Deaf Jewish surfer
"A funny moment hit me there when the one-legged Brazilian charger, one handed charger Bethany Hamilton and me, deaf Israeli guy
, were sharing the same line up," recalls Ido. "I laughed and asked Dane Gudang, 'Is it international handicapped surfers' day?'"

Deaf Jew Charges Monster Fiji!

Ido Dar-el is the most precious thing alive!

Last year I wrote about a deaf Jewish big-wave stud called Ido Dar-el.

Oh this infinitely precious object could squeeze every last ounce of sympathy out of you: his ancestors were shovelled into ovens by the German war machine (and enthusiastic French, Ukrainians and Poles), his little country has been besieged by genocidal foes since its birth, and both of Ido’s ear-drums were wiped out by a virus when he was a baby.

But does Ido weep? No! He charges!

And that May swell at Cloudbreak that nearly stole Aaron Gold? Ido was there!

And not just having a punter’s swing but lacing tubes. Ido didn’t exactly plan on landing in Fiji right when the cauldron was bubbling but when you compile your quiver (6’3″, 6’8″, 7’6″) a year before and buy your plane ticket six months in advance (it ain’t cheap flying from Israel) you ride what you get.

Let’s talk (via email for obvious reasons), big, then bigger.


“We scored the perfect swell with Reef McIntosh, Balaram Stack and Ryan Burch. There were so many sudden-death outside sets that would mow anyone off guard, snapping leashes and boards. Jon Roseman got the best, biggest, deepest bowl from first section standing tall all the way to the channel with his classic red board and leash on front leg. No one photographed it but it is embedded on my brain cells.”

Then, says Ido, “the forecast map began to turn … and my eyes began to bulge.”

Ido begged an old pal for a nine-six, who refused, and ended up with a couple of eight-foot plus boards he found under a house on the Fijian mainland where he was staying.

That night Ido was struck by the realisation that he was going to “surf this fucking outer ledge. I took a deep breath to clear my mind and went to the village church. I didn’t care  being Jewish. A holy place is a holy place. It was also the birthday night of my deceased brother so I asked him for a safe session. At midnight I went back to my bure, took off my hearing aids and switched off my mind and body.”

Ido describes the view at Cloudbreak on the big Monday.

“In the morning, when I loaded the boards in the boat, I was told that a Hawaiian surfer from Maui had drowned and was getting his chest pumped on the Tavarua boat. A Maui guy? Peahi expert? How big is it? On the way to Cloudbreak you could see foam explosions above the judges tower but not the waves, justifying the name. The whole sea was moving even in the protected lagoon. The moment we arrived to the line up I could see Coconut Willy hell-drop into a wave so big it looked like a cliff suicide jump. Willy disappeared in the foam blast behind him. He came to the boat with a torn MCL. Was I afraid after Aaron’s drowning and Willy’s ruined knee? Well, my brain lit up, analysing every detail.”

“Mark Healey got some absolutely insane bombs and and Damien too. Both risked going inside the sweet spot where the growers were. The whole reef to the judge’s tower was covered in a thick layer of gurgling foam that wouldn’t let you out till the other side. It didn’t feel right or clean enough to even paddle but after few hours the line-up cleared a bit and there were less surfers.”

The whole channel, says Ido, was “a rodeo competition. No boat could anchor or stay put in one place. The water moved so violently. The lineup was wonky with huge foamy outside sets with in-between, barfing, gigantic bowls. People see perfect waves on video but being there it was like reverse super-maxed out Sunset. The outer ledge was evil, more lip than wave and bowling so fast on the reef that guys with big boards barely paddled em. The mid-section was so fat and heavy you needed a little spot to catch just before it bowled. Many sections were chandeliering in the middle or end section before draining all the water to shishkebabs. It meant getting a tube was a real life-and-death gamble because you never knew if you were going to exit cleanly.”

Ido watched and studied the movements of Koa Rothman, the McNamara brothers, Alex Gray, Mark Healey, Jamie Sterling and Damien Hobgood.

