Ain't social media the most glorious Black Market Of Ideas?
Last week, tucked below a harmless photo of Hawaiian Ezra Sitt frothing over a new Asian Import from Slater Designs at Huntington Surf and Sport, a tête-à-tête between World Champions/Near-Future AARP Ambassadors Joel Tudor and Kelly Slater ensued, the flame war ignited by three carefully chosen words by Tudor:
Burn that thing.
Joel was being hyperbolic, of course, tossing the match at Sitt for riding Slater's boards, which are made overseas, a subject which Tudor's taken issue with in recent years, carrying the torch for domestic manufacturing, etc.
Slater, a voracious and inconceivably proficient social media consumer/user, responded almost immediately.
@KellySlater: haha. Trust @joeljitsu...he makes/made surftechs, captain fin co fins, and Vans clothing and shoes in Chinese factories he knows nothing about.
Now, in certain circles them's fightin' words. But Kelly's a man who can take a crack and dig right in, especially when the guy throwing jabs is an old friend, and respected figure, like Joel.
The heated exchanged occurred while Joel was holed up in Fiji, with Slater's right-hand lensman, and mutually beloved, Todd Glaser, surfing ridiculously fun-looking Cloudbreak with Dane G. and the Vans crew.
Slater and Tudor managed to settle the matter, not on Instagram, but like Modern Men are wont to do: mano a mano, on FaceTime.
While we're not sure where the discussion left off between the two World Champions, we celebrate their Fraternal Spirit.
"@Kelly Slater, love you dude - if you ever tell me to go floss my teeth again I’m gonna be upset," Joel wrote later on Instagram, below a photo of, according to Joel, Slater flipping him off.
While the argument's certainly not a new one, where doth your allegiances lie, Dear Reader? Should board building retract back to local cobblers, and abandon overseas production altogether? Or should we embrace our Overseas Brothers and Sisters, and trust they're careful labor is being compensated fairly? That their factories are safe and sound, indeed*?
According to Tudor, Slater told him to get flossed. A few days later, unrelated to Slater as far as we can tell, Tudor suffered an unfortunate smash-up, getting stuck between a Fijian coralhead and the rail of, we believe, a Stu Kenson beauty.
Heal up, Joel and get back into fighting shape, babe.
*Slater Designs and Firewire are both partners with Sustainable Surf, on their EcoBoard project.