LONG TIME COMING

Posted by lewis on August 3, 2009 at 7:26 pm.

We're in the midst of summer doldrums.  No ASP events running, no big swells to hype, no big controversies that haven't already been covered.  Nothing to do but drink and fornicate... and endlessly gossip about Kelly Slater's new Super-Dreamy Tour.

It's an understatement to say that the online speculation concerning this new World Tour has been at frothfest levels.

I have very little to offer, but I'd like to clarify one crucial point.

Many pundits have speculated that Mr. Slater's involvement in this new tour is on some level vindictive: that Kelly is championing this alternative because he's pissed about losing this year.

Not so.

I offer as evidence the following transcript of a conversation I had with Mr. Slater in May of 2008 - while he was in the midst of his record-breaking run towards a ninth title.  At the time, Kelly had no reason to be vindictive towards the ASP - yet he laid out his grievances.  He spoke of the same issues that have surfaced in his recent brief communications concerning the impetus for a new tour: the need for less surfers, more money, outside sponsors, a consistent product, and media rights owned by the league instead of the sponsors.

Kelly's views are not impulsive - they have been germinating for quite a while.

slaters

KELLY SLATER INTERVIEW, MAY 2008

LS: When you first came back on tour in 2002, you talked about one of your goals being to help change the ASP, as opposed to just winning titles.  How do you feel about the progress that’s been made in the last 6 years?

KS: I think there’s been some good progress made, in certain ways... The one thing I will say is it’s a little bit frustrating with the ASP, to be honest, because every 5 or 8 years it seems like there’s some monumental idea to change things.  They moved ASP off to Australia, they were talking about getting bigger global umbrella sponsorships, there was all sorts of talk about things changing.  They hired Brodie (Carr) and Rabbit, pumped a lot of new life into it, but I’m not sure if there’s a whole lot of tangible difference.  At the end of the day there’s not more dollars in it.  We’re still surfing with the same prize money as years ago.  The price of living has gone way up, the cost of housing has doubled, and the amount of money guys are making hasn’t gone up.

When fans picture the ASP they think of a giant organization, like the NBA, but it’s more like a small company.

Yeah, when I talk to people who are out of touch with the ASP and pro surfing, just business people, they ask about how much we make, about the structure and organization of pro surfing.  And it’s almost, on a global sports level, I don’t know if this is too harsh a word, but it’s almost embarrassing when it gets down to it.  When people don’t know, they’ll say “Wow, I figured you were surfing for $100,000 first place minimum.  Maybe half a million when you have to surf Teahupoo or Pipe.”  The one thing about it, is it proves surfers don’t do what they do for money.  They do it for the love of what they do.  The reward for us is getting to surf those waves with only one other guy out.  Spots like J-Bay, Pipe, G-land back in the day…That’s really more the payment for us, when we get classic conditions and it really is the dream tour.  We get to have that experience of controlling those line-ups, probably the only time in your life with one other guy out.  That’s more our payment right there.

I don’t know what the answer is to the question – why isn’t it bigger?  Why isn’t the ASP a stronger business presence, why haven’t they been able to capitalize on marketing like the NBA or NFL? There’s something inherently missing in the professional side of it, and I don’t know if that finger should be pointed and blamed on administration, or if it’s just the nature of what we to.  I can’t say it’s not a marketable thing, but it’s not based on marketing.

slater_k7421mundaka08cestari_s

So much of it comes down to three major brands driving 90% percent of the tour.
There could definitely be a wall there, blocking everything else to be able to come in.  There really haven’t been any outside companies able to penetrate that wall.

Right -  I’m not an insider, but I imagine it doesn’t just have to do with a lack of interest from outside companies – it has to do with those major surf brands blocking them from coming in.
Yeah.  And the way the tour is set up is pretty ass-backwards.  The sponsors own all the media rights to their events.  And the ASP does not.  It takes a lot more infrastructure to set that up, but once you do you have so much more control and ability to do what you need to do with the tour.  At each event you go to, you don’t know if you’re going to get a good webcast – Billabong is doing that one, Quik is doing that one, Rip Curl that one,.. all of a sudden you’re going, “Wow I hope this next one works good.”  Some stops don’t have a dedicated web commentary.  If the ASP owned the events themselves, and the money would just be brought in by sponsors, instead of having a whole independent crew for each event to run the webcast, you’d have a more standardized system.
I’m just saying, in a perfect world, if the ASP had the structure set up properly, where they owned all the events, they owned the rights to the events, etc, they were doing the webcast, they had dedicated commentators – you create a show, you create a product, and it stays that way.  And I think that would be step a in the right direction.

I remember when I first started out, in the early nineties, and I was at an event, in a hotel room, really sick, and I was looking down at the contest site, and I was thinking, “Gosh  how amatauerish is this entire thing?”  The whole way it’s set up – I didn’t get the feeling I was at a worldwide professional event, I got the feeling we were at a local contest.  I’ve always thought that ASP has a long way to go, even though we have what we call a Dream Tour.  But ultimately the structure needs to be changed around.  That would allow for a more standardized product, and I don’t think that would pasteurize or water it down too much.

The ASP should have a log of all the footage from all the events they own.  I’m not sure where they stand now, but I know that there’s about 10 years of the tour that a guy named Allen Gibby owns the footage for, cause he worked for a company called Dynocom, or whoever, and they own all that footage for years and years of the tour.  Can you imagine the NBA or NFL just saying “Oh, we don’t have '84 to '92 cause some guy owns it.”  It’s crazy – you should be able to draw on that footage at any time.

slater_k8005arica07tostee

Another issue is simply having 48 guys in each event.
Well, if you’re talking about a real “world” tour, with guys’ careers on the line… maybe we should look back and see who’s the lowest ranked guy to win an event.  Not wildcards, who’ve won quite a few, but the lowest tour seed.  Start from there…

But to really answer your question I think there are far too many people on tour.  When it really comes down to it, fortunately or unfortunately, there aren’t 48 guys that people are getting online to see.  There’s far fewer than that.  It just takes so much extra time, most swells are only two days - you can’t run through 48 guys and give everyone an equal, fair opportunity to surf their best.  To really present to the public what the best surfing is, you’d probably need an hour long heat, maybe two two man heats out…  I’m getting into the idea of having a totally different type of system for surfing altogether.  I think the judging criteria, the number of heats, the people in it, I think all those things should be changed and that’s probably the only way to bring out real big revenue for prize money.

...Like I said before, I’m starting to think of ways for professional surfing to be presented a little bit differently.  Does everyone have to surf against everyone, or can we start thinking about who people want to see surf against each other, and base events around that?  I’m a just a little fed up with ASP, as are most of the guys on tour right now.  We butted heads with them about a few things, when it really should be seen as our organization.  It’s not unlike the people of a county getting upset at their government.  There’s this "us against them" feel, when it’s actually supposed to be our government.  We’re supposed to be all for them, but the pro surfers, a good percentage of them, view the ASP as limiting us, limiting what can be done in some way.  So there’s a sense of frustration there when you talk to me.

200 Comments

  • Robert's Your Mother's Brother says:

    No comments? It must be a time-warp.

  • Robert's Your Mother's Brother says:

    Like the ASP…

  • Robert's Your Mother's Brother says:

    Ok. Anyone that thinks any involvement by Slater regarding a ‘new tour’ probably also thinks Sarah Palin is a genius. There, I said it.

  • Robert's Your Mother's Brother says:

    I mean I said that anyone that thinks any involvement by Slater regarding a ‘new tour’ is vindictive, probably also thinks Sarah Palin is a genius.

    More mistakes like that and I might apply as her speechwriter.

  • Surfing Terrorist says:

    Slater’s fully talking about it now: http://www.theextremescene.com/article/kelly-slater-speaks-out-regarding-new-tour

    Really hoping this thing happens (although the ESPN aspect of it really fucking blows, but it was inevitable that they were going to get involved to fully ruin surfing). Fuck Brodie Carr and fuck Billabong. They’re the two main reasons why the ASP’s going to lose out in the end.

  • Stu says:

    it’s not vindictive, it’s greedy. nothing wrong with making a buck, but doesn’t mean we can’t call it what it is.

  • I would watch his tour.

    As you may have correctly guessed, I’m not an industry insider and have no ties to anything even remotely associated with the promotion of surfing. My interest merely stems from the fans point of view. I enjoy watching the best men, culled from all corners of our square globe, doing things to waves that my broken down body could only fathom if I was afforded the ability to dream without Ambien and alcohol.

    What does this equation add up to? My unrequited desire to avoid slogging through seemingly endless round one match-ups with the likes of Travis Loogie, Nic Musfcraft, Gabriel Kling, David Weary, etc, etc… proffering up their corpses like stunned sheep before their shearers. I would rather watch an edited video of every Brasilian and European surfer claiming waves scored 6 or less. In fact, I’d pay right now to see that.

    Anyone reading these comments have YouTube skills and access to the tapes?

    As of right now, we can only speculate as to what this alternative tour format may entail. I salivate at the thought of something… anything better. If it doesn’t end up working, then I’ll deliver my rightful and wrathful mocking to ends this world has never seen.

    To those who derisively chant that those who need to be entertained should just sit back and watch promo videos from corporations and Taylor Steele, set to surfer singer / songwriters who can’t even spell their lyrics correctly, I say, “Preposterous!”

    I don’t own one promo surf movie. Be it Kelly Slater’s “Black and White,” Billabong’s “Green Iguana,” or Dane Reynolds latest circus acts. I have observed these clips at friend’s houses and in surf shops around the world, and they are entertaining for a fleeting moment or two. Like vapor emitted from a midgets butthole. However, watching a sport in real time, with real consequences on the line, easily trumps heavily edited schlock meant to promote a brand any day of the week. If you are not interested in this aspect of our sport, just sit back and drink your favorite corporation’s elixir while they blow wave after wave trying to nail that ONE maneuver. It’s like sitting for hours watching NBA shoot-arounds or MLB batting practice - then leaving before the game starts. Or, like eating rice cakes to appease your sweet tooth.

    What does all my drivel add up to?

    Hope.

    I hope that whatever alternative is set before my feasting eyes, my hunger will be satiated far greater than it is now.

    Thank you, and good night.

    -Blasphemy Rottmouth

  • Surfing Terrorist says:

    Well said BR. It’s worth noting however that you live in one of the few places left on the planet where good waves exist sans crowds and ego. The prospect of ESPN blowing surfing up even more, thus creating a whole new generation of yuppy fucks who suddenly have a desire to buy a surfboard and be a fucking piece of shit in the water is not exactly desired.

    This is the monster Kelly Slater is about to create. Wonder if he even realizes it, or if the mad $$$ about to head his way is blinding him of this fact.

  • Mike and his Sausage says:

    Also worth noting: When AOL.com first started up Lat34.com, they gave them a massive budget. Talking millions per year. So Lat34.com struck a deal with the ASP to exclusively handle all web content for contests, including webcasts. Lat34.com was going to pay the ASP $2-3 million (can’t remember the exact dollar amount), and the ASP was going to give it to them. So while Samuels is right to an extent, that the big three own the contests, the webcasts are up to the highest bidder.

  • Stu says:

    This flashback reminds me that Lewis, like Slater, is past his prime. Let’s see him get this interview today. No, really, I’d like to see it.

  • @Surfing Terrorist,

    Yours is a true statement. And I do deal with crowds at my ‘home’ break, such as it exists in my vagabond’s lifestyle. It’s certainly a conundrum worth pondering. However, I can’t help but think that at this point, surfing is expanding, will continue to expand, and surf spots will continue to be discovered and plundered as often as Perez Hilton’s calloused anus. ESPN will accelerate that growth, no doubt.

    That said, at some point one needs to choose a side. Do we bury our heads in the sand, yelp about how hardcore our local posse is and how severe our physical wrath will be to those who invade, while ignoring the fact that our backsides our exposed to every will and whim of the general public’s boner of justice?

    Or, do we parlay the growth of a burgeoning “X-Treme” sport into opportunities for our children at the expense of our home breaks being felched by the public’s boner of justice?

