Through watching this year's revamped ASP tour and reading the various opinion articles, it appears, to my ignorant mind, the organised side of surfing is at a crossroad. The revamping of the ASP, though not without its problems, has been a huge step to commercialize the sport to a larger audience. It is no secret that to progress a sport requires expansion of the sport - something the ASP have recognized and acted upon with sincerity.
However, as articles on swellnet have covered, there is still a huge reliance on a certain Mr K. Slater to draw the audience. So whilst advances have been made to progress the sport, the question that lingers is how does momentum continue once the sun sets on the Slater era.. it can't be far away (famous last words!). A mention must be made of the BWWT, but with elements conspiring to make this an at-best infrequent event, it is hard to imagine it will be anything other than an exciting side show, it can't be depended upon to take the sport forward.
I'm intrigued to hear the opinions of the contributors to this site. Whilst it may not impact (any of) us I'm sure there will be aspects that will have flow-on effects as the ASP vehicle gains speed. .. reference the swellnet article on the BWWT.. the ASP are not going to go away, even if the current local communities at certain breaks want them too... local governments will overrule localism at the first sight of currency.. (fair play for the BWWT for approaching locals first..!)
So - here is a stupid idea - feel free to tell me so.
There is an event staring in 7 days. A big event. Assuming the majority of you do not live in complete isolation of civilization, I'm sure you realize I'm referring to the world cup - that is football/soccer/association football whatever your flavour.
A quick look at the top 36 surfers on the ASP and you will see it's dominated by Australians (almost half), followed by Brazilians, the US of A with the remainder being a smattering of Hawaiians, South Africans and the rest (apologies to the rest - no offense meant) . Given that Surfing is a global sport, maybe the ASP can look at a periodical event that includes those that are recognised as the cream of the crop, by national allegiance. Using the world cup for example, the world cup is possibly 3rd or 4th in terms of the sports pinnacle of competitions (certainly a long distance from the pinnacle comps) - but this doesn't make it any less entertaining – rather, it adds to the appeal and the excitement as relative minnows cause the more established participants no end of grief. Most important of all is the global attention it would bring to the sport - something the ASP I suspect would dearly like.
Over to you.
Doesn't the ISA World Surfing Games kinda tick this box already, except without the presence of A-list surfers?