Surfing's creative director Pete Taras goes over architectural plans. Should there be a glory hole? Why yes!
Surfing's creative director Pete Taras goes over architectural plans. Should there be a glory hole? Why yes!

Rumor: Surfing Mag to launch surf shops!

Stalwart surf publication to open physical location! In this market! Warren Buffett says, "Brilliant!"

Is there anything doing worse, in our beloved surf world, than media?

Why yes!

Yes there is!


The consumer has completely changed her habits over the past five years. When he used to see something he wanted, say a pair of Mick Fanning beer bottle sandals from Reef, he would shuffle down to his local surf shop and purchase. When she used to see something she couldn’t live without, say a Roxy boardshort, she would beg her mom to drop her off down the street but end up at her local surf shop and purchase.

Now it is Amazon. Sorry surf shop!

But God bless Surfing Magazine because rumor has it they are jumping into that depressed space with both Mick Fanning beer bottle sandal from Reef feet!

Do you remember only a few short years ago when Surfer opened a bar on Oahu’s North Shore?

Now there are multiple franchises and the money is pouring in.

I mocked the idea when I first saw it but it was only from jealousy. Surfers are drunks and bars a great idea.

But retail?

I suppose it could make great sense. Surfing could highlight product, etc. and then direct traffic directly to brick and mortar locations. Buy today! Like Stab/Stitch except good.

Plus the Surfing name has history and mean something.

Anyhow, the great Warren Buffett once said, “I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”

Opening a surf shop today is super greedy. And maybe wonderful! Surfing magazine’s creative director Pete Taras is going to be rich!

Richie Vas
Doomsday comes to Cape Fear! Richie Vas, pictured here, likes bare-knuckle fighting and bare knuckle surf. Does your blood pressure rocket when you study this photo? | Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Bare-Knuckle: Red Bull Smashes WSL!

The morning's headlines scream: Give us more Savages of the East!

Yesterday there were two surf competitions being broadcast at the same exact time. One featured the world’s best surfers in pleasant, crystalline waves. The other, mostly insane children of children of children of convicts throwing themselves onto the rocks of Botany Bay.

Did you know that Botany Bay, just south of Sydney’s CBD, was the site of James Cook’s first landing in Australia? There he saw wild plants and, to his European eyes, strange people. He called the aboriginals “Savages of the East.”

And maybe Red Bull should rename the Cape Fear event Savages of the East. It has a ring, no?

Whatever the case, it was wild. The unsinkable Derek Rielly was there in person and the attention spans of the world were upon it across all seas and continents.

This morning’s headlines scream:

Australian Storm Sees Daredevil Surfers Risk Lives! –Huff Post

Des vagues mutantes en Australie! –L’Equipe

Cape Fear smashes big wave riders after Sydney storms! –Australian Times

There’s an insane surfing competition on right now! –Business Insider


The morning’s headlines for the Fiji Pro?

Fanning stumbles on return to tour –Gold Coast Bulletin

But Mick won his heat didn’t he? Maybe the writers at the Gold Coast Bulletin don’t know because they switched over to Savages of the East and stopped watching. Like everyone else.

And of course it is very unfair to compare a one day specialty event with a day of round 2/3 action. Apples to oranges. Except is it? Both featured surfing. One just featured the sort that is easy to understand. Man vs. man. Big waves. Consequences.

The problem for the WSL is that the apparent broad appeal of Savages of the East is exactly the type of audience it is trying to capture. CEO Paul Speaker needs non-surfers, like himself, to watch, buy jerseys, cheer on favorites.

But just look at yesterday’s Fiji judging. It was almost impossible, even for seasoned and crusty vets, to understand the scores being posted. Ross Williams said at some point, “At the end of the day they (the judges) just try and get the result right (for the entire heat).”

i.e. it is all nonsense.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love wild outliers like The Eddie, Savages of the East, etc. but, at heart, I’m a WSL man. I enjoy the slog, the arbitrary weirdness, Tweeting with Matt Warshaw about the arbitrary weirdness. I also love test cricket and extra innings’ baseball.

And that’s the thing. Professional surfing will only ever be for a tiny few. To pretend otherwise is to be an asshole.

CEO Paul Speaker is an asshole.

Russell Bierke
The 18-year-old Australian Russell Bierke has his hair finger combed by the great gusts of spit at Cape Solander. | Photo: Brett Hemmings / Red Bull Content Pool

Doomsday comes to “Cape Fear!”

Twelve-foot Cape Solander aka Cape Fear rockets your blood pressure. Day one!

Surfing as a tale of two sports, was evident today in the contrast between the WSL’s Fiji Pro and their one-time energy drink foe Red Bull. 

While Fiji swam in bath-water warm four-foot lefts, with losing competitors appearing shirtless at the bar minutes after a losing heat, Cape Fear, as Cape Solander is called, was all rage and fists and knots and quivering hearts.

For a moment, we’ll study the press release.

Red Bull Cape Fear, Sydney’s one-of-a-kind invitation-only surf competition ran through two hours of battles in extreme waves on the edge of Botany Bay today. Competition was put on-hold for the first few hours of the day as contest officials waited for the out-of-control conditions to relent enough for surfers to take to the water.

