Experiment Seven Team Speaks! Part Three

The third and final installment of the our Jakarta Airport interview…
Missed the first two? No worries – Here’s PART ONE and PART TWO (just click ’em.) 

RT: How healthy is the World Tour currently after Pipe? What needs to happen to improve the World Tour and take it to the next level?

BEN: It goes back to us as riders – we’re always going to be riding waves and pushing it, therefore there’s always going to be a World Tour because we’ll make it happen. That’s what happens when you’re dealing with passionate people. It sounds like it’s going full-steam ahead to me – there’s events still happening. It’s maybe just the naysayers out there – the police we were talking about – that are saying there are all these problems. I think it could definitely be better, but everyone could be doing a better job across the board. I think that just comes down to budgets. If everyone had a bit more money we could do better jobs. And as a rider I’m sure we could do better jobs if we had more money. Because you’d be able to put more time into it, does everyone agree?

The 2013 Pipeline Pro trailer, after GoPro came to the rescue. 

JERRY: Especially with how the Internet’s so accessible now it’s really great how involved people can be in what they’re passionate about from a million miles away, but the other side of that is… say for instance when the IBA cancelled the Pipe event – yes, it’s super frustrating and everyone was pissed off – and I’d say more than anyone, without trying to sound selfish, were the riders because we’d bought plane tickets and that’s our careers on the line pretty much. But a lot of the public were blowing up on the tour page. The IBA were trying to secure sponsorship and you get these companies – and Facebook’s so big these days – the first thing they look at is the Facebook page, and there’s all these comments from the market – [the companies] are thinking of getting into and people are saying all this [negative] shit about the very thing they’re being asked to support. I reckon that just blows it up completely. I remember Pierre saying something to me once about Nike, that when they wanted to sponsor him they did some market research… they found people talking negatively about it on the Internet, and your agent said they’d [Nike] seen something about bodyboarders not wanting to be involved with it anyway.

Who WOULDN’T sponsor PLC? 14 minutes of the frenchman being marketable. 

BEN: What, that bodyboarders didn’t want to be supported by them anyway?

JERRY: Exactly. That’s crazy because that’s money that could’ve come into the sport. And that’s people not thinking clearly, saying “Oh we want bodyboarding to remain the punk rock of surfing,” and that’s cool, but sometimes you just have to let it grow.

LEWY: [Picks up the recorder] Yeah, dude!

JASE: Does anyone reckon we can change that perspective? Maybe, say, before an event, you had a voting page that said, “Do you want a webcast?”, as simple as that, and you click yes or no. And then once the webcast is going, even disabling any comments directly to the main links that are gonna show it? Or is that ruling out freedom of speech? I think some kids just want to be negative because it’s the cool thing to do these days.

SPEX: Having been on the other side of the social media, working for the IBA on the receiving end, you realise that no-one actually cares how much work you put in – the guys that are close and the riders they see it and they know – but the general public who are watching the webcast from around the world and following the events, they never really have positive feedback to give via social media. They watch the webcast, they loved it and then they turn off the webcast and they don’t say anything. The only stuff you’re reading on social media’s the negative stuff and that’s kind of the only stuff people want to say. They never give praise, they’d rather write off. So if you ever have a webcast or an event and no-one’s said anything about it, you’ve absolutely killed it. Professionalism in the industry…

When Spex wasn’t behind the IBA lenses, he was infront of them. 

[Lewy empties a packet of sugar on to the table and chops it into a line, pretending to listen to Spex. He then rolls up a note…]

SPEX: … is lacking in many aspects and it’s one of those things where as a group, as an industry, as a whole image, perhaps we should take it a little more seriously. In regards to censoring comments on social media and taking control of it… at the moment we’re just sitting at the power of social media and we’re just wearing it. Whatever people write that’s what we’ve got and that’s what the world sees. If you want to control the industry we need to control what people write and make people more accountable for it. There are certain publications that write things about bodyboarding on the Internet and in print, and they should just be discarded completely. I mean I don’t understand why people even support those publications or that part of the industry, it’s a shot in the foot.

What’s needs to be improved with bodyboarding media? And feel free to have a dig at Riptide, we’ll wear it.

SPEX: Lewy’s just taking a little sugar hit so let’s put it over to him.

LEWY: I’m pingin’ off my head, bro. Nah, I think movies lately, pretty much no-one’s making movies anymore. There’s never premieres in WA anymore so kids don’t really get interested in bodyboarding because the mags only come out every two months or something. Back when Tension was going on, every year kids had something to look forward to, to keep them frothing and keen to buy boards and stuff. I just reckon it’d be good for someone to start making movies again because no-one’s doing it.

A reminder of the premieres of old – the Tension boys crowdsurfing into their own premiere 5:00 in. 

DAVE (HEAVYSIDE, RIPTIDE DESIGNER): There’s very little money to be made and anyone that was making movies before has either moved on because there’s very little money in it and it’s unsustainable.

LEWY: Mmm yeah, I didn’t really think about that [laughs]. It’d be cool if someone didn’t do it for the money. It wouldn’t get them money, it’d get the sport money I guess?

BEN: You mean like doing Movement and you’re still getting complaints about it?

LEWY: What? Nah, if someone just made a movie and they made a little bit of money off it, but it made 100 kids start wanting to get into bodyboarding and wanting to buy boards and fins and stuff… that’s a little bit more money for the sport.

SPEX: If you feel like kids should be more involved with the sport, then they should be more involved hands-on instead of just throwing negative comments around on social media. Why don’t you make a movie?

PIERRE: You do need a lot of money to make a DVD now, a good movie. It takes way more time to make a movie than the guys on the Internet.

LEWY: I dunno [grommet giggling]. I disagree, Pierre. I reckon people are too caught up in quality nowadays. Kids still froth on Tension I reckon and that’s pretty shitty quality footage and just kids messing around and having fun. People could do that and still get a pretty wide audience with groms.

SPEX: That’s your niche, bru, you should do it!