Blood Feud II: Wilko v Murdoch!

Should Fred Pawle be bashed, raped and killed? Wilko supporters say yes!

Do you remember yesterday when Matt Wilkinson called for the inclusion of sharia law in our judicial system?

The Quiksilver Pro champion become overheated when he was called a “yobbo” and “not pretty” in a headline in the sports section of The Australian newspaper and said, “Who thinks this guy deserves a flogging?”

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Wilko’s pals, which include the former ASP chief Brodie Carr, surf journalist great Tim Baker and ASL editor Wade Gravy who included a photo of the writer of the story, were universal in their condemnation of the headline and the story contained within.

Their case stuttered when it was revealed that if you moved beyond the headline (which was written by a sub-editor) the writer had actually called Wilko’s surfing “the most beautiful in the world” and “fast and brutal…a refreshing alternative.”

A few minutes ago, the writer responded in The Australian with a piece called The Day a Pro Surfer Wanted Me Flogged

Let’s examine.

Yesterday I became the target of a social media mob who called for me to, among other things, be bashed, raped and killed.

“Nothing new or, to be honest, disturbing about that. Keyboard warriors are as ubiquitous and harmless on social media as cockroaches on a balmy night.

“What was unusual, though, was that I was being pilloried for saying something nice. If vitriol and incitements to violence can now be triggered for expressing compliments, then, at the risk of sounding grim, free speech in this country is in serious trouble.”


“Why was he offended? Did he actually read the story? Or did he think I’d called him “not pretty”? His followers certainly thought so. Amid the hundreds of messages telling him how pretty he really is were other messages vehemently agreeing with his opening conclusion, which soon degenerated into suggestions of rape and murder. Lovely people, Wilko’s followers.

“All harmless fun, of course, to which I was oblivious until my 17-year-old son, who has the same name as me, contacted me to ask why he was copping abuse on Instagram.”


“We are living in increasingly intolerant times. Wilko’s instinctive response to an imagined slight was to incite a mob into a frenzy of fury.

“The right to be offended now extends to words intended as compliments, and the mob responds like an overcrowded cage of rabid Pavlov’s dogs. We are facing a generation of young adults to whom opposing arguments are not ideas to be contested, but justification for two dismally immature emotions: fleeting moral vanity and raging hatred. Neither of these emotions is essential to a normal, healthy life, or society, for that matter.

“More disturbingly, among the mob were three surf journalists. One of them, Nick Carroll, whose recent biography of his former-world-champion brother Tom describes him as the “world’s best known surf writer”, ignored the obviously dark, anti-journalistic forces at work and instead posted a sycophantic message to Wilko: ‘I think you’re pretty.’

“When even journalists run with the bloodthirsty pack, we are in a dangerous situation. When the pack is responding to an imaginary slight, the danger becomes ubiquitous. Who will they turn on next?

“Does Wilko think he made a mistake? Was it an impulsive act that he now realises was unwise and even a bit uncool? He won’t tell me. I messaged him last night, then again this morning, asking if we could talk about the storm he unleashed. I also left a message with Neil Ridgway, the marketing manager at Rip Curl, Wilko’s main sponsor. Neither replied.

“When I woke this morning, I noticed that Wilko had taken down the offending post from Instagram.”

Read the full story here (I didn’t cut and paste it all. She long!)


Mick Fanning Kolohe Andino
“You tell him for me: if he fucks with you, if he lays one Russian knuckle on you, your buddy is coming after him and someone's gonna need a screen door to fish out the pieces.” Now go get 'em, tiger. | Photo: WSL

“Filipe makes Kolohe look soft-cock!”

And other possibly unwarranted observations by Matt Warshaw from the Quiksilver Pro… 

You know perfectly well who Matt Warshaw is. Former pro surfer, former Surfer editor turned author turned surfing historian. 

Often, we’ll have an email back and forth about whatever is making noise. Do you remember when he called Pottz a “bully” and Joe Turpel “blank?

Or when Kelly revealed his pool and he said, “Wavegarden just went Betamax! Wavegarden execs are standing on office building ledges, crying, looking down at the sidewalk!”

I was interested, therefore, what Warshaw made of the Quiksilver Pro, given his prolific tweeting and his loose mouth.

BeachGrit: I felt like Snapper went perfectly to script: eye-glazing early rounds, dazzling later rounds and quarters and semis, then a final where it felt like everyone was pretty over it, including the organisers and the waves. What impressions were you left with?

Warshaw: Crushed at Filipe’s bad luck. Elated that a doofus like Matt Wilkinson can win at the CT level. Impressed but not overwhelmed by Stu Kennedy. Terrified at the WSL’s Stalinist tactics against our free press. Where to start?

