This-ish big. | Photo: ABC News

Great White Attack near Bells: “It had me in its jaws!”

“I had to punch it until he let go.”

Earlier today, a Swiss surfer was hit by what he thinks was a ten-foot Great White at Cathedral Rocks in Victoria, and not a hell of a long way from Bells and Winki and so on.

The surfer, Marcel Brundler, told the Melbourne radio station 3AW that the shark had “sandwiched” him and his board in its jaw.

“At some stage, it had me in its jaw, I was shouting and punching it while it attacked me.”

And as reported by the national broadcaster, the ABC.

Marcel Brundler said he initially thought the shark was a dolphin.

“But then I realised fairly quick because it was more than half a metre wide, with a massive dorsal fin, and it looked at me,” he said.

“Then it kind of dived off, came back and circled me, and took a fair notch out of my board, circled me again, then it got me on my wettie, it got me on my hip.

“Luckily, it’s just a little scrape on my skin.”

 The regular surfer was wearing a thick wetsuit to guard against Victoria’s chilly waters.“When he got me he kind of dragged me on a little bit. Luckily I was wearing a really, really thick rubber wetsuit, which probably saved me from bigger injuries,” Mr Brundler said.

“Then I’ve just given him a punch and luckily a set wave came around and I’ve just taken off on the set wave and ridden it to the rocks to safety.”

He estimated the encounter lasted for at least a minute.

“A really, really unpleasant morning.”

Mr Brundler said he tried to keep quiet, and keep his pulse down, while fending the shark off with his board.

Earlier this year, it was reported that there had been a “massive surge” in shark sightings in the area.

Here’s a shark swimming off the Lorne Pier. 

Around the same time, a bronze whaler, weighing almost a quarter of a ton, was snatched off the end of Lorne Pier by a keen angler.

 Watch shark attack man’s video interview here. 

Torren Martyn, here, is the surfing representative of Need Essentials' all-black, cut-price vibe.

Eight-ball: Need Essentials is the future of surf biz!

The noted shaper Maurice Cole on why small is the new big… 

Earlier today, I posted a podcast with Kelly Slater and mentioned, in passing, that I’d interviewed Maurice Cole for The Surfer’s Journal. 

In that particular interview, Maurice, who is now sixty three and who was at one time the most in-demand shaper in the world, spoke about the great crisis facing the surf industry. Surfboard sales down fifty per cent, clothes thirty or forty.

Jobs lost, workers living in fear, the whole show crippled.

And, in that world, he says, it’s the little company, online-only, dynamic, that is going to survive and thrive.

Like Maurice’s pal Ryan Scanlon’s wetsuit and accessories brand, Need Essentials. 

(Read how Need blew into life here.)

“Go to Torquay and half the people in the water are in Need wetsuits,” says Maurice. “Adam Robbo just pulled me up the other day and told me he’d bought four. ‘I can buy three four-threes for 300 bucks apiece and I’ve got a dry wetsuit every time. Some of the best wetsuits I’ve ever worn,’ he said.”

According to Maurice, friends all over the world are getting into ’em. And it ain’t exactly rocket science why.

“People like Scanno are delivering really good technical product for a cheaper price. Scanno’s got as much fucking credibility as anyone else and people are loving the suits,” says Maurice. “Three hundred instead of six hundred. All blown away. Need was opposite me at a trade show recently and even my business partner bought one. One hundred and twenty dollars for a two mm suit. He couldn’t believe it.”

The surf industry, says Maurice, is either going to sink or swim.

“It’s like, fuck, a readjustment.”

Kelly Slater as background muzak.

Listen: Kelly Slater talks death, raising Chihuahuas!

One and a half hours of Kelly Slater!

Two days, two podcasts. I’m starting to feel it. I still believe podcast broadcasters need to cut and shave their interviews a little more, think talkback radio instead of meandering late-night conversation, but as muzak, it works.

Today, I cleaned the house, edited a story on the noted shaper Maurice Cole for The Surfer’s Journal and incited a fight between a cavoodle and a baby French bulldog whose big head had got stuck between the pickets of my backyard fence, all while listening to Kelly Slater on Firewire’s podcast, The Wire.

