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  1. A Better way to run the ASP World Tour

    Hello,

    For any surfers who follow the ASP World Tour, you have probably noticed all of the controversy from TitleGate well as Bobby Martinez going off in NYC about the mid season reshuffle. If you follow the anti-corpo anti-ASP voices on twitter (Dayne, JOB, Rottmouth, Demonscreams) you are even more acutely aware of what I am talking about. There is a lot of criticism of the current ASP system, but few solutions. I think the criticism without solutions is #BelowtheWeather so here I offer a better way.

    Current System:
    There are 12 venues, 1 per WT event, throughout the year. Each event has a 2 week waiting period, to ensure quality waves for the event. The WT points are worth orders of magnitude more than Prime and Star series events, so making the World Tour necessarily is an advantage for staying on Tour. There is a midseason shuffle, where hot or \"trending\" surfers from the WQS take the place of the coldest surfers on the World Tour. The schedule is decided by the ASP before the season starts, and Sean Collins from Surfline is the official forecaster.

    Problems with current system:

    Wave quality: Often times World Tour contests are run in lackluster conditions. The Snapper Rocks final was 3 foot onshore. Lowers was fun but only about 2 foot for most of the comp. Jay Bay was blown out, so much that Kelly passed on the event to surf perfect Cloudbreak. Adriano won the Rio contest with a floater. This is not the Dream Tour. One of the perks of making the highest tour should be you get to surf the best waves.

    What gets rewarded: The result of poor conditions is that progressive aerial surf is valued higher than barrel riding and rail surfing. Also, the product suffers when the conditions deteriorate, costing sponsors valuable viewers.

    Legacy: With the midseason reshuffle, being on tour at the beginning of the year is less of an advantage. Also, the noobs brought on midyear have a really hard time earning enough points to remain on tour for the beginning of the following year.


    The SATW Proposal:
    Create a Rapid Response World Tour. The 34 Surfers who are on at the beginning of the year remain on tour all year. However, missing 2 events disqualifies you for the WT until the following year, and another surfer gets to take your place, thus giving him the opportunity to collect WT points. The venues are set before the season, but no dates or waiting periods are given. Sean Collins remains the official forecaster, but in addition, gets to decide where and when (given the preset locations) each event is held. The surfers get 48 hours notice. If you do not arrive to the contest site on time, and you did not give prior notice, you lose a substantial amount of points. If you give notice, someone can replace you for that event and you don't lose points, but missing 2 disqualifies you from the tour. The locations should be a mix of points, reefy barrels, and beach break, such that the winner is the surfer who is the most proficient at all forms of surfing.

    The judges need to be the same for every event, as well as the commentators. The sponsors should not have a say over the journalistic integrity of the sport. The contest Jersey's should be standard and without advertising. Every other advertising entity should be sold by the ASP on a season to season basis. Paying for naming rights should not give that sponsor carte blanche to dictate everything about the event.

    This seems to solve the 3 issues I previously mentioned. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Uhh i think you should find a way to get a hold of the ASP because this is a great solution. The only problem that the ASP is going to have with this is that 48 hours isn't enough time (even though i completely agree with you) to set everything up such as the podium, scoreboard, webcast, judge's booth, etc. Another thing is that all the stuff that goes with the ASP Tour is the stuff that happens behind the surfing such as the skate demos and all of the other CRAP that is there. Yea the judging would be completely different if they had the best waves all the time as well, but sometimes it is good to see the progressive side of surfing but not all the time. it gets boring after awhile unless it's insane. i'll just go watch Lost Atlas if i wanna see 360 air reverses all day....
    Anyway, I dig this SATW. I think Derek Hynde would be down for this

  3. Quote Originally Posted by 757surfer View Post
    Uhh i think you should find a way to get a hold of the ASP because this is a great solution. The only problem that the ASP is going to have with this is that 48 hours isn't enough time (even though i completely agree with you) to set everything up such as the podium, scoreboard, webcast, judge's booth, etc. Another thing is that all the stuff that goes with the ASP Tour is the stuff that happens behind the surfing such as the skate demos and all of the other CRAP that is there. Yea the judging would be completely different if they had the best waves all the time as well, but sometimes it is good to see the progressive side of surfing but not all the time. it gets boring after awhile unless it's insane. i'll just go watch Lost Atlas if i wanna see 360 air reverses all day....
    Anyway, I dig this SATW. I think Derek Hynde would be down for this
    The timing issue is definitely a problem if the ASP is insistent on Surfing not being a stand alone sport. If they need skate demos, music festivals, and fashion shows to sell their product, and great surfing is not enough, then you are correct. But then why even bother with a Dream Tour? I say let the surfing and waves sell the product on the Dream Tour. Save the Dog and Pony Show for the Prime/Star series.

  4. #4
    it's a great idea but correct me if i'm wrong, but the company running the contest buys permits for the beaches during the waiting period well in advance of the contest, do they not? It's going to be crazy hard to buy the possibility of having a beach permit for an entire year just to ensure the best waves. i don't think that would be very doable, however maybe if they just scheduled events for the most consistent spots in the world and made the waiting periods a little longer it would offer better surf?