    Keep in mind, surfing will never be on par with an NBA, an MBL, an MLS, or even Professional Skateboarding . Geography determines that hand. At worse, surfing suffers the same fate of Skiing or snowboarding during the Olympics.

    Is the price worth the entertainment? I don’t know yet.

    I am flummoxed.

    And, I just farted.

  • And by ‘fart,’ I meant Stu.

    No offense.

  • BrodyStylez says:

    @ST
    He clearly realizes it. Kelly is often referred to as “Michael Jordan of surfing”, but his total career earnings are less than what Shaq made in college. In order for pro surfers to garner the money and fame that they so desire, surfing itself must be altered to the point that it is totally unrecognizable in its current form, meaning further strain on resources that are already being exploited to capacity. If you doubt the influence that major media publicity has over surfing, use your own observations of how surfing demographics changed after Blue Crush came out. I firmly believe that there is no way that ESPN understands or would try to promote the surfing’s true nature; which is that of hatred, intolerance, and repressed homosexuality, among so many other delightful concepts which only become apparent after one is too entrenched to quit. I would prefer if Kelly steals the wave pool idea and develops several working prototypes, and then goes forth with his super tour, as this would greatly increase the supply of waves and actually provide consistent, contestable conditions. But if the clueless masses discover the magic of surfing, pros will reap the benefits, but local rippers will endure massive anal hemorrhaging from the influx of ‘yuppy fucks with surfboards’.

  • @Brody,

    That was a well written (except for the concept of paragraphs) and humorous rant. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it should have been written 15 - 25 years ago. In this day on internet accessibility and frequent traveling, we’re way passed the concept of “clueless masses.”

    Your point is well taken though.

  • Todd Martin's Penis says:

    God, you guys should just get together and blow him….blah blah blah…

  • @Todd Martin’s Penis,

    Pfew! That’s a relief. Errr, and by ‘Him,’ I’ll assume you mean your mother?

  • The Nug says:

    Everything that starts out as a good idea, whether it’s politics, trafficking drugs, killing your wife or surfing, ultimately gets fucked up by greed. Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver (and the newly admitted red-headed stepchild Hurley) are snake oil salesmen that have been shoveling tonics down our throats for years. Rather than making our dicks hard with little blue pills, The Surfing Pharmaceutical Four have been shoveling placebos down our throats. Most of the time the promised four-hour hard on falls flaccid, swirling in a mire or two-foot slop and alimony checks.

  • Mark says:

    @ Blasphemy Rottmouth @ 8:40 pm paragraph 7

    You have friends?

  • @Mark,

    I call anyone who can stand my sulfuric breath, abnormally large incisors, and lust for blood a friend.

    Unfortunately, the government refers to them as ‘organ donors.’

    Ahhh. Such is life.

  • christof says:

    We’re all bored. Time to evolve.

  • SK8dog says:

    He is past verticle, grinding the 3/4 Pipe…

  • Mailman's Burro says:

    “can we start thinking about who people want to see surf against each other, and base events around that?”

    It would appear that Kelly is advocating UFC-style, pay-per-view coverage of surfing events. Not a bad concept…man-on-man surfing title heats if you will. How one would organize and contract individual surfers would be interesting, though very doable employing the current boxing/UFC business structure. Still, where all the fighting organizations make their money is the arena…pack 50,000 people into a Vegas or London stadium at $250-$5000 a ticket and you’ve got quite a gross revenue to play with. Surfing can’t do that.

    And there’s gotta be something way less appealing to a worldwide audience about watching a guy get barreled–I would imagine that the majority of the world has never been in the ocean, so that reference is lost on your viewing public from the go–whereas the Romans figured out pretty well that pretty much everyone can relate–love or hate, it’s emotional and (c)overtly sexual–to two muscleheads beating the fuck out of each other in the middle of a big circle.

    So yeah, pay-per-view surfing title heats probably wouldn’t work.

  • Mark says:

    Actually ESPN, I think, made a pretty good movie about surfing and the tour around a year or so ago. The cinematography was killer and I felt it showed the beauty of the sport more than you would expect. They spoke with Slater on what I believe was the day after Malik died. Did Dana Brown do that for ESPN? Mailman can you confirm?

    Feels good to be on the Mainland although the extended forecast is less than stellar. Thanks to all on Oahu who shared waves with me the past few years, especially the crew at Ala Moana Bowl these past 2 months of 2009 perfection. If I could relive 6-15-2009 for the rest of my life I would never frown again.

  • Mailman's Burro says:

    Good post by the way…Concretizes that Kelly’s always been thinking about this and provides lots for the capitalistic or overactive minds to ponder as to how this could hypothetically play out.

  • zig ziggler says:

    why do they compare the asp tour to nfl or nba or even golf???? the reason they don’t get paid like those guys is fans. the amount of fans from any of those sports compared to surfing isn’t even close. you can hardly make a comparison.
    all the BIG sports have tickets. they make money from the fans. as surfers, we expect to go to an event and get stuff given to us free. when they charge at bells, everyone piss and groans.
    another thing with the BIG sports is advertising. how much can you really advertise at a surf event when only 150,000 people are watching? and when surfermag starts to try to make money with advertising and have deodorant adds, us surfers piss and groan.

    its most likely never gonna happen. if it does, it will be one year and then all the BIG money contributers will realize they lost a ton of money and it will go back to what it is.

    the truth of it all is, not that many people care about surfing.

  • Mike says:

    Thank you for printing this… all these knocks on Kelly are just ridiculous… so undeserved. I have faith in the potential tour because it makes sense to me, but also because Kelly does; I don’t know who’d have better judgment on something like this. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Mike says:

    I don’t think the ASP has let us see the true potential of surfing. Who’da thought there’d be an audience for poker? It’s a coastal sport, true, but it’s an international sport too. And (based on how these surf brands sell in department stores in Kansas City) I think other people think it’s cool. I don’t think we’ve seen all it can be yet.

  • trauzersnake says:

    BVB=cumdumpster

  • it’s all about the media rights. the archive, and it’s value

    …michael jackson might be dead, but his music rights are still making money.
    even if they are the beatles

  • blas rottfucker says:

    who cares if more people start surfing? what gives us the right to pick who can surf or not. stop trying to protect what isn’t yours. if kooks hit the water i’ll drop in. but we were all kooks in the beginning

  • Eric Hogetz says:

    Came here to see if there was a real discussion on this issue, but as assumed, it’s the same four guys fingering each others’ assholes again. The real debate is on ASL at the moment. Pity, this site is losing its attraction.

  • @Erik,

    Yes, we sorely missed your commentary. Tell me, did you log you comments in the WinatriptoCalifornia thread over at ASL?

    Please. Don’t bring that weak salsa here child.

  • Yep, Winatriptocalifornia… right under ASL Boards < Surf Talk.

    Lol.

    ASL is for young, pliant minds. When you grow some pull-ups, we’ll be waiting.

  • zig ziggler says:

    “grow some pull-ups?” isn’t the saying “grow some balls” or “grow some huevos”

    either way, i agree. why do people go on sites and complain. if you don’t like the site then don’t click on it.

    i don’t like old navy. guess what… i don’t go into their stores. oooooooooo. this is a big concept. hard to grasp i guess.

  • 23 Chips says:

    The Chips is going to invest some dolla bills in this magical mystery tour and suggests you folk do the same. The sooner the ASP and the whole idea of pro surfing goes down the tube the sooner we go back to a world where the lineups are ruled by social deviants, kooks drive home with flat tires and black eyes, and the yuppy armada trades in their Chinese plastic for another season of yoga lessons. If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause then send checks to:

    23 Chips
    c/o Sean Collins Sucks Taint (Scott Bass too)
    Surfline.com
    HB, CA

  • @Zig

    You mean… Old Navy’s boardshorts aren’t as pliant or as absorbent as Quiksilver’s?

    Well, gawdammit, my whole world’s been done turned upside down.

    … Like Erik Hogetz’s mother every time I deliver her milk on alternating Tuesdays.

  • Erik Hogetz drops his name here about once a week, no doubt, trying to steer readers towards his preferred launching grounds.

    Let us afford him that pleasure. In this economy, his ship will sink faster than HMAS Sydney.

    Keep lapping young poodle; mammie’s teets ain’t going to feed if you nip like that.

  • Jamon Bagel says:

    Be careful what you wish for. ESPN is a hungry monster and it parses content into bit size niblets that get consumed by the zillions. Ever try to watch a full X-Games event on ESPN.com? Or get reliable schedules/results/updated bios on a regular basis? Good luck with that.

    Their website is infinitely broad and about a half inch deep. Or you can flip on the TV and find bits and pieces of “X” events on the network, for about two weeks, at irregular intervals. Surfing will be no different, and because the demographics are thinner, it will probably be treated even worse. Occasional highlights, spectacular wipeouts, and then Sportscenter followed by a bunch of tools playing poker. The end result: ESPN will somehow manage to spike interest [and more crowding] in the sport without satisfying a single one of us diehards.

    Mark Hammy’s words: if this goes down we will wish for the old days, when we could at least watch a whole contest, most of the time, despite the bad camera work, ridiculous announcers and “amateur” feel…

  • BrodyStylez says:

    My greatest fear lies in the fact that those who stand to gain from surfing’s exploitation have a vested interest in downplaying (or more likely totally neglecting) the negatives that we are faced with on a day to day basis. The fact that surfing is still considered a ’subculture’ and those purveyors of said snakeoil are still rubbing their collective noggins as to how it can be brought to the masses are a testament to this.

    It is disconcerting to think that I am, in fact, one of the ignorant herd from a bygone era. However, my own hypocrisy has never been a concern to me because I act in my own self-interest, as does Kelly Slater. I just worry that this new generation will receive its entire intellectual input about surfing from a medium which has an incentive to paint surfing as a terrific free-for-all where we’re all friends and everyday is 6 foot and perfect. At least the magazines, while admittedly lacking intellectual discourse, usually include discussions about surfing’s downsides. I think that once Disney becomes the largest voice in Surfdom, a new scourge of ignorant surfers will be unleashed unto the world with such ferocity that all other waves of newcomers will Palin comparison.

    In summary, when more people compete for finite wave resources, those who make a living from surfing or surf-related trinkets win, while those of us who surf and make a living by doing something productive for society lose. While we all yearn (at least to some degree) for recognition of our watery prowess, this double-edge sword will inevitably cut our balls off.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    While I’m getting together the energy to put together a coherent response to above post and comments, please see the latest on the K9 TOUR from The Australian (and before you do, K9 is right about a lot his criticism of the ASP, but wrong about how he’s going about doing it… unless he has a vested interest in the new tour that he’s not telling us about. Then it’s for money and the supposed “good of the sport”…

    THE AUSTRALIAN

    THE company of the American sports promoter who is brokering a deal between Kelly Slater’s rebel pro surfing tour and TV sports broadcaster ESPN was sued for $US1.79m by boxer Bernard Hopkins in 2004.

    The promoter, Mat Tinley, was founder and CEO of America Presents when Hopkins sued the company for breach of contract.

    Asked for an interview by The Australian on August 1, Tinley initially said his “Australian-based partner” would respond “at the appropriate time”.

    Two days later he said, “Based on what you’ve written about me I don’t see any reason to subject our partner to the same misrepresentations”.

    Tinley’s partner, Kelly Slater’s manager Terry Hardy, also declined to be interviewed by The Australian, saying “I refuse to speak with any journalist who prints lies, rumors and speculation”.
    Others in the rebel camp also refuse to answer questions about the breakaway organization.

    Calls and emails to Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight, who convened the first meeting of potential sponsors of the rebel tour last month, have so far remained unanswered.

    Last week, Quiksilver International events director Rod Brooks told The Australian that the past lawsuit against Tinley’s company had been made apparent to those associated with the rebel tour, but they were pressing on regardless.

    “I think he’s done a lot of successful projects since then,” Brooks said.

