Writer, Surfer
sylal

“There are many deep injustices in the world, but I’m afraid Silvana Lima’s inability to attract sponsorship just isn’t one of them.”


The Inertia

I got smoked by a chick this weekend. Like properly dominated, and not even in a fun way. I don’t mind admitting it. She’s often one of the better surfers in the line-up, regardless of gender. She gets plenty of the waves she wants and picks off anything others miss. It’s gotten to the stage that if I see her take a couple of paddle strokes I just give up. She’s ultra-focused, does a bit of competition, and allegedly trains like a beast. Fair play. She gets respect because she earned it, and she seems to just do her thing and not worry about anyone else.

It got me thinking about women’s surfing. And it got me thinking about the recent headlines surrounding Silvana Lima, bemoaning the fact that she isn’t able to attract sponsorship because she isn’t attractive enough. Apparently she has to breed French Bulldogs to fund her surf travel. But honestly, so what? It might be a harsh proposition, but maybe she should just accept that professional surfing is not the career for her. Millions of others have been on the cusp of sporting success, but can’t make it work because of lack of funding, injuries, or sometimes just sheer hard luck.

No one said surfing was fair. No one said life was fair. Competitive surfing is a game, and it’s a game which revolves around money, marketing, and, truth be told, pretty faces. The latter most likely isn’t a surprise to anyone. Money may still make the world go ’round, but images are the most lucrative and transferable currency going. We see a new ad of Alana Blanchard from every brand who supports her every week. And until we stop obsessing over beauty and stop requiring professional surfers to be models, only a small slice of the gene pool will be eligible to participate. We’re not going to change genetic memory, no matter how well we surf. Human beings are hard-wired to obsess over sex and physical appearance. Sex: It’s kind of the point of life.

People with pretty faces get a punt up in life, it’s just the way it is. Being from Brazil–a place where people are famously obsessed with vanity and cosmetic surgery–Lima should be all too familiar with this. You don’t need to be good-looking to be successful, but it sure helps. It’s just nature. Animals instinctively know that the best way to ensure the survival of their species is by choosing a mate that has the strongest genes, and the outward expression (phenotypic) of those genes is physical appearance.

Perhaps Silvana Lima might take a lesson from fellow countryman and current world champ Adriano de Souza. Where is his big name “core” clothing sponsor, exactly? I ain’t seeing Quiksilver, Billabong, Rip Curl, Hurley or Volcom stickers on his board. Is it because he doesn’t have the pouty, rouged lips and handsome torso of young Medina? Maybe. But do you hear him complain about it? Never. He just goes out and delivers. Wins a world championship. Take that, Surf Industry, you superficial fools!

There are many deep injustices in the world, but I’m afraid Silvana Lima’s inability to attract sponsorship  just isn’t one of them. I feel sorry for her, I do, just as I feel sorry for anyone who is made to feel ugly. It’s not fair. But sometimes, sadly, that’s life.



  • Callum

    Ye, I really hate it when someone exposes what’s wrong with the world. They should just get over it! Same with those stupid dolphins which get caught up in our tuna nets- that’s just the way it us right- learn to swim faster. Same with those environmentalists trying to stop that coastal development- get over it, that’s called progress etc etc etc.

    • siobhan

      Like! 🙂

  • Fernanda

    You are jerk, simple as that. I’m a surfer from Brazil and never bothered me if my surfer idols were pretty or not. What I’m saying I’ve been looking up to a variety of surfers, admiring the way they can surf and Silvana play a huge role in believing I can surf better just in watching her surfing. Yes, she matters in this industry! And get your facts right first, do some research, both Silvana and Adriano had big sponsors as Billabong girls and Oakley in early years.

  • VoiceofReason14

    I just realized that any jackass can write an article on Inertia and it gets through. But, maybe the amount of exposure she’s getting will land her a sponsorship. Consmers like to know they’re being represented too so that’s all shapes and sizes. People complaining helped Serena Williams get her sponsorship dollars. So, it actually does work. Pretty works better, but so does good.

    • Fernanda

      “I just realized that any jackass can write an article on Inertia and it gets through” > exactly!! what a jerk!

  • Is this a joke? I’m really hoping this is a satire piece. Surfing doesn’t do ugly? I’m in shock that this is actually published. It’s a sport, it’s about the sport. Let the models stick to modeling and surfers stick to surfing – there is no way in hell a pro surfer as talented as Silvana should struggle for sponsorships. Look at the male surfers that dominate the media – they aren’t all good looking models, they are talented athletes. But when it comes to women’s sports its more about looks than talent and that’s supposed to be OK? This is complete crap.

