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Step right up, folks! I’ve got a game you simply cannot resist (so long as you’re overly-confident in your betting abilities and under-equipped in scam detection)!

As you hopefully know, the men’s world title race has gained new traction since the conclusion of Oi Pro. Thanks to an early exit from world number one, the quest for the cup has been blown wide open. Let’s look at the numbers.

By winning in Saquarema, Adriano put a 10,000-point down payment on his annual CT investment, leaving him with 24,000 points and a share of second place. Tied with ADS are Jordy and Owen Wright whom, alongside the plumber, have identical placings across the four events this season (1,5,5,9, in no particular order).

In first, by no more than a curly blonde chin-pube, is reigning world champ John Florence. He sits at 24,750 points — less than one heat of difference for all incense and porpoises.

The next suitor is Matt Wilkinson, who sits with a measly 16,750 points. He’s not technically out of the race, but was he ever really in it to begin with?

With all of this in mind, I have one simple question:

1. Who will win the 2017 WSL world title?
1(a). How much skin are you willing to peel for your pick?

The following odds have been designed with historical data, surfers’ abilities at certain locations, and WSL judging/storyline biases in mind:

Jordy: 100 to 1
Adriano: 25 to 1
Owen: 10 to 1
John John: .75 to 1
Slater: 1 to BeachGrit ownership for a day. (Write whatever you want!)
Other: 1 to an all-expenses paid, private getaway with Rory Parker! (wife not included)

All bets can be made to my personal PayPal account. Inquire for details.

The lovely form of a beached ten-foot tiger.

“Ignoble massacre” of Reunion’s sharks!

Or maybe a non-emotional response to a spiralling problem?

It’s been a busy few months on pretty Reunion Island. First, back to back fatal shark attacks which prompted the article Shark Phobia is Justified and the  posit that if driving a car was, as the stats are always being quoted, more dangerous than surfing, there should’ve been 100,000 car deaths on the little island.

In April, a suspected Islamist opened fired on cops after his apartment was raided (weapons and the ingredients for molotov cocktails found). A neighbour said she had noticed the recent convert to Islam had grown a luxurious new beard.

And, last Thursday, five sharks, three bulls and two tigers ranging from six to twelve feet, were caught off  Saint-Pierre (the bulls) and Saint-Gille, the tigers.

No controversy in that piece of news, am I right? The joint’s crawling with tigers and bulls, neither fish in danger of vanishing.

Even Kelly Slater, who ain’t one for the knee-jerk killin’ of sea creatures, suggested it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to manage the island’s shark population. 

“Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday. If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this.”

But, oowee, folks lit up when the photos of the beached fish were published online. A Facebook page called Contre la pêche des requins à la Réunion (Against Fishing Sharks on Reunion), which counts a healthy 12,692 likes, wrote:

“5 Sharks massacres in the one day of 18 may. !!!!!
Spread, share en masse l image of l ignoble massacre committed by the state has the reunion French in this moment. Amazing share in a few hours. Thank you, thank you for the sharks and for the meeting, continue even louder, share we must show that the people of réunion and those who support them refuse this heinous massacre, paid for with your taxes that a minority of surfers saint gillois imposes upon them, with the complicity of the State.”

That piece was shared 5044 times and stimulated close to two hundred comments, mostly of the it’s-their-turf-surf-at-your-own-risk variety.

What an emotional and divisive issue it is.

Reunion is an  island where surfing and swimming is banned unless there are shark spotters in place, and nets serve as protection on a couple of beaches. Go surf and getting your leg or arm torn off and bleeding out before your buddies can get your stump back to the beach isn’t just an abstract concern.

It’s also an island run by the mother ship in Paris.

Wrap the bourgeoise Parisian’s feel-good vibes for sharks around the actual residents’ valid fears and you hit a wall.


Let’s imagine it’s you, and not Emmanuel Macron, in the Presidential Palace. You greet representatives from Reunion in your office who ask for the marine park listing to be removed.

They show you photos of little Eli Canestri, one of the island’s best young surfers, who died surfing four years ago.

