Shark attack: Surfer hit! Beaches Closed!

Surfer hit at Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie, life-threatening injuries… 

A little under two hours ago, a bodyboarder was hit by a shark at Lighthouse Beach at Port Macquarie, a five-hour drive north of Sydney.

According to police,

“About 5.10pm (Saturday 22 August 2015), a 38-year-old man was body boarding in the water with a friend about 400m south of the club house, when he was attacked by what is believed is a shark. The man was assisted out of the water and treated at the scene by Ambulance Paramedics to stomach and back injuries. All beaches in the area remain closed until further notice.”

A few weeks ago, a surfer was knocked off his board and mauled at Evans Head, a little north of Port. A week or so before that, a bodyboarder suffered serious injuries to his legs when he was hit at Ballina further north and in February the Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara died when he was attacked by a great white shark, also at Ballina.

Obviously, public opinion around those parts has shifted and “cull” isn’t seen as such a dirty word anymore. It’s instructive to compare the Gold Coast an hour north of Byron, with its shark nets and drum lines, with the NSW mid and North Coast.

Last year, 621 sharks were pulled off the lines and out of the nets: eight great whites, 251 tigers, 111 bulls and 173 whalers.

In the 53 years of netting, and with the biggest surfing population in the world, and one that’ll hit the Supa Bank in the middle of the night, there hasn’t been one fatal hit.

Not one.

Shark Attack Prank
"The prank was obviously fake, or so highly edited as to make it essentially so. Which is too bad, I'm a huge fan of mean spirited pranks."

Is this the funniest shark attack prank ever?

Who doesn't love striking fear into the hearts of other men?

There’s not a whole lot funnier than the ol’ fake-a-shark-attack-and-terrify-a-crowded-beach-full-of-weak-swimmers prank. Unless someone drowns, I suppose. That would be somewhat less funny, if some poor idiot panicked and latched onto a nearby wader and drug them both down to Davy Jones’ locker.

Hard to wring a chuckle when you’re trying to force life into a cyanotic hunk of flesh.

But the shark attack prank was obviously fake, or so highly edited as to make it essentially so. Which is too bad, I’m a huge fan of mean spirited pranks.

Like the setting-your-ex-girlfriends-house-on-fire prank.

(Click here to read!) Fucking classic!

And is there anything more hilarious than the legendary pretend-to-break-into-a-relative’s-house-and-get-shot-in-the-face prank? I think not!

(Click here!)

What about setting a sleeping homeless guy on fire? (Click here!) Good times! That’s the kind of stuff that makes for a fond memory and a hearty chuckle in your declining years.

Who can forget that time you tried to drown a classmate in a toilet and then crushed his larynx?

(Click here!) Ah, to be a kid again. Youth is truly wasted on the young.

I can’t begin to remember all the times my friends and I laughed ourselves hoarse after pulling off a successful jump-onto-a-moving-train-and-accidentally-electrocute-yourself prank.

(Click here!)

But pranks aren’t just for having a good time at another person’s expense. They can also make the work day just a little more bearable. Don’t believe me? Try starting a prank war with a co-worker. If past examples are any indication you’ll be in for guffaws galore.

(Click here!)

Fate: How John John Florence Met Blake Kueny!

Featuring Jordy Smith's honeymoon.

The most anticipated surf film of the year is, of course, View from a Blue Moon starring John John Florence and directed/filmed by none other than Blake Vincent Kueny (watch the trailer again here). It may seem obvious that the finest young surfer in the world would find the finest young filmmaker and the two would form a magical bond that crackles from the screen.

John John’s surfing? Blake’s images, razor sharp edit and singular direction? but it was not.

The fates intervened like they do in all storied collaborations. Like they did with Scorsese/De Niro, Winding Refn/Gosling, Nolan/Caine.

Mr. Kueny was once Jordy Smith’s principle filmmaker. He traveled the globe, shooting and editing most of Bending Colors (though credit for the film went to Kai Neville). It was a good life and Jordy was a star.

