Why Surfing Really Isn’t an Olympic Sport

22 02 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics began last Friday in Vancouver, BC, Canada. For two weeks billions of viewers will watch thousands of athletes compete for country, glory and medals. I’m one of them. I admit it. I’ve bought in. I have Olympic fever even if Bob Costas makes me want to kill myself with and SUP paddle. Costas makes the impossible possible. He makes surfing announcers almost tolerable.

I think I’ve completely lost my marbles. On Saturday I was simultaneously watching the WQS 4-star event at Burleigh on my laptop and Olympic curling on television. I hate to admit it but the curling won the majority of my attention. I’m now a verified curling enthusiast. Hell, I might just scrap this site for a curling blog.

Another person with Olympic fever is Reef co-founder and International Surfing Association President Fernando Aguerra. The Argentine has been trying to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add surfing to the Olympics for more than a decade. In two years London will host the Summer Olympics and surfing will miss the cut again. But it appears few people care—other than Aguerra and those that see dollar signs with its inclusion. No one is more passionate than Aguerra about the subject. You have to give him credit for his persistence. Last year he even got a little face time with IOC President Jacques Rogge. What came out of the meeting was the IOC would consider surfing if artificial waves or wave pools were utilized. With that ludicrous idea they completely lost me.

Proponents of getting surfing into the Olympics have a fairly valid case. Duke Kahanamoku, perhaps the most famous surfer of all time, was a five-time Olympic swimming medalist, including three gold medals. Surfing’s man-against-man-against-nature element seems like a perfect sport for the Games. And snowboarding, a sport that evolved directly from surfing, was included recently. But for non-surfers surfing really isn’t that exciting to watch. Don’t believe me? If you ever need some alone time and you want the wife or girlfriend to leave the room, pop in a surf video. She’ll leave the room faster than greased gorilla sliding down a bobsled track.

Right now Shaun White is possibly the most recognizable and marketable Winter Olympic athlete. He’s everywhere. His burnt sienna locks are searing retinas all over the world. He’s had so much face time on NBC I’m concerned his Geico caveman mug might become permanently burned into my TV screen. But when the IOC included snowboarding in 1998 it wasn’t exactly embraced by snowboarding’s elite with open arms. Arguably the most respected and best snowboarder at the time, Terje Håkonsen, basically told the IOC to go fuck themselves. He wanted no part of it. I suspect surfers have the same attitude. The ASP, which is nearly 30 years old, isn’t exactly a perfect system. Imagine how bad outsiders would screw it up. Wave pools would be just the beginning.

If surfing didn’t gain inclusion during the Sydney Games in 2000 why should we think surfing will ever become an Olympic sport? That was its best shot. It’s like the prom queen was in the limo drunk on cheap champagne, naked and horny and they still couldn’t close the deal. Like they say, he who procrastinates masturbates. And Aguerra has had Olympic blue balls for more than a decade.

Unfortunately it’s all politics theses days. Think about it. The most popular and most televised sports involve teenage or 20-something females in skimpy, tight-fitting outfits. Think about it. Gymnastics. Check. Ice skating. Check. Swimming. Check. I can picture some hick in middle America on his sofa drinking a Budweiser. “God damn,” he would say while polishing his shotgun with his free hand. “I sure do love it when that Dominique girl does the splits.”

If Aguerra and the ISA are truly serious about getting surfing in the Games, I suggest a fresher, bolder approach—one that would guarantee a slot in the Games and massive amounts of network television coverage. Let’s introduce the IOC and the boys at NBC to Alana Blanchard and Bruna Schmitz. Then surfing would be on primetime in no time. Besides, Michael Phelps probably needs a new weed connection, and I’m sure there are a few surfers out there that could hook him up. 