“Mark Healey got some absolutely insane bombs and and Damien too. Both risked going inside the sweet spot where the growers were. The whole reef to the judge’s tower was covered in a thick layer of gurgling foam that wouldn’t let you out till the other side. It didn’t feel right or clean enough to even paddle but after few hours the line-up cleared a bit and there were less surfers.”

And, so, with his dirty eight-two that he’d recovered from under a house, and a vest, Ido jumped off the boat.

“I took 30 minutes in the boat seeing my whole surfing life 30 years ago as a kid in little stormy waves at Israel promising myself to get real ones someday. Then I looked at Cloudbreak, said ‘I love you, please don’t kill me.’

“I drifted, sitting on my board, closer to Alex Gray and between sets I told him I’d lost a brother too and it’s his birthday so it was really special for me to sit with him (Alex lost a brother too). Alex looked at me, trying to understand, then smiled and told me that it was his brother’s birthday. I got teary eyes and I was laughing at the same time. Crazy! Our brothers gave us a big gift to love and live life fully. We shaked hands and hugged a bit. Then I left him alone to concentrate on the waves. I tried position up there at the middle section but… man… seeing those mega outerledges was hypmotic. Both me and Alex were shouting and saluting those easily 20-feet plus spitting faces with others.”

Were the big-wave stars kind to our precious Deaf Jewish Big-Wave Stud?

“On big Monday all of them were dead on serious mode. It was incredible an experience for me to actually sit shoulder to shoulder and read their lips trying to follow Mark Healy and Greg Long recall Aaron Gold’s CPR. Damien Hobgood was like a kid, double hand-stalls to stay deeper. Mark Healey impressed me with his bullet speed runs all the way to the channel.”

Best moment?

“A funny moment hit me when the one-legged Brazilian charger, one-handed Bethany Hamilton and m, the deaf Israeli guy,
were  sharing the same line up. I laughed and asked Dane Gudang, ‘Goddamn, is it International Handicapped Surfers Day?'”


Ahhhhhh look at this cute little sheeple....
Ahhhhhh look at this cute little sheeple....

Peter King: “This is… terrorism!”

#tournotes Peter King gets political!

The gun debate roils America every time there is a mass shooting and is roiling it today after the country’s worst ever. Last night 50 people died and 53 more were injured inside an Orlando nightclub popular with the gay community. The shooter identified with ISIS and used an AR-15 assault rifle.

Facebook is the most popular place for people to emote, argue and try to sort through various truths and half truths. Your #tournotes host, Peter King, jumped into the fray this afternoon underneath a post that read:

Am I hearing and reading this correctly?? The shooter was investigated by the FBI, yet was able to purchase an automatic weapon and a handgun in the past week… AND if you’re gay you can’t donate blood in state of Florida?

King quickly responded:

And those are your takeaways? Murders never seem to be paying attention to gun laws! So frustrating.

As you can imagine, the post caught fire and it was King vs. All Comers, especially the “liberals” he seems to hold in very low regard…

Murderers will always get a gun, or a suicide vest, or whatever it takes. This is TERRORISM and it is too bad their (sp) wasn’t armed security in the club. People trying to make this about guns are head in the sand ignorant. Quick test: Did he ever shoot anyone else? Duh…Access to a gun doesn’t mean someone is going on a rampage, so maybe SOMETHING else was the reason? I assume liberals are frightened to say the word?

I could only guess, as I scrolled down, the word he means is either “Islam” or “Muslim” but didn’t have to wonder long as he added:

What a farce. Only the American LEFT can think a law will keep a murdering terrorist from getting a gun. Paris. Brussels. Orlando. Wake up sheeple.

And then…

It just seems ridiculous to me that a gun that millions of Americans own is what you are blaming on an ISLAMIC Radical that was deadset on killing a bunch of people. It was the person, not the weapon he chose.

