Every year, we spend our days scrounging around the internet, our ears to the ground, our fingers poised over our phones. We want stories. We love stories. We love that you love stories. We want to bring those stories to you. We want to make stories, tell stories, hear stories, and talk story.
Every year, we do our very best to do all that, and every year, you, (yes, YOU) with your quick-scrolling thumb and even quicker wit, are our favorite part of telling those stories. Without you, we wouldn’t have anyone to tell stories to—and we love you for it. So here, in numerical order, are the top ten most-trafficked stories of 2017. Here’s to many more of them in 2018.
It’s not a surprise that this story came in at the number one slot. Focussed on the Goodwin family, it’s a look at how Aamion Goodwin and his wife Daize are passing their love for cultures around the world on to their son, Given, and their daughter, True.
Uh, how could this NOT be in the top ten? The title says it all, but the photos tell a thousand words. Here’s one to wet your appetite. Click here to see the rest.
You know all those comments you see where people want us to “stick to surfing”? Well, we’re not going to, for a few reasons. One, as surfers and outdoor enthusiasts, we like the environment. The current political climate makes it damn near impossible to mention the outdoors without dipping our toes into the muddy waters of politics every now and again. And thankfully, judging by the reaction to Patagonia’s ad focussed on Ryan Zinke, it appears the vast majority of you agree with us.
Ah, humor. You know what Dr. Suess said, right? “From here to there and there to here, funny things are everywhere!” We actually loved this one so much we published two different versions of it. Both of them were received very well. There were, of course, a select few crabby pants people who decided to report us to the Facebook gods for various infractions (in one, the image we chose happened to have a tampon string front and center), but still. Hilarity won!
People want to relate to things. People want to know that they’re not alone in their weirdness. People want to know that everyone else pees in their wetsuits, too! And to all those people who keep telling us they don’t: we don’t believe you. The truth will set you free.
This story broke our hearts. Jean da Silva, a 32-year-old Brazilian surf champion and regular on the WQS for the last decade, died at the end of November. He lived in Santa Catarina, Brazil and was ranked 137th on the QS. In 2010, he won the Brazilian Championship, and in 2012 he won the East Coast Surfing Championships. The surf world still mourns for his family and anyone affected. RIP, Jean.
Back in March, something incredibly scary happened to a kayaker in Monterey Bay. A great white of undetermined size (“big enough,” is how the kayaker might have put it) hit his boat, flipped it over, then proceeded to fling it around like a seal while the man swam around trying to figure out how to swim with his body out of the water. He was unharmed after the ordeal, and was rescued by a sailboat captained by Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Franklin.
Oh, Gabriel. While we (and many others) can appreciate the necessity of burning in contests or the inevitability of burning by accident, aren’t you getting sick and tired of all the backlash? “If you’re a professional surfer and you put food on the table by doing it, you need to practice,” we wrote back when this video surfaced. “Unfortunately, most of the places where said practicing takes place are places where locals also surf–and they generally do not take kindly to a surfer who spends his life surfing the best waves on earth burning them on a knee-high runner they’ve waited all week for.”
Shark! Shark! Unlike yelling that at the beach, if one yell that on the internet, viewers come running. Whether it’s because they love the beauty of the creature or they love how scared they are of them, sharks are the (click)bait on the end of the internet hook.
And last but not least, we come to the tenth most-clicked on story of the year. Hoo boy, did you ever love this one! Just a man in an Aran sweater and a wool cap bombing a hill on a weird skateboard! “The cobblestone streets of Europe are beautiful, but they’re a bitch to ride on a skateboard,” we wrote. “Portuguese engineer Ricardo Marquez went after that problem with a vengeance, inventing this skateboard that could fit within the grooves of the tram lines. The board is applicable all over the continent, not to mention in places like San Francisco here in the United States. Nobody said they were safe… but safe never changed anything.”