Memory of resentment and a theory of success

julioadler
Surfpolitik

By Júlio Adler and João Valente - the Buoy Brothers

The temptation is hard to resist. And the fault is all yours.

By 'you', we mean the Anglo-Saxon surf press. Having grown up under the War of Cool between American and Australian narratives in competitive surfing, we know all about John Witzig’s 1967 Surfer Magazine article 'We’re Tops Now', following Nat Young’s pivotal win in the 1966 World Championships, and the American's vindictive, and somewhat suppressed, response, about thirty years later in the same mag, 'Who's Tops Now?', by Sam George, celebrating the Momentum Generation/Slater-led mid-nineties Yank dominance.

But the times, they were a-different. Printed mags still mattered and literary battlefields were a bit more elaborate than today’s comment box shitstorm. Still, who’d be to blame if someone from Brazil, decided to write their own 'Look Who’s Tops Now!', or something to the same effect?

Entitled they’d be, wouldn’t they? If justice had anything to do with surfing history, the Brazzos of present-day surfing have more than earned their right to make a victory claim. After all, when you are a young emerging rookie from Brazil you not only have to come through the backdoor… but you also have to bust that door down before they hear ya knocking.

If that last sentence sounds somewhat familiar, a coincidence it is not.

“What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”, once offered Napoleon Bonaparte from the height of his shortness. And fables we, as surfers, know a thing or two about, don’t we? Our world has been based upon epic, well-crafted tales of characters and events, witnessed by few, echoed by many, accepted by all.

Our history itself is a sum of these people and episodes, endlessly propagated through numerous magazine articles, books, and movies under one single certainty: surfing history is an Anglo-Saxon fable agreed upon. An American story, embraced early by the Aussies and ever since it's been seen through these dual lenses, all but ignoring everything else outside its self-absorbed scope.

So, here’s an open invitation to you, readers from the Anglo-Saxon axis, to come out of your bubble and assume another point of view. All it takes is empathy, or disgust. The idea is tallying, not tackling.

Third World

In 1976, when 19-year-old Pepê Lopes lined up alongside the other five Pipe Masters finalists, the Brazilian was the only one whose board sported a sponsorship sticker — JB, then one of the main newspapers in Brazil.

Mark and Rory and Mike and Paul and Pepê and Gerry

That is not to say that Pepê was the first surfing professional. Every other board displayed the iconic Lightning Bolt logo — "a mark so perfect, so instantly identifiable, that it required no lettering," as described by Matt Warshaw — making them gliding billboards for the leading surf brand of the time.

Still, it’s somewhat ironic that the only finalist — amongst Lopez, MR, Rory Russell, Paul Naude, and Mike Armstrong — with a non-endemic sponsor, coincidentally is the one who’s most often overlooked, if not blatantly cut out off the picture, when recalling that contest.

Way ahead of it — twelve years earlier, to be exact — Peruvian Eduardo Arena had been invited to the Manly World Championships where he watched in amazement as a crowd of thousands joyfully cheered the surfers and rejoiced with Midget Farrelly’s win.

"About 7000 people packed Manly Beach on the Saturday but it was the second day of the contest – Sunday, May 17 – that saw an estimated crowd of between 65,000 and 70,000 packed onto the sand and the promenade to watch the event," according to Sydney's Daily Telegraph. Realising the lack of a global organisation to regulate the sport, Arena launched the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and started crowning world champions annually. He basically created the rules and nurtured what would eventually become, many decades later, this weird monster who charms nocturnal zombies into watching men and women battling in waves for numbers no-one can really explain.

From within our bubble, we walked hand-in-hand. The reality was, however, a bit tougher. While Yanks and Aussies, the odd Saffa thrown here and there, were focusing on their own shit — and what a glorious shit it was, truth be stold — we were all here, right next door, all the time, eagerly following everything that was published by the Yank-Oz connection, absorbing photos, words and films, wherever they came from. The abyss did not exist yet, just a language barrier keeping universes apart. You just weren’t paying enough attention. 

As always, there were exceptions.