“Despite the ban in place and the instructions of his coach, how could one forbid a young boy of 13 from pursuing his passion when one lives on an island surrounded by the ocean and these magnificent waves,” the president of the French  Surfing Federation, Jean Luc Arassus, said at the time.

Or the barely teenage girl bitten in half swimming five metres from shore.

And photos of the seven other surfers dead because of what is clearly an overpopulation of sharks.

Would you remove the marine park listing?

Or would you capitulate to the position that the bull and tiger shark are sacred animals and must be protected at all costs?

All costs.

Recent attack in San Diego.
Sorta like this except not so theatrical or bloody.

WSL: “Sharks eating southern California!”

The World Surf League issues stern warning about surfing south of San Francisco!

The World Surf League posted a story yesterday titled “Shark Frenzy Fallout Continues in Southern California” (read here) which detailed the shark frenzy fallout which apparently continues in southern California. Shall we read a snippet?

The impact on the collective psyche of the beach-going community has been dramatic and visceral. A quick scan of Surfline’s webcams reveals that many lineups in south Orange County look like ghost towns, with crowds down to levels not seen for decades. The one glaring exception being Lowers. Yet, locals like Nate Yeomans and the Gudauskas brothers are now jokingly referring to the spot as “Shark Park” in social media posts.

But the sightings are also resulting in cautionary action. Over a half dozen middle and high school surf team coaches were told to cancel all “water activities” at Salt Creek and neighboring Strands Beach until schools break for summer in two weeks. One local surf team coach said he realized that the school district was using an abundance of caution, but hoped they wouldn’t “buy into the hysteria.”

And son of a bitch, am I right? Like, what the hell is this? The best part about this whole shark business has been the “ghost town lineups.” It’s like 1970s Mentawis around here!

Just kidding.

I don’t know anyone who has stopped surfing but I see lots of people who I wish would stop surfing and this is our chance! BeachGrit beats the shark drum every day. We beat it so loud and so hard that there is talk of rebranding “drum lines” as “BeachGrabs.”

You’re welcome.

Because if you really love to surf the only thing worse than losing a limb to a shark is losing a super sick 3 foot runner to a snake.

Am I right?

So I decided to rebrand the World Surf League’s misbegotten message about nobody surfing around these in a paranoid, menacing way.

Again, you’re welcome.

Shark attack Stockholm Syndrome!

Have surfers fallen in love with the tormentors?

You are, of course, a student of human behavior so know without me telling you that Stockholm Syndrome refers to the psychological condition wherein captives fall in love with their captor. The name refers to the 1973 incident when robbers held four souls against their will in a failed Stockholm heist. Afterward the victims refused to testify because they had developed such a strong bond with the robbers.

It was love!

There are many similar incidents scattered throughout history and now surfers and sharks are tangled in an emotional web too!

A new fin being crowdfunded has a declaration that reads, “If my life is taken, don’t take theirs” referring to the shark. It is not legally binding, I don’t think, but supposed to save the lives of sharks that eat people. The fins cost $160 for three and proceeds go to shark conservation.

Mike Coots, the man behind the project, lost his leg to a tiger shark and still surfs. Very much a hero but what do you think about his project? Let’s watch him discuss.

And if a shark killed you would you want the ocean scrubbed of their kind? I would not care, if I was dead.

If I lost a limb to a shark I would heal up then go hunting for that one like Captain Ahab.

If I lost a loved one to shark, though, I would become a 12th century crusader, spending the rest of my life in a boat with a shoulder-mounted missile launcher blowing the fuckers out of the water.

Every last one of them.

But you are a better man than me. Fund the Fin for a Fin project here!

Morgan wouldn't go.

Breaking: My Nemesis Has Returned!

Welcome to your second roast!

Oh Morgan Dunn. You three-stage pop-up motherfucker. You’ve really done it this time.

Your newest piece is called “I Have Absolutely Zero Interest in Wave Pools” and just stop it right there. Why are your titles like this? Why?

