Man bites shark! Shark bites man!

Who is at fault? Who cares! It's great viewing!

I know that you are watching the Fiji Pro right now. Matt Wilkinson is so tired! Gabe Medina is so not! But it is any man’s game. And real quick, is Matt Wilkinson better than John John Florence? This should have been JJF’s day, right? Big throaty tubes? Scared everyone else? But Matt drilled him twice.

And is today’s Gabe Medina better than Kelly Slater in his prime? Let’s deal with that tomorrow. But for right now, before we crown Gabe Medina champion of the Fiji Pro, watch this!

A spearfishing diver goes out and, I think, shoots a shark. Do you spearfish? I wish I did but don’t. Rory Parker does and does it often, I feel. I asked him what equipment I should buy when I was in the Red Sea last and he gave very good advice.

In any case, the shark proceeds to bite the man. How many times do you get to see that? Not many. You hear many and read many but not see many. Does it change your “If I get attacked by a shark…” strategy?

Stop looking at me! Look at the waves!
Stop looking at me! Look at the waves! | Photo: WSL

Watch Now: Finals Day at Fiji Pro!

It's voluptuous!

Are you at work, in bed, perhaps coiled into the curvy gams of an utterly nude sweetie, the yellow glow of sunrise peering into your room?

Shuck work, shuck bed pal, and flip open your phone, your laptop.

Because it’s quarter-final, semi final and, soon, finals time at the Fiji Pro and Cloudbreak is selling its body!

Gabriel just beat Adriano.

Right now, Kelly Slater is swinging into hands-free tubes hither and yon.

It’s a Gabriel, Kelly semi.

Ace Buchan beats Mick Fanning!

Wilko beats John John for the second time in two days!

Ace v Wilko, second semi.

Come, click, watch! It’s the best event all year! 


The Gra Stapelberg Academy™

For Excellence in Surf Journalism!

Three months ago I suggested that the surf journalists of the world should form an academy and awards worthy of our high calling. That honored our very important craft. I have thought much about it since then and would like to officially announce The Graham Stapelberg Academy for Excellence in Surf Journalism™

The categories for consideration are:

The Brodie Carr Award for Best Contest Reportage

The Sam George Award for Being Unnecessarily Poetic 

The Richard M. Nixon Award for Best Headline

The Billabong Award for Best (biggest) Industry Schill

The Negatron Award for Best Commenter

The George Clooney Award for Best Profile

The Zach Weisberg Award for Best Story about Avocados/Surfing Pugs

Story of the Year

Editor of the Year

Lifetime Achievement

It is an edge-of-the-seat affair that depends on your input! Who would you like to see holding a coveted Grahmmie™ at the end of the night? Who would you like to heap praise upon? Some names to mull…

Steve Shearer

Matt Warshaw

Rory Parker

Jed Smith

Brendon Buckley

Taylor Paul

Morgan Williamson

Nick Carroll

Cori Schumacher

Sean Doherty

Tim Baker

Sam George

Marcus Sanders

Joel Patterson

Chris Cote

Tell us below! The Grahmmies™ will be announced to the world on July 4th.

Gimme: T & C surf x Le Coq Sportif!

Iconic Hawaiian brand and iconic French brand join forces!

Town and Country, out of Pearl City on Oahu, is certainly one of the most iconic brands in surf. It was founded in 1971 but really his stride in the 1980s, perfectly capturing the zeitgeist. Bright colors, bold prints.

I remember as a young child thinking that T & C had invented the yin-yang symbol. I would go to the beach and lust after those thick rail’d surfboards and thrill playing Wood and Water Rage with Joe Cool, Tiki Man, Kool Kat and Thrilla Gorilla.


T & C was everything!

I don’t know what happened to the brand through the ’00s. Did it get licensed by some conglomerate? Marketed exclusively in Hong Kong? I don’t know. But I know today they are collaborating with French brand Le Coq Sportif on a shoe and ooh la la!

Let’s read about it!

Hawaiian surf brand, Town & Country Surf Designs, joins forces with French footwear label, Le Coq Sportif, as the duo release two iterations of the brand’s signature LCS R800 silhouette.

Utilizing the surf label’s signature graphics and black and white checkerboard pattern as the base of its design scheme, pops of pink are prominent on one pair, while the second sports a white and grey finish, alongside turquoise and violet accents.

Additionally detailed with co-branding throughout, each pair also flaunts a multicolored outsole to perfectly coordinate with its respective colorway. Furthermore, a special coconut scent has been injected into the outsoles of the kicks, as a nod to surfboard wax.

80s checkerboard? Special coconut scent? Gimme gimme!

But what was your favorite childhood surf brand?

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Kelly Slater Fiji Pro
Couldn't you just watch Kelly Slater at biggish Cloudbreak (and Teahupoo and Pipe for that matter) all day long? And his real talk? Even after all these years, Kelly is still number one in our hearts! | Photo: WSL

Fiji: Slater Looses Tongue! (Watch!)