The Roundup: Sand on the Deriere Edition

21 11 2009


The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or just want to send me a birthday gift, email me at nugable@gmail.com

Alana Blanchard won the first event of the Vans Triple Crown. Suck on that Anna Kournikova. (Vans Triple Crown)

Andy Irons knows a little something about world title showdowns in Hawaii. He lays down the scoop to Derek Rielly. (Stab)

Perhaps you’ve been hiding under a rock or have been on a week-long drinking binge? Here’s the trailer to Who is Job. Now in HD. (JOBtube)

Jimmy Wilson is in Puerto Rico shooting Surfing Magazine’s Swimsuit Edition. Lucky bastard. (Super Spectacular Adventures)

According to this map Ludacris’ ho’s to area codes ratio isn’t all that impressive. (Major League Jerk)

Is that a coffee bean in your afro? Buttons Kalauhikalani has launched a coffee line. (Sean Davey)

Here’s the invitees to the 25 anniversary of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau. Let’s hope there’s a swell to run it this year. (ASL)

Joel Parkinson talks about the pressure and pleasure of fighting for that ever-elusive title. (Joel Parkinson’s Blog)

In the interest of equal time, you can buy Tim Baker’s book about Mick Fanning here. (Mick’s Blog)

Westside Santa Cruz surfer Ken “Skindog” Collins has a new web site. (Skindog)

A Sanuk store at Downtown Disney? What the…Hey, when Skechers basically rips off your shoe that’s really a sandal, you know things are good. (Boardistan)

Former longboard champ Joey Hawkins looks for redemption after an arrest for allegedly possessing methamphetamines and carrying a loaded 9 mm. (OC Register)

Video of the Week: Alana Blanchard

19 11 2009

Kauai’s Alana Blanchard is a Hawaiian jewel and a ASP Women’s World Tour rookie. She has been a Nugable fave ever since she showed us how to properly execute the frontside bottom turn. Enjoy.

Nugable Exclusive: The Jed Smith Interview

9 11 2009

Jed Smith

Stab Magazine’s Jed Smith speaks to Nugable about love triangles, titties, lesbians, the time Kelly Slater called him buddy and the life of a young magazine editor trying to find his way in the world.

Give me your vitals…name, rank and serial number.
6’1″, 81 kilos (178 lbs.), Mediterranean descent, dark features, blue eyes, five o’clock shadow, ripped and curious.

What is your background?
Raised by a low-income single mother. Put through a catholic, all boys school by staunchly catholic grandparents. Started surfing at 13 and grew up in Australia’s most famous and dysfunctional beach, Bondi. Never surf here. Hear me? Never. I went to a grimy left wing university. Boston exchange lesbians with pit hair hated me because I surfed and played football. Currently I am a 22, susceptible to wild mood swings and periods of stability followed by periods of violence. I’m in a violent cycle now but pulling hard up on the joystick. You got me at a good time, Nug my man.

When did you become a Stab staffer and what are your daily duties?
Must be almost twelve months now. I need a story a day, maybe two on the web. I do the departments for the mag plus contribute a feature whenever there is space, something good comes up or I am asked. I love it here because I am given complete autonomy. I hate it here because I am given complete autonomy.

Derek Rielly wrote of his days at ASL that he “shat on the office floor during biz hours, introduced eight staff members to ecstasy and made an early mentor eternally regretful that he ever showed me how to use a comma.” What have been some of your achievements at Stab?
Kelly called me “buddy” in an email once. That was pretty neat. I haven’t done anything that I’m particularly proud of yet. I reported Parko’s injury first. Then had Transworld, ASL and every other mag hang shit on me for exaggerating it. Nothing really springs to mind.

Tell me a story about a pro or industry person who was less than pleased about what you wrote.
Nathan Webster said he was gonna slap me after I did an interview with Dion (Agius) in which he fessed up to the anger he once possessed towards Nudes for fucking his ex girlfriend. But I’ve never actually seen him, so it hasn’t come up. That humorless old crank, (Tim) Baker flipped at me pretty hard in South Africa. That was funny. Um, Bobby Martinez came at me with his fists raised in South Africa but that was something Derek wrote. What else? Nothing really. Friendly guys most surfers and surf industry types, I have found.

