ASP (beta) is delivering on all its nu-look promises. The random element of WCT commentary has now officially been removed, with a core commentary team being announced today. While there’ll be regional guests from place2place, a core team will light up webcasts at every event. “For the first time in ASP history, we’ll have a dedicated and consistent team for the sport,” says Jed Pearson, SVP of Content and Programming.
And thank the good Laird above, the team is solid. If you’re ever doubting the quality of banter that buzzes airwaves during world tour events, watch a four-star-or-lower for the inexperienced delivery as a reference point.
Let’s re-introduce the gang…
Pat Parnell: Pat’s been doing this for two decades, y’heard? Dude’s done stints at NBC covering five Olympics, as well as hosting the Vans Triple Crown, and a string of other wildly impressive things like World of Adventure Sports, The Daily Habit, Surfer Poll, Billabong XXL and the NSL California Cup. He’ll be on hand as a host and play-by-play commentator. Expect considered excitement with a Southern California shine.
Joe Turpel: Joe Turpel is entering his fifth year calling play by play for the WCT. After much university studying, Joey started calling plays for the National Scholastic Surfing Association, which soon led to his first broadcast in Brazil and his since, obviously, grown to the big show. Joe’s tone doesn’t fluctuate too drastically which offers the perfect offset when he’s paired with a more, uh, vocally passionate commentator. Cool, calm and collected doesn’t even do it justice.
Martin Potter: Pottz brings legitimacy and, more importantly, experience (in every sense of the world). Having a world champ in the booth, let alone one who brought aggressive aerial surfing to a new gen, is like the diamond in Lyndall Jarvis’ wedding ring. Pottz, with his slightly hard-to-place Australian accent (that wears shades of South African and British) will play analyst for the new team. And analytical he is…
Ross Williams: Repping the Momentum generation in the event-callers gang is Mr Ross Williams. Ross’ dazzling white hair won’t be something you’ll see a lot of, but as analyst you’ll certainly enjoy his unassuming tone and the fact that when he breaks down a tailblow, he actually knows what he’s talking about.
Peter Mel: TBH, we’re not exactly sure what ‘analyst and reporter’ will involve for Pete Mel. But we sure hope it’s a central role. Pete is one of the best. Aside from the beyond-brill fact that he simultaneously competes in the Big Wave World Tour (and wins shit, like, the whole tour last year), his confident American reverberations and pointed questions are always welcome. Plus, his insights into equipment are a signature dish.
Rosy Hodge: There is no better beach reporter than Rosy Hodge. She brings the breeziest, most endearing, (and with fear of belittling her professionalism), cutest delivery you could hope for. The camera loves her, the surfers love her, and a South African inflection never sounded better. Plus, she has really good timing.
Todd Kline: Whether it’s a claim he’ll take or not, Todd Kline is, for us, most noted as the man who wore Bobby Martinez’s live webcast tirade in New York with as much smoothness as was possible. As host and reporter in 2014, Todd will drop mad knowledge, deliver the big questions, and comfortably offer segways between highlight reels and top fives. Oh, and according to a Stab poll, Todd is the world’s favourite commentator.
Strider ‘Raspberry’ Wasilewski: California native turned Pipeline/Teahupoo slayer? Yes, we’ll have your insights, thanks. Strider is one of the original professional freesurfers (meaning he didn’t make his mark on tour, but rather magazine covers). He’s spent a stretch captaining, managing and marketing the Quiksilver team (he discovered and signed Dane Reynolds). Despite his lack of world tour experience, Strider knows good surfing. He’ll therefore roll as reporter and analyst.
Ronnie Blakey: Ron is a man Stab loves. He brings just the right balance of professionalism and, for lack of a better word, froth. Ron researches stats and is about as knowledgable as commentators come. Not just the on-paper stuff, either; he’s down with new edits that have hit the internets, Instagram posts (hey, they have heft, and don’t deny it), and all that stuff that trickles down the direct line of athlete new media. So it’s unsurprising that he’ll join the Australian leg (which now stops at Snapper, Margaret River and Bells) as analyst and reporter.
See the gang in action when the Quiksilver Pro fires up on March 1.