Stalinist: WSL scrubs history!

Does the World Surf League's online bullying belie darker tendencies?

After it was made public yesterday that the World Surf League was actively engaged in the online bullying of Red Bull by refusing to show the brand’s hats on the webcast it made me wonder if surfing’s governing body was also acting in a Stalinist manner.

During the Soviet Union, Stalin made sport of altering history. Let us read from the archives of the University of Minnesota.

The most common examples of photograph alteration and falsification come from communist Russia. Unwanted persons, so-called “enemies of the people” were not only killed, but also removed from photographs where their presence was unwanted. Photographs were altered with the intent of changing the past.

Leon Trotsky was a close friend of Lenin, and shared his idealistic ideas about the communist state. In the following photographs he can be seen together with Lenin.


The next set of images are nearly identical, however Trotsky is removed from both photographs.


The historical reason for this alteration is that Stalin eventually began to see Trotsky as a threat and labeled him an “enemy of the people”. After he was deported from the Soviet Union in 1929, Trotsky critisized Stalin’s leadership, arguing that the dictatorship Stalin exercised was based on his own interests, rather than those of the people. This contributed substantially to Trotsky’s removal from photographs and history.

And it made me wonder if, in the future, Adriano de Souza’s championship will be scrubbed from the official record, like his Red Bull hat.

Do you want to live in a world where ADS did not hoist the trophy as high as those little arms could hoist? Where hope is stripped away from the working man? Where our only form of energy is Monster?

I don’t.

And we should all take action to stop this menace because I might be next. You might be next.

Scrubbed from surf history.

I leave you with an inspirational poem.

First they came for Red Bull, and I did not speak out—
Because I only drank Red Bull on long drives.

Then they came for Hawaiians, and I did not speak out—
Because I was a haole.

Then they came for the passive-aggressive surf bloggers, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not write for The Inertia.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Conner Coffin flips judges
Conner Coffin needed a nine-one-five or something to beat Slater in round three and win rookie of the year. Gets wave of the day in the late minute. Rides beautifully. Falls a couple of hundreds of point short of the score, 9.07 maybe. Sends unambiguous message to judging panel.

Pipe Masters: “There’s magic in the water!”

Ror Parker writes with all the innocence and wonder of a child!

The hell wind died last night. Unfortunately, the swell did too.

Not totally.  It’s a fun, overhead day at Backdoor. The odd bomb rolling in. Good waves, great surfing. It’s not a day that’ll go down in history, but more than worth pointing your eyeballs toward.

The wife arrived on island yesterday, we’ve got a room booked at the Turtle Bay for the weekend. Ocean view, which means it overlooks the pool and points toward shore. You can’t see the horizon, but you can see Kawela Bay.  So it counts, barely, I guess.

Not that I really care. I’ve spent my time watching the ocean, don’t need to sit on my balcony and do it some more.

I do care about the toilet paper. Single fucking ply at $300 per night! Outright criminal. If I wanted to bring my own lovely Kirkland brand ass wipes I’d stay in a fucking hostel.

Ditto for the shuttle to Ehukai. I’ve been hearing about it for years. Always used as yet another example of the WSL’s dedication to eco-consciousness. I was thrilled to have access. Meant I didn’t need to wake up early and battle for a parking spot on the side of Kam Highway. Housekeeping came banging on my door at eight am, didn’t get much of a lie in anyway.

Drank some coffee I brewed in our in-room Keurig. I wonder how many plastic cups they dispose of each day. Called the concierge to find out the shuttle schedule. She couldn’t tell me, I’d have to go down to the lobby and ask. Thanks for the help!

The next one leaves at 12:30, the last return is at 4 on the dot. If you miss it you’re pretty well fucked.

It’s $20 per person. Sixty-dollars total for the wife, myself and a friend.

Just more green-washed bullshit. A cynical cash-grab masquerading as altruism.

They smelled smoke on me at the check-in desk. Kept repeating the $300 charge if I smoke in the room. The balcony counts as the room. I’d love to toss a trio of c-notes in someone’s face, light up in the lobby. But I realize it’s probably cheaper to pay housekeeping to ignore the smell.

