Robbie Maddison teahupoo
Robbie Maddison taking his moto to Tahiti isn't what you'd call sublime or gentle or treading gently but it is beautiful in its absurdity.

Revealed: Robbie Maddison’s Teahupoo Moto!

Did you wonder how a 100kg machine stayed afloat long enough to conquer Teahupoo?

Yesterday morning, shortly after we posted Robbie Maddison’s Teahupoo clip, I got a droll phone call from the most practical man I know.

Miles Pitt builds movie sets for a living and is responsible for a ton of similarly gimmicky surf shoots (flares on Bruce Irons and Jordy Smith’s boards, laser lights in a wave pool). He also owns a sunglass label that is stupidly successful (Rihanna and Lady GaGa wear ’em.) Click here etc. 


He said, “You know this is fake don’t you?”

I didn’t.

When he explained all the physics behind keeping a motorcycle afloat, I felt quite dense that I hadn’t even questioned it. We soon realised that the curtain was going to be lifted on this elaborate prank at the world premiere, Wizard of Oz-like, that was happening… now!

I immediately called Chas Smith who was at the premiere. Chas spoke to his old friend Raimana Van Bastolaer, who was the Tahitian fixer behind the shoot, inspected the motorcycle, and called back.

“It’s real,” he said.

And so it was.

The bike is a  KTM250 SX modified with skis that have little fins at the bottom to act as rudders and a paddle steamer-like back tyre. Maddison chose a two-stroke ’cause it was less likely to freak out in the water as opposed to a four-stroker.

The bike was first tested on an eight-mile ride in San Diego’s Mission Bay. But San Deigo ain’t Tahiti and Mission Bay ain’t Teahupoo.

At one point, Maddison hit a west bomb, one of those kinky straight-into-the-barrel waves only the best surfers dare challenge, and nearly died. Maddison told Rolling Stone, “There I was on a motorcycle, with the worst thing that could possibly happen… My friends and crew were completely rattled, having thought that I had drowned in the wave. It’s the gnarliest thing I have ever been through.”


Robbie Maddison Tahiti
Robbie’s modified KTM250, with skis and a paddle-steamer back tyre.






Lena Dunham and Laird Hamilton
Girls creator Lena Dunham finds refuge in the enormous crook of Laird's arm post-rescue. “I kept screaming ‘will I make it?!’ like we were in a disaster movie,” Lena confessed. “He said, ‘yes, Lena, we will.’ Ladies, there are a still a few heroes we can count on…"

Laird Hamilton saves Girls creator Lena Dunham

"Laird Hamilton is the King of Triton!" says Lena Dunham

Over the weekend a bikini-clad Lena Dunham set out on a three-mile (SUP) Tour, taking part in the “Paddle for Pink” event in the Hamptons, benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Lena Dunham is, of course, the 29-year-old creator of the HBO series Girls, a spokeswoman for mid-to-late-twenties, directionless, dissatisfied, nocturnally-loose, diurnally guilt-laden women everywhere, and the author of the memoir Not That Kind of Girl. 

Have you read? It’s all in there.

Here’s an excerpt, detailing an episode between Lena, aged seven, and her one-year-old sis.

Do we all have uteruses?” I asked my mother when I was seven.

“Yes,” she told me. “We’re born with them, and with all our eggs, but they start out very small. And they aren’t ready to make babies until we’re older.” I look at my sister, now a slim, tough one-year-old, and at her tiny belly. I imagined her eggs inside her, like the sack of spider eggs in Charlotte’s Web, and her uterus, the size of a thimble.

“Does her vagina look like mine?”

“I guess so,” my mother said. “Just smaller.”

One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked.

My mother came running. “Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!”

My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.

Anyway, out on her SUP,  Lena apparently thought she wasn’t going to make it.

We’re not sure if she meant she honestly thought she might not make it, as in live, or if she just didn’t think she could get to the finish line. Regardless, a bronzed, chiseled, savior would appear in the distance!

“This is an image of Laird Hamilton coming to save me,” she captioned a blurry Instagram shot. In it, Lena struggles. Laird, just in the distance, approaches, looking the Hunter and Lena the Hunted.

“He is literally King Triton and as I struggled to complete BCRF’s Paddle for Pink…he appeared as if from the ocean’s depths and guided me to the finish line…. I kept screaming ‘will I make it?!’ like we were in a disaster movie. He said ‘yes, Lena, we will.’ Ladies, there are still a few heroes we can count on…”

Laird Hamilton saves Lena Dunham
Lena’s blurry lil IG post showing Laird coming to her rescue.

We all need a hero, sometimes.

#ThankYouLaird #paddleforpink #3miles.


Honest question: Can we be environmentalists?

Surfers are gross polluters. Can we be better?

I was at the Pipe Dreams premier last night in Huntington Beach and wow. Robbie Maddison rode a bike into medium-sized Teahupo’o. The crowd, tres moto with much Rockstar and DC and Kawasaki, seemed to very much appreciate the stunt. Hoots all around!