Felipe Pomar made history, ignoring any barriers. The same applies to the French De Rosnay brothers, Joel and Arnaud. The latter even marrying Jenna, John Severson’s gorgeous teen-daughter, may the old bastard rest in peace. But that’s a whole other story! Fact is, other than that, all of South America, Europe, and pretty much the rest of the world were just an exotic adventure.

...back to that Pipe Masters photo.

If at the very beginning of everything — and, mind you, it’s just the competitive universe we’re talking about here — due to the innocence of the moment, acceptance seemed enough to keep us all satisfied, yet time would show that the motivation for Latin American competitive fury would be the vilest of feelings: resentment.

We hate it when our friends become successful

In the study of resentment, we find valuable clues to understand how dominant nations conduct themselves in war or in sport — basically the same shit with fewer casualties.

The origin is the same in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish: sentimentum. Where sentir means to feel, and therefore resentment means to feel again. Sorry for the etymological deviation, but hopefully everything shall make sense later on.

A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy managed to separate the five emotions most often diagnosed by psychologists: anxiety, guilt, depression, indecision, and insecurity. A bomb! It worked like aviation fuel for Australia in the swinging sixties and the psyched seventies, and as Nick Carroll smartly pointed out, it was just a matter of time till some other nation fed on the same frustrations and hit back.

I shall be released

It may be an exaggeration to explain so much history with just one bold word. An exuberant economic moment in the early 2000’s combined with a brilliant generation less the vices of the previous ones, also helped a lot.

Believe us: on the back of every white smile and every hard-fought Brazilian tour win, there are at least thirty years of bitterness. We cannot speak on behalf of other Latin Americans, such as the Peruvian world champ, Sofia Mulanovich. What we know is that after the initial fling with Brazilian surfing, suspicion got the better of both sides.

For us, a total lack of acknowledgement was infuriating. We didn’t ask for much. Perhaps a minor credit for the fact that we were all sharing the same moments? Maybe acknowledgement of the brief competitive success of Pepê Lopes and Daniel Friedman, or the discovery and exploration tales of Tito Rosemberg, or the attitude of the devil-may-care Brazil Nuts in Hawaii between '72 and '86, or the simple fact of being there, on the circuit, from its very beginning?

Tito Rosemberg

On the other side, meanwhile, the alarms began sounding about that noisy bunch, who only really posed a threat when competing at home but who, nevertheless, were starting to believe they deserved a place in the newly created IPS club. How dare they?! If during the first couple of years Brazilians traveled the Tour looking mostly for adventure and particularly good waves, suddenly entering the picture is someone with a different attitude towards the contest scene: Cauli Rodrigues.

Carlos Felipe Veiga Lima Rodrigues is our Midget Farrelly: stubborn, gruff, and competitive as hell, he ruled the local competitive scene between 1978 and 1984, prior to the creation of the Brazilian professional surfing circuit in 1987. Cauli dared to dream that he was part of the club and he left for Australia looking to improve his performances, equipment, results, and, there you have it, his level of recognition.

The first cut is the deepest

Fast-forward to 2012. A few minutes before the horn blows in Peniche, Gabriel Medina comfortably leads the final over media darling Julian Wilson. Remember the feeling? Who was tops..?
Gabriel followed Adriano who took on the world between 2008 and 2015, and who followed an entire generation scorned and despised.

History repeats itself, fueled by anxiety, guilt, depression, indecision, and insecurity, till we get cycles of resentment.

The WSL seems to ignore this tough, unappreciated, and fascinating part of professional surfing. Derek Hynd understood from the very first time he was forced, either by impulse or need, to write about competition, quoting Russian authors. To wit: Life is pain, man is unhappy.

This is the first in a series of articles that'll delve into our collective memories.

Mind you, we don’t mean to change anything. We just want to tell good stories - new fables we can all agree upon.

// JULIO ADLER and JOAO VALENTE are the BUOY BROTHERS
Júlio Adler and João Valente are veteran surf journalists from, respectively, Brazil and Portugal. Together they have a podcast and collaborate on written work documenting the rise of the Portuguese-speaking surf world. If your self-esteem is based upon Anglo surf dominance then you best get the sandbags ready.

