A Historic Change? I Think Not

15 10 2009
On July 11, 1963 a Vietnamese monk named Thích Quảng Đức's burned himself to death on a busy Saigon road to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

On July 11, 1963 Vietnamese monk Thích Quảng Đức's burned himself to death on a busy Saigon road to protest the persecution of Buddhists.

An old Scottish proverb says “twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.” In surfing it takes a lot less than that.

Although the Basque Country is well known for its rebellions, no one caught on fire last Saturday in Spain, where the ASP held a press conference to announce what it called “historic changes to make the ASP World Tour bigger and better for 2010 and beyond.” In fact, the most famous and outspoken of the so-called rebels, Kelly Slater, wasn’t even in the country. He was hundreds of miles away in France.

After months of rumors and speculation about a rebel tour the ASP acted swiftly albeit conservatively. The surfers wanted change. The fans wanted change. The ASP is attempting to sell these changes as landmark changes, but in reality, they are just traveling back in time.

These are the “historic” changes.

1. Beginning in 2010, the ASP will move from the current two-tier format to an all-inclusive one-world rating format where both ASP World Tour and ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events will be used to determine a surfer’s rating. Can you say Déjà vu? Isn’t this essentially the same structure they had in the ’80s?

2. Halfway through the 2010 season, the ASP World Tour field will be reduced from the current 45-man plus three wildcards format to a 32-man plus four wildcards field.

3. A slight increase in prize money. Each event will now boast a minimum purse of $400,000 instead of $360,000. In addition, the world title will include a $100,000 bonus. The increase is almost laughable. The surfers deserve more.

4. An increase in surfer benefits that include full insurance coverage as well as a pension plan. There is no word yet if the Norwegian voters will give ASP CEO Brodie Carr a Nobel Peace Prize.

5. The ASP board structure will transition from the current 5-person (1 chairman, 2 event and 2 surfer) model. The new ASP board structure will consist of three independents, two events and two surfers – including a women’s representative.

Other than reduction of top-tier surfers from 45 to 32 there is nothing historic about these changes. These were done in jest. In fear. Nothing scares the establishment more than the idea of change. Something needed to be done. But this was no shock and awe campaign. This was a spit wad. A butter knife in a room full of dynamite.

But, it just may have worked. For now, talk of the rebel tour has fizzled faster than Jason Buttonshaw’s surfing career.

The ASP is basically a cartel controlled by three surf companies — Rip Curl, Billabong and Quiksilver. “The Three Families” have all the power, control the media rights and have carte blanche in terms of choosing wildcards. This is what needs to change.

Additionally, the ASP is headquartered on a continent inhibited by former English convicts. The geography is holding the sport back. Surfing is a national sport Down Under, but the ASP is suffering from insulated security. Moving the headquarters back to the States will open up marketing potential and sponsorship dollars. The potential for growth in Australia has peaked. America is the land of opportunity.

Regrettably, the 2009 Dream Tour has been a nightmare. Surfing is like no other sport. Its uncertainty is a drug. The man vs. man vs. Nature element is like no other. It’s what keeps us coming back for more. JBay was a historic event. It was the perfect drug. The rest was a just bunk batch of heroin. If you want to keep surf fans interested you have to keep them high.

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17 responses

15 10 2009
Jay Wright

I agree. the ASP headquarters should come back to the States.

15 10 2009
Your Editor

You forgot to pass this by me before you published. Can we get a spell check?

15 10 2009
Andy Irons

“If you want to keep surf fans interested you have to keep them high.”

I couldn’t agree more.–AI

15 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

How ironic… the ASP offers up a simpleton’s token for ‘change’ after Slater threatens to blow this shit up, in a year where Mick Fanning is in the driver’s seat to win the title.

Change?

