WSL CEO Paul Speaker seen here telling Red Bull they look fat.
WSL CEO Paul Speaker seen here telling Red Bull they look fat.

Catty: The WSL totally hates Red Bull!

The World Surf League vindictive and thin-skinned!

Are you watching Pipeline right now? The Pipeline presented by Billabong in Loving Memory of Andy Irons? Oh it looks so fun! The storylines unfolding rivet! Favorites winning, favorites losing, favorites getting pushed through because they are favorites and surf for Billabong. The Rosy interviews at heat’s end…

But…wait…wait just one second. The camera. Something is funny about the framing of the shots. Oh I am far too dumb to pick up on this myself, I must admit. A wonderful friend sent a text but I am dumb enough to go through the heat analyzer and… yes! It’s true!

The World Surf League purposefully frames Red Bull hats out of every single post-heat interview, zooming awkwardly in on handsome, saltwater dusted faces.


And you might say, “Well… Red Bull is not the sponsor.”

And I would respond, “Oh. You got me.”

Except, neither is Oakley, Rip Curl, Meo, Hang Loose, etc. etc. etc. and the camera lets those hats shine.



The only hats that get cut out of the frame belong to Red Bull.

Doesn’t this strike you as super catty? Like, unnecessarily vindictive? Like, mean girl? Like, passive-aggressive hurt feelings? Like, wah-wah-wah? Like, bitchy?

Is the World Surf League super catty, unnecessarily vindictive, mean girl, passive-aggressive hurt feelings, wah-wah-wah bitchy? Could this be considered online bullying?

If the hat fits!

But why the cattiness? Maybe because the WSL sent Red Bull an absurd “sponsor me” tape and Red Bull said, “No.” Maybe?

Not Oceanside but dynamic!
Not Oceanside but dynamic!

Danger: Surfboard factory catches fire!

Hazmat crews called in to clean up afterward. A giant mess!

With the amount of naughty chemicals etc. etc. that it takes to manufacture our little rockets it’s quite a wonder that shaping facilities don’t go up in flames every single day. I don’t know what acetone does, exactly, besides strip polish off nails but it even sounds flammable and some caught fire just yesterday at Global Glassings in Oceanside, CA torching the place badly.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports:

Fire tore through an Oceanside surfboard manufacturing shop Friday, burning a worker and causing $500,000 in damage, fire officials said.

Global Glassings employees told investigators they were working with acetone when the blaze sparked.

One worker suffered burns to his face when he tried to put out the flames, fire officials said. The man drove himself to a hospital.

Flames and smoke were escaping from the rear roll-up doors of the industrial building when firefighters arrived about 11:40 a.m.

Shortly after, a section of the roof collapsed and the fire started to spread inside the shop, located on Production Avenue across the Oceanside airport.

Additional crews were called out as firefighters tried to stop the blaze from spreading to adjacent businesses.

The fire was under control after nearly an hour.

It destroyed the manufacturing shop and heavily damaged a next-door smog check facility. Another surfboard shop was in the complex was damaged by smoke and water.

Due to the acetone, resin and other surfboard glassing chemicals, hazardous-materials teams were called out to clean up and dispose of the substances.

Investigators determined the fire was accidental and that it caused $500,000 in damage.

And you know what we should all do? We should all send our favorite shaper a Christmas present this year. They really do put themselves on the line for our joy.

Filipe Toledo
Filipe Toledo's fierce plasticity in France! Ten? Of course! | Photo: WSL

Watch: The Four Best Heats of 2016!

Five hundred heats boiled down to four!

Eleven events on tour means five-hundred plus heats. And that means, periodically, and usually when you step outside or you’re busy manoeuvring sun-lamps around your sick bed, there are a handful of heats that are the apex of enormous effort. Moments that dare take us to a utopia where boredom is annihilated, conservatism scrapped.

Oh, I know. Those early rounds feel like the same surfers painting the same mountain over and over again. Little virtuosity, just crude brushstrokes exhibiting all the subtlety of a Jackson Pollock canvas.

But nice to celebrate the best, yes?

Earlier today, Ross Williams, Martin Potter and Joe Turpel released a short on the best heats of 2016, which you can watch here.

There are four heats analysed: Medina and John John’s semi at Teahupoo, John John, Stu K and Filipe’s round four in France, Taj’s farewell heat in Fiji against John John and Gabriel’s world title castration against Tanner Gudauskas, Trestles.

I could watch Filipe’s ten in France until the repetition drove me mad.

