Luanda Bay fort
The Lunada Bay fort is no more. Ain't it delicious? It was a cool looking little patio. Well made. Comfortable. A real boon to the local community. But they lost it. Because they're a group of insular rich assholes who couldn't learn to share. | Photo: LA Times

Just in: Lunada Bay Fruits Go Wild!

Infamous fort destroyed. Now locals fight back! Slashing and burning!

The Lunada Bay fort is no more. Ain’t it delicious?

It was a cool looking little patio. Well made. Comfortable. A real boon to the local community.

But they lost it.

Because they’re a group of insular rich assholes who couldn’t learn to share. Too bad too.  They probably could’ve held onto the thing if they’d taken actual steps to open up the area. It’s not the only spot on the California coast where the locals have a DIY chill spot. But it’s the one that got targeted. Out of spite, mainly.

Its destruction was a foregone conclusion from the moment the California Coastal Commission stepped in. The local community eventually agreed it had to go, though I suspect it was only to show some compliance. Make it easier to drag their feet when it comes time to improve the path or install signage.

But some of them are still up to their naughty little antics. Someone decided to play the vandal, do some damage to the equipment being used to raze the structure.

According to police, vandals Tuesday night scratched the paint of several trucks in a staging area, slashed fabric containers used to carry debris and set fire to equipment stored at the structure, including an air compressor used to power jackhammers.

The trucks and equipment were being used by Ampco Contracting Inc., a demolition company that received a $61,000 contract from Palos Verdes Estates to raze the shelter located on Rocky Point adjacent to one of the best big wave spots in California.

City officials have condemned the incident, and police are investigating. No arrests have been made so far, authorities said.

A pretty fruitless endeavor.  Didn’t put a stop to the demolition. Didn’t even slow it down.

The question remains, will the local police put actual effort into chasing down the suspects? Slap ’em in cuffs, hammer them with charges.

Or will they continue their decades long of turning a blind eye, pretend there’s nothing wrong?

My money’s on the latter.

Jake Tellkamp
Can you? Will you? Please? Believe that I was once High School surfing champion in 2010, 2011. Not NSSA, but SeaView League. Competed against second-tier surf teams in Orange County. I was a big fish in a sticker-less pond. Didn’t lose in two years. Not one fucking heat. Kids at school called me “Telly Slater”.

Help: Surf Writer Join WQS Tour!

He can beat Kolohe Andino and Kanoa Igarashi! True!

I was a winner, dammit! I had CT dreams! 

Can you? Will you? Please? Believe that I was once High School surfing champion  in 2010, 2011. Not NSSA, but SeaView League. Competed against second-tier surf teams in Orange County. I was a big fish in a stickerless pond. Didn’t lose in two years. Not one fucking heat. Kids at school called me “Telly Slater”. Done so mockingly, of course.

I thought I was the shit. I beat Kolohe Andino once. If memory serves me, he received an interference for standing up after the hooter. Checked the scorecards though, had him fair and square.  It is a feather in my hat that I wear every time Brother dons a rashie.

Smoked Kanoa in an AirShow too. But he was, like, 13. I’ve never worn that  feather past round three, but hope one day too! Keep swinging Igarashi!

My story begins as all washed-up athlete stories do.

It all happened in my senior year of high school….

I got a sponsor. Lost… ! Stickers, clothes and Matt Biolos shaping me surfboards at cost. Announced contests back then, too. Was able to save enough for an ASP Pro Jr. membership and fly myself to the East Coast. If I made a few heats, I told myself, my competitor wristband would get me so much tail at the U.S Open come summer. That was the goal.

 I was once High School surfing champion  in 2010, 2011. Not NSSA, but SeaView League. Competed against second-tier surf teams in Orange County. I was a big fish in a stickerless pond. Didn’t lose in two years. Not one fucking heat. Kids at school called me “Telly Slater”.

So I trained and I trained and I trained. Surfed everyday. Hucked myself into the wind after school. Desperately trying to extend my bag of tricks past the standard three to the beach.

So I go to New Jersey with my older sister. Stay in a shitty hotel far from the contest. Show up a few hours early for my professional debut. Nervous as hell by the guys in my heat who had actually gone through puberty. This was back when Pro Juniors were under 21, not 18.

My plan was to do an aerial. The night prior, I went over and over it in my head. Board leaving the lip. Hand clutching the rail. Spot landing. Compress into the whitewash. Rise with hands firmly kept by my side. Look judges directly in the eye and beg them to free me from a life of mediocrity. 

