Pillage: the WSL plunders Hawaii!

Like the missionaries and Dole before them, the WSL takes takes takes!

Thanksgiving is a time, in the United States, when families come together and reflect on their good fortune. Or, if you are the World Surf League, contributes to the age-old plundering of Hawaiian resources.

As first reported here, your favorite professional surfing tour partnered with almost hotel Airbnb last year. The coupling began quietly, names simply interlocking on a step-and-repeat and links back and forth between websites (maybe I never clicked).

This year, though, the relationship is being used to actively screw Hawaii out of much needed tax dollars! An “experience” is being offered by the family of the League’s Regional Manager which promises:

We’ll immerse ourselves in surf culture around the Banzai Pipeline. We’ll meet professional surfers, explore Oahu’s North Shore with locals, and get VIP access to a world-class sporting event.

It sounds absolutely fabulous (sign up here) featuring a BBQ with Kieren Perrow, outer reef jetski exploration, Pipeline VIP tickets, surf lesson with Sunny Garcia and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the local economy!

Hawaii Business recently published a story, Lodgers n’ Tax Dodgers, about the toll that vacation rentals take on a system that relies heavily on hotel tax dollars for education, welfare, roads, hopitals, etc. etc. etc.

$115.6 million in TAT taxes generated by short-term vacation rentals. Use the same calculation for the 4 percent excise tax, and that brings the total to $165.6 million. That theoretically is what should be paid by short-term vacation rentals; the state Taxation Department did not say how much is actually paid, but observers suggest only a fraction of the applicable taxes are collected.

Furthermore, the state collected $420.97 million in TAT in the latest fiscal year; that figure was close to the total we calculated for TAT paid by hotels, condo hotels, timeshares, hostels, apartment hotels and other “traditional” accommodations, indicating there is money missing from other sources.

Does this surprise? That the WSL maybe partakes in dodgy business practices?


But still, on this Thanksgiving holiday, I’m grateful to WSL CEO Paul Speaker for… for… ummm… for being too chicken to ever meet me face to face. Oh how I loathe turkey!

Dane Reynolds Bruce Irons
Don't miss out on love or sizzling conversation 'cause you feel intellectually inferior. Read! | Photo: @JustinJayPhoto

Revealed: We are Dane’s sloppy thirds!

Come almost watch Dane Reynold's new movie Chapter 11 here!

Dane Reynolds’ Chapter 11 has been, without a doubt, the film event of the year. Oh how the normally crusty surf fans spill praise and rightly so. Our antihero is still a vision! A force to be reckoned with! He shines with the power of a thousand Coors lightbulbs!

The only problem was that the film played exclusively on Stab and Monster Children for the first few days. Or, not a “problem” necessarily. Dane made his choice. He picked an outstretched hand and left all the other surf medias with tear streaked cheeks.

All by ourselves.

But last night an email shot into my inbox from Team Dane informing me that today around 8 PST the video would be made available to all! To everyone! To your BeachGrit and your Surfing and your Surfer and even that latently racist The Inertia. A link was provided at the bottom and we would all be invited to rub up on the Slacker King.

Sure we would all be his sloppy seconds but Stab already knows how that feels. Remember when SurfStitch chose Australia’s Surfing Life first but then settled for Australia’s Plagiarist Life? Maybe a little sting, initially, but I would imagine that $10,000,000 ring soon took away all the pain. Or most of the pain.

Like Stab I still felt joy (mostly)! Still bliss (overall)!

I woke early, at 7 PST, unable to sleep anymore and popped out of bed like Christmas morning, ran downstairs and opened my computer’s lid, pressed the link and…



Maybe they were holding off for a minute. Maybe Team Dane was preparing an extra special treat just for all the sloppy seconds. I made some coffee, paced the kitchen, looked out the window, clicked again and…


Maybe a technical problem on my end. I drank my coffee, washed a dish, felt my heart start to tighten, clicked again and…


I started to cry. Soft sobs at first that swelled into an uncontrollable river. I went into the bathroom, gazed into the mirror and sang:

When I could cry and sing no more I checked one more time and…

…bingo! Joy once again (chiefly)! Bliss forevermore (predominately)! Except……….

Still kind of out in the cold. “Sorry. Because of privacy settings, this video cannot be played here.” *

Hell Dane Reynolds. You are a hard woman to please.

She’s a hard woman to please
And I thought about letting her know
She’s a hard lady to leave
and I thought about letting her go
She’s a tough lady to leave
But, I thought about it
She’s a hard lady to please, yes she is

I gave her laughter, she wanted diamonds
I was romantic, she treated my cruelly
Where is the mercy, where is the love?

You see, passion has a funny way
Of burning down and running low
And suddenly it goes out
And you wonder where does it go.

* Just in! The video now plays here! We are seconds again! Alongside everyone else!