And I still find it difficult to believe Tanner Gudauskas’ three hunched snaps outscored Gabriel Medina’s seven ripostes.

Favourite heat?

Gotta be Taj and John in France.

Watch heats here!

The Inertia surfer pictured here in the wild.
The Inertia surfer pictured here in the wild.

Defiant: Surfers are NOT Inertia lame!

Why is self-hatred trending?

So it’s a very slow news day, Pipe didn’t run and hasn’t since late 2006, the surf in front of my home is filled with Hepatitis C etc. which gives my mind too much space to wander. And today it wandered back to the Dane Reynolds vs. Inertia blood feud that captivated the nation just one week ago.

Do you remember how glorious it was? When it happened here and Dane responded here and Zach Weisberg waded in to the fray, paternalistically and unnecessarily to condescend Dane here?

Zach’s passive aggressive milquetoast was so complete that it represents the high water mark of the genre but there was one sentence that I passed over and it was this:

Like it or not, The Inertia is a pretty accurate composite of what the surf and outdoor world looks like on this planet today.

A few of our wonderful folk disagreed in the comment section but I’ve heard this refrain before. Our own Rory Parker is one who even agrees with it or did in the same comment section.

But our sweet Rory Parker and his ilk have had too many Blue Hawaiis and are all the way wrong!

People who surf, or “surfers” for lack of a better word, come from wildly diverse backgrounds yes. Some of us work in the construction arts, some are teachers, some are salt-crusted surf hounds and some are hippy-hip-hip hipsters. Some surf on the weekends some surf weekdays some surf twin fins some surf Kelly Slater Designs some wear booties and earplugs some don’t.

We are diverse but not stupidly sensitive dim-witted humorless jackasses and that is what The Inertia is and that is who they represent.

Which brings me to my real point. Why is it fashionable to shit on people who surf? Oh I get that we are selfish. That we are rude and ill-mannered and not “cool” but to liken all surfers to Inertia-stye drivel is self-hatred to an unnecessary degree.

So why are some surfers so self-hating? Why is it trending in some corners?


Invest: Surf set to ride wave of growth!

2017 is setting up to be our year!

Did you already sell all your Jimmy-Z t-shirts? Your Tufflite surfboards? Are you wetsuits molding in a dusty trash bin? Because surf has been so out of style for so so long?

Well guess what Johnny Fashion! Surf is BACK!

Canadian Television News is reporting…

After being announced as an official Olympic sport for Tokyo 2020, surfing looks set to enjoy a surge in popularity as one of the next biggest sports trends. If you’re looking for something new to try in 2017, here we round up some of the reasons why you should swop your workout gear for a wetsuit next year.

Olympic status

This past August it was announced that for the first time ever surfing would be classed as an Olympic sport after being added to the Tokyo 2020 sports program. The news was celebrated by many surfers around the world who were thrilled that their favorite sport had finally gained such recognition. With this new focus on surfing, set to grow in the next four years leading up to the Games, a whole new group and generation could be feeling inspired to go surfing.

Man-made waves

After surfing legend Kelly Slater released a short video on his Instragram page back in December 2015 of him riding a man-made wave, surfers spent 2016 trying to find out more about Slater’s mysterious — and impressive — wave machine. In development for ten years, the Kelly Slater Wave Company has finally created what seems to be the perfect wave, which could change surfing forever. Although purists argue that the ocean is the real place to surf, located 110 miles from the coast in California, USA, the wave pool technology could give those in landlocked or inner cities areas who dream of riding the waves the chance to learn. Although Slater’s Wave is not open to the public, with Slater and the team describing it as a “prototype” and “a research laboratory,” man-made waves are are taking off in some areas previously not associated with surfing. In Texas, Surf Austin at NLand opened to much fanfare in October this year to offer a variety of different waves to cater for all levels of surfer, while Surf Snowdonia, located in Wales, UK, just celebrated its one-year anniversary, producing around 195,000 waves since its opening.

More female surfers

As women are starting to receive more recognition in the sport of surfing, 2017 could see more girls encouraged to take up the sport. Huge surfing event Titans of Mavericks finally added a long-awaited women’s heat into the competition which started last month and ends in March next year — good news for female surfers who had long been fighting for inclusion. The World Surf League also added for the very first time a Women’s Championship event for 2016, with hopefully more inclusion to come in 2017.

And did you catch that last bit? The WSL finally added the very first women’s championship event! It only took CEO Paul Speaker and crew 100 years after women in the United States got the right to vote!

Great job everyone!