Sundown drinks at the pool bar is always great. Sucking down rum punch, the wife ordered a martini.  Received a glass of chardonnay with olives in it. Both drinks are equally foul, in my opinion.

The first four heats saw the end of each wildcard’s run. Beschen didn’t do great. World-class barrel rider without a singlet on, but he’s never been much of a contest surfer.

Finn fell out too, but for a second it looked like he was taking down Parko. What a thing that would have been! Joel’s last wave was a hair over-scored, in my mind the match up went to the teen.  But Finn don’t care.  He nearly beat Joel, at sixteen that’s as good as actually doing it.

Bruce failed, as always. Got taken down by ADS at Backdoor. Jeez…

Fredrico Morais is out as well. Not sure what it does to his Triple Crown hopes. It obviously doesn’t help, but I have no idea whether he’s still in contention.

So no wildcard spoilers this year. That’s too bad. But it’s no accident.

Overlapping heats all day. A necessity based on local regulations. But it’d be a good format to adopt year round. Push through the loser rounds quickly. Shorten the length of the event. A lot of people don’t like the repechage heats, and I understand their reasons. But they do a good job of removing some of the luck element. Gives guys a do-over in case a heat goes flat. Or just straight sucks.

They do make the events interminably long. Running in tandem brings a conclusion about a little quicker.

Which, today, is something I’m feeling. The surf is great, there’s magic in the water. Flashes of it, at least. But I just can’t get into it. I don’t know what the problem is. Probably something wrong with my head. Maybe just sick and tired of Oahu. Over the crowds, fighting for parking, sitting in traffic. People people people.I’ve been here too long. Couldn’t pay attention, couldn’t make myself care.

The pool bar sounded better. Overpriced piña coladas, sunburned tourists, mobs of flailing kooks at the point. It was a tempting option. Drive back toward Kawela Bay, order a few cocktails, stream the event poolside. Retire to an a/c chilled hotel room, watch guys fall off from a cushy bed with the comforter pulled up around my neck. Toss a bone at the wife with the curtains open. Stare at everyone below. It’s like I’m fucking them too!

Also, she is not interested in surfing at all. Dragging around a bored spouse isn’t the best idea.  And I’m gonna do it tomorrow too.

Turned around, headed back to ersatz paradise. Made it in time to watch Igarashi knock out Wilson.  Second time Kainoa has made it past round three this year.  First event and last event.

Slightly bummed I missed Slater putting on a Backdoor clinic. Which is the name of my favorite imaginary porn flick. Or maybe not imaginary. I’ve gotta check my external hard drive.

Conner nearly stole the win with his last wave. Came up just short. Double bird to the judges. Do they fine for that?

Honestly, I’m giving it to Slater.

That’s it for the day. Hopefully tomorrow finds some fresh motivation.


“I am really happy with my year,” said Medina. “It was a good year and I want to thank everyone who was involved. Now I am off to Brazil to relax with my family and friends. It is going to start all over again pretty soon. I am going to start training and will be back next year. I feel really good and confident for next year.”

“It was a fun year for sure to be a defending champion,” said De Souza. “I’m excited for next year. I think it will be way different for me because I’ll have way more time to prepare for the season. This contest is really special for me and every time I come to Pipe I’m so grateful to everyone for their help. When you’re not winning contests it’s frustrating, but I just have to enjoy being here. I’ve been coming to this contest for 10 years so I’ve been learning from the best.”

Monday will see an easing trend, although fun to mid size surf looks possible through the day (favoring Backdoor). Surf in the head high to a foot or two overhead range on sets looks likely.

We continue to monitor a new swell for Tuesday from a storm now over the Aleutian Islands. This storm and swell are much better aimed at areas north and east of Hawaii, with this looking like more of a glancing blow for the islands. It appears that our Surfline swell model is too ‘hot’ on this swell right now, so the surf size for Tuesday (above) take that into account and is very conservative as compared to model guidance. As we gather further data on the storm and swell we’ll adjust as necessary. Stay tuned.

