WSL Finals Review: “I Don’t Condone (Most) Crimes, But A Helicopter And A Giant Magnet Would Make For One Incredible Heist”
Lowers was an absolute shit-show yesterday. A report from the ground.
Lowers was packed today. Not the line-up, but the beach.
If you’re a savvy surf fan, you might have heard about two major events today. The most important is the second to last episode of the Ultimate Surfer, which aired tonight. The second, being a smaller and less significant event, was the WSL Finals. Although I would have rather stayed home making mom’s famous artichoke dip for the real show, duty required me to attend the Finals event in the flesh.
I knew it has going to be a packed crowd, as I spent half an hour looking for a place to park my motor vehicle. Eventually, I wound up parking here and continued my quest on foot.
My brand new shoes/ no socks combo proved to be irresponsible, but nothing captures the spirit of the day better than a nice pulsating blister.
During my walk, I saw quite an assortment of characters. People fidgeted with beach chairs, Italo flags flew high, and remote-controlled skateboards zoomed past. This one guy was holding a surfboard but actually it turned out that he wasn’t even really holding it.
A group of antsy teenagers on e-bikes heckled me off the square inch of sidewalk I occupied. Understanding the ethical dilemma of yelling at other people’s children, I instead chose to daydream of a scenario in which all of their lithium ion batteries imploded, and they had to push their way home.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last I’d see of the unregulated electric motorcycles, as the parking situation on the beach was worse than the streets surrounding Carl’s Jr.
While I don’t condone (most) crimes, I must say that a helicopter and a giant magnet would make for one incredible heist. Oh and by the way, here are my stats for the walk down.
I levitated through the magical Rip Curl arch and began my investigation. I stumbled upon an offering from Jeep and gave them my personal data in exchange for a chance to win $75,000 towards my next Jeep Purchase. I can’t wait to shred PCH in my Grand Cherokee.
I continued past the WSL merch booth, which sold the competitors’ jerseys. The designs were… interesting. I couldn’t fathom why the line was so long. Are this many people really that desperate to wear these?
I soon noticed the signup booth in the corner in which Rip Curl was offering a year’s supply of free wetsuits. The fans wanted rubber, case closed.
I kept on, brushing up against sweaty strangers as I maneuvered toward the judges’ tower. There was a smell of reefer in the air, which grew stronger with each step. I also noticed a cocktail beverage in the restroom area. There was no shutting down this party.
After relieving myself of liquids, I stood around and watched some surfing. At one point, a grown man softly yelled, “I know you guys are watching surfing, but free sunscreen!” He then poured a backpack full of tiny sunscreen bottles into the sand.
Groms swooped in like magpies, grabbing every bit of free anything as they could. I thought this was ridiculous behavior until the sun came out. Would another grown man pour out a second backpack of sun protection? I hoped so, as I had brought none.
The big-ticket item on the beach was the Italo Ferreira Stoked-ed t-shirts, as nobody could figure out how to get one. Every other murmur I heard was, “Where did you get that shirt? Where can I buy one?” I noticed the same people, decked out in Italo gear, just riding E-bikes back and forth. I saw one guy on the walk-in, a few more on the beach, and while leaving, I saw another.
Halfway through the event, I overheard one teenager tell another, “$100 and a free shirt actually isn’t a bad deal.” I don’t know if eavesdropping counts as a credible source, but I formed a conspiracy that the repeated laps were a marketing play. Fascinating.
I found a spot off to the side and watched the rest of the comp. People cheered, photographers tried to keep their cameras from overheating, and surfing got competitive.
My favorite part of this whole event were the guys who surfed just outside the contest area, like it was just any other day.
“Is the WSL Finals on today? I had no idea, I just come here all the time.”
What a couple of legends.
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