Surfing, in black of course, at the moment of victory while Surfer shrinks helplessly away!
Surfing, in black of course, at the moment of victory while Surfer shrinks helplessly away! | Photo: John Severson

Just in: Surfing smashes Surfer!

Surfing magazine has vanquished Surfer! Its oldest and most cruel foe!

And so it has been officially confirmed. Surfer magazine, known as the “bible of the sport” and published since 1960 will become a quarterly thereby throwing in the towel, waving the white flag, giving up entirely (save four times a year).

Which means…

Surfing magazine wins!

The twin pillars of American surf media have been owned by the same company for the better part of the past two decades yet have maintained a wonderful animosity toward each other. I spent time with the Surfing crew as editor-at-large for a few happy years and the things we would say about the Surfer staff across the room… oh they still split my sides!

Still, I wondered, while I was there how much more gas Surfing had in the tank. It was clearly the less loved little sister of mighty Surfer and I wondered when it would be finally pillaged.

But look! At the end it was the mighty Surfer forced to take a knee, to tap out of the media game entirely (save four times a year).

And then I wondered how? How did Surfing, which will continue to run as a monthly alongside Vanity Fair and The New Yorker as real magazines, beat its oldest foe? I will attribute it to three outstanding and equally handsome men. Chato Agaza, Peter Taras and James “Jimicane” Wilson.

Chato has designed the magazine for years and kept it visually striking. Pete has cemented his position as one surfing’s best photo editors. And Jimicane not only shoots well but is an absolute firecracker.

That is why I think Surfing has beaten Surfer at the end but what does Surfing think?

I call and Pete answers and Jimmy is there. I ask, “Why? Why, at the end, did Surfing win?”

While Pete is trying to think up an answer that won’t maybe get him in trouble Jimmy answers.

Surfer prides itself on being old. Well all their subscribers have died. Congratulations.”

Congratulations indeed (especially four times a year)!

Gabriel Medina
Gabriel Medina had a fiery glow! Strutted like a hen! Gabriel comboed Dusty Payne and Alex Ribeiro in his round one heat with a nine and and an eight. | Photo: WSL

J-Bay: “Jordy, Gab’s Instinctive Cruelty!”

And Kelly Slater wins a round one heat!

Riding at a jerky trot that he’d later blame on “45 mile an hour gusts”, Kelly Slater just beat, but only just if we’re to be transparent, Filipe Toledo in three-foot waves.

Would you ever guess such a thing?

Even Fantasy Surfer has tired of the old champ, tossing him into the bargain bin, a four point seven million dollar buy, well under half his usual price tag.

Oh, if you should’ve seen Filipe, swatting the air like a pompous conductor trying to reign in a rebellious orchestra, as the scores for Kelly’s last wave came in half a point more than he needed to beat San Clemente’s best surfer.

But,  Slater aside, the thrills came entirely, again if we’re to be transparent, from Gabriel Medina, who screwed his volume knob to a new level, and Jordy Smith, who shone and delighted like a summer full moon. Wiggoly Dantas, Joel Parkinson, Caio Ibelli and Julian Wilson also appealed.

Most other surfers looked docile and inoffensive, like weevils among spiders.

Watch Gabriel and Slater win their heats here.

Jordy thrills more than a little here…

And how about a little game from Wiggoly…

Highlights wrap here.

J-Bay Open Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.67, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.80, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.97
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.33, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.06, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 8.43
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 15.64, John John Florence (HAW) 13.24, Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.60
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.76, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.80, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.00
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.27, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.77, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 12.27
Heat 6: Davey Cathels (AUS) 11.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.33, Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 7.43
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.26, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.00, Matt Banting (AUS) 9.43
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.16, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.66, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.50
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.43, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 9.40
Heat 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.26, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.60, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.90
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.77, Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.17, Nat Young (USA) 7.50
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.90, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.90, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.74

J-Bay Open Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.47 def. Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 7.93
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.27 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 11.77
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.54 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.34
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.50 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 3.87

J-Bay Open Round 2 Upcoming Match-Ups:
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 12: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)

Paul Speaker and team exit the water after another clean event!
Paul Speaker and team exit the water after another clean event!

The Mormonification of Surf!

The surf world fights an epic battle against bland!

I spent the majority of today driving back and forth from my beloved north county San Diego to my least favorite south Orange County. Beginning, really, in Laguna Niguel and winding up through the San Joaquin hills to Newport Beach one would be hard pressed to find a more sterilized environment. Everything is a newer shade of brown. All the cars are Lexus. The palm trees stretch as high as they can hoping to catch a glimpse of either Disneyland to the north or the San Onofre nuclear generating station to the south. Anything to break the monotony.

There is, anyhow, at the northern foothills of the San Joaquin hills in Newport Beach a giant newer shade of brown Lexified depressed palm tree’d temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


I studied it three times, studied its hideous faux mission architecture, its water sucking landscaping, its gold Angel Moroni trumpeting eastward toward the Salt Lake faithful and praised the real Lord that I am a Christian and not a Mormon. Who would want all of that?

It just so happens that, after my day’s journey, I also accidentally read a story in the Deseret News (the official Mormon mouthpiece) titled Meet LDS Surfer Jordy Collins, one of the sport’s rising stars.

