sexta-feira, 17 de julho de 2015

The "Never Claim" fiasco. Or why Dane Reynolds is ruining the future of America's competitive surfing.

Dane: amazing, talented surfer. But how is he influencing the future of America´s  competitive surfing?

Well, i don't know If i can actually be more hated in USA than i'm already, but this post is not gonna help my cause. Anyway, this is  my opinion, so, let's go:

Fact: we have witnessed  a huge decline in USA's overall competitive surfing results in the last few years. 
If wasn't the phenom Kelly Slater, North America would be maybe #4 surfing nation in ASP/WSL ratings/representation in the last decade or so. 

But Kelly is 43 years old. Where's the new generation? USA's change of guard?

Kelly Slater, perfect example of competitive surfer. But he´s not gonna last forever.

We have Nat Young. Kolohe Andino. Brett Simpson (!). A retiring CJ Hobgood. And that's mostly  all we can see in the horizon.

What happened? The richest, the world's most important surfing nation shouldn't be in a better place in terms of competitive surfing? C'mon!! America is the homeland of Tom Curren and Kelly Slater!! 14 world titles combined, not to mention CJ´s.

Well, James B has his own theory about what happened:

Dane Reynolds ruined everything.

Let me explain, before crucifiction....

First of all: Slater is the king. The master. But Dane Reynolds, in the arms of a mad, fully passionated media frenzy, was carried to the status of USA's surfing guru. The surfer who all the kids want to be like.

And, following Dane's carreer, a few things can be noticed. Some  of his interviews in the last years got my attention. Random crops here and there. One of the most emblematic It was when he said something pretty much like: 

- "I never. Never claim a wave, no matter how good it was". 

That's it!! The begining of the end, America...

Man, not claim a wave, no matter how good it was the barrel, the turns, the wave itselve???  Why?? 

I have the answer: to look "cool". Or pretend that "he just doesn't care".

Don't get me wrong. Dane Reynolds is an incredible, amazing and talented surfer. But his controversies: 

- "i don't care about competition. I'm out of ASP. But If you grant me a few wildcards, i'll be there!". 

Or, as he said more than once, he gets pretty nervous before and during heats. But always bring this "i don't care"mantra to play, even if he actually cares!! 

We saw a perfect example of that in the 2015 Jeffreys Bay Pro. In a heat ran during in an unfavourable tide moment, all we could see was a frustated Dane Reynolds just been beaten by a very focused Adriano de Sousa. The conditions weren´t good for J-Bay standards, but i´ve seen footage in Marine Layer of him surfing and having fun in waves way worse than they had in this heat.

Man, that is competition! Is to be able to deal with the not-so-good moments, just to shine when conditions turns on (and that's what's seems is gonna happen in the next round in Jay Bay in 2015, by the way). 

Again, my point: how that approach influences surfing kids in America? How many damage this attitude from Dane, widely spread in american media, has caused in the american surfing competitive mindset?

We now have a whole new generation of young american surfers who want to be like Reynolds. To look "cool".

Their slogans?
Do not show passion. Do not care. Say no to ASP. Trust your carreer in video clips. Why to fight for to be in surfing's elite? Life is cool! Why work hard?

The result? 
A wasted generation of young american surfers, who sees themselves as Prima Donas. Guys who are being regularly demolished in competition by the hordes of hungry brazilians and australians surfers, and, then, losing even more drive. (Just ask Matt Biolos If he agrees with my point).

A nation of freesurfers in 10 years?

 So, my advice to all of you, young, talented american surfers: don't look cool!! Look gnarly!! Show passion!! Show you care about your surfing carreers!! Forget Dane, aim to be like Kelly! 

And the most important thing: Claim your waves when you want!!! Show you care!!! There's no shame on it!! 

Or then, maybe, just forget all the bullshit i wrote here. Forget Slater, Curren, Gerlach, Knox. Forget Beschen, Parsons, Dino Andino. Forget their rich legacy and just turn into a nation of freesurfers. 

Not a problem with that, just don´t start crying later.

sábado, 11 de julho de 2015

James B is back! Thanks to Hardcore Magazine

Hey, boys, how´re you doing?

