Portugal: “Medina’s out! No title!”

John John your champ! (probably)

We’re on again! Day three, remnants of round two, all of round three, Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Strider’s raving about the surf. Sooooo good. It’s been firing here for days! Turpel got the tube of his life at this particular bank yesterday!

We’ll see. Hyperbolic hype is the name of the game. It’s gotta be better than yesterday.

But if it’s really been so much better here than at Supertubos… what the fuck.

Still, let’s not start on a negative note. It could be worse, whatever the case. I’ve a new appreciation for bad. I sat through an entire episode of Flip’n Sk8s, the worst fucking thing anyone has ever done in the history of the world.


Worse than In God’s Hands. Worse than Surf School.

Worse than Surf House.

Worse than the vicious ingrown hair (I hope!) at the base of my dick that I’ve been dealing with since I went a little overboard with the manscaping last week.

Buchan/Banting got the day started in some surf with potential. Once again it looks like a day that’ll hardly go down in history. But it’s contestable. Enough energy to hold hope the tide turns things on as the day progresses.

Even so, the first heat of the day didn’t hold much appeal. Buchan kicked things off with a mid-six on an okay right. Banting right behind him, surfed one to the inside closeout and tossed a solid reverse for a 6.93. Matt looks like last event’s results have given him a bit more confidence. He’s still doing that annoying thing where he throws his back hand over his head with every turn, but he’s surfing better than expected. Hire a style coach, or something. Iron that shit out, I could become a fan.

Beyond that first exchange pretty much nothing happened for the rest of the heat. Shitty waves, low scores, until the last minute or so. Ace went backside and did a few not-very-good whacks. Banting got a better one. ‘QS turned to the inside, did another reverse, won by a bit more than half a point.

Seabass/Alejo up next. Not much better than the last. Only two moments worth mentioning.

Seabass snagged a gorgeous right mid-heat, unleashed a carve to crack to layback bash combo. He surfs so good when he’s surfing good!

The next came when Strider interviewed Ace Buchan, who I’d forgotten is the Surfers’ Rep. Ol’ Raspberry started off with a nothing statement.

We got started out here on the right and we’ve been looking at the left, so for you, in your mind, you had to make a transition.

No idea what to make of that. I swear, if I didn’t know any better I’d sometimes think Mr Wasilewski had never surfer a day in his life.
Ace wasn’t feeling the empty chatter game. Unleashed some honest opinion. (edited slightly for clarity)

Yeah, for sure, the right’s definitely better. It’s a little bit high for the left at the moment. But, to be honest, it’s pretty frustrating. You know, we’ve come here to move to a left hand bank and it’s been pumping for three days and we’ve been sitting at Supertubes watching closeouts. It’s meant to be the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves, and this is meant to be a mobile event. To be frank it’s come, this move’s come two days too late.

You could call Ace a sore loser, but it’s hard when the talking heads have been spouting lines in total, if more corporate-friendly, agreement.

Seabass beat Alejo. Yay for him. We both live on Kauai, which is enough to make me a fan. I’ll admit, though, I don’t really like seeing him in the water on breaks between stops. Especially if I feel like I’m surfing well. Nothing kills that I’m-ripping feeling faster than watching someone with actual skill.

Bourez and Freestone up next. Surfed well, got the blood pumping a bit. Freestone opened up the heat with a single maneuver alley oop for a 5.67. Bourez was next on an overhead left. First turn was great. Super late, super hard, air drop to the flats. Poked it vertical a couple times, then did his weird arched-back extendo-snap on the shoulder. 6.83.

Freestone took the next. Backside floater, bonk, crack, crack. Pretty good. 7.6 good? I don’t really think so, but that’s what they gave him.

Bourez proceeded to sit out most of the heat. Let Jack have the line up. Freestone paddled around, caught a couple waves, didn’t improve on his score.

With a hair under six seconds left Bourez found the wave of the heat, then bashed it to death. Gave an “I’m happy I’m winning now” hand clap claim at the end. Freestone couldn’t find an answer. Caught a gooey left as the clock wound down. Took his fifth second round exit of the year.

Surf started picking up for Cathels and Ibelli. Overhead, open shoulders. Enough power to really drive hard off the bottom and up through the lip.

Ibelli made the most of it. Caught a pair of sevens, one high, one low. Aimed his nose at the pocket, pushed hard, earned the win.

What’s with all the pros forcing out babies these days? Ace has one on the way, Bourez is playing Llama and ditching the preggo wife at home. Gross. Kids are the worst.

This was the point I fell asleep. Damn time difference! But I need my rest. Get very cranky when I’m tired.

Now I’m sucking down coffee, playing catch up. So many heats to go. Good thing I have my new AeroPress! Got it as a gift, at first I wasn’t too stoked. Makes one cup of coffee at a time? What the fuck? How am I gonna suck down my daily pot’s worth? That’ll take forever.

Turns out it makes more than one cup at a time, and it’s damn tasty. Worth the effort. Strong and black and getting me absolutely wired to start my day. Hooray.