    Kelly Slater, who has publicly backed the new tour and is the tour’s main drawcard, has not replied to a list of questions emailed to him yesterday. Those questions include whether he is aware of Tinley’s company’s past lawsuit, whether he knows the identity of the new tour’s investors, and whether he sought to have his problems with the existing tour rectified by the ASP before consorting with the rebel organizers.

    By publicly backing the new tour, Slater is in breach of his contract with the ASP. On January 1 every year, all professional surfers sign a contract that includes the clause, “I will not, without prior written approval of ASP, enter, compete in, promote or in any way support for a period of two years … any surfing tour that is not sanctioned by ASP.”

    The ASP and assorted stakeholders held a video conference yesterday, at which it was decided the ASP should continue to discuss a potential peace deal with the rebel tour.

    Asked if the above lawsuit affected his relationship with Tinley, ASP CEO Brodie Carr said, “I’m trying not to let some of the stuff I’ve read cloud my judgment. I’m remaining open to all kinds of
    opportunities.”

  • Dave Mailman says:

    MORE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN - How Fanning feels.

    THE organiser of a multimillion-dollar elite rebel pro surfing tour is “very confident” of getting enough sponsorship deals to fund the project starting next year, says 2007 world champion Australian Mick Fanning.

    Fanning, who is on the board of the peak surfing body the Association of Surfing Professionals as a surfers representative, met the organiser, Terry Hardy, in Los Angeles last week.

    “Terry seemed very confident,” Fanning told The Australian. “There have been claims of companies outside the surf industry supporting the tour but I wasn’t shown anything in writing. Surfing’s an exciting sport so it wouldn’t surprise me if he had attracted interest from outside of the surf industry.”

    Fanning said the conversation was “very preliminary”, focusing on ways the sport of surfing could be improved.

    ASP CEO Brodie Carr said a video conference of the board yesterday resolved to continue negotiating with the rebels, despite there being no firm deal on the table yet.

    “Time is running out for them, not us,” Carr told The Australian.

    The rebels are represented by Hardy, who is nine-times world champion Kelly Slater’s manager, and former boxing promoter Mat Tinley. Both Hardy and Tinley have refused to speak to The Australian.

    “Terry has a good understanding of the sport,” Carr said. “And Tinley does have a lot of background in TV, so it’s worth exploring. If our stakeholders thought he didn’t have a lot of knowledge of TV we wouldn’t be exploring it.”

    However, Carr has one serious reservation about the rebel organisation. “I have one outstanding question for Matt: who are the shareholders of the company that will put on the tour? I’ve said that if I’m going to be giving the sport over to someone, I’d like to know who it is. He still hasn’t told me.”
    Carr also wants to ensure that any deal with the rebels would ensure the sport’s grassroots were still nurtured.

    “The men’s tour is the most profitable part of what we do,” he said. “Our women’s tour and our WQS don’t make much money. But we reinvest what we make from the men’s tour back into the sport, training judges, running the smaller contests. I don’t want to see profits go to individuals, I want to see it going to the development of the sport.”

    An insider to the sport has said that the world’s top surfers are “seriously scared” about what they should do next. “They don’t want to be the only one who didn’t jump ship if it happens,” the insider said. “Nor do they want to defect and be penalised by the ASP if the whole thing fails.”

    Fanning agrees there is confusion among the sport’s athletes. “There’s definitely confusion because there’s so many unanswered questions,” Fanning says. “There is no consensus among the surfers because the fine print hasn’t been put on paper. At this stage Terry Hardy, the ASP, the current event sponsors and the surfers are in discussions and until there are further talks there isn’t much more to report.”

  • Dave Mailman says:

    Mark, I can’t confirm if it was Dana Brown that did that documentary or not. Sorry. We don’t get ESPN over here in Europe, so didn’t see it. I can confirm though that ESPN didn’t really blow up surfing at the X-Games when they had it. However, if you throw enough cash at it and hire experienced surf cameramen and editors to do the show, then it’ll be a good product. If they give it to a bunch of “TV” guys with no experience in the sport, there’s a 95% chance they’ll blow it. We shall see.

  • Jamon Bagel says:

    Mailman, all due respect, you’ve missed the point with ESPN. If this happens there will be no “show.” ESPN has the production chops to make surfing look full-on HD spectacular. What they won’t do is present the event in anything other than a highlight-reel format, chopped up, set to Greenday and sandwiched between billiards and college softball. At best the Rebel Tour is looking at ESPN 2, in a half-hour format, with the majority of the contest not presented to the viewer. What everyone will see is 5-second Sportscenter Highlights whenever something visually stimulating happens [whoa! flying kickout at Puerto!].

    As their interactions with the media prove, Hardy and Tinley are cocky amateurs. They have utterly no idea of the scope and power of the corporate machine they’re up against. Nor do they have the leverage or the skill to get anything out of ESPN other than Bentley money for themselves and their clients. Prizemoney may go up short-term, but in the long run there is nothing in this for real surfers other than more SUPs and wrigglers at their local break.

    The Tour needs change, no question. But there is no lipstick on the ESPN pig, and that’s a Jamon fact.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    I guess the easiest way to sum it up is you don’t determine the NBA champ by who wins the All Star game. There is a whole season with good teams and bad. That is the nature of sport. Same thing in golf and tennis. Their tours have more than 48 competitors. There are specialty tournaments with invited stars, and then there are the events that determine the world number 1, but they live in harmony. There is a place for both. But questions need to be raised when some outside group, with anonymous backers shows up and wants to take over and run the show without being totally transparent with their proposals. Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t know. They should have to prove their worth first before everyone jumps ship from the ASP, and they should have a plan to evolve the sport for everyone, not just for 16 “elite” surfers.
    I admit though that $1 million prize money per event on the ASP tour sure sounds sexier than $385,000. The $10 million dollar ASP Dream Tour. Kind of has a nice ring to it.

    Taj’s Burro, your go you ass….

    PS: My burro on the other hand has got it pretty figured out! Carrots for you tonight!

  • Dave Mailman says:

    An intelligent comment from ASL message board…

    66 Tuesday, 04 August 2009 19:51
    Just thinking
    Not only Kelly wants this thing to work with the ASP, but maybe he realizes that this tour cannot work without the ASP at all.
    Let me put it straight:
    Fact1: They want the tour to select a portion of it’s competitors from competition results. ASP is compulsory there at the moment.
    Fact2: we cannot see a tour evolving several years without some surfers droping off the tour and some new faces appearing from time to time.
    Conclusion: If the ASP decides this tour is bullshit, they put a new regulation stating any surfer participating is banned from ASP lifetime. No chance to compete again once your drop off tour. This so called champions tour’s only option to avoid this is to build a whole system from local comps to world class level independant from the ASP. It’s very unlikely they can do that in less than 3 years. So they HAVE to work with the ASP.

    If Kelly can convince ESPN to cover the WCT in the current format or maybe with 32 surfers (16 is far from enough), and convince the ASP to let ESPN organize a live webcast + daily web shows + a one hour comp wrap-up, so be it. Put in the overlapping heat format which is good to see as there is always some action in the water, at least from people in the non priority heat, and you have something not bad at all. There is absolutely no need to make a rebel tour. No-one would benefit of it as it will die soon after doing huge damage to the credibility of the ASP.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    ANOTHER OPINION FROM ASL…

    I respect Kelly for trying to make pro surfing better for pro surfers and fans of pro surfing. Sure the ASP’s format and tour is a bit stale but, the guys who run and control it are all surfers and thats the way it should be. If we as a surfing community let these non surfing sleazeballs take our sport into the gutter to make a few bucks, I say no way!! The ASP and the BIG tour sponsors should colaborate with the tour surfers and come up with ideas of there own to inject some excitement into pro surfing. I’m not sure why Kelly went outside the ASP? Maybe this a wakeup call and good shake up to get the ASP to come up with some dynamic ideas. Maybe this is what it will take….

  • Dave Mailman says:

    SOME AUSSIE GUY NAMED “THE CHIPS” WHO SHOULD COME JOIN PS…

    The Chips can see the silver lining in this already. Kelly’s tour starts a huge division in pro surfing and both tours eventually fail. Competitive surfing as we know it falls apart and pro surfers end up back where they started decades ago: pounding nails and dealing drugs to surf. They’re forced to surf the same kook invasion and average days everyone else does.

    Black shorts and black wetsuits will go back to regulating lineups and the funboard crowd will get tired of black eyes. The Chips is ready and willing to start this counter-insurgency, and truly hopes Kelly sets in motion the demise of pro surfing.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    ASL AGAIN… YES, I’M BORED…

    Faceless Commenting Fucker said:

    Ummm Al? Is that a face? Is it an actual name? If you want to call bullshit on people expressing their opinions, I suggest you provide your full name, address and contact number. The term “Hypocrisy” must have been about nine grade levels outside of your reach.

    Despite Kelly claiming that it was not his intention to undermine what Joel is accomplishing this season, the sad fact is that he is, and it’s pathetic.

    Kelly is basically calling the tour a joke, and by default, calling Joel’s accomplishments this season a joke. Big words from a man who was too cowardly to put together a real campaign for a 10th title.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    FROM SOME GUY NAMED TOBY (possibly Toby Martin)…

    Toby
    All the guys wading in to this conversation have to understand surfers have been given the bum ride by our representitive body for more than 20 years. kelly being the greatest ever, 9 world titles and dominating over a 15 year period has only amazed 2 million in total prise money…what a JOKE.

    I see kelly’s potiential for another tour and it is beyond time for some MAJOR Changes. The structure (asp/events) won’t change in it’s current form. It has people that just don’t deliver or believe in surfing’s future.

    I would hate to see the tour (top 45) diluted but looking at the case being set forward and having an understading of the asp and events it seems like the right move.

    I would like to see a wct format, but with maybe four GRAND slam events, being tahiti, trestles, Hawaii and a rotation of slams between OZ, FRance and prime wave location!

    the issue of diluting parko’s world titles linger’s but this has been 20 years in the making and kelly to his credit if fighting tooth and nail for title 10!

    I think it raises alot of the right issues our sport if facing!

  • Dave Mailman says:

    YES, ASL…
    change is good when done correctly
    How can Kelly be a supporter of this new tour if he still has as many questions as anyone ? Smells like bullshit to me. Also…I know a few guys on the QS tour and they talk with the CT guys…who really know nothing about this and have NOT been consulted.
    There is no question that kelly is a great surfer - probably the greatest ever but this doest give him the right to speak for all other surfers and it doesnt mean he is the best guy to make or drive such decisions….and finally I seriously doubt his manager or Mat Tinley have surfing as their primary interest - for them its all about the money.
    I support change but only if managed correctly and by the right people.

  • Jamon Bagel says:

    Goddammit Mailman, start paying attention and stop posting yours or other peoples naive thoughts about ESPN…nothing in that last paragraph will happen, they can’t/don’t do it for bigger sports, they won’t do it for surfing. Believe me, I am overly familiar with ESPN.

    OK, I’m done. Back to being a sandwich. So much happier that way…

  • Dave Mailman says:

    Reality Check!!! SAYS:

    World titles: 9

    WCT victories: 42

    We should listen to any god damn thing Kelly wants to say. I highly doubt he is trying to sabotage the one thing that defines his existence.

    People are either excited, afraid or ignorant of change…which are you?

  • Carver says:

    Well put, LS.

    I find it interesting that everyone thinks their home breaks will become infinitely more crowded. Let’s look at a few things:
    -Lineups are already crowded and getting more crowded in spite of the fact that the ASP is invisible. So surfing is already popular.
    -ESPN is visible in many areas that are not within driving distance of the beach. These people are not going to move just to surf, but may visit and patronize our hometowns which thrive on tourism. Bad thing? Not really.
    -The rules of etiquette will always apply and it is up to us as “experienced” surfers to relay that responsibly to new surfers.
    -Surfing will always be challenging when the surf is pumping (when “good” surfers tend to surf most). It takes perhaps a decade to become good at surfing if one goes a few times a week. Thus, we are years away from seeing the effects of this supposed influx of surfers in our lineups.
    -Naysayers will blame crowding on this new tour once it takes off regardless, so this whole argument, which I have so artfully made, is pointless.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    OK, Bagel! I forgot about MODERATION!!! Just came to that realization myself. Tend to agree with you about ESPN. 98 million US households. Don’t see ESPN on the Continent, except X Games reruns 12 months later. Summer X 2008 currently running on the Extreme Channel next to professional bull riding… Seriously!

