Fred Compagnon
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Metamorphosis: SUP to Alaia!

French stud uses SUP and manservant to whip into stand-up tubes on his homemade alaia!

The things that occur to people! Most of my surfing times are spent remembering to crouch (ass to board not ass to mouth, as one famous surf coach told me), shimmy my front foot off the back third of the board and, simultaneously, swinging hips, dutifully bobbing up and down and waving arms and so forth.

I never, ever, think to express my bona fides with outrageous behaviour.

Unlike Fred Compagnon, whom we’ve seen before being towed into waves on what appeared to be a snowboard. Here, in this short, we see the full metamorphosis, from SUP, which is handily collected by Fred’s manservant Remi Arauzo, to wooden alaia to high-style tube.

“Two of us are on it,” Fred told GrindTV (What, I’m going to eat up international minutes on filler?). “The one on the back is lying down paddling and kicking with flippers, the one on the front is standing up and already strapped into the alai, paddling with the paddle. This gives you have a lot of speed and you can get into the wave really early. This is crucial because it gives you different options to start your line, optimizing all the benefits of the board to surf the waves.”

Fred, who is forty years old but as agile as an eight year old child bride, learned to shape the alaias eight years ago when the Australian aficionado David Rastovich, visited France.

And, now, with SUP, and straps, he can conquer very good Hossegor. There are several waves contained within the video that give me pangs of genuine pleasure.

And doesn’t Mr Campagon look tremendously pleased with his contraptions!

Here’s what it looks like from the camera stick.

And here’s the little board. “I build board for barrel,” says Fred.

Fred Pawle

Soon: Great Whites off the protected list?

"It’s time for the dithering to stop and human lives to be put first.”

If you in south-west Australia and you find surfing a little too stressful there what with all the Great Whites swishing around, here’s something that might give you a thrill.

Western Australia’s state Liberal Council, among whose number include a couple of ministers in the Federal Government, have “called on the Commonwealth to protect ocean users by removing white sharks as a protected species.”

In today’s The Australian, and in a story not reported by Fred “Quint” Pawle, April’s fatal attack on a teenage girl surfer by a Great White has prompted the state’s Liberal Party to push for a change in the animal’s protection status.

Now, the Libs don’t fuck around.

“As the Commonwealth Environment Minister, I would give full and prompt consideration of any such proposal. It’s time for the dithering to stop and human lives to be put first.”

The issue’s going to be debated at the Libs’ fed council in June. If it gets the numbers, federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg could change the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to allow for sharks to be killed without the states having to seek special exemptions from the Commonwealth.

And Frydenberg ain’t one for sentiment.

“As the Commonwealth Environment Minister, I would give full and prompt consideration of any such proposal. It’s time for the dithering to stop and human lives to be put first.”

Now let’s dunk our heads in the story.

In the WA town of Albany, veteran shark fisherman Graeme Sell said yesterday he would welcome any moves to make it easier for white sharks to be killed, including by removing their status as a protected species.

“There was no way in the world they were ever endangered,” Mr Sell said. “We see more pointers now than we’ve ever seen. Our divers used to see one every five years, but now they are seeing probably seven or eight a year. And they’re big buggers too. There definitely needs to be a change.”

The push for tougher action on sharks comes amid fresh evidence that the installation of SMART drumlines in northern NSW last year had succeeded in catching white sharks, while also boosting local businesses. Ballina Chamber of Commerce board member Ray Karam said the town had enjoyed an influx of visitors since the drumlines were installed six months ago.

“We noticed a lot of people coming into Ballina over the summer period to visit the beaches,” he said. “We had a lot of businesses telling us they had a good holiday trade and even now, in winter, we’re seeing a good influx of people into the community.”

A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman said SMART drumline figures from the north coast recorded 29 target sharks caught, with 24 great whites, three tiger sharks and two bull sharks. Two grey nurse sharks were also caught and released in the trial period.

“The SMART drumlines on the north coast of NSW are proving very effective in catching white, bull and tiger sharks with minimal bycatch,” the spokeswoman said.

The technology intercepts sharks along the coast, sending an alert to contractors who remove the shark from the line and relocate it.

The spokeswoman said 35 SMART drumlines would be ­deployed daily along the coast from next month, bringing the total number in NSW to 100.

However, Ballina Fishermen’s Co-operative’s chief executive Phil Hilliard said the drumline trial had caught fewer sharks than he expected.

“The last six months have been a very quiet period for the number of sharks, and that’s not because of the drumlines,” Mr Hilliard said. “The drumlines have been good for the Department of ­Fisheries to tag and monitor the sharks coming too close to the beach but they haven’t taken huge amounts away from the area.”

Mr Hilliard said the shark population had grown exponentially in the past three years, ­affecting local fishers’ ability to do their jobs.

Mr Frydenberg said yesterday the act did not need to be amended for the new WA Labor government — which refused to set drumlines or cull sharks after the attack on Laeticia — to take effective action to save lives.

