Ancient blood feud: Hurley vs. Bong!

Hatred has percolated since 1998. Will it explode this year?

Some blood feuds are fresh, fiery, totally now. Like Gold Coast surfers vs. Mick Fanning. Such vitriol! Others, though, stretch back into the mists of time. Like Bob Hurley vs. Billabong! A generation ago, Mr. Hurley was a simple surfboard shaper with an eye for business. He acquired the United States license for Billabong and things were so on the up and up. Money flowed, everyone was happy. Except apparently Bob. He shocked the surf world by splitting with Australia’s favorite label in 1998 and started America’s favorite eponymous one minutes later, directly competing against his old friends. Nothing says “blood feud” like business!

The years passed, Nike acquired Hurley in 2002, started its own surf team and then dumped it, transferring all pros, some against their wills (there were rumors of tears!), to Hurley. And like that Hurley had a super team! John John and Kolohe, Filipe and Julian, Ace and Michel, Nat and Simpo. But of course there would be multiple World Surf League championship trophies hoisted under the banner of )(. Right?

Except then Gabs Medina won under the banner of Rip Curl and then Adriano de Souza won under the banner of ? And this year, Billabong is back, having assembled a super team of their own, gnashing well-worn teeth directly at Bob and his empire. Let us examine.


Hurley’s 2016 CT roster:

Julian Wilson

John John Florence

Filipe Toledo

Michel Bourez

Nat Young

Kolohe Andino

Ace Buchan

Conner Coffin

Miggy Pupo


Billabong’s 2016 CT roster:

Taj Burrow

Joel Parkinson

Italo Ferriera

Jack Freestone

Ryan Callinan


And whose is better? If you were a betting man would you say the year belongs to Hurley or to Billabong? Let’s bet, man!

P.S. If the above gentlemen were in a band instead of surfers what sort of music would they play? Joel would, for sure, be on bass. Jack lead vocals. Ryan on drums. Italo on rhythm guitar and Taj on lead guitar. Am I wrong?

Just in: Mick Fanning a “Greedy Pig”!

Fans turn on semi-retired world champion… 

One of the most enduring effects of surfing is the way it grows our contempt for humanity. Far from being free-thinkers and guardians of the universe, the 21st century surfer must, in most instances, scrap and outwit and outmanoeuvre to get even a handful of waves to fight off feelings of irritability and frustration.

You really don’t need me to point out that Snapper through Greenmount is the worst joint on earth for it. There ain’t a way around it. To get waves you’ve gotta ignore every rule you were ever taught about surfing etiquette, about politeness, about empathy. I had a pal who flew up for the Winston swell. In two-and-a-half days he caught six waves. One wave, he said, was “alright.”

A little bonus, I always thought when I lived there, was how much pleasure it gave when a pro surfer dropped in on me. I could see what I thought was improbable, implausible. How important it was to turn sharper, harder, more in the pocket. Those closeout sections could actually be made if y’just ride a little higher, pump a little harder. A free lesson. Who could buy such an intimate angle on world-class surfing?

So why would you bum out when Mick Fanning, maybe the best-ever at Snapper, does a little wave share?

The UK’s Daily Mirror, a two-million-papers-a-day tabloid made for the lower-end of the IQ spectrum, blew air onto the social media embers today after Mick stuffed another local in the barrel.

The headline reads: ‘Did you get any waves where you didn’t burn someone? Greedy pig’: Furious locals accuse pro surfer Mick Fanning of stealing their waves at famous break Snapper Rocks

Let’s examine.

“Locals from Tweed Heads took to social media to call out the surfing pro: They say the three-time world champ is ‘greedy’ and ‘disrespectful: Many took issue with Fanning for tucking into a 24-second barrel this year: To do so he forced a younger surfer who was on the wave first to wipe out.

“Many took particular issue with an instance in January when the 34-year-old clearly pulled in on a younger surfer before tucking into an impressive 24-second barrel.

‘Did u (sic) get any waves where you didn’t burn someone? Greedy pig,‘ one of his critics wrote.

‘Hilarious, everyone’s got so much respect and admiration for Mick, yet he’s out there burning and disrespecting locals on a regular basis,’ another added.

‘I get that he’s a local and they should get there (sic) fill, but for someone that surfs the best waves on the planet all year round, it’s a bit greedy.’

