Surfing in Israel
Israel got waves? It do and it ain't just at a pinch. It's also the most insanely rad, bravest and loveliest country in the world. An experiment without precedent built on the rocks of the desert and on the sands of the moody Mediterranean. Let it bloom! Come swim!

Just in: WSL contest for Israel!

The world's bravest little country gets its own QS event…

A little over thirty years ago, the ASP swung into Tel Aviv for the Israel Pro. It was a speciality event and, in surprisingly good waves (this is the moody Mediterranean, after all) Derek Ho beat Rabbit Bartholomew.

Anyway, the WSL just announced the “Pro Netanya, a QS1,500 men’s event in Netanya – Israel, as the first event of the 2016 Qualifying Series sanctioned by WSL Europe.”

It’s the first time the world tour has been in this lovely part of the world for three decades. And what timing! Hint: read news.

The contest will launch the 2016 European Qualifying Series, there’s gonna be 1,500 ranking points available, and 25-gees prize money.

Oowee, it’s going to be fun. Have you ever been to Israel? I do advise a holiday there, or if you can throw a few turns together, maybe the contest.

I would go for the food, the chubby army gals, the mostly flat but occasionally real good waves, hospitality that just don’t stop, dazzling architecture and, if you’re a worldly sort of cat who like to create his own opinions, to see, with those two holes in your head, that the Jews ain’t the devils you might’ve been led to believe.

I would go for the food, the chubby army gals, the mostly flat but occasionally real good waves, hospitality that just don’t stop, dazzling architecture and, if you’re a worldly sort of cat who likes to create his own opinions, to see, with those two holes in your head, that the Jews ain’t the devils you might’ve been led to believe.

Read my summation of the joint here.


The contest runs Jan 16 to 27, 2016.

WSL promises wanton violence!

"Dreams made and destroyed daily" in "QS cage matches" the WSL says.

I was scrolling through minutes ago seeing what was happening in the world of sport when a strange advertisement caught my eye. It featured a picture of Kolohe Andino, hung dog, and read, “DREAMS MADE & DESTROYED DAILY” and then “QS CAGE MATCHES” and then “IT’S ON!”

And what the hell?

I get that it is an ad tailored to me because I watch surfing etc. etc. etc. and Google know where I go and what I do but advertising like surfing is mixed martial arts is a very strange thing to do. It is not, for one, and for two it is not even close.

And for three of course I don’t really want to see any dreams destroyed, especially not Kolohe’s. How do you think he feels that his picture is used, hung dog, to showcase, clearly, destroyed dreams? How do the surfers with actual destroyed dreams feel that the WSL is mocking their pain?

And for four, who is in charge over there?

Do they think, if the ad is being shown to non surfers too, that Ronda Rousey’s depressed fan base will click on surfing and be confused long enough to stick around awhile and then become fans? 

I don’t get any of it. Could you help me? Please.

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Noa Deane
North Point is very very good for anyone capable in the discipline of high jumps. Noa Deane, here, won't be there, but…John John, Filipe, Gabriel, Italo…  | Photo: Bosko/@boskophoto

Just in: North Point added to WSL Tour!

But only change to 2016 schedule… 

It’s a small tweak, but significant enough. The Margaret River event, number three on the schedule, now has the ability to move, not just to the Box, as we saw last year, but to North Point.

In case it doesn’t ring bells, here’s what North Point looks like from the world’s tiniest helicopter.

North Point Drone from Taj Burrow on Vimeo.

Makes Main Break, Margarets, look like the superseded wave it is, don’t it?

Apart from that, the rest of the tour stays the same, including Jeffreys Bay, which is really seizing the day, I think.

Will there be a terrible anxiety among the surfers? Maybe psychologists and chaplains to deal with any not-so-unexpected consequences?

Will the WSL employ Reunion Island’s vigie requin to patrol the Great White-infested lineup, as I suggested to the WSL’s media guy Dave Prodan?

From the WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow: “Athlete safety is a top priority for the League. We have been in constant discussions with our athletes, event organizers and administrators regarding the future of this event. The WSL has made significant investments in the areas of surveillance and response for all current and future Tour spots, and we are currently working with a number of firms specializing in mitigation technology that focus on both athlete safety and the safety of the marine environment.

“The strides we’re making in the areas of surveillance and response are significant, but there presently exists no technology that has been proven to be 100% effective. Our athletes are aware of this, as they have always been.”

