Tough: Oregon surfer punches shark!

Then paddles to the beach and fixes himself up!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Oregonians are the best people on earth. Tough, cool under fire, emotionally intelligent. And let us look at the case of Portland surfer Joseph Tanner who was attacked while surfing Indian Beach, south of Seaside. Let’s read about how he punched the shark, paddled to shore and led the first aid team as they stopped his bleeding. Let’s read it all in the Oregonian, a proud paper of a proud people.

A Portland surfer bitten by a shark Monday off the Oregon coast was yelling “help” as he headed to shore on his surfboard, a 911 caller reported.

The caller was one of several to phone dispatch after the attack, which left Joseph Tanner, 29, with serious leg injuries. He said Tanner had been pulled from the water off Indian Beach about a minute before and that someone was wrapping a tourniquet.

Tanner told people how to help: He directed them how to put on the makeshift tourniquet — his surfboard leash — and how to apply pressure to his wounds, a volunteer responder said. He’s a trauma nurse, according to the Daily Astorian.

“To be in that much pain (and) just be in that situation, I couldn’t believe the amount of calmness he had,” said Shaunna White, a Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue volunteer.

White said Cannon Beach police had put on a second tourniquet by the time she arrived with the second wave of responders. Tanner wasn’t bleeding at that point, she said.

She said he had two large lacerations on his upper thigh and that his main injury was on the bottom of his thigh, which was open and lacerated. Tanner’s leg wasn’t severed, she said.

Tanner described the attack to responders, White said.

She said he told them he was just about to jump back on his surfboard when the shark pulled him down. He punched the shark a few times, it released him and he got back on his board and paddled to shore.

Read the rest here!

And, if you were in a nasty pinch like this would you be a level-headed machismo or a crying li’l weirdo?

Meet: Dane Reynolds’ new favorite shaper!

Come meet Dane Reynolds' new sweetheart!

Stab’s Stab in the Back is the most exquisitely staged surf drama putting Surfer Poll and Fantasy Surfer to shame. Did you watch live? I didn’t but we had our own J H there in the room live Tweeting. If only I had checked my damned Twitter we could have brought to you, even before Stab, the fact that Hawaiian shaper Jon Pyzel is his new favorite! 

I spoke with Jon on the phone many years ago and just this moment uncovered the story! Should we learn about Dane’s #1?


Jon Pyzel shapes surfboards for the world’s hottest surfer and he has been since the world’s hottest surfer was six years old and, really, that is all you should need to know to fill your quiver with Pyzels. But, in a fabulous twist, Jon Pyzel is as pure a craftsman as can be all by himself so maybe, just maybe, you should fill your quiver with Pyzels even if you never even heard the name John John Florence.

Born in Santa Barbara, young Jon could think of nothing finer than surfing. He lived it. He breathed it. And while he didn’t necessarily have the chops to become an out and out sponsored pro, he was good enough to be taken under the wing of Rincon Designs Surf Shop owner/shaper Matt Moore. It was there that he became interested in shaping himself. “I would go into the shop when Matt was shaping my boards and, I guess I got interested in shaping because Matt was such a cool guy. He had a rad life. He just wanted to surf so he’d go shape, glass, then go surf. Consciously, I didn’t think, ‘I’m gonna shape surfboards.’ I just thought, ‘I want that life.’”

Jon gave shaping a try a few years later. “I suck at art. I can’t even draw a circle but I thought I should give shaping my own board a try and so I bought a blank and went to work. I shaped a 6’4 or something, a little step up size, airbrushed it, glassed, sanded…and, you know, it worked pretty good. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough.”

He moved to the North Shore in 1992 to surf even more and started hanging out with guys that got their boards from master gun builder Jeff Bushman. Bushman, like Matt Moore, took Jon under his wing. Like a true artist, Bushman would not let Jon use the shaping machine. He had to do everything by hand and he did. He fixed dings, glassed, hot coated, laminated. He did anything he could to surf all the time. “I didn’t move to Hawaii to work” was his attitude.

But work he did. One day, Alex Florence waltzed into the shop trailed by three little ducklings and asked for a board for her eldest, six year old John John. Jon had no idea how to shape a board so small but he gave it a shot and the rest is history. “It has been crazy. We’ve literally grown up together. My shaping has grown with his surfing.” And if John John’s surfing is any indication, then Jon Pyzel is one of the best in the world alongside greats like Matt Biolos and Maurice Cole.

