The issue is not that Brazilians claim or do not claim, it’s that, instead of being an individual reaction, it is strongly implied that this is “Brazilian behavior.” Gabriel Medina and Adriano de Souza provide case studies. Photos: ASP

The issue is not that Brazilians claim or do not claim, it’s that, instead of being an individual reaction, it is strongly implied that this is “Brazilian behavior.” Gabriel Medina and Adriano de Souza. Photos: ASP


The Inertia

If you logged on to Surfline last night, like I did, to read the coverage of the final day of the Billabong Pro in Rio, you might have been surprised to find a strange diatribe about the behavior of Brazilian surfers. The article, written by Matt Pruett proved so incendiary that it was actually removed from the site late last night after the discussion boards lit up in condemnation. In the captions, there is a note:

Editor’s note: After internal deliberation and evaluating reader feedback, we decided that the best way to tell the story of Jordy’s win in Rio is with photos and captions. Stay tuned for Surfline’s Power Rankings for a full performance breakdown of the event.

Clearly, something went wrong. Let me explain.

What was perhaps most striking about the piece was the way it attempted to mask prejudice by playing good cop/bad cop; first, it acknowledges that stereotyping is wrong, and then proceeds to trot out the same tired stereotypes. This is not “real talk” designed to investigate hard truths or open debate. Those things would require a working knowledge of Brazilian culture and history, as well as the way that stereotypes work. That said, it doesn’t quite qualify as “racism” either, because “Brazilian” is not a race. It was, instead, the unthinking and discriminatory rhetoric of cultural imperialism that (intentionally or not) serves to demonize one supposed type of people while subtly vindicating another.

I won’t waste your time detailing every false accusation Pruett makes, but I would like to highlight the one that stands heads and tails above the rest. In the piece, he asks rhetorically: “So why do Brazilians have such a hard time burying the stereotypes?” Pruett goes on to answer his own question by describing the way some surfed and behaved on the last day of the Rio Pro.

There are two levels of false reasoning in this argument. The first is that the onus is on Brazilians to somehow prove to others – presumably Pruett and the other surfing literati in America and Australia – that they are not as they have been stereotyped. The second is that it is possible for an individual to do this at all. The very definition of a stereotype is that it is a gross generalization based on a false correlation between behavior and biology. An individual can neither disprove a generalization (which is made about a collective) nor can he prove or disprove something that is, to begin with, based on fallacy. Pruett actually demonstrated as much inadvertently when he wrote that Adriano de Souza was the “most composed and humble surfer on the beach.” So why doesn’t his behavior disprove the stereotype?

Because, for those set in their beliefs, cases will always exist that justify their world-view. Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina, for instance, did not surf and behave with the required levels of Protestant restraint and obsequiousness that Pruett expects from anyone not from Orange County, Sydney, or various East Coast surfing hamlets. Prejudice, you see, is like believing in Big Foot. It does not matter how much evidence there is that the ape doesn’t exist, true believers will always find “proof” that will support their delusions because they want to find it. Scientists who conduct experiments in order to obtain a set of desired results are called charlatans.

The really bat-shit crazy part of all this is the apparently unconscious double standard used to describe the Brazilians. When Medina hassles in a heat with Slater-like intensity, he is labeled over-eager and disrespectful. When Felipe Toledo displays passion in the water reminiscent of Andy Irons, it is considered hackneyed and pompous. The issue is not that Brazilians claim or do not claim, it’s that, instead of being an individual reaction, it is strongly implied that this is “Brazilian behavior.” If you watch any of the heats from Rio which are still on demand, you would see is flatly false.

I am so tired of having the same old conversation about Brazilians and why they supposedly act in certain ways. My theory is that it’s less about the actual behavior of many Brazilians and more about the fear, frustration, and disillusionment of surfing’s content creators who are witnessing the sport they love convulsing under the strain of its own demographic explosion.

This may lead you to wonder why I’m writing a detailed takedown of an article about Brazilian behavior that no longer exists. The reason is because, whether or not Pruett’s article sits on a web site or is relegated to an old file on his computer, the ideas contained in it have long since infected the world of surfing. The fact that Pruett’s article even saw the light of day attests to this. We cannot forget that these ideas float among us. We cannot eradicate them by only half acknowledging them. We have to stand up as a society, as many have already done on Surfline’s message boards, and make it plain that we will not tolerate this.

I have no particular connection to Brazilians other than the feeling that all people of dark complexion and “ethnic” features share when we participate in a culture dominated by those of lighter complexion and “Anglo Saxon” features. It is the queasy suspicion that under each stink eye, each drop in, each admonition, lurks the assumption that, based on my innate biological characteristics, I do not belong. Every time a Brazilian is criticized for some arbitrary breach of hoary rules of conduct like being too demonstrative, or competing too hard, I hear a single phrase: “You are playing our sport, and you will play it by our rules.”

If Pruett and Surfline really believe that, and if they have taken down Pruett’s article to save face while they still actually support his underlying ideas, then this conversation is over. No one will ever mention Brazilians on Surfline again, and the culture will maintain its current strain of unvoiced bigotry. But if they don’t, and I would like to believe they don’t, then they have an opportunity to start a real dialogue. Perhaps with an apology. Everyone is allowed to misstep, but it is long past time that the people who run this culture stand up and denounce bigotry.

Screenshots of the article in question can be found on page two.

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  • http://jrfaria.com/ Junior Faria

    Great article Tetsuhiko!
    I’ve been following your work for a while and it’s very refreshing to see you discuss seriously about matters that the “surfing press” simply ignore. If not worse than that.
    As brazilian myself, I gived up trying to explain actions and certain behaviors criticized by a small, but dominant, part of our community.
    As I once told you in a quick interview via e-mail a while ago, prejudice in surfing exists. It’s a reality in the ASP, in surfing media and line-ups all around the world. The only way to put it behind us is to bring it to light honestly and discuss it. Like we’re doing right now.
    It’s sad and very disappointing to encounter such shameful opinions in a website like Surfline.
    Anyways, let’s just try to keep things real and discuss important matters like these with tolerance and understanding.
    Cheers

  • Vector

    I applaud you Mr Endo. I was one of the many who left comments of SL website last light, only to find out (today) that not only the article had been removed, but also my comments. This action does not only censor my views, as a counter argument to Pruetts, but removes evidence of the volumes of people who are willing to stand up against what is not right! An apology from SF is in order.

  • Alex Neville

    Well said. The type of thinking that goes behind that type of misrepresentation is backwards and moronic. Then again, trying to understand another person’s values, language or culture and accepting its validity as the same as your own, well, that actually takes some thought, reading, intelligence etc. Easier to just be a racist bigot.

