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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Does the media cover surfing?

After my recent post about the ASP and how they are developing a new way to showcase their surf competitions, I wanted to write about how much surfing is covered by the media. I believe surfing is covered in depth if you know where to look. Outside of places like Australia and California surfing is rarely mentioned on mainstream news networks unless it's about Nazare, a shark attack, or John John Florence dating Taylor Swift. Compared with something like Football, surfing hardly makes a dent. For someone in a place like New Jersey where surfing isn't as mainstream, it is hard to expose yourself to surfing. However, for people that know where to look, surfing can be accessed online and watched via computer or smart phone, although that has its own set of problems as I previously mentioned. I believe that if the media were to cover surfing more in depth in various parts of the country, be it northeast or the middle U.S. like Oklahoma, people would enjoy it and a larger fan base would develop. Although it may not be as popular as sports like Football it could be popular enough to turn a profit and most importantly expose a larger group of people to the sport. 

So does the media cover surfing enough? I believe not, unless you’re John John....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is Surfing a Art or a Sport?

A common question by some people both in the surf community and outside of it is whether surfing is a sport or an art. A sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” According to the dictionary, and a art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”. So according to the literal definitions surfing is a sport, but I believe that the meaning is deeper than that. In surfing there are many contests ranging from youth ages to the ASP World Tour events with countless variations in between, so it is a competition. I believe that the reason why people express that surfing is not a sport is because of its individual competition. Surfing is predominately an individual sport with heats of people competing, much like track, however track athletes represent an overall school or team. The Individual competition aspires athletes to be creative and independent in the way that they preform which I believe has contributed to the amazing creativity seen today in new maneuvers, the most recent one being the back-flip. It is this amazing individualism that I believe has also made surfing an art form.
            The way a painter may start with a blank canvas, a surfer starts with a clean wave that is his blank canvas, in which he can perform whatever comes to his imagination. Some of these artistic qualities can be contributed to the nature of the sport, literally. Unlike most other sports, surfing is in nature, no wave is the same. Another reason for the artistic qualities of surfing are the athletes themselves. Surfing has people of all different ages, different backgrounds, and from different parts of the world. When combining these different people you get a result much like the Renaissance Art Movement in the 14th to 17th Century, a collaboration of different thoughts and art, of in this case, surfing.

            So is surfing a sport or an art? To me it is both. Art and Sport goes hand and hand in surfing, without one we would not have the other. But one thing to me is sure, the combination of art and culture has made surfing what it is today, and I am thankful for it.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The New ASP

Although surfing may not be as popular as Football is, it has an enormous fan base that is rapidly growing. An example of this is on October 15, 2013 when the ASP announced a media and distribution agreement with various companies including ESPN, YouTube, and Facebook. The ASP hosts the most prestigious and anticipated surfing events each year, and each December, at Pipeline, a champion is crowned. This new deal with the ASP events enhanced by the media deals include the 26 elite tour events across men’s, women’s and big wave arenas in Australia, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Tahiti, USA, France, Portugal, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Spain and Mexico. This will allow the newly redesigned ASP will be televised with ESPN and promoted socially via Facebook.

I am personally very happy that this is happening. Watching the ASP events now are great, but it is hard to stream a 9 hour long webcast on your laptop. Hopefully along with these changes will come more efficient ways to view them. The only thing I hope is that the WCT events don’t lose any of the activity or the great commentary from announcers like Joe Trupel and the occasional Rob Machado.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Surfboard Shred Show

In this post I wanted to write about a YouTube channel that I watch called Surfboard Shred Show.Shred Show is a YouTube channel where creator Chris Grow reviews various types of surfboards and provides helpful insight on the surfboards design and capabilities. One of my favorite parts about Shred Show is Grow's personality during the show. As Grow puts it, "it is a web series about surfboards, half educational, half diary of a madman".  Grow was recently featured in Surfer magazine's "week in review" section for his  reviews. You can watch all of the episodes of Surfboard Shred Show here , or on his website here, and check in every Saturday for a new episode in surfboard review. Chris is an example of the many interesting personalities in surfing and the reason why surfing is such a great sport.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A New Direction