    • Bampster

      Sorry… it’s reality… a fact of life the liberal BS of “social justice” and “women’s equality” will never overcome no matter how hard you wish and pray for it to change.
      Start your own sufing league and then work really hard obtaining sufficient sponsors and then maybe the “ugglies” can make a few dollars too!

  • Arlene Maltman

    I think you miss the point. Do you know how hard it is to be a woman pro surfer? I was in the 80′ s and managed to get sponsorship from British Airways and others. They funded my passion, I was never rewarded for that passion because my era was worse – my era didn’t even acknowledge women’s surfing. There are still preduice surrounding women’s surfing – the attitude of ‘just get over it’ is shallow and uniformed and does not appreciate the history or rise of women’s surfing.

    • Bampster

      Sorry.. it’s reality… a fact of life the liberal BS of “social justice” and “women’s equality” will never overcome no matter how hard you wish and pray for it to change.

      Start your own surfing league and then work really hard obtaining sufficient sponsors and then maybe the “ugglies” can make a few dollars too!

      • Jeff Knox

        Try to think of some different excuse rather than simply repeating the same tired one…

      • Arlene Maltman

        Indeed, I have been President of the Jersey Surfboard Club (the first woman I might add) – the oldest surf club in Europe. I’ve been involved in developing girls surfing, I look for talent and passion and personality – it’s this that will change things. I hope that my girls no matter what they look like will succeed and fulfil their passion. I disagree, I think we can overcome prejudice and attitudes. It’s interesting isn’t it (another subject perhaps) how men are judged – who judges a good looking man? What determines the male icon? – a different article perhaps? Aloha

        • Bampster

          Attractiveness plays a huge roll in viewers. It always has, always will! Marketers have known this since businesses began selling a product and wanted men to take a look and hopefully make a purchase!
          In order to climb the income ladder, you gals will need to really work to obtain sufficient sponsors to invest in female surf contests and attract sufficient viewers to make it profitable to sustain the league and your sponsors financial support.
          It’s just simple mathematics and business principles a la Bus. 101!

  • Sebastian Himmelstrup

    Wow… That’s shitty “journalism”. Step it up Inertia!

  • Frankie Carver

    You sir, embody all that is wrong with this world!

  • Kate

    I wonder if the writer also directly advocates for the significantly lower prize money for women also? I stood at Snapper Rocks last week physically ill that the female prizewinner still gets paid $40000 less than men. Though being a female and Snapper local, I do not go to the competitions anymore. Though the surfing is insane, I see female gender roles still being objectified and encouraged to be sexy and overt in their surfing costumes (whether bikini, wetsuit or g-string) for attention. Deviating from the empowered, disciplined athletes that they are. Surfing culture is all about the stoke of riding, not how good a cute face looks in a bikini.
    All my now older female advocates who fought for their souls to balance the inequality in surfing will also be sickened with this vile piece of ‘journalism’.
    I will be sure to show them.

    • Bampster

      Sorry… it’s reality… a fact of life the liberal BS of “social justice” and “women’s equality” will never overcome no matter how hard you wish and pray for it to change.
      Start your own surfing league and then work really hard obtaining sufficient sponsors and then maybe the “ugglies” can make a few dollars too!

    • small fins

      Do the women surf even close to as well as the men?…no…not sexist just the truth. If you are advocating for gender equality why should Silvana be able to make a career of surfing when she surfs mind bogglingly worse than any mens WCT/QS surfer?

      • Sandro Nunes

        Bottom line is: who stops to look at girls surfing?! What did they do for the sport? Competitive surfing started with Australians (men) being knocked down in Hawaii getting the pieces and fight back. Women want the same prize money and respect?! Climb the ladder and make something to deserve respect and sponsors.

  • Warwick Gow

    It also appears that you get a massive leg up being a white male with access to the internet.

  • AndyRo

    Literally, every single article i’ve ever read by JP Currie has left me with one single, burning impression: what an unfathomable idiot he must be. His contrived yet ultimately weak & failed attempts to be edgy and controversial and to “tell it like it is” leave me with the most unsettling sense of concern over how someone like this can possibly make their living as a writer. And yet in an odd way, i sometimes find myself almost yerning for more (almost), as his characteristically thoughtless takes on this crazy world typically leave me feeling better as a person, simply for knowing that i’m not him. In this context, Mr. Currie is batting 1000.

  • patricia

    Sounds like your ego got a little bruised when that girl out surfed you.

    I hope you have an ugly daughter one day so you can boost her ego with these gems.

  • Run, surf, play

    Wow Inertia. Are you actively looking to lose your female readership? Using the author’s standards, I’m wondering at his employment contract with you. Are you sure you want to show his face in association with his work for you? That face isn’t going to bring you more readers. A little too similar to Steve Buscemi (who would be too classy to write drivel like this by the way).

    • Bampster

      Sorry… it’s reality.. a fact of life the liberal BS of “social justice” and “women’s equality” will never overcome no matter how hard you wish and pray for it to change.

      Start your own surfing league and then work really hard obtaining sufficient sponsors and then maybe the “ugglies” can make a few dollars too!

  • James D Lovegren

    But, apparently,The Inertia does do ugly. Wait a minute, I think I’ve been tricked. I had scrolled past Juan Henandez’s article when it first came up but this time I clicked through, trying to find evidence of bitching and moaning. And I watched the nicely done imbedded BBC video after I sat through the ad. No bitching & moaning. Just telling it like it is. So The Inertia keeps a resident asshole in its stable to boost page views and ad revenue? Well played.

  • AbigailatSea

    Inertia’s tagline “Only the best” seems to indicate their support for the best take on our favorite sport…but this is the worst. It’s lazy (de Souza is sponsored by Red Bull, hello $$$), it’s thoughtless (the attempt at genetics is laughable), and it’s gross. Come on, Inertia, I expect more from you.

  • Alexandre Melo

    Racist article . Silvana Lima is such a role model for the narcissistic female surfers (most of them haven´t won a single contest). She´s not ugly . She is unique and has many qualities. She’s not interested in getting pictures and followers on Instagram, she´s interested in getting tittles , which makes her different from the majority of girls in both circuits.

  • Callum

    Is it just my bad memory or has the title of this article been changed and the content been watered down?

    • Yep the title used to be something like “surfing doesn’t do ugly”. Classy.

  • Bampster

    Sorry… it’s reality… a fact of life the liberal BS of “social justice” and “women’s equality” will never overcome no matter how hard you wish and pray for it to change.
    Start your own surfing league and then work really hard obtaining sufficient sponsors and then maybe the “uggoes” can make a few dollars too!

    • Tool Box

      May the good Lord bless you with many daughters.

      • Bampster

        Thank God that’s never gone happen…. vasectomy 20 years ago!
        But in order to climb the income ladder, you gals will need to really work to obtain sufficient sponsors to invest in female surf contests and attract sufficient viewers to make it profitable to sustain the league and your sponsors financial support.
        It’s just simple mathematics and business principles a la Bus. 101!

        • siobhan

          ‘Bampster’ ! Look I have responded to you (below) whats wrong, forgotten how to copy and paste? Or got nothing to say to that?

        • Tool Box

          Actually, I am a 44 year old man. Based on your comment I would guess that you are at least my age or older. I would like to think that by your age the ignorance would have aged out with maturity and been replaced by some sophistication andor class. I guess not.

          Honestly, I pity you. You are clearly a misogynist with some deep issues with women. Perhaps a bad relationship with your mother, or more likely you have not been able to land a woman of any value. Regardless, grow up. A grown man should not be taking pot shots at teenage girls.

          • Bampster

            Nope you’re wrong! I’m a baby boomer 60+ who’s been surfing 45 years and still riding a short board to this day!
            I used to be an ignorant propagandized flaming left wing liberal looking to play the field for all it was worth until I matured after I finished college, accepted Christ and got married to a beautiful honest hard working woman who I’ve been happily married to for nearly 25 years!
            Women can do nearly anything they desire today if… IF they apply themselves and are willing to work hard.
            If they expect a free handout because they look pretty or look not so pretty… they become entitlement losers such as those in the GenX and millennial groups who have been handed everything or promised everything on the utopian socialist platter!

          • Good For You

            Nobody is impressed by your white knight attempts to defend womenkind. They don’t need a 44 year old man to come to their rescue and defend them every time somebody on the internet says something that may or may not have offended them. You are nobody’s hero. Grow up.

