SURFING Magazine Award for Best Commentator: Dave Wassel

posted by / Video / June 29, 2012

Video: Jed, Ry-Man

Can we get Dave Wassel at all ASP events? He’s hands down the best. Maybe a bit of it stems from the excessive respect we all hold for him as a surfer, but anytime he hops in the booth, it’s must see TV/webcast.

There’s a lot of criticism on people who do color commentary. Typically, when you listen to someone for hours on end, they end up annoying. It happens in all sports. Even to John Madden and Jeff Van Gundy.

The public is harsh in surfing especially…

Chris Cote, kisses everyone’s ass. Joe Turpel, annoying voice. Dave Stansfield, robot statistician who mixes up names and doesn’t know what maneuvers anyone’s doing and is as relevant to surfing today as pay phones are in modern society. Shea Lopez, talks about the old days too much. Sal Masekela, does he even surf? Bruce Lee, just cut off our ears off. Please. Rockin Fig, is this guy kidding?

Hatred snowballs.

These are not my opinions. Just some general thoughts collected from social media. Every person is going to get crucified this day and age. Every person except, Dave Wassel.

And that’s saying something. These internet assholes want to spit venom, but on this man they don’t.

Here’s a “Best of Dave Wassel” from The Volcom Fiji Pro. It’s an excerpt from Jed Smith’s weekly radio show on called Ain’t That Swell. Now how do we get Wassel back in the booth already?

Dave Wassel

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  • sam


  • Marc Everds

    Really? The guy sitting there in the booth with no shirt talking in pidgin, “ehhh 4:20 haha i know all about that” what a cool dude! Occy is the shit, by far the best commentator, slater is solid too and Alex Grey is sick as well, mainly becasue i have so much respect for the dude, he tames beasts and does it looking good. Jake the snake does it strong too, but dave wassel?? god shoot me now.. Amazing event though so thumbs to volcom but Please dont put that fat fuck back in the booth ever again.. Am i wrong?

    let me commentate, i guarantee anyone whos not a total fuckin donkey would appreciate my unbiased(maybe alot biased)ranting during lulls.. dream job

  • Wyatt

    We may disagree over Wassel’s value in the booth, but surely we call agree that adding the prefix “Funky Cold” to Gabriel Medina’s last name is a stroke of unmitigated genius, itself alone worthy of accolades (for those who don’t know, this references a now-kitchsy rap music chorus from the 1980’s). Furthermore, manipulating Joel Parkinsons’ last name to call a tube ride (“Parko parks it!”) places this man squarely in the rarified air of legendary play-by-players. Bravo!

  • Ryan

    Julian WIlson is the WORST

  • Marc Everds

    I apologize for my negative comments toward Wassel above, its hard being a gay prostitute and I had a bad day pleasuring hungry bears all over town. I love wassels commentary, he is not a fat fuck, he charges gnarly waves…I can only hope my pathetic life one day amounts to 1% of his accomplishments.

  • bufu

    Agree with Marc. Hearing Wassel in the booth was horrible. Guy is great to see in the water and deserves much respect in heavy surf. It stops there…the sh@t he was saying in the booth was crap.

  • Wyatt

    @Marc Everds #2 – Predictably, Wassel’s core fanbase are of the “saying stuff is gay = funny” variety. Unless of course you actually are a male prostitute serving the bear community in which case, my apologies.

  • Mik

    i’m with you — Jimmicaines. Wassel’s a rocker. tho’ my fave is the Aussie who i think does the Billabong stuff. curly hair… always spot on cool… and no matter what —Bruce Lee excluding — surf commentary is a zillion times cooler than any other pro sport broadcast. most are a bunch of blow-hard dicks from the east coast.. oops.

  • Zeke

    Haha Wassel as best commentator!!?? I had to put the contest on mute when he was in the booth. The dude sounded like he was trying so hard to be funny, coming up with the worst comparisons that made him sound like he had a 5th grade education. He charges in big surf, no doubt, but listening to that guy babble and ramble on trying to be funny was honestly painful. If Occy doesn’t requalify he should get a full time gig at every contest to commentate. Occy doesn’t even realize he is hilarious which is what makes him so classic.

    Wassel stick to surfing and drinking beers.

  • Karl

    Does anyone understand why we – surfers – have to qualify every critique with “…but the guy charges?” No one is saying he doesn’t charge big surf, they are saying he sucks as a commentator. Do you feel the need to say, “I don’t like Maroon 5, but Adam Levine wears nice shoes.” “I dislike Obama, but he’s still a great dad.” “My wife can’t park a car, but she makes good lasagna.”???? A & B have nothing to do with one another. Jesus are we lame.

  • Mason F

    “Are you kidding me!?”