But P.S. real quick…do you think the global media cabal sabotajed the C.I. offering? Get your conspiracy on here!

If you can't ride on a great white's back, what useful purpose does it serve humanity?

How Whites Became the New Whale!

The sudden deification of a man-eater… 

Have you ever wondered how great whites became the New Whale? And how, in the  small Australian coastal town of Ballina, a swarm of great white attacks could be met, not with the proven solution of stringing a few hundred metres of nets across each beach, but with government hand-wringing and absurd solutions such as drone surveillance?

Vic Peddemors, the chief shark researcher at the NSW Department of Primary Industries, is an example of the mindset that constantly resists suggestions to make the ocean safer for people.

In a TEDx talk called Sharks or humans, who should be afraid? in Canberra in 2012, he jokingly described the two fatal attacks in Western Australia that year as a “bumper season”. Some members of the audience nervously laughed along with him. He added that the toll was an “anomaly” and “next year it will be back down to the normal levels that we would expect”.

Peddemors’ reassuring prediction was incorrect. At least four people have been killed by sharks in WA since then. Three unexplained disappearances might also have been caused by sharks, although we will never know.

Last year I emailed Peddemors, asking him if he regretted the insensitivity of the “bumper season” remark, but he never replied. Peddemors was making more predictions last week, telling the Australia-wide youth radio station Triple J that nets in Ballina would have an unacceptable toll on marine mammals.

“He predicts that rolling them out on the north coast would kill 20 dolphins within weeks,” the station reported.

Queensland statistics suggest Peddemors is exaggerating. Only eight dolphins were killed in that state’s 28 nets, spread out from Cairns to the Gold Coast, in all of 2015. Peddemors also said that great whites are “certainly not attracted” to humans. But a horrific incident in South Africa in 2013 disputes this. A fifteen-foot-plus great white took a snorkeler from the shallows at Jeffreys Bay (where Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning was attacked last year) into deeper water.

After the alarm was raised, a man on a kayak paddled out to try to retrieve what was left of the victim’s body. But the shark would not let the body go, despite the kayaker hitting it with his oar.

There are many other incidents where the victim is never recovered, which contradicts Peddemors’ claim that great whites are not interested in killing or eating humans.

Glen Folkard, who survived an attack in Newcastle in 2014, says he believes great whites retreat after making an initial strike and simply wait for the victim to bleed to death, which explains why some victims are given a brief opportunity to escape, as Folkard himself did, albeit with injuries that still cause him physical and psychological pain today.

Peddemors last week also participated in a video debate organised by Coastalwatch, a surfing website. In it he gave a rare insight into the objectives of the federal Great White Recovery Plan, devised in 2002 and revised in 2012.

“Geneticists believe there were probably 30,000 white sharks in the (Australian) population long before we arrived on this continent, and that it was stable at that level for thousands of generations,” he said. He estimated the current population is fewer than 6000, implying that we are only a fifth of the way back to the ideal population.

It’s curious that Peddemors is so confident of an estimate from an unspecified period in history yet decades of research by him and others has still not arrived at a definitive population figure today.
Peddemors’ main strategy has been an expensive and potentially dangerous program of tagging sharks. But the deleterious effects of this strategy are considerable. Tags can be heard by the sharks’ prey; and they have been known to cause injury and irritation to sharks.

Besides, a report by the West Australian Department of Fisheries earlier this year made the startling discovery that great white behaviour is “highly variable… white sharks were observed travelling along the WA coast in both directions at most times of the year”. It also found that “it is unlikely that a greater period of data collection will generate an overall predictive model”.

While he continues to promote increased tagging in an unlikely attempt to be able to predict shark behaviour, Peddemors’ advice to surfers, according to Hack, is to buy a shark repellant.

“Stop asking the government, stop asking council, stop asking everyone else, to look after your own safety, look after yourself.”

If it sounds like satire, it isn’t.

Meanwhile, after two great white attacks at Ballina in a week, the NSW government suddenly reversed it’s no-shark nets policy. Sanity, sometimes prevails.

Dave Carson's Lunada Bay cover for Monster Children magazine. | Photo: Dave Carson

Lunada Bay Boy’s Alleged Hate Crime!