  • Dave Mailman says:

    Bagel gets comment of the week in my book! For both of them! I will now go chop my fingers off to stop myself from typing or cut and pasting anymore comments on Post Surf! Thanks Bagel. Sometimes I just don’t know when to shut up… figuratively speaking in this case, of course.

  • Pobby Brown says:

    What will happen to PostSurf without Jihad Khodr to kick around?

  • Dabe Mailman Fed-EX Guy says:

    Dear Dave,

    We tried contacting you because your Jeremy Flores Real Doll is on back order. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to shove your baguette elsewhere for the time being. You can now go back to re-posting comments from that penal colony.

  • Black's Slacks Ride (Up) Again says:

    @Carver: PLEASE REVIEW THE COMMENTS BELOW, THEN GET SMARTER BEFORE COMMENTING AGAIN.

    -Lineups are already crowded and getting more crowded in spite of the fact that the ASP is invisible. So surfing is already popular. IF SOMETHING IS ALREADY POPULAR, DOES THAT MEAN IT CAN’T BECOME MORE POPULAR? BAD ARGUMENT.

    -ESPN is visible in many areas that are not within driving distance of the beach. These people are not going to move just to surf, but may visit and patronize our hometowns which thrive on tourism. Bad thing? Not really. I DON’T OWN A T-SHIRT SHOP OR ICE CREAMERY, SO I’M GOING WITH “BAD THING.”

    -The rules of etiquette will always apply and it is up to us as “experienced” surfers to relay that responsibly to new surfers.
    MORE CROWDS = LESS RESPECT FOR RULES. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    -Surfing will always be challenging when the surf is pumping (when “good” surfers tend to surf most). It takes perhaps a decade to become good at surfing if one goes a few times a week. Thus, we are years away from seeing the effects of this supposed influx of surfers in our lineups. UH, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME KOOKS STAYED OUT OF THE WATER BECAUSE THE SURF WAS GOOD?

    -Naysayers will blame crowding on this new tour once it takes off regardless, so this whole argument, which I have so artfully made, is pointless. ARTFULLY? NO. POINTLESS, YES.

  • Robert's Your Mother's Brother says:

    After working my way thru all the comments, and ending with the Mailman’s serious, and boring, comments above, I have to say that it ruined my experience. And by experience I mean reading the commentary from Blasphemy Rottmouth, Mailman’s Burro, The Nug, BrodyStylez, Surfing Terrorist, Jamon Bagel and the other worthwhile contributors.

    Sorry Eric Hogetz, if you want status quo, go hang with the other sheep online.

    “We are all bored. Time to evolve” says christof. I agree. Hell, even Slater and some of the other surfers doing it are apparently bored with it. Simply, “The Dream Tour” (a Rabbit hyperbole?) didn’t deliver. Why they insist on calling it that still eludes me. The year that Fanning won the title he rode his short board nearly the entire year, the waves were so small. But that’s nature and the nature of surfing. Often the ocean disappoints.

    But like the Surfing Terrorist says, “The prospect of ESPN blowing surfing up even more, thus creating a whole new generation of yuppy fucks who suddenly have a desire to buy a surfboard and be a fucking piece of shit in the water is not exactly desired.

    This is the monster Kelly Slater is about to create. Wonder if he even realizes it, or if the mad $$$ about to head his way is blinding him of this fact.”

    I think Brody hit on it as well. I’ve said it before, it’s about the benefit of a few at the expense of many. And the ‘many’ is us.

    So, after reading LS’ post and the comments, I realized this new tour and the ASP, and the “companies” look at surfing as a ‘product’.

    I have never thought of surfing as a product.

    I don’t think I want to.

  • surfy surfy says:

    The Kelly Slater Invitational Pipe Masters brought to you by Wal*Mart. What could go wrong?

  • The Nug says:

    I agree Bobby’s Incestial Family Tree. Hey Dave? Just post an excerpt and a link next time. Or you can just skip the breakfast absinthe. Your choice bud.

  • Richbzztch says:

    Apocalypse Now and Then

  • Westcoast says:

    I am against the whoring of surfing by QUik, Bil, RC as much as anyone. But at least they are surfing companies, so it means they are the lesser of two evils. This new tour is going to be run by yuppie businessmen.

    Slater’s just jealous of Tony Hawk $. And I can’t blame him. Slater devoted his life and deserves some cash.

    But I wish he sould just step back a second and realize that you can’t surf everywhere like you can skate everywhere. Resources are already limited. This will hurt surfing, badly.

  • Surfing Terrorist says:

    Dave Mailman is Chris Mauro. Chris, shame on you for peddling that shitty filth. Just because you sold out to work for those fucks doesn’t mean you should be peddling that crap here.

  • Carver says:

    Blacks - interesting retort. True, surfing is popular and can certainly become more popular. The point is that the sport is already very popular in the areas in which people surf. Are more people from SD, SF, LA, FL who live by the beach going to start surfing just because there is surfing on TV? I don’t think the increase would be drastic. They are already exposed to the sport as part of their region’s culture. As I said, people who live far from the beach are not able to access surfing anyway.

    Many people who don’t own ice cream or t-shirt shops benefit from tourism. It may be indirect, but it helps a lot of businesses.

    True, crowding decreases control. As we have established, the surf is already crowded in many spots. That being said, I am still not convinced that surfing simply being on TV will cause a significant increase in crowds.

  • deja vu, like stu i think i’ve seen this interview before . . .

    it’s good and all, and i suppose significant with all the new tour talk but . . .

    @Dave Mailman, dude we get it, you love to write. fucking a. you’re making a tom clancy novel look short.

  • The Nug says:

    @Surfing Terrorist
    You may be right. Mauro can copy and paste with he best of them. Mauro? How’z that Captain Zero script coming?

    @Carver
    It’s all about marketing. May I suggest the thirsty man in the desert who drinks sand analogy? “He doesn’t drink the sand because he is thirsty. He drinks it because he doesn’t know the difference.” There are plenty of beaches and there’s a lot of sand. The ASP just can’t sell it properly.

  • Alexandre says:

    I say blame it on PT, MR, Rabbit and thomson, they were the one’s who started to “professionalize” surfing and now kelly is trying to get it on a higher level. Go watch busting down the door and remember that they created the ‘professional” side of the sport so that they could make a living out of it. Now the new tour will give a comfort living to the pros.I bored myself to death watching crappy heats waiting to see the interesting heats on the web. So i say i’m all for the new tour. To say that kelly is way passed his prime is a fucking joke. The guy is 37 and STILL is the best surfer that have ever competed in the history of the sport. Last year he killed the competition and to say that this year his dead is a joke. He is the only one in the tour who can actually take the title away from parko(and his number 8, if i’m not mistaken),which i hope he does.
    The famous 10 million for his tenth wolrd title show how amateur is the surfing world. In any oder big sport he wold earn one hundred million. Schumacher is coming back to the f1 and will get three million euros for every race!!!
    Surfing is only “no money” thing for us who are not in it as a professional, because all the people involved in it, from the competitors to the sponsors they love the sport no doubt about it but they love to have a comfort existence as well. What is the good about existing tavarua if you do not have the money to fly up there?
    So as a fan and a surfer i hope that the new tour comes as a complementarie of the asp one.

  • Black's Slacks Ride (Up) Again says:

    Classy reply to my misplaced aggression, Carver. But I still disagree.

    The tourism argument is probably null anyway…the percentage of tourists who surf is negligible, and not a lot of people are going to travel just to see surfing.

    The crux of the argument is this: widespread TV exposure will increase participation. More exposure = more interest = more people in the water. No way around it. Over half of the world’s people live within 40 miles of a coastline. That number gets even higher in Cali…

  • Fishing w/Brautigan says:

    TV Production of new shows, which is something I know quite a bit about, is like a relationship/marriage. It has three phases.

    Phase one, Court and Spark:
    Everyone is so excited about the new romance and the wonderful new life they are about to share. There is lots of rubbing and hugging. There are dinners, surveys and secret meetings, and of course everyone is in love.

    Phase two, the Marriage:
    There is a honeymoon and the sex is great. Then lots of money gets spent on the new house. Lives are planed out, and everyone settles in for a long happy life together.

    Phase three, the Divorce:
    The ratings aren’t there and the whole thing gets shit canned!

    What you are witnessing right now is the Court and Spark.

    I give the whole deal one maybe two seasons (only if the second season is contractual.)
    The sad truth is, as much as we love surfing and as sexy as it may appear to advertisers, the flyover states could give a shit. ESPN will soon learn what Fuel TV has learned. There are much better ratings to be had with sports everyone can enjoy like Skateboarding and BMX. Surfing like snowboarding will be seasonal at best, and it will soon be reduced to highlight reels or the occasional major event. Six hours of live surfing is by nature boring. Even we the hardcore have a difficult time hanging in.

    If we get really lucky it will wind up back on the Web with slightly better camera coverage.

    Big business is sometimes hard to fathom, because the scale of seemingly wasteful expenditures is hard to grasp. This might be nothing more than a simple takeover by a very big business in order to squash a smaller emerging business. We won’t know until it gets played out. Also, like most takeovers a few people at the top will make a shit load of money and everyone else will get screwed.

  • zig ziggler says:

    tooooo much. i can’t keep up. my brain hurts.

    whoda thunk surfers can write with such big words. i think most of it really are words that don’t mean what the guy is trying to say. he just thinks they sound cool. when in rome…

  • zig ziggler says:

    lets talk about jon and kate plus 8 last night. oh my gosh. can you believe it? oh man. what is going to happen next. the kids, the mom, the cameras, the crew, the TLC, the deadliest catch. i like crabs.

  • silasolas says:

    MAKING THE WORLD TOUR A BETTER PLACE
    Kelly Slater book´s ¨Pipe Dreams¨Pages 300-301
    I came back to the world tour because I wanted to win another world title-I wouldn´t have done it if that weren´t my objetive. But a funny thing happened upon coming back: I decided contests couldn´t make or break me. My dad´s death gave me some more perspective on life. So much had happened in my life, and I had so much to de thankful for that I couldn´t ask for much more. But in some ways it has caused me to hole up in my world again.
    I realize that I wanted to help improve surfing more than I wanted a world title. Instead of being vocal, I´ve been in a subtle pissing match with the ASP to change some things. All pro surfers are frustrated with the lack of money and exposure. They dream of being viewed as legitimate athletes and of being seen on TV like basketball players or even skateboarders are. I wanted to help us. Before I left competition all I thought about was fitting into the system and winning. Now I want to heklp make the system better for competitors and spectators.
    I´ve been brainstorming about a new and very different format for professional surfing. I feel we need a leaderboard for each event so we´re competing against everyone. As it is now, the two best surfers in an event face off in the third round, and the loser is finished. I want to develop a system in wich surfers can bomb out one day and still compete and have a shot at winning on the final day. I feel surfing shouldn´t just be about going into a heat and beating a guy. It should be geared toward performance. When I´m finished competing, hopefully the tour will be more professional, more exciting, and the competitors won´t be going, ¨Damn, I have to go on tour again.¨

  • Westcoast says:

    @Carver>>I am still not convinced that surfing simply being on TV will cause a significant increase in crowds.

    Yes, they will and already have.

    Remember Blue Crush? There was a very significant increase of female surfers in Socal after that movie. I remember I recognized just about every female surfer in my county before that. Then bam!

    I was 15 when I started because I accidentally tuned into a PSAA event on Prime Ticket. I know so many people in my generation that started because of PSAA.

