Cori Schumacher waxing up a special board designed and shaped by Ashley Lloyd. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.com

BACKBONE IN A TILTED WORLD, POSTSCRIPT. Follow-up to the Cori Schumacher Interview on Jettygirl.com.

By Cori Schumacher Watching the deciding event of the Women's World Longboard Championships unfold in China from a distance was difficult. Truth be told, it was impossible. There were no live webcasts, no live interviews and very limited photographs of the event itself as it unfolded. Though live scoring was available, bans by the Chinese government on social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) made any unofficial updates nearly impossible. Additionally, it was strange to view the photos of the opening ceremony where uniformed, color coordinated crews occupied the majority of the seats in the audience. Contests are usually huge promotions for the companies that fund them. This did not seem to be the case in this situation... at least in the traditional sense. Indeed, I would argue that this may have been the least spectated event of this size in the history of the ASP and not simply from a lack of interest in women's longboarding, although this may have been a point taken into consideration.... Can you imagine the uproar from folks who could not watch Kelly Slater live from China?! Cori Schumacher waxing up a special board designed and shaped by Ashley Lloyd. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.com The point here is to highlight the censorship and propaganda that were at play throughout the event. What was being sold, supported, commodified was surf-fashion/lifestyle-in-China and Hainan-as-Hawaii as defined by the ASP and SIMA and the government of Wanning. What is not known are the details of the deal that was struck between Chinese officials and the ASP/SIMA other than that this event will be held, at least for the next two years, at this same venue. I am curious to see if the Chinese government will be footing the bill for the 32 competitors each year. A few key points I'd like to highlight: 1) In response to those who thought I did not want surfing brought to China- It doesn't take a contest to introduce surfing to China. 2) Those Chinese who were present at the contest (and not involved with it somehow) were not those who are most oppressed by the government. Hainan is being tailored for the luxury class, the upper class, the growing class of Chinese with a disposable income. A class being magnetized to the surf industry, not by a desire to surf, but through clothing that is marketed as Western and modern; as evinced by the choice to hold the bikini show rather than holding a surf clinic. 3) What of those who were pushed out of their homes in order to make room for the hotels on Hainan? This is happening in many places in China, people's land being taken from them through a Chinese version of eminent domain. Cori Schumacher quote from Backbone in a Tilted World, Postscript on Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.Simply leaving the hotel and wandering around the local area isn't going to expose the underbelly of Chinese society. Suppose I were to have a contest at Queens, in Waikiki and decided to take a walk around because I had heard stories about the rampant poverty in America and I wanted to "see for myself" if this was true. Would I find it? I would either have to fly over to the mainland and do some traveling or I would need a Hawaiian local who was unafraid to tell me where I could find these pockets of poverty in paradise, then take me, for example, to the tent cities on the West side of Oahu. We see this class distinction in surfing even here. While many tout the low cost of surfing as compared with other sports (the "all you really need is a plank and you are able to ride waves" mentality) the larger context of what is needed is lots of leisure time and proximity to the ocean. Many of those who might enjoy surfing don't have this leisure time because they are working. This isn't a choice, nor is it a cultural difference. They are barely scraping by, working long hours at extremely low wages to sustain even the most meager of existences in order to simply survive. I do not see China as some homogenous amalgam or judge it through the lens of the western media. Chinese Human Rights Defenders is one example of a great direct resource for human rights defense from within China. I make a distinction between the Chinese people and the Chinese government, between the central government and local governments... and always keep in mind cultural relativity. But there are some things that are universal, such as how to treat human beings and I try to make my choices based on my best knowledge of a situation. Not everyone will agree with how I made these decisions but ultimately, they are my decisions to make. In no way do I think surfing should be kept from China, but do I think that the ASP, SIMA, clothing manufacturers/corporations, etc. ought to be the ones introducing it? No way. Photo Credits: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com
Additional Resources: Backbone in a Tilted World. The Cori Schumacher Interview. Cori Schumacher's Blog Cori Schumacher on TheInertia.com - Champions in China and Meaning-Making Cori Schumacher on TheInertia.com - Why I'm Boycotting
Special Thanks: to Girls4Sport for their support of the original Backbone in a Tilted World feature!