  • Lucas Sena

    Thanks for this… “by playing good cop/bad cop”. Hit, give love, hit hard, give food, hit again… it works with some irracional animals, not humans…

    He starts saying that: Without generalizing too much, Brazilian surfers have traditionally been seen as behaving rather obnoxious in the water… Generalized Sentence!

    I Saw one Australian/American? (i dunno) dropping in someone’s wave at Indo and the gossip was: somebody dropped in that guy. Saw a Brazilian dropping in someone’s wave and the talk was; A Brazilian guy…

    I know there are Brazilians assholes, just like assholes from any other place in the world, the thing is, if you want to see just the bad behavior of someone, you will see. Strategy becomes hard hassle, Passion becomes Fake, Happiness becomes disrespect…

  • Stu Nettle

    Right on Mr Endo. Nice work.

  • Luis Guilherme Zenoni

    Thanks for that, Mr. Endo. I’ve been sending messages to Pruett through his Surfline profile but as I am not a english speaking native, I could not point everything I wanted to and you just did it now, with perfection. Congratulations for your open mindness and knowledge. Keep rockin’.

  • Gustavo

    Nuf said…

  • Tulio Brandao

    great article, congrats.

  • Chuck Allison

    Good tale of the weirdness in surfing. People are people, if folks have issues based on where some one is from, that’s sad. I once spend a week on an island in panama with seven Brazilian surfers, five were really fun to be with, the other two were jerks……it happens..I’ve met lots of white anglosaxton surfers who are a pain to even have on the same planet…..

  • Isaac Achê

    Now, this is a well written article. Props to

    Tetsuhiko Endo

  • Erik

    Good grief. Remember that phrase? You probably don’t since it was the last line in Pruetts article. I swear I feel as though I was one of 10 people worldwide who actually read the article. It was an article written to get the reader thinking critically. Unfortunately, the vast majority couldn’t get past the buzzwords that stuck out in an article that finally goes beyond a g rating and addressed the elephant in the room. Professionalism it seems is going the way of the dodo bird. In the water and on paper. These few surfers are showcased to the world for surfers worldwide. If its acceptable to be running each other over, cutting each other off, and walking off stage in protest of scores, then what do we have to expect for future generations. Why don’t you all quit rallying around the online hanging of a top notch journalist and address the subject matter he presented in the first place. Shame on all of you. Good grief.

    • YD

      Easy for you to say. I read the article and I can say it was one of the most disgusting pieces of writing I ever had the displeasure to read.
      By the way, Medina had the priority, and that is a fact. But Slater can drop in on Parko and Parko can give him the finger, all in a final in Australia, everything’s ok, cause hey!, they belong, status quo stuff, you know?
      Do I hear double standards? Anyone?

    • Joao Valente

      Top notch journalists should, at the very least, correctly name the beach where the contest they’re covering is being held. To mistake Barra for Arpoador equals referring Sunset Beach as Haleiwa.
      Funny thing about addressing elephants is the fact that it always depend on the elephant in question. I can’t recall much indignation in the aussie/american media when Neco Padaratz was chased out of the water by an enraged Sunny Garcia a few years ago. But maybe I’m not too good spotting elephants.

      • Surf Connect

        That’s right, you didn’t even got the name of the beach right!!!

        Please, do your self a favor and just say you were in bad day…

        • Ozilian

          Exactly, Surf Connect. The guy just keeps digging a bigger hole for himself. Joao Valente’s comment about Neco being chased also omits Sunny and Jeremy’s bashing on the Gold Coast and CJ’s pulling of Neco’s leg rope. You see, I have been at this for long enough to remember Occy and Pottz making obscene gestures to the judges. Back then this was no more than a claim – and a cool claim.

      • Danillo Paim

        Real Journalists do their research too, Rio de Janeiro is not Adriano’s hometown…

  • Mike Gordon

    Well written and intelligent article. But, did Matt actually say “Protestant restraint” or is the writer letting some of their own prejudice surface? By this I mean, do you know that Matt is wanting something called Protestant restraint? And why leave out the Gulf Coast from the other surfing hamlet club?

    All kidding aside, nice well written piece. There are many cultures on this great planet, and, many cultures even with a nation. They all celebrate or show their pride in different ways. Americans get lumped into the category of ‘overly pompous yank’ quite often, yet the U.S. is full of people with a wide range of attitudes and beliefs.

    Lumping the actions of a few is actions of one is bad enough. But, acting as if those actions are blow the actions of anyone else is naive at best and ignorant at its worst.

  • Renato Souza Tristao

    Thanks for That Tetsuhiko! Certainly you putted into words the feeling that we consume only by not making part of the “club”! Before everything we are individuals, with self beliefs e self cultures, and not a stereotype!

  • Joao Valente

    Great, great stuff here. Even if dangerously flirting with political correctness, it comes out shining with brilliant arguments and great metaphors. Well done.

  • Eduardo Chalita

    We should all thank you for providing the surfers with a great article and not false propaganda. Not because it talks about the Brazilians ( as I am one of them ) neither because it deconstructs a mistaken writer, but more for your clear absence of joining a particular side like Pruett’s article judges. Simply writing a brilliant analysis of a fact. This is journalism, we appreciate it.

  • Kyle

    I’m a big fan of your work Tetsuhiko, you are certainly a great writer and I look forward to every new piece. That being said, if you knew Matt as most of my East Coast brethren do, you would know that he doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body. Article’s are open to interpretation and I have seen first hand how I can read an article, hand it to my buddy and both take completely different points from it. I read it before it was taken down as well, and unfortunately I can’t go back and site certain points he made but after I read it I felt in no way he was demeaning towards Brazilians, I think maybe things written made them take a long hard look in the mirror and they didn’t like what they saw. I love the Brazilian passion, it’s great for surfing and it’s great for the tour. Competitive surfing would be nothing without it’s rivalries, but Medina walking off stage, excessive claims, Parko flipping off Slater, are these really things we want to be teaching the young crop coming up is acceptable behavior? I don’t care who it is, American, Aussie, Brazilian, it’s a journalists job to tell his story and his interpretation, it’s your job to agree or disagree, but not vilify. Sorry man, but I don’t share your disgust.

    • Bruno Murtinho

      That’s true.. maybe. He may be a nice guy, but sure not a good journalist or writer!

