Kelly Slater Sherman

Official: Kelly Slater out of Rio!

The Brazil leg of the tour ain't looking so good right now… 

And another one bites the dust.

Rio ain’t doing so good. The original contest site is fucked, Conner Coffin and Carissa Moore saw some dude get murdered. Parko’s nursing a knee injury by competing in Bali. Kai Otton has “personal matters” keeping him out of the feces infested nightmare they call an ocean. Taj is over it.

And now Slater is out too!

First reports of his opt-out came yesterday, reported by Surfheater. 

Great scoop! Hit him up to find out the details. Looks legit.

“Friends in Rio. They don’t want to be named. News of Slater pulling out will be made official shortly.”

Accompanying that brief message was this story.

Now, I don’t speak Portuguese, but I’ve got good enough Spanish to puzzle it out. Because Portuguese, as well as Italian and French, are all pretty much the same language. Just spoken with varying amounts of marbles in your mouth.

He’ll be replaced by Lucas Silveira, 2016 World Junior Champion.

Silveira’s instagram comfirms he will be competing in the event.

While the WSL hasn’t provided official confirmation that Mr Slater is out I think it’s safe to say you should go adjust your fantasy surfer teams accordingly. If you’ve still got Slater on your team. Which I do not.

Parker: “Happy Mother’s Day, yeah?”

Meet four dazzling surf moms!

Happy Mothers Day, yeah?

Weird holiday for me. Don’t speak to my own mother. I know I’ve mentioned it before. Terrible woman, doesn’t get to be a part of my life. But, still, once a year this day rolls around and kicks loose the ol’ “Why didn’t you love me, Mommy?”

You’d think that shit would go away, but I guess it takes therapy or something. Which I don’t go in for. Prefer not to put a name to what’s wrong with me. Last time got me handed a ‘scrip for lithium. No thanks, I prefer my drugs to be of the recreational variety.

Got the best stepmom on Earth though. Still need to ring her up, wish her well. Tried earlier but she was busy doing some crazy open ocean paddle.

Then it’s time to hit up grandma. Finally the mother-in-law. So it’s not like my life is terrible. Three great ladies who ain’t my wife is pretty good, I think.

Nice thing about holidays in general, easy work for the day. Pull together a few related clips, finish up early, go for a surf. Been damn fun the last few days. Just enough punch to go fast, not quite enough to make you hesitate. Which has made for some spectacular ass beatings and left me sore as fuck each morning. But that’s nothing a hot shower and a handful of ibuprofen won’t fix.

Check out these surfing moms! Listed in no particular order.

Keala Kennelly

She didn’t give birth to the kid, but she’s still a mom. Right? I mean, I don’t think Mothers Day is solely restricted to birth-givers. Don’t see a reason it would be. But gender dynamics are so confusing these days. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. Figure you should take the kindest position.

Lisa Andersen

The fact that Andersen got knocked up by a judge while competing on tour is pretty crazy. Not a great indicator of the judges’ abilities to avoid conflicts of interest.

But you can’t deny she among the best female surfers that ever lived. She was so far ahead of the curve. If you could travel back in time, kidnap her, force her to compete today, she’d still be winning events.

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany may be a bit too godly for my taste, but you just can’t ignore the fact that she’s a damn strong woman. Physically, mentally, whatever. Shark attacks, child birth, seems like there ain’t nothing she can’t come back from.

Not to mention her mind boggling ability to one hand paddle into bombs, and somehow retain her balance despite the loss of an arm.

Alex Florence

Definitely the worst surfer on the list, but that’s facing some stiff competition. Mom John’s a pretty damn good longboarder. Tough too. I’ve seen her take some solid beatings out at smallish Pipe.

She’s also a single mother who raised three boys on the North Shore without a single one turning into a drug addict or thief. Which is a challenge. Lots of bad influences to contend with. I’m surprised she hasn’t written some sort of mothering handbook yet. She’s a smart lady, no doubt she could pump out a best seller.