Jordy Collins was pictured and looked very cute and seemed sweet and surfed well etc. etc. but in the interview there were two paragraphs that really roiled. Would you like to read?

At first glance, an active Mormon in the surfing world might seem like a clash of cultures, but surfing has evolved. As Daren (Jordy’s father) puts it, “When I was growing up it was more of a culture of rebellion against society and parents and all that. But it’s become a competitive sport and people approached it differently. It’s really changed. It’s a family atmosphere.”

Says Jordy, “There are a lot of kids in the pros now who realize how serious our sport is becoming, so it’s not too hard to say, ‘no, I don’t do that.’ It’s about becoming athletes. Kelly Slater (a legendary surfing champion) was the first to step back and say we’re actual professional athletes. So it’s not too hard, although it’s definitely not the normal thing. I usually don’t surf on Sunday, so I get questions. You explain and then they say, oh, OK, that’s cool.”

And FUCK THAT! Right? If this is where surfing is going, where the World Surf League is taking it, to a clean, safe, family friendly sport then…then….then……FUCK THAT!

Not that surfing is/needs to be rebellious, it’s not and hasn’t been for some time, but it becoming Mormonified is more than I can take.

So bland! So Mitt Romney! So…so…so Marriott!

I hope that the sporting elements flat out lose in the long run and I know they will because, at the end, surfers all are selfish derelicts or even worse unrepentant addicts. The WSL and Mormon church, however they try to package, are on the wrong side of history. Surfers/we are dicks. And cocaine users.

The end.

Kai Lenny hydrofoil
How good is the ability to ride a wave to its death and then pump…pump…pump… and catch the next wave behind it! What a future it would beckon…

How to: Surf a Hydro-Foil!

Kai Lenny is a total ocean savant. Watch his mastery of the hydro-foil surfboard.

Hydrofoils are crazy business. They’ve been around lakes and rivers for a long time. You’d see some seated weirdo bouncing big airs behind a boat every once in a while.

I think Laird was the first guy to take them in the ocean. The first I’m aware of, at least. Snowboard boots and tow ins on custom made equipment. Innovative. Not exactly accessible to normal humans.

Until Kai Lenny came around and started getting into it. First on a downwind SUP, which looks pretty fun, if very difficult. And insanely tough on your leg muscles.

Now he’s paddling in on a shortboard with a foil stuck on the bottom, kicking out and pumping his way into the wave following.

Very impressive. Lenny’s a total ocean savant. Even he don’t make it look all that easy. Definitely gotta be more difficult than it looks.

Or so I hope. Lenny playing around on the thing is really cool, nothing bad about it. A million bozos doing the same, hop hop pumping through the lineup, trying to catch wave after wave without stopping, would be a nightmare.

Like sharing a skatepark with BMX barneys. Not that bike guys are inherently lame, but there’s a certain type that pedals around instead of pumping. Does ten-minute long “lines” without taking a break. Very selfish. Totally infuriating to anyone patiently waiting their turn.

Shark Shield
The $600 tailpad-Shark Shield combo from Ocean and Earth. Does it work? The University of WA studied the devices for two-and-a-half years and says, yup.

Just in: This $600 Anti-Shark tailpad!

Why the price? It terrifies Great Whites!

I’ll happily throw absurd amounts of money at anything. But on one proviso. It’s gotta do what it says. If the television is 3-D, I want to have my lungs ripped out by zombies. If the camera’s 4K, I want to see every droplet of saliva on her lips.

So, shark repellants.

Do I want to pay $250 for a leash equipped with magnets that claims to ward off most sharks, with the notable exception of Whites? Uh, maybe not, after reading this. 

But, as revealed yesterday, there is a shark repellant that works. The University of Western Australia studied the Shark Shield for two years among the Great White colonies of South Africa and discovered it kept Whites at bay. At least most of the time.

In a peer-reviewed paper, which you can read here if you’ve got time on your hands, researchers found the Shark Shield, an electromagnetic device originally developed by South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board in the 1990s before being commercialised by the Australian company SeaChange, actually…works.

The results of this study show that the Shark Shield™ can reduce C. carcharias interactions with a static bait (under test conditions), and provides no support to the suggestion that the Shark Shield™ attracts sharks.

The University of WA’s lead researcher, Dr Ryan Kempster, said only one Great White interacted with the static bait in the presence of a switched-on Shark Shield, and this only happened after multiple approaches to the device.

“Although the effectiveness of the Shark Shield likely varies between species, the fact that white sharks are implicated in the majority of fatal incidents globally suggests that a deterrent that effectively deters this species should be an important safety consideration for ocean users,” Dr Kempster said.

“The research found no evidence that the Shark Shield attracted sharks from a greater distance, which is a common sentiment shared by surfers, and showed that the Shark Shield can reduce white shark interactions.”

You want in? Ocean and Earth have partnered with Shark Shield for a device that fits under a tailpad, which you can buy for six hundred dollars. It ain’t my thing, if I’m going to be honest, sticking antennas and whatever else all over my board on the off chance I might get tagged by a White.

But, who knows?

Maybe sharks give you the heebies jeebies so much you’d do anything to calm your fluttery mind.

Study the video tutorial below.