Stab Magazine | What happened at the Quiksilver Ceremonial, Punta De Lobos?
380 Views

What happened at the Quiksilver Ceremonial, Punta De Lobos?

Words by Elliot Struck The Quiksilver Ceremonial Big Wave Tour event was just run at Punta De Lobos in Chile. Current Big Wave Champ Makua Rothman won it. Grant ’Twiggy’ Baker was in the final too, and Chileans Ramon Navarro and Cristian Merello, as well as American Nic Lamb and Australian Mark Mathews. The wave […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Elliot Struck

The Quiksilver Ceremonial Big Wave Tour event was just run at Punta De Lobos in Chile. Current Big Wave Champ Makua Rothman won it. Grant ’Twiggy’ Baker was in the final too, and Chileans Ramon Navarro and Cristian Merello, as well as American Nic Lamb and Australian Mark Mathews. The wave is a big, cold left that breaks in front of intimidating rocks. Makua pulled into a huge barrel in front of those rocks. But, you didn’t see any of that go down in real time, because there was no WSL webcast.

There were small bites of low-def action dealt out over Facebook as the day went on. But, no branded live feed with alternate camera angles, no desk of aloha shirts breaking down the rides, and certainly no Pete Mel with waterproof microphone (perhaps most saddening).

Obviously, Big Wave Tour events are even more at the mercy of weather conditions and swell than regular World Tour Events, with the former’s version of ‘contestable’ meaning at least another 20 feet than the Dream Tour’s. The locations are often less accommodating and given the huge waiting periods (three and a half months), setting up a temporary contest infrastructure (with proper broadcasting capabilities) presents its problems. But still they run, because the god here, is big waves.

Questions arise when there’s video updates landing intermittently, but no live-stream. How come if the event’s being filmed, it isn’t being broadcast in real time? There’s speculation that all usual media coverage was in place at Punta De Lobos, but, clearly, it didn’t live online. This is problem number one currently echoing around the world’s surfing media websites. Here’s the WSL’s reasoning:

“The goal of the 2015/2016 WSL Big Wave Tour is to run as many events as possible in the biggest waves possible,” the WSL’s Dave Prodan tells Stab. “Prior to this season, organizers looked at the schedule and decided that to accomplish this, they would commit to live webcasting Puerto Escondido and Jaws and providing comprehensive video and photo highlights for Punta Galea, Todos Santos, Pico Alto, Lincoln City and Punta de Lobos. Primary reason being logistical – getting the live broadcast equipment in early enough for most locations presents a liability to actually greenlighting events. When faced with the choice of broadcasting fewer events or running as many events as possible, the Commissioner’s Office voted for the latter.”

Makua, en route to another win. Photo: WSL/@PabloJimenez photo

Makua, en route to another win. Photo: WSL/@PabloJimenez photo

Again, the god here is big waves. But. If the WSL BWT doesn’t make providing a better live experience for all BWT events a priority, then it’s hard to foresee a happy (or long) future. This is a sentiment everyone can agree on, and one that led to a local Chilean media house called Via De Escape TV setting up their own webcast. Which is where we find surf media problem number two. Allegedly, the WSL shut them down via local authorities.

The following message (translated) comes from VDE TV: “We regret to inform that the WSL has decided to ban the continuation of our transmission from the ceremonial. We made a tremendous effort to bring to you this tremendous event, however, by decision of the organization we need to stop. We will attempt to reverse this situation, but it’s very difficult … we invite you to stay tuned to for our news.”

Not live broadcasting your big event isn’t a clever biz model. But let’s keep it real: A worse one is letting a small local media outlet do it without your approval, with no pre-communication, zero quality control, and that local media house selling ads on the feed of your event… to companies that compete with sponsors of your event (without which, there’d be no event).

But, again, when the WSL fails to provide a channel for surf fans to tune in, their job is incomplete.

“The remote nature of the venue and the passion with which the big wave community pursues, follows and supports the athletes were high learning points for the Punta de Lobos event,” continues Dave Prodan. “The WSL is constantly evolving and looking to deliver the best surfing on the planet to the most people possible. A huge congratulations to Makuakai Rothman on another BWT win. It’s a fitting validation for his world title and indicative of his prowess in all types of big wave conditions.”

Yes, biggest of props to Makua. But we want our webcast, and we want it now.

Ramon Navarro, godfather of Chilean big wave surfing. Photo: WSL/@PabloJimenez photo

Ramon Navarro, godfather of Chilean big wave surfing. Photo: WSL/@PabloJimenez photo

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”

UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…

Oct 6, 2022

24:30

No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022
Advertisement