    • Lucas Sena

      Good call of Parko on Slater. The thing is the articles just talk about brazilian behavior.

      let’s remind a few more ON CONTESTS FACTS, skip backstage, freesurf, surfing videos…

      Jordy in the dying seconds trying to Put an Interferance on Adriano (pretending not to go and then going) Week ago. ok light
      Jordy claimed almost every single wave.
      Sunny chasing Neco in Hawaii. He paddle to Neco’s wave screaming: if you catch i kill you… the rest everybody’s know.
      Sunny putting pressure on Bernardo Miranda at Sunset, at the beach…
      Makua slaps in the face of Paulo Moura after a heat at Sunset
      Slater almost hit Adriano with the fins of his board after losing at Steamer Lane
      Dean Morrison Puling someone’s leash 131412 times
      Parko using priority (peak) blocking Kelly and dying inside the barrel… Andy World Champion
      Andy shotgun claim (was funny, Adriano on Taj was disrespect)
      Andy posts 18pts and leave Victor Ribas alone in the line up with more than 10 minutes remaining at El Gringo Chile. (R.I.P – A.I)
      Kolohe lose at Fiji and smash his board into 2 pieces (Raoni did and was reported)
      Jake Patterson at Jaybay webcast many years ago, saying: “The Brazilians already lost but they still here? Must have some free food or drinks”
      Parko to CJ, final in Japan 2005, “Im going to the beach cuz i gotta run the Flag” CJ wins in the last 40 seconds with Parko already in the Beach.

      Should i stop now?

      Show me articles that tell those storys above? or with the same repression if was a brazilian.

      All good, all part of the game, all aceptable…

      Nobody talks about Sunny/Makua cuz everybody wants to surf in Hawaii
      Nobody talks about Dingo cuz everybody wants to surf in GoldCoast
      Nobody talks about the others cuz they are god, they can make mistakes, nobody will talk about it, they are all mates, same boat.
      Tiny three words surf World USA/AUS… should be Surfing Union Arystocracy instead of ASP.

      If one Indonesian, one day, makes some shit, off course nobody will call it. Lose my visa to Bali? no way!

      But a Brazilian? 3rd World Country! Shitty Waves! let’s smoke them outta the surf industry/culture/tour/lineup!

      • Kyle

        I’ve heard or read of all of those incidents except for the Jake Paterson/J-Bay one. So either via web or surf publication all these incidents have been documented. Obviously this is a personal topic for you, and I can only express what I see on a day-to-day basis, but everyone I either speak with or read about is overwhelmingly supportive of Brazilian surfing and surfers. I know I won’t miss any of Medina’s, Pupo’s, Toledo’s or De Souza’s heats because they are so damn entertaining. All I hear are positive comments and praise of Brazilian surfing, but you would consider me blind to what’s going on? I could also say you’re cherry-picking a handful of incidents that don’t represent the surfing community as a whole. Dwelling on our differences or hate one way or the other just perpetuates the stigma and solves nothing. I have an idea, let’s just go surfing. ;)

        • Lucas Sena

          For sure, i was just pointing things that i can imagine if was a Brazilian doing that… You gotta think that it’s sucks beeing in the “bad” side of the coin… Let’s just surf and let the others talk

  • Pedro Luz

    Brazil rules! They are jealous, what can we do?

  • Matt Pruett

    Today, I spoke on the phone with Zach Weisberg, founder of
    TheInertia.com. He gave me the option of sharing my side of the story. I
    declined. “Responding to a responder on a blog just doesn’t seem like an appropriate
    forum for something that’s caused so much confusion,” I said. “Besides, I don’t
    even want to validate Mr. Endo’s existence, a man who’s obviously been looking
    for a pariah his whole life. He just couldn’t wait to rally the mob and run up
    the hill with the torches screaming ‘monster.’ So, with all due respect, fuck
    that guy.”

    However, ever since Mr. Endo’s self-righteous wrath of blind justice, which he
    vomited on The Inertia — the malevolent discourse has only increased in my
    direction. These have included death threats, and my other work is starting to
    suffer, so I reconsidered Zach’s offer.

    During our chat, Zach informed me that “racism is a very sensitive topic with
    Mr. Endo.” AND HEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM. The guy doesn’t get it. He didn’t get
    it from the first line of the story. He won’t get it upon a second reading. He
    will never get it. Oh, he’ll rally the mob, all right, and he’ll use fancy
    prose to distort the picture (“Protestant restraint”… who talks like that?),
    but he still won’t get it even if it kills him. He’s made his demon. And he
    badly wants to keep it.

    I’m aware that American society is filled with sycophants who show up out of
    thin air to make careers off of tearing other people down. I’m not one of those
    guys. I’ve been working in this field for 15 years, and was trained by some of
    the best in the business. Eight of those years I spent as a surf mag editor, so
    no one understands Surfline’s decision to pull the piece as well as I. The
    reason I chose not to defend my story (at first, because it appears that’s
    exactly what I’m doing here now) is: I still stand by what I wrote. Although I see
    why Surfline was compelled to take it down (frankly, the comments were getting
    so out of hand, guys couldn’t get their work done as efficiently, among other
    business interests we have the luxury of not dealing with). It wasn’t about
    saving face, like the oh-so-cavalier Mr. Endo implies. However, let’s not
    forget that this story was removed only after it had been accepted, proofread
    and published by editors (who, according to Endo’s reactionary mindset, must be
    racists, too). Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the piece from
    seasoned professionals — big dogs — men and women who are a lot smarter and more
    professional than Mr. Endo is, and have the credentials to prove it. Frankly,
    they understood the context. They understood the story. But, according to
    Endonian logic, they must be racists, as well.

    “You wrote well,” said one of these people to me this morning. “You told a good
    story that balanced widespread biases with Adriano’s higher path. And you
    challenged both the people who are biased and those whose actions laid the
    groundwork for such bias. You did your job well.” That guy really sounds like a
    bigot, huh? Straight out of a Klan rally.

    Given another chance, I wouldn’t change the tone or structure or even the
    narrative of my “Billabong Rio Pro: Final Day” report. However, in hindsight, I
    will admit that including one delicately placed sentence to drive home that
    final point I made about Adriano might’ve gone a long way. So, in that regard,
    the biggest mistake I ever made in writing this piece was overestimating the
    ability of certain readers to make that connection… and maybe using the term
    “Brazzo,” which I thought was pretty innocuous since I’ve read it a trillion
    times in surf mags everywhere, like “Aussie” is for Australians or “Saffa” is
    for South Africans. That’s just basic algebra.

    I’ve written several versions of the following letter to different
    men and women who’ve vigorously attacked me via phone, FB, email, etc. over the
    past 48 hours. Maybe this will help explain where I’m coming from. Maybe not.

