Catch the wild, wet webcasting wave

2008-07-04 00:00

While prize money has remained pitifully low in professional surfing, the biggest development in recent surf competitions has been the advent of the live webcast.

Surf contests used to be all about bums on the beach, and the success of a surf contest used to be measured by how much traffic was walking around the contest beach and site.

Nowadays, the success of a surf contest is measured by how many unique hits the event website has and how many people watch the webcast.

The webcasting has a dedicated team of videographers, tech-heads and its very own commentary team, usually consisting of ex-pro surfers, ex-world champions and other surfing luminaries. The webcast commentary has a load more listeners than the commentators doing it live.

In events like the upcoming Billabong Pro in Jeffrey’s Bay the webcasting is done in several languages, with the French, Spanish and Portuguese commentators broadcasting alongside the English team.

All over the world, people wake up at all hours of the night to log on and watch their favourite surfers or family members or loved ones compete.

To watch the Mr Price Pro live this weekend, log on to www.mrpricepro.com. When the pro tour moves down to Jeffrey’s Bay, this event will be broadcast live on www.billabongpro.com. As the event is most likely to take place during the week during working hours, don’t get caught sucking up the company bandwidth.

The Red Bull Big Wave Afric contest will also be webcast live for the first time, beamed from www.redbullbwa.com.

So there’s no need to find parking at New Pier in Durban, no need to jostle for space on the boardwalk at J-Bay and definitely no need to climb the Sentinel Mountain in Hout Bay to watch Dungeons.

Rather sit at your computer with a coffee or a shandy, click your mouse a few times and watch the show.

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