When the Olympic Games happpens, I spend hours upon hours of tv time, watching all the things that are exciting, and pondering some of the sports that seem a bit out of whack to the ethos of the games. It’s hard to justify curling – the sport of sliding stones on ice – as an Olympic event but it is there and it’s there to stay.
Similarly, it’s quite a challenge to comprehend how surfing in the Olympics is going to be enthralling. Set to take place at Tsurigasaki beach, a venue that is said to average thigh-to-chest high waves historically over the period set for the event. The wave is fairly weak, and often tiny, but the event does have a 16-day waiting period and only two days necessary to run it to completion.
A good day at Tsurigasaki
The original plan was for there to be a surf ranch in Tokyo for the games, and that plan was in motion already,according to WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, when the venue was chosen by the Olympics committee, and it was shelved. It does seem, however, that a Surf Ranch would be a much better option than an average beachbreak and a 16 day waiting period. It might take an extra day to run it off at Kelly’s Pool, but it would still only take 3 days maximum to the finals.
Much the same as skateboarding, surfing is in the Olympic Games for the first time and no one is sure how it is all going to work out and where it will go to for the next version. As the Olympics is going to be held in paris, the rumoured site of a current Surf Ranch build, it all starts making sense.
What doesn’t make as much sense is that the ‘sport’ of breakdancing looks like making a debut at the same Paris Olympics.
Text by Craig Jarvis