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!

Breaking: Dos Santos killer gets 22 years!

According to the jury's vote there was no self-defense on the part of the accused...

Ricardo dos Santos was a well-loved Brazilian surfer cut down in the prime of his life by an off-duty police officer’s, or maybe soldier’s, gun. The great Beren Hall just released a movie about and it was as wonderful as it was moving.

But would his killer be prosecuted for the crime? Just in, from Brazilian source Waves, it appears he has and to the tune of 22 years! Let’s read a translation!

After a two-day trial, the popular jury of former military police officer Luís Paulo Mota Brentano, accused of killing Ricardo dos Santos, in January, 2015, ended Friday night in Palhoça (SC).

Brentano was sentenced to 22 years in prison under an initially closed regime. The defense’s request was a maximum sentence of 34 years for triple-homicide homicide.

According to Diário Catarinense, Mota was already detained at the 8th MP Battalion in Joinville since the beginning of the process and, by decision of the judge, should now be transferred within five days to a joint prison.

The former PM was also sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment in a semi-open regime for a traffic crime (he drove under the influence of alcohol on the day of the events) and loss of the right to drive for five months.

Also according to the Diário Catarinense, because it is a decision in the first instance, there is a possibility of appeal by the defense. The defendant’s claim is that the shots were fired because the surfer had threatened him with a machete after disagreements.

According to the jury’s vote, however, there was no self-defense on the part of the accused.

The crime happened on the morning of January 19, 2015. At the time, Mota and his brother were in a car, parked in a place where the surfer and grandfather would do a drainage work, when there was discussion and the then police officer fired two shots Against the surfer, who died in hospital the next day.

After the shots, the soldier escaped, being later located in an inn of Guarda of the Embaú. On September 11, Mota was officially expelled from the Military Police and arrested in a battalion of Joinville, where he awaits the trial of justice.

Sabre Norris Ellen
Among today's revelations, Sabre vows to have her world title party in Vegas ("I did some research and every hotel has a buffet!", regards swimming as a particularly stupid sport even though her old boy was an Olympic bronze medallist ("I hate swimming! Swimming sucks!") and got into surfing because she saw a movie about surfing fairies. "I've always wanted to surf like the fairies," says Sabre. | Photo: EllenTV

Watch: Sabre Norris on “Ellen”!

My favourite surfer, your favourite surfer, on the insanely popular talk show… 

Six weeks ago, a TV interview with the kid surfer Sabre Norris went viral.

Sabre, of course, is the eleven-year-old from Newcastle, Australia, who rips hell on a surfboard (one of those rare gals who has air-revs and frontside 180s on tap) and a skateboard (watch her 540 when she was nine, here) and when she talks she blooms like an iris. I wasn’t exaggerating one jot when I wrote that she was my new favourite surfer (goodbye Dane, John John, Filipe etc.)

As I wrote:

You’ve got to love a pro surfer kid born without a censor button. Sabre Norris, who is eleven years old and lives in the provincial Australian city of Newcastle, got on national television yesterday morning, called her former Olympian dad “fat and said he “has to suck his gut in for photos” and admitted that, even if she comes last in the Sally Fitz contest she’s a wildcard in, is going to drop the $250 prize money on doughnuts.

So punchy! So brilliant! 

In response, Sabre sent me the loveliest letter you could ever imagine.

Sabre Norris letter

I responded that we had to make an episode of BeachGrit TV with her as the principal.

She was thrilled. We were thrilled.

But then Ms DeGeneres, who is fabulous beyond anything too, flew her and her mother Brooke to LA to shoot live in the Burbank studio a couple of weeks back and if you’re going to be on an episode of Ellen, fronting her millions of viewers, then even BeachGrit goes on hold.

Did she perform? Did the world swoon? Watch below!