After a few months freezed, i decided to get back in my blog. I actually have a lot of stuff to write, and a lot of asses to kick.

The truth is, i´ve been too lazy. But, thanks to Hardcore Magazine in Brazil, who made an exclusive, pioneered and sweet interview with Mr. B here, i´m excited again.

So, let´s go! Next week, first post of Real Surfing With James, 2.0.

Cheers and thank so much Revista Hardcore and Steven Alain. Guys, you´re the best!

quinta-feira, 5 de junho de 2014

Gabriel Medina #1 in the world

Well, boys, you can say that you heard first from your good old James B!!! Medina #1. Brazil rules!

segunda-feira, 7 de abril de 2014

ASP judging problems: it´s on!!

We´re right now watching second stop of ASP´s/Zosea 2014 Surfing World Tour.

After a cool event in Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, when for a brief moment we thought that some changes were about to take place, we soon recommence to visualize the good olds issues with ASP.


#1: UNFAIR JUDGING? SAD AND EASY TO SHOW. Let´s see a few examples that happened only in round 3:


Take one: JJF takes a righthander, puts a little cutback then race down the line and throws a nice air, but with controlling problems to stick the turn. But he completes. CRAZINESS!! Martin Potter and Joe Turpell (the commentators) gets crazy about how freakish is JJF, how he´s the best surfer, his recovering capabilities, etc etc.

SCORE: 8.5, for a cutback and an uncontroled air.
JJF one and a half turn: 8.50

Take two: few minutes after JJF´s 8.5, Medina gets a set wave. Two hacks off the top combo with lot of inversion, then throws a backside air reverse with perfect control and still gets a fourth turn to end the wave.

SCORE: 8.77. Only .27 better than JJF´s prior wave?? NO WAY. Medina´s wave had more variety and control. And lots of risk too. So, JJF´s wave could never be only .27 lower than Medina´s. And you could see how sad commentators was on the booth because their favourite boy was losing again to Medina.

Medina´s 4 turn wave: 8.77


Parko is well known for been absolutely overscored by ASP judges. But sometimes Richie Porta´s criteria is over the top! In his heat against Kolohe Andino he gets an 8.50 and a 6.0 for waves with no consequence and risk. Unfair. Kolohe was in his traditional mood, and couldn´t win any heat in that day, but still, watching your opponent be overscored all heat long doesn´t help with anybody´s confidence.

Parko´s 8.5. Unfair to Kolohe and to the spectators on the beach and over the web. Sad.


That was sad too. It´s unbeliavable how Julian Wilson get scores with waves with no major manouvres. Richie Porta´s judges gave him a 7.17 for a wave that wasn´t a 5.5. Unfair.
Julian is actually needing some help form the judging pannel, as nothing brillant happened in 2014 so far.

The key factor is: When you compete with a surfer that is a media/judges darling, you really need to outsurf your oponent AND the judges pre adjusted will to give that guy better scores. That´s not fair. And a professional sport should be fair! Is not the best surfer in the judges pre-formed opinion that must win a heat. The winner must be the surfer who surfed the best in THAT heat, counting his two best waves!


Just take heat analyzer and rewatch a heat. Let´s talk about something that bothers me for a long time. This shit used to be very frequent in Kelly Slater´s heats, but nowadays is much more spread. 

When guys like Kelly, JJF, Parko and Julian Wilson goes to a turn and that turn evetually loses some control (but is completed), what commentators says: 

"What a HUGE turn from John John!! Is amazing his hability to recover from a difficult situation and complete the manouver!! He´s gonna get huge points for that!!"

If that same turn is done by a non biased/media darling surfer, what commentators says:

"Well, it was a nice turn form Freddy P, but he´s lost some control. This lack of control may affect his potencial on that wave!! He´s gonna lose points for that!!"

Alright: if is Kelly´s or JJF wave, they get compliments for losing and recovering control. If is a "normal" ASP surfer, they get a lower score.

Try to reflect on that. Commentators using different criterias to analyse professional surfers in their ASP world tour heats THAT´S UNFAIR. 

