Parker’s Terrible Fantasy Surfer Picks!

It's the I'd-suck-a-million-dicks-to-see-John-John-win edition!

Time for another amazing edition of Rory Parker’s Absolutely Terrible Fantasy Surfer Picks: I don’t care who wins edition.

As always, I’ll be using the WSL Fantasy model. The Surfer version contains too many numbers. Which I find mildly confusing because I’m a writer (not a fucking blogger, damn it!) and I don’t like dealing with numbers. In another world I understand them better, but in this one I stopped bothering with math when my 10th grade geometry teacher refused to recommend me for advanced classes due to poor citizenship grades.

I’d suck a million dicks to see an in-form JJ storm the field at rippable Lowers. Yeah, I know his knee is probably dodgy, reports to the contrary notwithstanding. But Florence is young as hell, heals quick, and delivered that monster ‘oop at Keramas with a fucked-up ankle.

Also because he claimed I assaulted him. I maintain that catching a pen someone threw at you and tossing it back is in no way, shape, or form, assault. Fuck you, Mr Ninnis.

Tier A:

Slater: He won Tahiti, so maybe he’s out of his slump. Or maybe not. It’s just that Slater is a mindless pick and I’m totally uninvested in results because I’ve been doing terribly all year. Which I’m gonna blame on the bullshit judging and absurd number of heats which were little more than wave catching contests.

John John: Sweet fake jeezus, I’d suck a million dicks to see an in-form JJ storm the field at rippable Lowers. Yeah, I know his knee is probably dodgy, reports to the contrary notwithstanding. But Florence is young as hell, heals quick, and delivered that monster ‘oop at Keramas with a fucked-up ankle.

I don’t remember how he did in the contest, though. I’ll pretend he won.

Tier B:

Filipe Toledo: Duh.

Parko: I’m still boycotting White Lightning because I don’t think he should be allowed to compete this year. And Parko’s always been the poor man’s Mick. Got that style on lock, knows how to win a heat. Hasn’t brought anything new in years but the same old same old is still damn nifty.

Italian Ferrari: Workhorse pick. The Ferrari sometimes surprises, but usually racks up a nice amount of points before he gets knocked out.

Kolohe Andino: I just felt like picking a local surfer who I know is going out in round three.

Tier C:

Simpo: ‘QS record aside, you’d have to be an idiot to put Simpo on your team. But he does surf real good, so maybe he’ll surprise everyone? Basically a hail mary I’m hoping will make up some points.

Jeremy Flores: It was either the Frenchman or Jadson Andre for this spot, based on absolutely nothing. I flipped a coin to decide and Andre won. But I’m always hoping for an entertaining Flores meltdown and, even though I know that has no bearing on Fantasy results, I gave Flores the nod.

Watch last year’s final here!


Poll: Surfing’s most principled stand?

It takes guts to stand, or sit, for what you believe in! But who is surfing's most conscientious soul?

Football season kicks off in America today which means summer is officially over. Goodbye beached days and mai tai nights. So long lazy afternoons and slow mornings. Arrivederci sun tans and sun block.

Hello Colin Kaepernick!


And have you kept up on the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback? He has set the country on fire by refusing to stand for the national anthem! He says he will not stand until there is some improvement in race relations:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

It sounds reasonable, no? Well, I was among the thugs in San Diego watching my most favorite Chargers a few days ago and the boos raining down upon Colin’s head were thunderous as he took his knee. He was called all sorts of nasty names with many “Fuck yous!” being thrown in for good measure.

Like it or not, approve or not, it takes guts to make a principled stand.

Which made me wonder… What was the biggest principled stand ever taken in our surf world?

Was it Bobby Martinez saying what he really thought about the professional surf tour?

Was it Mick Fanning refusing to refusing to speak with a certain surf reporter, before speaking to him, because he understood he worked for a magazine and that it had previously published articles which he believed were racist and anti-Semitic? By the way, he strongly objected to views, statements and comments of that nature…

Was it Dane Reynolds not surfing in contests and not making videos at the same exact time while getting paid lots of money?

Was it…

…Matt Warshaw? Are you there again? I need you!

Kelly Slater wavepool
"This is something I dreamt about as a kid," says Kelly. "Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen. I’m proud to say we took our time to get it right, and the first fully-working prototype of the wave now exists."

Opinion: “Wavepools Better than Ocean!”

In five fundamental ways! Let's count… 

Earlier today, this website posted a story with the title, Wavepools: “Investors Gonna Lose Their Asses!” It is an energetic piece that takes aim at a New York Times story on the on-again-off-again Wavegarden in Austin, Texas.

It’s author, the knuckle-duster-in-the-face Rory Parker, also recorded his doubts about the long-term viability of such operations.

I hear it. If you put a twenty-million dollar tank somewhere y’gonna need tens of thousands of pool jockeys, beginners, intermediates, studs, jamming this way and that, to cut any sort of profit.

A while back, I put the economic proposition of wavepools to Greg Webber, the shaper who’s been promising a pool that’ll shadow Kelly’s. And Greg says Wavegarden is doomed.

“They’re hamstrung by the dynamic of a low wave-rate, which makes it viable on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “An industry is on the cusp of happening. But it’s only going to happen if each of these pools makes a lot of money. Not just a little, tiny turnover. And that’s directly linked to the number of people going through the gates. One hundred and twenty waves an hour is 12 dudes getting 10 waves an hour. No one spends 30 million dollars or more building a pool on the hope that’s going to turn a profit. Because it can’t. You can’t change $10,000 per session. I wouldn’t go down that path, ever. And they’ll end up being redundant.”

