Another Basque Triumph: Electric Surfboards!

First Wavegarden, now another cure for flat-day bummers… 

The Basques are an industrious, smart and only occasionally violent people (Hello ETA!). Ten years ago, Wavegarden was formed and has since become a sort of hot-bed of Basque engineering talent from San Sebastian.

You ain’t got waves? Overrun with sharks? Wavegarden will put the world right.

And now, another Basque company, Onean, are about to release three electric surfboard models.

The UK Daily Mail describes the vehicles as thus:

“Its 440W motor and axial water pump allows it to slalom over the water’s surface at speed, so adrenaline junkies can perform tricks and make sharp turns. They can control the direction of the board by leaning and the power by pressing buttons on a handheld remote control. The board’s battery lasts around 20 minutes on a single charge if it is pushed to its limits.

“The firm says on its website: ‘With the Carver you will immerse yourself into a completely new and unbelievable sense of freedom. ‘Tides and wind conditions dependencies remain to the past, now you have nothing to depend on but yourself.’

“The rectangular-shaped Manta is designed for relaxed cruising and has a top speed of 5 mph (8km/h) with more than two hours use on a single charge.

“Its stable and buoyant ‘for those wanting to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of taking long tours or excursions at low speed,’ according to the company.

You like? Three-and-half-thousand Euros apiece ($US3800). Buy here. 

Sunset Surfer

Do it: The 12-Hour Surf!

Why you should milk the teats of a summer's day …

If you’re living in the northern hemi, you’re drinking in the final few weeks of summer. Soon, there’ll be no shredding before or after work, just a world of dark, and crowded weekends.

My advice? Punch out a few pre-dawn to post-dusk surfs before your part of the world starts to tilt away from the sun. Surf so much you have enough memories to drag you through winter.

Right now, north of the equator, it’s possible to surf from five-thirty am til eight pm. It ain’t easy but the rewards are magnified for reasons I’ll explain below.

1. You’ll own the lineup: First surfer out always has a proprietorship over the waves. Every single surfer who paddles out early will see you as the wave’s caretaker and will generally yield in those first few early hours. This is presuming of course that this is your regular surf spot.

2. Surf yourself into form: By surfing for over a dozen hours straight you’ll experience a sharpness in your surfing you’ve never felt before. Want to know why John John Florence and Dane Reynolds are the best two surfers in the world? They’re hippos. They boil in their tanks! They never get out!

3. Meet your surfboard: Catch a hundred-plus waves in a row, on the same day, and your surfboard will become as familiar as an old friend (or a terrible foe). Suddenly, you’ll feel your fins, the concave under the front foo

4. Experience thirst like a marooned sailor: There’ll come a point when it becomes absolutely necessary to beach a wave and suck on a tap. You hear about cats on life rafts, lost at sea, drinking seawater such is their madness. Water never tasted so fine. Better than ice-cold Coca Cola served from a dusty vending machine!

5. It’s profound: See a sun rise and watch it set on the same day and know that you’ve watched earth’s daily 360 at work.

6. The day belonged to you: You were the first in and the last out. The day belonged to you.

Satisfying? Yes and yes. 

Troubling: Scientology recruiting surf fans!

Group masquerading as anti-drug turns out to be L. Ron Hubbard disciples! Chaos ensues!

If you think that the Billabong Pro, Tahiti is the only show in town than you have another thing coming. The Vans Pro, in Virginia Beach, is on right now. Surfer Michael Dunphy wowed the home crowd last year with his small wave attack and slack-jawed “who me?” expression. Will he repeat or will Matt Passaquindici topple the king? Tune in!

Also, the Sooruz Lacanau Pro, at Grande Plage, Lacanau France is running. Next heat features Andy Criere, Enzo Cavallini, Edouard Delpero and Luis Diaz Urrejola. Which one is on your fantasy team?

Speaking of fantasy teams, Scientology is also at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro but secretly. The Local, France’s news in English reported today that, “…the event’s organizers thought that it would be the perfect place to spread information about the dangers of drugs. Accordingly, the anti-drug association ‘Non à la drogue, oui à la vie’ (No to drugs, yes to life) was granted permission to set up a stall at the event, where members would hand out notices to people about narcotics and get them to sign petitions.