After Red Bull Cape Fear was called on a selection of Australia’s best slab riding specialists went to work in the biggest waves ever ridden at this infamous break. The paddle-in portion of the event was cancelled as it was deemed impossible to surf these waves without being towed-in by a jet ski.

“I think everyone in the event would agree this is the biggest the Cape has ever been surfed,” said Thornton. “I was really nervous before the event started, then once I got out on the back on the jet ski I was pumped up and ready to go. I didn’t want to wait too long before I got my first wave because I knew the nerves would build again, and thankfully managed to get a good one early. Even though I got absolutely smashed at the end of the battle it’s going to be a surf I remember for a long time, with one great wave and one of the worst wipeouts I’ve ever had.”

After two battles the event team re-assessed the conditions and confirmed the event would be postponed until tomorrow.

At the halfway mark of competition Justen Allport is leading with a score of 15.25, ahead of Russell Bierke and Evan Faulks in second and third respectively. Allport was taken to hospital for assessment after a wipeout at the end of his heat, but is in a stable condition.

The ledge at Cape Solander, on the southern tip of Sydney’s Botany Bay, straightens up and glares at you. Your blood pressure rockets. You’re paralysed by the doomsday import of the threat.

You watch it and you can see yourself accepting the rope and… today… with the rarest of twelve-foot north east swells slamming shut the usual escape route into the channel, oh you know how it ends.

And did you know the very famous film director and skate brand maven and actor Spike Jonze was there, on the very tip of Cape Solander, absorbing the thrills? I turned to a pal, the art director of the wonderful Monster Children, whom I figured would’ve gone to Spike’s sell-out speech at Sydney’s Vivid Festival and asked how he went and he turned on his heels a little to reveal the infinitely precious object himself.

Hello Mr Jonze!


Click here to watch the highlights of Day one, Red Bull Cape Fear. 

Parker Reports: Day Two, Fiji Pro III!

Falls asleep! What did he miss?

So, yeah, heat nine.  Really slowing down here.  About to nod off.  Kerr is beating Andino with 7 and a half minutes left. Rosy’s wearing a billowing blouse number and my wife won’t go for a hump because I’m “way too drunk.”

And she’s making me turn off the contest so she can watch Game of Thrones.  I’m terribly abused.  But there’ll probably be tits.  That’s okay.

Sandor Clegane is still alive.  Wife says he’s gonna fight zombie Mountain.  Who cares?

Filthy dirty weirdo religious guy chats with the hot chick with nice tits and a killer smirk. I swear, ever GoT plot point can be solved by just stabbing some motherfucker.

Red beard bear fucker is following the guy who died but not really.  The wife says giants are all vegetarians, as though that’s interesting.

Eighteen minutes in and no tits.

Whoops.  Fell asleep on the couch.  What’d I miss?

Andino’s gone.  Bourez blessed my fantasy team and made it through.  Buchan slays the mother of dragons. Coffin/Cathels is in the water.  I’m struggling to focus.  Kind of bored.  Worried I missed some magic moments.

Day’s done. Likely lay days in the near future.  I can’t maintain over eight hours of drinking.  Maybe Derek or Chas can fill in anything I missed on the back third.

But Strider is talking about how “The waves actually were really fun out there. The waves were… you could rock up to anywhere you lived, at your home break, and be like, it’s going off.”

So I suspect I’m okay.


Sebastian Zietz
SeaBass dazzles but loses to little Kainoa Igarashi! | Photo: WSL

Parker reports, live, Day Two, Fiji Pro!

SeaBass out! Fanning wins! Taj Burrow menacing!

Ocean comes alive as Fanning/Otton begins. White Lightning wins the exchange with rail work. Otton in the shade a bit, only earns a 6.19 to Mick’s 8.17.

Pottz talking about Mick’s year off. He didn’t take a year off. He’s just working part time, contract basis. And while I don’t hold it against him it’s really nothing more but special treatment handed to a top draw by a governing body. Totally violates rules regarding event participation. Not fair to the other guys on tour. If he doesn’t care about a title he doesn’t belong in the water. This is sport, damnit! Not some feel good exhibition where everyone wins once the checks clear.

Can we start calling Alejo Muniz the Brazilian Caveman?

Rosy Hodge is the type of woman I won’t even bother talking to because I know she’s so much better than me.

Looked away for a moment, glanced back to Otton in a mile long closeout hell barrel. It’s turning on!

But I’m confused and it’s from last year and he got a 2.83 at some point so he’s in the lead but not by doing anything radical.

Otton’s always on my fantasy team in solid barrels. Except for this event because I fucked up and somehow picked Bourez instead. I love Michel’s surfing but I don’t consider him a solid pick. Not consistent enough. But I suck at fantasy surfing. It’s almost like I write about surfing every day but don’t know shit about it because I’m just an empty headed blow hard.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll do well.


Fanning keeps the lead with two good turns on a close out. Otton grabs a long wave, links turns, gets covered, but it’s scored less. I feel differently. I think Otton demonstrated more skill.