There’s not really any video of her surfing floating around the web so you’ll have to make do with this short little nothing clip.

Too bad, because she does surf well.

Blood Feud: Surfer vs. Central CA!

Don't you love when geriatrics cross swords?

You’ve surfed The Ranch, no? The Hollister Ranch just a few hours north of Santa Babs, an hour or so south of San Luis Obispo? I have maybe three times thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law Tom. We woke up very early in the morning and launched his little skiff off of the Goleta pier and skittered for many minutes then surfed Little Drakes or Rights or Razors or whatever the hell those waves are called. I got out after a few hours and ate peanut butter sandwiches because I was very hungry.

If you are unfamiliar with The Ranch’s set up, the waves all break in front of private lands. In California the rich are not allowed to own the water though and so if you have a boat, you are allowed to surf. Or if you have a key to the lands. Or if you are very rich.

In any case, it is a well known series of breaks and accessible etc. and I didn’t think the “locals” ever got mad because there aren’t any and there is enough of a barrier to entry for it not to pack out. You have to have a boat. Or a key. Or riches. Maybe if a person pulled up a party boat the “locals” would get mad. Or maybe if lots of pictures appeared in Surfer Magazine.

This last one just happened at the “locals” are apparently furious at the elderly publication, sending in burning hot letters. “Way to expose our breaks, kooks!” and “Kooks!” and “Don’t publish pictures of our waves anymore, fucking kooks!”

Ain’t it wonderful when geriatrics fight battles from twenty years ago? I very much enjoyed Donald J. Trump vs. Ted Cruz and I very much enjoy this.

Long Read: Two Surfers Killed in Mex

It ain't pretty reading, but maybe a lesson in there somewhere… 

Last November, you’ll remember, two Australian surfers were murdered during a surf run through Mexico.

It’s hardly a secret that the government v drug cartels civil war makes parts of Mex places you don’t want to go near. Two Australian surfers, Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, had a swing driving through the richly dysfunctional town of Navolato, Sinaloa, however, and were killed, their burnt-out bodies found in their surf van.

End of story? Yeah, kinda is. The Men’s Journal, however, just dropped a long piece on the murders, documenting the doomed voyage from Washington in North America, through Baja, and onto mainland Mex.

Let’s study the piece.

In Baja the swell was epic. They ended up scoring nearly perfect surf. They camped on remote beaches, cooked meals on the sand, and woke at first light to paddle out. But after a week of waves, it was time to move on.

The plan was to take a ferry across the Gulf of California, the 140-mile-wide bay that separates the Baja California peninsula from the Mexican mainland, then drive south. It was 560 miles from the port of Topolobampo, Sinaloa, to Guadalajara. If they had any hope of making Coleman’s meeting at noon with Gómez, they’d have to drive through the night, taking turns at the wheel.

Then the ferry was delayed two hours. As they waited, Lucas sent a message to a friend in Edmonton, where he lived with Cox. “Can you do me a huge favor if you are seeing Josie?” he wrote. “We have our three-year anniversary tomorrow and wanted to get some things for her like flowers and red Lindt chocolate.”

When Lucas and Coleman finally arrived on the mainland, it was just before midnight. The two, together and on their own, had spent the last decade traveling the world racking up dozens of countries — South Africa, Sri Lanka, Iceland, India — as well as multiple surf odysseys to Mexico. They knew how to handle themselves in foreign lands, but it’s almost certain they didn’t know just how dangerous the stretch of road is that they were about to set off on. In the last two years, at least half a dozen travelers have been murdered on it, by bandits preying on motorists. On maps it’s marked as the Benito Juárez Toll Road. But locals have another name for it: the Highway of Death.

There is still a charcoal trace of burned earth off to the side of the tractor path where someone doused Adam Coleman’s van with gasoline and ignited it. When investigators picked through the debris, they found two gas grills, heat-swollen vegetable and soup cans, jars, dishes, and two sets of human remains. At first, police figured the victims for tiangueros, vendors who hawk their wares from street-market stalls in the city. In Mexico, 95 percent of murders go unsolved, so the crime was unlikely to warrant any special attention. It was largely a coincidence that led the police to look more closely.