Comments

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 4:37pm

It's kind of fitting Julio & Joao, that the new Pinnacle is Nazarre. After all, the Portugese were the first of the European legendary mariners (of the modern era, ie discounting the Vikings before them).

As for the Brazillians, I find I now enjoy their styles eg Adriano and Italo - wheras perhaps before I didn't, being accustomed to flowing Aussie power surfing with smoothness and some grace. Fastest, most dynamic aerial surfing - Toledo, that I have seen with my eyes. JJF still wins on the smoothness and body-art through turns however. Above the lip - this is where I think the Brazilian dynamic, athletic ability is currently unchallenged, in competition.

They are a force, they are friendly to meet, love family, believe in God.

But Europe is waking - notice it is Steudtner's wave that makes the pic of the day yesterday. Another from a Germanic tribe. And then there will be Indonesia and they have the quality to be the best in the world, blindfolded. And then Africa will awake...

It's all good - enjoy good style where you see it.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 8:35pm

Nice Johnno!

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 10:43am

There's a huge mistake in this article.

A common one made by any writer yet to dig hard into decolonisation.

The mistake is the omission of Hawai'i.

Whilst technically Hawai'i is the 50th state of the US, you'll notice that many Hawaiians' are unquestionably clear about who they are and where they are from.

Breathe. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 6:00pm

Totally, and that also extends to their style of surfing which is different again, powerful and relates to those amazing waves and the hundreds, thousands of years they have been riding waves.

In the competitive sense, no mention of Buttons, Larry Bertleman, Dane Kealoha, Sunny, etc etc

Bonus factoid: people have been bodysurfing the northern shores of Turkey for 3000 years.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 8:47am

solidarity.

and thank you for sharing the Turkey knowledge-amazing. will look further into it.

Breathe. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 5:35pm

Eloquent writing! Thank you.

I shared the best waves and surfing of my life with a single Brazilian way out the back at Grajagan in May 1990 - Kong's? I don't think we talked,. But it was just us and it was wonderful.

Today the Brazilian Storm is upsetting the white fella regime that his existed in my 40 years in this neck of the woods.

Interesting times.

Buoyed by change I find it is all just part of the evolution of this surfing thing.

MartinNow

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 7:28pm

Probably not good timing to put this out the same week JJF releases a new mind blowing clip that shows he’s still numero uno.
Better luck next time fellas!

Bruce Fishwick's picture
Bruce Fishwick's picture
Bruce Fishwick commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 9:06am

JJ can never lose, because he's not trying to win.

goughsleft's picture
goughsleft's picture
goughsleft commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 8:02pm

Thanks for the read Buoy brothers
Real story's about surfing are appreciated, the fictitious tales on here of late about a fictitious place and its bullshit fictitious characters are cringeworthy to say the least.
Regards

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 12:25pm

Those Ding Alley things boil my piss too. I personally don't find them funny.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 2:02pm

I find people with ZERO fucking sense of humour/self deprecation and a desire for everything to be super serious pretty cringeworthy but that's just me.........

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 8:29pm

Good read. Have met many great Brazos over the years, mainly in Indo.. Spent 6 months in Portugal in 94. Great waves, great culture, great people, epic memories....

Botak

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 8:34pm

Sacrilege, there was only one blues brothers and any and all (mis)use of the name is not acceptable.

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 1:14pm

Amen!

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 4:32am

And should be dealt with by lethal force.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 1:04pm

Cool

in the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 10:28am

Is it April 1st?
Maybe an article why Brazzos are such fuckwits in the surf might be a better read fellas? No amount of winning surf contests (yawn) will excuse decades of cunty behaviour. I bet every contributor here has a story to add about dealing with Brazillians in Indo and more recently on the home front, now that might be the start of a new forum...

centralscrutinizer's picture
centralscrutinizer's picture
centralscrutinizer commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 10:57pm

Hard to go by that cliché without flirting with plagiarism. On the other hand, a story about how so many aussies act like Indonesia is an extension of their homebreaks might sound fresher and equally true.

