Professional surfer Dusty Payne looking for a handout. Or a giant salami and cheese tray from big box retailer Costco.
Professional surfer Dusty Payne looking for a handout. Or a giant salami and cheese tray from big box retailer Costco. | Photo: WSL/Steve Sherman

Revealed: Pro surfers cheap, have bad taste!

Free handouts and meals from Costco!

It is Sunday morning in America and the Pipeline Masters may run in a few hours. It also may not but, irregardless, I’m taking these moments in, enjoying each and every because this is the end. Once the remade tour comes online and the season starts on the North Shore instead of finishing things will be… different. Not as intense. Not as… important. Oh, I’m just a sucker for the seven-mile miracle, I suppose.

An old nostalgic queen.

Did you know that the entire Triple Crown season pumps an estimated millions of dollars into Oahu’s economy? Hawaii Business Magazine writes:

A economic study of the 2010 Triple Crown calculated the series pumped $21 million into Oahu’s economy. The study, directed by Lenard Huff, a marketing expert in the Business Management Department of Brigham Young University Hawaii, was commissioned by Vans. Huff estimates that this year’s event will have a similar economic impact, which will include money spent locally by organizers and sponsors, and money spent locally by people who come to see the event.

What do you think happens to this number when the Triple Crown loses its status and the Pipeline Masters simply becomes the first event on the calendar? Will the 21 million figure be halved? Thirded? Will the small businesses weep?

Apparently not all of them will for it was revealed in the same article that professional surfers are not only cheap but have bad taste:

A frustrated Haleiwa restaurant owner had a different perspective. “Families are more likely to come to the North Shore and spend money than a sponsored surfer who is looking for free handouts and meals from Costco,” said the owner, who asked to remain anonymous because he was speaking negatively about an event that is loved by many people on the North Shore. He said vacationing families are priced out by the rates paid by event sponsors and other companies.

Free handouts and meals from Costco seems slightly less than what Hawaii’s burgeoning homeless population expects. Is the surf industry truly in this bad of shape or are pro surfers just cheap with bad taste?

Here's Kelly, winning the Volcom Pipe contest in 2016. | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Moneyball: How Kelly Can Requalify!

And why John John will win the title, according to the stats… 

Yesterday, the second-best red-haired surfer in the world, Dusty Payne, fiddled his way to first place at the Pipe Trials.

You can read about that miracle here, although the story will have you groping for tissues. Did you know, for example, the episode of Dusty and the stolen panties at LAX and… oh you have to read!


Today, another potential miracle is revealed.

How Kelly Slater, who is two months away from his forty-sixth-birthday (the same age as American president Johnny Kennedy when Oswald’s bullet rearranged his skull) could requalify for the 2018 tour and therefore keep the two injury wildcards, which will be announced the day after Pipe, for tour minnows.

What’s Kelly gotta do? Make the final. That’s it.

Miss half the season, appear dramatically on stage in the closing act, and liberate the last spot on tour. It ain’t a stretch. Kelly has won the event seven times, the first in 1992, three times in a row (94, 95 and 96) and, most recently, in 2013, aged forty-one.

But you come to Pipe to dump a crown on a world champ, yes?

And Balyn McDonald, whose website Surf-Stats has just launched its own version of Fantasy Surfer (click here for why they did it and why you should jump on in), explains who’s going to see sunlight at Pipe.

First John John v Gabe:

“The data consistently points to John. Sure, he hasn’t won the event yet, but he dominates almost every conditions stat that is relevant: lefts, reefs, all wave heights. He has a far greater average heat score (AHS) for the season than the rest of the tour, and his win rate of 75% is more than 5% above Medina. The only significant areas that put Medina above John are average place result, and recent form (Medina hasn’t lost a heat since Trestles).
Given that John only needs to make a few more heats to sew it up, the numbers definitely favour him.”

The outliers:

“Jordy and Julian are statistically fucked, but, hey, reality has a way of giving historical stats the finger so we will wait and see.”

Statistically fucked? I haven’t laughed this much since the neighbour’s child fell out of my fig tree!

Breaking: Kelly Slater to surf Pipe!

Gab and John look over their shoulders!

Do you remember that hot, yet fringe, rumor from just months ago wherein Kelly Slater was going to surf in the Portugal contest? Even though he broke his foot just months prior in multiple places? A fine one to be sure and basically correct because yesterday it was revealed that Cocoa Beach’s first son is going to be surfing in the Pipeline Masters! Florida Today first reported:

Less than five months after breaking five bones in his right foot, surfing legend Kelly Slater is in the official lineup for this coming week’s Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons contest, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Slater, who sustained the multiple fractures while free-surfing between heats at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, in mid-July, and required plates and screws in a surgery later that month, has tested his skills at least three times, most recently in his hometown of Cocoa Beach, at the beach behind Coconuts during the National Kidney Foundation Team Challenge two weeks ago.

“Anytime he can get out on the water, he is willing to test it,” said Phil Salick, originator of the NKF Labor Day Surf Festival, along with his late brother, Rich. “He absolutely, definitely wants to surf Pipeline. Of course, there’s a big difference on the pressure of the water on his foot at Pipeline (perhaps 10- to 20-foot waves) and 4-foot offshore” here.

Are you going to quickly reshuffle your fantasy team or do you not believe that the 11 x world champ has any gas left in the tank?