I´m really pissed of with this non-changing aspects of ASP.

domingo, 16 de março de 2014

Few notes about the Quiksilver Pro 2014

Hey, boys, i´ve been too happy with Gabriel Medina´s win on the openning event of ASP/ZoSea´s 2014 tour, but, as a surf fan, i couldn´t let pass a few facts that i  have noticed in Snapper. Let´s go the 3 first:

Funny: Kolohe Andino having a NO from an aussie kid in his high five attempt: well, i like Kolohe, but it must hurt a lot in his sponsor eyes as their 2 million dolars/year surfing athlete doesn´t get to be  an idol to the young kids. Sorry, Brother, but it was too fun see the kid dodging you, so i had to put here as a fun fact.

Not funny: Jeremy Flores, the injusticed: was nothing but lack of character the Jeremy Flores attempt to guilt Adriano de Sousa in their interference affair. Here´s two screenshots: one from the wave in question, where you can see Jeremy surfing and clearly Flores could see Adriano paddling from 15 feet away. So YES, it was Flores who should have avoided the situation (don´t forget priority was with Adriano). So shame on you, Jeremy!

Mr. Flores, what a shame

And in the second screenshot, just to show the point, is Jeremy having a fight on the water in Australia during a recent ASP competition.
Jeremy, the good boy

A lesson: Joel Parko in cruising mode, having fun... and then having a shocker: In the final, until Medina´s 8,5 score (5 minutes to the end), Parko was in cruising mode. He was taking his waves, connecting to the inside, having fun and putting a show to his local crowd. In 3 waves, he jumped off in the end smiling to the crowd and to the jet ski driver. Just as he did in his semi final against Adriano de Sousa. Just watch the heat analyzer, you´ll see.

What happened? He got absolutely tired. When Medina got his two scores, few minutes before the heat´s end, Joel yet had a last opportunity, but ended up falling in the last turn. No more legs to burn.

And that´s why Gabriel Medina won the final. And some nice screenshots:

Parko having a good time!!!!!

Humble Medina changing things

Things changed: desperate housewife. "Oh, no, Joel... second again?????"

quinta-feira, 6 de março de 2014

Kelly Slater, new ASP´s owner. And what now??

The new boss

Man, i´m getting really mad about all this ASP/ZoSea deal!

Why the hell international media doesn´t comment about Kelly Slater being new ASP boss??

Is not possible that people on media cannot join the dots.

Deal?? Was for free!!!

Few years ago, Kelly tried to create the Rebel Tour, almost did it. 

And then, in 2013, ZoSea takes over ASP, headed by WHO?? Terry Hardy, Kelly´s manager!!!! What a coincidence!! C´mon!!! 

Terry Hardy? Yeah, right... Is not Kelly´s tour...

I don´t remember to read on surfing media anything about Slater taking control of ASP. Why not?? People are afraid of talk about? Where´s the surfing professional journalists??

Well, boys, this is gonna be a short post. I´m pissed about things like that.

quarta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2014

ASP´s new rules: are the surfers taking part of their future?

Owen Right, 2014 ASP wildcard

As we´re only about a few days from ZoSea´s new ASP world tour in 2014, i´ve noticed that one of this year´s  wildcard, Owen Wright, was granted with a very high seed: 13th.

This new rule creates a very easier way to Owen in 2014, as he´s gonna face lower seeds in his event heats.

Is that fair?? I know, Owen had a big injury last year (wasn´t not the only, by the way, but i truly think he deserves 100% the wildcard). But what about other guys who fought the whole year for a good ranking placement? They´re just put below O. Right and will have a harder task in 2014.

I even understand the ideia of giving to the wildcard a seed closer to his last year seed. But things change a lot in surfing, and Owen´s 10th place in 2012 couldn´t be the same in 2013. But he was gifted anyways.

Question: rules like that are being discussed with the surfers? Or ASP´s just throwing decisions as they want? More: as Kieren Perrow as Comissioner, how independent or biased are gonna be his calls? Not here to say that K.P .is a biased guy. My point is: how representative is international surfing being on ASP right now?

If ASP is an ASSOCIATION of professional surfers, some decisions shouldn´t be taken in group mode?

I know, surfing as a sport and a business is living in hard times, but a few years ago, surfers seemed to have at least more participation in ASP´s calls.

Am i too naive? Can somebody tell me how ASP´s black box is working right now?