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 9:08pm

A mates story of being stuck on Nias with 15 Brazzo tools for two weeks.
Taking shifts dominating the peak as a pack day in and day out.
Comments met with threats the first time then real violence the next.
Aussies can be pigs overseas but this is the worst story I've heard by far.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 10:33am

Lets throw Argentinians into that mix too, the "new" Brazzos, wake up latinos nobody likes to see a carload of frothing cunts rock up together at a surf spot.
Friday rant over

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 11:35am

Good to see a bit of flamboyance with the writing and highlighting an obvious bias in the surfing world.

However, and notwithstanding the validity of some of the above comments, I think you Brothers could benefit from a step or two back off the hot spot and ask yourselves a question along the lines of: "Who really gives a fuck?"

To assume that surfing's history is a history of competitive surfing only highlights everything that is wrong with competitive surfing today and its irrelevance in the life of most surfers. The history of surfing is much more local and focussed on recreational surfing. It's only the diehards who will sit around and talk comp results and world champs, while the proper surfers will remember the rich histories of the places they live in and the characters who've graced the waves and carparks of their local. They'll remember the places they travelled to and the menagerie of other surfers they spent time with. Very few give a damn about who's winning comps, and as per the JJF clip you don't need a comp to know who's worth watching.

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 11:52am

With interest in so called professional surfing at an all time low and Covid era participation in surfing at an all time high this piece truly is of little to no consequence. No one really cared much back in the day, except those directly involved and no one really cares now but those with a similar stake.

onetimeonly

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 2:01pm

I don’t like any Brazilian surfer’s style that I have seen yet. And I’ve been looking for one like the allusive Yeti. It’s weird, but they often surf in a little bit of a boxy style I reckon and it might even be a national phenomena. Sure they can do tricks etc, and win points in competitions, but by my own observations I generally don’t like watching them surf. Even Medina who I have surfed with a few times and I quite like him, but I don’t like his surfing much and it’s still too boxy for me - except big pipe and Chopes where he alters the boxy thing and becomes stylishly fluid and really awesome to watch but that’s an exception. I’ve been burnt by plenty in the water especially on gold coast area and Indo - but aussies are just as bad I reckon. Haha, the worst behaved people I saw in Indo were from the gold coast.

Barrelrider

ricardo.lobo's picture
ricardo.lobo's picture
ricardo.lobo commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 5:20pm

Barrelrider,
But think that it is not easy for us too. For decades, we were forced to consume a lot of Wes Laynes and Kolohe Andinos.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 7:49pm

Haha, hey Ricardo, I would gladly swap a few waves with you in the lineup. Great sense of humour!!

Barrelrider

ricardo.lobo's picture
ricardo.lobo's picture
ricardo.lobo commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 11:38pm

See you um Gland.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 3:22pm

Yep good to have a chip on the shoulder makes you angry and push harder.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 6:36pm

The cruel irony is that at the moment of their greatest triumph and with the crowing of one the more popular champions of recent times, the tour gets nuked by Covid. As much as I’d love to see the WSL crash and burn, I do feel for guys like Italo.

views from the cockpit's picture
views from the cockpit's picture
views from the ... commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 7:54am

Everyone loves to beat their chest when they or their team/Country is winning something.
No one says much or gives a rats arse when they're not.
Interesting quirk of human nature.

DAW's picture
DAW's picture
DAW commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 8:19am

Fluent style beats awkward poo stance every time

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 10:33am

It's a moot point, but I wonder what Peter Troy, who I believe introduced surfing to Brazil way back in the '60s, would make of all this hype and counter-hype, or indeed the massive growth of surfing there and globally? Can anyone confirm if it was Troy or someone got there before him? If it was him, then perhaps Brazil may owe Troy a vote of thanks for turning them on in the first place.