    Dear [name
    withheld], I’m sorry you were so offended by my Surfline story that you wish to
    take my life via dismemberment. I am not a racist. I only spoke about longstanding
    perceptions that exist, perceptions that were supported by what went on in the
    final day’s heats. It had nothing to do with Brazilians as a whole and
    everything to do with Brazilians in the water yesterday. All I can say is: I
    called it like I saw it (from the webcast, not the beach, by the way, so if a
    commentator bungled a break name, then that was my reference point). Taken out
    of context I understand a lot of this stuff sounds harsh, but I figured taking
    the inquisitive route — asking the tough questions throughout, rather than
    answering them — would be the best way of expressing, maybe mitigating what
    many are thinking, and what social media is so tactlessly screaming. I also
    thought my ending ‘graph about Adriano’s newfound humility in contests would go
    a long way in showing another side of Brazilian surfers. So maybe I fell a
    little short there. But racism? Really? Since when does merely pointing out
    that prejudice exists constitute a racist attitude? Well, I’m not gonna cop to
    that, but here are a few things worth mentioning:

    1) I have never known it to be okay to paddle a surfboard atop a grown man’s
    back — not in a heat, not in a freesurf, not when saving ‘em from drowning. I
    think Gaby earned a reprimand on that one. 2) As for tackling the cultural
    commentary route over an action recap: blow-by-blow reporting’s become pretty
    redundant in the age of the Internet. The event webcasts alone offer six
    versions of that stuff between videos, press releases and interviews. That’s
    also what captions are for. 3) I truly believe that Adriano’s surfing and
    behaving better than he ever has before, and I’ll bet that has something to do
    with someone calling him out along the way.

    I would say give it a closer read and you’d see my point — that unchecked aggression
    is bad and Adriano is good — but they took the story down, which I totally
    understand as comments were overwhelming their site. If you read any of the
    previous day’s reports, you’ll see I went the other way, too. Context is
    everything in journalism. A single punctuation mark can change the whole angle.
    All that abrasiveness in the first paragraph was preceded by what that stigma
    is. For a person to negate the rest of the story because of his or her refusal
    to emotionally detach from one part is neither my fault nor my concern. I
    figured the “Good Grief” ender as a double entendre would be
    understood, as in the grief is good, because Adriano’s helping reverse the
    stigma. Apparently, I was wrong. I should’ve dumbed the whole thing down to
    “surfer in white did an air…”

    Dave Rastovich has almost single-handedly reversed the Australian raging-drunk
    stereotype by inspiring an entire generation of eco-minded, mellow soul-surfers
    behind him — same with Mason Ho returning Hawaiian style to love and experimentation
    after a legacy of brutality, Nat Young’s athletic resolve and wholesome
    lifestyle erasing Santa Cruz surfing’s meth label, etc. Soon, I believe, Brazilian
    surfing will achieve a similar renaissance. And it started yesterday — with
    Adriano’s heartwarming show of class and the most radical surfing we’ve ever
    seen from him. That’s all I meant. Take it or leave it. –mp

    Just a couple more things and I’m leaving this entire issue in my rearview…

    1) About Ricardo dos Santos (Page 2)…

    http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/billabong-rio-pro-day-two_96297/

    2) About Gaby (Frame 4)…

    http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/progression-update-chapter-three_72045/

    3) About Rio’s slabs and those surfers’ magnanimity…

    http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/slabs-the-rio-trio_93380/

    In the past year alone, I can count at least a dozen extremely
    positive stories I’ve personally written about Brazilian surfers/ surfing. How
    many can Mr. Endo count? Exactly. That’s because I do work. He responds to
    other people’s work.

    So congratulations, Mr. Endo, you might be the smartest imbecile in the history
    of blogging. You’re not a crusader. You’re an ambulance chaser.

    -Matt Pruett

    • Brandon Campbell

      BOOM! SUCK ON THAT ENDO! Good luck ever writing anything as clever as the above response to this sorry excuse you call an article. Why is everyone here is on your nutts is just mind blowing.

      Pruett – 1 Endo – 0

      • Bruno Murtinho

        Hey Pruett! That’s it! Marry Steve B! What a match!
        Good grief, honey!

    • YD

      Matt, since you stand by everything you wrote, could you please repost your article? I read the article and would like to do it again. Anyway, I thought you screwed up pretty bad on that one. Endo did not cause all the ill reactions (not only by brazilians) towards your article, you did. And please, to say that none of those readers got the point is quite pretentious, isn´t it? I could go on and on here, but I guess Mr. Endo summarized the whole point pretty well.
      By the way, you didn´t know the word “brazzo” is pejorative? Yeah, sure…

    • Steve B.

      After reading your response, I don’t think you’re racist or prejudiced, but I do think your article did a very bad job of communicating the ideas you were attempting to communicate. That might be a more intuitive explanation as to why it was removed and caused an uproar rather than blaming all of your readers for not understanding your work.

      Otherwise, you should look into more of Endo’s work. He was the first (and only) as far as I know to write an honest, respectful and investigative piece about the tragic loss of Andy. He’s a good writer. He, apparently like a lot of people, just disagreed with your Surfline article, and felt strongly enough about it to share his opinion, which he – and any other asshole with a keyboard (self included) is entitled to do.

      Check his Andy piece:

      http://www.theinertia.com/business-media/demystifying-the-life-and-death-of-andy-irons/

    • Ozilian

      Matt, I think you need to do some philosophy classes (and a bit of Schopenhauer might assist). Having worked for 15 years in the industry proves nothing, especially if you are surrounded by half-wits – being the “best in the business” also means nothing, by the way, as your arguments are so weak that either your teachers were very unskilled or, worse, you were not smart enough to learn from them. Anyone with a basic grasp of logic can (and, in case of Endo, did) destroy your article. Even if leave aside the additional prejudices you raised, your so called “response” can be attacked on so many different levels that it is almost too easy. Let me just point to some of the easier points:

      1. For starters, Endo does not attack you, but what you wrote. You, on the other hand, attack him personally. He left the door open for you to redeem yourself (“If Pruett and Surfline really believe that, and if they have taken down Pruett’s article to save face while they still actually support his underlying ideas, then this conversation is over.”) Instead, you chose to try to back yourself up after being totally outsmarted;

      2. You used “herein”, which is as old fashioned as suspenders, but object to his “Protestant restraint” (I note that you chose to attack the expression, rather than attacking a potential prejudice that Endo exposed there);

      3. You attempt to share the blame for your misdeed with the editors, although you claim that you “called like you saw it”. You’ve gotta man up, mate. If your “call” was crap (and, from what I can tell, most reasonable people agree with me that it was), then you have to suck up that pride of yours and apologise;

      4. To say that your article took an “inquisitive route” is a lame attempt to distort what you wrote. If there was an inquisition there, it resembled that which the Catholic Church had in place in the Middle Ages, rather than the route that investigative journalists take.

