The Woz rumbles back to life, kind of

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

A million years ago, your Ding Alley writerer used to make surf magazines the olde fashioned way, and whenever checking out photographers’ submissions – often 36 unmounted slides in a plastic sheet – my designer’s eye would always be drawn to the end of the roll, because that was where, on the black edges of the film, the occasional intrusion of light could create happy accidents of the most striking kind. 

In an age before Photoshop filters and After Effects etc, you could get all these ethereal plays of light, texture and colour, fiery edges of gold, aqua, purple and orange eclipsing onto black. I’d sneak some of these film edges onto the drum scanner along with the conventional surf shots and work ’em into the pages. Photoshop before Photoshop, kinda.

The black edge of the film was known as the Rebate. I’ve capitalised the word because I lived for those fricken Rebates.

I’d also completely forgotten about ‘em, but they come to mind (and I tortured you with the above inane recollection) because, wouldn’t you know it, the Woz is bringing the Rebate back, baby!

Indeed, a mere week and a half from today, The Woz resumes live competition on August 9th with RRRRrrrrrrrumble At The Raaaaaanch – summarised on Woz.com as a “Specialty Surf Ranch Event Featuring 16 Top Surfers for Charitable Mixed-Doubles Contest.”

And even if it wasn’t a Charitable Contest, Ding Alley would still be inclined to feel charitably towards both it and the Woz. Dunno ‘bout you, but me and Macca are happy to admit that we’ve been kinda missing the distraction and sugar-rush escapism the pre-COVID Woz comp webcasts once provided. 

So good on Elo and crew for having a swing – even if it’ll have the competitive intensity of a Sunday arvo game of patters down the tennis club with a few white wines under the belt. 

And whether the ‘Title Fight’ typography of the Rumble’s promo collateral is deliberately ironic or simply the Woz being always-just-that-teeny-bit-off-the-mark – who’s to say in this crazy world.

Confirmed surfers at time of writing: Slats, Riss, Toledo, Caz Marks, Kolohe, and Sage Erickson. With ten more surfers to select, there’s scope for some interesting wildcards that could really draw some interest. Ding Alley’s sources say the phone’s been ringing hot at a certain Mr Dane Reynold’s dwelling.   

Actually, that’s not true, we totally made that up just then. Apologies to any DR fans who may have spoodged in their pants.

OK, here’s the format, which will allow us to at least get the effin’ Rebate thing out of the way. 

Eight teams, each consisting of a guy and gal randomly paired together. Each team gets four waves to ride, one left and one right for each surfer. Top single score from both team-mates tallys to the total. Starts off at quarter final stage.

Here’s where the Rebate kicks in (at last!)… The Rebate is the option where if a surfer smashes it on their first wave, and their partner stuffs up their first ride, the guy or gal who locked in the high score can give over his or her second ride to their lowly scoring partner – facilitating an extra chance for gumby’s redemption, and thus a higher best-score team total.

That donated/surrendered wave is the Rebate wave. And if you’re already mildly annoyed by frequent use of the term Rebate in this piece – especially how it’s capitalised – I’m just trying to inoculate you with intense exposure NOW, so in nine days’ time you’ll have a bit of immunity, because it’ll be word of the day come August 9th, I’m guessing.

A few other guesses: We can certainly expect some confected drama around the tactics of the Rebate; we can expect to be assaulted with filler promos for the Woz Studios’ raft of productions (that ‘Brilliant Corners’ Pommy Git grinds my gears something shocking); we can anticipate the familiar boredom of the tubesquat section on the right; the absence of the magical variables of the ocean (and the pros’ otherworldly ability to read those variables and gouge the shit out of ‘em). 

We can expect some empty-stadium weirdness and awkward booth commentary; probably some Zoom-style ‘throws’ to fans and other pros watching; and sugary reflections on how we’re all connected and getting through this together – especially if Turpel is on the mic and waxing positive as I dearly hope him to be. 

With judging being performed offsite etc, no doubt it’ll be a formidable challenge for the logistics & tech members of the broadcast outfit. They may well be the most pro operators in the whole Woz structure, certainly the least recognised. 

Whenever I think poorly of the Woz  – which is a bit – I try to cut it a break by remembering that, really, it just can’t win, and that’s largely because we, the surfing audience, are a fickle bunch. I mention this here because the context of the Surf Ranch provides such a clear illustration. 