BeachGrit: What’s your take on Stu Kennedy. Snapper is one wave where glitches in technique aren’t immediately apparent. Do you think that he’s a victim of market forces/surf industry conspiracy, as was the line in our contest report, or that he had a very good run, one unlikely to be repeated?

Warshaw: I’ve seen a couple of impressive vid clips of Stu, and was amazed at how steady he looked up against that murderer’s row he drew at Snapper. But for the moment, to me, he’s just a huge question mark. Seems like his Tomos will go well at Bells, and he’s a game little fucker from what I hear. But the Box, or North Point? Or Teahupoo, Cloudbreak, Pipe? Who knows? And that’s the great part. If he gets a start in all the events this year, it’ll be worth tuning in just to see how the kid from the sticks does against all that hardened talent, at all those spirit-crushing breaks. Snapper no doubt was the easiest possible entry point for Stu. I’d bet he has the talent to back it up from here to Pipe, but maybe that’s coming from just so badly wanting to see things get shaken up. Did your heart break a little when Filipe went down?

BeachGrit: Did my heart break? Everything broke. Filipe held the event in his hand. Do you like Rosy calling him Phillip Toledo?

Warshaw: Rosy could read the latest Donald Trump latest poll numbers and I’d still like her.

BeachGrit: How about Wilko winning?

Warshaw: Watching Wilko get the result as he was leaving the water, it was like Christmas morning. The joy and relief on his face. I could not stop smiling. Wilko gets to slide his hairy softness into the yellow jersey at Bells, and pro surfing at this moment is so great.

BeachGrit: Wilko for the 2016 world title?

Warshaw: Longshot, but not impossible! Bells suits him. J-Bay suits him. Big, hollow lefts. Lowers is Snapper-like enough that you’d give him a shot there, too. I don’t think he has the head for a year-long campaign, but who knows? Potter fucked off a bunch of years on tour drinking and drugging than went on that crazy world title tear. Wilko could do the same.

BeachGrit: Could Wilko be surfing’s first great gay icon? Is he big in San Francisco, you think? Among the bears? And while we’re on gay types, who is a cub, an otter, a jock, a panda, a Koala Bear, wolf, a twink and a mink? Am I obsessed? I feel like I’ve wandered down this path before.

Warshaw: Stoners, frat boys, Newport Beach single moms – honestly, there isn’t a demographic out there that doesn’t love Matt Wilkinson. Let’s change topics. WSL put a hit on the BeachGrit Facebook account? Can we talk about that?

BeachGrit: …oh, that! I was under the impression that if a post was left intact, with commentary, no added music, and maybe a positive comment, we could run it. I’m a fan! I love pro surfing! Filipe gets a ten! Of course I want to run a clip of it. Boom. Down comes the hammer. Three days suspension from FB. Catastrophic, traffic-wise. But, I do understand the reasoning. It’s why websites have private video players. If you want it, you only get it from one source. …but it did make me very sad. The WSL’s Dave Prodan, whom I love to bits, apologised but rules are rules etc.

Warshaw: If I may translate. This was a petty, counterproductive, horseshit move by the WSL. Derek, apparently you’ve lost the will to fight. But Chas and Rory, I trust, are at this moment sharpening their pitchforks, and I eagerly look forward the two of them rushing the WSL Fortress of Doom.

BeachGrit: You were so cruel to Brother before this contest, and over his career. I’ve never fallen out of love with him. Am I vindicated?

(At this point Matt sent one of his Tweets.)

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Warshaw: Although, in truth, I was not greatly impressed. Little more muscle this year, but still flicky for my taste. In waves like Snapper, everything about Filipe makes Kolohe look kinda softcock. To use Kong’s timeless expression. Kolohe I bet would be the first to say that to one degree or another, in CT level competition, he checks all his turns. Not a lot, but enough to see with the naked eye. Filipe and Stu both kept the rail buried longer. “Softcock” is too harsh for what Kolohe was doing. Kong invented it I believe for Mike Parsons.

BeachGrit: So quick to prostrate yourself! Like me and the WSL! Tell me, were you enchanted by Matt Wilkinson’s backhand? I believe, his top to bottom, is superior to Gabriel’s. Do you agree?

Warshaw: No, but you couldn’t live on the difference.

BeachGrit: Tell me, five things good, five things bad about the Quiksilver Pro and any portents for the 2016 season.