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.50 def. Gavin Beschen (HAW) 3.60
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.67 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 11.30
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.74 def. Finn McGill (HAW) 11.00
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.76 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.17
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.29 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5.17
Heat 6: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.16 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 4.43
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.50 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.00
Heat 8: Kai Otton (AUS) 4.93 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 2.73
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 15.10 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.93
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 5.93 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 5.90
Heat 11: Nat Young (USA) 11.27 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.00
Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.50 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 8.26

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.84 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 7.43
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.44 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.13
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.07
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.10 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.74
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.16 def. Itala Ferreira (BRA) 10.34
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 15.27 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.94
Heat 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.34 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.43
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.33 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 2.94
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 8.00 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 3.34
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 7.50 def. Julian WIlson (AUS) 3.60
Heat 11: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.27 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 15.20

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Kelly Slater (USA), TBD

Eddie Rothman Grant Ellis
The noted North Shore identity and founder of Da Hui, Mr Eddie "Fast" Rothman, at left, and well-regarded photographer, and Surfer magazine photo editor Grant Ellis.

Surfer Mag to Eddie: “We made a mistake!”

Surfer magazine politely requests forgiveness from king of the North Shore!

Last week, we reported that Da Hui Eddie Rothman had chased Surfer mag photo editor Grant Ellis off the beach. It was one of those rumours that we superficially laugh at while being acutely aware that but for the grace of God, go we.

I remember, many years ago, when Fast Eddie brought me under his wing. I’d written a small piece in an Australian surfing magazine on Reno Abillera after the North Shore icon had disappeared while facing cocaine distribution charges.

“If you see Reno,” I wrote. “Give him a change of clothes, maps, food, and a place to stay.”

Other magazines had sternly warned about helping the alleged felon and suggested a call to the police. Eddie preferred my approach.

That winter, after enjoying the hospitality of Eddie and his wife, marvelling at their gorgeous Sunset Beach home with well-equipped gym and giant stuffed turtle on the wall, and meeting his delightful young son Makua, I wrote a long piece on Eddie that included the suggestion that if I misplaced a word I’d be “pushing up pinepples in a lonely field somewhere.”

“Funny guy,” said Eddie, reading the story before it went to press. “You go to school to write like this?”

Yeah, ok, I know. Rule #1 in journalism, don’t show the story to the subject before it goes to press. But, as I figured at the time, I wasn’t exactly writing for The Washington PostWould it hurt to have the story analysed in this one instance? Would it hurt if I didn’t?

Eddie politely read the story then asked that I delete the paragraph that suggested he murdered writers.

I said, yes, thank you, sir.

Earlier today, BeachGrit received a text message from Fast Eddie that read,

“We sent u the short film called Ulu Aloha check it out. Tell us it was worthy of a nomination. Tony Perez said they made a mistake and were going to do something in their mag. Have a good day yo lets go.”

And so the mystery is revealed!

Fast Eddie was made sad that Ulu Aloha wasn’t nominated for a Surfer Poll award and the Tony Perez mentioned is the group publisher of Surfer and Surfing.

Do you think Ulu Aloha should’ve been nominated? Do you believe, like the Group Publisher himself, that Surfer had “made a mistake” and are therefore now compelled to right this wrong by “doing something in their mag?”

Watch below!

Slater Designs
That dazzling new Sci-Fi you ordered? Might have to wait a few more weeks. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Help: Out-of-Work Glassers This Christmas!

Throw a little sugar into their Christmas bowls… 

Earlier today, BeachGrit reported that Global Glassings in Oceanside, California, had disappeared in flames. Acetone will do that. Half-a-mill in damage and a bunch of glassers, who let’s face ain’t the best paid in the biz, suddenly out of work just before Christmas.

An employee trying to put out the blaze was burnt on his face but drove to the hospital on his own accord.

Global Glassing produces boards for Channel Islands, Slater Designs, Firewire, Chemistry, and a wide array of Southern Californian shapers. The destruction will have reverberations through the entire board building community.

Please donate as those who make our toxic toys are the backbone of the entire surfing experience. Their job is critical but they often don’t receive the praise or the pay they deserve. Those impacted are asking for $20,000 to purchase new tools and get back to work.

Please share and help these guys out.

Freak accident that put some really good people out of work and a place to shape. Lets get them back in the bay.

Info soon on how to help!

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?