Interview: How to save a life!

Joel Trist, the man who saved Brett Connellan's life, is a true hero!

You have read about the very talented young surfer, Brett Connellan, who was bitten on the thigh by a shark at Bombo Beach on Australia’s east coast three days ago. The news reported:

A young surfer was lucky to survive a horrific shark ­attack last night after his left thigh was ripped off at Bombo Beach near Kiama on the south coast.

It was only the heroic and quick-thinking actions of a fellow boardrider — who dragged his mate to shore and stemmed the gushing blood flow — that saved the 22-year-old’s life.

That heroic, quick-thinking boardrider is high school teacher Joel Trist and I caught up with him while he waits for his friend to go in for surgery.

Chas: How are you?

Joel: It’s been a tough couple days for sure but everything’s pretty positive so far. Brett’s going in for fairly extensive surgery, eight or nine hours. The main goal is to try and save his leg, try and rebuild it.

C: Walk me through the attack.

J: So we were out at Bombo beach maybe ten minutes to seven in the afternoon. I was going to go for a bit of a paddle with my girlfriend, Agie. Brett called though so we decided to go with him. It was the first time she ever watched us surf. I was down the beach a bit from him when all of a sudden I heard this screaming. I paddled up to him as fast as I could.

C: Was it a bad scene when you arrived? Did you know?

J: Yeah, it was pretty horrific. I asked him, “How is it?” and he said, “Not good.” He was still quite conscious at that point, obviously in a massive state of shock but all there. I put him on my board and started paddling. There is sort of a left and a right and we got stuck in the rip for a minute. Luckily a big set wave came through, though, and washed us up to shore. When we finally got to the beach I was really freaking out. The shark had cut his leg rope so I grabbed it and wrapped it around his leg as tightly as I could. He was slipping in and out of consciousness and I was screaming at him, “Stay with me, mate!” Agie was sitting on the sand and she ran halfway toward us then realized what was happening and called the lifesavers. A helicopter came maybe 15-20 minutes later and lifted him out.

C: Did you know first aid or was it all instinct?

J: I’m a high school teacher so luckily have been trained in a bit of first aid but it was mostly instinct.

C: Did the leg rope tourniquet work? Did it stop all the blood flow right away?

J: Amazingly yeah. Four other guys came running down and we had maybe four leg ropes on him and a vest and we stopped it.

C: What now?

J: So we are starting a trust account to help Brett out. He could have a long road back. It is mostly through Instagram @surfersforbretto and the hashtag #surfersforbretto and you can find all the info there.

If you are inclined to give, it is Brett Connellan Trust BSB: 012709 Account number: 298964661

And Joel is an amazing friend indeed.

P.S. It is also Brett’s birthday so…..

Hibbits from JTrist on Vimeo.

Matt Wilkinson WSL

Passion: Matt Wilko rings the Bell!

Matt "Wilko" Wilkinson is the first goofy to win since Occy '98. Glory years!

How must it feel to be Matt Wilkinson right now? Oh sure he is no competitive slouch but who would have predicted his coming out of the gate and winning the first two events? Who could have guessed that, after a 45 day waiting period, he would stand on the podium, face done Aboriginal, ringing the Bell? If you were watching the webcast, and of course you were, you know that he is the first goofyfooter to win since Occy in 1998. Let that sink in for a moment. An almost 200 year drought.

It is an amazing story and for sure they will be selling Glenn Hall feet in Ireland as good luck charms. Do you like Wilko as a champion? Part of me misses his journeyman aura of fun. Of drink and goof. Part of me wonders what will happen to the WSL if Wilko chases ADS as champ at year’s end. Part of likes the ride.

The rebirth of Jordy is a good thing for professional surfing. He disposed of Mick in his semi final heat with such poise, such boom. Mick was surfing very well on what Joe Turpel called those big hunks of south Australian ocean. Or maybe it was Ross Williams. Pete Mel said, for sure, that Jordy weighs 200 lbs. He looked completely spent in the final. Exhausted. Maybe it is tiring lugging a man’s weight through the water. Maybe he had the tougher draw. Maybe surfing in semi final two when there is lots of thick whitewash to paddle is a recipe for guaranteed failure. Whatever the case, Jordy failed at the end but maybe staked his claim in the rest of the year.

What do you think is happening in Brazil right now? Southern California was supposed to get lots of rain this year, you know. An El Niño cycle. Except the storms didn’t line up the way it was planned. There would be a few days of rain and then nothing. A few days weeks later than nothing. Could the Brazilian Storm be like Southern California El Niño? A Brazilian champ then Wilko, Jordy, Conner Coffin?

How wonderful, speaking of, is the world number two right now? He has a face built to squeeze and a rail game made for gilded Las Vegas bathrooms. Could professional surfing’s savior come from Santa Barbara? Would Bobby Martinez stand and applaud? Let’s keep our eye on that boy. Let’s watch him good.

