Albee Layer And Shane Dorian: “Let Them Eat Cake!”
Why won’t the WSL let its competitors do airs (in a jersey)?
Day 3 of the Bali Wind-Protected Pro has come and gone and what have we learned?
Well, if you want to take it from two of the best all-around surfers in the world, along with some recent Instagram highlights, it’s that the WSL needs to toughen up and let the kiddies sail in the afternoon breeze.
In recent IG story uploads, Hawaiian brethren Albee Layer and Shane Dorian shared their thoughts on the WSL calling off competition once the wind’s gone (heavily) onshore.
These callouts are in direct response to the litany of clips released around the contest window, in conditions that the WSL deemed “not worthy” of competition.
Worse still, the WSL has had no qualms about padding their social media with lay-day clips.
A similar instance happened a couple years back in WA, when John Florence nailed a massive air out at Main Break, just after the event was called off for the day. Albee was similarly up-in-arms about that apparent faux pas, and raised an interesting point: if the WSL’s best social content is coming from these “uncontestable” conditions, how has that not prompted them to run the event in some wind?
Yesterday, Yago Dora nearly stuck the maneuver of the event, floating a backside reverse in the afternoon onsohres. Yago was knocked off by the explosion upon landing, but this was the kind of high-impact surfing that the majority of surf fans (and non-endemic sponsors) want to see.
One heat later, the WSL called off competition for the day.
In the WSL’s defense, they currently have a great Keramas forecast to work with, which could be used as a justification for pulling surfers out when the conditions lose ruler-edge.
In the WSL’s eyes, there might be no reason to give competitors “flawed” conditions when they know it will be clean again in the morning.
But perhaps it’s this primitive logic that is holding the WSL back. In fact, these “flawed” conditions are designed for a different type of surfing that most viewers (including the other best surfers in the world) want to see.
It’s a tough call for the WSL, who want to make sure that competition both fair and entertaining. We’ll be watching closely as the rest of the event unfolds.
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