Qeue the Mick Fanning fan club’s voice of dissent in 3… 2… 1…

16 10 2009
Kookier than you

Not that much of a change for sure. Still some points to take into consideration:
3. (yes I begin with N°3): last time I checked, price purse for this very year’s events is 340 K$, except for the Hurley Pro (not 360 as stated). That is 17% increase. I don’t know for you, but I cannot see a 17% increase at the end of 2009 as a too bad salary increase, especially if they got new insurances packages (4). In the real world insurance packages paid to working people, when change, change for less protection. Add to this that the cake will be shared by less surfers after half of the season (2), and that could benefit a lot of the top 32 guys.
5. I don’t care, that’s not the problem. Companys putting money in the contests have a saying in the decisions. Well why not? 3 independants + 2 surfer should be enough to vote for media ownership belonging to the ASP and not to the individual events.
1.Yes looks like in the 80’s. But it’s all a matter of ballance between points allocations for grand slam (should we still call that CT?) vs 6star prime events, number of each type of events and number of events that count for a surfer’s tally at the end of the year. Add to this a proper “technical ranking” to decide who constitute the top 32 seeds and you’ve got it. Difficulty relies in a good ballance to ensure consistent finnalists of 6 stars and 6 star primes will have a shot at competing in the top rated events by the end of the year and secure a spot in the first ones of the next season. Just a case of hiring the good educated guy for one week and giving him data to crunch and he will come with possible scenarios.

Anyway, we all know events are bad on crappy left mainly because for some reason judges tend to forget the “variety” part of the criteria whenever there is a backsider on waves with not too much potential. Look at the Slater vs de Souza semi final. How the hell can they expect surfers to vary their game if they reward 2 different turns in the whole heat with 16 points for each surfer? Where is the incentive to try something interesting if you can get a 16 by surfing exactly the way Elko would have surf in the late 80’s? I’m not saying I want to see airs everywhere, I really like power surfing, but 10 backside more or less vertical rollers per wave? At least leave room in the score board to reward someone trying to mix it with anything else. Because anything less is less boring in this context.

16 10 2009
Jens Steffenhagen

1.) I can’t stand this “they deserve more” whining any longer. How did they “deserve” it actually? Jennifer Capriati deserves a lot of money to make her forget about her bitter youth as a product of a greedy environment. But the Top10 Guys make millions in their career, just by doing what they love. There is a big difference between selling your childhood to Nick Bolletieri or spending Weekends at the local Surfclub – which is all Parko & Co did to become Pros.
2.) Competitive surfing is NOT surfing. It is its own game. Soccer, tennis whtaever is always played in the same way, no matter if you do it for fun or professionally: you have to score goals and points. Surfing is similar to dancing – you express your creativity by doing it. Now does anyone think competitive dancing is sexy? So, let them play their game, watch it, if you’re into gambling – but don’t mix it up with the passionate thing we all love: surfing.

16 10 2009
Mike

Another non event floated to pacify the sheep. 10 “pro’s” matter and none of them are compensated proportionately with their exposure for their brands. Kelly is making Quiksilver minimum wage, no matter what they pay him.

Nug, you’re not old enough to know who JButtershaw was….

Sorry Blasph, I don’t care anymore…. qeue the loop of the last such “debate” and crown Dane champion until the Brazzo kid is old enough to drive. Fine with me.

Creepy Mike

16 10 2009
SmyrnaJeff

7-14-2009. A date that will live in infamy at J-Bay.

The only thing that compared to that day was when Tim Tebow led the mighty Florida Gators to glorious victory over Mark’s pathetic Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2009 S.E.C. championship game.

Decent site you got here Nug. Could use some more political debate however. I’ll have to call Mark and have him get on here and rock some power conservative theories that will blow Mike and the rest of you lefties right outta the water.

16 10 2009
The Nug

@SmyrnaJeff
I hope God murders Tim Tebow in his sleep.

16 10 2009
Mark

Yeah Nug!!! You must be a Bama fan!!!

16 10 2009
God

Will do Nuggy…. now you have two more wishes…..

16 10 2009
Mike

They’ve already played the SEC championship game? And Smyrna knows the results, did you wager?

Political debate with Mark… Now I remember why Lewis abandoned his blog.

Wow, Capriotti and Buttonshaw mentioned on the same post, this shit never ceases to surprise me.

17 10 2009
m

God is a Genie?

17 10 2009
m

Nug were you rubbing your trainwreck packed bong when god came out the top and granted you three wishes?

18 10 2009
skud

pshhh… everyone here knows tim tebow IS god. now i’m goin to surf. later suckers.

(send all complaints to poopassdick@yourfatmomma.bitch)

18 10 2009
Mike

Proof positive, God exists… he posts on Nugable.

@m….. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny stole a religions legitimacy…. maybe they can sell a genie in a bottle now, all they gotta do is somehow mix in FEAR. Pretty bright minds with nothing much to do except rewrite history so it shouldn’t take long…. wait for FOX NEWS to float the new theology and get everyone back to the malls!

18 10 2009
SmyrnaJeff

@ Jens Steffenhagen

Capriatti used to rock down to New Smyrna and hang with Gorkin back in the day.

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