Ouch: Notable tycoon breaks neck!

Surfing the wild Gnaraloo in Western Australia!

Yesterday, it was reported out of Western Australia that a well-known property developer from Perth, Luke Wyllie, fractured vertebrae, ribs and lacerations after smashing head first into the reef at Gnaraloo. The West Australian writes:

Prominent businessman and pilot Luke Wyllie could spend up to three months in a body brace after a serious surf accident that nearly claimed his life.

Mr Wyllie was knocked off his board at the notorious Gnaraloo break, roughly 120km north of Carnarvon, and smashed head first into a reef on Sunday.

The father-of-two now faces a long rehabilitation after suffering fractured vertebrae in his neck, cracked ribs and lacerations to his head.

“I’ve never really been too concerned about Lukie,” Mr Wyllie’s wife Samantha said.
“He’s a bit of a cat, he’s got nine lives and he always bounces back.

“This is the first time it’s shocked us all and it’s really worried everyone.”

The father-of-two had to be evacuated out of the remote location after the freak accident before he was flown to Royal Perth Hospital for medical treatment.


He is set to make a full recovery which is wonderful news, but I must say, the story stopped me in my tracks. Doesn’t it seem miraculous that these sorts of incidents don’t appear multiple times a day in papers around the world? The best waves generally break onto shallow reef or rock, of course, and surfers of varying skill paddle out to try their hand from Fiji to Indonesia to west Australia to northern Chile.

I’ve witnessed spectacular rides over the falls. I’ve also taken some. Last month, for example, I was in southern Mexico surfing a very fun point. The takeoff spot was sucking out behind a large rock, all very normal etc. and fun and I got pummeled a good two times just inches away from that very large rock, completely mistiming the drop, without even a thought.

Aren’t you surprised that more surfers don’t break their necks, rip their faces off, etc?

Aren’t you surprised that you have never broken your neck?

Aren’t you surprised that I’ve never broken mine?

It truly does seem like a miracle.

Mr. Wyllie seen here resting uncomfortably.
Mr. Wyllie seen here resting uncomfortably.

Stab co-founder Sam McIntosh adjusts his tie for battle!
Stab co-founder Sam McIntosh adjusts his tie for battle!

Aggression: Stab goes super nuclear!

Shots fired that can't be ignored!

The boiling rage behind a pained smile is something I’ve been addicted to as long as I can remember. It is part of why I stuck myself into the middle of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Russian mafia parties as a slightly younger man.

Part of why I went to Mick Fanning’s North Shore Micktory party as a slightly older man.

I love conflict and don’t think it is a bad thing but rather something that lubes the spirit, challenges the staid narrative and creates dramas that everyone can enjoy.

Which is part of why I crashed Stab magazine’s booth at the Agenda trade show in Long Beach, California a few short weeks ago. It was a sad place with only one lonely boy sitting cross-legged on the floor but it thrilled me much. Not because of its social failure but because I got to reconnect with Sam McIntosh and his little biz partner mate Tom Bird and their most pained smiles that I have ever seen in my entire life. Pained, angry, frustrated. Hurt. Rigid.


Oh you know some of the history between us all. You know that BeachGrit founder Derek Rielly co-founded Stab. You know that he brought me on more than a decade ago to write for Stab. You know that I regularly poke fun of Stab. And you know that Stab mostly stays publicly silent.


What you maybe don’t know is, behind the scenes Stab‘s other co-founder 41 year-old Sam McIntosh purportedly calls surf companies and tells them they’ll be left out of SurfStitch’s glorious offering. Tells them that advertising on BeachGrit will be bad for their business. In legal terms that’s called tortious interference and very naughty, suable etc. But all’s fair in love and war and I’ve never written about…

…until Sam went on new website The Business of Surf and went nuclear! The interviewer asks:

Are you and him (Derek Rielly) still mates? Theres often a few digs at STAB via Beachgrit but is it all fair in love and war?

And Sam McIntosh responds:

I approached Derek when these stories started appearing and told him I thought it was more damaging to him than me. But the stories continued. So I called him. I said: “We talked about this. You know it’s a shitty look in business talking about your ex, yeah?”

We always had a rule not to trash talk competitors on Stab and it served us so well.” And we made a deal. I said you will never read a negative word about you or your business ever on Stab – you have my word. It’s far classier for us both.”

And I’ve stood by that.

This is a gifted writer, brilliant even, 50 years old, getting giddy with his little biz partner mate, poking holes in the business he used to own on a public forum. This is part of the foundation for his last big swing in business! And validation doesn’t come in commercial success but when other veteran surf writers like Nick Carroll roll in to throw punches! Think about that objectively for a second: a 30-year career writing about surfing and you’re fixated not on the world tour, or commerce, or the environment or John John but the business you sold a decade ago!

Little biz partner mate? Little biz partner mate?


Little biz partner mate. Oooooooooh. I fear that Sam misunderstood the laughs that I was making toward Stab here, the “stories that started appearing” the “giddiness” as the full force of my capacity to rage.

