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Two commentators walk into a club

Words by Derek Rielly

So-called controversial round two heat with French wildcard Marc Lacomare, and world champ Joel Parkinson, ends tenure of webcast commentators Jake Paterson and Damien Fahrenfort… 

Who might these loose-lipped, suddenly de-frocked mic jockeys be? Let’s zoom in and investigate! Jake Paterson is a one-time Pipe Master who rode the tour circus as both a competitor and tour rep; Damien “Dooma” Fahrenfort didn’t get that far, but has leveraged his talent on a surfboard into a career at Quiksilver and, lately, as Stab‘s US presence. They ain’t novices when it comes to surfing. The pair, and particularly Jake, are deeply aware of the machinations of heats and the tour.

Why was this particular heat controversial? It was close, sure, dull, certainly, at least if rad surfing’s your kink. If you were a blood relative or of the same nationality as the French wildcard Marc Lacomare, however, you might’ve called it controversial.

Bottom line, the French kid got better waves (lefts, mostly) but surfed in that wide-stanced, horizontal style peculiar to the heavily coached; the current world champ surfed a burger-y right, but in a superior manner. Hence why Joel’s the Champ and Marc is still kicking it in the in-between leagues.

Whatevs, it’s a subjective sport and, depending on your view, either surfer could’ve won. The judges went with Joel.

But as is the case in these superficially democratic times where any couch or office bound fan is gifted a voice, a handful of hysterical online comments on the outcome as well as an email from someone on top describing the pair as “amateurs”, appear to’ve gotten into the head of the ASP’s Tour Manager Renato Hickel.

Here’s a taste of the online hysteria.

From Ivan, froth dog: “The most interesting in the story Parko/Marco is the silence of the mags/websites. I live in France, and here too none of the mags or website talked about it, even if it is a french man who got robbed!”

And Joel M: “You’re right, the surf media has yet to publicly recognized the magnitude of what happened in this heat…This pro season has had its share of inconsistent judging but nothing as outrageous as this one heat. Will it be a deal breaker to an expanding disillusioned fan base? Time will tell.”

Now, if you were watching in real time you would’ve heard a breezy commentary from a couple of likeable former pro’s. The situation is this.

Marc has taken a wave and tagged it to the sand; Joel gets his biggest wave of the heat so far and drops three turns. It’s close. Marc has clearly increased the wave score Joel needs to win with his last wave, but Joel has just caught a good wave behind him. The heat ends. The winner is to be decided.

And, while the beach, and the online world, waits for the result this exchange takes place between the commentators.

Jake: “I don’t know. I’m going to leave it up to the professionals. That’s what they get paid for…”

Dooma: “Let’s leave t up to the judges. It’s going to be a crazy finish.”

Jake: “(Bet a) Beer on it?”

Dooma: “I don’t know. I have a feeling they’ll give it to Joel.”

Jake: “World title points?”

(Jake is referring to the theory that a reigning champ tends to get through close heats through a bias that is either outright or subconscious.)

Joel wins.

The message boards inflate with the usual and hardly new hits from self-styled judges. The fix is in! It’s about betting! About the American-Australian Surfing-Industrial Complex!

Paranoid, yeah? Noise in the air? Of course. Forgotten in a second? Definitely. Ain’t a thing for anyone to cry about.

But the inference of “world title points”, of bias, deeply offends Tour Manager Hickel and leads to Quiksilver dropping the pair from the commentary booth.

In an email to Jake’s masters at Quiksilver, Hickel writes: “To have Web Announcers betting beers, guessing judges scores in almost every single wave, and  telling thousands of web viewers that Joel would receive World Title bonus points, is completely unacceptable! A stain on a great Webcast.”

Jake responds: “I had a look at the heat review of Joel’s heat and didn’t see anything to bad all. Nothing worth your rude email. I think you need have another look at the heat your self. As for betting beers what a joke. You really think its unacceptable!! That is a strong word. I take offence to you saying that I am making a mockery of pro surfing. I love the sport and don’t think I have done anything wrong.”

I gotta note here on Hickel’s behalf that in earlier heats Damien and Jake were spectacularly wrong in their scoring of waves. Even your ol pal DR, whose surf skills consist of hoisting himself up on one knee in the whitewash and yelling “TUBE!”, gets within a half a point most waves. Ain’t no wonder the fans at home were confused.

A bit of back and forth followed before Jake concluded with, “Yes can’t wait to see how boring the web cast is next year. Good luck with that.…”

And, there, is the problem.

Not the heat, not the judging, not the structure that is modern professional surfing but the gagging of occasional criticism “for the good of the sport” and creating limits on what can be said by commentators. Jake and Dooma aren’t the hilarious radicals they might think they are. And Jake’s voice has all the tonal range of a deaf child who has suddenly learned to speak.

But there’s a point in there that if a commentator feels like a few loose words can cost him his job, well…

…hello vanilla!

And nobody like vanilla…

  • Manbearpig

    The only person that should be getting relieved of his job is Hickel. I’m not saying dooma and snake are the greatest commentators of all time but for the only response to that heat is that the commentators getting kicked off the mic is just wrong. Makes the ASP look like a bunch idiots… Would that happen in the nfl or skateboarding or snowboarding?

    • powersurfer

      Commentators in professional sports always disagree with the ruling and nothing ever happens

    • starsky

      I agree, this is absolutely outrageous!! Jake and Dooma have made an otherwise boring event exciting! I among overs love their ‘down to earth’ approach to commentating. Bettering Beers? Comeon ASP get real, this is surfing! There is absolutely no reason now to keep watching this dismal contest…

    • Seabass120

      Stupidest controversy ever. The ASP just admitted they fucked the goat on the inconsistent judging this year. Reminds me when a certain ASP exec prematurely named Slater as World Champ only to get the boot and of course he still win the damn thing just by showing up.

      Snake and Dooma are commentators….that’s it. Perhaps the ASP should just get a robot to announce the webcasts. That will do wonders for the new tour.

      ….and betting beers is a problem? Really, I can remember when they passed around a bowl for all of us to throw joints and coke into for the winner.

    • wonkah

      What are you guys talking about!? Potz is a killer commentator “Kai throwing caution to the wind with a 3″

      • James Bird


  • Northy

    I’d like to draw attention to the Pipe contest last year when Occy was commentating. Everyone know’s Occy’s best mates with Parko, and i’m sure him and Kelly get along great too but… almost every wave Parko took Occy’s comments would be something like “Oh… that’s a ten point ride right there Joey”. Parko was ripping and was probably a deserved winner but It was getting ridiculous. I turned the volume off coz I was over Occy talking up Joel trying to push him through heats.

    Does anyone remember that?

