A Letter To: The Olympics

posted by / Blogs / February 11, 2014

The Sochi Bank.
The SochiBank. Photo: @bradjaymc

Dear Olympics,

Sup? I’m Bren. I’m sure you’re super busy right now, what with the Winter Games and all, but I figured I’d give you a holler. Hopefully you can find some quiet time in that swanky Sochi hotel room of your’s to take a minute and digest what I’m about to say. I’m here to talk to you about surfing.

Here’s the thing: surfing isn’t an Olympic game. And here’s why that’s a thing: biathlon is. Biathlon, a sport which involves skiing around and shooting off rifles like a redneck on vacation in the Alps, is an Olympic game. So is table tennis, trampoline, racewalking and probably bingo. All beautiful recreations in their own right, but more beautiful than surfing? I think not. But I’m not here to argue.

You and surfing just don’t mesh. For starters, it’s a logistical nightmare. The ocean has a mind of her own and we’re still a long way’s away from a worthy wave pool. Until then, it’s just not a fit. Your format doesn’t seem conducive to a waiting period and there’s nothing that attracts an asterisk like winning gold in the worst waves ever. Gross. And then all the guff we’d cop from the non-surfing world for the inevitably poor surf? Not into it. So let’s save that talk for 2032.

But right now, Olympics, you need more appeal. You need it desperately. I’ve seen your figure skaters this year and I’ve got to say that I’m not impressed. You need to be more sexy. You need a glamorous sport that’ll drop jaws and truly inspire. You need a fantasy for the world to buy into. You need kneeboarding.

Kneeboarding. Since its rise to the spotlight in the 1980s, the sport has wained to a point of borderline extinction. The kneeboarding community as a whole is akin to a half-dead piece of roadkill on the side of a highway, heavily panting, hanging on for dearest life. It fits every criteria for an Olympic game. Archaic? Check. Obscure? Sure. And most importantly, it’s impossible for anyone outside of its own esoteric world to take seriously. It’s a match made it Elysium.

So, yeah man. There you go. Kneeboarding can be your alluring little mistress until surfing is ready. Good chat and I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Sochi. By the way, you hear about that Jamaican bobsled team? How about those guys, right? So classic.



PS – Could you please make a gold medal and give it to Kelly Slater? No need for silver or bronze, just one single gold medal. He deserves it, and today is his birthday for fuck’s sake.

If you actually want to keep tabs on the Olympics, see SURFING Editor-at-living-large Chas Smith’s coverage for Esquire here.

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  • Mik

    thnx for reading our collective mind

    i’m so not into Sochi…

    i do dig the international part tho. and the women.

    better than not getting to know each other, and world wars…

  • Barry

    The gold medal for Ke11y is a MUST.

  • Aloha Alex

    The Gold for Slater is a fantasy, but a reality is Athlete Of The Year from Sports Illustrated! C’mon you guys, it’s about time!!

  • Ifallalot

    The Winter Olympics has the greatest sport in the world: Curling. I am going to take it up on flat days

  • Tim

    Tongue in cheek, sure, but imo it would have been a more interesting article if the author chose to find things in common with surfing and olympic sports, like massive egos, controversial judging, prejudiced fans and biased media. But that would take wit instead of this self-serving sarcastic dribble in this piece. It reminds me though, of the real reason we’ll never be in the mainstream of popular culture. The rest of the world sees us as a bunch of dude brahs, despite the prevalence of the latter (Greg Long, Dan Malloy, Gerry Lopez, Kelly Slater). There’s also a common thread throughout surfing, seen in many mags like this one and held deep by many —- we’re better than you. It’s almost funny that the rest of the world doesn’t even care about our sport beyond Laird, Kelly, and probably GMac too after he took Anderson Cooper out for a spin around Nazare. And yet here we are preaching to the converted, making up shit to sound funny to the flock. Yes, we are sheep. Gilley was right on many levels. Bahhhh…

  • Anton

    First, I know everyone loves to bash biathlon, but it makes more sense than surfing. Biathlon is winter hunting. Someone, somewhere said: I have nothing to eat, because everything that grows is buried under snow – where is my bow/spear/rifle and skis, i’m heading out to shoot something. surfing is derived from someone, somewhere saying: hey that time we rode the swell in our canoe back to the beach after fishing was pretty sweet. lets do that again. So surfing is much further departure from the origin.

    But anyway, this got me thinking. As above, its going to be hard to shoe horn surfing into the summer games. This is also the first time I’ve seen it mentioned as potential winter sport. The main difference being surfing requires the liquid form of water, all other winter sports need it to freeze. Yet, the majority of surfing’s greatest moments are in winter, or as a result of winter storms.
    Why not a third version of the games now that the ocean is sportsfield/playground/lifestyle like its never been before? The Ocean Games – featuring surfing, diving, wind/kitesurfing, sailing, kayaking, etc. Throw in a strong environmental aspect, because, by god, the ocean needs it. make Slater its patron, because that legacy would surely trump any medal. Any thoughts? Seriously…

  • Scott Yard

    Third world surfing. Secondary sport, So. America and Nicaragua, Encinidas and New Brooklyn, etc. great ocean waves and a burough, but primarily ineligible for Pipeline, Thundercloud and cinema alike.

  • Winthrop

    Mr Yard: Stop-motion pictures will never equate

  • Jingleballs

    What kind of stupid fvking letter/article is this? I want to see this dipshit train 4 years for anyone of those sports, he wouldn’t last 2 days. Surfing mag becomes more and more ridiculous every post.

  • Jimmy the Saint

    That Chas Smith article for esquire is – I can’t believe I am writing this – pretty damn good!

  • shaun mcgrath

    i love how much shit you get on here buck. i thought it was a pretty good read. Did I ever tell you about the kneeboarder Gar?

  • Daniel

    What is the need for surfing to be included in the Olympics? I mean, golf is not in the Olympics but the sport is being embraced by lots of audience.

  • Bianca Anderson

    I believe that surfing should be a part of the Olympics, it is a world wide, international SPORT that has been around for decades. Surfing is one of the most toughest sports in the world, as the ocean often acts a wild untamed beast. I congratulate all surfers that have competed in competitions, risking their safety in order to ride a killer wave. Surfing is a sport and should be included in the Olympics