      I could go on, of course, but work beckons. I hope that before you make up your mind about my views you do your research and see that I became an Aussie way before you started in the surfing industry. Take a sabbatical (if you can afford it, you probably can’t) and go back to the books. You’ve got lots to learn.

      • Joao Valente

        In a funny, ironic way, Matt Pruett’s reaction remind me of Gabriel Medina’s notorious difficulty to deal with failure, as well as the accusation for over-claiming he’s so keen to criticize on others. Maybe he should have learned a lesson or two from Adriano.

      • ScottTX

        Generally, I agree with you and it’s a well-written piece. Why contradict yourself by including a comment asserting that Pruett can’t afford a sabbatical?

        • Ozilian

          ScottTX, I don’t see any contradiction. I state that he *should* study, I did not say that he *could* study. He probably doesn’t have the money (or the means, in the broader sense) to take a sabbatical and actually take some formal courses.

      • Bruno Gomes Augustin

        I agree with you and If we stop to think, Matt wasn’t even there on the event and still talks with absolute authority about what went on.

      • facam

        Ouch…well said. Feeling sorry for mr. Pruett right now.

    • Bruno Murtinho

      And stop saying “Gaby earned a reprimend on that.” You’re not the perennial teacher or the master of the world’s surfers behavior! Don’t think of yourself like that! And look ate Kelly, Parko, Potter, Garcia and countless others! We’re not talking about chess!

      • Marcel

        I agree and would say more: Gabriel Medina is a name that will stay for the history of surf and Matt Prouet is a name to be forgotten.

    • Bruno Gomes Augustin

      You are the “typical american racist”, happy prejudice lover?

    • Gus Wall

      Matt, with all do respect, tell us: was that breaking bell from adriano? Kelly’s lost for brazilians this year? Something wrong in your personal life? Please, share with us the reason of so much anger in this heart….

      The agression to this other journalist proof that your are not in the best moment of your professional life.
      I hope you get better as soon as possible.

    • Wolney Alonso

      Hey Mr. Pruett, the fact you have to re-write and explain what you have written show us the big shit you have done. It is also impressive how agressive and out of judge you are commenting Mr. Endo article. If I were you I would keep my mouth shut and look for something else to do instead of trowing up your old fashioned ideas. The world is round, there is no south and north, east or west. Havent you recognized that yet? If you can not accept other people’s and community behavior drive to North Pole, build your cave and stay there.

      That’s the best on the internet nowadays, you have quick and immediate response. You must be talented, brave and inteligent to deal with feed-back. It is clear those are qualities you dont have.

      Cheers mate.

    • facam

      Mr. Pruett, I’m pretty sure you are not a bad person. If we took every person that says some “racist”/intolerant/stereotyped/misconcepted comment against brazilians was a bad person, then 70% of the surfing media and ASP (members, staff, commentators too) would be unbearable to live with. It would be chaos.

      You all mentioned prior try to hide your prejudice by making cute compliments to brazilians, just like guys like Jake Paterson, Ronnie Blakey, Rabbit, etc.”I definitely love the passion they have”. “But I hate everything else about you” might be what you are thinking. You did the same shit there, explaining that every other country has a Sterotype, that brazilians have ‘aloha’. And then…bam! You smash us hard.

      My stereotyped thinking about americans is: they are arrogant pretensious people that think they can and should teach the whole world how to live and behave. But as I’m not a dumb ass, stupid redneck narrowminded asshole, I DO NOT GENERALIZE. As I’ve met a lot of pricks from USA, I’ve met too wonderful, clever, open minded people. So, I try to have an opinion about people only after I get to know them.

      Yes, there is plenty of jerks, unpolite, disrespectful brazilians. But do not treat us all based on that assumption.

      You are not making it easy to bury the US stereotype either.

      And what was this “Adriano’s newfound humility”? Take a stroll back to the final of the WCT (by the way, it means “WORLD championship Tour”, and not “English Speakers Championship Tour”) in Kirra (2009): Adriano 2nd and Parko 1st. In Adriano’s podium speech, he acknowleged: “I’m not as talented as Parko or Mick or Kelly” and went on explain what we always have seen from him: he tries his best and gives 100% dedication to compensate his “lack of talent”. If that’s not humility, I have no ideia what it means humility to you. Maybe you might prefer fake humility, like Parko and Kelly usually show. I guess what pisses the haters off about Adriano is that he is not a sheep that lows his head for them trying to please US/AUS media and surfers, seeking their acceptance and approval. The guy has balls to ignore it and maintain his chin up, even with the huge amount of unfair criticism from EVERYBODY in the WT circus. Kelly Slater included (remember in Puerto Rico?). As I said, the kid has guts to challenge KS.

      Take it easy! Stupidity only begets stupidity. That’s why there are
      people threatening you and offending you. And just like any other place in
      the world, my country has a big share of stupid people too.

      BTW, Hitler too ‘called it the way he saw it’. That is not a good argument to justify yourself.

      Congrats to Mr. Endo! Very eloquentand, reasonable and fair-minded argumentation. Sometimes I get skeptic about the world and the hate and intolerance. But Mr. Endo here is a good example of someone with an indepent mind. Not blinded by the ideas surrounding him. It takes sensitivity, guts and inteligence not to be immerged and make the common mistakes of collective influenced thought.

      Always question what you read in your newspaper, what you see on TV and what your hear in the media or from other people. Don’t simply accept it. Think about it too. Get to your own conclusion.

      Wake up! Piece…

  • Brandon Campbell

    Endo, I quit reading your articles a while ago. Just not a fan of your writing. Because I’m a fan of Pruett, I decided to read this nonsense of yours. You should bow down and kiss the paper Matt Pruett graces his pen with. I loved the article and did not find it racist at all.

    • YD

      Of course it can´t be racist, since “brazilian” is not a race, and Endo wrote that. Did you really read the article? By the way, your comments are very mature, they really add to the discussion.

  • David Avram Gordon

    “feeling that all people of dark complexion and “ethnic” features share
    when we participate in a culture dominated by those of lighter
    complexion and “Anglo Saxon” features.”

    The above portion is not the correct intent or feeling of how Brazilians
    are viewed by the surfing community. It was a myopic paragraph in an otherwise worthy response to Pruett’s article. It is incendiary and simply not the case.
    It was a poorly written and foolish article that Pruett wrote to be sure. And, the editor that let it out of the gates lacked depth of field.