Maui's Dusty Payne pushed and plunged with such zest that anyone coming across the scene would've been flabbergasted by the quivering jowls and snorts from flared nostrils. | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Resurrection: Dusty Payne is alive!

Maui surfer wins the Pipe trials!

Do you remember Dusty Payne? Do you remember when he stole the Modern Collective show and when he performed almost passably on the world championship tour? Do you? Well guess what?

Dusty Payne is back.

It started this year with a pornhub sponsorship and may very well end with a Pipeline Masters seeing as he just won the trials and is now in the main event. Who would have seen that coming last year? Not me, I’ll tell you. I’ve been fairly harsh to Dusty Payne writing five years ago in the award nominated Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell:

I walk and nod at friends and deflect glares of surfers I have burned. I deflect the glare of Dusty Payne, a Maui surfer with a horrible attitude and Mormon father. Dusty, like most island kids, has been coming to the North Shore ever since he first started showing promise at home on Maui, and so he is comfortable in Pipeline no matter the size. Pipeline is it. Pipeline is the only thing and it matters not which country, which state, or which island a surfer is from, he comes to Pipeline as soon as he is able. This is partly because of the way Pipeline breaks, perfectly and very close to shore, making it scenically dynamic. Partly because it has claimed more lives than any other wave and has the mystique of a beautiful killer. Partly because it is the most holy admixture of science and magic. Everything surfing means is wrapped up in Pipeline.

Dusty has red hair that has been bleached to red-white by the sun but his redheaded attitude has not been bleached. It is fiery. I stood next to his father once on the Gold Coast, after I wrote a profile on Dusty. He looked at me when I said I wrote for Stab magazine, glared, and said, “Some writers only ever want to push their own thing. They have an agenda and they don’t care about the person they’re interviewing.” And I answered, “Yeah? Who are you talking about?” And he was talking about me but was too embarrassed to say anything so just responded, “Some writers. I don’t know.” In Dusty’s profile I wrote that he stole a woman’s panties out of her suitcase while waiting to check in for a flight at LAX. It wasn’t true but it was much grander than the way Dusty really lives. I forever want surfers to embrace the cinema of their lives too but they often refuse, falling back on cliché. And so, sometimes, I force them to live big by writing what they should be doing instead of what they actually are doing.

You should buy it here as a Christmas present and also bet on Dusty Payne to win the Pipeline Masters. I’ll be in the front row cheering him on.

Pipe Invitational Final Results:
1 – Dusty Payne (HAW)12.00
2 – Benji Brand (HAW) 11.17
3 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.83
4 – Jack Robinson (AUS) 2.37

Pipe Invitational Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Benji Brand (HAW) 12.27, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.83, Koa Smith (HAW) 9.10, Billy Kemper (HAW) 5.90
SF 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.07, Jack Robinson (AUS) 10.44, Finn McGill (HAW) 4.20, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 0.77

Pipe Invitational Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.67, Koa Smith (HAW) 8.37, Michael February (ZAF) 6.64, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 3.97
QF 2: Benji Brand (HAW) 10.84, Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.47, Nathan Florence (HAW) 7.94, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 4.83
QF 3: Finn McGill (HAW) 9.83, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 7.10, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 3.97, Makai McNamara (HAW) 1.93
QF 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.50, Seth Moniz (HAW) 10.50, Shane Dorian (HAW) 2.87, Keoni Yan (HAW) 2.74

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Benji Brand (HAW)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA), Joan Duru (FRA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT), Italo Ferreira (BRA)

(Click through to 3:53 for the highlights.)

Paskowitz: “Surf is mystical!”

The youngest of "first family of surfing" shares his art!

My surname, as you know, is Smith and it comes with zero baggage or maybe just a little. There was once a Smith named Joseph and he started Mormonism. There is also a Smith named Sam and he sings very whiny songs. Other than Joseph and Sam, though, the Smith is easy to carry. Paskowitz, on the other hand, is not. You are aware of Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, the Stanford educated M.D. who traveled around the world with his large brood surfing and generally living an idealistic life.

You must read more on the Encyclopedia of Surfing but Doc, his wife and nine children soon became known as “the first family of surfing.” The youngest, Joshua Ben-Paskowitz, has led his own fascinating life, fronting one-hit-wonder band The Flys, beating a heroin addiction and all along making art.

I saw one of his prints on Facebook, recently, and it captivated so I called to ask about. He said:

My family is a little bit crazy. My dad is the coolest, most beautiful amazing conflicted loving character you could imagine. The good guy and the bad guy all at once.

I’ve been drawing my whole life, in our family we’d spend a lot of the time in the middle of nowhere. My dad and brothers cared about surfing, I was always drawn to the arts, started getting into comic books at five, six. Heavy metal mags when I was in the single digits. Used that as a conduit for the impossible to understand dynamics of my life growing up.

My life is about, my art is about preserving my dad’s legacy. Reminding people of characters that would have been overlooked. I really want to try to bring art into surfing and develop a contemporary or fine art style around surfing. I’m really grateful for Herbie and Dibi and what they’re doing. Surf is mystical and art is a conduit for that. I’m just trying to develop that as much as I can and be honest to who I am.

With Hanukkah in just five days and Christmas soon after don’t you think a print would make a fantastic gift? I do. Buy here!