And then, in between belittling and condescending…

Because an ISIS sympathizer chose to kill this way you blame the weapon? Haha Gotta love #LiberalLogic

And then…

Stop blaming guns for people’s actions.

And then…

Only a liberal could watch a terrorist act and blame a gun. Logic has left the building…


Most mass shootings in the United States are not the work of Muslims. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora etc. But do you agree with Peter King? Do you think that virtually unregulated gun ownership in this country has nothing to do with a very American problem? That Muslims/people kill people, not guns?

Or do you think what the fucking hell are you even on about? You really believe that? I mean, really?

Like, really really?

In 2016?


Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for gun ownership. Give me Glock! Give me Kalashnikov! Give me ummmm water blaster! The more the merrier! I just think that any argument justifying how guns make people safer, why we need them, why if we outlaw them than only outlaws will have guns, etc. are so patently absurd as to be total comedy.

But that’s just me. What do you think?

Who is Richie Collins? Let's ask the custodian of surf history, Matt Warshaw: "Emotional and eccentric regularfoot pro surfer from Newport Beach, California; world-ranked #8 in 1989 and 1990; as famous in the surf world for his oversize, trash-talking personality as for his inventive high-speed floater maneuvers."

Surf star’s sexual violence threat!

And you thought being a judge at a women's QS event would be…safe?

Richie Collins is a complicated individual. Devoted Christian, hateful bigot, Trump supporter, anti-immigrant, loving father who doesn’t hesitate to get violent.

Lifelong resident of Orange County, the Arizona of California.

His daughter, Meah, is an up-and-coming ripper. Sixteen years old, one of OCWeekly’s People of the Year. Solid big-wave game, good contest ability. Enough skill to compete with the lower ranked women on the ‘CT.

Still not at that Carissa/ Defay/ Wright/ Etc. level. But very good. Very young, plenty of time to tighten her game.

Meah’s down in Cabo competing. In the Junior event as well as the Pro. Doing well. Semis, so far, in the juniors. Knocked out in round five against the pros. Edged out by Malia Manuel, lost by .3. Solid result for a teenager.

Close heat, but I didn’t see it. Slow event, small surf. Running in the background at the moment and the commentators are playing rock/paper/scissors to decide where they’re going drinking tonight. Background noises sound suspiciously like cracking beers.

No heat analyzer for the non-CT comps, can’t watch Meah lose. Don’t know how close it really was.

But Papa Bear ain’t having it. His little girl got burned. He’s an unhappy daddy. Makes sense. Tensions run high in youth sports.

Just learned that you can see the edit history of Facebook posts. Excited at first, couldn’t wait to see how he’d toned down the comment. Lo and behold, Richie ramped it up.

richie collins facebook
…Richie gives his FB post a little tweak, a little extra colour…

A homophobic Christian threatening sexual violence may seem odd at first glance. But it’s not a gay thing, really. It’s about power. About establishing dominance.

And maybe it’ll help Meah in the future. When it’s too close to call, when the judges are agonizing over who deserves the win, they’ll hesitate for a second.

“Oh man, we’d better let Meah through.”

“Why? It’s super close.”

“If she doesn’t make the heat her dad’s gonna jam his cock down our throats. He’s willing to go to prison for it.”

“Really? That’s fucking crazy.”

“I know. But, jeez, I tried that shit back in college. It really ain’t for me.”

SurfStitch shares
A real nice spike in December, 2015, followed by the cliff of 2016… 

SurfStitch: “Don’t shred the heavies!”

Surf retailer seen as "cautionary tale!"

Online retailer SurfStitch has become a business cautionary tale, having lost over 500 million dollars in a matter of months. Businessmen and business experts are sifting through the wreckage of a once sprawling empire trying to piece together exactly what happened.

And what did happen?, the website future billionaires read everyday, tell us, maybe, in today’s piece “How surfing retailer SurfStitch lost $500 in just months.” Let’s read!

