Homepage FORUMS THE GRIT! WITH CHAS SMITH Do you share the Grit’s obsession with the WSL?

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    Every couple of shows the discussion seems to come back to the WSL and how we love to hate it, should we boycott it, etc.

    Do surfers in general (and I’m not talking VALs here, just your average punter in the lineup) actually care about the WSL or professional surfing at all?  The surfers I know, if they talk about surfing at all, only care about either local issues or gear (mostly wetsuits), or really mostly talk about other shit entirely.

    It is also possible that I am old and grumpy and everyone I know is also old and grumpy, and young happy people are all into it.  I don’t even mind the WSL talk, as I find it to be a fascinating window into another world, it’s like the most unbelievable soap opera ever with ELo as the charismatic yet unreliable narrator.  It does sometimes feel like the Surf Splendour media empire really is secretly being paid by the WSL to try and keep them relevant, though.


    I do not follow WSL at all except through the lens of Surf Splendor show/conversations.  I completely agree with you though Glitchy, I enjoy following it via Scott/David/Chas.  I just never get around to watching a heat, let alone a whole event.  The only time I actually check in independantly ( and its been 2 years now) is when a couple of South Carolina QS guys are on.



    I held off on listening to a Surf Splendor podcasts for awhile because I (unfairly) assumed they were specifically focused on competitive surfing and that’s not my bag. Gave another try eventually and have since come to appreciate the analysis and now have more appreciation for pro surfing as a result. WSL should appreciate these podcasts since, if my experience is indicative of anything, they get a lot more out of it than Surf Splendor does.

    That said, I think core surfers do care about 1) Pipe Masters and 2) Having a world champ. WSL is just a means to these ends.


    That’s a very good question. I feel it may have something to do with where one lives. For example here on Oahu with surfing being such a big part of the culture and no major sports team, when a live WSL event is on you can find it broadcasted in restaurants and bars. If a local is fighting in the UFC or Bellator it will get a huge following on social media and the news.

    Personally I will go to watch the Pipe Masters and or the Triple Crown if it’s firing. As for watching the broadcasts, I follow certain surfers and tune in to see how they are doing, if the surf is good and the weather outside bad, I will watch hours on end. I enjoy watching the full heats rather than the recaps because I like to see the strategy and wave choices.

    Having been a long time listener of the podcasts I also find it interesting to observe changes in the WSL’s ways, formats after they have been discussed on one of the shows. It’s proof they are listening even if there is no credit given.

    Just some random thoughts over coffee.

    Jared Brekenfeld

    I only care about WSL events when they are at great waves. I’m excited for pumping pipeline. I don’t tune in for most events, I might watch cut down heat replays if the waves are good.  But yeah, it’s pretty boring most of the time.

    Mike May

    Would love to love the WSL it is fun to watch the events but offering an opinion from core followers and being afraid of it is just bad business. All successful businesses take their core clients opinions as a major way to improve. I thought they were business experts but apparently not.


    I like to have it running in different browser tab while i’m working. The only “real” watching for me happens when the waves are good. Also: the worse the time difference from here (Europe) to the event, the less i watch.


    done right, CT comps can produce some of the best surf content out there – quality surfing in quality waves live in HD… nothing really comes close to some of those years at Cloudbreak and Teahupoo

    issue is they haven’t been getting it right often enough of late, running in bad waves and/or at uninspiring venues, and they seem reluctant to make needed improvements to the format, priority rules, etc. to make it better


    Having been a long time listener of the podcasts I also find it interesting to observe changes in the WSL’s ways, formats after they have been discussed on one of the shows.

    Hah, yes!  A couple of years ago all of the bitching from Chaz and DLS was about how winning on points is dumb and it’s all completely boring unless determining the actual champion came down to the final heat at the final comp, and look, the WSL delivered!

    It should still be at Pipe though.

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