Uh oh!

I have many stories. Many many many funny stories. And now the cold war has turned hot. Unfortunately for Sam he mistook “online surf publishing” for “business” and mistook his “word for truth” as truth.


Now it is on on.

Or as the great fighter William Tecumseh Sherman said:

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

Welcome to paradise Stab magazine.

Welcome to paradise.

Throbbing: Kai Lenny wins Puerto Challenge!

"I remember being super terrified!"

Don’t you love it when the good guy wins? I know surfers are touchy as hell, but can we all agree that Kai Lenny is the sweetest, loveliest, most adorable boy in surf?

Yes? Of course!

Earlier today, Kai, who is twenty four years old and the master of all sorts of surf craft including the suddenly popular hydrofoil, beat a diverse field of Australians, Mexicans, Portuguese, an Italian, a Brit and some Hawaiians to win a compelling one-day event in twelve-foot beachbreak tubes.

“I remember coming here last year and being super terrified because I had never been here,” says Kai.“My goal today was to not hold back and – when a good one came – go no matter what. It was a pleasure competing with these guys. Any one of them could have won if they got the waves and I was just grateful to get that last one in the end. It was so special.”

Perhaps even more impressive than Kai was the board paddler turned big-waver Jamie Mitchell who competed despite busting his sternum after being hit by his board at Puerto three weeks earlier.

“There are so many guys wanting to be where we are right now. They are animals,” says Jamie. “You just go into beast mode and try to numb out the pain.

Do you want to watch an abbreviated highlights package?

Here’s Kai’s contest-winning cabana.

Billy Kemper came out of this tube contorted like one of the gargoyles of Notre Dame.

And the wipeouts! Funny!

2017 BWT Puerto Escondido Challenge Final Results:
1 – Kai Lenny (HAW) 23.53
2 – Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 18.64
3 – Tom Lowe (GBR) 12.23
4 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 8.50
5 – Alex Botelho (PRT)
6 – Trevor Carlson (HAW) 2.46

2017 BWT Puerto Escondido Challenge Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Billy Kemper (HAW) 16.89, Trevor Carlson (HAW) 12.27, Alex Botelho (PRT) 8.07, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 7.94, Jimel Corzo (MEX) 7.13, Nathan Florence (HAW) 6.73
SF 2: Tom Lowe (GBR) 15.34, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 12.54, Kai Lenny (HAW) 11.27, Nic Lamb (USA) 10.77, Oscar Moncada (MEX) 6.00, Rogercin Ramirez (MEX) 1.64

2017 BWT Puerto Escondido Challenge Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper (HAW) 24.17, Trevor Carlson (HAW) 17.60, Nathan Florence (HAW) 16.34, Grant Baker (ZAF) 11.53, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 8.64, Cristian Merello (CHL) 2.16
Heat 2: Jimel Corzo (MEX) 12.77, Alex Botelho (PRT) 11.74, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 10.37, Coco Nogales (MEX) 8.07, Peter Mel (USA) 6.83, Will Skudin (USA) 3.13
Heat 3: Tom Lowe (GBR) 18.06, Kai Lenny (HAW) 16.54, Nic Lamb (USA) 13.97, Rusty Long (USA) 13.51, Pedro Calado (BRA) 10.86, Jose Ramirez (MEX) 7.77
Heat 4: Oscar Moncado (MEX) 12.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 10.31, Rogercin Ramirez (MEX) 8.10, Francisco Porcella (ITA) 7.66, Damien Hobgood (USA) 6.53, João de Macedo (PRT) 5.63

2017 WSL Big Wave Tour Schedule:
Southern Hemisphere: May 1 – August 31, 2017
Puerto Escondido Challenge: Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Northern Hemisphere: October 15, 2017 – January 31, 2018
Nazaré Challenge: Nazaré, Portugal
Pe’ahi Challenge: Haiku, Hawaii

Tudor: “Crying is for baby girls!”

Is it wrong to tear up after a loss? Even if you have brain damage?

And ain’t world longboard competitor Joel “Jitsu” Tudor just a spigot of fun? We began this Monday with a reminiscence from many years ago when the great master met a young Ryan Burch and apparently told him, “Man, if you weren’t a good surfer I’d kick you in the fucking knees right now.” 

A fine thing to say to a young boy but, really, who needs many years ago when you have yesterday?

And it was yesterday that Joel Tudor took to Instagram, posting a crying face of recently defeated mixed martial artist Daniel Cormier crying that he titled “ass whooping.”

For those unawares, the mixed martial artist Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier by knockout three rounds in on Sunday. Cormier cried during his post-bout interview and UFC and the interviewer, Joe Rogan, have both apologized since. CBS Sports reports:

Both Rogan and UFC were widely criticized for the handling of the post-fight interview as Cormier openly sobbed and struggled through his words, White told media members late Saturday that the interview shouldn’t have happened and that Rogan had taken it upon himself to do it.

