Photos: WSL x intern
Introducing The Weird Surf League
Opinions from an intern.
I have a proposition. It’s the WSL, but it’s weird. Same same, but different.
Competitors show up to their heat without a board. The board is randomly chosen by a Wheel of Fortune-esque machine. All surfers in the heat must use the board chosen by the “Wheel of Wasilewski”, which would be operated by our beloved Strider. After the heat, the board is eliminated from the selection and can no longer be used in the rest of that event.
Could you imagine? A final at J-Bay between Gabe and John, but they’re riding bulky mid-lengths. Or how about a semifinal at Pipe with Kelly and Italo sliding around on wooden alaias?
How would it be judged? What's the criteria? (Same same). Speed, power, and flow. Difficulty of maneuvers and variety of maneuvers would still be relevant. (But Different). In the Weird Surf League, however, the judges would actually be the shapers of the boards. After all, they made the damn thing. They should be able to tell you who’s hot and who’s not.
Solid surfing comes in a multitude of manners. Why should a world champion only be subjected to a rockered-out thruster for the crown? Let's make them adapt. Lets see who has the biggest bag of tricks. That’s what I enjoy about the Electric Acid tests. We all know Dane and Noa can rip on their go-to boards, but how do they handle high-volume, flat-bottomed vessels? Very well actually, go watch for yourself. (If you’re reading this you’re probably fucking off at work anyway, so you might as well give it a gander.)
Versatility in surfing is visually stimulating. Just look at Ryan Burch’s surfing. Logs, twin-fin fishes, asymmetrical witchcraft, the guy does it all. Composed and powerful surfing across all board forms. The sad truth is that versatility is overlooked in today’s competitive scene. Sure the WSL may have added a log division, but what about everything in-between? There’s more than 3ft of surfboards unaccounted for.
Compared to freesurfing films, competitive surfing is boring. Don't get me wrong, the current turns exhibited on tour are absolutely mental, but the lines are repetitive and score driven. Up down, up down, up down. I want bonzers. I want twin fins. I wanna watch one of these guys bog for once. I wanna see the look on a top tier surfers face when he or she realizes the World Title Race is gonna be decided on a soft top. Strider, go ahead and spin the fucking wheel.