Lucid Dreaming - Laurie Towner from needessentials1@gmail.com on Vimeo.

Those who know Laurie Towner will tell you he’s a humble man who likes to let his surfing do the talking. Despite being on the receiving end of some heinous surf industry bullshit over the years, It takes a lot to rev him up. To get him to the point where the charger from Yamba pours his heart into an instagram post which calls out the WSL for both not receiving a nomination for his Cloudbreak monster tube, and the general quality of the waves that did receive nominations, you know it’s something he’s feeling very strongly about.

We’ll run the post below, but here’s the copy pulled from it:

I feel for the surfers who have to keep the corporate wankers happy.

I’m a bit bummed but in some way happy this wave didn’t make the top 5 nominees for @wsl @wslbigwaveawards. After surfer mag didn’t put this wave in their top 5 for barrels of the year beaten by 3 foot skeleton bay waves and a few others (if had the chance I wouldn’t swap all 5 waves chosen in surfer awards for this one haha) I knew there was no way this wave would make the top 5 big wave award nominations because of corporate bull shit! Whats the surf industry going to get out of Laurie Towner?

The reason I’m somewhat happy is because all my life I thought it would be amazing to have a ride of the year next to my name. I now know it’s a meaningless award chosen by kooks with no idea who play the cards of surfers careers. Winning awards would be in some big wave surfers contracts, it use to be in mine and it truely sucks for the surfers trying to make a career out of riding big waves, lucky for me it means nothing now. Although the money would of been nice if I made the top 5 it reassures me I want nothing to do with winning awards, I will never enter a wave again if I’m to ride another bomb, which I will. This wave is MY ride of the year, maybe my ride of my life and no one can take that from me. Maybe I’m being biased you tell me? I wouldn’t change this wave for anyone else’s wave this year if had the chance even if you were to give me 50g on top, there is no better feeling than to successfully paddle a big scary draining wave safely to the channel. To all the up and coming big wave surfers Fuck the big wave awards, do it for yourself no one else! 

Sorry If I’m being negative Im not the only one who feels a little hard done by in this years nomination there is a hand full of terrible decisions. I just want what’s best for the future of young big wave surfers and this needs to be fixed! honestly @wsl get tow waves out of ride of the year! You shouldn’t be helped by a jet ski it’s also hard to think an unmade wave can be ride of the year. Well @granttwigbaker wave might be an exception haha. 

Also sorry for the novel.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I feel for the surfers who have to keep the corporate wankers happy. I’m a bit bummed but in some way happy this wave didn’t make the top 5 nominees for @wsl @wslbigwave awards. After surfer mag didn’t put this wave in their top 5 for barrels of the year beaten by 3 foot skeleton bay waves and a few others (if had the chance I wouldn’t swap all 5 waves chosen in surfer awards for this one haha) I knew there was no way this wave would make the top 5 big wave award nominations because of corporate bull shit! Whats the surf industry going to get out of Laurie Towner. The reason I’m some what happy is because all my life I though it would be amazing to have a ride of the year next to my name. I now know it’s a meaningless award chosen by kooks with no idea who play the cards of surfers careers. Winning awards would be in some big wave surfers contracts, it use to be in mine and it truely sucks for the surfers trying to make a career out of riding big waves, lucky for me it means nothing now. Although the money would of been nice if I made the top 5 it reassures me I want nothing to do with winning awards, I will never enter a wave again if I’m to ride another bomb, which I will. This wave is MY ride of the year, maybe my ride of my life and no one can take that from me. Maybe I’m being biased you tell me? I wouldn’t change this wave for anyone else’s wave this year if had the chance even if you were to give me 50g on top, there is no better feeling than to successfully paddle a big scary draining wave safely to the channel. To all the up and coming big wave surfers Fuck the big wave awards, do it for yourself no one else! Sorry If I’m being negative Im not the only one who feels a little hard done by in this years nomination there is a hand full of terrible decisions. I just want what’s best for the future of young big wave surfers and this needs to be fixed! honestly @wsl get tow waves out of ride of the year! You shouldnt be helped by a jet ski it’s also hard to think an unmade wave can be ride of the year. Well @granttwigbaker wave might be an exception haha Also sorry for the novel 😬