  • The Nug says:

    @Fishing w/Brautigan
    We should get together and write a reality show about Jordy Smith trying to find a mate. It would be like Scott Biao meets Steve Irwin.

    I think the National Geographic Channel just might be interested in a show called “Cougar Hunting in the Outback with Jordy Smith.”

  • Shaun Tomson says:

    It’s just not fair that I was World Champion and still can’t buy my own yacht. I’m Shaun Tomson people! I won the highly coveted IPS Surfing World Championship in 1977. My stance is twice as wide and stiff as Trauzersnake on his most aroused day, and yet I am champion!

    What needs to happen, my adoring followers, is We Surfers need to wear suits and ties at all times, to better represent the sport to the powers that be. We Surfers need to package the wildness and soul of surfing in a way that everyone can buy and sell! The best Surfers should live lives of luxury, and be chauffered, and never have to pay for their own drinks or yachts.

    If we believe, as a group, and tie our ties with single Windsors, and keep our hair properly moussed, my fans, we may yet prevail and take our rightful place as the bronzed, chiseled, handsome demigods of Earth. Believe!

  • Fishing w/Brautigan says:

    @The Nug
    I’m in, but that is only one episode. Show two: “Butt Slamming Zebras”

    The possibilities are endless!

  • PT says:

    Screw you Shaun. You insufferable wanker. I was world champ before you. Now all these fancy-boy, spoiled surfers are getting rich off what we built. I had to move in to my son’s house. Tosh is a professional skateboarder who has never even won a contest. Think about that. I share a room with his fucking Larador for chrissakes!

    Tosh? If you’re reading this, we’re out of milk.

  • Shaun Tomson says:

    PT, on your very best day, you couldn’t ride half as deep as me. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you get barreled.

    What’s worse, you dress poorly. Tsk tsk.

  • Mike says:

    @ Mike at 10:08 and 10;15…. if you want to start posting as Mike, you have to kick up the sarcasm, cynicism and anger up ten notches. Mix in a few slights to Mark and Smyrna along the way, pontificate on geopolitics and laugh at Jamon and Taj’s burro and clown Dave the Mailman every chance you get. I’ve retired, but you can’t resurrect the brand with homogeny. Vanilla toasted homogeny at best.

    Stu is probably the only one who figured out the forgery. Unless Jiggy is out there. Blasph probably thought I had given up beer. Well, I’m still drunk, but in anger management therapy and the surf still sucks.

    I warned Bammy about how shitty the waves are, Aloha Ala Moana. Can’t wait to hear him whine to SJeff about how fucked the mainland has become.

    And Mailman, fucking get a life mate, try writing books. Can’t believe you have so much to say about nothing. Once they burn that wedding ring onto your finger, you’ll forget you ever surfed. “The wife’s rules” you know.

    Fuck everyone and good day. Mike ( your former president)

  • PT says:

    @Shaun Tomson
    While you’re slurping on the Yvon Chouinard’s recycled hemp whale tail, trying to develop greener ways to buy up land on the Ranch, I’m in the trenches working.

    Barrel-riding skills? I’ll have you know that John Millis personally wrote me a check for $500 (Australian) for that cutback when I doubled for Jack Barlow in Big Wednesday. That Bru, is talent.

    Nice book by the way. Jason Borte is one hellva ghost writer.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Listen to this Mailman stooge. Pissing in K9’s cereal over the fact that yes, he’s working hard at putting together a new pro surfing business plans. Working with folks who will operate a business that pays the top surfers prices the market will bare. Working on a business venture that provides a product that people will actually enjoy and tune in to.

    There is a reason it’s called Supply and Demand. And not the opposite. People didn’t say, hmmm, I sure wish someone would build hotels and casinos in the middle of the desert! No, forward thinking people said, I’ll supply it. The demand will follow.

    Yes, look at Mailman busting all over K9’s new ideas. The ASP is trying to stifle competition. And Mailman is trying to save his own skin in the ASP lame game.

    If this was another time in history, Mailman would be calling up the truncheon swinging cop on horseback.

  • God says:

    “forward thinking people” also said things like “people really need belly jelly so I’ll make it” and “people are really going to love Rocky V, so we’ll make it” or “people are surely going to love the Cali Rally so we’ll put it on”. I’m afraid forward-thinking people here aren’t thinking far enough ahead.

  • God says:

    BTW, that’s one of the worst supply and demand discussions I’ve ever seen.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Supply and Demand never guarantees success.

    Supply Side economics, doG. Did everyone say, damn I’m tired of dragging a tree stump down to the water for a surf. Sure wish someone would supply lighter material for surfboards. Nope. The bright person noticed that things sucked. There is big room for improvement.

    Supply always comes before demand.

    It’s not structured as Supply and Demand for nothing.

    Supply causes demand.

  • Kampion,Hynd, Warshaw and Hawk says:

    Why hasn’t anyone consulted us about this new tour?

  • Shaun Tomson says:

    Oh goodness! How are we going to clean up the image of our noble profession and appeal to the worshipful masses when we have such terrible behavior among us? Foul language from your former president Mike! Bestiality with zebras and cougars and sea turtles! Wrong usage and/or spelling of the word “bare”! You people are ruining my chances to own the yacht of my dreams, which by the way you are NOT invited to board. Except God…as long as He wears an ascot…

  • Timely. Poignant. Insightful.

    Am I at the right blog?

  • Mark says:

    @ Mike

    Everyone around here is bitching about how bad the waves are just like you do but I thought there were some fun little cross-ups in Oceanside this morning. Surfing is a great sport and I feel that it is fun just to get out there and slide a few on a longboard and feel the salt air on your skin.

    It doesn’t have to be Ala Mo or V-Land every day. You don’t need screaming 10 foot trade ravaged west peaks at Sunset to get a feeling of exhilaration. And I for one don’t mind afternoon onshore winds because they thin out the crowds and there are all kinds of little ramps to smash off of.

    Maybe I will be singin a different tune as time goes on. But for now I am stoked to be in California and stoked to be able to get in a car and drive for while without bumping into an L & L drive in or dropping a c note at Foodland on a twelver of Bud Light, a loaf of bread, a little ground beef, a movie and a Brazillian-English-Pidgin dictionary.

  • Dumb Guy says:

    So Lex Slater SUPPLIES some surfing contests, and people DEMAND…what? More contests? Their own surfboards? A surfing hobby? By the bazillions? Great, that’s going to really improve life for all of us guys who just want to get tubed. Count me in!!!

  • PT says:

    Shaun? Is that you Chaz? Don’t tell me your using Shaun’s ascot for some sort of auto-erotic asphyxiation ritual again…on the stern of the yacht, in some Titanic time warp where Dicaprio is king of the world and you are his slave boy. Full steam ahead captain! Sounds to like you been ingesting too much Belly Jelly. Where’s the real Shaun Tomson?

  • Steve says:

    I don’t care who you are. That PT and Shaun stuff is funny shit.

  • God says:

    I love talking econ with dopes. supply doesn’t cause demand and supply-side theory doesn’t state such. demand causes the need for new supply/innovation and supply-side theory just says they system benefits more if you make it cheaper (through lower taxes) to supply products and services to those demanding the same. you can supply shit all you want - it won’t sell unless there’s demand. while possibly entertaining, the only guys demanding a new tour are the 16 or so who will profit from it. ESPN will learn (or remember) eventually that you can’t make skateboard money off surf comps.

  • The Nug says:

    @God
    “you can supply shit all you want-it won’t sell unless there’s demand.”

    Shit. And to think I struck brilliance sitting on the cobblestones at Lower Trestles last week writing a business plan for The Pet Rock II.

  • Mike says:

    @ Taj Supply side economics is what got the US into all this trouble, allow demand to determine productivity and you’ve discovered sustainability. Reduce all the bullshit to it’s simplicity and solutions appear like magic once money’s best interest is exposed.

    Cross ups in Oceanside…. on a longboard Mark? That gives your perspective some perspective. You’ll be crying like a baby next month while you save money on Beer and Hamburger. Head in his hands staring out over Ponto… “Why did I leave Ala Mo, why?”

    As for the new tour, who gives a shit, this tour sucks anyway. Maybe we should all come to the realization that only a dozen elite guys exist and the early rounds are an excuse to hold a carnival in most cases.

  • ReB says:

    football is boring. baseball is boring.

    surfing is not boring. why can’t the general public see that ?

    i don’t have television so i don’t know what surfing people see on their TV’s.

    God, i sound like this woman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dChBN_zfofY

  • @ Mike and God:

    I thin I might be getting this stuff!

    Is the following true?:

    Since there is zero demand for the above banter, it is, therefore worthless?

  • . . . oopsy! I was thinking about my own thin, crisp goodness while typing; so, “thin” above = “think.”

  • Yeah, Bitch! says:

    100! You scumbag sucking squirell nut zippers!

  • God says:

    Mark - I hope you’re happy in North County. There are plenty of places for you to worship me in the area.

  • Mike says:

    Yes YWCPBF, it is worthless.

    ReB, why is it important to make non surfers enjoy watching surfing…. don’t you get it, there are enough influences drawing morons to the flame already and the only ones profiting from selling all our best interests out are the Industry machine. Everyone else is roadkill.

    For those of you unfortunate enough to have witnessed the last “SWELL”, surfing has jumped the shark and the good ol days of elbow room are gone forever. Chaos, selfishness and zero enforcement are the new reality.

    Surfer’s Journal tried to write a piece on it, but only referenced 3 men who helped create this fuckery. So many aspects of the crisis were ignored and the prognosis printed was… tough shit. Lewis, write the real piece that SJ couldn’t find outside their box.

  • God says:

    Not according to Taj’s Burro…

    @ Nug, pet rock II is not, I repeat, NOT, shit. Everybody wants a rock with eyes.

  • lazer® says:

    Lost amidst the furor surrounding the idea of a new tour, and touched upon only briefly by the comments here, is the fact that our society’s inherent Horatio Alger complex continuously fails to reward those who are responsible for the product and instead lavishes riches upon an undeserving few. In surfing, we call them sponsors; however, this phenomenon is not limited to surfing and indeed has proven pervasive across all aspects of modern American socioeconomic life.

    Cases in point include the music industry, all professional sports, and business in general. Artists, athletes, and low-level grunts are responsible for most if not all of the actual product (ie: music, games/matches, and consumer goods), yet their just rewards are instead distributed amongst so-called ‘executives’ who in fact are merely facilitators of their underlings’ Jah-given talents. This parasitic relationship,in turn, fosters our current unequal distribution of wealth wherein the actual skilled producers are afforded very little in terms of percentage capital.

    This is why I have no problem with surfers reaching their grubby little hands out in hopes of making more money. In fact, I wish they would go a step further; threaten to remove all stickers, t-shirts, hats, boardshorts, and wetsuits until their ’sponsors’ acknowledge that without the endorsements of these athletes, their product would not sell half as well. If not America at large, at least professional surfing can and should purport to be a true fiscally socialist regime, which would be, in my estimation, to the benefit of all involved. Maybe Quiksilver, Billabong et al don’t pay their CEOs as much, but the true breadwinners get a little more healthy; that’s as American as apple pie I think.

    An (unfortunate?) side effect would, inevitably, be the downfall of surfing magazines, which are now comprised of over 65% advertising. Because honestly, who’s gonna pay $5 for a 12 page magazine that doesn’t feature the latest scoop on Dane, Kelly, Andy, Joel Tudor, or Alex Knost?

  • vbvbvVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVV says:

    Who cares? What does any of this mean in your daily life (outside of a blog)? BlasphemyRotterFace and Trauzerdork: you dudes need a new schtick. Perhaps cutting the lawn, tuning the car, picking flowers for your boyfriends; you know, things that will take this heaviness from your thoughts.
    See you in the lineup!

  • Yes, BVB, because going on someone else’s blog every few days to say “who cares?” is not a shop-worn schtick.

    We get it, you don’t like professional surfing. Boo-fucking-hoo. Why don’t you start a blog about your incredibly awesome life and how “just going surfing” solves everything in your ultra-complex life?