SWATCH Girls Pro China Opens Professional Surfing in China with Style

SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Lindsay Steinriede. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Lindsay Steinriede. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) winning her opening heat at the inaugural SWATCH Girls Pro China today. Steinriede earned one of the day's highest wave scores, an 8.25 (out of a possible of 10). Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith
For Immediate Release Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International SWATCH Girls Pro China Opens Professional Surfing in China with Style WANNING, Hainan Island/China (Wednesday, 26 October, 2011) - The SWATCH Girls Pro China hosted by Wanning launched professional surfing in China today with the world's best female longboarders taking to the waves at Riyuewan Bay, Hainan Island. The 2 - 3 foot (1.5 meter) surf was ideal for the surfers to unleash their full bags of tricks with competitors mixing modern and traditional moves much to the delight of the hundreds of fans on the beach. The SWATCH Girls Pro China is the second of two events on the ASP Women's World Longboard Tour and the event that will decide the 2011 ASP Women's World Longboard Champion. The Title race is wide open, making this not only an historic event, but an exciting one too. Kaitlin Maguire (USA) won the first ever ASP heat in China in the opening heat of the inaugural SWATCH Girls Pro China over Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN). "It feels amazing!" Maguire said. "It was pretty stressful out there, I'm happy for it to be over and finish on top. It's so good to be here and experience the different culture. The wave looks like it has a lot of potential so I'm looking forward to the rest of the event." [frame_left src="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Ah-Kouen-SwatchGPChina11WHS031-150x100.jpg" href="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Ah-Kouen-SwatchGPChina11WHS031.jpg"]Ophelie Ah-Kouen[/frame_left] Ophelie Ah-Kouen (REU) won a nail-biter of a heat against Isabele Braly (AUS). Both surfers put some solid scores on the board but it was Ah-Kouen who took the heat by less than 1 point. "I feel good because I won, but it was a very difficult heat," Ah-Kouen said. "I was very nervous, but now I feel ok, hopefully I will do better in the next round. It's so good to be here in China, Hainan is a beautiful island and the waves are good." [frame_right src="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/WilliamsSwatchGPChina11WHS032-150x100.jpg" href="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/WilliamsSwatchGPChina11WHS032.jpg"]Chelsea Williams[/frame_right] Chelsea Williams (AUS) was the standout performer of the day earning a near perfect 18.80 out of a possible 20. Williams looked right at home on the long left runners, carving and nose-riding bigger and longer than anyone else. Williams will now face Leah Dawson (USA) in the next round. "I'm pretty surprised I won, I couldn't hear the announcers out in the water," Williams said. "I had no idea how I was going until I came into the shore and heard that I'd won. The wave is fun, it's a little soft left-hander. I love going left because it's my forehand and I don't get the chance to go left very often. China is really cool, it's tropical and not like we expected." Lindsay Steinriede (USA) showed why she's the number one seed at the SWATCH Girls Pro China, easily defeating Taiwanese trials winner Wen Ling Chou (TWN). Steinriede will now face Frenchwoman Coline Menard (FRA) in Round 2. "I was a little nervous because I know the conditions can be tough out there," Steinriede said. "On my first wave I was definitely a little jittery, I'd been waiting a while and was excited to get out there. It's also a while between events and I have a full-time job so you have to switch competition mode off for a little bit, but it doesn't take long to turn it back on." Darci Lui (CHN), the first ever Chinese national to compete at an ASP event, lost her heat against an in-form 2 x ASP Women's World Longboard Champion Jennifer Smith. Lui lost the battle, but did the locals proud with hundreds cheering everytime she got to her feet. "It's been a great opportunity for me to surf against these girls," Lui said. "Even though I lost I'm so happy! This is such a great event for China, I'm so proud to have this event here." [frame_left src="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Meador042SGPC11WHS-150x100.jpg" href="https://www.jettygirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Meador042SGPC11WHS.jpg"]Kassia Meador[/frame_left]Kassia Meador (USA) the number 3 seed had a tough start to her SWATCH Girls Pro China campaign. Meador pulled off some big moves but was unable to link them together on one wave and snuck through to the next round with a couple of small scores. "I felt really shaky out there," Meador said. "It's been a long day, maybe I'm dehydrated. I couldn't really find my feet out there. Hopefully I got all my falling off out of the way for the rest of the event." A call will be made at 7am tomorrow for a possible 7:30 start, there's a chance that the SWATCH Girls Pro China will finish tomorrow and that a new ASP Women's World Longboard Champion will be crowned. The SWATCH Girls Pro China hosted by Wanning will run from 26 - 30 October. For more event info, photos, video highlights and your chance to win SWATCH Touch Eventwatches stay tuned to www.swatchgirlspro.com For more information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
SWATCH Girls Pro China Round 1 Results: Heat 1: Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 9.25 def. Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 7.45 Heat 2: Summer Romero (USA) 13.85 def. Roxy Towill (ZAF) 8.40 Heat 3: Miku Uemura (HAW) 13.00 def. Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 6.96 Heat 4: Ophelie Ah-Kouen (REU) 12.25 def. Isabele Braly (AUS) 11.60 Heat 5: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 18.80 def. Amy Trujillo (USA) 9.40 Heat 6: Leah Dawson (USA) 13.35 def. Candice O'Donnell (GBR) 5.85 Heat 7: Coline Menard (FRA) 9.50 def. Rosie Locke (AUS) 5.75 Heat 8: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 14.85 def. Wen Ling Chou (TWN) 8.90 Heat 9: Jennifer Smith (USA) 10.75 def. Darci Lui (CHN) 3.75 Heat 10: Kelia Moniz (HAW) 14.10 def. Megan Godinez (HAW) 7.25 Heat 11: Melissa Combo (AUS) 10.15 def. Kelly Nicely (USA) 9.00 Heat 12: Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 6.85 def. Cristiana Pires (USA) 6.70 Heat 13: Kassia Meador (USA) 9.60 def. Nicole Trickett (ZAF) 5.25 Heat 14: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 12.50 def. Geodee Clark (HAW) 8.00 Heat 15: Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.25 def. Hatsumi Ui (JPN) 8.00 Heat 16: Karina Abras (BRA) 7.70 def. Rachel Barry (USA) 6.75
SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Competitors. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Summer Romero noseride. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Lineup. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Surfers' area. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Yuko Shimajiri. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith. SWATCH Girls Pro China 2011. Beach statues. Photo © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith.Photos from above left. Opening ceremonies; Summer Romero; SWATCH Girls Pro China lineup; Competitors' area; Yuko Shimajiri; Beach statues. Photos © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith
All Photos © ASP/Will Hayden-Smith

