The Woz Awakens

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

So, the waiting period for Pipe kicks off in a coupla weeks. The gals at Maui even soonerer.

Pipe’ll be the first blokes ‘CT comp since – geez – Pipe last year. 

Your servants at Ding Alley will log on and watch the WozCast™, no doubt, and as we do, it’s safe to assume that, like most of us, we’ll veer from fascination to indifference to frustration to admiration etc. Our reactions will be as all-over-the-place as this meandering article.

As Pipe draws closer, I’m more ambivalent about the Woz than ever right now. I dunno, maybe it’s the mixed-up year we’ve all had, or maybe you just reach an age where you get enough life experience (read: redundancies and disappointments) tucked under your belt to realise there’s not much to be gained worrying whether Gabby’s got a gammy style or not (he hasn’t), being personally offended at the lack of turns performed at tow-in Nazaré, (no-one’s being forced to watch, Clockwork Orange-style), or mapping out elaborate alternative tour structures to save the Woz, (kinda hard without knowing the circumstance and minutiae that must force their hands.)

Better instead to allocate what cerebral and intuitive resources remain to more tangible matters: family, dog, mates, scoring the point without crowds, quiet beachies, early mornings, breathing, earning, continence, etc. 

Now, you’d think a total absence of flying fucks given about the world of professional surfing should disqualify Ding Alley from taking up Woz-word space in this esteemed media outlet, but it’s precisely this apathy, this complete lack of journalistic rigour, this refusal to undertake even the most token Google-search research, that’ll make us the ideal guinea-pig blank-slate control-group to sit through hour upon hour of Woz webcastery, and report on the side-effects.

If further proof of our credentials of indolence and sloth is required, this should do the trick. The next few paras explore a thoughtful concept: that whether we’re fans of the Woz or not, whether we pay attention or otherwise, the Woz’s very existence actually energises the rest of the surfing world and exerts an invisible gravitational pull on us all. Without a ‘tour’ as such, everything’s just a little less dynamic, we’re most of us a smidge less engaged, without even knowing why. 

So by extension, the upcoming Pipe Masters might have more riding on it than we thought, because if it duds, the Woz will be in even more strife than it is now, (which is to say, a shitload). If it’s a balltearer, it might provide a chip shot of sorts into 2021.

OK, so the above theory was an utterance tossed by editor Stu – almost as an aside – into a phone convo the other day. And when someone’s throwaway comment forms the entire foundation of another person’s article, well, there’s a snapshot of both the keen mind of the man at the SN Helm, and the utter bone-laziness of Ding Alley.

Riffing further on Stu’s call. For all the Woz’s miscues and wrong turns, and tone-deaf god-awful content creations, it’s still THE major planet in the surfing solar system. The simple fact that it administers (administered?) the indulged travelling sideshow of elite competitors at a dozen mostly epic surf spots, and does (did?) a fantastic job broadcasting these events to our phones and lappies for free, means that purely and singularly, it’s THE most powerful generator of neat, unfolding dramatic narrative and common interest that surfing has. Daylight second.

As a result, whether we’re into it or not, the Woz provides a quiet but real rhythm track to our surfing lives, year in, year out. 

Even if we don’t really care, we’re still aware. 

And even if we despise the Woz, many of us still are moved to post a comment about how much we loathe the thing.

Much like a sunken ship creating a fantastic haven for fish and corals, the Woz gives surfing some kind of weird structure and scaffolding. Sure, that scaffolding might currently be in the shape of a gigantic set of Disney mouse ears, (and we may want to cut our OWN ears off after half an hour of WozCast™ commentary), but even so, we still hope that it’ll be one of those years at Chopes; we savour the prospect of seeing Eth Ewing in full flight at J-Bay, Robbo at Sunset, JJF anywhere challenging, or what have you, all in the contrived but often exciting context of combat. 

Maybe the PROMISE of what the Woz can deliver, (because when it’s good, it’s great) is what actually provides that imperceptible fuel that subtly energises the whole surfing shebang, as Stu mentioned. 

And because Promise is something you can only replenish by delivering, the Woz has all but exhausted its stockpile this year. 

Promise – it’s kind of like The Force.

Which would make the Woz the Death Star, with Elo as bespectacled Darth Vader at the controls. 

And I’m not just saying that so Macca can draw Elo as Darth Vader. (Actually, to be honest, it’s precisely why I’m making that comparison…and while we’re on the subject, yes, technically, Dirk Ziff would be Darth, but where would the fun be in that cartoon?)

I dunno, while I resent the Woz’s claim and efforts to BE all things surfing, I do know my surfing life is more interesting because professional surfing is around, and I hope the Woz finds a way to stumble forward so, at the very least, we can all continue watching Wozcasts™ for free when we should be working or reading to our children.

An epic, dramatic Pipe comp would be a great shot in the arm for the Woz. Actually, not so much a shot in the arm as the last-chance-electric-shock-the-clinically-dead-patient-back-to-life-defibrillator thingo (where the handsome doctor rubs the two electro clip clop horsey things together with some vas between and yells ‘CLEAR’.)

Jesus, how many fruity fucking analogies can one article contain? 