“What the West Australian government should do right now is commit to putting in shark nets and SMART drumlines like Queensland and NSW and, if necessary, undertake a culling program,” Mr Frydenberg said.


Trump: America’s first pro surf president!

Donald J. Trump is someone who speaks our language!

Oh I know that Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii, liked to bodysurf, etc. That he has been pictured frolicking in the surf many times and that Donald J. Trump believes that exercise actually shortens a human life but just like Bill Clinton was America’s first black president, Donald J. is the country’s first professional surf president and most specifically its first professional surf contest announcing president.

How do I know?


Anyone who has watched more than one professional surf event know that hyperbole is the lingua franca. Every contest is the biggest/best/most important. Every heat is the biggest/best/most important. Every wave is the biggest/best/most important.

“He JAMS it off the top and WHOA!”

“He’s in deep, deeper, deepest and COMES OUT WITH THE SPIT!”

“We have never seen anything like this floater here from Adriano de Souza!”


Today, Donald J. Trump told Coast Guard cadets, “No politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly.” And he COMES OUT WITH THE SPIT!

More unfairly than the nice Jewish mayor of Leipzig, Germany in 1933.

More unfairly than the kind Andan Menderes of Turkey in 1960.

More unfairly, and treated worse, than any politician in history!

I know that all sports involve some sort of hyperbole but only professional surfing hyperbolizes Brazilian beachbreak.

We are Trump Country!

Who does it better? | Photo: WSL

WSL: Adriano Wins the Oi Rio Pro!

But what's up with Joe Turpel?

And just like that, it was finals day!

Unfortunately I was busy this morning and missed all heats before the final. Looks like there were a couple good ones though (Yago beat Gabby, Mick!), so I’ll have to check them out a little later.

Anyways, I jumped online just as Kaipo and Pottz were discussing the whereabouts of their missing colleagues.

Rosy Hodge, Kaipo explained, would return to her role at the Outerknown Fiji Pro in a couple weeks’ time (she has been stuck dealing with the pesky American visa/immigration system).

Chelsea Cannell, whose role I never quite understood as she is neither a surf expert nor especially attractive, has taken time off to become a mom(!) but will be returning shortly and with plumper breasts.

Lastly, and most interestingly, is Joe Turpel. Kaipo attributed Joe’s disappearance to “personal time”, but assured that he will be back “very soon”.

I’ve heard whispers that Joe was in the middle of certain legal troubles, but can in no way validate those claims. Also somewhat interesting, Joe hasn’t posted on Instagram in seven weeks, after being a near daily-poster during the period leading up to his absence. Here’s his last photo:


West is pretty good ey

A post shared by Joe Turpel (@joeturpel) on

Then, the final!

With 10,000 fans on the beach, and 9,993 of them in favor of Adriano, it only seemed right that the pugnacious plumber take this bitch out.

The waves looked fun — still weird, but fun. Long lefts with a strange side-wedge had ADS licking his chops. There is no one who can better dismantle a disorganized wave on their backhand.

His first wave brought a smile to my face. De Souza opened with a big turn, then milked it to the sand. So unnecessary, but so damn beautiful. Nobody cares more than Adriano, and that’s gotta count for something.

Ace fought back with a low-nine on a long, slopey left-hander. He carved the shit out of it and was justly rewarded. Needing only a six to steal the lead, it seemed momentarily probable that Adriano could lose the title.

Then, boom! Adriano caught the inside double-up and belted it like a red-headed stepchild. 9.8 was the score, and the fans went berserk.

Ace had one more chance to turn the heat but fell just short. Adriano sat on him for five minutes, and just like that it was done.

There are now four legitimate world title contenders, with JJF, Owen, Jordy, and Adriano all within a few hundred points of one another. Turns out John won’t run away with this thing after all, and I reckon that’s for the better.

Congratulations to my board-brother Adriano, and, WSL… more Yago wildcards plz!

Look out below!
Look out below!

Breaking: Joel Parkinson does an air!

And other revelations for a Rio Pro cynic!

I don’t know when or how since I have been NOT following the contest in Brazil but look at the world’s oldest 36-year flying! I clicked on this morning and caught him in the water being combo’d be Adriano de Souza. The frozen picture advertising the heat was not a bird, not a plane but Joel Parkinson pretending he was a bird or a plane.

And it made me wonder what else I’ve missed from Rio? Are there storylines unfolding that matter? Is the non-Pottz South African in the booth really named Gigs or is it a nickname?

The contest this morning, anyhow, has been fun and my own negativity toward the Brazilian event has abated a touch. Yago Dora chewing though champion after champion, Jordy and Owen both totally failing when it mattered, Adriano de Souza showing the world that the li’l plumber is still a title threat. Etc.

It’s got all the drama a boy could hope for and isn’t even finished yet!

Full recap soon but until then, when did Joel Parkinson do this air?