Life Rolls On's Jesse Billauer and another competitor Davi Teixeira at the first-ever International Surfing Association World Adaptive Surfing Championship. | Photo: ISA/Reynolds

Believe: You’re a lucky sonofabitch!

Those legs work of yours work? You can surf? Celebrate!

We all get the blues. Who don’t? I’m still wrestling with a decade-long problem of a pinched stance, a legacy of switching to, and riding exclusively, four-fin stumps.

Every year or two I’ll switch to a regular sorta shape, start to hate surfing, persist, hate surfing some more, nail one turn closer to the pocket than anything I’ve done in the last year, futilely persist some more, become depressed, throw board on the used pile, return to stump, wait for swagger to return.

But ain’t it great that, for most of us, in a world full of curveballs our worst problem is a sticky rail, a pinched stance or, maybe, a long-term relationship with a girl who recoils at your twitching womb-scraper?

Anyway, while we weep, there are people out there who don’t got a thing in their limbs. No electricity. Not a twitch. Not a damn thing.

Remember Jesse Billauer, the pal of Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, who snapped his neck when he was 17 and who went on to pioneer surfing for other paraplegics and quadriplegics?

These days, Jesse rides Cloudbreak (on a power-assisted board by Wavejet), and even busted a leg surfing on the North Shore a while back.

A few years ago, Jesse became the CEO of the Life Rolls on Foundation, a not-for-profit that believes “that adaptive surfing and skating could inspire infinite possibilities beyond paralysis.”

Yesterday, the foundation hit New York’s dirty old Rockaway Beach. In summer’s onshore goop, we watch as paralysed men, women and kids are necklaced in surf thrills.

“A lot of these people look forward to that 20 or 30 minutes for 364 days,” says Billauer.

“The water was really nice too, better than any cup of coffee you ever had,” says New Yorker Nick Romanski.

Watch one kid from the Bronx, blind, can’t speak, paralysed. You think you got it bad?

“It’s undescribable the feeling I get to watch my son on something that I thought he would never be able to do. And here he is surfing. He loved it. He was laughing and giggling,” said his mother Margaret Deeney.

Watch it here and see how good your tear ducts are at functioning. Oowee. Misty! 

WSL: “The benelovent enslavers of fuck!”

What if the World Surf League released a blooper reel? It would for sure slay!

I don’t know what my problem is. I never played Dungeons and Dragons as a child. Not even once. How are you supposed to play? Is it a card game? Are there dice? Is it roll playing or role playing? I don’t know. I have never been a fan of fantasy. None of it. The Hobbit etc. can suck a short one. I don’t like the imaginary nor do I like winged creatures.

But Game of Thrones.

The HBO show snagged me from the word Mother of Dragons and I am still surprised because of the above. Sure the story is fun and the acting is exceptional and the costumes/nude scenes captivate. It is a good show and I am now addicted. Screw you Rory Parker and your cranky/hater ways!

And I just watched this blooper reel from season six and laughed out loud into my vodka ginger beer.

Professional surfing, on the other hand, hasn’t made me laugh in three years. Not even one chuckle. Not even a half chortle. Not even after I’ve had seven vodka ginger beers. Wouldn’t it be totally grand if the WSL made a blooper reel like the Game of Thrones one? Ronnie saying something antisemitic then spitting out a mouthful of Balter. “Mick Fanning gassing the competition like fucking Je….. I almost said it! I almost said it!”

Joe Turpel stumbling over the phrase jam off the top… “He jums off the tup… He jims off the tip… He joms off the tap… Hahahahahah someone gimme a hand here?”

Martin Potter actually turning into a real human for four seconds.

“I used to be fucking Pottz! POTTTZ! Like, FUCK ALL OF YOU SHITBAG NOBODIES! Shit. Did I just say that? Out loud? Hahaha!”

Strider punching Adriano in the face after a butt poo claim.

“Back to you in the studio! Am I punching this guy right now? Am I? Look at these attack dog tits! Wiggle wiggle wiggle SLAM! Hahahaha!”

It would be magic. Absolute magic.

Rumor: Dane and Craig’s baby lives!

Is your heart able to withstand the ups and downs? The crazy highs and depressing lows of the brand formerly known as Destroyr?

What a rollercoaster ride surfing’s two most eligible bachelors have taken us on! Do you recall when Dane brexited from his Quiksilver contract and went to surf for… ummm… no one? Or Vans? Or something? Do you recall when Craig Anderson brexited his Quiksilver right behind and went to surf for … ummm … really no one? Huf shoes? Or some such?