Has an advertiser ever pulled out or threatened to as a result of something Stab published?
Yeah, heaps of times. Quik pulled out after the first cartoon we ever did. In my first week I wrote a piece about Erin Wasson designing clothes for RVCA and that lost RVCA.

What is Stab’s philosophy on nudity?
We’re a men’s interest magazine with a sway towards surfing. What man doesn’t like a little bit o’ tittie every now and then? I like it best when they do the shoots in the office (see upcoming Stab book. Lots o’ big titties in there). Sometimes we’ll even fuck the models. No shit.

Why are American surf magazines so puritan? What would it take to dislodge the enormous stick they have up their asses, and is Chas Smith the man for the job?
Without having ever been to America it is hard to say. Here’s a wild theory though. Southern California is the epicenter of the American surf media. Southern California is also quite a well to do region. Rich people, not always, but typically equal conservatives. These same people breed the people that run your magazines, do they not? What would the American surf media be like if it were run out of New York? Would it be different? Fuck, what do I know? That could be complete rubbish but it’s the best I can do for you without knowing much about it. It’s changing though. Travis and the guys at Surfing are cool as fuck. I know a cool young cat who writes for Surfer that I met in Tahiti. It will change with the new generation.

Chas Smith told me he has always been curious as to why you don’t wear a mustache. He thinks you would look really good with a mustache goatee combo. Like Lenin. Thoughts?
Yeah I wore a mustache a couple of times. I got told I looked French. I didn’t like that description. Don’t know why. Nothing against the French but when someone tells you that “you look French,” an Australian for instance, who has never been to France, it’s likely your peddling a radically stereotypical French look. The kind that says you should be wearing a sailor suit, walking around a tropical French colony, speaking in pidgeon Fren- wait…

Recently Stab began moderating the comments on the web site. I know one reader who is not happy about this. Does this stifle free speech and the organic bravado of its readers?
We do it on select articles, the ones that are likely to get real defamatory. Blame yourselves anonymous fucks. You ruined it for everyone with your endless cheap shots and miserable lives. We tried to keep it totally unmoderated, and intelligent and incisive criticism will always be passed, but all the conspiracy theories, sexual slander, dick jokes, gay jokes, please. That shit is only funny when it’s about Derek.

Who wins a world title first…Jordy Smith, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson or Dane Reynolds?
Owen. Kid loves comps. Jordy might. Can’t see Dane winning one. Julian? Sure, why the fuck not.

You are on a desert island. You have a laptop as your only means of entertainment. There is a bottle of lube, the new Modern Collective DVD and an instructional video of Alana Blanchard doing a bottom turn. Which do you grab first and why?
I grab the Modern Collective DVD first, and snap it into two shards. I give one half to Alana and I take the other half. I point the computer towards us and turn Skype on, assuming by this point we will have global broadband. We fight to the death and it is relayed back to Stabmag.com to be later played exclusively. I’m assuming I would win although Alana did grow up on Kauai. If I was to win, I would bleed Alana’s neck in a cup and drink it. Then I would carve steaks off her, starting with her rump. Big dog’s gotta eat, ya know.

After that I lube up the gap between the computer and the keyboard, stick my penis in and slam and open and slam and open. I have a powerful mind. That should keep me going for a couple of weeks. At which point a shirtless Shane Dorian and Fred Pawle will arrive by hovercraft with coconuts of pineapple Malibu and a big joint.. My denim jeans will be cut and frayed at the knees. My hair will be curled and blonde tipped and I will be man, a real fucking man, you hear me Baker! I’m coming for you mothafucker! Argh!