During the long drive south, Lucas and Cox had been texting each other frequently. He’d tell her about the surf in Baja or include her in a discussion he and Coleman were having. So after receiving the flowers and chocolate, then not hearing from him for 24 hours, Cox had a feeling something had gone horribly wrong.

“I knew he was dead,” she says. “But the families were trying to keep positive.” Cox’s mother tried to assuage her fears, telling her that Lucas probably just got caught up surfing. Gómez was receiving the same sort of reassurances about Coleman. “I reached out to one of his friends and told him I was upset, and he tried to calm me down,” she says. “But more days went by, and we had to begin the search.”

Seven days after last hearing from Lucas, Cox posted an appeal on Facebook: “It breaks my heart to do this. . . . We are appealing for any information regarding Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman.” Gómez translated it into Spanish.

Pedro, the gas attendant who had given Lucas and Coleman directions, had seen images of the burned van displayed on the front page of a local paper. He recognized it immediately but had no idea who the two gringos were. Then he happened to see Gómez’s Facebook post, which had been shared widely.

“This is going to upset you,” he wrote to her shortly afterward. “Please stay calm and try not to panic. The van in this photo looks like your boyfriend’s.”

Suddenly the murders morphed from just another local tragedy into an international incident, with headlines around the globe. “Australian Surfers Missing in Notorious Sinaloa, Mexico,” ran a headline on an Aussie news site. “Australian Surfers Feared Murdered in Mexico During Quest for ‘Crazy Waves,’ ” ran another, in the U.K.’s Telegraph.

The Sinaloa attorney general took the rare step of holding press conferences to detail progress on the case. Within 48 hours of discovering that the van had been registered to Coleman, he’d announced, police had captured three suspects and had issued arrest warrants for two others. State marshals from an elite investigative unit had set a trap for the bandits, stopping them at 5 a.m. on a dirt road leading from a breach in the fence along the Benito Juárez. They recovered the getaway car, a Jeep Cherokee, and the murder weapon, a .357 Magnum revolver. They’d also extracted signed confessions from all three suspects in police custody.

At the wheel of the Cherokee was Julio César González Muñiz, a round-faced 27-year-old with a wispy mustache. The marshals, the arrest report notes, discovered the revolver in his waistband, and a ballistics test quickly matched the gun to a bullet removed from Coleman’s body. In the Cherokee’s passenger seat was the driver’s first cousin, Martín Rogelio Muñiz Ponce.

The details of what happened that night come solely from the confessions of the Muñiz cousins and Sergio Simón Benítez González, their supposed lookout. On November 21, shortly after González witnessed Lucas and Coleman passing through the toll booth, the Cherokee pulled out behind them and flashed police strobes on the dashboard. Lucas and Coleman continued to drive for another mile before pulling over. One of the trio’s alleged accomplices that night, José Luis Espinoza Bojórquez — who remains at large and has at least two other murder charges against him — stepped out of the Cherokee wearing the uniform of a highway patrol officer.

“They pulled two males out,” reads Julio César’s statement. “One of them was shirtless and wearing shorts and had long dreadlocks, the other was wearing dark pants and a black shirt.” Bojórquez forced “the long-haired one” into the backseat of the Cherokee and the other into the van and started driving to a nearby field, so they’d be out of sight. But as they exited the highway, Coleman tried to escape, forcing the Cherokee’s door open and jumping onto the dirt road.

A desperate fistfight erupted. “This guy was getting in some hard shots and beating the hell out of them,” the confession reads. Muñiz pulled out the .357 and “put a bullet in the gringo, getting him in the face.” Coleman was severely wounded, but not fatally.


