This is a really exciting time to follow competitive surfing… specifically the WSL tour. The tour combines some of my favorite things in life and entertainment – beach vibes, lifestyle branding, reality tv, masculinity, and sports. For one thing, Joe Turpel is an amazing commentator and whenever he’s broadcasting Dawn Patrol, commentating a heat, or analyzing the days’ performances on the post show, I feel like I am hanging out with him. Ha. I could honestly listen to him commentate all day long. I really appreciate the inclusivity of his commentating style in that he makes it easy to understand the basics of surf terminology and scoring criteria, and follow along with the personal journeys of the athletes and their rivals. He comes across as really easy going and seems to have a general respect for each of the competitors as well as the sport and the ocean. So yah. Love me some Joe.
Aside from my comentator-crush on Joe Turpel, it’s been interesting to witness the expansion of the scope and representation of the tour, especially among the “rookie class”, and the “wild cards”.
… I will probably always feel that Kelly Slater is overrated, but his apparently unanimous nickname is The Goat [greatest of all time] so living through the generational transition slash concurrence of Kelly [who has been on tour as long as I have been alive] surf events with John John Florence [who has accomplished a great deal winning multiple titles during the same season, etc. at age 24] is a dynamic and fascinating study in aging, longevity, bias and biography. I’m pretty stoked about the season so far and look forward to following along all year!!
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