The Lewis Samuels Interview

10 09 2009

RIP Postsurf

PostSurf is dead. Long live PostSurf.

Blogging is tricky beast. It takes your soul, grinds it in a blender and feeds it to the dregs of humanity. On September 4th Samuels quit and PostSurf died.

Samuels’ final post was a somewhat cryptic message. In it he stated “This is not real life. Go towards the light.  The exit is up ahead. Finish reading this post, close the window behind you, and emerge into the brightness of a new day.  There’s nothing here for you anymore.  The PostSurf project is complete.

I am not Lewis Samuels.”

He agreed to answer a few questions for Nugable.

PostSurf was one of the few quality, independent surf blogs on the Internet. Why did you decide to hang it up? And will there be a void left behind as a result?
I’m not sure if there will be a void, but I think that readers will go searching for alternative perspectives on other independent sites.  Hopefully that will be one of the good things that comes out of PostSurf.

In terms of why PostSurf is finished…

There’s always going to be more to the decision than I can reveal, and it’s best not to go into all the details.  Take that for what it’s worth – people will continue to speculate about the “real” reason, and I think that’s fitting, in a way – PostSurf was all about getting people to think a bit more about what’s behind the glossy marketing veneer we’re presented with by the surf industry.

I started PostSurf in order to rearrange the playing field a bit.  It was something between a crusade and an art project. I wanted to hold up a mirror to surf culture, and show people what’s actually there – instead of showing people what the surf industry wants us to think is there.

Blogging is a cruel mistress. Most people probably don’t realize how tedious and difficult it is at times to maintain a daily blog. It really is a lot harder than it appears isn’t it?
We live in a culture where consumers focus on the finished product and often ignore the effort that goes into creating that product – whether it’s a movie, magazine, or blog.  It makes sense, from the consumer’s point of view – often content is more compelling when you don’t acknowledge the boring details of how that content is created.

The downside of that is viewers begin to take things for granted; they almost begin to feel entitled to quality content, delivered daily, for free.

In your final post you seemed to drop a few clues. Were you purposely vague and what did you mean by stating “the surf industry is not surfing?”
I meant just that – the surf industry is not surfing.  Surfing is surfing, and the surf industry is an industry that has profiteered off of surfing.

The comments sections of Postsurf were hilarious at times. Were you surprised by the amount of feedback and comments? Did you have any favorite commenters? What about your favorite post?
The reaction to PostSurf was an important part of the project. Surfing is often a dark, anarchic act, and the comments reflected that. Some were genius – anonymous sickos producing beautiful introspective prose… and some were just garbage. I wasn’t surprised that I got a lot of feedback, but it was a bit surprising to see how close of a personal relationship some commenters developed with the site.  I definitely think some of those guys took the site more seriously than I did, and spent way more time on it.  I’d sometimes go a week without reading comments, and I certainly didn’t have the spare time to comment on the site myself. But I’m stoked that readers cared enough to comment – some of them ironically, and some without any irony at all – it turned into this brilliant hateful anarchy… fascinating and completely depressing at the same time.
In terms of favorite posts, I think the ones that worked best were posts where I had stumbled across something so ludicrous that it seemed almost meant for PostSurf.  Like Stand Up World Tour, or PowerBalance. Those topics produced posts where both the readers and I couldn’t believe how fucking ridiculous the topic at hand was.

What is next for Lewis Samuels?
I’m going to go for a surf, have a drink, cash some checks, and take my dog for a walk.  I’m trying to decide in what order to do those things.


Samuels Bails on for US Weekly

29 07 2009

No longer the most hated man in surfing

Editors Note: The following press release appeared in my email inbox this morning.

The most hated man in surfing, Lewis Samuels, announced today he will be leaving the helm at for an editorial position at US Weekly, the American-based celebrity gossip rag.

“Fuck yeah,” said a clearly excited Samuels. I’m ’bout to get paid! Shit is expensive up in Norcal. Microbrews, weed and kosher meat can get pricey. The Power Rankings are blowing up. We’re going to make the Maxim Top 100 look like the Christian Science Monitor.”

US Weekly Editor in Chief Janice Min is excited about the opportunity to work with Mr. Samuels, who gained international notoriety for being fired by earlier this year. The young wordsmith parlayed the situation into becoming the most talked about surf writer since Ben Marcus started punching people out. Min said he would receive an uncensored voice for the magazine that caters to women whose interests range from shopping to soy milk to breast implants.

“We’ll have him write power rankings for everything…celebrity couples, plastic surgeons, jewelry, Kelly Slater’s boards, high heels, Chris Ward’s knuckles, Hollywood boutiques, supermodels, massage parlors, cougars Jordy Smith is dating…everything. We have a pretty broad target audience.”

Samuels added, “I was basically bored and with the current state of the surf media and wanted a fresh start. US Weekly provides me that opportunity. Heck, the surf industry’s is filled with morons, imbeciles and near retards, so naturally, the transition will be smooth.”

Brazilian surfers are reportedly dancing in the streets of Rio after hearing the news. Jihad Khodr, a Brazilian ranked 33rd on the ASP tour couldn’t be happier. “It’s crazy down here in Brazil. This is bigger than Carnival. I haven’t seen Brazilian surf fans this happy since Neco Padaratz placed 3rd in Huntington a few years back.”

CJ Hobgood, the former world champion Floridian surfer, predicted the change months ago on thegoodss blog. “Shoot, I’m like the “Costadamus” of surfing…you know that dead guy who predicted Hitler and 9/11 and stuff. I’m so happy for ‘Perez Samuels.’ I hope he hooks Parko up with some celebrity poontang so he loses focus. Look out bastards! World Title number two is on the way!”