This morning while watching the US Open webcast, I witnessed an extreme lack of understanding by the commentating panel as they attempted to name the air Owen Wright performed in his heat.
After initially stumbling trying to put a name to Owen’s maneuver, commentator Peter Mel settled with calling it a “Mute grab,” and he was wrong. It was in fact a “Slob grab” that Mr. Wright had so beautifully spun around.
While I respect Peter Mel for his big-wave heroics and overall personality, he knows little when it comes to aerial maneuvers. The other commentator, Rob Machado, also (self-admittedly) knows next to nothing when it comes to airs and different grabs.
Meanwhile, over on surfline.com is a feature giving lessons on how to do airs and explaining different grabs. They too, with the help of Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman and John Florence, managed to butcher the identification of a Mute grab. The screwed-up part is that there isn’t one single Mute performed in their little video. All were Slob grabs, which is baffling when you consider they just recently they did a segment on the Slob grab in the same series of webisodes.
I’ve tried to explain this rocket science before and it obviously didn’t stick, so I’ll try again. Below are the proper skateboarding definitions via Wikipedia. Since skateboarders were doing them before surfers, they get to name them, not us…
I have to note that whether or not a person grabs slightly above or between their feet on either of these is irrelevant. On a skateboard you’re forced to grab in between your feet because otherwise you’d be doing a nose grab. A surfboard obviously has much more rail length.
This really is not hard to understand folks. You will never hear an analyst of any other sport screw this kind of shit up. You should never hear an analyst of surfing do it either.
I’m calling bullshit.
If you want to learn more about other correct names for grabs, the resources are available. Here’s two links: