The recent firestorm surrounding Roxy’s Quik Pro Biarritz teaser has been in the surf media a lot lately. Angry readers pounding at their keyboards, yelling at each other through their computer screens, lighting up comment boards and social media over the last week or so. One of the most drastic results from the melee is the “resignation” of Quiksilver surf manager Chad Wells.
“Some butchy lesbos were representing surfing (in the past),” wrote Wells via his personal Facebook account. “Not rigged out sexy women who are in touch with their sexuality and know exactly how they are represented and marketed. 1 well ridden wave at the end of this clip would’ve made the critics happy.”
While one well-ridden wave might have made the critics happy, Wells’ statement did not.
Cori Shumacher, one of the most outspoken advocates for women’s equality in surfing, responded quickly to NineMSN: “Chad Wells’ comment is not surprising, though his brash openness certainly is. This just cements how invasive and endemic this type of thought is in the surf industry.”
Although Wells’ comments certainly were worded poorly, it is important to realize that what he was trying to say wasn’t meant to be detrimental to women’s surfing, but a result of an old way of thinking.
“The ‘average’ dude may be drawn in by the sex appeal but anyone that loves surfing watches the women’s heats now because they are RIPPING!” he wrote.
Chad’s comments weren’t taken lightly by the ASP, either. CEO Paul Speaker responded by saying “The recently published comments of a Quiksilver staffer are completely unacceptable and do not represent the values or the opinions of the ASP,” he said. “The ASP draws its inspiration from the ocean – an arena that does not distinguish where you’re from, the color of your skin, where you worship or your sexual orientation. As such, we are an organization of tolerance, objectivity and inclusiveness.”