Lindo

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 1:05pm

Troy was the father of modern surfing in Brazil. There's a before and after Peter Troy.
And after him, there's a bit of hype for American media when McGillivray and Freeman were here in 68 with Mark Martinson and Dale Struble. And Dora in 1971!

Tim Baker's picture
Tim Baker's picture
Tim Baker commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 12:22pm

Fascinating read and beautifully articulated, I would just add that the Brazilian generation of pro surfers of the late '80s, early '90s received a fair bit of press and deservedly so. Fabio Gouveia and Flavio Padaratz defied all the old, out-dated Brazzo stereotypes - smooth, stylish, radical, competitively savvy - and there was a great supporting cast who stormed the tour, Renan Rocha, Victor Ribas, Jo Jo Olivencia, Joca Junior, Guilherme Herdy, Neco Padaratz, and many others. I spent two months in Brazil in 1994 and was struck by the depth and drive of surfing talent. Pretty sure Brazil finished second to Australia at the ISA World Games in Rio in 1994 and were a whisker away from winning it. No one should have been surprised by the Brasilian storm of the 2010s. The only surprise was that it took so long.

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 1:15pm

You're right Tim. And I remember all the coverage Flavio and Fabio got after they stormed the Australian leg late 88 and early 89 - Boys from Brazil, by Sarge, maybe the very first article...
ISA Games in Rio was an incredible event full of little stories of defeat and glory. First time we got to watch the Irons Bros surfing in pretty decent conditions. Neco was an animal in that event - Kalani won juniors, Sasha Stoker, senior.
Team Brazil finished second to Australia.

Tim Baker's picture
Tim Baker's picture
Tim Baker commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 1:22pm

I was at that event in Rio and remember Sasha pinching it with a tight little barrel in the shifty beachbreaks in the dying seconds. I did a road trip up the coast from their to Recife, via Praia de Frances (spelling?), hung out with Gustavo Aguir despite not speaking much Portuguese and him not speaking much English. Very sad to learn he died in a motorbike accident not long after. Still have a woven grass hat he gave me. Scored a ton of waves and met a lot of great people and developed a deep respect for Brazilian surf culture and also how marginalised a lot of surfers felt by the dominant Anglo Oz/US narrative.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 3:15pm

Peter Troy has a lot to answer for. All the justification in the world doesn't alter the fact that the great majority of Brazzos act like entitled dicks in the water. Le't face it, the "storm" is really three or four great surfers (not ADS, yawn) and a bunch of round two losers who are only there as the QS format has favored them for years. I'll just leave it here, 42/4....

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 11:35am

Its funny you yawn about ADS's style as he really worked on his rail game and I reckon he is one of the best Brazils on the eye. Strong bottom to top combo and not so hypa arms and legs without a poo stance like Flippy and to a lesser extent Italo.

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 3:50pm

Well I'm guessing that Troy, and maybe Albe Falzon as well re Bali (no doubt he's commented on this but I can't remember), never really expected surfing to boom as massively as it has. Certainly I never saw that train coming. I first went to Indo in '75, on the strength of MOTE, and like so many others it radically changed my then young life, even down to making a subsequent career in coral reef research, having done intimate 'reef inspections' at Ulus and a few other lesser known breaks. So personally I have a huge amount to thank Falzon for. But on the other hand, I also regret the scale that surfing has reached, and our collective impact, from toxic sunscreens impacting corals, to untreated sewage discharged adjacent to reefs from boats and some camps, to the broader effects of 'surf imperialism' on the cultures of once remote places.

Lindo

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 4:20pm

Was it easy to get work in the field Lindo? My niece graduated about a decade ago, told me there were 300 graduates Australia-wide and 6 jobs on offer.