What are your prejudices and how does it affect your writing?
I’m prejudiced against douchebags. If someone is a dick to me, I find it hard to write objectively about them. This is wrong because it’s not always relevant when you are writing about athletic performance. I have overcome this since I first started in the job but it was a sobering experience to be thrust into the WCT atmosphere with my recorder and be regularly vibed out. Surfers are still struggling to grasp that without the media they are nothing. They are also struggling to grasp that it is not there interests but rather the public’s interests we are paid to look after. Wait, no, that’s surf writers who are struggling to grasp that one. Wait, no, it’s both. It’s so easy to treat us like shit because they have traditionally never had to deal with the consequences.—Nug

Small Talk with Alana Blanchard at the Surfer Poll and Video Awards

18 09 2009
The Women of Surfer Poll or Blaphemy's Harem? Thrailkill

The Women of Surfer Poll or Blasphemy's Harem? Thrailkill/Surfer

Editor’s Note: I do not know Blasphemy Rottmouth well. From his passionate and cryptic comments on PostSurf, it is clear he’s a witty, and perhaps an inherently drunk individual that captures the embodiment of the working-class surfer like no one I have ever seen. Somehow, he made it to fabulous Anaheim, California for the illustrious Surfer Poll Awards. This is his story.

This past Tuesday evening, I was afforded the supreme privilege of being whisked into the annual Surfer Poll and Video Awards Show under the shelter of my longtime friendship with the former North Shore big wave pioneer Chuck Noll. In all actuality, it was my friendship with his old gardener, Alejandro.

As per house rules, I made my way directly to the bar, where I began tipping back the first of many whiskey and rocks. The scent of alcohol, mixed with cologne, coconut-butter lotion, perfume, and nervous ball-sweat that permeated the room, perked my senses enough to keep my eyes from being lulled to sleep as various industry bigwigs, professionals, their entourages, and a few lucky peasant’s called ‘fans,’ filed into the Grove’s stifling main gallery and terrace.

I was about to send another squadron of malted-rye practitioners of liquid death to quell my thirsty liver, when I was stopped short by the entrance of something altogether lovely. There at the doorway, stood a golden-haired goddess in a generously low-cut, black evening dress, with a zipper that wouldn’t quit.

“Ye gods!” my loins screamed to me from within. But all I could think about was how badly I wanted to build a summer cottage in the small of her back. I pictured myself galloping through the hand-tilled barley fields outside that cottage’s front patio, while Sigor Ros played in the background. I envisioned our evenings together, where I read her chapters of Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe, by candlelight, while she stared at me like a dog that had just been shown a card trick. Later we would no doubt retire to my bedroom where I’d gently nuzzle the underside of her ankles before engaging one of the head posts in soft-focus coitus.

Read the entire story here…

Trick Tips—The Frontside Bottom Turn

25 08 2009

Alana Blanchard

Trick tips are surfing’s editorial equivalent to throwing in the towel. You see them in all the surf mags and all over the web. Has anyone ever learned a damned thing from Kalani Robb explaining how to do a floater or Taj Burrow talking about how to do an air reverse? I worked for a dot com at the turn of the Millennium. One day we had a meeting with one of the VP’s and he was adamant about including more trick trips on the site. “We need more trick tips,” he said while adjusting the waistband on his Dockers. “That’s what the kids want.”

Today, I’ve decided to throw in the towel.

The frontside bottom turn as performed by Alana Blanchard.

The bottom turn is a standard maneuver that sets up practically every other maneuver in your arsenal. Some might prefer the “backside,” but the frontside can be a tricky beast and equally rewarding. First make sure your “stick” has plenty of wax on it. Things can and will get slippery. You don’t want to experience one of those dog-in-the-bathtub catastrophes. When paddling, I prefer to kick my legs like a wild bronco at a rodeo to give an extra burst.  Now dive in with all your might.

After you get up, rotate your weight and dip your inside shoulder. When you see that section begin to peel a bit…go for broke. Make sure you shift your hips in a thrusting motion, but not too hard. Be gentle. You want to start slowly, build up a rhythm near the lip and crescendo and just the right moment. When in doubt remember; the more you practice, the better you will get.