So maybe Rory and Greg are right. Pools’ll appear and, eventually, crumble into their dirty brown water.

But what if, once we get a taste, we don’t want, or need, the ocean?

I’ve ridden a couple, one a piece of shit, and yeah if they were still like that, close the door. But the other was so sublime it still operates as a fulcrum for conversation between its participants. Therefore I believe that even a vaguely good pool is better than the ocean in five fundamental ways.

  1. You’ll never be dropped-in on again: You pay your five or ten bucks, and that wave is yours to destroy or to butcher. There’s no one to paddle up the face as you take aim at a lip. No one swinging around on the inside. You sit. You hear the whomp. The show’s yours.
  2. The concept of practice is real: We ran a little interview with our pals at What Youth a few weeks ago and there was a disappointment expressed at the lack of any sorta of surf-performance progression, at least in line with skate or snow. But, goddamn. How long does it take to get a cutback just right, or learn even the most basic process of an air? It’s such a battle to catch a wave and veer around the crowd to find that one inviting section, that most of the time we stick to what we know. Imagine a season pass at a pool, Wavegarden, American Wave Machines, KSWaveCo, whatever. Your world would…open.
  3. Disappointment isn’t even an option: In this big nasty world, we all gotta work. So most of us can only sling a few hours a week at the ocean. And if we get there and the tide’s wrong or Jesus ain’t delivering a promised swell? There’s not  a damn thing you can do. Unless a pool breaks, and yeah they do (but you’ll know about breakdowns before you get into your car), you’re gonna get waves. You’re gonna surf not matter what.
  4. You’ll actually enjoy a pal’s surfing: Every bomb set your pal gets in the ocean is a wave you missed out on, especially if you’re sitting side-by-side in the lineup. And, so, it’s natural to harbour a little hatred in the darker side of your soul for your surf buddy. At a pool? Equal shares. It’s the bright side of communism mixed with the perfection of free enterprise.
  5. It sifts the mystical bullshit from surf: What is surfing but a game of balance and identification of shapes, mixed with a sort of elevated swimming cardio? There ain’t no mystery to it. Cancer isn’t being cured. Unicorns aren’t being ridden across the sky. Do you think we really commune with nature on our petrochemical boards? Pools show up surfing for what it actually is – a frustrating as hell, but boundlessly satisfying… sport. A sport.


Wavepools: “Investors will lose their asses!”

Are you optimistic about the future of wavepools too?

Fucking wave pool hype. Such bullshit. So sick of it.

Today the New York Times released the latest poorly informed yet fawning piece about the future of wave sliding for landlocked goobers.

It focuses on beer baron Doug Coors soon to fail endeavor in Austin, Texas. Coors jumped in early, licensed WaveGarden tech. Built a giant hole in the ground without bothering to get proper permits. Why would a stagnant pond soon to be filled with people pissing, and occassionally shitting, need to be filtered? It’s just like a manmade lake! And those don’t need no filterin’! )

Of course this is America!, so Coors is embracing the angle of regulation run amok. Public safety playing second banana to that good ol’ American entrepreneurial spirit.

True gems in this particular poorly sourced attempt at journalism.

Some who have surfed NLand say it feels just like natural waves but with more frequent and longer rides — up to 35 seconds — that give novices more time to properly position themselves and advanced practitioners the opportunity for more maneuvers. 

Right? Because Snowdonia has been getting rave reviews for its cold water choppy mush.

Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy watching these fuckers fail. From an engineering stand point, yeah, wavepools are pretty damn neat. True examples of clever humans building awesome contraptions.

But surfing is too difficult to learn. Too much falling, too much flailing. Will a pool make it slightly easier? Maybe. But knowing each wipeout cost you twenty bucks hardly reduces the sting.

NLand will be abandoned within three years. Investors will lose their asses. But not before a handful of wavepool devotees drown while trying to play Rick Kane one fine Oahu December.

So long, Dooma! Stab mostly sucks now!

The world's second favorite South African grabs the mic and flows!

And have you been listening to Dave Prodan’s podcast Kill the Messenger? It is a garden of aural delight! Dave knows his pro surfing like few others and brings such a thoughtful approach to the mic. Not shrill. Not gossipy. Easy like Thursday morning and a happy addition to the surf podcast space (feat. such gorgeous stars like Down the Line, Kooks of Komedy and our very own Rory Parker’s Everything is Always Terrible.

But back to Dave Prodan. His guest on his latest episode is one of my very favorite characters in all of surf. Damien “Dooma” Fahrenfort! The handsome South African with a face like Val Kilmer and a voice like fresh-off-the-grill boerewors.

I love him!

Do you remember when he busted onto the scene? When he got busted alongside Jake “The Snake” Paterson for spitting truths?

Such fun!

And now he is a mogul. Part owner of a Venice skate/surf store called General Admission that is causing Supreme-like meltdowns on California streets. Part head of Stab magazine’s United States operation.

Except he has recently pulled away from Stab, telling Dave, “I don’t know… ever since BeachGrit came around Stab just doesn’t feel… I don’t know… good anymore. Bruh.”

Just kidding!

He says, “About three years ago, and this is where I’ve learned everything after pro surfing, was Stab magazine. I came on and launched it here in the U.S. And since Sam McIntosh has moved to the States and since I’ve got other things going on full-time I’ve kind of stepped back from it a little bit…”

A world without Dooma is cold, grey. And a Stab with less of him definitely kinda sucks.

Listen to the rest of the podcast right here!

And keep Damien Fahrenfort in business by shopping here!