    That’s NEVER been done before.

  • bdub says:

    Nothing has topped this today. Thanks BR.
    “Do we bury our heads in the sand, yelp about how hardcore our local posse is and how severe our physical wrath will be to those who invade, while ignoring the fact that our backsides our exposed to every will and whim of the general public’s boner of justice?”

  • vbvbvVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVV says:

    “Boner of justice.” Hee hee… tag: balls, Beavis, bald, gonads, sack, Smyrna, Billabong, SURFLINE.
    I know the type; you need sports, something to while away the ultra boredom in your life - thatʻs cool, no judgement, BVB understands how America has trained the inner you to be a tool of the media; surfing, internet, blog. BOREDOM.
    I surfed for several hours today, helped some guy get in after he lost his Danny Hess custom fish - we never found the board, but I did see a guy running up the dune with a similar looking one as fast as the wind could carry him.
    Loading up the Audi for another session in my ultra bitchenʻ life. I surf - you blab.
    See you in a couple of days… ta ta, BVB

  • CaliVomit says:

    It actually hilarious to hear BVB say that - that fucker is on every friggin’ surf website and blog on the net spewing his hatred and disagreement with all - really an obnoxious motherfucker to say the least - his parents obviously beat on him as a kid

  • The Nug says:

    “A blog about your incredibly awesome life and how “just going surfing” solves everything in your ultra-complex life?”

    How in the hell did you get ahold of Transworld Surf.com’s Mission Statement?

  • What I think is funny, is fuckers like BVB have been trying to lure a anyone they can into internet flame wars for a while by employing all the trolling skills they know. Let me paint the picture:

    Let’s say it is 1996 and we’re all chatting away in alt.tasteless. I’m going on about my admiration for the dead rotting squirrels in Nug’s freezer, you’re talking about Erik Hogetz’s sexual orientation and CaliGirl’s commenting on her recent sex change, when BVB waltzes in off the street and starts with the “you’re a bunch of boring freaks, pro surfing sucks” line.

    And he doesn’t even have anything disgusting to say - he’s just disgusting in and of himself, which goes against the general rules of ‘tasteless.’ You can be a total dickwad – it was actually kind of expected - the point was then and is the same here now: The Writing.

    At ‘tasteless’ it was naming your stool samples after famous violinists, or detailed descriptions on drinking the puke directly out of your girlfriend’s bulimic mouth because you just spent a wad on “feeding the skanky bitch” and don’t want to waste the food, or some other equally depraved scenario - like naming your painfully bleeding anal fissure, “ButtVibeBob”. Those were the points of disgust.

    Not being some self-satisfied mental midget whining about how mean people are.

    That kind of talk (and I saw it happen) was usually met by several long and excoriating flames, then invitations to leave, and then silence. Everyone was assumed to be disgusting, like some scab eating sociopath who continuously masturbates, or an alcoholic nurse who slowly drips loogies on the face of the unconscious. So, trolls who came and drilled all of that home were most unwelcome.

    And Bad Vibe Bob is just another example of an internet troll. They usually do one of several things:

    1. Stir shit up to the point where they get banned.
    2. Get tired of being yelled at, and waddle home to sookle mammies teet.
    3. Continue trolling, even as they are ignored, thriving on the occasional swipe from a newbie.
    4. Are ignored, get bored, and leave.
    5. Rarely, become functioning members of the group.

    I don’t think 5 is in the cards for BVB, so it is more a question of 1 - 4.

    So, it’s just a matter of time and circumstance.

  • Crusty Native says:

    New tour, old tour, what makes them great…the waves. If the new pro tour sponsored by WalMart and Taco Bell and presented in HD by ESPeNis scores good surf then it will be a hit in Peoria. “It’s about the Roosevelt’s Baby.”

  • The Nug says:

    Most people don’t know this but I devolved the prototype for Astrodeck with dead rotting squirrels and glue from former Kentucky Derby winners. Then Herbie stole my idea.

    I also have a restraining order/cease and desist filed in county court against Sanuk and Billabong for stealing my squirrels and using them for Donavan’s hair extensions.

  • trauzersnake says:

    I gotta leave work now, but this is getting me aroused (I’m getting a boner). I’ll visit with you degenerates later….if my drip of a connection works.

    @BVB-you drive an audi? that’s bitchin dude. Perhaps I will see you in the line up. But i must warn you, if you attempt to mount I WILL slap you with my cock!

    @Mark- If you see a tall fellow with a big bulge riding a late-model CI, don’t be afraid to come up and say hi!

  • ReB says:

    Doldrums ?

    go skin diving. hang at the beach. get a tan. check out the other hominids.

    Doldrums ?

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    @Mike, it was not Supply Side economics that slowed the economy. It was, and always is, government intervention regulation.

    The blame sits with Congress writing laws and the Senate agreeing to ratify. The Blame sits squarely with Barney the Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. Everything has crashed since dems took control, Nov 2007.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Go ahead. Create and market a Pet Rock II. Supply it to the marketplace.

    See if demand for it follows on to your supply.

    The marketplace will make the decision whether it sells or not.

    The shaper, the baker does not provide boards or bread from the goodness of his heart.

    The K9 tour will be nothing but good. Kelly is surfing’s futurist.

    Unfortunately, the ASP and people like Mailman are modern day luddites. They will do anything to try to stifle competition.

  • Mark says:

    @ Mike

    You are right. Everything sucks and there will never be another killer, not too crowded day of wave riding in California. Plus the economy is going to TANK and it is ALL Bush’s fault. Obama just needs more time. N.Z. is the ONLY answer just ink up an hit me with 10G’s and all will be just super.

    I can’t believe I never realized how right you were. Hawaii is an open air prison and the North Shore sucks Lewis has 10 aliases, Stu is cool. Michelle Obama is fashionable. Rachelle Maddow is a fucking GENIUS!!! And so is Keith Oberbarn. Socialism rocks.

    Global warming is FOR REAL and it is ALL BECAUSE of my SUV. Al Gore fucking rules even though he refuses to debate ANYONE in the scientific community face to face.

    Thanks for giving us all a heads up.

    BTW
    If every contest was like 7-14-2009 we wouldn’t be talkin about a new tour. I hope the waves are FLAT for Kellys tour’s first ESPN maggot commercial infested kook extravaganza circus fuck joke bitch slap Sportscenter freeway 90 mph asshole flip the bird contest.

    P.S. Fuck you B.R. I am going to kick your fat ass the day we finally meet.

  • Dumb Guy says:

    OK, so if people will buy it, it’s good for everyone. Got it! Thanks!

  • Mailman's Burro says:

    Damn, me and Taj’s Burro couldn’t be further apart on so many things…I agree that competition in the pro surfing market (pronounced “mah-ket”, preferably said with the accent of a South African CEO for a Thai-built board manufacturer) regard could make things interesting, but to say that Nancy Pelosi and the Dems ran things into the ground is ludicrous. Dare we really unearth the private sector pet projects of the Republicans that our government has dumped hundreds of billions into since Reagan. (I say Republicans because I can’t really say “right” because the US doesn’t really have a right or a left on an international political scale, we just have politically moderate Jesus/free market advocates or politically moderate intellectuals who advocate limited social spending. I also acknowledge that the Dems are a corrupt bunch; the lobby system and election funding have concretized this in the modern political era).

    That said, I prefer not to delve into the debates of mass privatization of schools, prisons, and hospitals. I’ll just leave with the suggestion that if we privatize those, we should privatize the military as well and encourage competition in order to provide US politicians (and citizens?) with a better and more affordable product. :)

  • PacNW says:

    @God,
    I’m getting old and cranky. Yet, the Mouseketeers keep following me and I don’t know how much farther away from Disneyland I can move. Recently, I have begun to fear that I am no longer alive, but have died a quiet death in my sleep and entered purgatory where I am waiting for your judgment. Or maybe that’s just what two months between contests feels like when the title has been decided. At any rate, please have mercy and end my misery soon.

  • Mailman's Burro says:

    @Mark

    “Al Gore fucking…refuses to debate ANYONE in the scientific community face to face”

    That’s because much of the scientific community that isn’t paid by the oil lobby agrees that climate change exists and would largely support his findings. The conflicts of opinion in the scientific community aren’t that climate change exists; the disagreements are regarding the extent and immediacy of its impact on life on this planet.

    I happen to be one of those pinko University experts…

    But Mark, thanks for your educated opinion!

  • Damn, I didn’t realize the economy IS going to tank. Thanks Mark. I’ll be sure to enjoy the world’s current economic bliss until that day comes.

    And though I am far from fat, you probably could kick my ass. After which, I would gleefully watch the cops cart you off to the non-open-air prison… where your butthole will receive its just and rightful reward.

    Ain’t that right, God?

  • Jamon Bagel says:

    Mark, I think your blood sugar is getting low. I suggest a snack, just to take the edge off.

  • The Nug says:

    Fuck me. When did the comments section turn into the Drudge Report?

  • Surfing Terrorist says:

    Only one here who reads Drudge is Mark and his 20 right-wing handles. Dude bashes everything that is right with the world, then thinks making threats towards others is the answer to all problems (hence the reason why with Obama as President we’re once again communicating with North Korea and eventually the mess he inherited will be fixed).

  • AudiBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVBVV says:

    Blasphemy, in your words; best or better you brush up on the Bill Shakespeare and bump this shit up a notch. Yur internet baffooneyism reads, puts forth, offers nothing but the ceaseless sameness of the vile creed you are. I am sure, now scratching your hairysaggyhairybuttnutsbanned (language we can all understand) and aching for victory, somewhere, anywhere?! Release upon the waves.
    You boys need detention, a right firing, five years@theSan. Plus ten for sliming the “greater” surf culture…
    I do here and grant you SIR ASS SUPREME. Pontificating from an unknown location, your toes wiggling in their dirty white knee high socks purchased@ Ross during the recession. Yur funboard too is dirty, lying there in the backyard taking in the fog of TIME. Yellowing.
    What do you drive? Let me guess… ( Motorhome, Truck with camper shell, old Ford something, Element, Saturn ?). Fuck, I give up…
    Banned it is from 15-10 , crushed by 8ft., undone by 5. I do so willingly and purely knowing that the fathers and teachers that came before me had, at least, the respect, to…

    …fill in the motherfucking blank.

  • The Nug says:

    I can only hope Goggle translater will soon develop an BVB to English application.

  • @BVB,

    Congratulations, I’m now permanently crossed-eyed after reading that.

    No.

    No, I’m afraid this will just not do.

    We can’t devolve from the righteous ideological watchdog group that I was proud to fire savage witticisms with, into some sort of drooling, slack-jawed mob whose comments would be unintelligible to a three year old mongoloid.

    Like my momma always told me, if you stop feeding the pidgeons, eventually they’ll just go away. You haven’t earned any more of my time. And I don’t have time to wait five hours for your convoluted response.

    My last three brain cells are much too precious.

  • trauzersnake says:

    BVB=Resevoir Tip

  • God says:

    You are correct, BR.

  • Mark says:

    Blasphemy Rottmouth + BVB+ Surfing Terrorist+ Taj’s Burro = Gurgling Cum Dumpsters

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Mailman’s Burro,

    Who writes the laws that spends the taxes? Congress.

    Who has been in charge of said spending since Nov 200&? Democrats.

    Call it blame if you like. I won’t. I prefer calling it like it is.

    The dems control Congress, The Senate, And The Whitehouse.

    And like any time before when it’s the other party in control, you did not expect the Dems NOT to rape and pillage and please their constituents, I.E. campaign contributors, now did you?

    Speaking of constituents. My burro and I are geeked over the new K9 Tour,

    We need a replacement for these ASP bumders.

  • Surfing Terrorist says:

    Taj’s Burro, Dems took Congress back in 2006. Even then, any legislation they tried to pass was vetoed by W. Obama’s been in the White House for a little over six months.

    Sensible critics, analysts and commentators are waiting until Obama’s been President for a year before passing judgement. Anyone who isn’t a fucking asshole would give the President that respect.

