Gabriel Medina Portugal
Penultimate event of the year, neck-and-neck title race. First three heats of round two feature the three surfers most likely to clinch the top spot. Why send them out into a closed-out wave catching contest? Gigs says it's no wonder people call it the Portugese Pipeline. Do people really say that? If so, they need to stop. That's a stupid thing to say. | Photo: WSL

Portugal: Title Decided in Close-outs?

Nine days left in the waiting period, what's the hurry?

The final presidential debate, and five heats of Portugal’s round two, in one night? Such drama, such insanity. What have I done to deserve this?

Seriously. Whatever it is, I’ll stop. Just, please, don’t hurt me again.

The debate… it weren’t great, not for America. Clinton called Trump a Russian puppet. He called her a nasty woman, then alluded he wouldn’t accept any election he didn’t win. Not great for democracy. Pretty in line with how a Russian plant would behave, though.

But I ain’t worried. Trump’s certain loss won’t lead to his followers taking up arms and taking the streets. Because they’re cowards. You’ve gotta be to truly believe you live in a world where you need an arsenal for home protection.

Kind of like all the dorks screaming about modern society stealing their masculinity. If you’ve gotta join a club dedicated to reinforcing your identity as a strong male you’re definitely anything but. Political correctness, or social marxism, or whatever term you’re using to denigrate evolving concepts of basic social decency, can’t steal your manhood. Nothing weaker than a man who feels threatened by strong women.

But we’re here to talk about surfing, aren’t we?

Let’s move on.

The WSL made a bad call. Terrible call. Worst call ever. It’s a disaster!

Penultimate event of the year, neck-and-neck title race. First three heats of round two feature the three surfers most likely to clinch the top spot. Why send them out into a closed-out wave catching contest? Nine days left in the waiting period, what’s the hurry?

Gigs says it’s no wonder people call it the Portugese Pipeline. Do people really say that? If so, they need to stop. That’s a stupid thing to say.

First heat of the loser round featured JJF and the wild card, Miguel Blanco. Scary to draw a local surfer in these conditions. On a day like this the win’s going to whoever gets the better waves. There’ll be no fifty/fifty split of ripping.

Florence hung on. Found an open right and got some hits in. Stroked into an okay left, boosted an air slightly past mid heat. Lucked into an open barrel in the dying minutes, solidified the lead he already held. Stays in first on the ‘CT.

Heat two saw Medina go on a wave catching spree. Twelve waves over a half hour. That’s some solid endurance.

Gabriel surfed well, like always. Found solid scores. Did one super cool speed snap to reverse. Landed fins first and slid loose for a while. Not one of his keeper scores, but the highlight in my mind.

Sadly for Callinan, Medina didn’t really win the heat. Callinan lost it. He found the best wave of the heat, a punchy overhead number. Hit it square, hard, then came unglued on the next turn. Total kick in the guts. You could tell he knew it. The section was perfect for a bash, could’ve added another point or two. Would’ve gotten the win, Medina took it by .41.

Best heat of the day was next. Flores came out of the gate on fire, stuck a knife in the throat of Wilko’s title dream. Hung it by its feet, drained the blood, chopped the thing to bits, fried it up for dinner.

But you can’t blame Wilko. He didn’t do anything wrong. When the surf is, more or less, garbage, and your opponent finds a highlight worthy barrel in the first couple minutes, there’s not a hell of a lot you can do.

Especially when Flores used that momentum to surf better than he has for most of this year. Backed up his early nine with a a three turn combo, the first two vicious vertical stabs, for a seven. Then immediately used priority to force his way into a backhand tube that, really, looked unmakeable.

It wasn’t particularly big, or open, but watching Flores rail grab pump through a tight fit is rad as fuck.

He put the Aussie in combo and left him sitting there for the next eighteen minutes.

I’ll hand it to Wilko, he didn’t surrender. With four and a half left he got a very good left hand barrel for an eight. Came unglued on his fall-from-the-sky end section floater attempt. Might’ve gone all the way to ten if he’d landed it.