SurfStitch, an online market for surfers, action sports enthusiasts, and people who just want to look the part, is wiping out BIG time. The e-commerce company that was once “ripping it” on the stock market, has become a cautionary tale, by losing over $500 million in value, since November of last year.

When Australian surfer Lex Pedersen and investment banker Justin Cameron launched SurfStitch in 2008, they hoped to become the online hub for surfer products and culture. According to thecompany’s website, local shops lacked in range, style, and size of surfing equipment and clothes and there were only a handful of pure-play online retailers. SurfStitch aimed to become the pure-play online retailer of the surfing world.

The company grew quickly, expanding from Australia to Europe in 2011 and to North America in 2014. At the time of its IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2014, the company was valued at $186 million.

In 2015, SurfStitch began amassing a series of businesses, retailers, and surfing content. It raised $37.5 million in new capital to buy Stab, a leading online surf content platform, and Magicseaweeed, a user-generated surf forecasting network, for $21 million. In November, it paid $15 million for a video production company and raised another $50 million to buy Surf Hardware International, a leading surfboard and accessories manufacturer.

In November 2015, SurfStitch was valued at around $580 million.

The quick growth and diversification of Surfstitch was a surprise to many shareholders, and that surprise quickly turned to concern. In early 2016, the online retailer backed away from its full-year earnings guidance, saying it wanted to invest in content to drive more expansion. In response to the risky move, the company’s shares dropped by almost 40 percent in February 2016.


Then, in early March, Cameron suddenly announced he was abandoning his position with the company and was considering a potential acquisition of the company, backed by private investors. The company’s shares shot up about 18 percent to $1.40, prompting investors to declare the private equity would need to pay $2 a share. But Cameron and his would-be investors seemingly vanished.


Although shares of SurfStitch stayed steady between $1.30 and $1.40 for a few months, the ride now seems to be over. In May, the company announced its profit for the 2016 financial year would plunge by about 60 percent, to about $2 million to $3 million. Shares responded, dropping by 61 percent. In June, shares took another hit, after SurfStitch’s new chief executive, Mike Sonand, announced another $18 million loss.


“The business has just tried to do too much,” Sonand said on Thursday. “Fundamentally it’s a great business, it just hasn’t been executed well and under my leadership it will do a lot better.”


While shareholders have expressed agreement with Sonand’s assessment, the company’s value continues to depreciate. Shares fell by 30 percent in June, plunging from $0.40 to $0.26. Last Thursday morning, SurfStitch’s value had dropped as low as $74 million – an over $500 million drop, since last November.

Although it’s always possible Sonand will help the online retailer get back on its board and paddle out, the last few months have left it pretty bruised and banged up. Right now, the company seems to be another chapter in the book of cautionary tales, that includes one-time tech giant Yahoo and revolutionary blood-testing company Theranos. They’ve taught us it rarely pays to shred the heavies.

But, wait, what on earth does “shredding the heavies” mean in business terms? I am so lost!

WSL CT seen here in happier times.
WSL CT seen here in happier times.

Missing: World Surf League Tour!

Worry begins to set in as loved ones pray for any clue.

A missing persons report has been filed for Santa Monica resident World Surf League Championship Tour, who disappeared sometime this month while traveling in Fiji.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Graham Harris said police are looking for WSL CT’s 1997 Subaru Outback, which bears the bumper sticker “It’s only kinky the first time!” and a “Keep Country Country” license plate holder at John Wayne International Airport.

WSL CT, 50, has darkish hair and should have most of his belongings in his car. He has been a resident of Santa Monica for six years.

“We don’t have a good location to find him, but it sounds like he is depressed,” Harris said.

WSL CT’s daughter, Kelly Slater Wave Company, reported him missing after WSL CT took off after an argument. Wave Company said her father’s phone has been off for the entire month, and he could be suffering from emotional instability.

“I have no idea what he would do,” Wave Company said.

Harris said WSL CT has been entered into a national database of missing persons. Police will be on the lookout for his car or any tips that would help in locating him.

“As of today, there’s no new information,” he said.