    • john

      The judges surely don’t listen to the webcast live though…

      • gannysesh

        I dunno. The head judge has stated in interviews that it bothers him when the commentators try to call scores. So maybe they are listening.

    • Eddie Hoffmann

      yep sure do and no one said anything about it !!

    • matt obrien

      yup. nice to remind those that remember!

  • docleelau

    ASP with a full on admission of guilt with this move…… they have to change something or no one is going to give a shit about pro surfing anymore which sucks, because at its core competitive surfing can be incredibly exciting. Marc should have won that heat and everyone knows it… even STAB has to cover their own ass by trying to paint it as a “toss up”

    I didnt like snake and dooma in the booth but they didnt deserve this. Everyone watching except for Joel and the judges couldnt believe what they saw. It just so happened that they were on the mike for the “how the fuck?” heat of 2013 and reacted to a completely bullshit call

  • john

    There entertaining at least, rather listen to them joke around then some serious wanker boring the shit outta me

    • lair

      they’re** – fuck it isn’t that complicated

  • john jenkins

    2 less idiots we have to listen to, thank god. Jake whilst a great surfers is an amazing arrogant tool. Quote from the womens Exciting and Womens surfing not two words i ever use together. Lets talk some more betting and beers and throw out scores that even a halfbred 2year old knows are no where near the mark. good riddance to bad rubbish and hopefully we dont ever have to list to Jake in particular ever again! as for dooma, put the kid in a booth with someone who knows their stuff and he’d probably be okay.

  • Roger

    This is what they find to be unacceptable? Ha!! I really didn’t mind their commentating and for them to be booted is a bit extreme (however this just goes to show that the ASP will not tolerate commentators who have the balls to disagree with the judges). Well done Derek Rielly, you somehow managed to fit the balls of all the judges and parko into your mouth somehow…this article is painfully annoying for anyone who has a clue about surfing and has been watching competitive surfing over the years. Biggest wave of the heat? so what? 3 turns? more like a soft cuback and two AVERAGE SNAPS. WTF is wrong with the surf media that none of the big mags have the guts to bring up this issue despite the overwhelming amount of complaints from surfing fans. If the judges had a logical explanation there would be no need for the silence. The fact is that these judges have absolutely no accountability and there is no transparency in what they do. They get to fuck up careers of less popular surfers and have no one to answer to. If anyone wants to read what seems to be an unbiased and honest review of the parko vs marc heat by a former ASP judge take a look:

    Shame on Stab for this article…Jake and Dooma aren’t the ones making out pro surfing to be a joke. Corrupt judges who don’t give a shit and the leading magazines such as yourselves who do your best to ignore/cover this up are the ones who make pro surfing seem like a joke

    • Encunted

      So writing about it is ignoring/covering it up? The mind boggles.

      DR intimates that he’s ambivalent about the result, and that the commentary upon it has been hysterical. And his parting comment can only be read as being critical of Hickel’s response.

      The judges got it wrong (in my opinion) and the ASP’s response to this commentary is farcical, but I think you’re shooting the messenger here.

      • Roger

        DR is not being ambivalent, he’s taking a heat where Marc blatantly got robbed and trying to make it sound as though the heat was much closer than it truthfully was. He made remarks which attempted to put down Marc’s surfing in the heat, while he tried his best to talk-up Parko’s (“the current world champ surfed a burger-y right, but in a superior manner. Hence why Joel’s the Champ and Marc is still kicking it in the in-between leagues”.) With that it doesn’t even sound as though he’s ambivalent, sounds as though he’s saying Joel out-surfed Marc which is complete bullshit. So instead of making statements about how the online viewers are “paranoid” as far as the parko push goes, perhaps Stab should try contacting the ASP or the judges and have them explain what went down. If they refuse, at the very least the surf media should have been all over that heat the moment it was done…even if just to give their personal opinion because I fail to believe that anyone truly believes Parko won that heat…even if you look at Parko’s body language after he rode the last wave you could tell he wasnt expecting to get the score.

        • Encunted

          He concludes the discussion of the heat with “Whatevs, it’s a subjective sport and, depending on your view, either surfer could’ve won. The judges went with Joel.” Sounds pretty ambivalent to me.

          Plenty of people in the other thread thought Joel won too, by the way. For what it’s worth, I’m not one of them.

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

      what are you talking about fool?

  • Paul

    Good work asp, just keep getting rid of anyone who disagrees with what you do. And maybe Dooma’s and Jake’s scores were off a bit for some of the waves, but so were the judges and maybe they should admit they get it wrong sometimes

  • bigbudah

    get fisher in there!

  • Chur

    ASP looking spineless with this ridiculous protectionism. No accountability to the public for their actions and everything is kept behind closed doors. The lack of transparency is what has caused a lack of trust and respect for the ASP and that is where the ‘world title points’ theory, for example, ultimately stems from.

  • Lake

    Well played Hickel! Jake’s commentary was the worst in the business. It’s time Quiksilver cut there losses and let the likes of Jake Patterson and while they’re at it drop Matt Hoy also.

  • dang3rtown

    I have absolutely no problem with quiksilver letting those two go. Their commentary has been far from my favorite for a while now but I don’t like that they were let go in this manner. Fire them for being boring, for being annoying, for anything, just not for daring to question the powers that be. This is why we need the broadcast to be independent of the contest. Broadcasters are for better or worse, journalists and to do their job properly they must have at least some level of autonomy.

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

      they were just scratching their heads as it unfolded..pure surprise..and uncensored honest musing..too bad.and i thought they were the best 2 commentators so far lol,different strokes there,ok.parko lost ,i watched the heat 4 times,i still say that

  • .,

    Why did Dooma get the sack? He didn’t even say anything. Jake’s ‘world title points’ call maybe deserved giving him the sack for evoking a hysterical response from crazed conspiracy theorists and people who cant judge a wave to save themselves. But he should have just been given a warning. These 2 in the booth were way more entertaining than Peter Mel and Potts, who suck off the judges and dont give honest opinions. From now on all we will see is boring commentators sucking up to everything the judges do and pretty much reading out the scoreboard with a few generic comments added in

    • Rob Coomber

      Surfing has gone corporate …. the spirit is phuk’d. Long live Dooma and Jake….may they entertain us again…hopefully.

  • Tom Brady

    Are they getting booted for disagreeing with the scores?? How stupid, we better not be stuck listening to drone like commentary that always agrees with the judges. Its better to have commentators with some personality who give honest opinions,

    by the way Lacomare clearly won that heat, joels winning score consisting of like 8 cutbacks(that most intermediate surfers can do) was bullshit, Worst call since Floater-Gate.

    While snake isn’t the best commentator at least give the public a legitimate reason for firing him.