    However, to reduce your thought to skin color seems overly antagonistic.

    He was wrongly accusing Brazilians of flagrant “claiming” and aggressive unprofessional attitudes in the water when the progression of the sport is becoming more solicitous by all. And let’s face it…a claim here and there can get them 2/10th here and there. With $100,000 riding on the win…anyone might show their excitement at the not only their own prowess and luck, but to let the judges know they feel they deserve the nod.

    Has anyone actually watched a surf contest? Thank God for the heat analyzer… And the fist pump, and the priority drop in, and the paddle over. We like it.

    So there are a few things I’d like to impart about the Rio Pro.

    It’s a Brazilian Arena. They have the home court. They play to win. If you choose to enter…prepare to play hard. (and I think the surfers would agree)
    If you could stomp an air reverse 360 to perfect transition to a second 360 air…I bet you would claim the crap out of it too.
    Jordy claimed harder than anyone in the contest. (Though I still love his surfing)
    And at the risk of sounding base. Brazilian people (girls and guys)… are attractive warm and intelligent. And, they aren’t all “dark” skinned.
    It’s not about the skin color. Your well written point was made long before that paragraph and that particular sentiment weakened your overall response.

    And as for Pruett…I actually went to high school with him. I was on the same wrestling team as him. Was in the same weight class. I was never his friend. He was in my way…always. That said… He’s a competitor. He was good. He never seemed to hate anyone. He is un-afraid in the Arena. And at the very least he got you talking, writing, pushing and fired up. His job is to sell stories. To push boundaries and paint pictures in a sport that most can’t or simply don’t do. He has done that. Look at you. Look at the both of you…defining the lines in a sport that has none. I don’t know if what he wrote was misinterpreted by most or not. I simply have my own interpretation. I didn’t like it. But I am writing about surfing for the first time…so I guess that is something. Should he peel off the back without a nod…or should he claim it?

  • Eddie Guilbeau

    Sounds like someone’s gonna cry. News flash: There will always be someone to discredit other people’s opinions, ideas or accomplishments. whether its yourself writing an article in response to someone else’s views or myself writing you about how I feel that your views are also skewed and unrealistic. Point is that there will always be someone out there who disagrees with you. i am certainly not being raciat or even undair when i share my opinipn that It is known that Brazilian surfers by comparison claim more waves than any other nationality on the tour. Maybe it’s because their emotions run deeper or maybe there is some other yet to be recognized reason that no one else seems to understand. Is it wrong or unsportsman like that brazilians seem to claim more waves, well that’s up to the reader. I am entitled to my opinion and honestly so is Matt Pruett. I never got the chance to read his article unfortunately as from what i can tell, a group of people with pride issues couldnt seem to stomach a written article about someone elses views of a nations competitive habits. Hopefully one day those same people with pride issues are able to overcome their feelings of despair and inequality. We were all born under the same sun and i truely feel that we all have the same intentions of wanting to see the best surfers In the best waves regardless of their nationality, demographic or skin color.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lockardcustoms David Lockard

    So why was there the unanswered priority question with, who was it? Ace? Whoever it was Medina won the heat.

  • disqus_Jknsjfs9r7

    endo is a loquacious ass

  • Burckauser

    STILL WAITING FOR AN APOLOGY FROM SURFLINE.

    • Bruno Murtinho

      Good point!

  • marlowe

    I´m not considering the arguments but the way in which Mr Pruett (in case it´s the real
    one) responded here in the comments to Mr. Endo´s article is completely off the mark. It´s full of personal insults and hate.
    This in my eyes totally disqualifies him as a serious discussant. I would have expected more of a professional journalist who is faced with criticism concerning one of his articles.

  • Viktor

    Here is the original article. Nothing is “deleted” from the interwebs:

    “Jordy Smith tops Adriano de Souza in aerial dogfight at Barra da Tijuca

    By: matt pruett

    Brazilians have gotten a lot of grief from the surfing public over the years.

    Then again, they’ve given their share of grief, too. Without generalizing too much, Brazilian surfers have traditionally been seen as behaving rather obnoxious in the water. In heats, they’re borderline sociopathic. They’ll burn you — preferably with priority, but not always necessary. They won’t just paddle around you; they’ll paddle right over the top of your shoulder blades. And they will posture with WWF intensity throughout every confrontation. They don’t seem to care about establishing a fan base outside of Brazil; and they don’t seem to care about making any new friends on tour. They just want heat wins, contest victories, world titles — and, of course, to claim the snot out of every wave en route to all that.

    Really smart journalists tend to let Brazilian competitors off the hook for even the most absurd behavior — citing their nationalistic passion, fervent athletic culture, Third World economy, or whatever. But if we don’t hold a region, or a sponsor or a league’s star athletes accountable for poor sportsmanship or loud grandstanding — even if it’s through a quasi-objective contest report — then what does that say about the etiquette laws that have underscored our culture for decades? That it’s okay to be a dick as long as you rip? Good luck selling those boardshorts.

    On the flip side, if we hold an entire country responsible for the peculiar actions of a few esteemed individual representatives — with no regards to the ones we haven’t met yet — what does that say about our other prejudices? Does that mean that all Hawaiians are bullies? That all East Coasters are naive? That all Australians are drunks and all Californians are conceited? Those aspersions are neither fair nor accurate. So why do Brazilians have such a hard time burying the stereotypes?

    The final day of the Billabong Rio Pro — which featured the most Brazilians since… well, since the last time there was this many Brazilians in the quarters — may have provided a few answers.

    One of yesterday’s perfect 10-holding heroes, Filipe Toledo’s aerial game was so played-out by the time Semifinal #2 hit the water, his go-to alley-oop turned into a mid-face chop-hop — but he still claimed it for every tenth of a point it was worth. The crowd gave him the score. The judges didn’t.

    After snaking Ace Buchan on a priority miscommunication to win their quarterfinal (even though he’d already posted a 10), global media darling Gabriel Medina let the class-act proposition go right out the window in his semifinal against Brazil’s premier professional surfer, Adriano de Souza, desperately paddling over Adriano’s back in a last-minute frenzy for the score. Yeah, this is how the best Brazzos in the world treat their friends.

    Today, in clean, two to three-foot ramps at Barra da Tijuca, Adriano de Souza — the most victorious surfer in Brazilian history and a legitimate contender for the 2013 ASP World Title — graced the final of his hometown event, his second WCT final in a row. The big news isn’t that he lost to a technically superior Jordy Smith, despite almost matching the South African tit for tat in the air. The big news is that besides out-surfing Adriano, 17.80-16.34, Jordy out-claimed the guy, as well. And in accepting defeat, Adriano proved himself the most composed and humble Brazilian on the beach at Aporador today.