In this episode, Kelly, who owns Firewire remember, meanders, but does so in a compelling and likeable manner, on subjects as diverse as death (Kelly recites two good stories about a woman who was found frozen on a doorstep but was brought back to life, another is about a brain-damaged child prodigy golfer) Bill Murray learning to surf at low-tide Padang, his Gamma surfboard, Outerknown, Dane Reynolds, the damn busted foot and so on.

“So many people I know have died. In all sorts of different ways, two committed suicide last year, lost a lot of friends to cancer, random things, murder, disease, car accidents, drowning.”

“Is drowning ecstasy? I’ve heard that but how does anyone truly know? I spoke to Aaron Gold and he didn’t say that. I talked to Evan Geiselman and he didn’t remember anything.”

“At Pebble Beach, Bill Murray would stay on the green and sing Beach Boys songs to me.”

Listen here!



Analysis: John crushes Gabriel Medina!

Who is the world's most popular surfer? Let's dig in to real numbers!

I am usually not a stat nerd but when it comes to the unmeasurable like “popularity” or “likability” I can’t get enough. Maybe its the artificiality of applying the science of numbers to something so fleeting. Maybe its the codification of “in crowd/out crowd.” Maybe its just another tool to make some people feel quantifiably better than other people. I don’t know but whatever it is the boys over at crunch the information and give me what I needs.

Like today!

They went and examined the “fans” for the top ten most popular surfers in the world for 2015, 2016 and the first six months of 2017.

Shall we look?

Any surprises for you? Maybe that Shane Doz cracks the list? Maybe how “popular” Mick Fanning was but how his rate of growth is showing steep decline? Maybe Kelly Slater’s steadiness?

Gabriel Medina appears to be king of all surfers. He has as many “fans” as the entire rest of the entire list combined. Are you amongst them? I think probably not and I think you might feel a little sad for the second runner up but best surfer in the entire world John John Florence.

Do you feel a little sad for him?

Well don’t!

If there is one thing social media has taught me since the founding of our little BeachGrit it is that big numbers might make people feel good but the real art is in engagement. How do the people respond to the material you share?

And cue the engagement slide!


John John Florence has almost twice the engagement as anyone else. Gabs, on the other hand, falls dead last.

Scientifically what can we deduce from these hard numbers?

People who like Gabriel Medina tend to be shallow and prone to distraction.

People who like John John hang on his every full-bodied turn.

If we could actually invest in professional surfers I would mark Gabs as a “sell” and John as a “buy.”

Don’t you wish we could actually invest in professional surfers?

Kook or Curren is the concept pioneered by Surf Splendour's David Scales where odd-ish behaviour (wearing a rash shirt, booties with trunks) is measured by two poles. You're either a kook or you're someone fabulous enigmatic, and beyond reproach, like Tom Curren.

Are you: A Kook or Tom Curren?

Podcast follies with David Scales and Chas Smith… 

Recently, BeachGrit principal BeachGrit Chas Smith and broadcaster David Lee Scales made the fourth of their bi-weekly podcasts.

As I may have said before, podcasts are an oddly unabbreviated medium where length seems to trump content, the longer the better.

As enthralled I was to Rory Parker’s West Coast baritone, and back when he was a contributing editor to this website, after twenty minutes I was headed for the exits. Where print, and online, demands a ruthless edit, for even one misplaced word will be pounced upon, podcasts seem to be a modern stream-of-consciousness.

Unformed thoughts, thinking aloud are native characteristics of the podcast extending thirty minutes of good interview beyond an hour.

Oh, but then the commute, the trip to the mountains, down the coast. Kendrick gets you so far. Since falling asleep ain’t the option, I’ve come to live on these things.

I’ve thrown David and Chas’ shows on back to back to back and I find that the queer lassitude of Chas is the perfect foil for David’s spring blossom, fierce-about-everything persona.

In this episode, which was recorded at Album Surf in San Clemente, California, Matt Parker loans Chas an asymmetrical board and explains he design theory and why it’ll help Chas shred harder than ever. David and Chas then discuss purchasing and reviving the greatest surf brand of all time, whether or not puka shells are ever acceptable, punching your heroes in the face, naming your chid Barrel (yes, someone did), and a Power Rankings of B-list pro surfer’s wives.

The highlight, of course, is Kook or Curren.

Click below etc.