Just this morning, Surfing's editorial #2 Travis Ferre told me he's never been in a gym ever, not once in his 24-odd years as a human. Maybe 25. I don't know, he looks 18. How old are you Travis?
Anyway this struck me as odd because Travis is young, male, athletic and from Southern California – all of which suggests that he should have a pretty advanced, narcissistic weight room habit by now. Travis, this is America, and when we want people to like us more, dammit, we get in big rooms together and lift things up. Sort yourself out.
Short of that, I'd have thought Travis would be in with the surf world's training kick these past two years. At least making all his nightly love on Swiss balls or something. He does air reverses pretty much on command, even when you don't want him to, and it's hard to believe all that skill is au natural.
The people at Fuel TV must be thinking the same thing. I couldn't help but notice that when I tuned in to watch Trilogy the other day, the commercials were all for a) Fuel's 38 different snowboarding shows, I guess because it's winter or b) the Iron Gym.
Iron Gym is a pullup bar you hang in your doorway. Iron Gym's advertisements are something like a knuckle sandwich. To watch one is to be bullied in your own living room. The narrator shouts all his lines and follows them by calling you a "f–kin' fairy," although of course they edit that part out. It's most unpleasant. How did these things end up on Fuel TV, the channel for kids who got cut from every team sport and flipped a coin between being boarders or computer gamers? The only explanations I can come up with are that
1. Fuel, and the makers of Iron Gym, are keenly attuned to trends within the boardriding community, and they know that we all want to train like the pro's these days.
2. They suspect that we never really gave up our sporty ambitions, that we wait until nobody's home and don jock straps in the mirror, and throw imaginary touchdown passes to no one. They think Iron Gym will call out the latent meathead in all us pansy surfers and we'll rush to the phone with credit cards in hand. Could be.
3. No other station would play the ads. This is a legitimate hypothesis. I don't watch any real TV channels so I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if all the other networks saw Iron Gym's commercial and decided that no, they had more respect for their viewers than to bring Iron Gym and its ill-mannered narrator into our homes. Fuel, for its part, probably needed the money, because I don't know of many surf companies that can afford to buy airtime right now. This idea actually makes the most sense.
Someone's buying Iron Gym. Someone heard the phrase, "Start off with shoulder-shredding, bicep-burning chinups and pullups" and went, "Hmmmmm…yes." I don't have any proof, but gosh darn it…I think it was Travis. More on this as it develops.
For more from Stuart, visit his blog at www.surfingmagazine.com/blog/surfing