Maybe for all their Santa Monica dysfunction and misreads, the Woz don’t totally deserve Pipe Masters of the Decade to land in their laps this time 'round. From a karmic point of view, 'Unboxing Things With Koa Smith' alone should open a giant sinkhole beneath Woz HQ. But, shit, it’s been as bad a year for the Woz as it’s been for everyone else, so let’s hope Huey clears the sand off the reef, slings some heft from the horizon and we get a glimpse of something great.

// DING ALLEY

Ding Alley is Illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur and writer Gra Murdoch.

Comments

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 12:22pm

Excellent write up but, suggestion, surely the Emperor would of been a good choice instead of Vader. Just picture Palaptine flashing that sinster smile with the cloaked face but instead having ELos cybernetically enhanced pearly whites flashing?

I am the bone

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 12:38pm

I've only looked at the artwork, and I'm already in tears.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 3:14pm

Right there with ya I.B. I thought Macca's one of Elo in the Toona Gardens Budget Motel room, (in his pyjamas, playing with his Kai Lenny figurine) couldn't be topped, happily I was wrong.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 12:45pm

Starts on the 8th and the lead up looks promising. Dates and sizes have been shifting around a bit but the models have been progging some sort of activity around the starting date:

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 12:51pm

Ziff is Palpatine.

Gabby to win Pipe , marry twin South American starlets in a bizarre Catholic / Wicka ceremony and release a signature body scent in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld all before Chrissy.

At the behest of his marketing team the scent will be named in honour of Gabby’s determined resilience in the face of 2020’s horrific run of events. An unfortunate typo in the label printing run will lead people to reflect less on his positive attitude and more on the form of his derrière.

Sales of “Anus Mirabilis “ will not be dented in the slightest as it turns out that in true South American fashion, Gabby’s fan base care more for his bleached and puckered date than they ever will for his mental fortitude.

Thanks as always for the cheerful work Ding Alley.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 12:47pm

I hope Pipes big and perfect for them. 12-15 foot with strong trades. Hasn't been a year like that in so long.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 1:15pm

*(he has)

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 1:24pm

Is this steepness normal sand for this time of year
https://explore.org/livecams/hawaii/hawaii-pipeline-cam

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 27 Nov 2020 at 1:54pm

Dunno about normal, but there's been that much sand when I've been there around this time of year before. Might not bode well if the sand on the beach is indicative of the reef... hopefully the NW swell coming before the comp might help.

Great cam btw

He who hesitates is lost

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 6:14pm

That's a good webcam.

Just Floating's picture
Just Floating's picture
Just Floating commented Friday, 27 Nov 2020 at 1:36pm

Enjoyed that little meander Gra, love that someone so bone lazy can still churn out something so entertaining. Kinda like the Woz that article, meandering, often pointless but somehow entertaining - good job!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 27 Nov 2020 at 7:36pm

Beneath a Ding Alley Masterpiece the Louvre un-scratch a Woz period Van Gogh.

tbb thinks it was the other-way around...shouldn't make a difference either way.

Title of Masterpiece - { Darth Vader's evil twin unboxing bloody giant mouse ears }.

Can't see why all the art critics are crying? They're just Ding Alley Theme Park Plans!

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 3:51pm

"many of us still are moved to post a comment about how much we loathe the thing.".. classic

faark the wozzle

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 6:45pm

Gra, I realise that the entire surfing world has silently erased the WSL's Get Sent series from their minds, but what was your take when you first saw it? Probably lucky DIng Alley wasn't around back then.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 9:36pm

Geezus. It's enough to make Elo – who came on board as Woz president of content (about three months after the first episode of this clutching at straws in a vat of excrement travesty aired) look like he did some good stuff by comparison, but then, actually, no. Thanks for reawakening that nightmare Jono! I need to take a shower now.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 7:22pm

What was Get Sent about ?

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 7:46pm

See, it was so bad that it has been completely erased.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 7:50pm

Here you go blowin, from a couple of years ago. Keep in mind that this was completely produced and marketed by the WSL.  https://www.facebook.com/getsent/

First episode here: https://www.facebook.com/WSL/videos/1061959043958057/

Forget about reading Dune, you've got 100 episodes of Get Sent to catch up on.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 6:26am

Felt like I was watching Bill & Ted

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 6:52am

They may no longer be supplying content for the WSL, but they have a YouTube channel and a website.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp6COGFcWCnEx9JbPIoYJLw
https://www.chadgoesdeep.com/

And their own varieties of white wine and rose.
https://www.eliqs.com/going-deep

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 7:18am

That was heavy.

Dirk Ziff must’ve been devastated when he thought he’d found the perfect content director for the WSL only to be told that the Ben Stiller character from Reality Bites was a fictional creation.

Crisis averted when he stumbled over Elo’s resume.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 7:13am

Appreciated the Clockwork Orange reference. Maybe the WSL could get the main protagonist, Alex, in the commentary booth to spice things up a bit.

matt.evans's picture
matt.evans's picture
matt.evans commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 9:31am

Fckn great essay. Thanks.
As another ambivalent asshole, I predict Gabby will win pipe.