coffee convo Hwilsin tour talk writing WSL


If you know me, or if you’ve read any of my work before, you know how much I would love to throw fuel on the bonfire that is the public scrutiny of the WSL right now. A couple of questionable judging calls have ignited the flame. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to sing a few praises for “the global home of surfing”.

The first, and the most talked about new addition the Wozzle rolled out this year, is the Live Rankings. While it may not seem like that big of a deal, trust me, it is. Coaches and surfers alike would spend hours crunching numbers between and during events, calculating out what results would need to fall in place in order for requalification. No more. There were independent Instagram pages with large followings dedicated to informing the public on standings, results, and possibilities. All of this has been solved with one clean sweep from the WSL. As the eliminations start in each event, one can follow along the updated rankings heat by heat. Nice for fans, game changing for surfers. Very clutch.

The next honorable mention that the WSL has recently thrown into account could not have been missed – the interviewing of heat losers. Typically, Kelly is the only guy they trust enough to not give some fired up rant after losing a heat, so he’s the only one who gets interviewed after a loss. Medina would have never had the chance to publicly condemn the judges had the Wizzle not put the mic under his chin. Spectators love this. Give us more heat, more drama. After Gabby’s tirade, I would rather hear from each heat loser rather than each heat winner. Switch it up. Break down that wall of positive noise. Good job on this one. 

The last thing that I’m really stoked on from the Wiz is the inclusion of some personality. Vaughan ‘Deadly’ Blakey is one of the sport’s most invigorating characters, and his appearance at Bells has been nothing short of spectacular. Since none of the surfers really show any identity for themselves, the Tour could really benefit from a spirit like Vaughan. Keep him on.

One quick suggestion I might add. I believe I have mentioned this before, and I can almost swear I saw this actually come to fruition earlier this year, I just can’t find any proof about it right now. Anyways, the WSL needs to include the wave scores on screen in the Heat Replays. If you watch any heat highlights on youtube, most waves that are ridden are shown, but you never get the scores. You can catch glimpses of the scoreboard throughout the rides, but that’s all you’ve got to keep you informed. It seems like an obvious, easy addition, and it would help heaps.

For example, watch these two heat replays back. They seem to be the talk of the (Social Media) town.

Ethan Ewing vs. George Pittar

We, the audience, can’t get the scores on screen, while the judges can’t score a wave without knowing exactly what number is needed to turn the heat. The irony. 

Cole Houshmand vs. Gabriel Medina

If you didn’t see this yet, the video is worth a watch for Medina’s rant alone. Drop any comments you have below.



Drew Stanfield

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