Stu Kennedy got an easy draw against Dusty Payne. The kid from Hawaii came out of the gates strong, then forgot how to surf. Finished with a blown-opportunity back-up score of 1.23.

Kennedy’s had a magic year, considering he kinda lucked his way onto the tour. I’m almost seeing shades of Machado. Kennedy surfs so fast, light on his feet. No real power but plenty of style. Unless this is a one-off year I can see a lengthy career in his future.

Next up were Coffin and Young. Conner dispatched Nat without much of a hassle. Solid power surfing, good wave selection. Nothing mind blowing.

Final heat of round two, Asing/Igarashi, was a fairly mundane affair. Igarashi was surfing better than he usually does. More commitment, more power. Asing didn’t really come through.

I ate dinner at Kenji Burger last night, my new favorite restaurant in Kapaa. Damn tasty stuff. They were playing surf clips, lengthy Asing freesurf part came on. Fuck, he rips. Wish he could do the same in a heat.

While I love Keanu I’m damn glad I knew better than to put him on my fantasy team. Failed to back up France. Put Kanoa into round three, where he’ll be facing ADS. I don’t need to be psychic to know that’s as far as he’s going.

Banting and Kolohe got round three started in a boring fashion. Both just surfing to make it through. Nothing challenging, not worth watching. Kolohe won.

Wiggly and Parko got more engaging. Both guys in form, pushing things. Joel found a sick one. Long backside tube, came out and milked it to death. 9.33. Typical Parko steez.

Wiggles was ripping, but he couldn’t find the same waves Parko did. Threw a few admirable hacks, didn’t play it safe. Just couldn’t help the fact that Parkinson was the wave magnet.

Fuck… this is running long. Let’s hit fast forward.

Wilson/Andre was a tight one. Julian won by .07. I disagree. Wilson’s final wave, a 6.47, was overscored.

ADS beat Igarashi. Yep. Of course. Kanoa picks up his ninth thirteenth place result of the year.

Bourez easily beat Ibelli. Worth watching is his 9.7 with six and a half left. I don’t see it. But it’s so far beyond the score I’d drop I can only assume it looked different from the beach.

The next two heats were what we’ve been waiting for. JJF against the wild card Frederico Morais, then Medina and Flores.

Beyond his family and friends, no one cares how Morais does. We’re in a title race, let’s go John John.

Florence did the thing where he sits and waits for a good one. It’s a tactic that’s cost him some heats. But not today.

His first wave, with about fifteen minutes left, was a safe and sound, top to bottom flow, backside whack crack smack. Five turns, each more critical than the last. Mr Florence can do better, but he’s looking to win, not wow. Judges rewarded him with an 8.5, which he promptly backed up with a 6.67 he could’ve sleepwalked through.

Better’d the back-up on his next wave, 7.77. Left Morais needing a 9.9 to get through. Basically combo’ed, only 3 and a half minutes left.

John John’s through to round four. Up next are Medina and Flores. Number two in the world because of WSL corruption!

Normally I’d call this a walkthrough for the Brazilian. Flores doesn’t do well with tactics, melts down, beats himself. But when Flores is on he is fucking on!

Medina came out swinging. Deep, if short, barrel followed by a layback foam slash/reo thing. Looked cool, put him in the lead with a 7.17. Flores on the next three waves. His first two solid, but slightly off rhythm and off balance. Combined they put him in the lead, but they weren’t enough to confidently beat Medina. He’d need to do better.

Number three was better. Three hard backhand smacks, ended it with a long floater. The whitewash rebound nearly caught him, but he rode it out and solidified his lead with an even eight.

The nerves got to Medina. Fell on his next three waves. Redeemed himself a bit with a 6.77, then pulled into a worthless closeout.

An opportunity came through, solid left that might’ve given him the lead. Gabby consistently manages to find scores come crunch time. But Flores wasn’t having it. Used priority to stuff the Brazilian, cracked his way into a 7.07, extended his lead.

Six minutes left, Medina got a decent wave and surfed it very well. Fins out hit, grab rail spin-slide, nothing cutback, ended with a beautiful layback gouge. Probably not enough, but you never really know where the score’s gonna go.

Unfortunately for Gabe, it was only a 7. Flores picked up the next one using priority, linked his way into an even bigger lead. 7.7

With two and a half minute left Medina needed a 7.91. But it wasn’t there. He found a nice tube to blob turn combo. Threw his hands up, begging for the score. But it was nowhere near enough, no matter how hard he tried to sell the lie.

Medina’s out in round three! No title for you!

Honestly, I don’t even care about the rest. John John’s gonna win the title! I just know it.

Seabass knocked out Kerr.

Pupo beat Slater in a convincing fashion.

Coffin killed the Llama. Wonder if he regrets trading the birth of his kid for a third round exit?

Stu Kennedy squeaked by Italo.

Jordy smashed Otton to bits.

That’s it for the day. Hasta mañana.

Just in: Bob Martinez back on tour!

And Bruce Irons! And Scooby! It's a personality bonanza! A rebel tour!