Not that it would’ve mattered. Flores stuck to him like glue for the last couple minutes. Let Wilko have a nothing closeout, retained priority, and sent him packing.

I said it in my pre-event fantasy picker, “Flores either does very well, or very poorly. Looks like this event is gonna be the former.

Ribeiro/Wilson was boring. No other way to put it. Nothing but semi-closed out whompers. Both men were struggling to stick a single turn in before it shut down. Wilson won, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.

Skinny Wilko looked so sad when Rosie interviewed him. Bring back chubby Wilko. He loved life.

I want to know what Mel was saying. Wilko ended his interview with, “Maybe something will happen, someone will get disqualified, and I’ll get first.”

Pete Mel loved it. “Ah, dude. That’s beautiful. Someone will get disqualified and I’ll still win. Wait, you know what could happen? John John or…”

… then they cut his mic.

What could happen, Pete? What could happen?!?!?

Final heat before they wised up and shut it down was Toledo/Melling.

The Llama absolutely steamrolled Melling. Started off the heat with a solid backhand barrel, came out and two turn combo’ed the end. 7.67. Followed up with a soaring blast off a lined up chest high right. Got the 7.5, buried Melling deep.

Filipe’s a dad now, which is a crazy choice when you’re on the road most of the year. Pretty hard to be present. Missed the birth of his first child!

I suppose it’s good to set a precedent. “This is all there will be, nino.” Or whatever nino is in Portugese. Internet says it’s menino. Maybe with a tilda? I don’t know how to type those.

That’s it for day two. Probably shouldn’t have run at all. But it’s much easier to point out failures than to actually find success.

At least they had the good sense to end things early.

Just in: Women to Titan of Mavericks!

California's premier big wave surfing event pulls from the dark ages!

The Titans of Mavericks is a big wave surf event that thrills like no other. Dane Reynolds, THE Dane Reynolds, will be surfing in it this year and now also the ladies! Nobody respects women more than Cartel Management, the event license holder. Nobody. Let’s read about it!

The Titans of Mavericks big wave surf contest apparently will offer a women’s competition after all.

The announcement of the women’s heat was made on the contest’s social media accounts Wednesday afternoon, a little more than 48 hours before the opening ceremony for the 2016-17 contest is scheduled to be held Friday at Maverick’s Beach near Half Moon Bay. It also comes less than a week after Cartel Management, Inc., submitted a permit amendment application that included no plans for a women’s heat until the 2017-18 season.

“I’m pretty excited about what’s going on, especially since Friday I was pretty pissed off,” said Sabrina Brennan, who has been a driving force for the inclusion of women in the competition.

Six women will throw down for an hour during the main Titans of Mavericks competition for a share of a $30,000 purse, according to Brian Waters, the chief operating officer for both Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management. The surfers will be selected by Nov. 1 by the contest’s Committee 5 — a group of five Maverick’s patriarchs, including pioneer Jeff Clark, who were also tasked with selecting the 24 invitees to the main event.

The contest window opens in November and will run through March 31.

Waters said the contest board had no reason for its seemingly sudden decision to include women this year other than, “It’s quite simply the right time.”

“There was no compelling driver other than it was the time to do it,” Waters said.

Titans of Mavericks organizers have been facing increasing pressure to add women to the lineup or give them their own heat since Cartel acquired the contest last year.

Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner, made her initial push for inclusion when she appeared before the California Coastal Commission during its local meeting in 2015. She asked the CCC to make including women in the contest a requirement for obtaining the commission’s permit, which allows the closure of Maverick’s Beach, the nearby parking lot and a trail connecting the two. The commission voted to adopt the requirement for future permits.

When the contest released its updated list of 38 on Sept. 29, no women made the cut. Then came the proposal for a women’s heat next season. Many female big wave surfers felt that was Cartel pandering to the commission while seeking a four-year permit extension.

