“I’m just taking it heat by heat… My boards are feeling amazing… [Insert average surfer] is such a tough opponent… I’ve been training really hard… Everyone’s so good these days that you can’t take any heat for granted… It’s always great coming to France, I just love the culture…”
And so on and so forth. Interviews with surfers, particularly live broadcast interviews, tend to follow a predictable and dreary pattern, a series of generic, not particularly probing questions patted away with a selection of stock responses.
But isn’t it fun when a surfer switches off the filter, rips up the script, and says what he or she is really thinking?
Fred Patacchia Jr
“They’ve got his testicles so far up their mouths that this is bullshit.”
It’s not the most coherent metaphor, in fairness, from a physiological point of view. At what point, when a pair of testicles is introduced into someone’s mouth, does it become bullshit? How does this transformation occur? And what kind of pillock puts testicles up his mouth? Down, surely. Fred and I must move in very different circles.
But it was a weirdly striking image. Patacchia used it to illustrate the perceived bias of the beach announcers towards his opponent Owen Wright at the 2010 Bells contest — like Martinez, below, he’d actually just won his heat — and was landed with a $1000 fine.