The Rebel Tour dream has flitted before our eyes for many years now. Our brains understand what the ASP/WSL serve up. Best surfers. Best waves. But our hearts, oh our aching hearts, how they want more! How they want fire and spice, personality and sugar. Swears! Cusses!


Well guess what? Tomorrow begins the waiting period for a competition called Allianz Perfect Chapter.

It takes place over one day, at Pria do Norte in Portugal and is pura tube riding event and features surfers with fire and spice, with personality including:

Bruce Irons

Bob Martinez

Pedro Scooby

Damo Hobgood

Koa Rothman


You can bet your bottom dollar that fines will not be handed out willy-nilly. The the surfers will be able to have fun again!

Is this the start of something big? Something gorgeously light?

Let’s watch HERE and see!

NYTimes: Sunscreen you can eat!

Sunscreen that comes as a pill! How futuristic! How Gen Z! But does it work?

Sunscreen is a sonofabitch. You know it. I know it. Big pharma knows it.

Who likes it? Nobody wants to slick ’emselves in a stew of unpronounceable chemicals every two hours. But you want to get eaten up by a melanoma? Spend your last days affixed to a chemo tube? Yeah, me neither.

Now, according to the NY Times, edible sunscreen is on the menu. Instead of tubes of gunk rolling round the back of your car and swipes of zinc on your seats a new future beckons: grab a bottle of pills and shake out a little sun protection.

Here’s the report:

Every morning before Scott Kyle, a 53-year-old competitive sailor from San Clemente, Calif., hits the water, he chugs an orange-flavored beverage named UVO, a drinkable sunscreen intended to fight off sunburn from the inside out.

The vitamin-rich cocktail, available on the internet and at dozens of medical spas, tanning salons and pharmacies across the country, contains 30 immune-boosting antioxidants and other nutrients that, the makers say, help protect and repair the skin from sun damage.

“Normally I would be sunburned for a couple of days, and now I’m not,” Mr. Kyle said. “I’ve given it to other sailors, and they notice a difference. Now they come up to me and say, ‘Have you had your UVO today?’”

Mr. Kyle is not alone. A growing number of outdoors enthusiasts are turning to new sunscreen products that are said to protect the skin from harmful rays without the need to apply — and reapply — messy lotions and gels. But there is scant scientific evidence that the products actually work, or whether they have potentially harmful side effects.

In New York’s Hamptons, beachgoers pass around bottles of orange pills called Heliocare and pop the supplements as if they are a party drug. The herbal remedy is made from a fern called Polypodium leucotomos that is native to Central and South America, and its makers say that it helps the skin be more resilient to the sun and maintain a youthful look.

Do the tabs work?

Dr. David J. Leffell, the chief of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology at the Yale School of Medicine, said that he understood the appeal of these alternative sunscreen products. “If you tell someone, ‘You can take this pill before you go out or you can drink this nice, refreshing, berry-flavored drink,’ they are hearing ‘magic bullet,’” he said. “They think, ‘I’ll drink this, and then I can do whatever I want because I’ll be protected.’”

But “there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that UVO functions as a sun protector,” or that any of these oral sunscreen products do what they say they do, Dr. Leffell said. “There is a sucker born every minute.”

A sucker born every minute?

Maybe buy as an accompaniment to your Modem anti-shark leash 


Keep the bottle in your glovebox next to your Power Balance bracelet.

Watch: Teen Surfers Save Drowning Kids!

Skipper comes in on a wing and a prayer! Kids disappear!

You might’ve seen this on our IG feed on Monday. Real short: boat comes swinging through a lineup, capsizes, kids get trapped under boat, two young surfers go and save the kids.

The back story: two pro’s, Micky Clarke, who is seventeen and rides for Quiksilver, and his pal Eithan Osborne, sixteen and Volcom, are surfing Ventura Harbor. Pal Chris Papaleo is shooting from the beach.

Suddenly, “There’s a boat joining the lineup and it ended up catching a good-sized set,” says Mickey. “It seemed like it had no awareness of its surroundings, just recklessly going through the lineup and ended up capsizing.”

Mickey sees there’s a couple of kids onboard and when they don’t come up after the boat goes over, yells for Eithan, who’s closer, to get ’em out.

“They were under the boat for ten or fifteen seconds,” says Mickey. Eithan climbed onto the boat and pushed down on one gunwale so the boat would lift on one side. The kids, who were around nine and twelve, swam out. Mickey and Eithan paddled the first kid to the beach; Mickey went back and got the older one.

How was the driver? “The driver was the dad of the children,” says Mickey. “And after he came up after flipping the boat he started shouting, ‘My boat! My boat! I won’t let my boat sink!’ And climbed on top until the harbor patrol rescued him. He had no explanation for why he was driving through the lineup. He did nothing to save his children.”

On the beach, the kids said “Thank you” but didn’t respond to questions. “We don’t know whether they were in shock, couldn’t speak, or couldn’t speak English,” says Mickey.

The story, and the footage, aired…everywhere. Mickey and Eithan were on CNN, ABC, Fox 11 and KTLA.

“That was really cool for us,” says Mickey.




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.