AlwaysOffshore's picture
AlwaysOffshore's picture
AlwaysOffshore commented Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 11:53pm

article from 2050 in the "Galactic Surfing Magazine" ... Italo Fereira - "The last world champion in the competitive surfing history of Planet Earth". Not a bad title to carry. :)

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 7:26am

Hi VJ, I was fortunate to start working in the early 80s, before the continuing flood of marine science graduates from James Cook Uni and elsewhere arrived on the scene. I did 15 years working for an Aus government research agency before going it alone, working on contracts for various NGOs (not the miners) across the tropics from Arabia in the west to Micronesia in the east, mainly in the assessment of places for establishing marine protected areas and their subsequent design and implementation, but I wouldn't recommend it as a career path with a high likelihood of employment. It'd be a hard and highly competitive road these days, and most people find work outside pure research, many for industry, as per this telling quote from the novel Eyrie by Tim Winton: ‘ …. Who you with now? … The kid laughed skittishly. Government? Ah no, said the boy. Keely didn’t need to be told what that meant. He’d had his wild years, this kid, his Ghandi-quoting period. If the iron giants hadn’t bought him it could only be oil and gas. These days they were co-opting them as undergrads, paying their tuition. Miners employed more ecologists, marine scientists and geology graduates than six governments. In order to smooth the way, before they literally scraped the place bare. All that harmless data owned and warehoused. It was brilliant.’

Lindo

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 1 Nov 2020 at 5:59pm

Thanks Lindo, yep you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Early 2000s and the undergrads were rushing around adding a Maths minor to their major to look more employable. We used to get the Env Science graduates, and they would label the outgoing sample eskies in the lab, an inauspicious start. Then they'd get poached by mining, and be on Real Money. Quite proud the little bro was the only Aquaculture grad in his class of 52 to get a job in the field, but then again he'd already done TAFE and knew practically how to grow fish stocks.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 12:59pm

I don't understand where this supposed chip on the shoulder comes from - is it even there? Competitiveness ("the hunger") can come from resentment or from excitement (to mix it and beat the best). Maybe it's part of the mix, but the way the article is written is as if resentment is the only driving force.

"Gabriel followed Adriano who took on the world between 2008 and 2015, and who followed an entire generation scorned and despised."

I remember plenty of positive coverage in the likes of Waves and ASL mags about the brazilians in the 90s and early 00s. I don't recall ever seeing any discussion that led me to believe that Brazilian surfers were "despised"? Even "scorned" seems too strong. I'd agree with the coverage sometimes having a patronising tone to it though. Like, "oh, look a brazzo made it to the final. Good on them! They try so hard..."

I also remember interviews (in the early 00s) from those same mags with the likes of Occy and others, where they were asked "where do you think the next crop of world-dominating surfers will come from?" and the answer given most frequently was....BRASIL. Especially Occ (and maybe Dorian) saying this multiple times. The interviewer (and I'm sure many others) would suggest Indo. But this has been suggested for a looooooooog time, for obvious reasons. A surf camp owner over there once explained to me this is unlikely because in his view, being close to friends and family is just so important for an Indo's well-being, they just can't stomach being away from home for so long, especially to surf shit waves (on the WQS or whatever it's called these days).

nah....yeah...but, nah

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 5:47am

Mowgli,
the thing on scorned and despised was not the consequence but the reaction.
It had the same effect on Aussies when the likes of Mike Hynson, Corky Carroll and David Nuuhiwa ruled the (media) world.
"We're Tops Now" (Surfer Mag, May 1967)has heaps of shades of that very resentment - to quote...
[“Nat will thrash Nuuhiwa and make Bigler look like a pansy.” These were the words of Bob Cooper]
[What is the future? We’re on top and will continue to dominate world surfing. Californian surfing is so tied and stifled by restrictions that are its own creation, and the other countries simply do not have the necessary ability.]
It's fabulous!
It did not care for anything but competition and California went on hibernation for more than a decade after the punch.
When they had the opportunity, they punched back.
Now there's no more fighting for there's no more universal (surfing) media and WSL is all about Cotton Candy.
And how good is Witzig's conclusion?
[An end must come to this monotony. Vigor will replace lassitude: aggression will replace meek submission. The dynamic will force an end to the commonplace. Power will be the word, and surfing will be surfing.]
All hail to Witzig!