In other words, we’ll have a swing at keeping the sharks out but, really, we ain’t superhuman.

And life’s about taking chances…

2016 World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Men’s Championship Tour
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast – March 10-21, 2016
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach – March 24-April 5, 2016
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro – April 8-19, 2016
Rio Pro – May 10-21, 2016
Fiji Pro – June 5-17, 2016
J-Bay Open – July 6-17, 2016
Billabong Pro Teahupo’o – August 19-30, 2016
Hurley Pro at Trestles – September 7-18, 2016
Quiksilver Pro France – October 4-15, 2016
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal – October 18-29, 2016
Billabong Pipe Masters – December 8-20, 2016

Strider to WSL: “Give Bruce the wildcard!”

WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski agitates for Bruce Irons to surf the Pipeline Masters!

The wonderful Strider Wasilewski, 1/5th of the World Surf League’s commentating team has come out swinging, this morning, for Bruce Irons! Instagram, if you haven’t noticed, is awash in Japan’s imperial flag and the younger Irons brother tossing two shakas. Underneath it reads #BRUCE4PIPEMASTERSWILDCARD.

If you click on the tag, much of the discussion sounds like this. “WSL…pull your fucken heads out of your asses and give Bruce the wildcard…” or “It’s the right thing to do @wsl you know it, we know it, let’s do it” or “I don’t want to go another season where Bruce is missing from the event.”

The World Surf League, when it was called the ASP, left Bruce off last year’s roster even though the event is held in honor of his brother. Much well-deserved rage ensued.

And we’re back! Strider’s voice, though, is maybe the most powerful not only because he is 1/5 of the World Surf League’s commentating team but because he is very thoughtful, writing:

Death brings so much emotion, when it’s a family member it brings even more. People deal with in in different ways and take time to get through it. Bruce Irons took his time to deal with his brother Andy Irons passing and is no surfing better than I have ever seen him surf…This post is a call out to the @WSL and @billabong to give @bruceirons a wildcard into the Pipeline Masters to surf in his brother’s honor. #bruce4pipemasterswildcard

Will the WSL do the right thing or will there be a mass revolt? Also, where would BeachGrit find the non-rumor half of its news if Instagram didn’t exist?

UPDATE: The WSL just responded to the hashtag barrage raining down upon them, issuing a Tweet:

We’re pleased to see Bruce Irons in the Pipe Trials, where the sole 2 wildcards at are awarded to the top 2 finishers.

Will this satisfy the masses? Also, does the Tweet read passive-aggressive or is it just me?


John John getting filmed!
John John getting filmed!

Rumor: John John Florence fires agent!

Is the world's favorite surfer becoming a prima donna?

I finally finally saw the masterwork View from a Blue Moon last night, on a biggish screen with wonderful sound, and it is everything already written. Gorgeous. Stunning. Jaw-dropping. Bravo to all.

The only issue I had was with the title lock. View from a Blue Moon hovers mid-top screen in a perfect font. Design team Wedge & Lever delivered a spectacular look/feel though out and should be applauded. Below that and smaller reads “A film by John Florence and Blake Vincent Kueny.”

John John is, of course, the star and I’m certain very involved in the production but it is a story about him more than it is a story by him. Mr. Kueny bobs and weaves through a chronological narrative, banging to snatches of culture, segueing to surf porn with such a deft hand that his name should stand alone. He is the film’s director and John John would have done better to leave his own name out of the slot where a director’s goes. If John John wants to direct he can and should but maybe in the vein of Dane Reynolds who directed a film about someone else, namely Craig Anderson.

John John is magnificent but has being so magnificent maybe gone to his head? An industry source (not Hurley) tells me that the world’s favorite surfer parted ways, allegedly and recently, with super agent Terry Hardy. Terry has represented Kelly Slater forever, guiding him to unprecedented success, making him as close to a household name as a surfer can be. It seemed a match made in heaven but apparently not? Before Terry, John John rested in the stable of other super agent Blair Marlin who represents Dane amongst others but those two parted ways two-ish years ago.

Again, only a rumor and, if true, maybe justified but swapping personnel frequently ain’t a good look in sport or show biz. It smacks of perpetual dissatisfaction and dear John John should not be dissatisfied. His career is a speeding freight train, fueled in large part by those around him, and only he can derail it.