    • Dooley

      Errrrrrrrrrr…….. So one of the most well to do and watched sports aka “cricket” can get away with dudes dressing as chicks in the crowd whilst getting sh*t faced, nudie runs, betting, match fixing, former priminister of Australia sculling a beer in the crowd at the age of 85, etc etc but Snake cant even say the word beer on a live stream at the beach where everyone is wearing boardies and bikinis without being fired for being out of line?? Open your eyes Hickle….. Your a d*ckhead.

    • ant

      floater-gate haha classic

  • Captain Surf

    The real question is who is going to start an alternative commentary audio stream? Stab? Dare ya. Or too scared of the backlash from advertisers? Then we could finally press mute on the official and retardedly boring commentary.

    • Manbearpig

      this is the best idea ive heard all day

    • dakoaaa

      matt hoy invited my dad to do one with him but asp didnt want to have any of it

    • Yep

      Hell yes, get Fisher to do an alternative web cast, you already have the stream and a text comment forum, just call him up and put him on speakerphone next to a mic

    • hellopossums

      The one sterling did for the Triple crown last year was hilarious

      • Captain Surf

        Whoa why didn’t I know about this?

        • hellopossums

          It was awesome and there was a replay up for ages but now it’s down

    • James Bird

      Get Wok, Fish, Dooma and Snake on a seperate pod cast commentary stream. Not these ASP boring baalies.
      and take away Parko’s ASP world tour points. Let justice be served.

    • davob

      Stab alternative live commentary. Someone less lazy then me should start some kind of social media pressure group…

    • Justin Blumenthal

      YES. do this. i’m in.

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

      hell yeah

  • Scharck Baite

    Wow, over-reaction much?! At most a slap on the wrist for the world title holder points bit – which personally I have no problem with. Are commentators not hired to give their opinions? Would love to see a petition come out to force Hickel into an apology, give them their jobs back, with a raise or a ‘signing bonus’ of sorts for all the crap he’s put them through. If not, maybe one of Quicksilvers competitors will be reading this and hire them on!! :)

  • trogPOUNDA

    What a joke. Judges win parko a world title, now this. Snakes a legend if anything kick that nerd joel turpell and sal maseSTFU out of the booth PLEASE. And bring back Jbay and drop rio while your at it. was PUMPING this year

  • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

    can you believe the ridiculousness of the tour,the industry,the ASP most
    of god,how can i boycott these retards,support the 2 best
    commentators they’ve ever had and still watch the comp.bobby martinez is
    a hero !..maybe occys too radical as well then?

  • Joel

    Jake and Damien got robbed! Jake’s right, it will be boring next year…or God forbid, they get Chris Cote in to commentate and everyone now watches it muted…

  • Brusk

    I have really preferred the commentary at this event to any other event this year so far, these two guys are honest and down to earth, not industry robots like Turple and Lynch.

    I didnt catch the part where Jake said “Yes can’t wait to see how boring the web cast is next year. Good luck with that.…”. That is definitely overboard. I can understand why they would drop Snake after that, but why Dooma??

    • BC

      I believe that comment was made in the returning email, not live on the mic.

  • Mongo

    Suck shit Jake! Your a fucking turkey… hope never to see ya again.

  • Spencer

    Commentators of all sports call it how they see it. In the NBA commentators call “should have been a foul” or non fouls all the time.

    The John John/ Wilko heat was very poor judging as well!

    ASP is having the worst year ever! #keepJAKE&DOOMA

  • kai borg

    They should fire the fucking judges instead

  • Mongo

    “Jake and his special comments will be sorely missed at surfing events”

    Said no one…


    See ya Jake.

    • handyman

      I will miss his comments…

  • Ugh!

    Martin Potter and Peter Mel are going to put us into a coma by giving continually giving in depth analysis on what leashes people are using,how much everyone is ripping, how good the judges are and how hard ‘air 360’s’ are these days.Surf commentary needs a bit of controversy,now we’re doomed.

    • Northy

      Every time someone kooks it, Pottz always has to chime in and say “Oh he’s such an amazing athlete… that was such an uncharacteristic mistake.” Listen for it. You’ll hear it so often.

      I’m done ripping on the commentators now. Cheers.

  • Hugh du toit

    By far the best commentary team for me. Crazy to let them go like that.

    • BC

      I agree. Great team for sure! But I also think Dave Wassel and Alex Grey are the greatest duo of all time.

      on another note, Snakes laugh sounds so damn genuine and hardy I crack up and smile every time i here it.

      • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

        thats a no from me on wassel

  • TimTam

    So lame. I have kids and I don’t care if they watch jake and dooma clowning around. It’s just surfing and while i understand that they get a bit carried away. The mundane sounds of kooks like turdpell and Sal are tough to sit through. Good luck boys probably not another gig for you in surf commentating but maybe a pirate webcast could be good. Go on stab accept this challenge……

  • BC

    THose judges are blind. I look forward to Snake in the booth. I think he’s Hilarious. Parko has been getting world title points all season. Giving them the boot for having an opinion? what a fucking joke. Cant wait to see what ole’ Bobby boy has to say about ASP now.

  • Hawozzy surfer

    I am both fan and former WCT surfer and WQS and WCT commentator in this awesome sport they call Surfing.

    I agree that everyone (including Jake and Dooma) is entitled to their opinion of a score, turn, wave selection etc. it makes for great debate for one, and People respect that for sure. I know I do!

    The judges are the most opionionated of them all and that’s ok. Commentators who speak their mind with knowledge and credibility to do so, Should also be fine by ASP standards to give proper professional opinions where and how they see fit. So long as it keeps the high standard of commentary expected at that top level.

    Commentary should be at teh same high standard as the surfers are putting in at each events. One compliments the other, in my 2 cents worth.

    I too have been reprimanded for my honest opinion at stages of commentary and quite frankly it is what it is and I would have kept doing it if I was still commentating today no doubt. It’s a bummer that Jake got the sack and Dooma as well. Surfing is a fun, entertaining and incredible sport to watch and take part in. All of which should be reflected in it’s commentary.

    This is why a consistent set of voices needs to be implemented to have a consistency of all and more mentioned above. But boy do they need to get it right right?

    I hope the ASP and the people running it get this right for all you lovers of watching and listening to “LIVE SURFING” (inclduing myself) get the show you deserve both in and out of the surf through live pictures (straight up ripping) and professional and fun commentary.

  • Daniel

    wow stab, this article is full of douche-baggery! I hope Jake catches you in the line-up sometime Derek……oh wait, you can’t surf

  • gannysesh

    1) I think it’s a bit disingenuous to belittle the reaction to the scoring as “internet comments.” That just happens to be the medium. Stab happens to be an internet website. These contests happen to be streamed live over the internet (and archived there). And if the contests weren’t put on the web, barely anyone would watch them. And if Stab didn’t post a bunch of other people’s content, barely anyone would read it.

