10 Things We Hate About Professional Surfing

We all love professional surfing because of what it brings to the sport. We wouldn’t know about half of the travel destinations out there if it weren’t for the movies we have in which we watch our favorite pro surfers destroy waves in exotic locations. We wouldn’t have nearly as many ideas of what tricks to learn next if we couldn’t see surfers who are better than us do them first. I could go on forever about the things that we wouldn’t have without professional surfing, but there are certain things about professional surfing that each of us hates. Those things are what we are aiming to bring to light in this post. Some of these things are more serious than others, while some of them are more about the way the WCT runs, and I think some of them are based more upon our own jealousy. I took in ideas from everyone here at The Surfing Blog and compiled the “10 Things We Hate About Professional Surfing”.

1 Contests Taking Over Our Home Breaks

Pipe Masters 2008I grew up very near to Lower Trestles, and when the contests come to town, it sucks. The actual event really isn’t even that bad. It’s pretty fun to go check out the event and see pro surfers perform on your home wave. What sucks is that they come in massive crowds and surf all the other local breaks before, during, and after the contest. When the WCT is in town, you can count on having pro surfers out at Uppers, Salt Creek, Strands, T-street, and the local beach breaks in the area. It’s even worse than this where I currently live, on the North Shore of Oahu. Starting in November there will be countless pro’s here for 2 months straight taking over every good spot on the North Shore.

2 Surfing For A Career, Not For The Love

I was out at T-street one morning a few years ago and a local pro who is currently on the WCT showed up. He was catching all the best waves and doing the sickest airs ever, but not landing them too often. Each time he fell he would throw his arms up in the air, swear at the sky, and chuck his board. He was literally throwing a tantrum every time he didn’t make his tricks. Where was the love of surfing that probably got him into the sport in the first place? I have seen pro’s freak out over their surfing way too often, and it’s annoying. On top of that, the media is constantly hinting that all of us need to be on the same course as the pros. You go out surfing at Lowers and if you aren’t ripping, people want you out of the water. Most surfers are out there because they love surfing, and how “good” you are should not matter nearly as much as how much you love surfing.

3 Pro Surfers’ Attitudes In The Water

Dropped In On“I can paddle around anyone I want cause I’m a pro”. I swear this is the line many pro surfers are saying in their heads while they are out with me. A lot of them can be the most aggravating people to surf with. They will take a glance at you, realize you aren’t a pro like them, and then burn you on a wave. That doesn’t go for all of them, because yes, I too have had amazing surf sessions with some of the most famous surfers in the world and they were really friendly and even let me take waves that should have been their own.

4 Turns Little Sponsored Groms Into Punks

Kids are progressing faster than ever before at surfing. They are getting really good at really young ages, which is awesome. But because of this companies are taking these kids in early and hooking them up with everything they could ever want, and it turns a lot of them into little punks that think they own the line-up. I’ve had more 12 to 15 year old groms paddle around or drop in on me in the last few years than guys my age. They think that because they have sponsors, they get priority in the line-up. There’s actually a pretty funny part in Stranger Than Fiction where a young kid drops in on an old guy and does an air reverse right in his face, then turns around and throws his arms up at the guy like “what are you doing riding behind me?” Still doesn’t make it dropping in on people acceptable.

5 Inconsistent Webcasts For Each WCT Event

Haleiwa ContestDepending on the event sponsor (if they have a lot of money or not) the live webcast is either great, or horrible. They should hire a company to do all of them in the same way and to do them well. It’s frustrating when you are really getting into the event and the cam keeps crapping out on you, especially when it worked perfectly for the previous event.

6 The New WCT Format

They have come up with a new format that they have run a couple of times this year and it’s a one-loss elimination format. In two words, it sucks. There is less surfing making it less fun to watch. Think about the poor guys who get out in round 1. They just flew around the world to compete and in the first 30 minutes they are out for the event. To make the sport friendlier to the fans, they have to get more surfing in, not less, because that’s what we want to see.

7 How Many Boards Pro Surfers Get For Free

I realize this is kind of a joke, but doesn’t it bother you at least a little bit? I know they have sponsors and are way better than me, but it drives me nuts that they get to do whatever they want with their boards like chuck airs over shallow reefs. It allows them to progress quicker because they don’t have to pay the $400 to get their next board after smashing it in the shallows. There has been so many times when I could have tried something better on a wave but I didn’t because of the fear of breaking my board, and not having the money to get a new one. I know twin 16-year old boys who have over 40 boards combined at their North Shore home, and they have even more than that at their California home.

8 Terrible Judging At WCT Events

ASP Judging PanelAll too often we’ll see a surfer do one of the sickest moves of the event and get a horrible score for it. The judging seems to be based on the highest air, the longest barrel, or the most spray, and does not necessarily reflect who surfed the best. Sometimes surfers will be in a unique situation on a wave and make the impossible happen in order to make that wave, but because it doesn’t fit into the standards they have set, they are not awarded fairly. Its irritating when you get super excited for a surfer after an incredible wave and they end up with a bad score.

9 Favorites At Each WCT Event

Since sponsors put on events it often seems to be the case that judges are asked to, or just somehow mysteriously push through the guys who are sponsored by the event sponsor. It’s common to see the Billabong guy just barely scrape by for a win at a Billabong event when the other guy looked better. The same goes for all of the big sponsors and their team riders at the events they sponsor.

10 Golf Becoming A Part Of Surfing

Pro Surfer GolfingAm I the only one who notices this? How is golf even related to surfing!? Seems like every pro surfer or person who works in the industry that I have ever met is obsessed with golf. Surfline even did a special feature on Julian Wilson getting custom clubs made for him just for being a pro surfer. The whole feature was on golf, not surfing! The latest Free Surf magazine out in Hawaii had an article discussing golf and surfing. Kelly Slater in a recent webcast ad during the Vans Triple Crown compared surfing to golf. It just drives me crazy, that everywhere I look in the surfing world, I hear about golf. If you like golf then that’s fine, but we don’t want to hear all about our favorite pro’s latest golfing accomplishments, we want to see them surf!

Whether you agree or disagree with what’s on this list, we want to hear your opinions, so let’s get some comments flowing.

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