44 Innocents Wounded in Blast
After a meteoric rise from everyday surfer to Surfline flunky to defender of the angry work-a-day man, blogster Lewis Samuels’ ego has finally exploded. Left in the wake of the blast lay the reputations of nearly every pro surfer to cross his computer screen—also wounded were grappling and fixed-gear enthusiasts, as well as a certain Jewish mob boss. Today, the surviving rank-and-file of the A.S.P. Dream Tour are sounding tones of disappointment at loss of opportunity to personally throttle the infamous “twerp.” Many of surfing’s elite lined up at boy’s funeral in order to beat his grieving mother instead. Effigies of Samuels are said to be dragging through the streets, and the surf industry association SIMA has quietly funded town hall-style rallies to celebrate a victory of sorts.
First known for his sometimes honest and sometimes comedic appraisal of ASP’s top 44 in an online feature titled “Power Rankings,” Samuels quickly found the semi-truck sized hole in what the surf media convey as the “truth.” Samuels later launched a blog titled “Post Surf” that developed a strong following with surfers who’d found their culture and lineups sold out from under them by major surf wear companies and the media that service them. When Samuels took a swipe at Billabong CEO Paul Naude, for muscling Surfline into publishing a feature that essentially did his uber-expensive Tavarua barrel-bragging for him (this during a free-falling economy in which well-known pros were being laid off), Surfline was pressed into firing the first talent it had discovered. Surfline—the website that mixes editorial and advertisement under the same guise and ritually blows out any common swell—cited its standards of “journalism” in the firing. This left Samuels liberated to expand his insights on Post Surf.
Highlights of his work included “Teen Choice Award Boards”—in which the 2000s are analyzed via Teen Choice award boards—“From the ‘Bitch Please’ File”—a great look into product partnering by the sport’s smartest investors—“Yet another post I’ll get beaten up for . . .”—an overview of the homosexual aspects of Jiu-Jitsu; and “Don’t Blame the Brands”—a critical analysis of the traditional surf media from which he was spawned. Samuels’ writing has been called “verbal diarrhea.” A recent commenter expressed the sadness of his departure with “Disappointed. . . Pussy.” His readers responded with stage names like “A.I.’s Dealer,” and “Occy’s Underbite.”
Sadly for the writer who created the “Sellout of the Week” column, in recent weeks rumors circulated that Samuels would soon be penning a regular piece on the “surf industry” for a major corpo surf rag.
As internet commenter “Chris Cote” wrote: “You will be missed, sort of.”