  • I believe Surfing Terrorist has closed this discussion with am emphatic middle finger. Any further discourse on this tired subject would be a mockery of common sense.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Thats a great thing about a Constitutional republic such as ours. The minority party always has more power than many realize.

    BTW. Coming at ya. One more great example of Supply Side economics in action.

    K9 Power Tour. Coming soon.

    Competition is good.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    BTW, Dems won the election, Nov. 2006 nut did not start actually running the House of Reps until Jan 4th, 2007.

    Oh yes. There were more laws passed than actually vetoed.

    Here’s the actual history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110th_United_States_Congress

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    On competition and capitalists….

    even the biggest commie out there. the smallest in stature current dictator knows what really counts….

    straight cash, homie.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25775.html

  • Hey Boss,

    I stuck something in your email inbox which you may, or may not like.

    And yes, I apologize for that previous line causing momentary chaos amongst those with a direct pipeline to Gaydar’s satellite headquarters.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Cheers, Blasph R!

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Ali, Jordan, and Tiger Woods pretty much sums it up.

    Sit back and enjoy the revolution that’s about to be televised.

  • Nick Carroll says:

    Smoke and Mirrors

    Recently you’ll have read a bit about rumours of a new, super rich, elite pro surfing ultra-circuit in the offing.

    What is it: $1.5 million a contest? Or was it $1.8 million? Were there 12 surfers gonna be involved? Or was it 16? Or 18? Eight events? Six?

    Your correspondent thinks it’s time to throw some cold water on it all.

    This extra Tour is pure smoke and mirrors.

    Here’s how this sorta thing works: a bunch of hyped up go-getters at a US-based sports TV network, in this case ESPN, decide there’s a way in to a small-time pro sport. Maybe they’re tipped off that a major star is unhappy, or something else about the sport is looking shaky. So they work up a proposal, guarantee TV time on their network (but precious little else), and start beating the drums.

    Salesmen call it a “float”. Chuck it out there and see if anybody bites.

    Unfortunately for ESPN, they don’t have a buyer. Never did. Indeed, they’re trying to sell it to the surf industry.

    Perhaps they are hoping the surf industry will respond thus: “Oh OK, here’s $40 million a year of money we don’t have so you can white-ant the world tour that we’ve just spent a decade and a half reshaping in our image.”

    They’ve had a few bites, notably from Quiksilver. You can see why Quik might be a little more interested than others; their top young American star, Dane Reynolds, is struggling on the WCT, and their all time King, Kelly Slater, is off the 10th world title run he was expected to make in 2009. If Dane’s not there and Kelly’s bored, world tour-wise they’ve got nothing.

    Plus of course Kelly’s energetic manager Terry Hardy has been a central figure in chucking the “float” out there like nobody else.

    But otherwise? Huh.

    Things like this have been “floated” before. One recalls the IS Tour idea of 1999, “floated” by Derek Hynd with the tacit support of Jack McCoy and a number of never-quite-named wealthy backers; the Super League of 1996, “floated” by Graham Cassidy as an alternative ASP; the stand-alone Triple Crown of 1983, which never quite “floated”, but managed to ruin the career of Hawaiian great Dane Kealoha in the process.

    Something amazingly similar to this current proposal, in fact, was “floated” back in the dot-com days by a pro footballer manager named R J Kors, who was working in partnership with ESPN at the time.

    Yet R J’s proposals vanished along with the rest. The only time a “float” has taken was in 1982, when Ian Cairns came to the surfers with the idea for the ASP. But the ASP had a backer, it was a full blown global improvement on the very thin-on-the-ground IPS, and every single pro surfer in the world wanted a major change in how things happened.

    When these “floats” are chucked out there, it’s always wise to take a cool look at who stands to benefit; and in this case, other than those thrusting ESPN executives, it’s just the 12 surfers who happen to be invited. Or the 18. Or the 16. But how are they chosen? On the basis of popularity with the ESPN execs? And what happens to everyone else?

    More dryly even than that: What happens to, err, the chicks?? (Don’t mention the chicks!)

    Not a whole lot in it for anyone, in fact, except said TV execs and a small number of yet to be named professional surfers whose careers will no doubt have been long established by their appearances in, oh yeah, ASP WCT events.

    One of the big reasons why “floats” generally blow away with the next strong breeze is because – guess what? – professional sports are a lot harder to organise and run than the floaters care to admit. They don’t spring into being out of thin air. Yet nobody outside ESPN has been approached except in the hope of money to fund it. There’s nobody working on a computer judging system. Nobody being employed to develop all the boring yet critical infrastructure that makes multi-event global sports tours function with sanity and credibility. No connections being made within the sport beyond the headline US surf corpos.

    ESPN’s got TV time to burn, but other than that, they got nothin’. And until they get somethin’ – a lot more than somethin’, in fact – you can forget about it.

    The only sense that’s been talked so far in the whole shemozzle has been by Kelly Slater back in J-Bay, after being encouraged to help the “float” by e-mailing the top 45 to try to get ‘em on side (and then rapidly backing away when he realised he’d suddenly become the floater du jour).

    What Kelly said about ASP WCT event timing, about the uneven webcasting, the sluggish response to changing needs in the sport, is quite true. God knows the ASP hasn’t figured out how to work its media property rights. God knows the “Dream Tour” hasn’t changed in years and is beginning to look stagnant. God knows there could be a lot more money, life and energy injected into it. (For the latest ASP initiative click here: http://www.surfinglife.com.au/news/asl-news/1194-asp-sweating-the-small-stuff )

    But the best thing pro surfing has going for it is an unopposed, undiluted world championship. It’s what’s put the sport ahead of pretty much all the other supposedly “Xtreme” sports of the past three decades. It’s what has allowed the surf industry to build the global marketing platform it so fundamentally needed – and continues to need – in order to grow its businesses beyond its old Aussie/US base. It lets new surf nations in the door of the sport; gives their top surfers a clear goal.

    If you’re going to white-ant that in favour of something else, you want to be damned sure you know why.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: ASL has been in contact with Kelly Slater regarding the proposed tour since first reporting on it during the Billabong Pro in South Africa last month. Two days after we published this story, we recieved an email from Kelly which answers quite a few of the questions posed in the comments section below. You can click here (http://www.surfinglife.com.au/news/asl-news/1278-kelly-slater-speaks-about-new-tour )for Kelly’s thoughts on the proposed tour, and the coverage it’s been getting.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Nickie Carroll. You forgot to mention, it. When you say ESPN, are you purposely not mentioning the fact that what we are really saying is… The Walt Disney Company Inc?

    A company with a 48 billion dollar market cap. A multinational corporation with EBDTA of 8 billion per year. BTW, can you clue us into their actual yearly revenues?

    So, who’s flush with investable fundage? The AS freaking P? Or a company who just this week, raised prices in a so called recession?

    Yes, Nick. This isn’t the lucky country. There is no moat around the ASP.

    Welcome to the new.

  • Nick Carroll Says:

    “The only sense that’s been talked so far in the whole shemozzle has been by Kelly Slater back in J-Bay, after being encouraged to help the “float” by e-mailing the top 45 to try to get ‘em on side (and then rapidly backing away when he realised he’d suddenly become the floater du jour).”

    Really? That’s your evidence?

    What did Kelly ’say?’

    Or, is this article just being ‘floated’ like all the other articles ‘floated’ after previous tour ‘floats’ by geniuses like Hynd and someone named skull-fucker named Graham Cassidy?

    I need a root beer float. Without the Ozzy root.

  • jiggy jig says:

    Let’s see now, the truth is that Odonkey has told more lies and spent more money in six months than W. did in eight years and the fools still follow the pied piper and blow his horn.

    As for Niners tour de farce, it’s gonna be surfings version of hope and change and smoke and mirrors. Might have worked out so-so in good times but now not so much. The smaller the pie the bigger the fight for the last slice.

    The real drama is being played out amongst the has been pros who have had cushy jobs as “reps” clawing each others eyes out in true house-whores of the o.c. style as the money dries up. I love listening to their excuses for not golfing Turtle Bay five days a week anymore. This is reality show dream material.

    The bottom line is that surfing is not marketable in a conventional sense. Never has been, never will be. There never was any sense in dreaming it could be like nascar or tennis or golf or football. It is an arrogant elitist wannabe revolutionary sport carried out on an uneven playing field by complacent timid adolescent sheep.

    I look forward to the return of beaver-tailed localism. At least here on Lake Superior.

    Serf for Life.

  • Dazzznigglum, the sixth finger on my right hand took over in that second-to-last paragraph.

    But, my objection still stands. Point over-ruled.

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    jiggy jig,

    You would be surprised how motivating straight cash actually is, homie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07G23zMGa4g

  • Actually, when you go back and re-read Nick’s article, you have to cut the guy some slack. He obviously penned this piece of drivel while in the throes of an abominable epileptic fit. It’s almost like near-comatose diabetic child trying to write a coherent piece while swiping at an Insulin bottle that dangles just out of reach.

    Pity the poor chap.

  • GOT IT says:

    just watched some Bull Riding tonight on tv tonight…..

    100k for first place….. far more relatable to the masses than surfing ever will be…..lot’s of similarities though….

    they talk funny…wear stupid clothes….nobody gives a fuck about what they are doing besides themselves… and everyone just loves watching them eat shit.

  • schlurg says:

    Mark’s moved to Oceanside?
    ONE LESS IDIOTIC, BUD LIGHT SWILLING CONSERVATIVE IN THE LINEUP @BOWLS!
    Hope you like yur new digs.

  • yep says:

    …. INTERVIEW WITH TINLEY

    Does Kelly Slater have an ownership stake in this tour?

    Absolutely not. No single athlete, brand, or network has or will have an equity stake in this. That’s the crux of this thing. It’s meant to be bigger than any person, brand or event. It’s about the sport. That said, if the league benefits and manages to make good money, the athletes who do participate will benefit from a profit sharing plan, the same way some employees do with the company they work for and the same way pro athletes do in other sports.

    But Kelly’s involvement is a must, correct?

    Kelly is the most well known surfer in the world, and frankly, his involvement is crucial. Unfortunately, there are a number of other top rated surfers who aren’t as well known and that must be corrected. Our mission is to make stars out of all the top surfers. The only way for that to happen is to bring top surfers competing head to head to millions of homes around the world on a regular basis. That’s not happening now. So ultimately it’s about getting other top surfers as well known as Kelly—because they deserve it, and an effective worldwide media plan will do so much more for them. Kelly understands that and that’s why he’s a big supporter of this tour.

    Are you trying to make this tour work within the framework of the ASP?

    Yes. Absolutely. We’ve laid out a thoughtful detailed plan to work with the ASP and trust that progressive minds will also see how this benefits the sport, surfers and the fans. It’s no secret that for a long time Surfing has lagged behind other major sports in media coverage. We’re going to bring professional surfing to the same level as the top level of other major sports. We have enormous passion to make the tour great because Surfing is an iconic global sport with passionate and participatory audience and Surfers are incredibly gifted charismatic athletes, and surfing deserves a world class platform for the very top surfers to compete in a thrilling format with best of breed production and widespread global distribution. We have a team that will take will take surfing to new levels. Every member of the team is at the top of his or her field in media development, marketing and distribution. We’ve got every angle lined up from Television, web, digital media, mobile delivery, marketing, etc. While we respect the brands history, passion and commitment to pro surfing, for the sport to now make the big leap, it will require a strategy and execution like other major worldwide sports.

    Can the winner of this tour really be considered a world champion if the field is limited to such a small amount of surfers?

    One fascinating stat we’ve uncovered is that the world champion in any year almost always finished in the top ten the previous year. So there are only about ten surfers in the world who are likely to win the world championship in any given year. Our goal is to make sure we not only have those guys but the world’s best up and comers who can challenge the proven top performers. And unlike the way the tour is set up today, where top surfers may not surf frequently, our tour is structured so they will. So yeah, anyone who beats the best guys on a regular basis is clearly the world champion.