    2) Who is Damien Fahrenfart, as you asked? You may check the recent archives of this site for a glowing review of his commentary stylings.

    3) “I gotta note here on Hickel’s behalf that in earlier heats Damien and Jake were spectacularly wrong in their scoring of waves.” For the sake of fairness, all of the commentators have been wildly wrong throughout this tournament. For just one example, see JJF vs Wilko, wherein Peter “Execute a Maneuver” Mel and Potter call one of JJF’s wave as not even cracking the 5 point mark. Imagine their surprise (and their rapid damage control) when it was judged an 8.10.

    The fans at home weren’t confused because the commentators lead us astray by mis-calling waves. Everyone is confused. It’s a big problem when most people, including big fans who are very familiar with pro surfing, casual fans, and seasoned commentators, do not fully understand the judging. It’s not as fun to watch these contests when the results appear to be at the mercy of some whimsical rules that are inconsistently managed. I’ve turned people on to pro surfing, only to have the opaque judging be the ONE big factor that eventually turns them away from it. When nearly everyone except the “authorities” who are very obviously hesitant to ruffle any feathers (and instead play the contrarian “heh, internet commenters amirite!” card) are confused, upset, and disillusioned, then you have a problem.

    4) For those keeping track (AT HOME, ON THEIR, COUCH, ON THE INTERNET), an earlier edit of this article stated: “an email from Kelly Slater describing the pair as ‘amateurs’.” That sentence was later changed to remove Slater’s name.

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

      did slater say that?it is important to know about weasly shiz too

      • gannysesh

        This article definitely had that sentence in it. I read it on my phone while taking a crap, then switched over to the laptop to leave a comment (five minutes later). That’s when I noticed it had been changed.

        And a reader on the surfermag forums pasted the entire article right after stab posted it, and it includes that sentence:

        However, I can’t answer the question of whether Slater actually said that. They stated that he did, so it seems he did. They either removed it because he didn’t in fact say it, or because Slater or someone asked them to remove it for another reason.

        • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

          thanks..yeah i read it,i am having trouble believing they didnt twist his words to suit themselves..then maybe he called them on it.we will probably never know……so lame how stabs the only one to say anything at all..far as i’ve seen

  • foamballs

    I like Jake’s commentary but i disagreed with his call on the heat. Afterwards I also wondered if it were the cause of the hysteria. I don’t reckon Lacomare did enough to dust Parko. The biggest turns were done on that last score. And as the article above says, ML’s surfing was pretty harsh on the eyes and Parko’s turns were far stronger.

    Those saying that an average surfer can surf like Parko surfed in that
    heat- these comments are about as over the top as you can get.

  • Theytooktheirjoooobs

    “World title points,” yeah kinda obvious that shouldn’t have been said or being a focus on Joel’s wave score. But “betting a beer” on the wave, I thought it was funny and adds some humor to a serious few seconds of the heat. They are commentators, not robots. They are doing what their job entails. Booting them was awful and puts a label on ASP.

  • matt obrien

    freaking unbelievable! That is almost as outrageous as Joel’s 8.5… almost!!!

  • john jenkins

    i dont think the issue is that they disagreed with the scores but Jake went out and basically claimed that everything is corrupt. world title points, thats the biggest load of crap ive ever heard. if it was true parko would be in the running for the title instead of watching kelly, mick, taj and jordy fight it out. he stuffed up and has to wear the consequences. should the judges wear consequences if they stuff up totally. at the end of the day im just stoked not to listen to Snake insesent wingeing, claiming, score throwing and all round crap talk. best part of the webcast is listening to anyone but him as for someone who should be so knowledgable and great he comes across as an absolute moron

  • Robert Tyler Laravie

    Hey u Johnny Jocks, Heres your problem … Surfing isnt a sport !!! Thats the crock of shit served to u by the Aussies and ASP. “Pro Surfing” has ruined one of the purest activities on this planet. It will only get worse. Just look at where Snowboarding has gone. i could care less about these webcasts , ESPN specials and the NBC signature series. All the announcing is terrble and unprofessional anyway. Though i do enjoy watching the top dogs compete, claim and cry like big children, i myself surf for fun, have no expectations and enjoy the ocean. Thats all its about. Thats all its ever been about.

    • W_ill

      If you don’t like professional surfing, why are you on this site? Why did you click this particular article?

  • frothdog

    shitstab, shit.. that article was a load of fukn horse radish, did quiksilver or the head judge fire off an email asking you to remove the slater comment? Are you implying that the ‘hysterical reaction’ of the people commenting on your site caused this backlash? For many the comments forum is the main drawcard of the site.. sure we are all a bunch of armchair kooks throwing in our 2 cents, but just like assholes, everyone has opinions and some of them are quite funny and entertaining. But the sheer number of comments shows there really is a lot of feeling regarding this heat, and the judging on the wct. we love surfing and they need to get it right for next year.
    The whole is it a sport or is it an artform or is it a lifestyle or is it a tennis match debate is an interesting one, but at the end of the day you can tell who is ripping hardest down at your local, a group of “professional” judges with a set of criteria should be able to get it almost right; especially if we are going to call this a sport and expand it to a wider audience of people who watch a broad range of sports. Does diving or the olympics or gymnastics have head judges? if a judge comes up with a score based on their subjective opinion and a set of criteria, do we really need a head judge? the scores are also averaged out to remove the 2 extreme opinions.
    You never going to please everybody with a commentary team but they shouldn’t be gagged and worried about pissing off the ASP. In all other sports the commentators discuss and slate or praise the officials call because it has a huge effect on the outcome of any contest. this is the biggest fuck up in this whole issue.
    Commentary is really important in the webcasts, because it gets you thru 35 minutes of lulls.. or not.

    actually the biggest fuck up is that dooma got fired as well.Dooma, you got a real raw deal here, he’s just been unlucky to be paired up with jake, you woulda thought they would heve combo’d the larrys with the boring guys to get a bit of a balance..

