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.)

Here we see Dave speaking Portuguese in an Austral-American accent!

Definitely don’t Kill WSL’s Dave Prodan!

He is the WSL's great media director and he has a new podcast! Come listen to secrets!

Dave Prodan is a star in my books. Both my literal one and my figurative one! In my literal one (Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell available today!) I write:

I turn into the Ehukai Beach Park, throw another shaka at Dave Prodan, and hear him say, awkwardly, “G’Day, Chas” with his Austral-American accent. Dave was half raised in Newport Beach, California and half raised in Australia and so his accent is a mess. He is now the marketing director for the ASP. Not an enviable position here.

In my  figurative one he proudly sits at the same table as Brodie Carr, Paul Evans, Angela Merkel. Surfing men who don’t have the word “quit” in their vocabulary. His stick-to-itiveness is beyond impressive.

And Dave has been the marketing director/media liaison/man who ain’t afraid of the li’l old surf press of the ASP cum WSL for over ten years. Oh the things he’s seen, heard, kept secret. Oh the abuse that must be heaped upon his full, curly brown hairs!

But the secrets may soon spill! Dave has just launched a new podcast called Kill the Messenger. I’m certain it is a reference to the abuse heaped upon his full, curly brown hairs.

I’m also certain Kill the Messenger is fabulous but it would be most fabulous with one or two secrets per episode? Which NFL team footsie pajamas does WSL CEO Paul Speaker wear to bed each night? Who is Graham Stapelberg’s favorite Backstreet Boy? Does WSL CEO Paul Speaker get jealous and scream “Why G? Why do you hurt me so? What does A.J. McLean have that I don’t?” into his pillow while kicking his New England Patriots feetsies? Is there a Nixon-style WSL “enemies list” at the the Santa Monica headquarters? Does it look like this 1) Chas Smith 2) Chas Smith 3) Chas Smith 4) Bobby Martinez?

Listen now!

P.S. His Austral-American accent has either disappeared or only existed in my mind.

Eeek! I'm in its jaws! Lewis, baby, Lewis! Help!

I saw a great white take my pal!

"I saw the shark breeching out of the water with him in its mouth!"

Lewis Samuels is what you’d call a soul surfer if that term hadn’t been so corrupted. Lew surfs lonely big waves in the sharkiest of northern Californian waters and he ain’t afraid of either.

Lew has five pals who’ve been attacked by great white sharks. One, Royce Fraley, has been attacked… twice.

Lew was there for one of ’em.

“We were really far out to sea, literally, about a kilometre out to sea. It took 45 minutes to paddle out,” says Lew. “Out of the corner of my eye there was this explosion. And as I turned around, I saw the shark breeching out of the water with him in its mouth. Then they fell down in an explosion of whitewater, like when a whale breaches. Fifteen feet is as big as a car and they’re a lot fatter in person than you’d think they would be. And he was in the fish’s mouth and there was this fucking impact in the water and then there was nothing there, gone, like a fucking whirlpool of displaced whitewater where he’d been. There was no one else near him, just another friend way up the line, and so when the attack happened, what are you fucking going to do? You’re not going to leave your friend out there.”

But, says, Lew, “Let me be fucking honest. My first fucking response was to paddle away. But I thought about it, he was my friend, and whether or not he comes up he needs my help. And so I paddled back over, got there and he popped up out of the water and he pretty much paddled up onto my back, literally, trying to get out of the water. I said, ‘It’s alright, man! Hold on! I’ll paddle you in, man!”

What does a shark attack victim look like? “I didn’t want to look. We were 45 minutes out to sea and I figured he’d have a leg missing. I had this 200 pound guy on my back but… he fucking seemed okay. We started paddling next to each other. A friend, Britt, a lifeguard, saw what happened from a distance and started paddling with us, checking him, and he goes, ‘Where’s he fucking hurt?’ It didn’t make sense. Finally, we got in, I ran to a pay phone a mile away ’cause there’s no cell phone service and when I got back down there he was with an ambulance.”

The injuries, says Lew, were “like little scratches. The whole attack was a like a cartoon, like a toothpick in a dog. The board had gotten stuck in the mouth of the shark and it didn’t clamp on him. He was holding onto the board as the shark took him under and he got the scratches when he bounced off the shark.”

Lew says he finds comfort in the fact that great whites in northern California are different to the more energetic South African and Australian breed. In that, they have a different hunting pattern. They might bite but they’ll let go after the initial bleed and wait for you to bleed out instead of taking you down straight away.

“That gives you time to get medical help,” says Lew.

How did the attack affect Lew? Did he surf the spot again?

“What are you going to do? I was out there the next day. The waves were good.”