2011 Swatch Girls Pro China Hosted by Wanning $10,000 Noserider Division

Jen Smith, Swatch Girls Pro China, Wanning, Hainan Island, China, Women's World Longboard Championship, October 26-30, 2011 With under one week to go until the SWATCH GIRLS PRO China hosted by Wanning commences on the idyllic, tropical shores of Hainan Island, the lineup has been announced for a $10,000 prize purse specialty Noserider division. In another first for the groundbreaking SWATCH GIRLS PRO China hosted by Wanning (along with being the historic debut of international competition in China), the Noserider division will be a unisex event, pitting the skills of male and female surfers against each other. An eclectic 10-surfer field of some of the very finest purveyors of longboard finesse vying for $3,500 first place in the Noserider division includes the likes of Endless Summer 2 star ‘Wingnut’ Weaver (USA), surfer/model Crystal Dzigas (HAW), surfer/artist Christian Wach (USA), leading European pro longboarder Sam Bleakley (UK) as well as top contenders from the main event like Lindsay Steinreide (USA) and Kassia Meador (USA). While westerners may be sometimes referred to in Chinese colloquialism as the ‘Chang Bizi’ (long noses), it will be their skills regarding the other kind of nose, the ones of the front of their performance longboards, that these surfers will be hoping to impress the judges with in the South China Sea. Event sponsors Swatch have also announced that Swatch ProTeam rider and 2008 ASP World Junior Champ Pauline Ado (FRA) will be attending the groundbreaking event, as well as Anne-Flore Marxer, Swatch snowboard pro rider and reigning Freeride World Champion. This event marks the second partnership between women's surfing and Swatch, which already sponsors the SWATCH GIRLS PRO France, ASP 6-star women’s event. For more information go to: www.swatchgirlspro.com