I showed up that morning with my game plan firmly intact. Mother Nature didn’t agree.

A hurricane had blown through the night before and the waves were offshore, head high, and tubing. I gorged before my heat. Pulling into cylinders spinning off the jetty with the other competitors. Feeling like I was finally in the scene. But I wanted to win. I wasn’t there to make friends.

Grabbed my jersey three minutes before my heat. My big sister told me to have fun. I told her I was out for blood. Paddled out dismayed. Every wave was breaking right. Zippy freight-trains that I couldn’t get more than a turn off on my not-so-stellar backhand.

Get myself a little tube. Not very deep. Get a five. Sweet. Guys behind me get sevens and eights. Shit. They are men. Man-handling sections that I was going around. Pull into close out after close out. Wasn’t backing down without a fight.

Few minutes left, I go on a wave with foam in its face, very difficult to ride. Fins never felt the face. I bottom turn, go for a slash and accidentally do a reverse. I make it. Disbelieved but still going, I bonk the end section. Gave a lion stare to the men in the judges booth. The announcer laughs at me.

They give me a four and a half. I needed a six.

In my adolescent rage, I left for California convinced that if I had only done a backside air reverse, I would’ve made the heat.

So I start skateboarding. Every day, different skatepark. Trying to learn how to air on transition. I progress slowly. One fateful afternoon, I break both wrists simultaneously .

Miss the next few contests and fall out of touch with competitive surfing. Late one sleepless night, I learn that I love to read. That poetry is my true passion. Fuck the ASP, I had open mic night dreams!

And now here I am. Typing my miserable tale.

Laugh as you will,

But understand why I must give the QS one last swing.

It is not for the women. Tales of travel. Rekindling friendships with those who have probably long forgotten about me.

It is because when you google my name, it says WSL Professional Surfer: Jake Tellkamp.

You think I’d be thrilled. Surely this would go off on a Tinder profile right? No. Because there isn’t anything there. Not a photo, not an embarrassing last place in a grade 1 Pro Jr. Nothing.

It is a hanging reminder. A cloud of suffocating weight. That I am trivial and a nobody. An unshakeable burden that I can no longer bare!

Considering you guys were generous enough to give a heroin dealer money for his fake cancer treatment, 

I figured one of you might be willing to swing ten gees my way so I can pay for my membership into the World Surf League and help me join the tour!

In return, I’ll decal my board in honor of our favorite surf site, and ride into battle screaming, “Ultra Hard Surf Candy!”

With a bit of luck, and lots of back paddling, I can qualify for the Volcom Pipe Pro. I promise to wear Chas and Derek’s size 31 short shorts in my heat, and the slight chance I actually win, I’ll tell surf fans on streaming webcast anything you so please.

Donate here.

Revealed: Pro surfing bigger than race car!

CEO Paul Speaker was right! Pro surfing becoming bigger than God!

And it is time, once again, to take stock of professional surfing’s place in our sporting landscape. How our favorite pastime stacks up against other passions. Don’t you recall when our proud leader WSL CEO Paul Speaker blasted onto the scene and promised to smash the very popular National Football League?

I do!

So I looked today through the various social medias (Facebook and Instagram) and, if you dare believe, the World Surf League is 1/3 as big as the 74 billion dollar NFL making it worth, roughly, 25 billion dollars.


What a wonderful investment for the Ziff family who put up 0 dollars and now have 25 billion jingle-jangling in their pockets!

Even more surprising, though, I discovered that the WSL is bigger than both Nascar AND Formula 1 almost combined! The World Surf League boasts 5, 622, 834 Facebook followers and 2.2 million Instagram followers. Nascar swings in with 4,656,531 on Facebook and 634,000 on Instagram. Formula 1 has 2,897,961 and 1.9 million on Instagram.

Children across the globe used to dream of zipping through foreign cities, or around oval tracks, in souped up  machines. Now they dream in barrels and airs. Of Filipe Toledo and Glen “Micro” Hall.

It might be a bit strange, maybe, that Formula 1 has 3000% more views on Youtube than professional surfing and that 30000% more people go watch Nascar live than professional surfing but… oh never mind.

You’re almost there Herr CEO Paul Speaker! Almost the biggest sport in the entire world!

shark attack Forster
This sixty-five-year-old stud had his JS ripped in two and his foot, hand and arm mauled by a suspected Great White. First day of summer. Oowee!

Just in: Great White Attack at Forster!

First day of summer. And here come the sharks!

A few hours ago, a surfer was hit by a shark at Booti Booti National Park right there in the dreamy southern corner of Seven Mile Beach, near Forster on Australia’s mid-north coast.

