Brazil all over, for now
Wanna take a quick look at the future of pro surfing?
A snapshot of the decade to come...except it's not the future at all, but a screenshot taken this morning. The future is now etc.
On the WSL website, under 'Events' is a drop down menu for the 'Men's Championship Tour', and when you click the button it's green and yellow all the way down the page - save for one plucky Southern Cross holding out against a sea of Order and Progress.
Brazil is flying 10 green and yellow flags from 11 events.
Yeah, it shouldn't be a surprise, the Brazilian Storm was forecast years ago, but it's still amazing to see how convincing their supremacy is. Especially when laid out like this.
Shield your eyes, diggers:
But if the new world order gets you down then howsabout setting the keyboard in the DeLorean to 1979 courtesy of Al Hunt and my dodgy Photoshop skillz?
Forty years ago it was mostly Australian flags from top to bottom - 10 from 13 events (see image below).
In fact if I chose 1981 then it woul'dve been Australia 10 from 11 - the same that Brazil has above - but synchronicity has the last say with me.
Beyond mere patriotism, the two images show how much everything shifts. Take a look at the venues: Japan once had 4 top tier events on a 13 contest tour, and in the decade that followed they, rather than Brazil, threatened to become the next surfing superpower.
Instead, Japan copped the 1-2 combo of the Asian financial crisis and the GFC, and by the time they were back on their feet surfing was passe. A peculiar sport for old folk in a land that's short on kids.
And would anyone in 1979 have predicted what was to come with Australia's slide and Brazil's rise? You still couldn't have guessed it in 1989, when not a single Brazilian won a CT. Even 1999, when yet another year passed without green and yellow on the dais.
The Brazilian Storm is sudden, unexpected, and intense.
The switch from Oz domination then to Brazilian domination now is undeniable, and a raft of theories have been proferred, but no single idea can explain it, though the one thing we can be sure of is that it'll all change again in the future.
Anyway, there ain't nothing wrong with being the underdog.