Brennan said Wednesday’s announcement is good news. Still, she noted that the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing — the group founded by pro surfers Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms and Andrea Moller — will continue to push for equal treatment.

“It is great news. I’m very excited about it,” Brennan said. “I think having the dialogue is very important.”

“Whoever holds the permit needs to include a professional event,” she added, “and that means including equity for women.”

And why do you think that Cartel Management change their minds? What was the spark for such a 180 turn? Whatever the reason it is good and right. Now just include Pete Mel and Twiggy and the ship shall be righted!

Clinton, Trump
The gal with the shady past or the stud with the dumb ideas? Which way you gonna swing?

Parker: “A vote is like a gun!”

So come play a presidential debate drinking game! Starting…soon!

Tonight, at 9PM EST, the world will watch in wonder as the final presidential debate of the 2016 election stomps its way across the vestiges of American democracy.

What a time to be alive!

The system’s rigged. Of course it is. Always has been. Always will be. People in power don’t relish sharing control. Gonna put up whatever road blocks they can find.

The wife has begun spinning the conspiracy theory that Trump is a plant. Clinton campaign recruited him years ago. Positioned him to take the fall in our current election. Act the fool. Be so crass and unlikable that Hillary seems benign by comparison.

Nonsense, of course. But it did work out that way. Go Hillary! First woman in the White House! Bill Clinton as first lady! I desperately hope he makes a public appearance wearing Jackie O’s iconic pink Chanel dress.

It would be a magic moment.

“I’d prefer to be called the first lady. The greatest woman I’ve ever known was first lady. It will be an honor to fill the same role.”

The days following the election, which anyone with more than a single brain cell rattling around upstairs realizes will go to Hillary, should be interesting. Crazy shouts, even more poorly considered conspiracy theories.

“The fix is in!”


Rates of self-inflicted gunshots wounds will skyrocket as the dumbest among us arm themselves for the coming rebellion. The problem might solve itself. Death by self-inflicted stupidity, or medical debt so severe it pushes them even deeper into the underclass. Which is where they belong.

Democracy is like the value of money, or the concept of basic human decency. Essentially a willingly shared delusion. It only works when everyone agrees to believe in it. And we’ve been painted into a corner.

A large portion of the population is buying the notion that a halfwit caricature of a evil businessman is being cheated out of his due position.

Another portion, which includes myself, may be forced to admit that democracy is for the birds.  Sound in theory, terrifying in practice.

A vote’s like a gun. Totally benign on its own.

But I think we can all agree you shouldn’t hand out loaded rifles to humans too stupid to guess which end the bullet comes from.

Feel free to join me in my Presidential Debate drinking game.

I’ll be taking a shot each time Trump says the game is rigged. Each time he calls Bill Clinton a rapist.  Each time he interrupts with nonsensical platitudes.

I’ll probably end up dead.

But, you know, if this is just a taste of what’s to come, fuck… I might be better off.

Clay Marzo
Marzo, 27, lost his home and his life savings and was left $30,000 in debt, his mother, Jill Marzo Clark, said in a phone interview Tuesday. Clark said that she also lost a significant amount of money. “It’s been a year of trying to get to this point,” Clark said Tuesday. “It’s bittersweet; it’s awful that she did what she did because she was like a family member. She was close with us and worked with me for a long time.

Crime: Clay Marzo stiffed $400K!

Loses house, life savings. Manager indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud… 

File it under You Can’t Trust Anyone. Clay Marzo’s bookkeeper was indicted recently on 13 counts of wire fraud after allegedly stealing more than $400k from Clay and his mother. 

Felicidad Rivera, 51, pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Monday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. Her bail was set at $50,000.

Marzo, 27, lost his home and his life savings and was left $30,000 in debt, his mother, Jill Marzo Clark, said in a phone interview Tuesday. Clark said that she also lost a significant amount of money.