    “Jordy beat me for that 35 minutes, and he was pretty much on-fire the whole event,” said Adriano. “Jordy is the best, so congratulations to him. And obrigada.”

    Good grief.”

  • Spedjones

    I’m still in shock that competitive surfers are competing with each other to win. Can you imagine…? Gabby and ADS don’t remind me at all of Slater and Beschen. Or Slater and AI. Or Slater and just about anyone. Well done, Mr. Pruett! Earn that $35 per article!

  • Bruno Murtinho

    Mr Pruett, by reading your text and the offensive words you’ve directed
    to Mr Tetsuhiko it’s clear that you’re not a serious and levelheaded
    journalist. Check e-bay.com and for sure they’ll have some degrees to
    sell you!
    You’re either a frustrated pro or you just had no balls to become one!

    Then you sit back on you chair and release your anger all over brazilian surfers and brazilian people.

    I’m not from Brazil, from France, but I do think you’re article (can we call it article?) filled with prejudice!

    Please, go read Nick Carrol articles!

    Go read old Derek Hynd stuff!

    Or even She Lopez!

    And try to learn from them and please, be more humble!

    Good grief Mr Prejudice

  • Bruno Murtinho

    STILL WAITING FOR AN APOLOGY FROM SURFLINE.

  • Rebecca

    Thanks, Ted Endo. A great article about a really important and insidious issue in surfing, especially on the men’s World Tour. Racism and stereotyping should be such sensitive issues for all of us.

    But it’s a shame that Matt Pruett has had such a violent response to his words though – I’m really sorry to hear that. It’s also a shame that he has taken such an angry and self-righteous approach to his own response in the comments section and in his email replies to those who contacted him. This should be a dialogue, Matt, and it’s great that you explain that were trying to engage in one. But it’s also okay to say you missed the mark, that you have got it wrong and that you have learned something.

    That’s why we write, isn’t it?

  • JSC

    Thank you, Ted. Enough with the Brasil bashing and negative stereotypes.

    Matt Pruett probably is not a bad guy – just a normal American. He just needs to go to Brasil and live there for six months. He could learn a lot about how and why Brasilians behave the way they do – they are a Latin people, not Anglo-Saxons, so of course; they behave differently.

    Brasilians are prominent and respected participants at the top level of many international sports – motor racing, football and basketball to name three. Only in surfing are they consistently derided and described with relentless negative stereotypes. That will have to change. Thanks for your efforts.

  • kiko correa

    Say not racism, try to understand

  • Danillo Paim

    Surfing Imperialism at it’s finest….

  • Guest

    I wanted to know what the Brazilians did for Americans speak ill of Brazil. whether it is to comment on the championship surfing. because you guys are burning pictures of Brazilians to stay with local hatred of Brazilians.

  • Dio Schmidt

    Right on Mr. Endo, brilliant.

    Pruett´s article was surgically dismantled with intelligence. Really tired
    of hearing / reading biased comments by some surf journalists wich
    may affect the minds of thousands…

    This is serious shit and these guys should not be
    as partial as some of them are… as Mr.Endo said, “Its infectious…”

    Also tired of hearing people telling other people how to behave or in this case how
    to act “properly” in competition, “Brazilians claim too much..” ,excuse me,
    fuck that !, as if claiming would give anyone extra points from the
    judges wich clearly disapprove it…

    I say, surfers, please, go acrobatics ! claim the hell out of it ! fist pumps, shot guns,
    whatever, just celebrate if you want to.
    It´s always way easier pointing fingers at Brazilians mistakes…( thanks for that Mr
    Pruett, you definately had your part on it ), Kelly,Joel, Sunny, Pottz, AI and countless non brazilian surfers showed us no proper behave a number of times…but the criticism approach on them is totally different…

    Medina move on Ace was a bad one, didn´t need that… He had the priority clearly, it was so clear that he didn´t even look at the disc…, Ace, super experienced, and not really happy with the previous encounters with little Gabby ( remember
    Trestles, anyone ? ),also new who had priority and that that disc was
    wrong…ASP once again played Mafia style, not a word… nothing
    happens…

    In my opinion Gabriel is the most talented and tenacious ( along with ADS in tenacity ) competitor since Kelly and as the King he will behave similarly…

  • Ayeboy

    Does anyone here actually surf with Brazilians? Because I do regularly, and in my experience their etiquette is terrible, actually statistically and quantifiably terrible in comparison to other nationalities. However, Maybe this is just limited to me…

    But it’s like ethnicity and crime reporting, polite educated people won’t ever discuss it.

  • renato gomes

    Great article, problably Matt drinked to much beer watching Parko’s finger inside a barrel to Slater and was a little drunk watching brasilians did a great show for surfers lovers in “Arpoador” ops….Barra!!!! This is part of game,sometimes you win, sometimes you loose, and this kind off irracional animal called Matt only gives more power to the Brasilians surfers!!
    Here is a great brasilian expression: I’M BRASILIAN , AND I NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!

  • Renato Mansour

    excellent article. Prejudice: pre (before) judice (judgement). Everyone prejudges someone or something. it is a natural reaction to the unknown. as we learn more about that we prejudge, our prejudice dissipates and true knowledge sets in. well… Brazilian surfers have been around for quite a while now… the world should have been over the prejudice issue a long time ago and true knowledge should have set in already. then why hasn’t it ?

    freedom of expression is paramount. Mr. Pruett should be free to say what he wants and feels, as Mr. Endo should as well. What leaves me dumbfounded, highlighted in the last paragraph of Mr. Endo’s article, is that Surfline silently endorsed Mr. Pruett’s words by not only uploading them to the site however making them the principle storyline for the Rio Billabong Pro. I do believe Surfline reviews their articles before they are placed online. Therefore, Matt Pruett does not speak for himself only. He is a voice of many and many bigots. Xenophobia by definition is “deep-rooted, irrational hatred towards foreigners, unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar.” Brazilians are promoting a great change in world surfing. It was foreseen but never taken serious enough. Well…. now its happening and it is irreversible. Surfline, Matt, etc… get used to it. suck it up. Just as all the WASPs had to suck up to Barack Obama as president. There is no more space for shallow stupidity.

    And Matt must, for his own sake, understand that intolerance only generates more intolerance. if he expects to be understood, he must first understand. these are the new rules. in case no one ever told him.

  • Bruno Gomes Augustin

    Well written article, It is the answer to Pruett’s text that we all felt like giving, thank you Tetsuhiko!

