in this team is a huge letdown, after all we are talking about the WORLD tour right?

  • Lagarto

    Forgot to mention how much I enjoyed Barton lynch and Shane Dorian up on the booth. Those guys were great, unbiased, frothing and full knowledge of the subject.

  • Alvaro Mendieta

    The ASP’s “new” commentary team should really include (as least on a part time basis) the likes of some other former world champs like Mark “Occy” Occhilupo and Barton Lynch, as well other former world tour veterans and big wave standouts like Shane Dorian, Mike Parsons and Brad Gerlach. Regardless of what happened with him, I must say that Jake ‘the snake” Patterson’s participation was enjoyable and refreshing. It would also be absolutely amazing to have former world champs like Mark Richards, Tom Carroll and Tom Curren as analysts … Ohhh by the way, Rosy Hodge rules! she is so sweet, beautiful and has the sexiest accent ever… it’s great to have her in the team.