Are you excited for Marg River? It happens in only a few days time. And will you dress as a Bells winner for Halloween? It would be a fine idea.

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Live: It’s Bells Finals Day!

The Bog Rail Pro brought to you by Slavery!

Saturday afternoon, on the west coast of the United States. Early sunday morning in Australia. Bells is on the computer, big and strange. Strider Wasilewski says there are, “Four foot boulders in the middle of the wave.” Let’s sit together and watch, shall we? Mix a cocktail (US) or pour a coffee (Australia). Who will win?

Mick? He is taking down Dave Cathels right now. Jordy and Ciao are on the way. Pete Mell says Jordy weighs 200 pounds. He could smash four foot boulders between his thighs. Who is your favorite? Will you maybe get a tattoo to commemorate this fine day? Mix another cocktail and think about it.



UPDATE: Jordy Smith beats Caio. And what is worse, BeachGrit’s pop-up ads or the WSL’s Samsung Galaxy spot?

UPDATE: The fun part of being a goofyfooter is options. And do you think the announcers re-watch their heats and think, “Why were we so excited? Why did we use so many superlatives?”

UPDATE: If Nat Young falls in a heat but no one is watching does he make a sound?

UPDATE: What if your next phone could take photos like a pro?

triton gills
The Triton underwater gill system has been making the rounds on the internets for while now. A magical piece of equipment, able to turn man into fish by filtering oxygen molecules from the water. It was hailed as a scientific advancement that'd free us to explore the depths at our leisure.

Magic: Underwater Gill System!

Have you always wanted to breathe underwater without bulky tanks?

The Triton underwater gill system has been making the rounds on the internets for while now. A magical piece of equipment, able to turn man into fish by filtering oxygen molecules from the water. It was hailed as a scientific advancement that’d free us to explore the depths at our leisure.

All bullshit, of course. 

Couldn’t possibly work, merely the brainchild of a trio of scammers who hit on a notion into which the poorly informed would happily dump their hard earned money. Pretty much crowdfunding in a nutshell.

The Indiegogo campaign featured amusingly edited footage of a swimmer blowing bubbles underwater, begging the question, why not just pay a freediver to stick the thing in their mouth and play around in the ocean? I could’ve done it. Would’ve for a cut of their swindled dough. Not often you get a chance to monetize the ability hold your breath and swim downwards. Would’ve looked super cool, drag the thing down to a hundred feet and clown around a bit.

But they half-assed it, and lost their money. Yesterday Indiegogo suspended their campaign, refunding the $900K that a mind boggling number of morons had pledged in the face of overwhelming proof that it was a scam.

Oh well, no big deal, live and learn. Obviously there’s no such thing as a magic gill system. Some of us knew that, now everyone does.

Or so you’d think. After their initial project was shut down for violating Indiegogo’s TOS (read: being a scam), they changed their rhetoric, popped up a new campaign that claims to use “liquid oxygen technology,” and took off running.

You’d think, no one could possibly be stupid enough to dump more cash into their pockets.

But you’d be wrong!

They’ve got a new video, featuring some guy sitting in the shallow end, breathing through what is obviously a cunningly disguised pony bottle.

They’ve already conned nearly $200K worth of idiot bucks out of the uninformed and unintelligent! Amazing! Almost admirable, that refusal to back down from a con in the face of your own falsehoods.

Thankfully, we can take solace in the fact that breathing compressed air underwater is horribly dangerous without training. Even with, which is why I’d rather risk shallow water blackout than suck air at any depth.

If they actually follow through and ship the product we’ll get to see backyard pool owners the world over experience the joys of pulmonary baurotrama, drowning, and death. Which possibly isn’t a nice thing to joke about, but I’d enjoy a world free of a few thousand morons.

The only thing they could do to improve it now would be to slap on some stripes and call it a “shark deterrent.”

Perfect opportunity for synergy, grab that overlap between the cowardly and outright stupid.

Wow: Great moments in surf history!

Let us return to Craig Anderson's epic Kandui session and compare!

Craig Anderson slid into the now famous No Kandui wave many months ago, while also sliding into surf history, and we have all digested it fully. The world has responded by purchasing Hayden’s Hypto-Krytpo and as they should. A very sexy board. But let us think about the wave, far removed from the initial shock of first seeing, and wonder how it stacks up to two other singular rides in surfing history.

Let’s take Tom Curren in ’94 on the Fireball Fish.

And Andy Irons at Teahupo’o.

That Wave – Andy Irons from Billabong on Vimeo.

And now Craig Anderson.


How does it look compared to other bits of surf iconography? Is it aging well? I think yes but what about you?