    Right now ten percent of the ASP field at each event is comprised of wildcards. Will you be opening that funnel up a bit to keep things fresh?

    We’re looking at 25% of the field being comprised of wildcards. And how those picks will be decided is up to the surfers on tour to decide. They have as much say in this as anyone. Ultimately, this is the surfer’s tour. They care deeply about their sport and have progressive ideas on how to improve the competition, so ultimately their views will shape the competitive and event formats.

    Will there still be a place for—even a need for the ASP if this tour goes forward but you guys can’t make something work at the highest levels?

    We support the clear path system so that the young surfer can see his way to become world champion. There will always have to be a feeder system that young talent can rise up through and emerge. The WQS and the Pro Junior Series are important competitions, and we think those tours will benefit a lot more as we’re doing a better job at the highest level. Brands have an opportunity to make those WQS events and the Junior events even bigger, which again is a major benefit for all surfers.

    But several guys who are on the World Tour today will effectively be sent back to the minor leagues.

    As in any sport, the competition to play at the top level is fierce. That’s the nature and beauty of sports. This tour will be smaller than the one today, so yes, there will be intense competition, which will create tremendous interest.

    How will it fit with the farm system?

    The surfers have expressed interest in a single ranking system, like they have in tennis, which will allow for more mobility up and down the ranks. And the rankings will be weighted more on your records vs. the top ranked guys, so winning a contest with nobody in it won’t get you as far as winning one with a bunch of the best guys. That’s something the WPS and the ASP will likely be enhancing, and we support their position.

    Where are you in this process?

    We’re in the late stages to confirm all components. The feedback we’ve been getting has been very positive from the surfers, our discussions with the brands are progressing, there’s substantial interest from global consumer brands, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm from the world wide surfing community. We’re also narrowing event locations. While wild speculation is natural for these situations, we hope everyone will wait until we unveil all the details so they can form their own opinions based on the facts.

  • Corporate Cocksucker says:

    “I don’t know what the answer is to the question – why isn’t it bigger? Why isn’t the ASP a stronger business presence, why haven’t they been able to capitalize on marketing like the NBA or NFL?” - Kelly Slater

    He may be the best competitive surfer on the planet but Kelly Slater is a straight faced fucking liar. He knows exactly why the ASP can’t afford to offer the surfers more prizemoney. It’s because Quiksilver have been pouring so much fucking money into his pocket that they don’t want to give away more prizemoney for events. And who can blame them? Why the fuck would an event sponsor on the ASP board want to pass a motion to give away more money when they already line their surfers pockets with millions of dollars?

    So Slater fuck you for not having the balls to be honest with the fans regarding your own sponsor’s direct hand in the stagnation of the ASP. And fuck you for waiting this long to start actively participating in the direction of competitive surfing you selfish cunt.

  • fuckwit says:

    @ corporate cocksucker

    fuck you genius!!!! what are you some 50 year old fuckhead that is pissed that he didnt get money for surfing and now has to suck cock to pay his rent???

    why shouldnt he try to get the best deal out of quiksilver??? why should any sportsmen not try to get the best deal he can get from his sponsors??

  • Corporate Cocksucker says:

    @ fuckwit

    You completely missed the point fuckwit. Did you read the first few words and then get distracted by your goldfish-like attention span?

    I’m not criticising Kelly for taking Quiksilver’s money. Fuck them, I hope he rapes them for all he can get. I’m pointing out that Kelly knows exactly why the ASP tour doesn’t give the surfers more prizemoney. He just doesn’t have the courage to admit that his own sponsor is one of the major causes of the lack of prizemoney.

    And Kelly has had more than enough opportunities to step up as a surfers rep during his long career but the narcissistic egotist hasn’t given two shits about the sport until he got this close to retirement. So fuck him.

    Great surfer, cunt of a human.

  • MEA CULPA says:

    Mr. Mailman would like to offer a formal apology to the President of PS and the Ministers and other members of his Cabinet and administration for his outburst of pedantic ‘cut and pasting’ of other netizens’ comments from Australian Surfing Life. No matter what state of inebriation Mr. Mailman may have been in at the time, it is no excuse for wasting your valuable time and detracting from the witty and entertaining commentary that normally reigns on this site. He acknowledges that his actions were despicable and throws himself at your mercy in the hopes that you will not see fit to ban his presence from your domain. He promises to never again engage in such a pathetic pastime, and to submit to “attitude adjustment” training in the President’s personal torture chamber if ever he were to fall foul of such urges again…

    Cue for gratuitous insults from Taj’s Burro, Mike, RYMB, Surfing Terrorist and any of my other “fans” out there. Post your real names and addresses on here so I can send you all autographed photos of me to glue to your dartboards. You do play darts, right?!?

  • Mike says:

    @Taj burro…. dude, blaming a new congressional majority for a decades long, manipulated financial transfer of wealth is ridiculous.
    The elimination of regulations, a systemic Republican effort, allowed Money the freedom to run amok…. at everyone’s expense.

    What happened with the surf industry? Surfers make money off introducing new money into their market… at everyone’s daily surfing expense. Short sight profit motives tend to ignore the collateral damage of the aspiration, money.

    Obama inherited the biggest mess in history. So has Rabbits successor. Let it all crash and burn, sustainable business will replace the corporate theives.

    As for Nick Carroll above, who gives a shit if the surf industry has a marketable platform for global growth? You. Thanks for registering with us your position of compromise. Although flawed, that is the first thing you have written in 30 years that I read all the way through, kudos.

    Finally, to Dave Mailmans Mea Culpa… stop writing effeminate bullshit and stick to the nuts and bolts insights of your ASP. We will have less ammo to fire. Thanks for the autographed photo offer, but you should check with your fiancee first, you are no longer in control of your image.

    And we don’t throw fucking darts and we love our beer cold. Aren’t there some frolicking naked chicks and shorebreak tubes over there right now? The beach in front of my house has 3 competing “surf schools”…. eeeeerrrrr daycare, introducing the next generation of selfish fucks as I write.

  • Patrick the starfish says:

    um…anyone want to discuss surfing?

  • Mike says:

    My apologies Mark, I forgot to insult you because I was so surprised by Taj’s Burro.

    If any of you good folks are surfing a soft left in San Diego county and see a large man paddling a giant longboard, ripping everyone off and claiming any turn(perceived), paddle up and introduce yourself to Mark.

  • TS says:

    Interesting from Tinley. So let’s reconcile:

    1. “It’s meant to be bigger than any person, brand or event. It’s about the sport”

    with

    2. “Our mission is to make stars out of all the top surfers”.

    We can all agree that being a “star” equals “earning more money”. Can someone explain how having the top few surfers in the world earning more money possibly makes surfing better, unless you are a top pro surfer? And how this is sustainable after 2 or 3 years (when ESPN or whoever gets bored) is beyond me.

    Also, it seems the biggest problems everyone quotes is that the webcasts aren’t that good, and there are too many B-grade surfers in the WCT events. Those two things don’t sound terribly difficult to sort out.

    The “not enough prize money” is just wrong. Add prize money, sponsorship wage, travel, accommodation and perks (boards, wetsuits, leashes, boardshorts, etc.) and I have no sympathy with them at all.

    This whole thing is about greed, and that just about sums up everything about pro surfers, in and out of the water.

  • MEA CULPA says:

    Mike, point taken. I just like to throw the ammo out there now and then (intentionally, or not!) to see what you all do with it. My hidden inner masochist I guess.

    Anyhow, since everyone at the ASP is waiting on more details about the inner workings of the other tour just like the public is, I’ll refrain from posting more comments. Only thing to add is it will come down to what the WPS and Billabong decide… go with the QSK9 Tour or stick with an improved version of their own?

    Other than that, run of fun head high surf for the last few days. Managed to sneak in a few sessions and quick peaks at all the boobs (yes, tons) on the beach in between babysitting sessions with my 6 month old daughter! As Parko said recently in Stab about his motto or words to live by:

    “It’s a never a bad thing to surf good waves. Happy wife, happy life.”

  • Elmo says:

    Elmo doesn’t like it when BVB refers to himself in the 3rd person. It makes Elmo think BVB is an illeist.

  • sla-olie says:

    lewis why don’t you write anything about the ISA? Sla-olie wants it!

  • Mike says:

    Hey Dave, I mean Mea…. quick peaks and boobs everywhere.

    Things that make you say Hmmmmmmm…..

    Ok, you win. I’d settle for either and you get both. Scoreboard baby!

  • BrodyStylez says:

    Carver’s wonderful response to his initial post and accompanying criticism has caused me to rethink my position. I have to acknowledge that there is almost no possibility that a new tour will have any discernible effect on the population of ’surfers’ in any given area. In all likelihood, the actual effect will be similar to the ASP’s and this new tour will not reach the ‘mainstream’ for the same reasons that the ASP hasn’t, and the corporate fat cats will get a good one-time payoff for exploiting pro-surfers greed and naïvety.

    However, it is important to note that the possibility exists for them to be successful, but in hinges on one crucial factor, I’ll refer to it as ’stoke’, for lack of a better word. I’m sure most dedicated surfers would agree that there is something special about surfing that makes us so feverent and obsessive about it. While many of us have tried to convey ’stoke’ to our non-surfing friends and loved ones, they often respond with apathy, as this ’stoke’ takes quite a bit of time and dedication to achieve. Many different varieties of media have been employed to convey this stoke, but all have failed, as evidenced by the fact that not everyone surfs. For us, it may seem ridiculous that people could go on not surfing, because we have ’stoke’, and we want to keep it for ourselves and only share it with others who we deem worthy of it. In the unlikely event that Disney succeeds and can tangibly convey stoke, we will be truly fucked, and they will become the largest corporate entity in the world. But I feel they will fail as all others have in conveying unadulterated ’stoke’ through the television. Hopefully, for me anyway, they will fail and pro surfers will become disillusioned and be forced to take on meaningful and fulfilling careers.

    On another note, I think that if Disney were smart they’d integrate gambling with the new tour, because at least that market exists and maybe that could make it interesting. Compulsive gamblers will bet on fucking anything; that market will never go away.

    Finally, if you believe that either political party has your best interest in mind and feel inclined to share your views on a surf messageboard you are a sucker. Keep on donating!

  • Dave Mailman says:

    Mike, it’s like me winning a skin off the crew I golf with. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I’ll take it!

  • Dave Mailman says:

    BrodyStylez et al, Tinley is proposing to buy airtime from ESPN, so it appears that Disney isn’t actually directly involved. As far as we know. If they are involved and interested as Taj’s Burro implies, then maybe Disney will do for surfing what they did for ice hockey à la the Anaheim Ducks. Good thing or bad thing is your call.

    Here’s the link with the latest: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25886438-5013406,00.html

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Don’t worry, Mailmania,

    unlike the AS freaking P, the stuff that makes this whole thing rotate,… the money will be shown.

    and soon.

    get ready for a pay cut ASP’ers.

    and get your resume in order.

  • Dave Mailman says:

    Taj’s Burro is like a modern day anti-Robin Hood… Steal from the poor to give to the rich. Something is stinking in Sherwood forest. Smells like donkey shit to me!

  • God says:

    @ GOT IT - if you paid attention to the bull riding comp you probably noticed that the place was packed with people who paid decent money to watch it live. How many people do you think will turn up for, and pay to get into, a comp in Fiji run over a month-long waiting period?

  • Fishing w/Brautigan says:

    @God
    Great point! And how much will it cost to hold several hours a day of live TV time open on ESPN for that month long waiting period?

    Can you say Highlight Reel?

  • Taj's Burro™ says:

    Mailmania is a modern day luddite.

    He’s the type that thinks if his neighbor becomes a success that he or anyone else has no chance of ever doing the same.

    Fool.

  • who said what says:

    Again, surfers can’t run business and only muck it up like cock blockers. There will be a new order in surfing, kelly, espn and any outside influence to make this change and will be a better package for all to enjoy.

    how would you ban for life a top pro from the asp? why would I watch the asp after that and who would there be worth the watch? allot of puff going on from the asp.

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