  • Marcio Vianna

    It is almost unbelievable that in nowadays we can find a person so primitive as this “person”.

    Decades ago, the Brazilians (like myself) and many other citizens of all “third world” countries really wish to live in USA and Australia, due to the false sensation that these are the “good” and “developed” places to live.

    Currently, after so many irrational people giving this kind of opinion, all unthinkable wars, …, it is really dificult to find a Brazilian that intend to live in USA or Australia. It is a shame!

    Rgs,

    Marcio Seixas Vianna.

  • guardianreadingathiest

    The problem with this article is that it has a shitty lead. I’ll bet half the readers stopped reading before they even realized what it was about. That was me on the first look.

    If a writer throws around a phrase like, “…citing their nationalistic passion, fervent athletic culture, third world economy, or whatever…” Then they had better explain exactly what they’re getting at and quick, b/c they just pissed off a whole lot of their readers.

    I don’t read Endo’s response as a personal assault against MP. He is a professional writer. (Dude writes for the national geographic. Remember that article about “The top 25 surf towns in the world,” by Nat Geo. The one all the east coasters talk about? Guess who wrote that? TE.)

    Endo is legitimately criticizing the piece, not the author. It is not personal. And he makes valid points. He is an expert in the field, in my opinion.

    Professionals should have no problem with criticism. They learn from it.

  • facam

    Exactly. A stereotype is usually based in something we see often. Just like the drunk empty minded australians and the arrogant americans and the bully hawaians. Those become stereotypes, generalizations based on the experience and knowledge we have acquired so far (what we have seen, heard, people we have met). Based on that, we tend to interpret people taking as a starting point these stereotypes. That’s what is wrong about it. Prejudgement, prejudice.

    People are picking on brazilians because of that. They pick on Adriano’s stance, claims (which btw is present in all others sports too, NBA, NFL, NHL,MLB, ATP, FIFA…), Medina crying, Medina being close to his family, Jadson’s air reverses.

    When Jordy does a double-grab air, that’s “refreshing”, according to Ronnie Blakey. When Medina, Heitor or Adriano do it, that’s a only double grab.

    If some jerk is acting as if they were at home in your lineup (Brazzos, like some Aussies, Yankee, Saffas, can do that often, BUT A LOT OF US DON’T DO THAT) just explain them, or teach some respect.

    BTW…I’m pretty sure most brazilians are not aware of that line you do in pointbreaks for waiting for waves. Here in Brazil there’s no such thing. You paddle back to the outside. Try to be in a good position, inside, and try to catch another wave. If you are not selfish and consider other people around you, you give a turn for someone that is waiting longer, even if you are in a better position. Sometimes it is a mess.

    Brazilians are USUALLY bad in etiquette, not because they mean it bad, but because they have never been taught that. But a lot brazilians have a very good heart. As Mr. Pruett said in his unfortunate article, if you connect to them you will get more Aloha than most of other countries.

    Each culture has its own parameters for etiquette, and we should try to understand and tolerate the differences too. Don’t expect a brazilian to act exactly like an Australian would or an American.

    • Anthony Clifton

      I would be curious to get your perspective on my experience. We went on a surf trip to a remote location. There were groups there from multiple other countries. The Brazilian group surfed as if they were the only ones in the water, dropping in on people nearly every wave.

      You say that Brazilians have a different system. But, isn’t the experience of being dropped in on known to be a bad thing in Brazil?

      • facam

        Droppping in is as wrong in Brazil as in any other place in the world. This is weird. People usually don’t drop in here. You must have shared the lineup with some real assholes brazilians. And assholes we have lots here. Then you are right to be pissed.

        The only thing that bothers me is when people take these actions to pick on all brazilians. I’ll give an example: yesterday during the Volcom Pipe Pro Dave Wassel was picking on a young brazilian (David do Carmo) because he claimed a very nice tube. It was the boy’s first time at Pipe, with only three other guys in the lineup, surfing the best tube in the world, waves we don’t have here. So, the kid has a reason to be more stoked than anyone else. Let him claim. And guess what, a lot of americans, aussies and hawaians claimed their waves too that day.

        If there were groups of multiple other countries in this remote location you surfed, I suppose it was crowded. And on crowded lineups people end up involuntarily dropping in more often. Just check Snappers, Pipe, Uluwatu, Malibu, Keramas, Burleigh Heads. And you might agree on that.

        I’m just trying to point out that, if it was crowd, MAYBE you were paying more attention to the brazilians dropping in than to anyother guys, because you were already pissed at them, or maybe because you don’t like brazilians in general, like Dave Wassel seem to.

        Or they were really a bunch of assholes.

  • Anthony Clifton

    I don’t think that I follow competitive surfing closely enough to know about stereotyping there. I would agree that ambition in a competitive context is what everyone is supposed to have… I will say that I think including the nationality flag next to surfers names in coverage is distasteful, imo. I just don’t think surfing should be a country vs. country kind of sport.

    Outside of the competitive sport arena, I think that a few things have to be considered:

    A) People in different areas can behave differently in the water. This isn’t just true between countries. It’s true between towns. You can surf without much hassle at the Hermosa Pier. But, down the street, you will run into a lot of trouble trying to surf Lanada Bay. – So, it stands to reason that it’s possible that the typical in-water behavior in Brazil is different and more aggressive than other places. That isn’t about race at all. It’s about regional behavior.

    B) Some behaviors in the water suck. People don’t look down on snakes and dropping in because they want to feel superior. They look down on it because it ruins peoples experience in the water. For that reason it is completely valid to criticize overly aggressive surfing.

    If criticism of Brazilians does stem from racial bigotry, that is wrong. But, if it stems from Brazilians ruining other peoples surfing experience at a higher rate than the occasional snake that shows up in every town, isn’t that valid?

  • Anthony Clifton

    It’s only anecdotal. But, that has been my experience as well.

    The Brazilian surfers I’ve come across traveling had zero regard for anyone else in the water.

  • Leandro

    He won’t stay mate, he already is. I don’t need to point out everything the kid’s done, you know it. So just take it to yourself and feel sorry for such young Brazilian causing so much already! And yet to cause much more…you’ll see. Matt’s article is so poorly written…fuck…!

  • Leandro

    Of course that saying that kolohe will be in any surfing book is bullshit. What has the kid done so far? Maybe in future, yeah…why not? But about Medina, more than JJF himself, he has done a lot with his age. And of course, as very smart Mr. Pruett mentioned, with all our economic issues, etc, etc…he still got it better than all the lucky other young guys, like Julian, Kolohe, etc. He won more titles than any of this guys! Including Jordy, which is a great surfer. He will be in the books brow…