But the replay shows Mick’s second turn is absolutely bonkers. I’m wrong. Mick deserves the win, thus far. Even though I don’t think he belongs in the event at all.

Lost a little time there. Fanning is still in, which doesn’t matter for his career. Otton is out, which totally matters for his.

Sent the wife to the store for smokes and some juice. Adding POG to my Piper Sonoma Brut. More sugar equals more power.

The wife’s fave move is to entice me then pass out. Many times, been there. One drunk night she made me take viagra ‘cuz I was pushing rope. Then went blank. Rather than hump her prone form I followed her into blackness. Woke up early morning with the best boner I’ve ever had.

This was somewhere around fifteen years ago. We met young, she still lived at home.

While I was getting my shit together, glorious priapism thrust into the breeze, her mom walked in. Lots of eye contact, can’t say I was ashamed of what I had on offer. Damn proud. Damn proud.

And that’s how I met your mother, is what I would say if we hadn’t paid a few doctors to murder our potential children.

Best money I ever spent.

Too dark?

Nat Young and Dusty Payne. Nat’s a contest machine, Dusty is a free surf hero who belongs in a world where sponsors put more importance on clips than results.

Gotta focus. Payne on a ugly inside sucker. Difficult surfing, he’s in the lead.

Surfing’s second Nat Young grabs a barrel to impressive hit to closeout bonk. D-Payne behind dismantling over-vert lips. Nat again with what is almost the best double barrel of the contest but he just can’t come out.

No idea what the judges think.

9.33 for Payne. 6.23 for the kid from wetsuit land. The Albino Miracle finds himself combo’ed with the clock ticking.

Nat on a square drainer to come out of comboland. Still needs a big score on another.

One minute left, needs an 8.41, Nat’s Nat and That’s That snaps into a runner tube and hopes and hopes and hopes. For a 5.93. Wait, no, that’s what he got. He’s done, Dusty advances.

Okay, how the fuck did my dog get his paws on an entire stick of butter? Because I just found him hiding in a nook and eating one. Still cold from the fridge too. Something’s going on here. Everyone is against me.

Bottle two done.

The wife thinks our dog’s butter theft is hilarious. Because she doesn’t have to clean up whatever it is he sprays from whichever end it comes out of.

Ciao! Ibelli and Taj “Cuddle Monster” Burrow is on. Last heat was hot, this’ll be a wave catching contest. ‘Cuz that’s how life works.

Caio with a good barrel to huge backside smash. Taj gets more turns, less critical. My mind says Caio. How ’bout dem judges?

Ronnie “Strong Jawline” Blakey says the judges don’t care this is Taj’s last comp. Why would they? A shark never nibbled his bottom.

Ciao with a stylee snap to layback. Cool cool cool. “I didn’t mind it,” says Ross.

Low scores for good surfing. I like it. Numbers don’t really matter, only first does. I hope we’re seeing the end of nothing between 3 and 6. I know we aren’t.

Ross says Maurice Cole was the one who told Taj to skip his first qualifying year on tour. I never knew that. Does Maurice hate me? Maybe.

Mr Debs, super dog, is barfing butter everywhere. That’s just dandy! Which is pretty close to my suggested title for our video series. Absolutely Dandy w/ Chas Smith is great. Genius. Sadly unrecognized.

I got another FB friend thing from some chick I got inside back in high school. She still looks damn good. Got a kid though. Real turn off. Warms my heart that what ever I did on her is remembered fondly. Nothing to call the cops about, at least.

Mr Debs, super dog, is barfing butter everywhere. That’s just dandy! Which is pretty close to my suggested title for our video series. Absolutely Dandy w/ Chas Smith is great. Genius. Sadly unrecognized.

Taj blasts a 8.03, less than five for Caio to play catch up. Veteran shit, wait patiently and smoke ’em when you get ’em.

Caio at the buzzer. Nope. Mr Butter Barfer is sleeping on the linoleum at my feet and I’m opening bottle three.

Kainoa/Seabass. I’ve been riding Mr Big-in-Japan hard this year. Unfairly? Maybe?

Got a letter from someone who’s deal I dig about it. Told me to mellow out. Stop riding the poor kid. He’s a human, after all. Plenty of internal shit going on.

Unfair, making me see him as a person. Professional sports here, criticism is part of the deal. Might feel mean but it ain’t meant like that. Just part of the deal of putting yourself public. You’re not getting paid to surf. You’re getting paid to deal with assholes like me.

Kainoa’s looking to ‘QS his way through this heat.

Taj is so giggly! Love it!

Nice tube with safety turns to extend Kainoa’s lead. Seabass needs a 4.55 to take the lead with quarter hour left.

Kainoa extends the lead, nothing happens. Two and a half left. Last second set rolling in and Zietz has priority. Needs a 6.75. Falls!

Forty seconds, Kainoa with priority. Plays it safe on the last wave of the heat. Takes the wind. Seabass is gone, Kainoa is round three.

And installment two ends. Part three later. Probably.