A moment of clarity here from Gary.
For anyone not aware, the good and the great of surf journalism were all invited to the Surf Ranch about 3 months ago. All were made to sign, in their own blood, a very stiff NDA preventing any release of information.... until now...
The embargo was lifted last night and everyone is now publishing.
Anyone read any particularly good analysis?
Gary checked out BeachGrit last night and it's worth a read, with good comment or two by a prominent swellnet commentor who also writes for BeachGrit.
Stu - does Swellnet have anything in the works, even a round up of other published pieces? (Gary is hopeful you got a gig to the pool but figures it unlikely given your previously mentioned relationship with the WSL)
Stu: first crack at this before people start linking to other surf journalism...?
Copying and pasting an email I just wrote to someone who asked me the same question:
"I'm persona non grata to the WSL since I wrote those three "It's On But Who's Watching" articles in 2014. I'm not allowed on site at any CT event, nor is anyone who works for us. I've had photographers who couldn't get media accreditation ("We're full" they said, and the next day the photog signed up with Tracks and got entry), the whole bit. Last year I had a fellow named Cass Selwood cover the Quik Pro France but I got him in via Quiksilver France."
"When Paul Speaker, and more recently Sophie Goldschmidt, sent out group emails to the surf journalists of the world, I didn't receive one. I subsequently sent an email to Dave Prodan [who I once had a good working relationship with] and Sophie and got no reply."
"So yeah, wasn't expecting an invite to the pool party and didn't receive one."
Pool parties and fireside chats are mandatory for surf journalists.
That's weak shit by the WSL. Why do you still cover their contests? (and even had Cass cover France)
The irony of blacklisting a surf journalist for lo-and-behold doing an actual piece of surf journalism isn't lost on Gary, but clearly is on the WSL.
Perhaps they need a good session in the spray tan booth? Certainly helps clear Gary's mind and re-set his priorities when things are going a bit awry.
I'd like to see Swellnet send Gary G on a reconnaissance mission to any future pool parties.
Gets my vote too. Hot jacuzzi, pneumatic waves, he'll be in his element.
@the spleen, ain't no reason to boycott the WSL, plenty of readers enjoy it, myself included when the waves are good. Still reckon the business model is unsustainable and a correction is coming but the topic has exhausted itself for now.
Lots of open space and sunshine to ensure that the sunlight really glints off Gary's well-oiled frame, too.
When the WSL and other developers talk about 'The Wave Pool Model', Gary can only assume they're referring to him. Maybe Gary will get in touch to make sure they've got the right contact details.
I read Beach Grit's analysis which was good, and Nick Carroll's which was predictable but well written. I'm surprised by how ordinary they surfed but I think that's a product of a foreign wave as much as middle age skill levels. Apparently Derek Reilly faded and was instantly left behind because there's no energy at the base of the wave - which is what Greg Webber has been saying for a while. Not sure if it matters when it barrels like it does. Just don't fade.
So you are still in possession of your soul then Stu? I would take it as a point of honour to be blacklisted by them for telling the truth. I mean It will be interesting to see if anything even vaguely negative finds its way into print.
Mmmm, WSL like an elephant in more than one way, they never forget. No room for serious journalism these days, I'm surprised they didn't yell "FAKE NEWS" at you. Obviously you hit a nerve that is still very raw and being corporate seppos they love people signing non disclosure forms, shit they invented them. Funny BG were invited, for although they act all anarchy in the WSL, it is all piss, wind, oodles of swearing and a vocal of 10 words. There sort reactionary rubbish is really juvenile and meaningless. Keep it up Stu or in the immortal works of one E. J. Whitten (you northerners probably won't get the AFL reference)...STICK IT RIGHT UP THEM!
Gary, who's always watching, saw Derek Reilly get a pretty good facey including a couple of decent hacks. Hacks doing hacks!
