Pete Mel Departs From The Big Wave Tour Commissioner Position
Mike Parsons slides into the 2017 slippers.
After four years as the Big Wave Tour Commish, Pete “The Condor” Mel has exited stage left. Well, sort of, he’ll still be on the WSL commentary team as Ronnie Blakey’s new colour man, now that Ross Williams has joined the John Florence pit crew, and will remain involved with the BWT–he’s just stepping down as commissioner.
It’s curious if the possibility of adding Mavericks to the tour has something to do with his departure–being that Cartel Management burned the Titans of Mavericks in a barrel and the need for a larger entity *cough* WSL to save it has risen. Pete (as can be seen in the edit above) still has the skill set to be a contender on the Big Wave Tour if that is his desire. Although according to the press release, he “plans to continue his role on the WSL commentary team in addition to focusing on running his family business, the Freeline Surf Shop, in Santa Cruz.”
“I am proud of what we have accomplished and how far big wave surfing has progressed during my tenure as the Big Wave Commissioner,” Pete told the WSL. “We have worked hard to elevate the sport to greater heights and open new doors for competitors and fans, and in doing so, we have seen incredible firsts in the sport.”
Through Pete’s incumbency, the level of big wave surfing shifted from straight line mundanity into gaping tubes and sheer entertainment. The winter of 2015/2016 was the pinnacle with Pe’ahi challenge heroics courtesy of El Niño, which was then supplemented by the Waimea Bay calling the day for the Eddie. Also with Pete at the helm, the first women’s event took place at Jaws, and long-awaited Puerto Escondido and Nazaré became stops on tour. Pete’s efforts towards competitive Big Wave surfing are nothing short of historic.
“I am excited for what the future of big wave surfing has in store for us,” continued Pete. “With that, I have decided to transition my role over to Mike Parsons, who I believe will continue the amazing work we’ve done and push the sport to the next level. I will still continue my involvement with the Big Wave Tour and with the WSL commentary team, but this decision allows me to commit more time to our family business, Freeline Surf Shop, and let my parents finally retire after 48 years.”
As of yesterday, Mike Parsons will transition into Pete’s position for the 2017 Big Wave Tour season, which starts May 1.
“I am really humbled and honoured to be the next Big Wave Commissioner,” Mike told the WSL. “Peter Mel and Gary Linden have been instrumental in creating the foundation for the Big Wave Tour. Thanks to the hard work of Peter, Gary and the entire big wave team, we have seen the remarkable growth and progression of the Big Wave Tour.”
“Big wave surfing has given me so much in my life and I hope that in this role I can give back and continue the amazing work that Pete has done,” he continued. “I am excited to focus my attention on helping create a clear path for young, up-and-coming big wave surfers around the world to pursue his or her dreams of becoming the next BWT Champion.”
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