    • siobhan

      really? There was a time when people said, women would never be allowed to vote, own their own home, have a career (the list is pretty much endless) and things changed, because women pushed for change. So sorry to disappoint you but, it is certainly a possibility that this issue will change too ! I wonder why men like you feel so passionately that women shouldn’t bother trying. Something to think about.

      • Bampster

        I never said women shouldn’t bother trying.
        You’re not paying attention here!
        I said women will need to work very hard at finding sufficient sponsors to invest in female surf contest to allow larger winners purses!
        They’ll need large viewer numbers to facilitate the sponsors willingness to provide larger funds!
        Good looks works to capture the male viewers whenever females are competing! It’s a fact of life!
        A willingness to work hard can pay off!
        Bitching about male chauvinism won’t accomplish crapolla!

        • siobhan

          yeh I know what you mean, women just need to work harder ! they also don’t understand business, thanks for the teaching us about business and hard work 😉

          • Bampster

            Glad to assist!
            Now get out there, put your shoulder to the grindstone and help make it work for the ladies!
            No one’s going to give you what you desire out of the goodness of their hearts.
            Life doesn’t work that way although I get the feeling you’re a member of the entitlement generation or a blind follower of the leftist socialist equality losers!
            You have to want it and work for it!
            Nothing is free unless you vote for Democrats who use other peoples money to buy your allegiance and votes!

  • Hanna

    And who are the super talented surfer girls who don’t look like Alana Blanchard going to look up to?

    Will we be watching surf comps in 10 years with a field of blue eyed, blonde haired, stick thin surfer girls that can’t do strong turns but look good on their run down the beach?

  • small fins

    The honest truth of the matter is the top female surfers in the world would get smoked by any 15 year old nssa grom. If women are calling to be seen as “equal” they need to be surfing at the same level as the top men. Since the ability gap is so wide women are sponsored for their “marketability” and not ability.

  • cheeseontoast

    I’m enjoying this articles discussion around the idea that it is a ‘business’ need to promote surfing based on notions of what is ‘beautiful’. Exactly who are these sponsors trying to sell their products to? Who gives a flip about what some guy thinks is beautiful, is he the one buying the bikini or dropping a couple of hundred on a top-end women’s wetsuit, a quality required by a discerning customer who wants high functionality and performance? People, both women and men I know don’t care about surf brands because they don’t actually represent the market they’re so called representing. Likewise I’d like to watch a competition in decent waves with the best possible competitors who are given opportunities to raise the level, because their skill and talent is placed at the forefront of their competitive sport rather than what some males think other males might want to look at. I’d spend my hard earned wage on a company that shares my views, and I know a lot of average female surfers that feel the same too.

  • Sara Closetotheearth

    Unsubscribed- check please.

  • Lonny Salberg

    This article starts badly. I got smoked by a chick? What the? How is the sex of the smoker relevant to the smokee? Because this writer is the worst kind of sexist: the kind that tries to appear as some savior to women. Then, he bests that insensitivity of his bruised ego with saying “he got to thinking” about women in surfing? Because he doesn’t normally think about it, or any other women’s issues apparently, because, well, he doesn’t have to unless he chooses to, which in this case, he did because of two events which hit him between the eyes: his smoking and Silvana Lima’s recent comments. The article pretty much goes downhill from there. If it were off-hand verbal comments at a party, it would be perhaps something I could turn a blind-eye/ear to, but the fact this was supposedly written with care (possibly edited? by someone? anyone?) and then published, you would think some sitting on his words for 24 hours would have caused a complete rewrite.

    The craziest thing about all of this besides yet another sexist remark by a man on the internet is that Silvana Lima is stunningly beautiful. Drop-dead gorgeous. I don’t know what she is talking about in reference to herself (but she’s entitled to think what she thinks about the whys and hows of her sponsorship, and of course, she’s allowed to have whatever opinion of herself and her looks she wants), but as for me, I think she’s one of the prettiest women I’ve seen. Not that it matters, other than the fact that both her and “J.P. Currie” are making some kind of point about that.

    So, follow her on WSL and hope she wins some big rounds. Have fun on the waves. I don’t surf (yet) but if you can’t have fun in a sport, what’s the point? Relax, everyone.

  • Frankie Jones

    Wow, so much bashing on JP for telling it how it is. I sense some self-reflected anger here.

Join The Inertia Family 

Only the best. We promise.