Are surf contests still necessary? It's a question that arises every few years when some of the most talented surfers are not on the world tour. Kalani Robb (self shot above using a GoPro cam) is poised to make a comeback without contests. The reclusive Dane Reynolds only entered one contest this year as a wildcard, and got 2nd place. If Kelly Slater retires but continues to chase perfect waves, will more people watch videos of him free surfing instead of the ASP Tour webcasts? Until recently the answer would be no, due to lack of coverage in remote locations. But with new camera technologies, the next generation of surfers no longer needs contests or large camera crews to showcase their skills. They will only need themselves.
Any surfer armed with a GoPro camera can capture themselves in 1080p HD resolution. No camera man? No problem. Mount the camera on a Soloshot tripod, put on an arm band, and the camera will follow you automatically. This revolution has already begun with surfers such as Kepa Acero who is sponsored by VSTR. Kepa travels the world solo and uploads amazing footage he shoots by himself. ZoSea Media recently purchased the ASP with the intention of making big changes by 2014. But in 2 years will contests still be necessary to showcase the 'best' surfers?