How To Dupe The ASP: X-Games

posted by / Blogs / April 10, 2013

How To Dupe The ASP

Surfers on the ASP World tour aren’t allowed to compete in any event that the ASP doesn’t sanction. If they neglect the papers and choose to compete in such an event regardless, the board of directors could kick the surfer off tour and take back that year’s prize money. Strict, huh. To a surfer, it sounds a lot like playing with fire.

Which is exactly what the X-Games is all about. Fire, explosions, Mountain Dew, bad tattoos — these are the lifeblood of the Extreme Games. In the early 2000s, surfing had a brief and nervous romance with the X-Games. A gaudy team format combined with Huntington Beach dribble to create a relationship that was of little worth to anyone. There was attempt to salvage by relocating the event to Puerto Escondido, but the damage was beyond repair. And after a few short years, the X-Games ditched us stone cold in the sand. To their credit, they did leave
us with a few cases of Monster energy drink and a pretty cool lanyard.

But they came crawling back. And this time around, they’ve changed. There will be no teams or Huntington Beach. There won’t even be bullhorns and singlets. Instead, there will be video cameras and Final Cut Pro. In an event called Real Surf, a sweet sixteen surfers were invited to compete by producing 90-second video clips. The segments were put on the web, matched into man-on-man heats and voted on by fans of democracy and slob grabs.

The concept of a video competition is nothing new to surfing (just ask Matt Meola or Albee Layer), but Real Surf is an attempt to provide an alternative to the traditional surf contest. The 90-second limit makes for segments that are focused on surfing, not film filters. The man-on-man matchups are meant to mimic the drama of an orthodox heat and give a direct means for comparison. And the multiple rounds create a sense of anticipation.

All the while, the video aspect eliminates dreadful words like “tactics” and “priority” that should have no place in our beloved diversion. Competitors get to surf waves that please their specific tastes. The final product that we watch and judge is an accurate depiction of one’s surfing, not a 40-minute glimpse of safety-surfing convention. And ASP surfers Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, Julian Wilson, and Gabriel Medina are partaking in the fun.

Who wouldn’t want to watch a freeform heat between Gabriel Medina and Matt Meola? Or Slater against Chippa? Or Willian Cardoso against an actual rhinoceros? Even though Real Surf most likely isn’t a messiah’s answer to our competitive woes, it’s on the right track — even if it does still listen to Sum 41.

You can watch and vote here: Competition is already in the second round.

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  • Benj

    Wow, ESPN just invented Innersection.

  • Not so…..

    Not so Benji. They actually just took an idea that Power Balance presented to the ASP and Surfer Magazine a few year’s back that eventually got shut down by not the Surfers but the ASP. Good on who ever took the idea re-packaged it. Hopefully In the end it brings more notariety to the Surfer’s outside the core and not just people taking someone elses idea to make money off the Surfers.

  • brendansux

    this shit is lame, who gives afuck

  • Joko

    X-Games, LOL!

  • plump blumpkin

    meola should have won

  • return tickets

    with all respect to the surfers, I turned it off after the “join the NAvy” commercial!

  • Steve

    Pretty half-ass attempt. Not a good showing for top dudes involved (best surfers, just not their best work — at all). I imagine they’ll have tough time rallying talent next time around, if there is one. Not much better than they fared with The Game.

    Good Navy commercial though. Got me stoked to kill people around the world.

  • Andy

    Albee LAyer was robbed

  • Benj

    Didn’t Power Balance go bankrupt for fraud?

  • tony (ty) carson

    9 relies to this dribble, and most of them negative, seems like competitive surfing, even on video, is repulsive to a a lot of surfers. Most hardcore surfers would rather be in the water surfing, than watching some pro surf slut whore himself out to make a buck.

  • Mik

    @tony (ty) carson:

    re: your comment > being a pro surfer = “whoring” oneself out!

    so how does that differ from making a living doing anything else?

    it doesn’t.

    besides, who are you to judge how anyone makes a living?

    in reality, the best job is the one you love doing… so for a surfer, surfing is it.

    and trust me, every professional surfer knows that he or she is blessed to be paid to surf by the companies that signed them. if they have to work hard to get and keep that sponsorship, fine.

    frankly, i have benefitted in allot of ways by watching pro surfers, because they are on another level than virtually anyone else in the performance surfing arena. so for me, it’s cool that the X games are showing both sides of pro surfing, in waves that show off their talent.

    there’s nothing bad about it, much less deserving the “whoring” label — which i suspect you’d throw at your own mother for raising yourself?

    BTW: we’d be curious to know what YOU do for a living > anything?

  • tony (ty) carson big isalnd

    Hey mik, what’s up? Maybe whoring was a bit strong, but I’m not the first to use it in this context, maybe ‘selling their being’ to these companies is more appropriate. I’m sorry, (not really), but the whole idea of pro surfing turns my stomach. Watching some one surf for money just doesn’t appeal to me, and looking at the number of posts when a pro article come up, maybe ten or 15 out of thousands of surfers, leaves me to believe many surfers feel the same. Ive been surfing for a few decades and have been a carpenter, a framer, for approx. 25 years. I’ve seen surfing go from a personal pursuit of freedom, (which it still is), to being something people have tried to turn into a business, bought and sold by the highest bidder and marketed to the masses. In the beginning, it was surfers selling to surfers, now these companies (people)- quickdollar, rip cur, billabog, ect.- could care less who buys their rags (tees, ect.) as long as they make a buck at the end of the day, and the paid pros are basically their pawns. I’ll overlook your personal innuendo about my family. But remember, the best waves ever ridden – by a pro or anyone- will always be the ones you catch yourself- whether its 2 feet or twenty. And thank God for a few free waves.(MSD) Peace.

  • tony (ty) carson big isalnd

    Mik, if you think what I said is controversial, try and google (The Seven Levels of Surfers) and read that, but fasten your seat belt first, it makes my statements seem tame by comparison. Peace

  • Mik

    Thnks for the reference to 7 Levels… And thnx for the family comment pass… Just remember we’re all family, and like all families we’ve all got different approaches to life.

    I can see not liking competitive surfing, oneself; but I like it, and many of my friends do too. It improved my level of surfing by doing the NSSA, and now seeing the world’s best compete is rad. Elevates my entire approach.

    also, working in the surf industry is rad too. far better than any other corporate environment, other than maybe Apple or Google. (nearby me)

  • tony (ty) carson big isalnd

    Ya Mik, your right, we are all part of the tribe, and nothing wrong with trying to improve your level of surfing, (for the right reasons). But in the final analysis, I believe that the whole heart of the matter is, if your having fun surfing, (no matter what your skill level),- that’s what its all about- and that makes you more of a winner, than some pro, who’s all bummed out, because he lost his heat. Peace.