Oh how he giggles!
Albee Layer Politely Lobs Hand Grenade At The Surfer Poll Awards
You catch more flies with honey.
Surfer Magazine, self-proclaimed Bible of our sport, is in the midst of its yearly panic attack. One week from tomorrow Surfer will hold its annual Poll Awards on Oahu's North Shore, wherein the world’s best surfers are given shiny trinkets for their yearly achievements.
Sounds fun, lighthearted, and easy, no? No is right.
Surfers are extremely sensitive beings, often prone to lashing out over any perceived slight -- like, say, not winning a shiny trinket they felt was owed to them.
Due to the event's fundamental subjectivity and the average BAC of its attendees, the Poll Awards is a verified petri dish for these outbursts, which are typically directed at the magazine's terrified employees. Hence Surfer’s anxiety.
Now, the Bible Boys (and gal) are able to outsource a portion of this blame by putting certain award categories to a reader-based vote. However, with the exception of the actual Surfer Poll award, the rest of the winners are decided directly by Surfer staff members, which is, obviously, a cause for debate.
Because who are these people, really? Surfers, just like you and I, who have inherently flawed opinions, just like you and I. They don’t surf nearly as well as the world’s best waveriders, which is fine, but then how can they claim to hold the "authoritative voice" on this year’s best movie, performance, and goddamn progressive maneuver?
To give some context into the magnitude of this issue, Surfer’s most progressive surfer/employee* of the last few years was Ashton Goggans, who is now with Stab. From firsthand experience I can tell you Bong-hands is not very progressive. Comfortable with sexual fluidity? Sure. But an aerial wizard he is not. ;)
In the eyes of Albee Layer, The Surfer Poll Awards have gotten a few things wrong over the years. In all fairness Albee seems to hold a substantial bias for anyone hailing from Maui, but that’s not to say his opinions are unfounded. Attractive Distractions was a genuinely great film. Was it better than Globe’s Shangri La? Eh, depends on your personal aesthetic. Additionally, Matt Meola’s original Spindle Flip was fucking incredible, but was it better than John’s monster ‘oop? Yeah, pretty much definitely.
So Albee, wanting to get ahead of the issue this year, published an Instagram slideshow to help guide Surfer’s thinking process with an informed opinion. It's equal parts sweet and salty and I adore every word.
From @live.fast.die.old: Maneuver of the year nominees for #surferawards2018 I put them in the order I'd want to do them. If @mattmeola looses to another alley oop, no matter how high or perfect, it would be kind of insulting to anyone who dedicates there life and body to trying new maneuvers (alittle dramatic haha). Let me break it down, in the time you read this post 10 kids did alley oops or straight airs and in the however many thousand years since the beginning of surfing there have been 5 double spins.... Did I just blow your mind? Haha, that being said I absolutely love @surfer_magazine awards thank you guys for a platform that acknowledges free surfers, big wave surfers tour surfers and filmmakers together. @julian_wilson@john_john_florence @sealtooth@mattmeola
The question now is whether the Bible Boys (and gal) will bend to Albee’s whim. Or, like true Bible thumpers when confronted with a compelling argument against their beliefs, will they double-down on their ignorance and throw Julian a bone for his atmospheric 'oop? I am shaking with excitement to see how this plays out. Maybe even more than Surfer employees are shaking with anxiety.
The funny thing is that Surfer could easily negate this issue by recruiting experts to judge each category, but maybe that's too easy. Maybe Surfer just loves living on the edge. They know as well as we do: the Hawaiian leg is nothing without a little drama, and Stab is more than happy to let them orchestrate the chaos.
See you December 6th!
*Ok, yes, it's true that Surfer now employs, however vaguely, ex-Surfing stud Zander Morton, who was actually a pro surfer for some time (though I think he's too busy fighting volcanoes in Bali to weigh in on Surfer's decision-making process). And yes, it's true that as the sun is setting just so over the reefs north of Cardiff you might mistake Surfer's longtime photo editor, Grant Ellis, for Tom Curren... but I digress.