“It’s been a year of trying to get to this point,” Clark said Tuesday. “It’s bittersweet; it’s awful that she did what she did because she was like a family member. She was close with us and worked with me for a long time.

“I hope that it all goes the right way, but it still doesn’t feel good. I’ve been sick to my stomach since Friday when she was arrested.”

According to the federal indictment, Rivera wrote herself 193 checks from January 2010 to October 2015 totaling more than $330,000 from the accounts of Marzo and his mother. Rivera also paid more than $75,000 of her own Chase credit card charges from Marzo’s account in 87 transactions from May 2010 to September 2015.

Rivera concealed her transactions through phony entries in QuickBooks ledgers that she was maintaining, court documents said. Clark and her son had difficulties monitoring Rivera’s activities due to disabilities from which they both suffer.

What can you say to that?

Fucking brutal. Everything gone. Left in debt. Gotta hope for restitution, but that shit never amounts to nothin’.  Not much high paying work out there once you’ve been caught stealing from clients. Marzo will most likely be paid back in drips and drabs over the rest of his life. If at all.

Bright side?

Clay still fucking rips. He should be able to earn some of it back. Dig his way out of a situation he’s done nothing to deserve.

Happy belated birthday to JJF!

Our boy wonder turned into a man yesterday. Come revel!

Here is a present! The first 1/3 of the award-winning Surfer’s Journal story Look at John John! It won many awards and was great. And huge. It was the most award winning story ever published. Rigged. SAD.

Look at John John! Look at John fucking John! Look at him roll all loose into that wave sucking and ledging and scary! Look at him pump without any effort and his face all bored and look at that speed! Like a racecar! Like a rocket ship! Look at him hit the section and soar like a kite up up up and look at him land! Can you believe he landed? Look at that too-cool-for-school lack of emotion. Look at the lack of claim, the narcoleptic yawn. Where did he learn to surf like that? So totally cool. His mom? His brothers? While we’re at it, look at his mom and brothers and a house right on Pipeline’s sand and childhood with that long bleachy hair and Monchichi face. Look at him get barreled at Pipeline as an eight-year-old. Look at him get barreled today, dragging is bulbous bottom into the wall and disappear for…..ever. He’s gone. He’s not coming out. There’s the spit. And there’s John John! Look at him! John fucking John.

And when was the last time anyone ever looked at you for anything at all but specifically for something you did physically? When you were one and started eating by yourself? Four and tied your own shoes? Six and made a three-pointer from the college three point line? For me it was four and tying my own shoes. Those bunny ears, bunny ears were playing by a tree before crisscrossing it, trying to catch me.
Those bunny ears, bunny ears, jumped into the hole,
popped out the other side beautiful and bold. And that was it. I have proceeded to wade through the rest of my existence corporeally insipid. I don’t fall. I don’t fly. I am like you. Are we jealous? Do we despise John John for his extraordinary skill? Do we look at him defy the laws of human locomotion and cheer, roar, praise because mankind needs John Johns or do we look at him with eyes tinted green, wanting to take what he has for ourselves?

Oh, I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I am not a physically gifted man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and don’t know for certain what ails me though it might be jealousy. I don’t consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a doctor from spite. My liver is bad, well–let it get worse. And John John, yes, somehow John John is getting better with each and every passing month.

Look at him! Just look at him! John fucking John. Look at him on tour, as part of the World Surf League. What? You don’t watch the World Surf League? Oh, sure, maybe not when it’s Nat Young vs. Caio Ibelli or Jack Freestone vs. Joel Parkinson but when it’s John John? You can’t help it because even if you don’t catch it live someone will inevitably pull out a phone at a party or work or dinner and say, “Look at this! Look at John John!” And there you will stand, squinting into a 4.7 inch screen looking at him take off under the lip, free-falling to the trough, barreled, barreled, barreled. He’s gone. He’s not coming out. There’s the spit and there’s John John! And would be impossible to believe if you hadn’t seen it with your own green tinted eyes.

Buy the rest here!