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No Holds Barred: Power Rankings are Back

The dust has settled following the trainwreck that was Surfline’s well-publicized dismissal of writer Lewis Samuels. It seems that both have moved on and gone back to doing what they do best. For Surfline, this means marketing swells and producing solid content. For Lewis Samuels, this means publishing unfiltered, uninhibited thoughts and opinions on anything and anyone associated with surfing’s ‘industry’.

power rankings

One of the biggest questions following Surfline’s bloody expulsion of Samuels surrounded the uncertain fate of his ASP World Tour Power Rankings. The rankings had become a hit on Surfline and were the place that most of us cut our teeth on the Lewis Samuels doctrine. They’re back now; and they’re as poignant and unrelenting as ever before.

“Anyone can win heats. It’s losing heats that distinguishes the real pros from the pretenders. Take Roy Powers for instance: the poor guy got absolutely shellacked by Michel Bourez in R1 – Roy only put up a 2.33 and 3.93 on his two scoring waves. The judges have been known to give Kelly Slater’s fecal matter scores like that for the turns it does while being flushed.”

Write or wrong, whether you agree with him or not…the sport of surfing needs a good dose of what Lewis Samuels brings to the table. The overbearing influence of advertising dollars combined with the chronic bro-bra’ism that plagues the industry often ends up leaving a lot unsaid, especially in regards to the World Tour. Does Samuels take it too far sometimes? Some might say he crosses the line every now and again; but maybe taking it too far is what’s needed in an industry where preserving and enhancing marketable images tends to be the bottom line.

“If Nathaniel Curran had surfed at Bells as well as Boal surfed, we’d be reading feature articles about his performance right now. Instead, Boal was arguably underscored against Californian Bobby Martinez in R2. The Frenchman surfed above himself, but was predictably rewarded with two sixes and a loss.”

When it comes to coverage of the Dream Tour, if you’ve read one event preview or recap you’ve read them all. All that really changes are the names and locations. Even quotes from the surfers themselves tend to be very predictable. I view the scribblings of Lewis Samuels as a welcome departure from the norm; an entetaining read that points out what most of us are already thinking. If nothing else, the Power Rankings offer a different perspective on what’s really taking place; a perspective that isn’t influenced by whether or not a certain point of view will result in the loss of advertising dollars. That type of writing isn’t exactly easy to come by these days.

“I mean, Surfline’s fact-checkers inform me Curran’s older brother Tim finished 6th in the world. His even older brother Tom Curran won three world titles. Brother Joe is a style master, cousin Lee Ann Curran is already winning WQS events… and family patriarch Pat Curran is on the shortlist for getting his face carved into surfing’s Mt. Rushmore. Does surfing talent run in that family or WHAT?”

You can find the Power Rankings and all of Lewis Samuels other diatribes at PostSurf.com

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Posted by Shaun on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 in Surfing.


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