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.


Vote us your favorites!
Vote us your favorites!

Stab: “We’re shitty AND clueless!”

Your second favorite Venice-adjacent website needs help!

Stab magazine, next door neighbors to mountain bike blog The Inertia in beautiful Venice-adjacent, is doing a survey to improve your experience and YOU can win a new surfboard if you take it! Should we do it together? I’ll give the surfboard if you help me (in the comments) and I win.



Question 1: WHOSE SURFING DO YOU ADORE MOST? (Choose your top three)

Albee Layer

Alex Grey

Alex Knost

Andrew Doheny

Asher Pacey

Balaram Stack

Beau Foster

Bobby Martinez

Brendon Gibbens

Brett Simpson

Bruce Irons

Bryce Young

Cam Richards

Chippa Wilson

Chris Ward

Clay Marzo

Colin Moran

Cory Lopez

Craig Anderson…….

Son of a bitch. Stab literally just listed every “professional” surfer alive. Except Gerry Lopez. Oh wait… never mind. He’s there too. So I guess just write Wiggolly Dantas, Ian Cairns and Eddie Rothman in and let’s move on to question 2.


Same damned thing. All the girls. Ever. With Lisa Andersen’s last name spelled “Anderson” and favorite spelled “favourite” even though Stab now calls Venice-adjacent home. What the hell is this? Some kind of joke?

And that’s it. Those are the only two questions in this survey. What the hell is this Sam McIntosh? Why are you doing this to me? Is this some kind of weird psychological thing? A SurfStitch initiative? Are you going to use this information to sell more socks? More FCS anti-shark leashes?

Tell me!


Rip Curl's Neil Ridgway pictured here taking some bold yet fun fashion risks. Will it be enough to save his job?
Rip Curl's Neil Ridgway pictured here taking some bold yet fun fashion risks. Will it be enough to save his job?

SIMA: “Be bold! Take risks!”

Is Rip Curl's Reign of Conservative Terror officially over?

You, of course, know that the acronym SIMA stands for the Surf Industry Manufacturer Association and you might know that the group, including executive vice-presidents and team managers from across the surf industry spectrum (Billabong, TufLite, Bad Boy, etc.) gathers each year in Los Cabos, Mexico to pretend things are still rad but you probably didn’t know that SIMA’s president, John Wilson, opened the festivities with an impassioned plea.

“Be bold and take risks, stay committed and passionate to surfing and the industry that surrounds it, embrace change as opportunity, and you guys better have fun.”

My heart, for one, could not be more encouraged.

Boldness, risk-taking, passion and fun are pretty much my modus operandi. Ask Zach Weisberg, founder-in-chief of health and fitness blog The Inertia.

And can I assume this dawn of a bold, risk-taking and fun new era means that Rip Curl’s Reign of Conservative Terror is officially over?

That the cloistered, buttoned-up, afraid-of-revealing-any-fun(drug)-truth, passive-aggressive, dull, duller, dullest, bland, lying, boring, paranoid surf industry of the past decade plus has been put asunder?

Has Rip Curl’s Neil Ridgway been pushed to outer darkness? Has the World Surf League’s Graham Stapelberg been slapped from his job by the open hand of good times?

And can I also assume that some “vice-president of global marketing” positions are now open?

May I submit my resume?

Chas Smith

Career Objective:

Bold. Risks. Passion. Fun.

Core Competencies:

Can wax a surfboard above average. Etc.

Professional Experience:

Mick Fanning


Neil Ridgway

Graham Stapelberg

I’m waiting by the phone and thrilled.