Robb: “Let’s stoke the sharks out!”

Kalani Robb and pals feed San Clemente's sharks with drone!

Southern California’s new shark population is causing consternation in many young San Clemente hearts but Kalani Robb don’t care because he is an islander! (Isn’t he?) Last week, as reported by Grind TV, the world’s favorite happy Hawaiian waiter decided he should feed the sharks a big ol’ fish by using a drone. Let’s watch the KTLA news report!

Kalani said he has surfed all around the world but never seen such a high concentration of sharks. Is hyperbole? It sounds hyperbole. He also said he wanted to feed sharks a fish with a drone to highlight how many sharks there are in the water for those who are planning on hitting the beach this summer. Is good idea? Is great! Valley stay home!

The lifeguards said baiting sharks “goes against our mission of keeping the beaches safe.”


And a scientist told Grind TV, “I’m a little worried about all the crazy things people are doing with these sharks – chumming off public beaches to lure them to boats for viewing, intentionally trying to catch them and attaching floats to them as marker, dragging seal targets around to get them to strike, and now feeding them from drones off public beaches. All these activities change the sharks’ behavior and may increase the chances of someone in the area getting hurt.”


BeachGrit says, “Everyone stay out of the water! Sharks everywhere! EVERYWHERE!”

Shrill and on point.

Fred Pawle

Definitive: Scientists to Count Great Whites!

Are Great Whites in abundance or clinging to survival? New study plans to find out!

Are you as perplexed by the surge of Great Whites in the surf, and the arguments for and against solving the problem, as me?

Nets and dangling hooks are terrible things (they kill so many friendly animals), but they work. Compare and contrast attacks in Ballina with the Gold Coast. (Zero on the GC.)

The ocean is the shark’s environment, but it’s a pleasant place for humans to frolic in, too.

The Great White is endangered various scientific bodies say, but attacks are more relevant than ever before in human history.

For me, the argument has to boil down to this. If the Great White is endangered, y’can’t kill ’em. We live (and die) with it until stocks are replenished. Then we ice a few to restore the balance.

But if they’re not endangered.


Git the ropes out boys! 

So we gotta count ’em, right? Put the issue to bed once and for all.

A few days ago, the Australian government announced it had given its scientific body CSIRO the task of counting Whites in their east coast nurseries (Newcastle to Seal Rocks) and to use that data to estimate the population on the west coast.

Even though the Great White has been protected in Australia since 1999, experts concede they don’t know how many of the animals live in Australian waters.

I wonder, are we imagining ourselves sick about the Great White or is there a current oversupply of the animal?

The study will be complete by December.

Richie Vas found the wrong side of a widow's peak.

Documentary: 2016’s Best Surf Comp!

We still get chills!

And it was one year ago yesterday that Mark Matthew’s sadistic brainchild, Red Bull Cape Fear, graced the screens of terrified spectators across the world.

On the competition’s one-year anniversary, Red Bull dropped a comprehensive documentary on the 2016 event. You should watch that here or, if short on time, read a brief synopsis below.

When Mark Matthews first saw the forecast, he didn’t believe it. In all his time as an east coast Aussie surfer, he’d never seen a storm of this magnitude marching its way across the Pacific. The fact that it fell within the waiting period for his signature “Big Wave” event, Red Bull Cape Fear, seemed to good to be true.

Then he saw the surf. Fifteen-foot Ours Cape Fear Cape Solander might sound cool on paper, but in reality it’s like watching one of those crash-test videos stuck on repeat. Considering Mark was unable to compete in the event (due to an injury suffered at Jaws a few months prior), he didn’t feel comfortable deciding whether or not it was safe enough to hold the event.

The decision went to an anonymous vote amongst the competitors, but it was longtime slab-specialist, Koby Abberton, who truly made the decision.

“I said, ‘We’re having this contest. This is what makes us’,” Koby explains in his motivational speech to competitors before the vote. “Before Tahiti I wasn’t that known. After Tahiti I was a worldwide name. Someone here will be a worldwide name at the end of this contest.”

From what I’ve heard, it’s not generally a good idea to tell Koby no — even if the alternative is a fifteen foot death slab. The event was called on, somehow nobody died, and the rest is history.

You really need to watch the doco though… high quality viewing!

Blood Feud: Peter King v. Climate Change!

Surfing's stenographer thrilled that America is great again!

