You Gotta Serve Somebody
Letter From The Editor: Tin foil hats, Slater as Guru, White Lightning’s last Bells sermon, and more!
This flatspell’s officially gotten to our heads here in California, restless nights spent binge-watching Wild Wild Country, entertaining weird concepts, theories, ideas about Community, gurus, Leaders…
I shot a quick email over to Professor Weezy, Mr. Matt Warshaw, a man I’d follow up any mountain, wondering: Has surfing ever had a proper capital-C Cult, enjoyed it’s very own Bhagwan?
“I can’t really think of any—the drug smugglers who posted up at Desert Point, before the rest of us knew about it, but not really,” Prof. W hit back from his PNW hideout. “The Bay Boys? Not really. Wayne Lynch kind of had a cult following. SURFER Mag readers during the Drew Kampion Era. (I say that as a tinfoil-hat-wearing member.)”
But of course we all gotta serve somebody, right? (See: Mikey C., who risked life and limb for a foil-assisted wiggle and an invitation into the West Coast Foil Cult, er, Club, and came back #loyaltothefoil.)
This week, we lurked two of surfing’s most opinionated and influential sage’s social media spat, with Joel Tudor and Kelly Slater having a frank and firey digital dust-up over the ethics of surfboard manufacturing.
While Joel’s always enjoyed a loyal, underground group of dedicated disciples, a fringe flock of luddite loggers and single-fin toting throwbacks, the criticism leveled at Slater’s overseas manufacturing is rooted in an argument about Kelly’s truly massive influence. Rooted in the fact that surfers the world over will follow Kelly down any given rabbit hole…
Has any surfer enjoyed a more powerful position than Kelly Slater, in 2018? Even five years past his late-prime, the man’s sweeping influence is as dangerous as any’s. From his Lemoore compound, fingers on the steering wheel of the world’s largest surfboard manufacturer, and quietly financially and philosophically turning the gears of the WSL…
Even on a gimp foot, a few bangers from Mr Slater on a new Slater Design sends the masses flocking for one of his channel-bottomed, snub-nosed import spaceships. Imagine if His Baldness opened up the gates to the Ranch, invited Followers to join him there, draped in tunics from leftover Organic Pottery Barn fabric, pitchers of Purps, Chia Pods and algae-based grips for all…
Meanwhile, the rest of the surfing world’s True Believers have made their way to Torquay, throngs crowding the cliffs at Bells to pay their respects to Australia’s prize fighter, Mick Fanning, whose earned more than a cult following internationally over his two decades in the spotlight.
Regardless of whether Mick rings in retirement or not, Bells is going to be a bender for everyone—even Slater’s limping his way over for the party, and as I write this our Australian contingent are deep in it, nursing skull crushing hangovers from the first of what will surely be many all out ragers held in Mick’s name over the next ten days. Hydration is going to be the key to the boy’s success over there, filming a new episode of No Contest, our series with Red Bull bringing you all the action you won’t find in the Heat Analyzer.
Last week we rolled out our latest Culture Shifters profile, on our friend Foster Huntington, a savvy—and that’s putting it lightly—social media guru-turned film director and producer, who was kind enough to let us come visit him in the wet, wintry Pacific Northwest a few months back, at his remarkable “Bro-Topia” compound of treehouses and skate ramps and production studios.
Speaking of compounds, we got a look into the Weedmaps team’s substance-laden Pipe experience, while Tanner Gudang invited us all to join him in Paradise.
More than a few environmental concerns were raised, while in the world of surfboard blanks two of the biggest foam blowers banded together for a more sustainable core future, what the companies are claiming as the “the biggest thing in foam since the collapse of Clark Foam.”
As the fog clears here in Los Angeles, we’ll be celebrating the long weekend and religious holiday in sin, watching the Torquay festivities from afar—while our brothers in arms brave the madness, we’ll be talking ourselves into braving Southern California traffic to find any semblance of a ridable wave anywhere but LA.
Hope you’ve been getting yours, wherever you are. Keep it cutty, Stab.
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