Now that we are done talking about concussions and other related topics we are going to move towards talking about the sport that interests us most and how our blog topics impact it. My sport is surfing. Surfing is an interesting sport to cover in that although it is well known to people, most people have either never tried it or don't know what surfing is all about. In the surfing world there are things that people don't realize that reach far beyond the water. This includes the industry powerhouses surrounding surfing, the surfing cultures of different geographical areas, and the always changing controversies surrounding current competitors on different professional levels. Locally, in New Jersey many people grab a sponge board in July while visiting the Shore and say that they "surf", but most never don't know about the surfing that takes place in the winter. Most of these people have never surfed on a day in January when it is snowing with 30 mile an hour wind and ice cold water. But for those who endure the elements find great waves on select days that make the challenge worth it.

    Financially the surf world is changing, apparel companies like Billabong are loosing money. Beaverton based mega brand Nike dropped its sponsored athletes while other companies like Hurley are trying to build dominate teams. While many people enjoy surfing it is still relatively close knit when compared with sports like football. While surf competitions, most importantly the ASP World Tour can be watched online live, In the Continental U.S., minus California,it is hard to watch a competition, with limit coverage of events on television. However, the ASP has recently announced major changes in 2014 for the viewing of contests. Continuously athletes do new tricks, pushing physical possibilities and showing just how progressive surfing is. While the future for Surfing is unknown, me and other surfers alike hope it is in a positive direction. Below is a picture of professional surfer Jordy Smith, Jordy being one of the most progressive surfers around, landed this maneuver called a rodeo flip, landing him a spot on the cover of Yahoo. The second picture is from Bay Head, New Jersey last December showing the winter surfing in New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Final Concussion Post

For my final blog post about concussions i wanted to write about Terry Bradshaw and Tony Dorsett. Starting with Bradshaw, he is a former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and led his team to win four super bowls in the 1970's. Bradshaw recently publicly admitted to having memory loss and other mental problems due to years of playing football. Now, almost 40 years since he last stepped on a football field, Bradshaw struggles with sports related injuries. It is amazing to hear that someone who we see on TV commentating football games has such a serious problem. It shows how serious these underlying effects can be and that only the player knows about it.
My second article, about Tony Dorsett, is also about the struggles that former players face with memory loss and other mental related illnesses. Dorsett was also a player in the NFL who after a career of big hits has suffered from long term effects of memory loss. Dorsett is a strong man and says that he will beat and overcome the illness, however the all to real fact is that these mental illnesses are something that people rarely come back from.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coach Labrum

After reading the article about Coach Labrum and his suspension of his entire football team I am surprised. Coach Labrum suspended his entire team as a result of their poor academic records and irresponsible actions both in school and in the community. This modern day Coach Carter has come under some criticism for his actions however I believe that all student athletes should be responsible and represent the fundamentals that student athletes should. So I say good for you Coach Labrum/Carter for teaching your students the right way to act.

Will my child play football

If I had a child, I would not let him play football until he is age 14. The reason why I would do this is because at age 14 the body is maturing and has a better chance of sustaining a hit. Although I wouldn't personally play football I would allow my child to play if he wanted to dedicate himself to the sport.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hugo Lloris

Yesterday Hugo Lloris, goalie for the Spurs, collided with another soccer(or futbol/football if your not an american ) player. Our buddy Hugo was knocked unconscious cold as ice as a result. Unlike the usual soccer injuries, a concussion is very serious causing brain swelling and can lead to long term brain damage. After being rendered unconscious the logical thing to do would be to pull him from the game, however, the coaching staff allowed him to return to play shortly after sleeping beauty awoke. This has put the Spurs coaching staff in hot water for their carelessness and irresponsibility for the safety of players. Below is a depiction of what the coaching staff said to Hugo.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reaction to Skype Chat

Last Wednesday we Skyped with Dustin Fink, author of the Concussion Blog, and discussed concussions and the USFL. This was a great opportunity to get first hand knowledge on concussions and the topics surrounding them. It was very informative to hear first hand how concussions have impacted so many athletes in all levels of sports and the biggest impact of all in the NFL. I will continue to read Dustin's blog and use his wealth of information to help with future concussion related topics.