Kelly Slater Tahiti
Slater and his cameo in the 11-minute short. (Comes in at 5:53.)

Watch EP #5: John John Florence in Twelve!

With a beautiful cameo by Kelly Slater!

There’s a purity about John John Florence and his connection with the ocean that’s very hard not to fall head over heels with. Where others might see surfing as means to an end (riches, houses, cars, gals), for John, surfing is the means and the end.

In this episode of Twelve, we find the soon-to-be world champion in Tahiti. He fishes, he pilots yachts, roars across lagoons on jetskis, all with his platoon of Hawaiian pals.

“We always seem to get insane little waves, that no one’s around. At the end of the day, you’re always surfed out and you’re like that was the best day ever,” he says.

Trite, if you didn’t know that he feels it.

About competing he says: “You hear people say, hey, go out there and have fun, don’t worry about the other competitor. But to actually… do it… that’s hard.”

It’s hardly a plot spoiler to say John’s Tahitian dream is run-over by a phenomenally in-form Kelly Slater but the heats, the behind-the-scene thoughts, especially during his heat with Medina, are revealing.

“I was so psyched with adrenaline I couldn’t calm myself down for the final,” he says.

Kelly, of course, is in there, the master of mind games, giving John his hat, high-fiving, all the before the final. (See at 5:53 minutes.)

We see Kelly win. We see John tweak his knee. We see the rehab. We see his difficult Trestles heats.

Watch here! 

Eddie Aikau
Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau, the lifeguard and surfer, who was famously lost at sea in 1978.

Saved: The Eddie is back on!

Quiksilver and the famous Aikau reach tentative agreement to hold the Eddie this year!

Do you remember back in September when we reported that Red Bull had been flying back and forth to Hawaii to meet with the Aikau family in an attempt to secure media rights to the 2016/17 Eddie?

(The 10-year Quiksilver-Aikau deal was about to expire so the Aikaus were shopping around for a better deal.)

And, then, a few weeks later, that Quiksilver were going to pull out of the event because an agreement couldn’t be reached with the Aikaus?

And, then, when talks officially broke down, and it was revealed contest permits were owned by Quiksilver, that was that?  No Eddie?

Instead, Quiksilver were playing around with different titles: The Quiksilver: In Memory of Jose Angel, The Quiksilver: In Memory of Todd Chesser, The Quiksilver: In Memory of Brock Little.

Our money was on The Brock, of course. How could it not? 

Today we can reveal that pragmatism has finally prevailed. The Aikaus need the Quiksilver permits; Quiksilver has a ton of Eddie gear that still needs to be shifted.

Our source suggests the 2016-17 event, if it runs, and most likely it won’t given it’s only been run eight times in thirty years, will be The Quiksilver: In Memory of Eddie Aikau. 

But next season? Up for grabs, baby!

Now, what was your favourite moment from this year’s Eddie? This is mine! A platoon of rescue skis… beached… by a thirty-foot closeout.



Mikala Jones
You toss a subtle hand drag to set up, get your line locked in. So deep, so easy. So long as you don't do something stupid, like bail for no reason, you're gonna be flying out in a few seconds with your heart in your throat and a mental image that'll last for decades. Every eye in the lineup is on you. You're gonna be a hero! | Photo: @mikalajones

Surf Quiz: What would you do?

The barrel of your life. Paddler is sucked backwards and puts you in a cartwheel to destruction. Your response?

It’s been a while since the last installment of What Would You Do? Mainly because I haven’t been able to think of anything good. There isn’t much variety in the surf experience, couldn’t come up with anything realistic. Don’t want to get too weird with it. Start writing stories about trans-mermaids luring men into underwater fuck palaces.

But I’ve got something today! With a video demonstration to boot. Easy to keep it short and sweet.

So… you’ve locked in to a world class stand up barrel. Easy roll-in entry, big open section you could make it through with your eyes closed. This is the type of shit most surfers dream about, never actually experience.

You toss a subtle hand drag to set up, get your line locked in. So deep, so easy. So long as you don’t do something stupid, like bail for no reason, you’re gonna be flying out in a few seconds with your heart in your throat and a mental image that’ll last for decades.

Every eye in the lineup is on you. You’re gonna be a hero!

One guy is so wrapped up in your feat of derring-do that he paddles mid-face then…just…stops.

He’s staring right at you, all forward momentum gone. Three more strokes and a duck dive would have put him safely out the back. Instead he pokes the nose in from a dead stop, doesn’t penetrate, then starts getting sucked back over the falls.

His board comes flying backwards into the barrel, whacks you in the face, and sends you on a hell cartwheel to destruction. Turns a beautiful situation into something that’s about as bad as it can get. Excepting an imaginary world where the trans-mermaids grab you while underwater and bundle you off to their fuck-palace.

Your board’s broken, your face hurts like a motherfucker, and Mr Doofus is reeling his board in right next to you.

What would you do?