There was a kid his own age, though, that the people were buzzing about. A two-named wonder named double John.

Before he was on Hurley, John John rode for O’Neill and Jordy, of course, rides for O’Neill so the two would end up on trips together and Mr. Kueny was there filming the action. On one trip, Jordy brought his beautiful girlfriend and turned it into a honeymoon, leaving John John and Mr. Kueny by their lonesomes to talk shop, dream, create.

That ended up to be the true honeymoon and the two joined forces shortly afterward.

“Did it go well, you leaving Jordy?” I asked.

“It could have gone better. I could have handled it better…” Mr. Kueny responds “…but it is ok now.”

It is more than ok. And because Jordy turned a surf trip into a honeymoon we all benefit. Some things were simply meant to be.

(Watch Jordy shine under Mr. Kueny’s spotlight here)

perfect wave
Peel off a couple of hundred k and this is your front yard.

Gimme: A slice of beachfront Sumatra for $200k!

Got a little trust-fund cash? Want your own retreat fronting a spitting A-framer?

Surf-wise, y’can’t really swing past Indonesia. It squats right over the equator there so you don’t get hit by wind like you do in the Pacific or Indian (or Atlantic) and those south swells are as reliable as the morning call to prayer in this corner of the caliphate.

Want a piece?

There’s 2873 square metres of beachfront freehold land for sale to private buyers (i.e. not anyone wanting to start a surf camp) on Palau Simeulue in North Sumatra (Aceh).

It sounds like a dream! “The property is located on Simeulue Island in North Sumatra (Aceh) Indonesia. Approximately 200 meters from a world class Peak, which Aura Surf Resort is situated on. The property faces west on a 2km long white sandy beach and enjoys picturesque views of the ocean and outer islands, as well as amazing sunsets. The beach 50 meters to the north also has excellent consistent waves. Simeulue has consistent surf all year around. There are approximately 10 waves across the 150km long island.”

There’s a development plan for two bungalows, which the nearby Aura resort will build.

And once you’ve tossed over your 200k (which you can make over five easy payments during the construction of the bungalows) all you’ve gotta cough up is $534 a month for maintenance and whatever airfare it is to visit your kingdom every six or so months.

Buy here! 

Koda Beschen Munich
It might've been a huck and jib fest in the pool, but lil Koda Beschen, youngest of Shane Beschen's boys, burned rails! | Photo: Surf and Style European Championships

Kinda rad: World Chop-Hop Championships!

At Munich airport, can y'believe… 

It’s been almost 25 years since Tom Lochtefeld invented his FlowRider stationary wave, an idea that came to him while he was in his custom bathtub in 1987.

“Now this tub was not just an ordinary Kohler – it was my custom design, with a picture-window view from La Jolla Cove to Blacks,” says Lochtefeld. “Flying swan spigot, two outback shower heads, and eight custom Jacuzzi jets turbo’d by a five horsepower pump. Not one to just relax in the lap of luxury, I hooked up a series of hoses to those jets and started squirting water up molded plastic sheets. Voila, the FlowRider® Stage One.”

The FlowRiders, which y’can find everywhere from cruise ships to bars and, soon, China, resemble a moving skate half-pipe and, crucially, all those stationary waves created, sometimes by chance, sometimes by design, at rivermouths and at certain parts of a river.

What it means is, cats who grew up surfing at, say, the Munich Eisbach river wave, absolutely own FlowRiders. And, last week, at Munich airport (FlowRiders are so portable!), the Surf and Style European Championship was held (okay, not the world champs when it comes to stationary wave jams, it’s close) and, surprise, the Germans dominated.

What a thrill to see names like Fritz and Moritz in the limelight!

Yeah, y’can write it off as a chop-hop fest, but there’s something liberating about seeing gals bust out their fins and an absence of floaters or dead air as two surfers wait twenty minutes for a set.

Best of all, my old pal Quirin Rohleder stomped everyone and won the masters. (Hello to you!)

Anyway, here’s the clip. Do with it what you will.