“Tweed Heads, where Fanning grew up with fellow pro surfer Joel Parkinson, is a relaxed coastal city sitting on NSW’s north-eastern tip and a short drive from the Gold Coast.

‘Fanning has had the opportunity to catch so many amazing waves in the past year yet has no problem dropping in on what could be the ride of this guys life,’ one man wrote.

I think surfer mags and sites should boycott any clips where pros snake the average Joe to get the shot.’

I guess when you’re professional surfer Mick Fanning you can drop in on someone, snake their wave, and get the World Surf League to post a video and talk about how ‘well’ you’re doing in the off season. Unreal,’ said another.

“Others were less eloquent with voicing their disapproval.

‘I don’t like Mick Fanning because he’s a dirty rotten drop in snake,‘ one man penned.

‘Fanning is a dog drops in on so many people,’ wrote another.

‘What a deadset kn**, no respect for surf law, can’t wait to see the end of him,’ one man concluded.

What do you think about such a thing? Can you wait to see the end of Mick Fanning? Do you think surfer mags and sites should boycott any clips of pro’s dropping in?


Are you, like me, thrilled to ride in Fanning or Slater or whomever’s exhaust?

Read the story and see the video here. 

Warshaw: “What the hell’s a Freestone?”

"And far as a pretty face and serviceable air game not being what they once were, Kolohe proved that two or three years ago..."

Everyone in the surf media game has had their rookie pieces slotted, filed, posted. We tire of writing about the same faces just like you tire of reading about them. And rookies! Promise! Freshness! Youth!

But why am I feeling so tepid this year? Why don’t I care? Is it because I am aging? Well let me then talk to another aging man about the boys and not just any aging man either but the Professor, the esteemed Doctor, the Scholar, Matt Warshaw! Let us sink our yellowed fangs into the supple skin of their necks and suck!

Would you like to join us? Pull up a stool.

Chas: So. Jack Freestone. Does he do anything for you? He seems like a perfect creation. Strong name, stronger jaw, one half of surfing’s golden couple but he leaves me totally cold. You?

Matt: My favorite rookie, nobody else is even close. Are you kidding? Charging Pipe like that at 17! The Moe Howard haircut, the stammer, the brave little voice box. He’s the one to watch!

Chas: Mmmmm, you’re talking about Jack Robinson.

Matt: . . . ?

Chas: Jack Robinson is the teenager from Margaret River. Jack Freestone is older one, from the Gold Coast.

Matt: “Fuck the WSL!” That guy?

Chas: That’s Noa Deane.

Matt: Shit.

Chas: Do you really not keep up with the kids? Do you really not pick your favorites from the womb? How do you know who will be the next Rob Bain?

Matt: It’s from keeping Rob Bain’s good name from disappearing down the sinkhole of history that I don’t keep up with the kids. The best I can do is keep up with Steve Shearer, who keeps up with the kids. Then of course I am swift and agile when it comes to jumping on WCT rookie bandwagons, like I did with Italo last year. Are there any Italo’s in 2016? Isn’t there a new Brazilian kid with a cool name?

Chas: Ciao Ibelli.

Matt: Ciao Ibelli! Well there you go. The Brazzos are better than everyone else before the heat draw even gets posted. I pick Ciao for Rookie of the Year, and Italo for the title.

Chas: That right there is exactly what I was getting at! Have the Brazilians spoiled us? Jack Freestone would have thrilled, had he come on five, ten years ago right? But now a pretty face and a serviceable air game gives us nothing. Right? Are we all brown on the inside or does Jack Freestone have some rabid fans that I am just missing?

Matt: He’s got a quarter-mil followers on Insta, but I don’t know if that number is big in this day and age, or how rabid his fans are. And far as a pretty face and serviceable air game not being what they once were, Kolohe proved that two or three years ago.

Chas: Who do you like at Snapper this week?

Matt: What’s the forecast?

Chas: Medium-small the first week, probably nothing much bigger after that.

Matt: Filipe wins; Medina semis or better, Brazil will load up half the quarterfinal slots. Fanning, though, without the pressure, might run the board. Early exit for Julian Wilson and de Souza. Am I high, or is that just so damn spot on?

Chas: Spot on except I still believe in Jules. He holds the dying ember of my heart.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Now let's reduce 'em to sex objects, show 'em who's boss…

It’s International Women’s Day! Three cheers for the nigger of the world! 

