Surfer Griffin Colapinto now sex symbol alongside actor Jeremy Allen White, musician Matt Healy as “Hot Rodent Men” trends

Drumroll, please.

The 2024 World Surf League Championship Tour only has two events remaining, three if one counts the ill-conceived Lower Trestles Finals Day, and it has certainly been almost exciting at times. The Tahiti Pro and the El Salvador Pro especially. The women, of course, have thus far stolen the year but the men ain’t doing too shabbily either. On that side of the draw, eight, maybe nine, surfers are battling for a spot to take on John John Florence in soft Southern California right handers for the crown.

Again, almost exciting.

But it is time to power rank our guides for the year, the broadcast team who has coalesced into the best in World Surf League history since 1976 circa 2015?

I’d argue yes and without further ado:

1. Strider Wasilewski: Raspberry, and his role floating in various channels and lineups, has officially transcended surfing and should now be considered alongside broadcasting greats the likes of Greg Olsen and Vincent Edward Scully. Wasilewski is perpetually thrilled and can get barreled with the best of them making his annoyance at unridden gems priceless.

2. Kaipo Guerrero: While certainly polarizing, Guerrero’s highwire linguistic act is quickly becoming “must-see-tv.” The former model spools out metaphor after metaphor, folk etymology after folk etymology, spinning them into such a heady web that surf fans, at home, have zero idea how he will be able to find his way out. He does, though, inevitably leaving the aforementioned surf fans breathless and happy.

3. Chris Cote: Equal parts play-by-play and color, Cote has rounded into a treat. While calling professional surfing might look easy, trust me. It is. I’m sure I’ve told you about the time that I called a one-star women’s event in France alongside Paul Evans? In any case, Cote makes the easy look easy, which is difficult. He makes no apology for being toxically positive nor for being a fan and as his opinion presents more and more, the hater watching at home actually gets to chew some meat on a bone.

4. Felicity Palmateer: As the lone woman in various reclaimed pallet studios, Flick has a load to carry and, in her first full season, is doing admirably. Oh sure, she becomes too emotional from time to time but what woman doesn’t? Just kidding. A little throwback humor for you now that cancel culture has, itself, been cancelled. She almost gets critical, from time to time, and if she let her jerk flag fly more often might reach Raspberry levels of excellence.

6. Ronald Blakey: As the handsomest on the team, and brother of Vaughn, he should be by far the best and yet he rolls into “narrating history” voice too often. There is no reason that Blakey should not be in the booth at every event except laziness and so we must blame him for more than we should.

5. Jesse Mendes: Well who saw this coming? Mendes’ cardboard persona, generally pointless, was the exact balm epic Teahupo’o needed. The Brazilian’s insights into barrel wrangling proved interesting and valuable. While one event does not a broadcaster make, Mendes showed potential in Tahiti and that, in and of itself, is shocking.

6. AJ McCord: Completely serviceable, McCord brings a sense of professionalism to an otherwise largely…. non-professional group. She asks the questions in her post heat interviews quick and isn’t cloying. The only real downside is her lack of usage during long lully events. Not her fault, but suggests she doesn’t know all that much about surfing and will soon climb to bigger sports.

7. The Bonsoy Brew Break.

8. Bailey Ladders Leaderboard.

9. The “Stay Tuned” screen.

10. Greenwashing.

11. Madonna since she once dated Kaipo.

12. Joe Turpel: The “voice of professional surfing,” Turpel’s buttery drone has become synonymous with the World Surf League. While his encyclopedic heat knowledge flashes every so often, he seems overly-content to blather on and on and on and on filling the air with empty. If Hollywood ever remakes The NeverEnding Story, Turpel will certainly be considered as The Nothing. There is, likely, no redemption for the man and he can thank his stars for Mitch Salazar.

13. Unisex Shiseido models.

14. Mitchell Salazar: I have to assume he isn’t getting paid but still.

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