Nick Carroll (on one wave, at least) described taking off higher up the point and then getting stuck behind the foam - Gary saw this happen to someone on video and then Chas Smith then poached it further down the point.
Chas latest piece in BG is Gold standard I reckon.
I thought the beach grit article was trash, like all their other articles (and comments)
IMHO this surfing world vid/interview gives a much better insight into things.
A couple of good articles at BG, with some real gold in the comments.
Interesting that the grumblebums kept hating it regardless, just for different reasons, ie. couldn't get enough of it; feel like a dirty dog with a hooker; the injustice of something so good's only hinderence being the availability of money.
Which makes the mind boggle at what you could make with an unlimited budget, upscale it 2x, 3x, 4x the size. Big, big man size grinders, Faaarrk would be amazing.
But, having said that, the whole set up seems a bit cumbersome, having all that infrastructure, space, people, power etc. just so four crew can ride some 2 footers. Self indugance of the highest order, not really fitting with slater's other interests.
What's with the fucking jetski?
Is that always running?
Is that neccessary?
Yes I'd love a shot, but it all seems a little over the top really. Too much - power, money, kings and coolies, noise, industrial, loud coach, loudspeaker, siren, wanker scene...
Where's the serenity?
Pretty sad how open and blase the seppo's are about popping prescription pills too, from warsaw no less!
Sounds like theres more going on behind the scenes than is let on with the WSL. Pissed off Stunet?
Nah not really, I wrote those articles three-something years ago and I haven't given it much thought, my curiousity (in WSL biz) moved on long ago.
No I mean pissed off you didn't get an invite.
Right...like anyone I'm curious about the pool, but no, I never expected a slot so I wasn't pissed off. Currently packing a board bag for Hawaii and staring down a loaded forecast. Much more thought going towards that ATM.
Wear that outcast badge with pride. I'd rather be on a plane to Hawaii than LA anytime.
Yeah, those surf journos didn't seem to surf the wave quite as well as Fanno, Felipe or Steph. What a bunch of absolute losers!
Sure, they are actually writers with a day job who actually surfed the wave very well in comparison with the average surfing standard. But, forget that!
Some of us, special people like me, are prepared to maintain the highest possible standards, when judging other people's surfing.
p.s. Sorry, but any videos of me surfing are unfortunately unavailable due to technical difficulties, the dog, national security etc.
Sypkan asked: what is it with the jet ski. Yes, I’ve noticed they’ve been using them in several of their clips. I think it is being used as a dampening device to stop too much water flowing over the gutter and creating an instant low tide. They probably can’t pump the water back fast enough to keep up. Another little teething problem to fix.
Energetic defence Wally. Who are you respnding too?
No, the jet ski - ridden by a bellowing Raimana - is used to inform the riders what sections are coming up as there are no 'clues' in the water surface or trough.
Really? The riders can’t watch or ride a few waves and figure that out for themselves?
No one in particular, Stu. I read some critical comments on a variety of surfing sites and I thought some people were being unreasonably hard markers. It inspired my little rant. It was probably the wine.
Re: Raimana. I think he primarily has a water safety role, as well as chauffeuring filmers.
Run with it Stu. Maybe a microscope to the apparent gambling and / or scripting creeping into the judging since it became a privately owned business is next
According to Nick Carroll, the jetski is a health and safety requirement.
"The sections feel a bit too “hidden” to me, the “tells” you use at most surf spots aren’t there so I wasn’t quite sure where to set up the barrels from."
"Raimana drives the PWC on the inside edge of the wave, yelling encouragement and making sure you don’t miss any sections."
They could put up pictured signs as you pass, 'set up the barrel now', 'speed up', 'do some turns', 'bow down to your Master, Kelly' etc.
Presumably a couple of runs and you would have the variation down. Then you can start practising your aquanastics routine. The same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, until you have a perfectly trained performing puppet.
Story on the ranch and KS done by HBO recently:
And where-0-where is Alibaba and happy mag?