The rumors sure did swirl afterward. They had brexited their contracts in order to start a super brand named Destroyr! But then something happened. Maybe a certain magazine published the name too early and a certain owner of the mark “Destroyr” upped the price of ownership to beyond reasonable. Or something!

In any case, conflicting reports have continued unabated, rollercoastering us all. It’s alive. It’s dead. It’s alive. It’s dead. It’s alive.

The latest?

The brand is alive and well, though yet to be named but has a creative director and other personnel.

This news thrills me beyond. I wonder what the signature pieces will be. A very short boardshort like BeachGrit‘s? A skatey button-up with the words “You’ll never be us” sewn to the inside pocket? A beer holder made of raw denim and Zen poetry? A device that loosens our back knees and so we look like we’re pimp walking while we surf?


What do you think the brand should be called? I think maybe:







"An Olympic medal is missing in my career," says Adriano De Souza, middle of frame. "I hope that in 2020 it won't be missing anymore. I am already imagining myself putting on my country's lycra and fighting for a podium place."

Triumph: Adriano lofts Olympic Torch!

And warns of gold medals in Tokyo!

Vindication has been slow in arriving for the reigning world champion and Pipeline Master, Adriano de Souza.

I’m positive you won’t have forgotten how, hours after the remarkable double feat, the first by a Brazilian, Kelly Slater loosed vision of a wavepool unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Chas Smith wrote, “He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.”

Do you remember Kelly and Adriano’s ancient blood feud?

I’m certainly not a world expert at body language, an expert at nothing except online shopping if truth be told, but it does seem that Kelly fudges when the interviewer Mitchell Ross asks for the causes of the event. Do you like it when Kelly likens Adriano’s intemperance to a chemical imbalance due to his “passion”? I do!

This now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t exchange was a pulse throbber too!


Anyway, the eyes of the world were on Adriano de Souza today, and not Kelly, and not Gabriel, when the Brazilian carried the Olympic torch in his home town of Guarujá, making a spectacular arrival via boat, and flanked by foam SUPs.

“I came back to Brazil just to participate in the relay. I am so happy everything worked out. It’s a great honour to carry the torch.”

And, watch out Tokyo 2020. Adriano, he want gold!

“I am already imagining myself putting on my country’s lycra and fighting for a podium place.”

His wedding was something else, too. Watch that here.



Truly terrifying stuff. I once paddled across the same river mouth when I couldn't get a ride to Playa Grande. One of the stupider things I've ever done. I knew there were crocs, my low level Spanish enough to understand the "peligro: lagartos" signs that dotted the area. But I was 20, invincible, and dumber than a box of doorknobs. | Photo:

Graphic: Crocodile Attacks Surfer!

American surfer loses leg at Tamarindo, Costa Rica… 

A crocodile attack on a surfer this morning in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, has cost a visiting American his right leg and put the spotlight on an ongoing problem in the tourist oriented beachside town.

Reports are muddled, with conflicting accounts coming from different sources, buta few things are clear. At some point between 6:45 and 7:15 am, Arthur Jonathan Betker was attacked by a crocodile in or near the Tamarindo estuary. He was transported via private ambulance to Liberia where he underwent emergency surgery that resulted in the removal of his right foot at the ankle. 

Pictures posted on the Surf with Leo Facebook page , a for-hire photo and video service run out of Tamarindo, show Betker crawling from the water before collapsing at its edge.

Truly terrifying stuff.

I once paddled across the same river mouth when I couldn’t get a ride to Playa Grande. One of the stupider things I’ve ever done. I knew there were crocs, my low-level Spanish enough to understand the “peligro: lagartos” signs that dotted the area. But I was 20, invincible, and dumber than a box of doorknobs.

Many blame the perceived increase in attacks on the country’s reliance on eco-tourism. Visitors’ desires to stray off the beaten path bring them in contact with the animals in areas where they once were left alone. Tour operators regularly feed the beasts for their clients’ enjoyment, familiarizing them with humans as a source of food. Which is a terrible idea with any wild animal, most especially when they are big enough to eat you.

Response has been varied, with many calling for a cull or relocation efforts. And, of course, some people are happy to leave the animals alone. Even when they were, personally, attacked.

Perhaps most worrying are reports that it took an hour for emergency response to arrive. There’s really no excuse for a lack of first responders in the area.

Plenty of people make good money exploiting the country’s natural resources for profit, kicking down into a community coffer meant to support an on-call lifeguard/EMT unit would be easily done. Though it seems the Costa Rican tourism industry, like that of most tourist destinations (including Hawaii!) is more concerned with profiting from visitors than making sure they get back home in one piece.

(Note: My Spanish ain’t the greatest so I apologize in advance for any details I may have gotten wrong.)