Last week Donald J. Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Accord. The international environmental agreement had been signed by 196 countries last year including then President Obama and sought to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It was non-binding and considered generally flawed but also many found it a positive step toward recognizing the dangers posed by climate change.

(Read the agreement here.)

As Trump stood in the White House’s rose garden on a cloud dappled day he said, “We are getting out. We want fair treatment. We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore. I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh not Paris.”

And the globe melted into a collective puddle of bewilderment and rage. Tesla founder Elon Musk withdrew from Trump’s advisory council in protest. The deposed president of the Maldives declared that Trump had sentenced the planet to death.

Halfway across the world, though, on the bucolic islands of Fiji, professional surfing’s favorite stenographer adjusted his red Make America Great Again hat and applauded. He is not from Pittsburgh nor is he from Paris. He hails from La Jolla, California but took to Facebook in praise of his supreme leader. After noting various Trump’s accomplishments…

3.3 trillion added to the economy already, recent overseas trip netted 350 billion in investment creating 1000 of new jobs, repealing crappy healthcare… PK turned his eye toward the Paris Accord.

(Trump) saved America by getting ripped off in the pointless Paris Accord. Funny that not many people know that ONLY OBAMA signed us into that deal. No congress, no voters… Under that agreement India would double their coal mines and China can build hundreds more…but we are supposed to get rid of ours? Makes sense…it doesn’t eliminate coal, it transfers it to other countries…complete scam…

Before going on to write about the 100 billion dollar fund the United States was supposed to pay into and other problems he has with not only the financial burden but also the suppositions underpinning the environmentalist argument.

Later, on his feed, he posts a YouTube video of energy theorist Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, disputing the notion that scientists are in agreement as to what actually causes global warming.

It’s a classic blood feud! Peter King vs. Climate Change!

But what do you think? Do you believe, like Elon Musk, that the United States of America and its industrial revolution has polluted for more, and far longer, than any other nation on earth or, like Peter King, do you feel the US was fed a bad deal under the Paris Accord and if China and India get to keep their coal mines we should get to keep ours too?

Are you a fossil fuel fan? Do you argue their moral case?

Is America officially great again?

Oliver Kurtz embraces the stoke despite a Middle Eastern shake-up!

Help: Surfers Stranded in Qatar!

This one hits close to home...

Imagine you’re a pro surfer, or, fuck it, imagine you’re just you. Imagine having (quickly) heeded yesterday’s advice and booked a ticket to the world’s best wave on the biggest swell of the year. Imagine the money you spent. The indignation of your bosses and spouse. Imagine your excitement.

This was almost me. I spent days looking at forecasts and tickets, tickets and forecasts. I was anxious, barely sleeping, and my behaviors were those of a fiending addict. I’d built my whole year around visiting the jewel of west Africa, and this could very well be my chance.

At the last second, I pulled out. A combination of a dicey forecast (the swell jumps up and dies very quickly due to its proximity to the coast, and during the one day that it appears to be big enough and west enough to surf, it could potentially overload the joint) and relationship pressures (“You were just in Mexico” (…fair)) forced me to pull the plug.

Since that moment, I’ve been praying that the swell isn’t so great. That it’s too big or too small or too something, meaning that I made the right call by waiting for the next one.

Since then I’ve seen evidence of multiple pros headed that way. Anthony Walsh, Cory Lopez, Brett Barley, and Oliver Kurtz just to name a few. Their committal to the trip increased my FOMO exponentially, but a recent occurrence has changed my perspective.

Just this morning, Oliver Kurtz made a plea to his friends on Facebook.

And… holy shit! Doha, Qatar was the very place where my flight would have connected. In fact, Oliver had taken the same plane that I was planning to board. Now he’s stuck in the throes of a Middle Eastern brouhaha, something that should probably be scary but at the moment is likely more infuriating for the Floridian goofy-foot.

Oliver has (to my knowledge) never been to Skeleton Bay, meaning, much like with me, this trip was a longtime dream. To have it squandered by such a shitstorm would be utterly heartbreaking.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I pulled out.

I’ve yet to see updates from the other surfers listed above, but considering they all left from different parts of the U.S., there’s a decent chance they avoided the Qatar kerfuffle with connections through other parts Africa or the Mid East.

Will Oliver (and perhaps many other surfers) find his way out of this stronghold? Who knows? But his most recent update is telling:

If anybody knows anything/anyone in the area that would be able to help Mr. Kurtz, please let us know in the comments! I’ll update as the story unfolds.