Rogan publicly addressed the matter Sunday morning in his own Instagram post.
“My apologies to D.C. and to everyone else upset at me for interviewing him after the fight,” Rogan said. “In all honestly, I was kind of in shock and I don’t think I realized what I was doing until I had a mic in my hand and I was talking to him.

“I’ve said that I don’t want to interview fighters after they’ve been KO’ed and then I did it to someone that I care a great deal about. It was 100 [percent] my f— up and no one pressured me to do it.”

But Joel Tudor didn’t care about no stinking concussion, apparently, in his post but many people who follow his account did. Let’s read some responses beginning with one from the big man Joel Tudor himself!

joeljitsu: worst sportsmanship ever by a former Olympian ….dude cried like my sister I don’t have

And then it rained down upon Joel.

What is bad sportsmanship about crying after a loss? Not sure you know the right definition of sportsmanship

Damn Joel harsh…

Dude was knocked out why pile on?

What an arrogant post from you Joel. Dude just lost the biggest fight of his life and your calling him a bad sport for being upset? Makes zero sense

Super disappointed by this post. Dick comment by someone I use to look up to in jiu jitsu and surfing

So crying is only for girls because girls are weak, and have bad sportsmanship?? Dude…

I don’t think we can judge him too harshly… he did have his brain violently reset.

I saw you crying after you kooked a bottom turn last year #hypocrite

He was knocked out didnt know where he was when he got up, very diss oriented….thats why he acted the way he did i think

they both talked shit that’s part of selling the fight your flog. The only bad sport here is you for kicking someone while he’s down. Go say it to his face troll

Way to kick a man when he’s down

Why would you say such an ugly thing, Joel. You suddenly sound like the negative stereotype of the UFC fight fab – just another stupid “bro” talking smack about someone who gave it their all. People often cry without knowing why when they are concussed. Look it up, man!

Joel, never one to back down from a fight, countered with:

Sensitive fight fannnnnnnns ^^^^ bwhahahah — y’all don’t know shit ….the guy talked a gang of shit 2 times and got beat both times ….badly!!! Then proceeded to cry in public after he got knocked out – bad look on all levels — take your losses in humility…not like a kid who didn’t get is way ….goodnite

And later.

not at the school I came from – Carlson gracie team don’t cry after losses – you learn to accept the loss and work harder to prevail the next challenge! Never give them the satisfaction of seeing you in tears over a match….specially in the world of combat – samurai never cry

But what do you think? Do you, like Joel, believe crying is only for sisters and weaklings or do you think it is ok to be massively concussed and shed a few tears? Do you think Joel is both misogynistic and uninformed or do you think he is a beacon of Biblical manhood?

Also, should we have an every other day feature titled What’s Buggin’ Joel Tudor?

The great Ryan Burch (pictured) using his knees effectively.
The great Ryan Burch (pictured) using his knees effectively. | Photo: Brian Bielmann

Tudor: “I’d kick you in the fucking knees!”

Have you ever met your hero? How did he or she react?

A man speaking his mind directly and clearly is a wonderful trait, no? The world is chock-full of mealy mouthed, unpleasant sorts and in this stew of hunched spine lizards the truth talker shines. He rocks, he rolls, he slides, he glides and no one and nothing can stand in his way.

Like Joel Tudor!

Just recently he stood up against the tyranny of Corona beer sponsoring the World Surf League’s J-Bay Open. Though it later surfaced that Corona competitor Pacifico beer sponsored Joel Tudor’s own contest, the Duct Tape Invitational two short years ago, we should all be allowed to change our opinions and continue to speak directly and clearly, no?

But do you very much love the Duct Tape Invitational? Its DIY approach to surfing and surf contests? Vans, the primary sponsor as opposed to Pacifico, the presenting sponsor, made a documentary on the event four years ago called the Ductumentary.

It features Joel (of course), along with soul stand-outs Al Knost, Ryan Burch, etc. You know Ryan Burch best of all maybe for his progressive designs and gorgeous surfing.

A dear BeachGrit reader, anyhow, watched recently and pointed out Ryan Burch’s first interaction with the great Joel Tudor that is buried deep in the folds of the Ductumentary (around the 33 minute mark). And let’s allow Mr. Burch to describe it in his own words.

The first time I met Joel… well it’s not the first time but… the first time he ever acknowledged me was this day I was at Cardiff and he paddled by me and I kind of got a little bit nervous, I’m a little bit starstruck by him, and he paddled up to me and he said, “Man, if you weren’t a good surfer I’d kick you in the fucking knees right now.” Or something like that. It was pretty radical and I was like oooooh but I was kind of stoked on the compliment. Like, oh fuck, he said I was a good surfer. That’s cool.

And wonderful! Direct!

But real quick, is kicking in the fucking knees a jiu jitsu move? I would imagine it is very effective. What do you think Mr. Burch did to elicit such a compliment from Mr. Tudor? Also, have you ever bumped in to your hero? How did he or she react?

Watch the whole Ductumentary here!