Stab Magazine | "The Air Show Is Something We Should Feel Obligated To Do, For The Next Generation."

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“The Air Show Is Something We Should Feel Obligated To Do, For The Next Generation.”

If the rumors around the WSL Air Show Tour are true, one world class punter thinks we should all be so lucky. 

news // Mar 29, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s been a lot of speculation regarding a WSL “Air Show Tour.”

Mostly on this here site, perpetuated by these here writers. We’ve put big, non-singlet-wearing names, in bold headlines—OG air guys like Christian Fletcher, Ratboy and Ozzie Wright, alongside hip surf heroes like Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson, and World Surf League flyboys like Gabriel Medina, John Florence and Filipe Toledo.

Like our readers, we are true believers: these Heads, banding together for a world champion-deciding aerial sideshow act would be spectacular.

Right now, the test run for a possible air tour is rumored to coincide with the Quik Pro in France and would likely bring in more eyes than the event itself. 

Josh Kerr, a famous jibber who won an airshow championship back when they were still a thing, has been spearheading the program since before the birth of the Future Classic in Lemoore. He brought the idea to the WSL.

After our sources named-dropped Dane Reynolds, Noa Deane, Craig Anderson, Chippa Wilson, Ozzie Wright, Albee Layer, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Ratboy, Christian Fletcher, Gabriel Medina and John John Florence as being on the roster, we heard from multiple other sources that a good portion either weren’t feeling it, or hadn’t heard anything about it. 

Many of those mentioned didn’t care to comment on the matter just yet—we’ll just say it’s the majority of the non-CT competitors who never starred in a surf film that went straight to VHS. 

So, like preemptive Fauxchella lineups headlined by David Bowie, Daft Punk, and Led Zeppelin, we wondered: Is the current roster a hoax perpetuated by names we really want to see?

After multiple reach outs to the WSL, they’ve stayed zip-lipped on the matter. And, if history serves us, this usually means we’re on the right track. 

When I got ahold of Albee Layer—a shoe-in invitee should the Air Tour come to fruition—I mentioned how we’d heard a lot of the list might not want to do the event.

To which he responded in his signature passionate and insightful manner. 

“If people don’t want to do it, that is so fricken’ lame!” he told Stab before continuing with pertinent points, and some much-needed Outsider’s perspective.  

“When I was growing up, I wanted to be a free surfer,” he continued. “But today, that’s not really an option for kids. Every kid is being groomed to be the next JJF. To do clean cut, unexciting interviews, and great WSL contest surfing. 

But, I’m sure there are a few kids, like I was out there, who are just as passionate about surfing as any competitor, but would rather crash and burn than become something they’re not.

This proposed Air Tour would create one more avenue for people to make a career out of surfing. It’s something that we should feel obligated to do, for the next generation.

Otherwise, it’ll just be the WSL Tour, and that’s all surfing is. But that’s just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.  

I want to do it so bad—and not to like win or become world champ or something, obviously that’d be awesome—but because of the potential impact it could have on the future of surfing.

If we all put a little effort into it, we could build something that people would love to watch and would be such a cool alternative to what’s already out there and pass it onto the next generation. Then we could sit back in our 40s and watch some kid forever change his life by doing the first ever double-cork for an Airshow World Title with three minutes left in the last heat of the year. 

Plus, most of the proposed crew are friends. Imagine how funny the post heat interviews would be, with all of us fucking with each other, and calling each other out. It would have so much more personality. 

We should all work our hardest to make sure this thing actually happens.” 


*Craig Anderson responded to our question with a simple question: “What air show?” To which we explained said rumor. To which Craig responded, “Mmm sounds weird… I’d think about it.” 


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