  5. Quote Originally Posted by ripthegnar View Post
    it's a great idea but correct me if i'm wrong, but the company running the contest buys permits for the beaches during the waiting period well in advance of the contest, do they not? It's going to be crazy hard to buy the possibility of having a beach permit for an entire year just to ensure the best waves. i don't think that would be very doable, however maybe if they just scheduled events for the most consistent spots in the world and made the waiting periods a little longer it would offer better surf?
    This problem could probably be solved if the ASP/sponsors put up more money, or created some public/private partnership that worked for both the Sponsors and the municipality. You are quite correct in that a wholesale change like this would require wholesale changes in how EVERYTHING tour related is handled. But I think that would be a good thing.

  6. #6
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    what do you think the purpose of pro surfing is?

  7. Quote Originally Posted by aka pumpmaster View Post
    what do you think the purpose of pro surfing is?
    To sling product, obv. But a better viewing product will draw more viewers. The casual fan will not watch guys scrapping it out in 3 foot onshore Kirra. But The best surfers surfing perfect XL Cloudbreak will draw more eyes and ears than crappy surf surrounded by the Dog and Pony show, IMO. I guess the question comes down to whether Surfing on it's own can draw enough audience for the sponsors to draw enough attention to sling mad product. I think, if done properly, it can, and would also be better for surf fans and the competitors.


    Think of all the vignettes that would get posted on surf blogs of the mad rush to get to the contest site to surf perfect waves with the best surfers in the world? You could even draw airline/travel sponsors, instead of just the Big 3. The possibilities are endless.
    Last edited by stayabovetheweather; Nov 30, 2011 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stayabovetheweather View Post
    This problem could probably be solved if the ASP/sponsors put up more money, or created some public/private partnership that worked for both the Sponsors and the municipality. You are quite correct in that a wholesale change like this would require wholesale changes in how EVERYTHING tour related is handled. But I think that would be a good thing.
    yea i think it would be a really good idea, it's just gonna be hard to get done because you'd have to restructure the entire dream tour.

  9. #9
    2 Thumbs up for presenting a solution instead of a gripe.....But....I wouldn't want to be on the planning end of things. Don't forget, most of the logistics and equipment for a contest will be supplied by non-surfers working for businesses that have no allegiance to surfing.

    "Hi Mr. Scafolding rental co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of enough equipment plus installation labor for a 15' X 40' structure on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know, just leave it unrented in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Port-A-Jon rental co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of 25 stink boxes on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, just leave them unrented in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Security co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of enough security guards on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, don't schedule them for other gigs in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Gov't Bureaucrat. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Where on the form do I check off that you will guarantee the availability of a beach/parking permit on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, if you rent the location to anyone else make sure there is a clause that we get first dibs in case a good swell is in the works."

    and so on....

    Great idea but the devil's in the details.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by goosemagoo View Post
    2 Thumbs up for presenting a solution instead of a gripe.....But....I wouldn't want to be on the planning end of things. Don't forget, most of the logistics and equipment for a contest will be supplied by non-surfers working for businesses that have no allegiance to surfing.

    "Hi Mr. Scafolding rental co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of enough equipment plus installation labor for a 15' X 40' structure on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know, just leave it unrented in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Port-A-Jon rental co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of 25 stink boxes on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, just leave them unrented in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Security co. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Can you guarantee the availability of enough security guards on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, don't schedule them for other gigs in case a good swell is in the works."

    Hi Mr. Gov't Bureaucrat. We're having this awesome surf contest sometime in the next 8 months. Where on the form do I check off that you will guarantee the availability of a beach/parking permit on 48 to 72 hr. notice? You know what I'm sayin, if you rent the location to anyone else make sure there is a clause that we get first dibs in case a good swell is in the works."

    and so on....

    Great idea but the devil's in the details.
    I agree that you cannot change the World Tour without making wholesale changes to every way the ASP does
    business. All of these details you mention would certainly be a problem given the current framework. But what if the ASP acted more like the PGA. There are Tour surfers, and then there are Surfing Professionals. The ASP would maintain a year round presence at all 12 spots, given demos, lessons, slinging gear, doing board repair and equipment expos etc... This is where the public/private partnership comes in. If the ASP maintains a year round presence, much like the PGA does at its TPC courses, I think it would solve most of the problems you mention, and it would be a cash cow for the Tour and Sponsors.

    Furthermore, since such a presence would generate business in the area, the ASP would have leverage in negotiating deals with municipalities hosting world class surf. Towns will want the ASP to be there since it will drive commerce.

    Now this would definitely ruin these spots for locals, but Snapper, Trestles, Bells, and J-Bay are already a mob scene, there are no locals at Cloudbreak or Chopes, the industry already has a year round presence on the North Shore, and all the rest of the current locales are beach breaks. Again, I'm talking about wholesale changes, not tweaking the structure and trying to fit everything else around it.