On a few forums, well one in particular, the fans are extremely vocal about the Association of Surfing Professionals and how it is a terrible monster. I have been particularly vocal when it comes to certain issues within the surf industry. After what I saw go down in Tahiti, I decided to write about perspective. I can only offer my perspective and it is from the view of being a bottom dweller.
My perspective is from a guy who spent a lot of money and lost a lot of heats. In life, we can walk into a business and toss out our 2 cents. These employees are lazy and slow could be a thought that one could logically enter into when the service is not meeting what we consider acceptable. The employees are not going to tell you that 4 employees called in sick or that they had a pipe burst in the kitchen. We just see our side of the perspective.
When looking at a pyramid, do you say to yourself, “Geez, the top 3% of that pyramid is great!” Or does one take in the entire pyramid and then marvel at its wonder? The reason I am saying this is that watching 10 contests with 34 guys in it and then making blanket statements about the organization is half-baked. That is why as I wrote this article:
The ASP really needs to push the star events on the general public to ensure that the public understands what the ASP is about.
What I am pointing out is that the ASP monster, which to the message board posters is obviously controlled by Billabong and Nike, is far more than the World Championship Tour. People who post on the message boards seem to think it is just Luke Egan and Joe Turpel traveling around the world with a team of judges whom are getting their marching orders from a surf company. Sure, there is a Kelly Slater and a Mick Fanning who surf in the ASP, but there are also paying, competing members such as Santiago De Pace or Reo Inabi. There are ASP global offices in every region that have teams whose jobs are to help the surfers get from place to place.
When I started surfing the contests, you were pretty much on your own. You would enter an event and it would say, “Mulletville Pro sponsored by Fat Wilbur’s Surf Shop. June 10th-14th behind the Lazy Otter Inn”. And that was it. So off you would go to find yourself in Mulletville and then you would have to drive around the town searching for the Lazy Otter Inn.
Then you would seek out some kind of sleeping quarters that were hopefully decent enough that you wouldn’t leave with Lyme’s Disease.
Boy have times changed… The terrible ASP now sends you an e-mail with all the upcoming events. Under each event, you will find how to get there, where to stay, and a description of the contest break and what boards are the best to ride on a normal average day. You can also contact your regional office and they will help you if you have issues.
So if you feel inclined, let it rip about the things that the Association of Surfing Professionals are doing wrong. However, look at the big picture. That contests are sponsored by Mr. Price, San Miguel, and RadicalWave…not just Billabong and Nike. That there is ASP World Longboard events along with the Jr. Pro Women’s. There is a lot more to the picture than a few dozen guys being interviewed by a grown man in a sailor’s hat.