The WSL dropped a very stirring edit. Yep, they love the ladies. Who else is gonna play second banana, fill potential dead air when the tide changes, the wind comes up, and the surf goes to shit? I could link to it, but I won’t. Instead, let’s all watch the following monument to empowerment, the Roxy Pro propaganda from a couple years back.

Amazing! Liberating! Bread and motherfucking roses!

Now you may think, just because I’m almost totally financially supported by a woman, that I’m some sort of enlightened male who recognizes that gender equality benefits everyone. You couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, it eats away at me every single day. Because I desperately need to feel superior, and since I lack any real basis for said superiority I cling to vestiges of social inequality. It’s just too damn hard to raise myself up, better to hold others down.

So I’m gonna use today to knock all those uppity ladies down a peg. Reduce ’em to sex objects, show ’em who’s boss.

Here are the top ten women on the WCT, ranked by attractiveness. Because if anyone really cared about their ability they wouldn’t be…

10. Laura Enever: So hot, but knocked down the rankings by her own confidence. Give me some shame, there’s nothing worse than a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin.

9. Tatiana Weston-Webb: Owns the best bottom turn and backside roundhouse on tour. Too blonde though, I like a bit of dirt in my sandwich.

8. Keely Andrew: Got a tomboyish vibe that screams, “I’d be easily manipulated by an older man.” And that really works for me.

7. Nikki Van Dijk: With a face and name like that how can you not imagine she’s the tube sock you spent this morning humping away at?

6. Johanne Defay: Loses points for being French.

5. Alessa Quizon: She’d be higher on the list, but she’s just too damn flat chested. If she took a year off to suture in some inflatable fun-bags she could easily jump a spot or two.

4. Tyler Wright: The haunches of a thoroughbred, perfect for pumping out my babies.

3. Bianca Buitendag: I’ve got a, well, I guess you could call it a fetish, for tall women. I dream of banging away at a woman who’s bigger than me. Vertically. Been down the horizontal road many a time.

2. Sage Erickson: The epitome of muscular voluptuous. That curly hair, that killer smile. If only she weren’t religious. Yeah, the inherent Christian body shame is great, but how am I supposed to lure her back to my lair?

1. Coco Ho: Oh! Coco Ho, slathered in cocoa butter, the very idea makes me coco-nuts! Brown skin, tight body, we’d make the cutest little hapa babies. And I could inject some height into the Ho gene pool.

Rumor: Kelly Slater to skip Snapper!

Kelly Slater, still the biggest draw of the World Surf League, is allegedly not even in Australia!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the professionals are almost surfing. Oh the thrill of a new year on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour! The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at the famed Snapper Rocks kicks off in either two days or tomorrow depending on where you live/when you read this and there is new blood (Jack Freestone, etc.) and old blood (Taj Burrow etc.) and hot blood (Joel Parkinson) and missing blood (Kelly Slater).

Yes! You read that right! In a wild turn of events, a rumor is floating on those New South Welsh pre-cancerous winds that Kelly Slater, eleven time world champion, friend of chia, enemy of genetic modification, is not currently on the Gold Coast and maybe not planning on coming at all.

Apparently, and from a source on the ground, all the surfers were required to report to the event site yesterday. And all the surfers did. All except Kelly Slater who was said to still be in Hawaii.

Of course and of course, The Inertia‘s hero is known for his tricks, for his mind games, for his sleight of hand. And of course and of course he holds all the cards. If he didn’t, say, follow protocol and instead showed up wearing one of Occy’s muumuus instead of an officially sanctioned WSL singlet (for sale in the gift store) five minutes into his heat do you not think event organizers would let him paddle out? Of course and of course they would!

Kelly Slater is a draw. He is a world title threat (not really but let’s pretend). He is a wonderful surfer and the powers know it.

So will he show up? Our source is on “Kelly Watch” and you will know as soon as we do. But in the meantime, let’s read a little more Zach Weisberg:

That’s not to say we don’t take our lickings internally, discuss and make adjustments where appropriate, but we thought it might be a constructive initiative to acknowledge outrage when it happens, attempt to contextualize it and provide insight from our perspective, and give you, our trusty, loyal readers, access to our logic in how and why we do what we do. Contrary to what you might believe, we don’t really want to kill all that you (and we) love. Not yet.

The Inertia staff take their lickings internally? Wow!

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