    • W_ill

      I’m just gonna throw out a different perspective, perhaps the reason why were are all confused over the judging isn’t because the judges are shite, it’s because the commentators are?!?! The commentators are there to educate the audience, and if all they do is bitch about judging and throw shoutouts to their mates, what does that accomplish… By the sounds of things, the ASP ain’t firing them because of their opinions, opinions are what they are there for… But they confuse the audience by bitching and moaning and imply it’s not a fair heat when they things like “world title points”

      A good commentator would have said if anyone out there is confused about this heat hang on, I’ll go talk to the judges are get their side of the story…

  • Marko

    This article doesn’t really address what was going on. Commentators get to call a wave before it is scored. If it is out of sync with the scoring a bit too obvious as it is, it is easy to blame it on the commentators, brushing them off as idiots, doesn’t really count as an argument. There is more to it.
    Once the score is out there it is cast in stone and there is a benchmark to discuss it against. the fact that they are miscalling it, and that wasn’t the case so blatantly in earlier years, made me believe that the scoring has changed and in a way that leaves most viewers like me frowning.
    Lowers adn France this year have left me frowning.
    Stop scaling the scores towards the conditions, if a wave is small and gutless, only a few can light it up to make a high score, and that is now rendered more difficult. Good luck ASP…

  • Hugh du toit

    all the offending stuff was said tongue in cheek – the old farts, Kelly included, have no sense of humour. they should think more about their target audience. Jake and Dooma are/were the only two really entertaining commentators on the whole tour, the rest are a complete snoozefest.

  • Scott Hey Buddy

    This is the worst ASP move yet, i dont want to hear censored commentary. Shame on quicksilver for not looking after their own commentry team, shame on the other commentators for staying silent! and the worst is ASP silence on the issue. Hickel’s job should be on the line for this.

  • Keef Whiteman

    Absolutely disgraceful sacking them for making the webcast interesting! Surfing is a counter culture sport,and Parko is forever being pushed thru heats!

  • Hugh du toit

    hope they lawyer up and kick some ass

  • ihatethisshit.

    Dooma and snake have WAY more credibility calling the scores than any of these fucken judges. THEY CAN ACTUALLY SURF.

    • fred

      Judges can surf. Pretty sure they have to be ex-competitors or some clause.

  • Ivan

    So here we are. The ASP fucked up that heat, shuts up the medias (or at least says to them : talk about the commentators, but AVOID the real subject, the Parko/Marco heat ) and shuts up every single person who would have the balls to talk later about it, by firing two entertaining commentators for example. Shame on you ASP, shame on you..

  • James B

    I sad this before, but i think is never enough: Jake Paterson is the most biased and prejudicial commentator ever. Shame on ASP to allow him and Richie Porta to stiil be on the tour.

    • .,

      More biased than you? Dont think so hypocrite

    • hellopossums

      Come on James give it a rest

  • DC

    i thought they were amusing, big respect to the other commentators, but DOOOOOMA the the Snake have been adding entertainment.
    Quik should save face and reinstate these buggers!
    if it wasn’t for Rosy i might turn the sound off all together!
    pretty childish from ASP and Quik. You have just given tennis Bobby something to rant and rave about! Dumbass’s…
    oh, i did think Marc took the heat!

  • Gareth Shireen Jones

    did the kiwi commentators get the chop for their honest opinions in the Bismark red carding incident a few weeks ago (ABs – Springboks) – no the IRB issued a public apology for getting it wrong – ASP need to admit they are human too !

  • wally

    yeh good movie hickel, why don’t you just go get wassel and gray, they do a heaps better job you idiot! Its not golf!

  • Rob

    good strategy, blame it on the commentators… Joel shoulda got a 5 at most on that last wave, fuck this.

  • Rob

    spot on: “What a joke. Judges win parko a world title, now this. Snakes a legend
    if anything kick that nerd joel turpell and sal maseSTFU out of the
    booth PLEASE. And bring back Jbay and drop rio while your at it. was
    PUMPING this year”

  • Derrick de Vries

    i watched the whole webcast and found the pair to be the most entertaining of the lot and didnt find the comments about world title points to be facetious. I am sure the beer sponsor took no offence to the plug during the betting. Proper banter. No harm intended, its not like they fire Occy when he drops the odd S-bomb

  • Grant

    Ridiculous! Just when the world was starting to warm to the idea that surf commentary is at least (more colourful) and honest that most sports commentary….a gagging order is issued and a precedent has been set. So now any commentator who wishes to keep commentating or curry favour (ASP), will be watching his or her words very carefully in order to keep doing what he / she is doing.
    And so, bland, one dimensional commentary, void of personality or personal opinion will be the order of the day.

  • Mark Sisom

    Whooooa waiiit a minute! … –>”“To have Web Announcers betting beers, guessing judges scores in almost every single wave, and telling thousands of web viewers that Joel would receive World Title bonus points, is completely unacceptable! A stain on a great Webcast.” <—- ISN'T THAT EXACTLY WHAT THE WEBCAST HOSTS ARE *FOR*??? Colorful commentary within boundries is golden!! … And no boundries were crossed! Sorry, ASPee … but if you guys just want colorless, droning play by play commentary and nothing more … WHY BOTHER EVEN WEBCASTING!!! Just point the camera, show the scores and whallah: Ultra-conservatism!! (Or just have Turpel do EVERY webcast) …. . . . Jake and DOoma said NOTHING wrong … And Stab mag, love your content, but you seemed to side with Parko on this one when it was CLEARLY one of the most inaccurate heat calls in surfing history!!! … ALSO: When you say: "the French kid got better waves (lefts, mostly) but surfed in that wide-stanced, horizontal style peculiar to the heavily coached; the current world champ surfed a burger-y right, but in a superior manner. …" … BULL!! Watch those waves.. AGAIN … Lacomare's backside blasts were WAY more critical than any turn Parko did in that heat! Parko was a snoozefest in that heat while Marc lit his waves up!!! No WAY was Parko's first wave an 8:00 when Lacomare's first two were only 7+ waves! If you don't believe there was bias you are fools.

    • No Signal

      Really! The surfing, judgeing and scoring are the CONTEST. The commentary is a couple of guys talking about the contest. No one wants to sit watching a 30 minute heat where each surfer usually catches less than 5 waves listening to a couple of guys go on about what surfboard this guy is using or some useless information about who his sponsors are, etc.

      We need Beevus and Butthead actually. Two guys yapping it up and having a good time, just like if two regular guys were sitting at home having some beers and laughing it up, argueing over the scores and tossing doritos at each other. That’s all the commentary is for, ENTERTAINING us during those boring ass 10 minutes or more while the competitors are just paddling around waiting for a wave to ride.

      As far as the World Tour and all the points and who gets to be world champion, the scoring at contests, I really don’t give a rats ass about any of that. I watch these contests to get to see the worlds best “competitive” *(there ARE better surfers in the world that just don’t do the pro tour) surfers on waves I’ll never get to surf.

      Honestly during most competitions I turn the sound volume off and don’t even listen to the commentators. At least Dooma and Snake made it bearable to listen to.

  • theancientriot

    Just a good, well written and humorous article. At least something good came out of the whole debacle. Seriously though, WCT competitions don’t have the greatest pool of commentators to pick from and Jake and Dooma were pretty good and entertaining, a waste to have them go.