Here are a few reasons why I touch face to palm:
– “Our Fear of Sharks Drives Me Completely Nuts”
– “I’m So Completely Sick of Airs”
– “I Think Three-Foot Surf Is Actually the World’s Best Surf”

Jesus Morgan.

But maybe titles just aren’t your thing. Maybe the article’s meat is filled with all sorts of novel nutrients. Who am I to define someone else’s surfing experience, after all?

Let’s break down his logic:

As I age, my appreciation for the natural world only seems to grow. I want to immerse myself in it as much as possible, and surfing is a fantastic way to literally plunge yourself into nature. The elemental, powerful, and raw qualities of the ocean command respect. I simply can’t respect or revere a man-made wave, because I know it to be a farce.

Several of the profressionals that surfed Kelly’s wave cited legitimate poundings and hold-downs. Something tells me a wave pool could “command” your respect right quick, Morgy.

We seem to be entering the era of pools that can make legitimate waves for surfing, but I have no interest whatsoever in trying one out. That wave looks absolutely perfect, but I don’t want perfection.

Let’s put aside the fact that not all wave pools produce seamless, cookie-cutter waves (i.e. The Cove). You’re telling me you have literally zero interest in riding a wave that was man made, for the simple fact that it’s man made? You mean to tell me that your initial reaction to Kelly’s pool was, “Eh”?

No Morgan. You’re the farce.

If the waves were pumping all day every day, we’d lose our gratitude in great surf conditions. The sweet ain’t so sweet without the sour.

I can’t disagree with this one. Except for the fact that you wouldn’t be surfing in a pool every day, meaning your implied mutual exclusivity is moot. Think of it as a twice-yearly treat. Plenty of shitty sessions in between to stoke the stoke.

I think I would get bored in a wave pool quite easily. I don’t want it to be that predictable, that easy.

…While certainly predictable, something tells me it wouldn’t be that easy for you to master a wavepool, unless your perception of mastery involves riding in a straight line, three-feet in front of the pocket.

Also, how do you reconcile that every pro who’s tried a pool has emphatically vouched for its legitimacy? If guys who surf the best waves in the world for a living aren’t bored in a wave pool, neither will be you.

Lulls between sets provide an opportunity to take stock of how lucky we are to be bobbing up and down in the ocean. Greetings from friendly dolphins, wrestling matches with kelp monsters, the view of the reef below on a clear day; I relish it all.

You remind me of the little sister from Blue Crush — the one who only paddles out to flirt with studs in the lineup. Here’s a tip Morgs: sack up and catch a wave. Or better yet, go to a wavepool and catch forty.

I don’t want surfing to lose its purity, and I don’t want to lose the connection to the natural world that I get through it.

Surfing is about elbowing the next guy in the face to get what you want. It’s about backhanded compliments, capitalistic behavior, and abusing children. If this is the purity you speak of then yes, I agree with everything.

So Morgan, let’s recap:

You don’t like wavepools because they aren’t “natural” enough. In your eyes, surfing’s pleasure derives from the aroma of the sea, the camaraderie of a lineup, and the ocean’s inherent unpredictability. Riding waves is simply the means to an end, that being self-fulfillment through environmental exploration and human interaction.

Wavepools, of course, are the antithesis to this concept. They have ruler-edged lines, a commercial atmosphere, and that distinctive stench of chlorine and piss. Your “criticisms” may be true, but to forsake the magic of wavepools under those pretenses is equal parts asinine and disingenuous.

I believe a commenter on your article said it best:

It’s not that you have no interest in wave pools, it’s that wave pools are trending and you need something to write about. If you surf, you want to get tubed for 30 seconds no matter the set up.

And he’s right. You’re either lying or not a real surfer. Pick one.

Better yet, let’s test this quandary from a scientific standpoint. I challenge you to surf wavepool, but not Typhoon Lagoon, and decide whether or not you enjoyed the experience.

If yes, you can keep writing about surfing for the Inertia (with no expectation for the rousting to cease).

If no, you must sell all your surfboards and move to Topeka.