Gold Coast “Open to Prowling Sharks!”

Relentless cyclone swells forces removal of shark nets… 

The Gold Coast in full cyclonic flower is a marvel that no human ingenuity can manufacturer, notwithstanding Kelly Slater’s Lemoore wavepool. And the last few weeks of waves have been considered, by some, to be the most exquisite in decades.

But did you know the Gold Coast City Council removed 11 shark nets from GC beaches over the weekend (Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Burleigh, Tallebudgera, Coolangatta,  Miami, Bilinga, Kirra, Kurrawa, Currumbin and Mermaid Beach), thereby opening the waves to “prowling sharks”?

As reported by the GC Bulletin, “Fisheries Queensland Acting Manager Shark Control Program Chris Watts said 25 nets would be removed across the state, with 11 to be removed from Gold Coast beaches. ‘Gear that is loose in the water can be a danger to swimmers and that’s why we are removing the apparatuses for a short period.'”

Whatever you think of stringing nets and drum lines to hook potentially deadly sharks, y’gotta admit they’re effective. While Byron Bay and Ballina surfers cower in packs close to shore, not even an hour north, surfers dance all day, all night. How many fatals since shark nets were introduced to the GC more than fifty years ago? Uh, none.

If you examine the shark net catch data, you’ll know why. Three Great Whites were caught in June last year between Burleigh and Surfers. In August, two eight-foot Whites were caught at Kirra. Thirty-five Tigers were caught between Snapper and Kirra, most of ’em around the eight-foot mark.

Oowee, and now the nets are gone?

Are you a little tremulous? Or is the weight of overcrowding so heavy, the weight of claustrophobia so great, that a shark attack (non-fatal, of course) might, in the short term, be a good thing?

The Eddie and Kim Kardashian!

What do America's sweethearts have in common?

We are all still reveling in the historic Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event that wrapped last week. A warm afterglow fills hearts and souls. I, for example, just got out of the water in sun-dappled southern California and guess what happened? The surf was biggish. I took off on a set wave. Pointed toward the shoulder before getting swallowed in the whitewash. Kicked my board out and the savage fury snapped my leash straight in half! Can you believe? I am like John John himself! Like Aaron Gold even!

While I wait by the mailbox for my invite to next year’s Eddie, let’s talk about what happened during this last one. Did you know that so many Hawaiians logged on to catch the webcast that Hawaii’s internet broke? It’s true!

Hawaiian Telecom released a statement mid-day that read:

We have received a handful of customer calls reporting intermittent latency or delays depending on what they are trying to do on the Internet, particularly if they are accessing sites outside of Hawaii. That’s code for!

A major company sent out a memo to employees reading:

Please avoid the use of streaming video for non-company business purposes (e.g. watching streaming video of The Eddie Aikau Memorial Surf Contest). Creative Services is uploading files today, but the uploads are being slowed by severe congestion in the company’s internet connection driven by streaming video.

The University of Hawaii sent students this message:

UPDATE: The issue is due to a problem with our network provider. They don’t anticipate the issue being resolved before the end of the business day. (When the Eddie concludes)

At one of Oahu’s private catholic high schools, Damien Memorial, the teachers locked bathroom doors so students couldn’t sneak in and watch the contest on their phones.

And how fabulous is all of that! Hawaii’s internet broken and not because of this:


But because of this!


Hooray for surfing!

Tom Dosland wipeout

Video Games Pay More Than Death Surf!

Five video gamers just split three-mill in a recent contest. What do big-wavers get? Honour?

There’s a big video game tournament going on right now, the DOTA2 Shanghai Majors. Pretty lame stuff, the fact of that professional video game playing actually exists.

I like video games, but they’re hardly the end-all pursuit.

Much cooler shit to be done in real life, games are great for rainy days when you feel like sitting on your ass and smoking hash. Which is fun, but hardly a healthy lifestyle.

Top prize for the group of five nerds who’ve spent the most time working towards a carpal tunnel disability check is $3.3 million dollars. Not too shabby. I think there’s some weird prize money split going on, each team has a patron and I’m sure they take a healthy cut.

Still, even if the boss takes half before the split, that leaves each player with a cool $330K. Which is a hell of a lot of money.

I tired watching a few minutes of the tournament, was bored as hell within a few minutes. I don’t understand the appeal of watching someone else play video games. But I’m old, so I don’t understand a lot of what goes on online. Chalk it up to “kids are dumb” and move on.

It boggles my mind that people can wrangle enough cash to pay video game dorks that much money, while big wave events drop $75k max, to first place. What’s going on?

Stupid question, I know the answer. It’s because “it’s an honor to be invited.”

Too bad honor doesn’t pay bills.

I’d buy the line if the contests were community initiatives, or run by charities. But, what’ve we got? Mavericks is owned by a nightclub promoter, the BWWT is a group of football guys, Eddie’s name is owned by a “global assets management firm.”

I know the deal, they’ve sold guys on the idea that they’re building the sport, the money will come, just play along and you’ll cash in. But that’s bullshit. Too easy to blow out a joint, end a career. Take your $1000 check and go home, loser.

I know the deal, they’ve sold guys on the idea that they’re building the sport, the money will come, just play along and you’ll cash in. But that’s bullshit. Too easy to blow out a joint, end a career. Take your $1000 check and go home, loser.