  • TimTam

    So weak. Dooma and snake vs Trupell and and Sal. Fuck they not only tule them in the booth but they know how to stand up on a wave at least. Asp is lame and are shitting themselves because they have promised all the brands free comps next year with promise of big sponsors.

  • docleelau

    its too bad Marc isnt brazillian….. this could have been the first time ever where the brazillians and australians/americans agreed on something in surfing

  • Red Rooster

    Hickel’s throwing a red herring. The commentators are not the problem the judges are: here is a more balanced view than that offered by Derek Reilly who, frankly, dost protest too much:

  • Red Rooster

    Hickel is throwing a red herring. The judges are the problem not the commentators. Here is a more balanced view than the one offered by Derek Reilly who, frankly, dost protest too much:

  • Fluo Jer

    you’re wrong , it’s a national subject for media, in france. the proof ? here on excellent french surf website “the bottom turn”.

  • Jim Samuels

    This is truly infuriating…

    In most “legitimate” and “mainstream” sports including football(american) soccer/futbol, cricket, baseball, basketball, etc. the commentators are constantly calling it how it says. They say when players mess up, when they’re playing like shit, when the refs/officials get the wrong calls and when they get it right. They also critique other areas of the sport to make the overall sport better. Not only does this add to the experience, but it’s what makes these sports watchable for the vast majority of fans.

    Most people have played very little basketball or football(american) but still enjoy watching it. After watching only a few games, most people are able to determine for themselves whether the officials made the right or wrong call. The commentators are there to then show whether they got it right or not. Not only is honest commentary entertaining to listen to, but it helps the masses better understand the sport.

    What’s bizarre to me, is that in the so called “fringe” and “action sports” worlds such as snowboarding and surfing the commentary is purely vanilla, annoying and boring. I don’t need turpel who can barely do a turn to tell me how hard someone on tour is ripping. Even joe schmo who’s never surfed in his life should be able to look at two waves and determine who surfed them better. Surf commentary has turned into a world where every single guy on tour is “ripping” and an “incredible athlete.” In addition the judges are “professionals” who the commentators make it sound are the only ones able to come up with an opinion (“we’ll leave this one up to the pros.”) Not only is this type of stuff incredibly boring, repetitive, and disingenous, it actually harms our sport as it allows judges to get the scores wrong often with no accountability or explanation. It also turns away newcomers who may think they understand it, then the judges throw out a wrong call and they can’t figure out the nuances and become lost. When the commentators just constantly say the judges got it right, it does not educate, but covers up.

    What’s especially disturbing about this whole affair is the ASP’s Kremlin style response, which is to cover it up and shut down communications. It’s also disgraceful how neither quiksilver, nor any other surf brand or pro surfer has had the courage to publicly speak out against the ASP’s actions.

    While I have written numerous novels regarding snake’s poor contest director calls, I think he actually did an excellent job in the booth and him and dooma were honest, funny and most importantly entertaining. Sure they may have gotten scores wrong, but it just shows that surfing is subjective and disagreements on scores are ok so long as we embrace them and talk about them. We don’t deal with bad things by covering them up, we deal with them by talking about them, figuring out what went wrong, and how we can fix these things.

    I really hope this gains some traction and is covered by more media outlets to show the ASP and ZoSea that this kind of stuff really upset the public and puts the popularity of the sport in serious peril.

  • toddy taylor

    So the ASP want to crucify one of surfing’s great ambassadors for having an opinion! Get your heads out of your arse ASP, its peoples opinions that determine world champions! Why are you trying to invent toilet paper you cant put you finger through?? Quiksilvers motto in their hay day was, IF YOU CANT ROCK N ROLL DONT FKN COME! The WCT is professional surfing’s show case and it needs its characters to say it how it is! Your decision to suppress two educated surfing commentators is a reflection of how naive your organisation’s have become!

    Well delivered Mr Riley.

    Toddy Taylor

    Country Waves Yallingup.

  • Jim Samuels

    Renato Hickel’s ASP: A quiet beer after a long day

    It’s 5:35 pm in France and Day 2 of the Quik Pro has just wrapped up. Renato shakes hands with the
    judges in an almost uncomfortably formal manner and discusses what a great job they had done. Strangely enough, to the judges and any outsider who might be presented it seemed much more about Renato
    than the judges themselves. He chided them “You boys almost got it wrong on a few of those heats with Parko and Fanning, good thing I was there to keep you in check, but overall great work today.” And “Alright boys, lets go have a beer, you’re buying since I had to correct you about some of those heats, can’t be having Frenchy walk all over Parko now can we? Gotta keep the legitimacy of our sport present ya hear?”

    6:00pm: The judges nodded solemnly as the trudged off following Renato to the nearest pub. For all of them this certainly wasn’t the first time they’d had to follow Renato’s path. Tales wandered throughout the panel about judges who went rogue and dared to question Renato’s leadership. Publically Renato would listen to their comments while looking down the barrel of his large brazillian nose at them. However mysteriously enough all but one of these judges were never heard from again. Only one, a legend in judging circles, had survived Renato’s wrath. While he was promptly fired from the ASP he is the only one who continues to critique the ASP publicly via his blog. He seems to have mystical powers which keep Renato from reaching him.

    8:15 pm: The judges have had a few beers and are beginning to relax. Thankfully Renato had run into Kelly Slater and after some very uncomfortable leg rubbing between Renato and Kelly they had departed to “go somewhere and use a restroom really quick.” As usual, it was not apparent why Renato was needed to help Kelly “use the restroom” but for the judges this wasn’t the first or last time as Renato had a long history of helping various individuals in the top 5 in the bathroom, most noticeably Parko.

    10:00 pm: After a night of very hushed discussion between the judges on how annoyed they were with having to constantly erase the scores on their whiteboards and add or subtract points based on the surfer to please Renato, they decided to go back to their hotel rooms. Interestingly enough Renato was seen emerging from Parkos room. Hardly a strange sight for the judges, what was suprising, was Renato’s appearance. It looked as though he was wearing one of Alana blanchard’s wetsuits made of leather and had a white substance streaked down the front. It even looked as though there was some left in his stubble on his chin. Renato was
    high a cocktail of prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers and was dancing down the hall way to his corner suite overlooking the contest site.

    Luckily he didn’t see the judges, as he would have been very upset. Renato had implemented a strict policy that no judges be allowed to be out in public without his presence to ensure that no individual judge were ever allowed to speak to any surfers or the media directly and that the judges stand as a “United Front,” with Renato at the helm.

    The judges snuck quietly back to their room which was filled with 2 3 man bunks and various cots. Roaches scurried along the floor. A normal person would shudder but for these judges It was just another day on the ASP tour.

