And because surfing gets no real mainstream attention, if you want to watch a live surf event, you have to log on (longboards had to get in on the geek lingo somewhere, otherwise your ballie would moan that him and his bald, speedo wearing chinas were being neglected) and watch the event on the web. For some strange reason - I'm sure there's a conspiracy in it - the ASP hasn't been able to secure live TV distribution of WCT surfing events, let alone the Qualifying Series. And so clever surf companies, knowing that there is a large constituency of global wave addicted suckerfish desperate to watch the action, offer live webfeeds of their events.
And so us surfcomp junkies who have to know whether Travis, Jordy, Royden, Davey, Dooma and Greg made it through their heats, sit hunched up over the desktop, reversing years of good posture, looking at a small, heavily pixellated 8x6cm screen with tinny sound like the commentators are talking through a tin can and a piece of string. But hey, that's all we have. And we'll take it.
I mean for those at work, what else is there to do. And what joy, when you watch the Saffas (finally) advance heat by heat, smoking the international competition along the way. Yes on that little 8x6cm screen you can witness the re-birth of South African competitive surfing. I mean there were 7 Saffas in the final 48 and 4 in the final 24 of the Quikpro (Rudy Palmboom, Jordy Smith, Davey Weare and Greg Emslie). And Durban's own wunderkind Jordy Smith nearly clinched the whole deal with his futuristic surfing repertoire over 24 year old Aussie tour veteran, Luke Munro. Jordy was always the most exciting surfer in the water - but Munro was wily, relied on wave choice and slayed Jordy with a ho-hum display of powerful vertical snaps on bigger waves. While Jordy punted huge airs, 360s and some moves that haven't really been named yet. Now I don't mean to hype this Jordy kid, but shit, things on the SA pro surfing scene look good, for a change. I might be wrong, but that's what it looked like on the 8x6.
And so, while we internet surfing hunchbacks had to suffer the decidedly dodgy commentators 'Shmoo' and 'Pottz' talking, mainly unmitigated shit, down their tin-to-tin soundsystem. I don't care how well they surfed (once upon a time), Quik should hire professionals for frik's sake. From my digital vantage point, I could tell that it was a good week of waves in Durban: generally light offshore and in the 3-4 foot range. What luck for Africa's hugest, richest WQS competition to run in a steady succession of clean and fine new pier walls. Sure it would have been good to watch the action from my gently vibrating and reclined lazyboy on my widescreen, surround sound, home-theatre system with a cold beer in my hand and a bifter hanging loosely from my lip. (You can't really drink beer and look at your computer screen -it just feels weird). But fear not china, these trifles are almost finished. These problems are poised, ready to be relegated to the dustbin of history. In about 2 years, and counting down, we won't even be having this conversation because high quality Net TV will be a reality and you'll be able to watch almost anything on the big screen. From world championship sheep shearing to reality pogo-stick pillow fights on tik - it will all be available. A gazillion channels and enough bandwidth to stream it. TV company execs will do swan dives from their high rise office buildings. Advertising companies will go belly up and the SABC will kak huge Snuki sized bricks!Bring it on.