Thursday, 15 November 2018

Kelly Slater on BeachGrit billboard: “Funny. Cheap. Character revealing.”

Kelly Slater on BeachGrit billboard: “Funny. Cheap. Character revealing.”
28 Aug

Yes! Yes! and hopefully!

Oh I won’t lie. It makes me weep with pure joy when Kelly Slater, world’s greatest surfer, 11 x champ, Pam Anderson/Cam Diaz/Gisele Bündchen/Slater Designs/OuterKnown etc. swings by BeachGrit for a chat. Of course he has better things to do, it goes without saying, but it shows that he still cares about our little dance. That, at his core, he is a grumpy local too.

Yesterday, on our Instagram account (follow here!) he posted his feelings about our new Lemoore billboard in three succinct sentences.

@kellyslater Funny. Cheap. Character revealing.

Oooee and very to the point. Very Hemingway-esque but would you allow me to ramble on a bit in response? Kelly, would you mind if I went point by point in a drifting sort of Melville-ian way?

Thank you.


I think so too. Very funny. I have giggled about it every single day for two months.


Now I assume Kelly means “cheap” as in “low.” Others have felt the same. That it is needlessly bullying a poor woman who happened to make the honest mistake of putting her surfboard fins in backward.

My retort?

It’s funny. And funny covers a multitude of sins but also it’s not “some poor woman” it’s the Chief Marketing Officer of the World Surf League, an organization that has been utterly dismissive of the wants/needs/hopes of its most diehard fans since it transitioned from the ASP. The image is a perfect symbol of the league’s deafness. Of its complete unwillingness to engage the workaday “grumpy locals” who love pro surfing in spite of themselves.

I begged for an interview with Beth when the photo first broke and it would have been the perfect opportunity for the WSL to show its sense of humor. The story would have been, “We’re all beautiful kooks!” and a list of all our regular transgressions. But, just like in the ex-CEO Paul Speaker era, the Santa Monica office locked its doors and frowned angrily.

Surfing ain’t an angry frown. It is funny. It is ridiculous. It is the most absurd yet joyful dance on earth.

Character revealing.

I hope so. BeachGrit, like surfing, is a place to laugh and have fun and not be serious and partake in the absurd joyful dance. The world is melting down around us and I’ll be damned if I let surfing melt too by getting turned into some furrowed brow’d empty but successful business.

To hell with that.

We need surfing more than we ever have before and that is the truth.



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