Stab Magazine | Richie Porta Replaced By Pritamo Ahrendt As WSL Head Judge

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Richie Porta Replaced By Pritamo Ahrendt As WSL Head Judge

This week in Surf Nerd News…

news // Feb 7, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

For years the masses have been calling bullshit on the WSL’s “head judge” — both in terms of the man holding that role (then Richie Porta) but also just of the position in general. The main complaint of the former is Richie isn’t a great surfer himself, so who is HE to tell us what good surfing is? The main complaint of the latter is What’s the point of having five world-class judges, when one guy is telling all of them how to score a wave?

Well angry interneters, you got half of your wish. As of February 6, Richie Porta has stepped down from his role as Head Judge and was replaced by a 19-year judging veteran and (at least seven years ago) Byron Bay resident, Mr. Pritamo Ahrendt.

I’ve honestly never even heard of this guy so let’s hear more from the WSL:

LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Tuesday, February 6, 2018) – Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the appointment of Pritamo Ahrendt as WSL Head Judge. Ahrendt will take over the position previously held by Rich Porta, who will transition into a new role for the League.

Sorry… I just have to butt in for one second.

Richie Porta will “transition into a new role for the League”? If the words “transition into a new role” don’t reek of a demotion, or worse, a stalling tactic before Richie’s utter banishment from the League, then I need to get my nose-holes checked. Anyways, carry on WSL.

Ahrendt joined the Championship Tour judges’ panel in 1999, and has worked closely with Porta and the WSL Commissioners’ Office in recent years, serving as an Associate Head Judge at the Championship Tour level. As WSL Head Judge, Ahrendt will oversee the consistency and accuracy of scoring across the judges’ panel alongside his other Head Judge duties. He will also work within the Commissioners’ Office team to further develop WSL Judging programs.

Screen Shot 2018 02 06 at 11.33.14 PM

While Stab can’t be ensure its validity, the surfer in this photo has been identified as Mr. Pritamo Ahrendt by Track Magazine in 2010. So…. at least he can (maybe) tube!

“It has been an honor to work for the WSL/ASP for the past 19 years, and I am humbled to move into the role of WSL Head Judge,” said Ahrendt. “It has been a privilege to watch the highest level of surfing and to critically analyze it. I am excited for this opportunity to oversee the panel and ensure the judging is fair and consistent, while also adapting as the world’s best surfers break down new performance barriers.”

Ahrendt brings over 19 years of experience to the WSL. He began as a Touring Judge at age 21 and was key to modifying the judging criteria to reward progressive maneuvers. Ahrendt’s vast knowledge and foresight will be invaluable in evolving the judging criteria in step with the progression of the world’s best surfers.

“We are excited to have Pritamo Ahrendt as WSL Head Judge,” said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner. “I respect his professionalism and proficiency in all aspects of his work. It is no secret that judging is a very difficult job, so it is great to have Pritamo lead the judging panel.”

Ahrendt will transition into this position starting immediately, taking over for Porta, who has served as Head Judge since 2010. In his new role, Porta will work with the Commissioners’ Office on initiatives related to judging development.

Really sorry… had to jump back in.

“Porta will work with the Commissioners’ Office on initiatives related to judging development”? Mother of god, I know Rich might’ve made a few whoopsies in his eight years as Head Judge, but “working with the Commissioners’ Office on initiatives related to judging development” seems a fate worse than death. I mean, what does that even mean? For some reason I see him locked in a room, tied to a chair, eyeslids glued open as he’s forced to watch Slater’s 4.17 on loop. And then he won’t be allowed to leave until he can explain what it all means

That WSL are some sick bastards! Anyways, continuing…

richie porta on kelly slaters air

Somebody save this guy!

“It’s been an honor to serve in the role during my time and to witness surfing progress to unthinkable heights,” said Porta. “Pritamo will be a great Head Judge and I look forward to supporting the continued development of judging in my new role with the League.”

I never knew I could feel so sorry for ol’ Rich. I’m fine with him being replaced but please, WSL, show some compassion and let Porta walk away in peace. Nobody should have to “Work with the Commissioners’ Office on initiatives related to judging development.”



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