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 10:33am

Do you mean Brazilian (and other South American) surfers felt scorned and despised, even if that isn't necessarily how others viewed them? And that's what drove them?

Lassitude. That's a good word. Complacency also seems apt to describe where Californian and now Australian surfing as gone. I see similarities in rugby. There was a hunger - "a mongrel" if you will - in the attitude of Australian players in the 90s that ultimately culminated in world domination at the end of the millenium. And it seems that we're now well and truly beyond the afterglow of this period, stuck in the doldrums as those coming up seem more concerned with their paycheck, their social media following, and how their hair looks on the field (seriously, stop re-styling your fucking hair during the game), rather than achieving glory.

To stick with the parallels in world rugby. US/Hawaii = NZ, slumped through 90s, came roaring back in 00s. Australia = Australia, carved up in 90s, bit of an afterglow in 00s. Brazil = Ireland/Wales/Japan, long thought of useful padding out the numbers so it can be said to be a true world competition and get the occasional shock win, now seem to be putting "traditional powers" on their arses all the time.

nah....yeah...but, nah

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Thursday, 5 Nov 2020 at 2:43am

Really like the analogy, Mowgli.
Spot on.
Cheers

Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 1:12pm

Despite its less than captivating title, Memory of Resentment and a Theory of Success is one of the more interesting and insightful pieces I've read here in a long time (with the possible exception of the true adventures of Ding Alley). Why am I not surprised? Because Júlio Adler and João Valente are two of the more eloquent and interesting observers of surfing I've met, and the fact that they enjoy a banter over a good drop of Portuguese red, gives them bonus points. Obrigardo, bouys.

Phil Jarratt

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 1:52pm

I have it on good authority that the Ding Alley boys are as far from eloquent and interesting as can be. They have, however, enjoyed many a drop of red: Melbourne Bitter, to be precise – the cunning choice to take to low-grade house parties in the '80s. With everyone drinking green-labelled VBs, the distinctive red MB label facilitated easy, accurate tracking, identification and shaming of beer thieves and opportunists.

centralscrutinizer's picture
centralscrutinizer's picture
centralscrutinizer commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 5:15am

Hey Phil! We don't mind a nice bottle of Big Rivers or Barossa neither! And the Jolis should be at the table, by all means!

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 5:37am

You can’t beat a big, bold Aussie red wine. Top drawer stuff.

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 8:04pm

Coopers Red ain't too bad either!

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 2:44pm

Hey Julio, if you're still reading and responding to this thread, I'm wondering whether you may know of a Brazilian pro surfer from the 70s? I only have his first name, Lipe'. I shared a flat at Tamarin Bay with him and a S African surfer Billy R., back in May of 1978. Lipe' was on the fledgling pro tour and was heading to Durban to compete in the Gunston 500 or whatever it was called back then. He had a quiver of his own boards, all colour-coordinated in blue and gold. We were fortunate to get one good swell after the full moon that peaked at around 8' faces. Lipe', as you'd expect, was a pretty good surfer, but also considered a bad hassler in the water, and Billy and I had to try to 'calm the waters' with irate crew there on a couple of occasions. I occasionally wonder whatever happened to him, as he must have been in the forefront of the Brazilian charge. Any ideas? Thanks.

Lindo

julioadler's picture
julioadler's picture
julioadler commented Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 5:41am

Yep, Lindo, i know Lipe - everybody knows Lipe around me in Rio de janeiro!
Such a character, a bon-vivant literally.
Still surfing and shaping, living in Portugal now https://www.countrysurfboardseurope.com/shaper
Give him a shout!
Cheers

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 7:27am

I guess Lipe really was at the forefront of the Brazilian charge then hey? Thanks heaps Julio, great to know he's is still going strong and has devoted his life to his craft. Classic to discover what happened more than 40 years later. After Tamarin, Billy R. kindly invited us to stay at his place in Durban as well, before we went our separate ways, Lipe to the contest(s), Billy to his compulsory army service and me to the quieter, sharky waters of southern Natal, the Wild Coast and J Bay. I'll get onto Lipe's website. Cheers.

Lindo