Sixty-five-year-old Colin Rowland was hit from below and dragged underwater by his legrope. His board was ripped in two but the only injuries he suffered were deep cuts to his foot. Relatively minor when you consider the commotion that must’ve gone on in the battle between man and misunderstood beast.

Check out the photo here. What kind of shark’s going to hit you from beneath and bite your sled in two? Ol Mr Whitey, yeah? Newspaper reports suggest a 10-foot White.

Anyway, paramedics swooped, drove Col to the local bowling club where a rescue chopper flew him to hospital, Col giving the thumbs up to photographers. All good, mostly. Lucky escape etc.

shark bite surfboard
What kinda fish is going to swipe a board in two?

So where is this joint?

If you know your surf movies, and your photos, you’ll have seen the waves around here a thousand times. Blue water. Dreamy, sometimes empty, peaks. Three-and-a-half hours drive north of Sydney. Look up the oeuvre of Newcastle’s Bosko to see a catalogue of the joint.


Sharky as all hell, always has been. I was surfing a little peak at nearby Seal Rocks two weeks ago, closing on dusk, when a kid started screaming to his little brother that a shark was next to him. Next thing, a local paddles out and says an eight-footer swam under his board while he was riding a wave. Of course I shrieked and windmilled to shore, kissing the sand, panting etc.

I remember a wonderful story, years ago, written by Nick  Carroll, where he came face to face with a shark underwater and totally fronted it. Stared at the fucker until it left him alone.

(Nick, if you’re reading this, do fill in the blanks.)

And, the board pictured. The JS. Does it not strike you as remarkable that a senior rides such a modern piece of equipment? It ain’t even sorta fishy. Usually, the aged totter around on SUPS or ancient longboards or some kinda deadly hybrid. This stud must rip and therefore we wish a swift recovery.

(Note: JS Surfboards is going to replace the mutilated sled. Col? You out there? Contact Curt Emerton at JS Surfboards. He’ll sort you out. Also, Dayan Neve from FCS is going to supply the leash, the grip, the fins.)

Meanwhile, Seven-Mile Beach and nearby Boomerang and Blueys have been closed while authorities, well, they can’t do much. But closing beaches does give the appearance of doing something.

Anyone got any good Forster/Pacific Palms shark stories?


Kelly Slater FCS
If the rumours are true, Kelly Slater will own surfboards, fins and waves. A compelling package, yes?

Rumour: Kelly Slater to Buy FCS!

Is Kelly Slater surfing's sharpest biz-man?

Money sure do make the world spin. Grab a little of that cheese and hang on for the ride. Oowee!

Now guess who’s gonna step in and ride the FCS rodeo? According to one respected biz newspaper, it’s gonna be Firewire Surfboards, owned by… yeah… Kelly Slater.

You know the recent fortunes of Surf Hardware International (FCS is it’s primary biz) ’cause we covered the sale and the resale in terrific detail.

SHI had been in a helluva state prior to sale. Between 2012 and 2014 it had lost over eight mill pre-tax, was being sued by one of its co-founders and directors warned it was close to pulling down the shutters.

So after paying out the final legal costs of the suit in 2015, the owners, Macquarie and Crescent Capital, put the company up for sale.

In stepped SurfStitch, paying $24.3 mill, almost eight times SHI’s forecast earnings and more than double what the Macquarie and Crescent Capital paid in 2003.

According to Australia’s Financial Review.

The sale price stunned the close-knit Avalon surfing community. “Everyone was shocked they paid close to 10 times [historic] earnings,” said one source.

Of course, maybe it wasn’t the sharpest deal for SurfStitch. As the Fin Review reports:

Less than seven months after the deal SurfStitch’s new board and management, led by veteran retailers Sam Weiss and Mike Sonand, came to the same conclusion as bemused Avalon locals – the online retailer had paid too much.

 SurfStitch slashed the value of SHI by $6.5 million, including $5.3 million of goodwill impairments, and put the company up for sale, saying it was no longer core to the group’s strategy.

Now, says the newspaper,

SurfStitch is expected to announce a deal as early as this week, possibly with US surfboard maker Firewire.

And the price?

SurfStitch shareholders fear SHI could fetch as little as $12 million, leading to further losses. SurfStitch declined to comment.

It ain’t a secret that Kelly’s ain’t exactly loose with his cash but buying a company at half the price of its sale last year?

If Kelly has the boards, the fins, and the waves…

Does Kelly Slater…own…surfing?

Read the full story here.