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Gary Smith on Kelly Slater

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Haven't read it yet, but it seems like it's been a while since Smith wrote, hasn't it?

    More thoughts after I read it.
  2. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    I'm looking forward to reading it. Hope to get to it tonight.

  3. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    Man, that was outstanding. I've read a lot of profiles of Slater over the years, but nothing remotely close to that. He had some great stuff in there.
  4. chilidog75

    chilidog75 Member

    I read it.
    It's good.
  5. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i couldn't care less about surfing, or many of the subjects of his few and far between pieces.

    but gary smith is still the winner and undefeated heavyweight champion of these stories. 8)
  6. smsu_scribe

    smsu_scribe Guest

    Yeah Jennings, I was thinking that the other day. I don't remember a Smith article since his piece on the stuntman/race car driver, can't remember his name.
  7. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    Agree wholeheartedly.

    I know some on here in the past have tried to rationalize that if they had the amount of time Smith has to craft a story and the resources they could do the same job. Sorry, but you could give me a full year with no distractions and an unlimited expense budget and I couldn't even step onto the same playing field.

    This story is the supreme definition of a flawless narrative. I didn't even need to click on the photo gallery because of the pictures Smith painted with his words.

    To wit, a lot of people know how to swing a golf club, but that doesn't mean they can strike the ball as sweet as Tiger Woods, and Gary Smith clearly belongs in that class.
  8. NX

    NX Member

    Hope SI comes on Thursday this week, so I can dig into this one. If I can help it, I try to avoid reading narratives on-line. Like the majority of us, I never miss a Gary Smith story, but this one strikes a particular chord.

    We, like most places on the island, received over a foot of rain in a matter of hours one day last December, turning the ocean brownish-red with muddy run-off from once dry creek beds, and bringing about warnings to stay out of the water for fear of leptospirosis. But the next day, Pipeline, on O'ahu's North Shore, was pumping - though not as big as they'd hoped - and the Pipeline Masters, considered the Super Bowl of surfing, had its third and final day yet to run and there was not another decent swell forecasted for the rest of the holding period, so it was on.

    Surfers used words like "eerie" and "threatening" and "scary" to describe riding in what looked like chocolate milk barrels. I'll never forget what the water looked like, or smelled like, on that overcast and cool Friday. I'll never forget watching Kelly Slater paddling in after scoring a 9.0 and a 10.0 within three minutes and just under the horn in his semifinal heat on his way to a record sixth title of the Pipe Masters - nicknamed Poop Masters that day - and his ninth world title to go along with it. And I'll never forget what the electricity that ran through the thousands of fans crowding Ehukai Beach felt like or what the roar sounded like when Kelly, his red Billabong rash guard clashing against the brown water, emerged from the long tube, his left arm stretched out in front of him, his back to the crowd, his spot in the finals secured.

    But my most lasting memory of that day will be my eight-year-old son's eyes growing wider and wider as his favorite surfer came back to shore, tucked his board under his right arm, pulled a Quiksilver cap over his shaved head and walked within three feet of my son as Kelly, taking every bit of breath out of those right-year-old lungs, made his way up the beach, smiling to his fans.

    My son is still a little too timid to try the whole surfing thing yet, outside of Kelly's video game, but he caught his ultimate wave that day.
  9. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Smith's long-form pieces are an anachronism in the People-fied SI. I wonder how many of the frat-boy demographic actually read or care.
  10. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    I have said it before and will say it again ... Gary Smith and I may utilize the same style keyboard and alphabet, but he is Picasso next to my stick-figure fingerpainting.

  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Got that right. What Smith is doing, we can't get just anywhere. The "People-fied" stuff, it's all over the place.

    Can't an operation survive without targeting the same demographic as everybody else? Not sure I want to hear the answer...
  12. ringer

    ringer Member

    In response to Goalmouth's question: "I wonder how many of the frat-boy demographic actually read or care"...

    I believe readers eat what they're given. Feed em uncomplicated quick-fix junk food (i.e. McNugget-sized articles) and they'll be satisfied with the junk food. Expand their diet with tastes from a wider variety of sports, expertly prepared, and they'll learn to like the good stuff, too.

    I think people actually crave the old SI recipe.
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