– Stu Kennedy and the return (or invention of?) the blue-collar shitkicking WCT surfer

– Steve Shearer and Sean Doherty’s fast, funny, smart analysis

– Twitter banter

– Tyler Wright’s silk-over-brick abs

– improved camera work from WSL


– Filipe’s injury

– those post-victory shots of Tyler Wright, when she was hugging Owen. He looked thin and frail, and it was heartbreaking

– continued WSL employment for Strider, Turpel, Potter

– Filipe and two or three others aside, the performance level unimproved from last year

– the shadow of Bells a-creeping

– WSL bitches be snitching


– Slater being cast, inch by agonizing inch, from the world tour spotlight

– Adriano in the driver’s seat for another world title

– Wilko in yellow through Margret’s.

– four-woman race for the world title

– a quick and deserved return to the void for the banana board


Blood Feud: Wilko v Rupert Murdoch!

Quiksilver Pro winner Matt Wilkinson calls for sharia law!

The almost 28-year-old Matt Wilkinson, from Australia’s Central Coast, is a one of a kind. The salty savour of the brunette tipped onto a bed of vice and mitigated with a tapestry of humour.

I couldn’t be a bigger fan of Wilko’s surfing and would happily debate that his top-to-bottom combos are superior even to those employed by the 2015 world champion, Gabriel Medina.

The loyalty he inspires among fans and friends is well-known and understandable. This was shown in great measure when The Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s national broadsheet, ran a story by its surf writer Fred Pawle. The sport section’s headline, SURFING YOBBO: He’s not pretty but this is Australia’s latest king of the waves, drew fire from Wilko and his myriad fans.

On Instagram, Wilko called for Pawle’s whipping. Sharia! Post below. 

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Let’s examine the response from his 117,000 fans.

filthy_clean What a kook, you’re pretty enough Wilko! I bet he’s got a small dick and rids a lid

charlesswild You are so pretty babe.. Don’t listen to the jealous cunt

chad_n@mattwilko8 Its simple. Take some of that 100k. Buy the biggest advertisement slot on the front page and go ham on the writer with his worst picture on facebook. Haha

matt_h1ll@mattwilko8 you’re a Fucking stud let that pussy sit in his office and express his opinions

sillycharleswillie Poor guy! Just wins the biggest event of his life and gets savaged by some inconsiderate hate monger!

kaneo23 What a shit cunt

On Facebook, Wilko’s close friend Adam Robertson wrote: @fredpawle. I hope this gets to you. Your name = AIDS. 

Soon, a photo of the writer (posted by Surfing Life editor Wade Gravy) appeared on Facebook as well as a furious commentary. A screenshot appears below.

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Of course, as in most things people get wound up about, if the IG jockeys pounding their little telephone buttons had read The Australian‘s report, they would’ve found this: “His wide-kneed bottom turn is as refined as a nightclub dance move. His approach to the lip looks as graceful as a suburban front-rower’s shoulder charge. And his descent back down the wave sometimes features comically flailing arms, like Wile E. Coyote when he realises he’s just overshot a cliff.

“But yesterday, when Wilkinson won the opening event of the 2016 world tour, the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast — his first tournament victory — his surfing style fittingly became the most beautiful in the world…

“His surfing was fast and often brutal, a refreshing alternative to the clinical precision that most competitors favour.

The most beautiful in the world.

Fast and often brutal…a refreshing alternative… 

Of course, a blood feud wouldn’t be complete without swings from both sides.

Let’s ask the writer Fred Pawle for his response:

Watching an online mob devour some unsuspecting schmuck has become so common these days, you can become anaesthetised to the vitriol and incitements to violence.

Until it happens to you.

Yesterday I wrote a piece for The Australian heaping praise on Matt Wilkinson for winning the Quik Pro. I called his style “the most beautiful in the world”. I described him as a “refreshing alternative to the clinical precision that most competitors favour”. I said the best surfer won the contest, and the result was testimony to pro surfing itself.

The opening sentence, written with deep affection, said he “surfed like a yobbo”. Read it here.

This morning, Wilko posted a photo on Instagram of the paper’s back-page pointer, which I didn’t write, calling him a “surfing yobbo” and “not pretty”.

Wilko’s caption: “Who thinks this guy deserves a flogging?” He didn’t identify me, so I’ve been spared the direct messages and threats of friendly visits that are customary in such situations.

But Wilko’s question was not intended as an invitation to debate. Anonymous social media users respond to such questions like flies respond to the pungent odour of a fresh turd.

The answer, from an army of morons who hadn’t even read the story, was a resounding Yes! Well, if by “this bloke” Wilko meant me, then his followers will need to get to the back of the queue. There are already many people who have been waiting a long time to give me a “flogging”, most of them passionate advocates of increasing the number of sharks at our beaches. But I digress.

One of the reasons I wrote so affectionately about Wilko in today’s paper was that, although I’ve never met him, he’s always struck me as a cool, ordinary bloke who’s kept the fun of surfing alive on tour, not the sort of over-sensitive prima donna that the pro tour has routinely produced over the past decade or so.

