Where Would The Best Surfers Come From If The Whole World Surfed?
‘Tito’ is an unknown innate talent in from an unlikely place.
The global village.
Bullet trains, Boring tunnels, Boeing 747’s, Facebook, Facetime.
Get some shut-eye on a plane from LAX and wake up in Shanghai. Musk reckons he’ll be able to shoot you from Maui to Byron in an earth-to-earth rocket within 30 minutes in the next 10 years.
The ease of transport and communication has facilitated the phenomena of globalization (def) – the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide responsible for increasing growth in trade and the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and culture.
When 7’6″ Yao Ming arrived in the NBA he added thirty million Houston Rockets fans to a team that only had one million viewers in the US. His first game saw 200 million viewers tuning in to see his game against Shaq (Lakers) in 2003. An audience more than double the size of the 2021 Superbowl. Chinese participation in basketball skyrocketed.
We’re seeing the Yao Ming effect in surfing too as it expands across the globe. At The Jeep Adobe Pro at the KS Ranch this year, the English-speaking webcast had 7,800 viewers on YT while its Portuguese-language counterpart had 18,000. Even during the Aussie leg, when the events took place in a completely opposite time zone (for Brazilian viewers, contests started at 8pm and finished at 5am), the Portuguese webcast still had more viewers—sometimes even double the audience.
“The success of the Brazilian Storm has definitely diversified the viewership, bringing in more fans and followers from Latino and South American nations,” says …Lost founder and master shaper, Matt Biolos. “It’s made the sport become fully global in scope.”
Nicolas de la Cruz, or ‘Tito’ as his friends know him, is a surfer from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean archipelago. Tito is a talented goofyfoot who narrowly missed out on the chance to compete in the ISA games this year for a chance at Olympic qualification.
According to the filmer of this clip, Christian Haslett, an American who lived in the DR for the past several years, “Tito’s speed of progress has blown me away.” Before returning to Costa Mesa he “wanted to get this kid some attention and put together a little edit. Unfortunately, summertime was not the best season for us so we had to make do with the waves we had. The video turned out to be a little more like a teaser but that being said, I do think the video is just enough to put a couple of eyes on him.”
As surfing grows and becomes a more worldwide sport, international unknowns will emerge out of unexpected places with exciting, innate talent. Tito helps illustrate the point.
Leaving boards behind for local kids on surf trips can be all it takes to inspire a grassroots movement of surfing. Re: Dylan Graves and the Gudangs in Nigeria.
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