At that point, Bojórquez, “furious from the ass-whipping he had gotten,” took charge. He jumped behind the wheel of the van while the others loaded the wounded Coleman and Lucas into the back. Soon they came to a stop at a tractor path dividing two cornfields. Bojórquez took the gun, then went to the hinged side doors of the van and fired four or five shots straight inside. The assailants doused the van in gasoline and Bojórquez threw a lit match inside.

There’s a twist to the story. Read it here. 

I hear that blow was great back in the 80's, but I've never really understood the modern day appeal. It's a great way to trick yourself into thinking you're sober enough to drive, and you can use it to lure a certain type of slag back to your house when the bars are closing, but it's otherwise useless. It's a once or twice a year drug, when you're drunk enough to think a bump is a good idea, only to quickly realize that all it does it cancel out all the good downers you've already taken.

Advice: Travel Drugs for Surfers!

The usual, xannies, stimulant laxatives etc.

Finally got my trip to Nica trip sorted. Wasn’t easy. Fight fight fight with the wife. Eventually made a deal. I plan this jaunt, next one’s all her.

Then we ended up extending the trip by two days. Flights were cheaper that way, layovers minimal. Plenty of time to do what I want.  Which is four days partying in SJDS, followed by five days chilling and surfing at Playa Gigante.

Decided to be magnanimous, let her have the extra days. So we’re going to Granada. Yay. So many interesting doors and windows. Can’t wait to walk around looking at old buildings.

In her mind she came up big. Got what she wants, still gets to plan our next trip. It’ll be so fucking lame. Touring the covered bridges of New England, or some such shit.

But that’s a problem for another day. Today it’s all about planning for a trip I’ll actually enjoy. Which I do months in advance. Missus prefers to wait until the last minute, then make me pack for her. Then complain I forgot stuff. Real nice.

First and foremost, gotta get my old man medical kit together. Can’t fly anywhere without it.

Benzodiazepines: Xanax is a real problem for, like, millions of people. Insanely addictive, withdrawal can actually kill you. Over-prescribed, ruins so many lives.

But for those of us who don’t enjoy it enough to get hooked it’s a travel wonder drug. Pop a few on the way to the airport, settle into your seat. Blink your eyes and, hey look at that! You’ve traveled halfway around the world in a matter of minutes.

They’ve got their drawbacks. Take them too early, toss in a noggin full of hash oil, and you’re a confused mess. Been there, done that. Staring at the self check-in kiosk, utterly befuddled, until some kind soul asks if you need help. Take off your belt at security and forget to hold up your pants. Give everyone a wink at the goods.

And you’ve gotta stay away from the booze. Benzos plus alcohol bring out the unrestrained id. Shit gets ugly.

They also turn me into a farting snoring mess, but that’s a problem for those around me.

Stimulant Laxatives: Flying always leaves me colossally constipated. Stomach full of clay, bloated and sore and farty for days.

There are gentle solutions. Fiber and hydration and light meals the day before departure. But none of those really solve the problem, just reduce it.

Enter stimulant laxatives, an asshole emptying explosive fix. Take a double dose your first night, wake up a few hours later and spend some quality time moaning on the toilet as your stomach clenches and evacuates your insides.

It’s not fun, but it works. Like tearing off a bandaid, gets shit sorted fast rather than suffering slowly.

And you’ll be as light and free as a bird!

Alka-Seltzer: Heartburn, headaches, hangovers, there’s nothing a little Alka-Seltzer won’t fix.

Add some low grade third world over the counter opiates and you’ll go from shivering queasy mess to conquer the world superman in ten minutes.

Nicotine lozenges: I can handle a long stretch without a smoke, so long as I’m in my right mind. But reduce my already lacking inhibitions and things get ugly. Cranky, pissy, hair trigger temper. Mix in the aforementioned benzos and a few ill advised cocktails (the no drinking thing is more of a guideline than hard and fast rule) and there’s no telling what I’ll do.

Addiction’s a hell of a thing. Turns us into monsters during withdrawals. Thank god I’m only hooked on minor stuff. Like nicotine and caffeine. And probably alcohol, if I’m being honest.