To be fair, I can only speak for myself here, but I remember just being AGOG at the first clip released from the Ranch, the day after ADS’s Title win in December 2015. That grey-glass serpentine miracle of peeling perfection. My God. Look at that wave! Mankind has finally cracked the code! And now, as recently as two paragraphs ago, I’m all “the familiar boredom of the tubesquat section”… I mean, for fucks’ sake, how indulged am (are) I (we)?

Anyway, Ding Alley will be tuning in on the ninth, don’t you worry about that! 

Rebate.

// DING ALLEY
Ding Alley is Illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur and Writer Gra Murdoch. 

Comments

Hoodie's picture
Hoodie's picture
Hoodie commented Thursday, 30 Jul 2020 at 7:34pm

Nothing else to do in Lock down so I guess I'll be watching. (Unless the Tigers are playing.) ;)

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 7:43am

Ha ha Dane isn't answering the phone but the other usual suspects are..

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 7:54am

Does the lack of comments indicate that f-all people care about the wsl these days?

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 10:25am

My theory is the article waffled on interminably and readers lost their will etc... But also I think that come the actual event there might be a smidge more interest, if – as suggested – for no other reason than something to help a few more hours of 2020 pass on by.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 10:55am

Something to think about:

Over the last few weeks the Woz has been running clips across all media platforms of their Big Wave Award nominees, and just this week they began announcing the winners (latest was Wipeout of the Year).

Only a few years ago, every online surf outlet would've run video content of either the nominees or the winners, or an article on both. It's free content after alll, and it's entertaining too.

This year, however, not a single surf website ran any of that content.

There may be mitigating factors, people already seeing the waves on Instagram or whatever (though that's been the case every other year too), but I thought that absence was telling. 

It was the nearest the Woz has got to real drama this year, and big waves are always a mouse-clicker, yet it's fallen silent on every surf site.

Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 2:46pm

was weirdly handled hey stu?. I personally think it is a bad look for the sport being backed by these two companies (marijuana and sugar) but business is business.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 3:03pm

Surely the real question in surfing is what's been unboxed lately??

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 3:08pm

A radio controlled surfer, and a foil. Riveting.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 3:10pm

it's surely the only question that counts hey

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 5:25pm

I've seen articles on the Wsl website recently from Surfer Magazine, and the Inertia. Is the Wsl exerting some type of control over them or paying them to let them post their articles on the Wsl
website? Could Dirk be paying them not to post things on their websites, to have an exclusive, with Dirk's $$, almost anything is possible....... ...

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 8:03am

This'll be the fourth comp at the ranch (Future Classic, Founders Cup, Ct) and each of them have had a different format. They're not making it easy for fans to switch onto the magic of pools.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:10am

As an aside- if I could invent a time machine, I'd go back in time and learn to play the Mandolin. Then I would serenade sweet Sage Erickson with ballads of heartfelt love and shower her with gifts of incense, batik and hand-picked desert wildflowers.

1173

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:27am

...disturbing and admirable specificity there, not to mention astonishing investment of effort – I suspect the last thing you'd be arsed doing after turning the laws of time, space and physics on their head would be tackling the mandolin – but Love is as Love does! She had better appreciate the effort.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:42am

Sadly Gra, it would be an unrequited love.

But at least I would have learned a new skill should there suddenly be a dearth of slightly dim folk musicians.

1173

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:48am

I tend to think it would have worked, but a short time into the relationship you would have identified a number of small unforseen annoyances... however then you could simply jump back into your machine and set the co-ordinates for any time target your surfing/romantic heart desired. Or simply go back a week and enjoy the serenade w Ms E again.

ouboet's picture
ouboet's picture
ouboet commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:50am

Can't believe you say these things in these "Me Too" times- ballsy or stupid?

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:54am

Probs stupid. But it's a comment on the fickle nature of relationships and applies equally across any genders.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 11:54am

Little bit of A and little bit of B.

1173

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 1:11pm

"Little bit of A and little bit of B." I reckon that's part of the reason why chicks dig surfers.

redclement.'s picture
redclement.'s picture
redclement. commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 12:39pm

Getting Oprah on the commentary team would give the tub rumble much needed credibility.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 1:12pm

Now we're getting somewhere!

GONAD_MAN's picture
GONAD_MAN's picture
GONAD_MAN commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 4:09pm

Add Kanye for 'special comments', he loves a good rant.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 4:48pm

Dream Team. Jonah Hill as well to make it legit surf.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Monday, 3 Aug 2020 at 12:03pm

Lakey Peterson left Vicco last week for the US so she might make an appearance if she's not still in quarantine.