Despite his faux pas this morning, I still reckon he’s probably a half decent bloke. But bloody hell he’s sensitive.

Oh! And just in, a new post from Wilko’s IG. Click here to read the accompanying comments, including: “What a beady-eyed cunt waffle” and “come over so we can tie you up and root ya xx”.

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Fucking amazing: FCS is now 12/12!

In news that is rocking the surf world, FCS fins are now 12/12!


When Matt “Wilko” Wilkinson beat “Brother” Kolohe Andino in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast the world wondered one thing. What fins was he riding? Is professional sport’s most impressive streak (FCS’s 11/11 on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour in 2015) still alive?

Remember when Stab (2004-2016) reported:

Here’s a thing you probably didn’t know: In 2015, every Men’s WSL World Tour event was won by a surfer riding a set of FCS fins. Eleven events, 11 wins on FCS rudders, starting with Filipe Toledo on the Gold Coast almost a year ago, and ending with Adriano De Souza at the Pipe Masters (a fact that wouldn’t have changed even if Gabs had won Pipe, since he rides FCS too).

An ironman run matched only, maybe, by Cal Ripken Jr. playing 2,362 games in a row or Wayne Gretzky scoring in 51 straight.

But is the streak still alive?

As soon as Wilko finished his last turn I went running, alongside every other surf fan, to my computer and logged on to FCS’s website. No Matt Wilkinson on the main team page! My heart sank. I was absolutely crushed. Devastated. Somehow, even though I couldn’t see through the tears in my eyes, I made it downstairs to the freezer and started pulling directly from an icy vodka bottle. How could it be over? How could it have ended?

I put the B.B. King station on Pandora and slumped in the corner getting drunker and drunker. “The burden that I carry is so heavy, you see. It seems like there ain’t nobody in this world. Who would wanna help poor me…” I saw a dirty kitchen knife in the sink and thought, “Is life worth living?”

Before grabbing it, though, I thought I’d check one more time…

…and there he was! There was some further level of the Global Surf Team that I somehow missed and there was Matt Wilkinson! Oh the sheer joy that flooded my body! I started weeping again, uncontrollably, but this time from happiness.

Ladies and gentlemen, the streak™ liveth!

Parker: “I live by a policy of escalation!”

"When I feel done wrong by I come back as hard as I can…"

It’s early Wednesday morning, which means it’s time for my weekly sprint through Kauai’s pre-dawn downpour to get my trashcan out before the truck arrives.

No shirt, bare feet squelching through mud, blindly fighting my way through the spider-webbed thicket that runs down the side of my house. One of these days I’ll remember to put the bin out the night before. Today is not that day.

Life’s a series of bad decisions.

Yesterday was my wife’s turn. She played hooky from work, joined me at the beach where I lucked into ledgy peak all by my lonesome. Very fun, made more so by the fact that my body’s been rebuilding muscle like crazy and I’m finally surfing at a level that doesn’t trigger soul crushing depression. Not that I’m some top tier ripper, but if you do anything for thirty years you should get pretty good at it. And after my years long stint of injury and illness I’m finally ringing that bell. Not loudly, but it’s making noise. Ting, ting, ting.

Two guys paddled out, couldn’t make the first section, sat on the shoulder and let me have my pick of litter. Maybe a dick move, stealing the gems and leaving them the scraps.

But I’ve always believed, if you want in the rotation you’ve gotta sit deep. It’s an incentive to try hard, take a few beatings. And the biggest waves were only a foot or so over my six foot frame, hardly life threatening.

About an hour into the session a squall rolled in. Happens out here, all the time. Bright and shiny one moment, pissing rain the next. Back to blue skies beauty shortly.

The missus decided it was time to go. Waved me in, sat in the pouring rain while I looked for a positive note to end my session. Not about to paddle in, that’s madness.

Of course it went flat and of course it kept raining. And rather than take cover under a tree, or one of the numerous sheltered picnic areas, she stood in the downpour, looking like a bedraggled rat.

Oh boy, was she angry! Not that I helped matters.

“You want an apology? Fine, I’m sorry you were too stupid to get out of the rain while you waited.”

Not the most tactful response, I know.

But she knows better than to push me, I push back. Always. Part of my personality. Right or not, I live by a policy of escalation. When I feel done wrong by I come back as hard as I can.

What’s the point?

Well, I’m feeling really pissed the WSL has decided to play DMCA crybaby and flag all our shit. Fair use, motherfuckers!

But, okay, let’s play the game. We don’t count as commentary, criticism or parody?  Fine, I’ll take the transformative approach. I’m gonna teach myself to edit and I’m gonna put dicks on everything.