As a surfer, though, it was a bit off-putting. I love an absurdist fantasy come to life as much as the next man, but watching a motorcycle drop in. Watching it rip across the reef and over Tahiti’s pristine blue. Watching brrrappp-brrrrappp-brrrappp on the water turned my stomach slightly.

Now, I ain’t no great conservationist but last night made me wonder if I should be. If we should all be. Kelly Slater is. Jeff Johnson is. Cyrus Sutton is. Lots of surfers are and good for them because we depend on the natural environment as much, or more, than most other groups. But surfers travel more than most other groups too and travel is massively polluting, no? A shaping boards, even in the greenest manner possible, is pretty much poison, no?

Yes, the evil we do, as surfers, is far greater than Maddo’s evil at Teahupo’o because no one will ever do what he did again. It was a stunt. A laugh. Not a sustainably fun new hobby. We are the gross polluters. We are the yucky few.

And that got me thinking about Cecil the Lion. Zimbabwe outlawed big game hunting through most of their parks due the furor of a beloved cat being slain by a Minnesota dentist. But sometimes the yucky few are the ones you need. Hunters, with proper permits, practicing properly, etc. self-police. They take out poachers, clean up others’ messes, know more about the region, and what the region needs to be healthy, than the knee-jerk bleeding hearts at home.

Which takes me back to the ocean. I don’t litter, dump motor oil down storm drains or apply sunscreen when surfing over reef (my skin is so brown!) but I also don’t march, sign petitions or go to beach clean-ups. And I don’t give to Surfrider Foundation. I did once but then they annoyed me with incessant email featuring a worn-out, hysterical tone. Every little thing was of MAXIMUM importance to the FUTURE of the OCEAN.

It all just seems so….tiring. Stylistically tiring, emotionally tiring, physically tiring. Tiring. And annoying.

Does environmentalism have to be annoying? Hysterical? Tiring? How can I be an environmentalist and not be annoying, hysterical or tired? Is there a middle way between being oblivious and always being wagged by the tail?

How can the yucky few be better?


Mick Fanning gives $75,000 to bodyboarder!

Donates 60 Minutes appearance fee to the Ballina bodyboarder hit by a white last month… 

Well, how about this. The three-timer who has been chased hither and yon like a goat in a game of Afghan polo for his story about being publicly wrapped up by a great white at J-Bay, has dropped his $75,000 60 Minutes appearance fee into the account of bodyboarder Matt Lee, who’s still in hospital one month after being hit by a White.

Matt, 32, was surfing dreamy little wedges at Lighthouse Beach, the next beach along from where Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara was killed by a white in February, when the four-metre (15-foot) white hit. His two pals got him to shore where a helicopter arrived to take him to hospital on the Gold Coast, where he remains.

To make it a round $100k, Channel Nine boss Dave Gyngell, also a surfer as it happens, has added $25,000.

Read the story here! 

And watch Mick on 60 Minutes here! (Click!)

Hurricane coming to eat up Hawaii!

Big waves, big winds!

The first hurricane of the season is bearing down on the Hawaiian Islands.

(Click here!)

I’m not a fan. I’ve been living here for eight years and I’ve never gotten used to the potential for kill storms. I’m SoCal beach cities born and bred, desert makes sense to me.

The ground can shake ’til buildings fall down and I’m not gonna blink an eye. But gale-force winds and torrential downpours scare the shit out of me.

Our old place in Haleiwa had a mango tree growing up through our lanai, supporting our roof. It was pretty kick ass. Except for teeming mass of rats that fed in it then spent whatever spare time they had playing tag inside our roof.

When the wind would start howling the entire house would set to swaying and it seemed like the roof would peel off and going flying into the void at any moment. Toss thunder into the mix and I’m a nervous wreck shivering on the couch while my french bulldog tries to figure out what the big deal is.  Mr. Debs doesn’t understand we could snuff it at any moment.

Living on Kauai doesn’t help, the specter of Hurricane Iniki hangs over my head whenever the weather forecast nerds go into hype overdrive.

“It’ll probably be no big deal, Rory, relax. Of course we thought Iniki was going to pass by and it destroyed everything.”

The 2011 tsunami didn’t help my nerves. We’d evac’ed to high ground and set to drinking when someone pulled up the footage of Japan getting smoked. It was on its way to us. I passed out in a folding chair on the side of Kam Highway, woke up expecting a wasteland.

Nothing happened. That time.

Prepping is kind of fun though. Buying up all the water and toilet paper you can. The water for obvious reasons, the TP because that’s what people do here and I figure they know what’s going on.  And it’ll be a good luxury to barter if times get hard. Other than that… strike anywhere matches, glow sticks, alcohol, tons of non perishable food like Pop Tarts and cases of chili. Candles if I can remember.

I’ve got a veritable arsenal of spearguns, which I understand aren’t as good as real guns, but are all sorts of intimidating. Hawaii doesn’t have high gun ownership rates anyway, so if I equip my end times war gang with ’em we should be able to get some business done.

One thing that really kills me though, I’m not getting my Picc line (a catheter that punches antibiotics into a man) removed until Wednesday, so I’m going to miss the bomb east swell that lights up all the spots near my house.