Mea Culpa: Paul Speaker is a prophet!

I heart the WSL.

I have poked gentle fun at the World Surf League since its 2015 birth. I had poked gentle fun at the ASP before that and Rip Curl’s Neil Ridgway got real mad at me but it was so gentle! And so fun! And Neil, do you still have that red beret? Let’s do a sort of naughty reenactment someday!

But back to the now, or more precisely, back to the 4 months ago. WSL CEO Paul Speaker issued a press statement that said, “It is the most exciting time in the history of the sport right now.” I laughed and laughed and laughed and wrote (here) that he took (maybe) ecstasy.

In the weeks since Mick was tousled by a great white, though, I have reflected on CEO Speaker’s words and, I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right! The thrill of that shark biz is, of course, gone but left in its wake is a general appreciation of what the WSL has built. Fun webcasts. An announcing team that has become as familiar as a soft blanket. National rivalries threatening to burn for years. Sponsors with heft. A spot on an American network. And very fine surfing.

So to you, CEO Speaker, I say, “I’m sorry.” And also, “If you did have any ecstasy it’d be really fun to take and sit in the channel at Teahupo’o together with a waterproof little sound system playing anything by College.” And also, “Long live the WSL!”

If I was Jarrad Howse, I would do non-stop selfies too.
If I was Jarrad Howse, I would do non-stop selfies too.

Unexpected: Jarrad Howse is back!

And welcome to the first exclusive look at Snowdonia going full speed.

Jarrad Howse is a very handsome man. His eyes when he smiles….I don’t care who you are….welcome to Melt City! He is the sort that grows better with age. Like, he wears wrinkles with such careless disregard. Like, George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Being neither tall nor short is a distinct advantage in that his handsomeness stands front and center. Tousled hair. White teeth. Subtle Australian accent worn like warm, not hot, cashmere.

Here, Jarrad and friends can be seen surfing in a sneak preview of the soon to be open commercial wave park Surf Snowdonia. You’ve seen other clips on those websites for middle-aged men with social disorders (hello The Inertia!) and dark, probably illegal, sexual kinks (is that you Surfline?) but you’ve never seen Jarrad Howse.

And how much do you want to go surf Snowdonia now, hater? 2 meter (6 ft) for 150 meters (I failed math) of pure joy?  The ocean has just been made redundant. Viva the handsome man!

Surf Snowdonia – Sneak Peak from Surf Snowdonia on Vimeo.

We’ve got waves. Check out a sneak preview of what’s to come. Thank you to all our staff, contractors, Wavegarden and the Conwy community for their support. Open for business from August the 1st.

FILM / EDIT: Luke Pilbeam

Surf Snowdonia is the first ever commercial surfing lagoon that generates waves simultaneously for beginners, intermediate and advanced surfers.

Utilising Wavegarden technology a 2 metre advanced wave is produced that peels 150 metres and runs for 16 seconds.

Surf Snowdonia will open for its first customers at 10am on August 1 2015 – to book a session

Mick Fanning 60 MInutes
Had enough tales of Mick and the shark? No? Really? Well you're in luck, this Sunday Mr Fanning gets a spot on 60 Minutes, that show your grandparents watch each Sunday.

Mick Fanning on world’s most prestigious TV show!

No, wait, on 60 Minutes!

Had enough tales of Mick and the shark? No? Really?

Well you’re in luck, this Sunday Mr Fanning gets a spot on 60 Minutes, that show your grandparents watch each Sunday.

Until then, here’s some lesser-known shark facts:

Maui has had more attacks in the last four years than Reunion Island, despite having a fraction of the area and population. But you don’t see them freaking out.

You’re more likely to be raped by your father than eaten by a shark.

Sharks are visual hunters, so if you remain perfectly still they can’t see you.

Nurse sharks are called such because they are the only ichthyoid that lactates.

The ancient Egyptians hunted the Nile River shark to extinction using papyrus canoes and spears.

Shark and dolphin evolution diverged more than three trillion years ago.

The only thing more terrifying than sharks is the future.

There’s nothing “great” about white sharks. To assume otherwise is racist.

Paying money for “shark deterrent technology” is about as intelligent as tying a piece of string around your penis as tightly as you can. Equally effective as well.

Aaron Chang and Quinn Matthews
Aaron Chang (left) and Quinn Matthews, the principals in the teary drama that threatens to bring down the house of Surfing!

Series: Surf photographer feuds IV!

In this gorgeous episode we have Aaron Chang vs. Quinn Matthews!

