The hook for this story came to me early this morning in the most peculiar of ways. While browsing through the complementary media “help” booklet for this years ESPN X Games, come now to southern California in celebration of the event’s ninth consecutive run, a certain page fit perfectly with my task of finding un-metered parking on this richly lit Surf City day. Where half-faltering from the lack of space, and merely wanting to only report on the historic event about to take place some six blocks away at the pier, I was struck by the placement of an underground oil -dredging device behind an old, held-out surf ghetto shack, basically, in its backyard. Equally was I struck by the oddball fact sheet sitting there in my lap stating thus, “Incorporated in 1909, Huntington Beach remained a sleepy seaside town until the famous oil boom of the 1920s.” And figuratively, that says something about what happened to our sleepy little world today.
9 August 2003 may prove a day for us surfers to remember in a variety of ways. It will be the day surfing was officially recognized of the televised world as a viable X-TREME sport. Sunk there in the murky sand along the south side of the pier was where it stood: a stadium set-up of bleachers and cameras and the massive, “jumbotron” TV screen! Teamed with the aforementioned broadcasting brand, legendary pro surfer, Brad Gerlach, would finally see his dream of a national surf-sport league take its first burst towards true fruition. Named simply the “Game,” the dream is to see teams formed nationally, internationally, or as the man say’s himself, “to see surfing taken to that next level.”
It’s an ideal obviously agreed by a number of the worlds best WCT surfers, including six-time world champion, Kelly Slater, and current top ten phenom’, Taj Burrow, whom disregarding a direct order from the ASP to not compete, went ahead this past Thursday to sign a letter of their just intent on side of seven fellow peers. Meaning today could also mark the day the ASP had to uphold the rules and send nine of their best back to the farm (cause that’s what the little thing says). The conflict being due a conflict of interest between the ASP and their title sponsor, Boost wireless, of WCT no. 7, the Boost Lowers Pro (late Aug.), and the reason many of their top men would be taped weeks before for an event nationally endorsed by their competitor, Verizon. Or in other words, we all might sense that soon, surfing will not be “our” sleepy little sport ever again.