The mecca of all bodysurfing competitions was held recently at the world famous Banzai Pipeline. Competitors from all over the globe tried their hand at double overhead surf on the most dangerous wave this blueberry we call Earth has to offer, The Pipeline. But nobody cares about bodysurfing competitions, so let’s not focus on who did what when I was at the massage table getting my kinks worked out (seriously…there was a massage table there). Rather, let’s talk about the effects and aftermath the sexuality of the event had on social media outlets such as Myspace and LinkedIn (or Facebook and Instagram).
My dear friend Scotti Shafer was the only woman to compete, thus, she placed 1st in the women’s division. In the words of the great underground poet group of the ’90s, the Spice Girls: “Girl Power!” Naturally, Scotti wanted to take a picture with her two favorite bodysurfers (btw…I’m offended Scotti, as you’ve never asked to take a photo with me or Starky, or any of the Wedge Crew for that matter) Mark Cunningham and Mike Stewart. The following photo went viral on Facebook and Instagram garnering over a hundred likes! A hundred likes, people! Ok, that’s probably only viral to me – and I admit a photo of your cat humping your leg probably gets 5x as many likes, but let’s boldly press on.
The photo begged the question, “Why so many likes?” Was it because she was with two well-known bodysurfers? Maybe. Was it because the photo came with the tag line: “Scotti finishes first.” Possibly. Or was it because Mark, Mike, and Scotti were wearing barely any clothing and promoting their own sexuality? I was forced to dig deeper.
In the name of science, I closely examined the photo and devised a way to make it less sexual. I added sharks, pigs flying, freedom fries, Hawthorne doing 21 spins in the background, a Viper shirt, party hat, rash guard, the Roxy logo, Jason Guthrie, and nipple tassels (that last one might be sexual). Verily, this photo had little to no sexuality at all. I then placed this photo on the same social media outlets as before to see if it would gather the same amount of likes. And now we wait…
At press time, this photo had five likes. Pictures of paint drying get more than five likes. Pictures of you at your office desk eating lunch while drinking Fresca™ get more than five likes. What does this mean? It means that sex sells. Even if that “sex” is an old-man Scottyeee sandwich. Sex is a part of surfing. I should know – I’m a sex surfing icon. And yes, it’s hard to be me and have so many middle-aged men peeping privately at my scantily clad body that I posted on the internets (even though I’m fairly compensated). And yes, it’s hard knowing that people only like me for my rock hard abs, bulging biceps, and prematurely balding scalp. Because after all, I just want to be taken seriously while wearing a chicken mask and a thong. I’m an athlete.