    Kudos for Volcom for putting on an exceptional event but Dave Wassel was atrocious. Between him and Alex Gray screaming the phrase above twice a wave and trying to be funny it was unlistenable. Sorry, I could not disagree with Jimmicane anymore on his assessment. Dave Wassel and Alex Gray are great surfers but the consensus among everyone I know who watched the webcast was these two are the two worst commentators in surfing.
    I’d rather listen to Dave Stansfield commentate underwater than one more “Are you kidding me!?”

  • Sliding Sense


    As a personal friend of Dave “Wombat” Wassel, I can assure you that not only does he have a high school diploma from a private school on O’ahu, he also has what seems to be clearly lacking in the surf community, an undergraduate degree from a four year, accredited university.

  • WasselIsCool

    The guy watches over Pipeline daily and is clearly much more articulate than people are giving him credit for. This is coming from a Harry Carry and Chick Hearn fan. I obviously know my stuff when it comes to sports announcing.

  • Wyatt

    You cannot argue with the credibility of a man (“WassellsCool”) who misspells his own handle. I mean, dude has a point – as a fan of two sports commentators, he’s obviously an expert. Oh, that reminds me, I’m huge fan of having an enormous penis.

    And just for the record, despite disliking Mr.Wassel’s commentary, I just want to make sure you all understand that I still believe he takes off on a large waves at Pipeline. Again, I was not a fan of the work he did in Fiji but please do not take this to mean that I believe I can somehow surf better than he does or that I think he is afraid of large swells. So, in closing: Did not like his commentary in booth BUT still aware that he is a brave surfer.

  • SSL

    Wassel? Just another “hawaiian” machismo pillowbiter. Get Timmy Curran back on the mic.. as long as hes not singing one of those hellacious, excruciating songs of his. In other news, good to see Wetsand apparently ditching that wannabe photographer/journalist who wrote those weekly GrindTV stories. Everybody with a Canon d60 and a lens and some moody lighting is all of a sudden a blog-happy Ansel Adams these days. Insta-artist…who are these Clowns?

  • Mike Kailua

    Not award worthy when un-listenable most of the time. Wassel and Grey are OK for a 5 minute opinion on giant surf conditions as they are very credible but neither belongs in the booth. The “Are you kidding me?” line got old and both sound unprofessional.

    Occy, Shimooka, Potter, Blakely, Sean Dougherty, Marty Thomas, Stanfield are all way better.

  • anton

    hm yes wessel and grey have great insight but when they get excited they start coming out with these full on american gay crap linez but me being australian i forgot his name the aussie dude who commentates alot of events like at bells his got a really oka ozzie voice and comes up with new words ive never heard i dont think he even knows how to say re entry or cut back he says things like ‘taggggs it ‘what the fuck is tags it mean who cares and alot of other bullcrap trying to excite us with new silly words.We dont need a commentator to excite us,, we already are excited on the waves,,,just commentate and give us good insight not gay over excited shit.

  • Joey turpel sucks

    Anyone but joey trupel please!!!!!!! The guy sounds like a 50’s music radio announcer. The worst hands down! It actually puts me and all the guys I work with in a bad mood cause we have to mute him.


    Wassel is annoying. Really annoying.

    But no one is worse than Rockin Fig. Is he still talking like that? Still painting flames on his surfboards? Still competing for every wave on the north side and hopping around like a cricket? Yes, the guy is the worst.

  • JoeyTubeBrahhhh

    Wassell blows. Occ is ok on his good days. Potter is solid. Turpel keeps everything positive, which is alright. the young aussi commentators are always hating on non-aussi’s…keep your opinions less in-our-faces, take a page from martin’s book, stay classy . Machado is pretty good when he sits in at hurley comps.

  • BeotchSlapped

    I’m hitting mute every time Wassell speaks. Can’t stand the endless cliche’s. He’s trying too hard to be funny.

    Occy is the best.

  • JB

    If you all surf as well as you whine like pansy bitches you should be hitting the QS (or whatever) ’cause you’re wasting your talents here.

    Yeah, y’all rip.

    Wassel stays.

  • Air drop

    I feel like I’m being punked with this article. Really? Somebody is smoking crack.
    It’s funny, but funny because he doesn’t know what most words and phrases mean. Funny if you smoke too much. Truthfully, its terrible. Jake the snake and occy are great. Keep them in there

  • TD




    is he really a surfer? really ? cruising the north shore in sports cars…is this hollywood? last time i checked its Country…

    GT Massacres his interviews and says weird cr@p it leaves the Surfers and Audience feeling uncomfortable

    please use ex-pros for Industry Jobs it lends more credibility
    Get The Fakes Kooks And Hanger-ons …OUT!!!

  • Michael Taras Benjamin

    Well said!!!

  • Michael Taras Benjamin

    Well said again I can’t stand the guy!!! Dose my head in hey pottz!!!

  • Guest

    i’d like to see you do commentary for five minutes… gt is fun and turpel is a class guy, a soothing voice

  • Guest

    just based on your avatar you’re not to be taken seriously

    joe turpel is a class act

    you’re not