    • Arjones

      This is… what is this? A joke, of course. But you lost one single detail: the man behind, or in front, of the judges is the head judge (who should bend over to the brands and gamblers?).

  • Dave Henderson

    This really spells out the need for separation of the church from state.

  • Nathan

    You suck Stab. Jake is a great commentator and this is a joke. Surf mags are gutless..

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

      maybe have a better read nathan, you have misinterpreted it…stab is the only one reporting it

  • power hacks

    The truth herts doesn’t it HICKEL?

    Your such a KOOK. Do you even surf?

  • power hacks

    HICKEL go rute Joe Tripel.

  • SharkBoy

    Are there really people paid to write this stuff?


    So-called controversial round two heat with French wildcard Marc
    Lacomare, and world champ Joel Parkinson, ends tenure of webcast
    commentators Jake Paterson and Damien Fahrenfort…

    a controversy is by definition :
    prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion.

    is it ‘so-called’? look at the comments on ASP facebook, or on the
    forums, or on the articles of Surfline, etc. It was publicly disagreed
    upon by pros, bloggers, internet posters, shapers, and other


    Why was this particular heat controversial? It was close, sure, dull,
    certainly, at least if rad surfing’s your kink. If you were a blood
    relative or of the same nationality as the French wildcard Marc
    Lacomare, however, you might’ve called it controversial.

    no, it’s controversial because a lot of people publicly disagreed with it, way to belittle everyone


    Bottom line, the French kid got better waves (lefts, mostly) but surfed
    in that wide-stanced, horizontal style peculiar to the heavily coached;
    the current world champ surfed a burger-y right, but in a superior
    manner. Hence why Joel’s the Champ and Marc is still kicking it in the
    in-between leagues.

    about two minutes it took me to research the ASP rulebook and find that
    no rule detracts from wide-stanced style (and what was more horizontal
    about Lacomaire’s style than PARKO*S????????) or how do you have a
    lessened score for being heavily coached??

    out of the rulebook:

    s must perform to the ASP judging key elements to ma
    ximize their
    scoring potential. Judges analyze the following major elements when scoring

    Commitment and degree of difficulty

    Innovative and progressive manoeuvres

    Combination of major manoeuvres

    Variety of manoeuvres

    Speed, power and flow


    Whatevs, it’s a subjective sport and, depending on your view, either surfer could’ve won. The judges went with Joel.

    yes, but according to their own rulebook, joel met none of the criteria
    except flow, variety and combination of moanoevers had lacomaire all
    over him.

  • ant

    we the people need to overthrow Hickel!! we must make him resign! there needs to be a revolution! VIVA LA REVOLUCION!! and for the surf media to not mention anything on the heat and to side with the ASP?? since when did the real surfers who run the sites and mags become little whipped pussys?! dont be scared to voice ur opinion!

  • david

    how about pottz saying “if you wann beat the world champ you gotta really beat him?” i’ve heard that from him multiple times, the most recently in the morning show a few days back. that doesn’t indicate bias? sure makes it sound like the world champs are judged differently. so how come renato isn’t calling for pottz to be sacked? i can’t stand how snake mangles surfers’ names and sometimes sounds ingnorant, but if there’s gonna be a standard how bout holding everybody to it? i can tell everyone in the booth is on their tippy toes now, too. pretty soon the commentary is gonna be so cardboard that interest will wane. asp/quik/whoever decides this stuff is making reactonary decisions without thinking through the consequences. so what if slater said they sound like amateurs? they often do, like most of the others in the biz. only sal is on all the time. hire professionals who can speak and read well and know the game in and out, and have a sense of humor too. commentary is about human interest. if a commentator can’t relay that he/she should be replaced by those who can, if the tour really wants to be professional.

  • YD

    Mr Rielly, if you really believe the heat was not controversial, maybe you should apply for a place in the judging booth!

  • Cameron

    Hey everyone remembers last year when Slater’s manager (so, essentially his business partner, and the face of his interest in the sport) bought the ASP right?

  • Shane Barnes

    Snake is by far the worst announcer anyways. ASP shouldn’t let him announce if they know whats best.

  • for fucks sake

    this is quite possibly the most pointless fucking article ever written. who cares, watch the surfing and stop fucking complaining

  • gfromcdb

    It’s not the ASP, it’s Quik which fired these guys. Question is : why ? What did they fear ?
    Whatever the ultimatum thrown by Hickel and the ASP Quik could and should have denied it, if not for democracy or freedom of speech (yes, it’s dumb to mention these, I must admit…) just because it was the only thing to do.

    And yes, ASP and Quik would still be pals. Or business partners.

  • Stuart

    We need GT!

  • Perry Hunani

    DANG! SNAKE WAS THE BEST! by far…the only person worth listening to, sense of humor and a honest(and credible) opinion! now who do we have to listen to? PEPPE MEL = king of babbble aka mr science guy or TURDPAIL = NED FLANERS ‘hidely ho there neighbor wow nice cutback!” or Barton Lynch=” ive just ingested methamphetamine in my cofee and found a time machine im here from the past…wow a reentry! fantastic!” or SAL MASAKOOKAH = aka mr ive never really surfed although i live in socal and im friends with blink 182 and shaun popular, i am famous you need me! Take me to Fiji biatch pay me! or OCCY = hopefully! or WASSEL/COTE/GRAY the pacific rim of brobro super bud gayness?!! MR ADAM REPLOLGLE aka mr i dont know what to say but im going to keep saying something faak i hope they invite me back…faaak…or SHAMOOOKA= yuppie gelled hair weirdo aka mr. i want to be simon cowle….GOD SAVE PRO SURFING WHERE IS THE SOUL?

  • gummo

    Fuck you Derek. You’re a full blown cocksucker

  • Bruce

    I watched the heat between Joel and Marc L. I have judged 100’s of heats.
    The Frenchman got ripped off. Yet again the current world champ gets overscored.
    How many times has the commenters said Slater deserves a 7 and he has been given an 8 plus.
    The problem is judging not the commenters.

  • sjollivier

    People should boycott Quik and ASP for this. The irony and hypocrisy of the “amateurish” comment is too amazing.

    On the heat: It was close. Probably should have gone to Marc L. (DR, if it was all about style, then Logie and Adriano wouldn’t be on tour.)

    On Quik’s reaction: Unbelievably weak to fire two down-to-earth, better-than-average commentators (what? do we really want Turpel and Sal????? Save me from that pulllease!)

    On the commentary: Nothing out of the ordinary here. I’ve heard bets from commentators many times in previous comps. Plus, in the NBA, they always say the rookie has to earn it and will never get a call. Nobody freaks out about that. Yet, Dick-el and the Quik have a hissy fit? Losers…

    What a joke…

  • tunerbowl


  • Johnnyguns

    What bored me the most was the badly written article..sheesh! How about writing in a way that people understand?

  • Robinho

    You can reach Renato Hickel on renato (at) or through +61 419 189 389. You’re all welcome.

  • no slow mo bro


  • John Dove

    WOW STAB HAS A CREDIBLE ASS STAFF, great ending about possible repercussions to a less entertaining, censored webcast; and this is perfectly put:

    “Bottom line, the French kid got better waves (lefts, mostly) but surfed in that wide-stanced, horizontal style peculiar to the heavily coached; the current world champ surfed a burger-y right, but in a superior manner. Hence why Joel’s the Champ and Marc is still kicking it in the in-between leagues.”

  • Shaun Robinson

    Paul Fisher would be the best replacement for any commentator that were to get fired from the asp. Problem is Fish is so damn unpredictable he would probably get fired the first week for indecent exposure or some shit haha still Fish would be great for the ratings! sub to his youtube channel for some serious comedy

  • Gerr’s Love Child

    C’mon guys,
    …wouldn’t you all rather hear Pottz tell us how good his Weirdo Ripper goes, while Peter Mel blows smoke up the ass of his own ‘Grom’ consistently for hours on end?

  • brobro

    These guys make competitive surfing fun to watch. They made a dull heat completely entertaining. A good commentator should have personality and a sense of humor!! Boo on ASP for this total botch

  • Mike C

    Count my 100% support for Jake and Dooma. They are great commentators- I always look forward to the webcast when they are in the booth. So they called it like it is… isn’t that their job?

    I love Parko but he got an 8 for a wave where he did standard cutbacks- no degree of difficulty whatsoever. Its the judges who should be on the hot seat.

  • your mum

    Hickel rips so hard, you should see him surf out D’Bah and Snapper! He is nearly classified as a local, we are going to ask him to join our board riders club…… NOT!
    Piss off and take all your coke dealing wanker brazzo mates out of Rainbow Bay.
    Also please take your smelly women with you who stain our beautiful beaches with their fat asses.

  • guest what?

    Get Cori Schumacher in the commentators booth. Her viewpoint is as skewed as the ASP!

  • WICK

    What Snake said was true! Dude knows what he’s talking about and then Mick takes the final on floaters and a couple of turns! And the title race continues…bonus world title points

  • Howard Swanwick


  • crackers

    I love Snake, I will watch any web cast if he is commentating. He is super funny and original. It will be a big loss to loose him. Bring the snake back…… PLEASE

  • Controversial

    Hello Mr. Derek Rielly, Stab Crew, hi! Please, stop pretending joel won that round 2 heat against marc, because he didn’t. If asp is giving the heat to a “world title contender”, why make a heat at all? Just give’em the points. So stab, do not try to treat the fuckers that keep coming back to this website as more of a morons than we already are. We appreciate it. Now, if you guys are into doing something good for pro surfing, give us the real deal about parkopush and why it’s still full on, because we’re tired of it.
    Thank you.

  • Controversial

    And what about martin poter acting as mick fanning’s coach and enthusiastically giving web viewers his recipe for fanning to beat medina in the final? What about that huh? Get rid of potz, he’s terrible!

  • Andrew D. Guzman

    great so now i have to listen to that that vanilla piece of crap Joe Turpel. you know whats wrong with surfing, is guys like Joe Turpel who’s surfing terminology sounds like they’re reading it from some manual on how to commentate surfing. not to mention he’s never been on tour and probably never surfed a contest in his life. but enough about him, he is only the begging of the vanilla take over and not only is it vanilla, its artificial vanilla. the kind where even though you know your getting vanilla but its so artificial and fake that its even more bland the natural vanilla. all i’m asking is that we can at least keep it natural and thats what guys like Snake and Dolma do best, just being natural.

  • ichorousmedia .

    very cowardly on part of Hickel and Quicksilver, Damien just happened to be present, but did not say anything wrong. In the real world of business I see these things happening, but with how tight-knit the surf community seems and claims to be I am surprised they are just throwing jobs around like that. Maybe there more passive aggressiveness and immaturity in these people than I previously thought…

  • Justin Blumenthal

    this is so weak! i watched it live and it was entertaining! i mute joe turpel cuz he talks to us like 4th graders at a swim meet. i don’t want the turpel, monotone nonsense “joel is gonna try to catch more good waves and less bad waves. he’s going to need to score more points on two waves than the other guy on two waves….” no kidding dude, if i’m streaming this its cuz i love it, and i know about it and even if i didn’t i wouldn’t want to be talked to like a total novice.

  • Fito Gonzalez

    Joe won hands down, better surfing.

    Judge the surfer and his surfing, do not judge the wave.

  • Surf R

    I liked jakes commentary which is unusual for a kiwi. Seemed pretty straight up and off the cuff. Some of the commentary can be so PC and completely inane I sometimes watch with the volume muted (Only 1 person mainly) All the commentators should be ex-pro with the skills to add something insightful, like Pottz.

  • terence loose

    Why doesn’t Hickel take a turn in the booth and fill hours of air time with safe, PC talk that completely takes our minds off the fact that 95% of watching pro surfing is watching two guys sit in the ocean. The key is diversity – a little Pottz here, a little Jake the Snake there.

  • Mark Coleman

    I just wandered where they went! and spent the rest of the contest waiting for them to come back on and rid me of the ‘old boys’ who’s commentary is sooooooooo boring and way more inaccurate. No disrespect to Pottz e.t.c but at the juncture of the contest growth/tv rights e.t.c at least jake and dooma are connected to the modern world and commentate as many of todays young surfers speak and think. They also were a breath of fresh air and had there own style (who wants surf commentary to become as dull as other sports) – I loved them and think they did a great job considering they were staring into mist for the first hour.
    agree with the rest – lets get our own commentary.

  • Scott Nakachi

    Exactly why I boycott the Live webcasts & really only glimpse at some Heats on the Analyzer. If Kelly leaves & Hickel continues his ways the ASP & the surf brands are in trouble.

  • big ern

    does anyone remember when dayan neeve and kai otton commentated during the bells contest? it was fkng awesome! love when witty guys get on a roll… it is the exact break we, the fans tuning in, after listening to the likes of joe turpel. also, having brad gerlach guest commentate was pretty awesome (when it happened). renato, stop being such a lame-o. relax. joe turpel and todd kline are good commentators BUT we desperately need other personality types that are not so dry and robotic, and… fkn boring.

  • big ern

    we, the fans tuning in, need* after…

  • Drmantistabogon

    How bout that mick vs yadin heat at pipe? Surfing is the new boxing. There’s a reason why the “rebel tour” was proposed a while back! To bad it didn’t happen.

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