And the best waves, surfing, of the season!

What a day! Magic in the water. Much better than yesterday.

Round 4 fired from the get-go. Medina, Slater, JJ stood out from the pack.

Medina picked up the first ten of the day with a long long long double barrel. Backed it up with a 4.6 that was, honestly, pretty neat. Mushy take-off, linked turns along what looked like a garbage. Either luck, or spark of genius, saw it stand up big along the inside, providing the brash Brazzo with an ugly steep section to blast off. Full roter ‘oop, flowed into a paint by numbers front rev.

Fair game on the low score, but it was really cool to see. Impressive demonstration of ability. Not that we need to be reminded Medina’s an amazing surfer.

Slater looked like his old self, near perfect heat. Rolled the dice on a vicious late drop and came up snake eyes, unleashed a couple f-bombs right into the camera.

Wonder if that’ll be edited out of the heat analyzer? Wonder if he’ll be handed a fine?

Article 177: Other Miscellaneous Violations and Penalties 

  1. Using profanity on broadcast of Event or media interview at Event- $10,000 monetary penalty to be considered by the Commissioner and the Discipline Director

Not that I give two fucks about two fucks.

But they popped Gabby, and the context wasn’t hugely different. Just naughty boys saying naughty words.

And you’ve gotta be impartial. Especially when the offender is so openly keyed in on the business end.

Just to get out in front of the inevitable take down notice. This is totally fair use. Doesn’t matter how many times it’s removed, I’ll just repost it. Don’t make it a whole thing for me, just leave well enough alone. The internet’s attention span is all of twenty minutes. It’ll be forgotten soon, unless you give people a reason to remember.

Florence did best but lost on the numbers. 9.93 that should’ve been a 10 that wouldn’t have made a difference, 6.5 that was properly scored.

Yellow jersey outpointed him, paired a high seven with a high eight. Not a problem, really. John John got to surf another heat, we got to see him do it.

Early Round Five slowed down. ADS and Payne did the best they could with what was on offer. Great surfing, but not as spectacular as early day. ADS came out on top.

Next heat got better, but Bourez and Dantas couldn’t do much with it.  Bourez grabbed gems but couldn’t seal the deal. Dantas looked on track to continue Forrest Gump’ing his way to the finals, but started heating up midway through.

Out surfed Bourez, but didn’t need to. The Tahitian forgot how interference rules work. Boned himself by bottom turning around Wiggly before conceding priority.

I was thinking yesterday, it’d be kind of cool if they allowed each surfer one 30 second time out in each heat. Stop the clock. The other surfer wouldn’t be allowed catch a wave during that time, if they have priority. If the person who called time out holds priority the clock would resume when they start paddling for a wave. Add a new level to tactics, allow guys to stop time while they wait for a last second buzzer beater.

I can think of a million reasons why it’d be nearly impossible to implement. But if someone figured it out it’d be neat.

Kerr/Buchan featured the agony of two of my fantasy team members facing off in an elimination round. I have no idea how seeding works.

Buchan dominated Kerr. Ol’ Ace has got some mighty fine tube ridin’ skills. Put Kerr in a combo, out of which he barely clawed out. 6.33 with four minutes left Kerr needing a 9.34. Which didn’t appear. Tick tock tick tock. Buchan into the quarters.

Last heat of the day was Jug Handles and J-Flo. Really looking forward to that one. JJ on fire even though he lost last round. Jadson’s barrel game seems inversely proportional to his hairline. Hoped that Double John’d push him hard to push himself. Turn it into a battle.

Slow start until Florence grabs a, by my count, ten-second barrel. Which used to be the stuff of legend. Now it’s an 8.5. Crazy how far tube riding has come.

Bedroom Eyes Blakey on John John Florence, “Broad shouldered, six foot tall, a pretty solid unit.”

JJ backed it up with another eight and a half while Jadson languished in a combo sitation. Came real close to a big score on a runner but couldn’t make it out the end.

Jadson is trying hard, and paying for it. Gets a very long and tight tube, kick-out rev at the end. Six won’t get him out of combo.

Great heat. But John John takes it easily with his insane ability.

Decision to put the event on hold until tomorrow, run quarters through finals in what’s supposed to be bigger and better, is pretty damn ballsy. Slater said it himself, bird in the hand. But the gamble could pay off.

Of course, if the WSL had any sense they’d keep streaming the rest of the day’s free surf. I buy the idea that the wind is switching and it won’t be perfectly contestable and that tomorrow most likely will be. But I know I’m not the only one who’d like to see the tour descend on the lineup and pick apart every good one that rolls through

Fiji Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.60, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.16, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.23
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.77, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.60
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.07, Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.07, Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.43
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.56, John John Florence (HAW) 16.43, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16

Fiji Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.34 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.37
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.27 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 3.77
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.66
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 17.00 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.17

Fiji Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
QF 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)