Teen named in suit against Lunada Bay Boys charged with racist beat-down… 

A new and interesting development is coming out of the Lunada Bay saga as a named defendant in the ongoing class-action is being sued for participating in an unrelated hate crime.

In September, 2015, the Golden Lion Liquor store in Palos Verdes Estates was robbed by three teenage boys. Two of them proceeded to attack the owner, Shuja Oberoi, with baseball bats, while the third served as lookout.

According to The Daily Breeze:

The crime occurred about 8:45 p.m. Sept. 11 as Oberoi worked at Golden Lion Liquor, a store he opened in 2000. One of the boys, a 16-year-old from Palos Verdes Estates, walked inside first as a lookout. He told detectives the intention was to rob the store of money, police said.

After he walked out, two 17-year-olds, one from Rancho Palos Verdes and one from the unincorporated area on The Hill, barged into the store, police said. Both wore Halloween skeleton masks and black gowns and carried metal baseball bats.

Outside of the community sanctioned harassment of outsiders at the nearby beaches, there is little violent crime in the immediate area. Local residents were shocked and rallied around the store owner, raising $7000 to help with medical expenses.

The three teens were quickly arrested but there was more trouble to follow for the fine young man who played lookout.

Almost two months later, the boy who served as the lookout was named in an unrelated class-action lawsuit filed against the Lunada Bay Boys which seeks to break the stronghold of multigenerational surfers long accused of threatening and harassing outsiders who try to share the waves.

Anthony Falangetti, the attorney defending the boys and their parents in the lawsuit, claims the nationality of Oberoi is an “unfortunate coincidence.” No doubt the boys would have viciously beaten the owner regardless of his nationality.

But Oberoi’s lawsuit alleges otherwise.

[Oberoi’s lawsuit] claims that the father of one of the older boys flies a Confederate flag at his home and “regularly used racially derogatory terms to describe African-American neighbors in the presence of his son throughout his son’s early childhood.”

The boy used racial slurs toward his neighbors as early as the age of 3, the lawsuit alleges, and his father used “similarly derogatory language to describe Muslims.”

The suit also accuses the father of allowing the older teens to sell narcotics in his home, and says he also failed to provide supervision and guidance for his son, whom he knew had a history of criminal and violent behavior.

The Daily Breeze is declining to name any of the boys who attacked Oberoi, and I suppose I should follow suit. However, because the lookout is named in the Lunada Bay class-action, it would be relatively easy for anyone with access to the complaint to puzzle it out using a simple process of elimination.

And, what do you know? You can read that very same document HERE. 

Gab Medina seen here in happier times.
Gab Medina seen here in happier times.

Parker: “How to kill pro surfing!”

What kind of missteps would it take to kill the WSL?

I’m having a hard time focusing on surfing at the moment. Been too wrapped up in our glorious election, in the implosion of the Republican party. Beyond fascinating to watch someone hit their own self destruct button. And that’s what this is.

Hateful hate-filled straight white dudes, and their mid-west Schlafly-esque counterparts, are loud as fuck. But they are a minority. Something of which they are well aware. Which explains the terror and acts against their own self interest. We all know how they feel about minorities.

I’ve been struggling to think of a similar meltdown within the surf industry. Lots of failures out there. Nature of business within an industry that relies heavily on being trendy. Like skateboarding, it’ll always be up and down. Feast and famine. Hold on tight and hope you can ride it out until the kids wanna look surfy again.

What kind of missteps would it take to kill the WSL?

Like, if Speaker made a public comment about the lack of black surfers on tour, claimed, “It’s because of their higher bone density. They don’t swim well. Ask a scientist, I know what I’m talking about.”

Would that do it? Maybe not. Hard to alienate an audience you don’t really have to begin with.

Maybe something anti-woman?

“We don’t have a women’s Pipe event because of the physical dangers they’d face. Their vaginas could fill up like balloons during a wipeout, damaging their wombs, rendering them infertile and therefore useless to society.”

That’d surely piss a few people off.

I think the problem with the two aforementioned examples, they’re obviously not true. So they wouldn’t be said, and if they were they’d be largely ignored. We all like to watch surfing, and the WSL is the only game in town.

You know what might do it?

Actually drive people away, rather than fail to attract new eyes, like they’re already doing.

Tell the truth. Call a press conference, get up on stage, and tell it like it is.

“We’re only in this for the money.”