a step in the right direction   Leave a comment

The last week or so in surfing has been marked by a few odd events. The first was the resignation of ASP President Brodie Carr. Citing the miscalculation of the clinching of the world title by Kelly Slater, Carr tendered his resignation and a replacement has not yet been found. I have mixed feelings because I believe the failed math was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. First, you had the controversial heat between Owen Wright and Adriano De Souza where De Souza was “pushed” by judges when he was given an 8 for a floater. Then came the bizarre decision to stop the clock in the heat between Jordy Smith and Travis Logie when Jordy dislocated his shoulder. Then there was the dissent from Freddy Pattachia and the utter melt down of Bobby Martinez for the advocating of the reseeding in the middle of the season. In Carr’s defense, the tour is in a better place than it was six years ago. There is more money. There are more events in quality waves. Each surfer is covered by health insurance. Events run faster. Better heats are surfed by more exciting surfers. Credit is due for being classy and taking the blame. In a day and age where we hardly see any corporate accountability at all, it’s nice to see it coming from the forefront of my favorite sport.

The second stunning event was the announcement that the ASP would introduce drug testing at each event. And no…I don’t think this is a bad idea. It’s a great idea. Clearly, it’s a possibility the tour and its administration had been pondering for awhile. The guys on tour don’t have a problem with it. The organization couldn’t push it forward without their approval. Going back as far as 2007, many of the top surfers were in favor of it. Joel Parkinson told the Sun Herald, “If it’s going to get real serious, I think for sure. If the money goes up in the sport – and the prize money goes up by $600 next year for each place – then there should be testing.” Parkinson has been the model of professionalism coming into each season looking like an iron man resulting from a healthier lifestyle. Others have certainly followed suit before and after him. Whether it’s at the CHEK facility in Australia or the Boar’s Nest in Oahu, surfers are taking better car of themselves via diet and exercise and this latest development has confirmed their willingness to accept that position as role models. “They (pro surfers) are public figures,” he said. “If they’re doing drugs, it’s a bad example. If you’re being paid to be a performing athlete, you can’t have people being stoned. It sets a bad example for the sport.”

Now …LOST may hate this along with the other salty dogs of the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Don’t get me wrong. Have a pint or two when the event is over but even Occy couldn’t overcome his demons without dismissing booze for a long while and steering clear of drugs. It’s important to note that the penalties will be slightly different. Bong rips won’t carry the same punishment as coke or heroin. Regardless of the severity of each drug, rest assured this will help dozens maybe hundreds of surfer reach their potential and increase the longevity of their career and the quality of their surfing. Who knows…had this been in place a year or two it may have done the same for Andy Irons.




Posted November 17, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

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