The ASP: What’s Not to Love?

posted by / Blogs, Editorial / July 23, 2011

Photos by Ryan Miller

The statuesque Bede Durbidge soldiered into Round 5 but was there dispatched by local clubfoot Jordy Smith.

The statuesque Bede Durbidge soldiered into Round 5 but was there dispatched by local clubfoot Jordy Smith.

The aforementioned clubfoot, with more arm than fin in the wave. Jordy beat fellow South African Travis Logie in this Round 3 heat.

The aforementioned clubfoot, with more arm than fin in the wave. Jordy beat fellow South African Travis Logie in this Round 3 heat.

There remain two goofyfoot surfers in the draw: Dam Hobgood and Ace Buchan, here, who took down dual superstars Julian and Jordy in their Round 4 match.

There remain two goofyfoot surfers in the draw: Dam Hobgood and Ace Buchan, here, who took down dual superstars Julian and Jordy in their Round 4 match.

New and current ASP ratings leader Joel Parkinson is through to the Quarterfinals, which is surprising only to those who have been dead 12 years or longer.

New and current ASP ratings leader Joel Parkinson is through to the Quarterfinals, which is surprising only to those who have been dead 12 years or longer.

Jordy again, who will face Damien Hobgood in the first heat of the Quarters when competition resumes. He is the defending champion, and a powerfully brutish one at that.

Jordy again, who will face Damien Hobgood in the first heat of the Quarters when competition resumes. He is the defending champion, and a powerfully brutish one at that.


 

The real World Tour, in gorgeous Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa, will end this weekend and the title race will tighten. Adriano and Joel and Kelly and Taj and Jordy (Smith not Spencer) all locked in a battle at the top. Michel Bourez thinking about becoming the first French Polynesian champion. Tiago Pires thinking about the Peninsular War of 1808. Drama, so much delicious drama! Mick Fanning!

And all of it will come straight, like an out of control locomotive, to Huntington Beach, California, for the US Open of Surfing in less than two weeks! Nothing will be decided in Huntington Beach, but the actors in this drama, and the drama in this drama, will be there and, for surfers, what could be better than the Association of Surfing Professionals?

I say nothing.

Of course, right now, many internet commentators are whinging and crying about how shit it all is. “Kelly didn’t even bother to show up!” “Dane never bothers to show up!” “The waves are little!” But those internet commentators are fat and slovenly. The only activities they regularly participate in are anger and masturbation. And as such, their opinions matter not because what could be better than the Association of Surfing Professionals?

Nothing.

It is a fascinating combination of personality and skill and exotic. When the waves don’t break for days and days on end it only highlights a great reality in surfing: sometimes it just don’t break. And we all share this together, from the most amateurish young man who insists on surfing in boardshorts that run mid-calf to Joel Parkinson himself.

There are storylines galore. Skirmishes, infighting, cattiness. Men who just don’t like other men. Men who are fast friends.

The rise of some nations (Brazil) and the fall of others (Santa Cruz, California). Matty Wilkinson’s wetsuits.

And exotic locations like Torquay, Hossegor and Trestles. Those names alone!

In the water, all that raw talent is undeniable. Fun to watch. Fun to kill the hours. Fun to look at the heat draws and wonder, “Will Josh Kerr beat Taj Burrow?” And, “Who looks younger, Josh Kerr or Taj Burrow?”

And when the waves don’t break for days, Ronnie Blakey’s hair is amazing.

This year’s tour, with offerings in Rio, New York and San Francisco, might be my favorite ever. Those locations provide ample opportunity for surfers to get into big trouble with drink and women. Fun.

Fun.

What’s not to love?

Nick Carroll wrote a fine piece for Australia’s Surfing Life about the tough position the ASP is in, juggling the different aspirations of its major partners, the brands. Nick Carroll is a fine man with crazy-looking eyes and a wide smile and skin that has seen so much sun and so many waves. The finest of men. But I digress. Nick highlights the minefield that ASP CEO Brodie Carr must navigate, which navigate he does. With aplomb. Brodie Carr, who is even finer than Nick Carroll and mostly because he has hair and is tall, does an amazing job of wrangling an impressive product out of many and varied un-wrangleable elements. Like that flippant slut Nature. And Kelly Slater.

And at the end of the day, what, specifically, are those internet commentators crying about? Could it be better? Everything on earth can be better. Except the ASP’s World Tour.

It is as perfect as surfing itself. —Chas Smith

 

 

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19 Responses to “The ASP: What’s Not to Love?”

  1. cronic masturbator says:

    your wrong and i still hate you.

  2. Hi Speed says:

    Hey Chas…imagine if you went to any other sporting event and the top guys no-showed?? What about the fans? We’d all want our money back that’s what.