And keep your mouth shut. Say something wrong and you’re done. Blackballed, not a team player, plenty of stooges out there willing to work for free. Risk their lives for rent money.

Not that surf cos are any better. BBC dropped an interesting little clip today, Silvana Lima talking about the physical standards to which you must conform in order to scrape together sponsorship dough on the women’s end.

Very interesting, I didn’t know she was breeding French Bulldogs to support herself. I dig frenchies, got one of my own. Very amusing little snort fart burp monsters. Closer to a cartoon character than a real animal.

It’s time the riders realize there’s no honor in letting a for-profit entity earn money off their labors. It’s just empty rhetoric. Yeah, you might be doing it for love alone, but they are doing it for money.

The mainstream contests don’t exist to showcase surfing, they exist because someone smells a healthy profit somewhere down the line. The contest scene will dry up and blow away the day it’s decided they’re a poor return on investment.

Blood Feud: Me vs. Jim Heimann!

Slaps will rain!

Taschen is a wonderful publisher founded in Cologne, Germany. Their books are more works of art than mere pages sandwiched between covers. Who could deny The Pedro Almodovar Archives? Or Frank Sinatra has a cold? Expensive yes but not compared to the quality. Not compared to the approving looks you will receive from dinner party guests.

A new offering is simply titled Surfing. Let’s read about it!

This platinum tome is the most comprehensive visual history of surfing to date, marking a major cultural event as much as a publication. Following three and a half years of meticulous research, it brings together more than 900 images to chart the evolution of surfing as a sport, a lifestyle, and a philosophy.

The book is arranged into five chronological chapters, tracing surfing culture from the first recorded European contact in 1778 by Captain James Cook to the global and multi-platform phenomenon of today. Utilizing institutions, collections, and photographic archives from around the world, and with accompanying essays by the world’s top surf journalists, it celebrates the sport on and off the water, as a community of 20 million practitioners and countless more devotees, and as a leading influence on fashion, film, art, and music.

An unrivaled tribute to the breadth, complexity, and richness of surfing, this book is a must-have for any serious player on the surfing scene and anybody who aspires to the surfing lifestyle. As one surfing scribe has declared, “There has never been a book like this, and there will never be another one again.”

Edited by Jim Heimann, a cultural anthropologist and executive editor for Taschen America, it seems wonderful and would surely be a pleasure to own.

Except. Let’s examine this sentence a bit closer. “Utilizing institutions, collections, and photographic archives from around the world, and with accompanying essays by the world’s top surf journalists…”

And one more time, closer still. “…with accompanying essays by the world’s top surf journalists…”


Who the hell are these world’s top surf journalists? Certainly not me, apparently, if you can believe. I was not invited to participate in this unrivaled book. I was left on the sidelines standing shoulder to shoulder with Chris Binns and Tim Baker. Wait. Binnsy, were you invited? Tim, were you?


Am I the the world’s only top surf journalist who did not get the call?

Am I not a top surf journalist?


Matt Warshaw, you are certainly included. Can you call your best friend Jim Heimann and tell him I’m coming to his house to dish out some good old fashioned Hawaiian justice.


(buy here!)


Dazzling: Steph Gilmore in Latex!

Examine the six-time world surfing champion Steph Gilmore in neck-to-pelvis latex…

If you were served The Sydney Morning Herald this morning, you might’ve muttered a few medical terms when the insert magazine fell to the breakfast table. You might’ve even sent your servants for extra copies.

On the cover of the Good Weekend was the six-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore poured into a latex suit, face sculptured by Photoshop, hair slicked off face, looking as in-bloom as a tree whose branches are bent under the weight of sap.


A tremulous story within completed the picture. Let’s examine.

She’s got honey-blonde hair and green eyes. She can drive a golf ball 200 metres, and hold her breath underwater for more than a minute. She plays pretty decent flamenco guitar, and has been known to balance on a Swiss ball for two hours straight. She surfs two to three times a day, gets paid $1 million a year, and is so habitually cheerful that she’s been nicknamed Happy Gilmore.

Girl surfers love her; guy surfers love her. A recent Instagram post of her riding a wave at Waikiki while wearing a lei and playing a ukulele got more than 12,300 likes. She’s got the gait of a cat and the posture of a pine tree, and she says “please” and “thank you” more than you might expect of any other professional athlete on the planet. She is Stephanie Gilmore, and right now she’s standing in a photographic studio in inner-city Sydney, wearing a white cotton shirt over a wet bikini.

“Sorry,” says her flack. “We just came from a fashion shoot at Bondi.”

Wow,” Gilmore says, looking at her shirt. “It looks like I’m lactating.”


Gilmore, by contrast, signed a five-year, $5 million contract with Quiksilver in 2011, making her surfing’s highest-paid woman. Then there are her “partners”, which include Nikon and French fashion label Courrèges, which recently brought out a performance-wear collection in collaboration with Roxy that Gilmore flew to Paris to launch.

Gilmore is a sponsors’ dream: beautiful, articulate, and serially successful. She is also safe. She will never be caught drunk outside a nightclub. In the day I spent with her, she swore exactly once – then promptly apologised. Together with Kelly Slater, she is one of the few professional surfers who have been able to permeate the blood-brain barrier that exists between the surf world and mainstream culture. “She has a star quality that other girls have trouble matching,” Barton Lynch says.

Read the complete story here!