However, two days into the competition, which runs from August 13th to 23rd, the organizers noticed that the stall was not all that it seemed. After being alerted to some of the conversations taking place at the stall, the organizers reportedly realized that the association was in fact financed by the Church of Scientology.

‘They were converting. We were fooled, misled,’ a spokesperson for the surfing competition was quoted as saying by Le Parisien.”

Scientology is considered a sect in France, thus not afforded the traditional liberte, egalite, fraternite, and the offending zealots were forcibly removed from the event. Who do you think they were after though? Do you think they wanted Nanook Ballerin to swing on over to the L. Ron side? Do you think they hoped for a true star like Michael Dunphy and his open-mouthed “huh?” appeal? I would have to think that Michael Dunphy would grow into the Tom Cruise of professional surfing in Scientology’s hands. An unstoppable juggernaut.

"Any of you babes wanna hook up to my e-meter? We could do some really fly auditing."
“Any of you babes wanna hook up to my e-meter? We could do some really fly auditing.” -Michael Dunphy

Gabriel Medina Tahiti

Sufficiently Fierce: Day three, Billabong Pro, Tahiti!

…where John John loses, but only just, as Gabriel rigs his sails, finally!

World title defences are, for the most, subdued and Gabriel Medina, currently wearing a shame face in fifteenth, is nothing if not conformist.

What we’ve forgotten in the furious gale of Toledo-fever is that Gabriel has a weird witchcraft. This ability to look like he’s sleep-walking and…yet… grab his competitors by the throat and fling their carcass out of an event. It’s incomprehensible and awful to some, genius to others.

Did you watch his round three with John John? As uncanny as John John’s tube riding is, as much as his post-barrel turns take your breath away, as much as he collects nines on every ride, he couldn’t beat the stubborn world champ. John was lost in astonishment.


And do you remember last year? When Gabriel beat Kelly Slater who was in the form of his life, in the best waves surfed at a Teahupoo contest?

A little prediction. Gabriel will wash the year away with a win, maybe two (France, Portugal), finish top four and return, enthusiastic and fabulous, for title two in 2016.

In the meantime, Aritz Aranburu thrashed Mick Faning, Italo Ferriera, who could talk the hind-legs off his favourite dog in the post-heat interviews, found ramps and Filipe ended Brett Simpson’s fanciful dream of a ninth or better.

Full report here!

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Results:Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.97 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.13 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00

Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.23 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.70

Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83

Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (HAW) 19.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.84

Heat 6: Bruno Santos (BRA) 16.20 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.70

Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 15.17 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.67

Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.66


Upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Match-Ups:

Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)

Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)

Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)

Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)

Scandal: Surfer caught plagiarizing! Again!

In a move rocking the publishing world, Surfer Magazine admits (basically) that it has run out of ideas.

8ish short months ago, Surfer Magazine took a cover concept from the defunct, but brilliant, Transworld Surf. It featured John John Florence with the words “Watch the Throne” written bold. As stated on this very website, the unattributed “borrowing” was, “Not a long enough time ago for Surfer’s issue to be homage. Not a short enough time ago to be ‘we thought of it first just printed late.’ Just the right amount of time ago to be uh oh!” (read whole story here!)

And they have done it again. Transworld‘s first cover under its brilliant, yet enigmatic, creative director Sam Allen, showed a young African boy bodyboarding a wave whilst sticking out his tongue in black and white. It was as bold as it was perfect and I asked Mr. Allen about it one day. How in the world did the magazine agree to such different cover? He told me that he had to swap everything out under cover of darkness and sneak it in. Have you ever heard of such a thing at a major publication? His instincts were, of course, right and today that cover is lauded as one of the best of all time.

Though it is very well known, Surfer apparently has no moral objection to borrowing the concept for their latest cover and feature the same boy (maybe) with his friends standing in the waves and smiling. In black and white.

Sources have confirmed that the Surfer staff is thinking about re-naming their website PeachGrit. We will, of course, keep you up to date.