Photographer Quinn Matthews is an up and coming star in the game. His images gorgeously capture both high octane action and the subtle nuances of lifestyle. A flare tail’d air. A smokey eye. A palm fluttering in the breeze. He is receiving accolades for his work too, no small thing when every rich child from Santa Babs is gifted 5D and RED for birthday and can jump in with the true auteurs.

BeachGrit‘s very own Derek Rielly appreciates Quinn’s work, writing:

When it comes to surf photography you have to, I think, make a stand. You either feed the machinations of the web with only cursory thought given to the craft or aspire to an authenticity and sophistication. Quinn Matthews, at some financial sacrifice, has chosen the latter route. His work is a documentary style that is coloured, when necessary, by a creative eye that belies his years (Quinn has barely escaped adolescence). Prone to obsession about lighting plans, camera settings and compositional arrangement, Quinn has become the go-to photographer for the best surfing magazines in the world.

Nathan Lawrence, What Youth‘s mad genius appreciates Quinn’s work, saying:

Many people can imitate other people’s work. But very few can carve their own look. And that’s what Quinn has done in a very short amount of time. No matter what Quinn shoots, he will bring his unique vision and natural talent together to create something people enjoy looking at.

I appreciated Quinn’s work. His breadth and depth truly exceptional in an increasingly imitative landscape. If I was on a deserted isle, alone, and allowed three Instagram accounts to follow his would be four, barely edged out by @buttsnorkler.

Surfing Magazine appreciates Quinn’s work, nominating him for a prestigious Follow the Light award and he almost won! He almost took home the grand prize launching directly into a life of fame and fortune.

Legendary photographer Aaron Chang might appreciate Quinn’s work if he could only remember who the hell Quinn is! Apparently at the Follow the Light award’s ceremony last night Aaron stepped to the stage as the head judges and talked about the finalists but when he came to Quinn hemmed and hawed before squirting, “Don’t know who Quinn Matthews is…”

Uh oh!

Geriatric stumbles are embarrassing and Aaron maybe should have done his homework, or taken some medication, before unintentionally shaming a future star. Disdain masked as casual disregard for the younger set is what makes an old man old. In any case, this is what Quinn said on his Instagram account:

First off congrats to all the finalists your slideshows were truly great. Obviously I’m bummed I didn’t win. But I’m really bummed on Aaron Chang not knowing who I was. That’s ridiculous. There is only 5 finalist and those 5 of us on stage. You’re the main judge for the contest and yet you had no clue who I was. You had to stand there in awkward silence for a good minute trying to remember something about me before saying into the microphone that you “don’t know who Quinn Matthews is”. In front of family, friends, and industry professionals I struggle to think of something that would reflect worse on me. I was very disappointed and embarrassed. It’s crazy that despite all the effort and time I put into forming my entry, that still happened. 
I wanted to get that off my chest and voice my disappointment in the ceremony. 
Once again congrats to everyone, and Seth for winning, your work was incredible and I mean to take nothing away from you all, I was honored to be a part of it.

And I would have known that, on a deserted isle, had I not followed damned @buttsnorkler instead.

Hot: World’s sexiest ocean rescue!

Since Mary Ann, Ginger and the Professor were snared from Gilligan's Island!

Last night off Oahu’s North Shore a pleasure cruise went very wrong. The boat, a 25 foot Boston Whaler, was two miles from Waimea when it fuel ran out and then the bilge pump stopped working and the hull took on water and it flipped over, tossing 14 people into the water including a five-year-old child and a dog.

The horror! The absolute horror and that horror could have ended with everyone dead, their bones chewed by tiger sharks. But guess who else was on the boat?

Australia’s hottest couple Tyron Swan and ………………………. Brinkley Davies!


Unless you are culturally gorked you will know that Tyron and Brinkley, hailing from South Australia, are magical creatures, soon to be ultra-famous. Tyron duct tapes paraplegics onto his back and takes them surfing. And he is handsome. Brinkley communes with sharks, killer whales, etc. And she gorgeous. Together they are unstoppable. And so when the boat capsized? No big deal! They floated along with it for a few hours in the black of night holding a five-year-old child and caring for a dog until the Coast Guard dropped them a boat and then came and snared them.

“It was no worries…” Brinkley told my wife afterward “…but if we had been back home we would have frozen to death.” But I disagree, positing their smoking good looks/pure hearts would have warmed the very ocean.

How thrilled do you think the Coast Guard was? For sure totally. It was definitely the world’s sexiest ocean rescue.