The Flyer: Surfing Under The Big Top
OK people, just eight days till the five ring circus begins.
The event that brings all those weird and obscure sports to our tele screens every four or so years, and now surfing is one of them, lining up against the might of badminton, rhythmic gymnastics, and fencing.
Is there any other sport on the Olympic roster that encompasses everything from Polynesian prehistory, to psychedelic drug culture, to Bronzed Aussie conformity? Surfing’s got it all.
I’m wondering how this vast, history-rich sport is going to be presented in the global spotlight.
It was a shock when the ASP sold pro surfing to the Woz and the eggheads from Santa Monica began the whitewash campaign: drop the specialist terminology, make it accessible to non-surfers, remember, a goofyfooter stands with their right leg forward.
We’ve now had eight years of it. Time enough to get accustomed to the vanilla schtick, but the Olympics is sure to outdo even the Woz.
Back on the 4th of July, surfers were primed for the coming weirdness when the world’s fifth richest man was seen surfing a foil board goofyfoot - remember, that’s when a surfer has their right leg forward - so how will the Olympics top that?
At least we can be assured that Bellambi’s favourite son - HG Nelson of course, who once surfed howling Bellambi Bombora on a homemade okanui - will hear the call and respond in kind.
And will Fernando Aguerre sing his not-boring song once more? “We’ll be singing this song for many years,” promised sweet FA, so in Japan I expect to see a thousand face masks straining at the straps: “A better world through surfing!”
But what of the actual feet-in-the wax surfing, I hear you ask.
The current prediction has, not one but two ‘phoons on the forecast, with the models spinning like a Belarusian gymnast off a pommel horse - ten foot one day, two foot the next, six foot the day after that. All eyes are on the striking grey sand of Shidashita.
Like everything else under the big top, the surfing is sure to be a spectacle.
The (Un)Official Olympic Forecast - 10 Days To Go
May as well start with the Olympic forecast then, eh? Swellnet were delighted to accept the role of (Un)Official Olympic Forecaster, and to fulfill our duties Craig will provide ongoing forecasts from our office in Manlysaki. Ten days out and the Pacific onions are coming to the barbecue. Read More >
Olympic Heat Draws Announced
There's some thrilling Round 1 match ups, such as Gabriel Medina vs world #206 Leon Glatzer. Check the draw and find out how the whole thing is gonna work. Read More >
Gallery: Tasman Lowdown During Lockdown
And now for something completely different. Out of the water with stitches, Craig did the next best thing to surfing, comprehensively photographing the fruits of the recent Tasman Low. Expect different locations and different angles. Read More >
Judge the Dread
Words of anguish, beautifully written, without the gratuitous photos. Before paddling out on a bluebird day, a surfer weighs up the risk of meeting the man in the grey suit. Read More >
Watch: Vantage Points // Russell Bierke & Andrew Kaineder
From the Wish You Were Here department: Wednesday morning on the Bukit and it's pumping. Not only is it one of the biggest swells of the season thus far, it's also hitting with a lot of westerly bias making the the broad Ulus lineup even harder to decipher. The afternoon brought a falling tide and the Outside Corner provides pattern recognition for those with the right equipment. Read More >