A post shared by Laurie Towner (@laurietowner) on

Laurie recieved some heavyweight support in the comments too including:

Nathan Florence

Well said @laurietowner and i think @live.fast.die.old nailed it, in that session at cloud break alone i watched you send that wave and thought no fuckin way, you pulled it and stood in it like it was pipe, it immediately changed my mindset in the water and all i wanted was to push it as hard as you, get as big a wave, leading me to try for that one big no make! Waves like this push the level of our sport because as you do what was though impossible those around you must also rise to try the same, and that goes for all historical rides in big wave surfing each limit pushed creates a new level for everyone else to strive for...that should be rewarded my friend. Either way that was an incredible wave and everyone in that lineup, the big wave worlds best, know just how crazy that ride was

Russell Bierke

If I could ride any of the waves entered this year it’d be yours! No pay check would beat the feeling of kicking out of that thing

Twiggy Baker

We all agree Laurie and we have all been there as well. I’ve lost many a biggest paddle to guys going straight Bru. But you know what, rather then looking at the negatives I’ve wished the guys who did win all the best and used it to push myself further and to do better and go bigger and deeper the next year.

Sunny Garcia

Brother you don’t need any of those clowns to validate what you have accomplished because the whole surfing world knows your a fucking Beast!

Kai Lenny

I wish you were nominated, but want you to know that you have been a huge inspiration for myself and I’m sure many others. Thanks so much for doing what you’ve been doing over the years. I guess you’ve always been a head of your time like many other of my heroes.

Eli Olson

I got to watch your wave in person from the shoulder and I can say with pure confidence it was one of the heaviest drops and most insane backside barrels I’ve ever seen in my life!! I thought no way you would make the drop let alone set rail and just no grab that section! It was something I’ll remember for life! You’re one of the greatest of all time hands down no argument and the fact you’re not nominated and don’t have a main big company sponsoring you just blows my mind it makes me question the whole entire industry. All I know is I don’t look up to many people but you’re definitely one of the few and I’m always inspired by you brother! Much love and respect.

Albee Layer

Like I’ve told you the repercussion I fear the most when things like your waves get ignored happen is what if the next generation missed out on their Laurie towner. That would be a damn tragedy for surfing. Without watching you do things like catch that shipsterns wave an idea like paddling a jaws barrel would of taken who knows how much longer to become a reality. You’ve help bring the sport to where it is and I know if you were still being supported from the surf industry every swell you’d be pushing it further still. You only make it to a couple swells a year and still get the best waves almost every time! I get what you are saying about never entering a wave I feel that way every year but there is a large group of us that all want some change. My goal is to get that group in there to change how things are done in the @wslbigwave and any where else good surfing isn’t getting due credit, so much that you’ll be stoked to be a part of the awards again. That is my very ambitious goal and hopefully I won’t lose all my sponsors trying to get there haha but fuck it! We’ll get there! I promise. Thank you for everything you’ve done for surfing and continue to do today. Your a fucken legend.

Albee Layer also made his feelings clear about the WSL Big Wave Awards with a post of his own:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@wsl @wslbigwave award nominations are in haha. Every year I think it’ll be different and I end up feeling just like Dwight above. Taking nothing away from any of the surfers nominated, they are all the best of best obviously but in my opinion falling shouldn’t count and towing shouldn’t be compared to paddling. I can’t believe @biancavalenti and @nicvonrupp waves were no where (as well as a few others and also mine haha). I swear this needs to change, just for the longevity of our sport as a whole. We should encourage the next generation to SURF big waves not survive them. It’s a weird thing to tell the next generation that it’s okay to fall in life threatening situations. Just one persons thoughts on a subjective sport, if I offended you just take comfort in knowing I’m pouting from a hospital in a land locked state and won’t be winning any awards. But also deal with it cause I’m going nowhere 🤗

A post shared by Albee Layer (@live.fast.die.old) on