coffee convo Hwilsin writing


Two stories have been crossing my face more often than not this past week. I guess if I’m going to attempt to bring you this website that is (mostly) surf related, I might as well give you “the news” as well. It’s funny the way these things work in the surfing world. One source will publish the original breaking news, the next outlet will share that same news, only with their slant or opinion on it, and finally, it will be talked about on podcasts and social media for about a week or so before the next topic is hot. I mean shit, here I am. Maybe this is how it works in the real news world too.

I think both of these stories got so big because they’re a bit controversial. Meaning that everyone can give their opinion and be a little bit right/not completely wrong. An easy talking (read: arguing) point. Here we go.

First, Bethany Hamilton has left her partnership with Ripcurl. A 20+ year relationship. She did so with a few years and a lot of money left on the table. So it was seemingly her choice. Or maybe it was amicable. I’m not exactly sure. I don’t think the reasoning is public. Speculation abounds though. So, here are some facts: Bethany previously voiced her opinions on the WSL’s transgender policy. She doesn’t like it. The WSL chose to ban her from their International Women’s Day celebration, as surfers who had chosen to represent Hamilton were not allowed to do so. I will just mention how RipCurl and the WSL are obviously fine partners (ie. RipCurl WSL Finals). Fast forward to present time, RipCurl just released a new line for the Australian summer season. Apparently there is some kind of transgender inclusion. The split between Bethany and RipCurl has landed just on the heels of that drop. Do with that information what you will. Apparently some people are fired up about it.

The other story that people are loving to throw their opinions at is Laura Enever breaking the world record for the largest wave ever paddled into by a woman. I’ve seen the video maybe once. I’m not too keen on watching it again, it’s not a big deal. Here’s why people are fired up though:

  1. She didn’t “make” the wave. I mean she made the drop. She got to the bottom of the wave. She doesn’t get off a bottom turn before that bomb absolutely smokes her though. I guess similar things can be said about Waimea Bay, but maybe there is a reason we aren’t looking there for the biggest waves to be surfed anymore..
  2. Laura Enever is employed by the WSL. More on this in a second.
  3. The previous holder of this record was Andrea Moller, and she held it for 7 years. Her wave was sized at 42 feet. Laura Enever’s wave was calculated to be 43.6 feet.
  4. Per BeachGrit, The WSL is essentially in charge of the deciding winners related to surfing for the Guinness World Records.

Valid reasons to be fired up. My only question is this – on a moving surface like the ocean, and with a moving target like a wave (specifically a wave as big as we are speaking about) how could you possibly spot a 1.5 foot (18 inch) difference? The first thing I would point to in defense of this is camera angle. It’s just an absolute mess to try and put a definitive number on something like that, but of course the WSL wants to put its stamp on it. Funny shit. Here’s a video of the wave if you want to see it.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve got for you today. Your Surf News. Official. 



Drew Stanfield

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