    We love surfing but it’s a mystery who is in charge the surfers – who spend a lot of time complaining about “judges who have never even done an air” DR – or the organization who has changed the rule book so many times even the surfers say they’re not sure who’s winning. Who is thinking about the fans man? So far the sponsors but their hands are tied. If J-Bay were a Quicksilver event would KS show? Yes. Then would I watch…yes. That’s why so many people say the #aspsucks Chas.

    Oh ya…and those fat masterbating armchair critics – they’re called fans who buy shades, boardshorts and sandals – they pay all of your bills. Never knock your fans.

  3. daniel says:

    Josh Kerr did a Crazy Spin (or whatever its called) in round 4 and got a 7.50, please, am I the only one who thing this is fucked up?It was his first move on a big wave, he did it perfectly…how is it possible that he got a 7.50??

    Sad sad sad…

  4. dirt says:

    @Daniel. It’s because he’s only Josh Kerr. If it were Dane, Jordy,or Kelly it would be a 9. The judges thow 7′s at Jordy when he runs past the spectators with his board under his arm. Bede would have got a 5 for it.

  5. mexi man says:

    nobody complained when most of the top guys bypassed Brazil for those couple years.
    yes… sadly the judges do score the surfer not the maneuver he does. indeed if that was some “other top names” surfer that would have been high 8 or 9. But they know that’s Josh Kerr’s move. Kinda like Jadson and his airs. Is Jadson on tour still?

  6. jimmmmyy says:

    Can’t wait for Nat Young to blow it up on tour

  7. ac says:

    is chas smith a real person

  8. bob says:

    Chas isn’t real

  9. Jeff says:

    Chas is real…. Real far inside of another man’s A**hole at the moment…

  10. dgb says:

    The ASP is a puppet to give the whole marketing machine an element of credibility. The sport, for want of a more appropriate misnomer, is – and has been for the longest time – nothing more than a year long advertising opportunity. It lacks credibility on so many levels. Just to name one – Is there any other ‘sport’ that allows its top performers to compete so little? Looking forward to tit-for-tat no shows at future QuikZara contests from BillaGap riders! What couldn’t be better than the ASP? The ASP.

  11. Mik says:

    everyone dissing: stop. chas is so right on. the ASP is perfect. as is. insane surfing at a massively high level. spot on commentators. compare them to other pro sports: the professional surf world is uniquely hip and friendly. fun. it’s all so damn good. dont fuck it up. ya, judges are bent at times, but it’s a subjective system. it is what it is. and so what if it’s paid for by the surf companies? who the fuck else would pay? amazing.

  12. Shane says:

    Charles Smith epitomizes “the internet commentator.”

    Who is he even complaining about anyway?

  13. i have read them all says:

    when did Chas Smith become relevant? or legitimate? lots of big descriptions for nothing. what a useless soul.

  14. WHAAAAAT says:

    “internet commentators are fat and slovenly” if you keep bashing your readers this mag and blog will hit bottom

  15. i have read them all says:

    chas,
    get a real job contributing to something.
    you obviously like writing. i suggest you go back to school or pursue something that you can make a difference. quit being a man child on the sidelines—> ranting and raving about the sunrise and sunsets—> get out of your cave.

  16. BLACK says:

    Great Assesment Chas, All of you Barnyards who do nothing but complain about the Contests, webcasts, Judgeing,ETC. QUIT fucking watching and you can quit bitching!! Half if not more than half of you KOOKS who write this stupid shit CAN’t Surf and will Never be able to Surf so do us all a favor and shut your stupid unknowledgable and incompitant selves the FUCK up!Save it for your Barney Friends who might agree with you cause they are just as big of KOOKS as you are!!! The ASP is Great for Surfing we get to watch our favorite surfers surf in some of the best locations on earth, Maybe mother nature doesn’t cooperate sometimes but who’s fault is that ASP’s, I think Not!! Cheers and Respect the sport of surfing for what it is,The sport we all love and cherish!!

  17. SC says:

    I mostly agree, Chas, but disrespecting your audience further distances you from the approval you obviously seek from those you hate on, because you keep writing the same shit. And, two, well…look above. Without them, who would actually care about you? By the way, SC might actually have a contender in Nat, for once. Might be time to gobble again…

  18. Bufu says:

    Black lots of anger. Relax bru. Although the Asp is still entertaining it’s dropped off compared to the “Dream Tour” years. Some comments are true. The judging has been questionable, locations lack wave quality and the gaps are too big in between events. Without people voicing their opinions things will not improve. On another note it seems the people have spoken about Chas. Get with it bru.

  19. spike says:

    It seems to me that the ASP is doing a great job in difficult circumstances but unfortunately is still in the grip of the big three or four who are only interested in marketing product at the cost of the dream. KS could also show a bit of loyalty. Where and who would he be without the ASP?

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