Brazilians pictured celebrating the return of their Tati.
Brazilians pictured celebrating the return of their Tati.

Shocking: Tatiana Weston-Webb swaps teams!

A move no one saw coming!

You know Tatiana Weston-Webb as a phenomenal Kauaian regular foot and/or The Mother of Dragons. She is currently world number four thanks to a fearless approach to the tube and loose limb’d snaps.  Oh she is a very fine surfer but guess what? She is dumping her Kauai/USA surf nationality and swapping teams, headed for Brazil instead.

It’s true! And let’s read a dollop of press release first.

Today I’m excited to announce that, moving forward, I will be representing Brasil on both the WSL Championship Tour as well as in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is a major decision for me and one that I’m really excited about.

Most folks aren’t aware that my Dad is originally from England and my Mom is originally from Brasil. Brasil where I was born, but I feel truly blessed to have been raised on beautiful Kauai – both the community and the waves played a huge role in shaping who I am as a surfer and as a person. I am very grateful for that.

However, Brasil has always been an important part of who I am and, recently, I was approached by the Brasilian Olympic Committee with an opportunity to represent the country in a major way. It’s always been a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics and when surfing was announced as an official Olympic sport, I knew that my dream had a chance of becoming a reality.

Brasil owns a huge part of my heart. I have family, friends and a terrific amount of support there. It’s a place that has always felt like home and I am beyond proud to represent such an amazing country with so much passion and dedication for our sport. While this change gives me the opportunity to represent Brasil in 2020, all spots have to be earned and I’ll be trying my best to qualify as one of the few surfers able to represent their countries in the Olympics.

I consider myself very fortunate to enjoy fan support from Hawaii, Brasil and around the world. Thank you everyone for understanding, respecting, and supporting my decision.

First Kanoa Igarashi headed to Japan and now this. Before long, the United States will not have any professional surfers left, everyone surfing for their roots. Do you care about this nationalist juggling? Or not? I’m of two minds. I love that, theoretically, racist soccer hooligans can now riot for eugenic pride at surf events but also… I don’t know… country of origin or residence or birth seems like a not important part of the overall professional surf experience.

Tatiana dates Jesse Mendes, anyhow, and he is Brazilian. Do you think this factored into her decision?

If you could surf for any nation on earth which would you choose?

Captain Kelly Slater, inventor of pool, leader of US team featuring John John Florence and Carissa Moore. Standards of pure gold!

Get rich (or poor): Betting opens on Founders Cup!

America and Brazil favourites! Europe no chance!

Earlier today, the betting agency William Hill opened its book on the WSL Founders Cup of Surfing, which kicks over next weekend at the Slater-Fincham Surf Ranch.

I’ve got a real good feeling about the Founders Cup. I have a vague memory of a similar teams event that seemed to thrill all involved back when I was a little kid still affixed to mammy teat (The Swan Surfing Super Series)

Mixing surf stars and nationalism, the new-look pool and a three-hour format over each day, kicks me, as I think it will kick you, right in the obliques.

If you’re in Australia or Vegas or whatever, you might want to make it even more interesting by putting a little skin in the game. The odds, as you’ll soon learn, come with enough bait.

The US and Brazil, who clearly have the best teams, come in at $2.50, Australia at six bucks, the World Team, which is captained by Jordy Smith, at eight and the European team, with Reunion Island’s Johanne Defay as skipper, a distant fifteen-to-one.

Now, who you going to throw your money at?

Y’think the US, with John John and the man who has ridden more waves there than anybody and who knows its every kink (Kelly), can be beat?

Or Brazil, with Filipe and Gabriel?

Or will Australia, with Mick Fanning coming out of retirement especially for the event, bring lustre to the tank?


Captain: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Mick Fanning (AUS)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS)
Tyler Wright (AUS)


Captain: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Silvana Lima (BRA)
Taina Hinckel (BRA)


Captain: Johanne Defay (FRA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Frederico Morais (PRT)
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Frankie Harrer (DEU)


Captain: Kelly Slater (USA)
John John Florence (USA)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Carissa Moore (USA)
Courtney Conlogue (USA)


Captain: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Michel Bourez (PYF)
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Paige Hareb (NZL)
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)

Fame: Who will be breakout WSL star?

The lights are about to get very bright.

Our World Surf League will appear on normal television this Saturday, May 5th for the Founders’ Cup live at Surf Ranch and I have a feeling that one of the World Surf League’s stars is going to breakout and become a household name. Oh not a professional surfer, don’t be silly. They are too busy complaining about sharks and wearing thick sunglasses/baseball hat combinations to get properly famous. No no I’m talking about the WSL’s true value. It’s announcers.

And here we have Ronald Blakey, ’89 World Champ Martin Potter, Pete “Condor” Mel, Strider Wasilewski, Rose Hodge, Jehoshaphat Turpel and someone I’m forgetting. One of them is set for bigger things. One of them is waiting to be discovered.

But who?

Ronald Blakey has all the good looks but 1/18 the charisma of his brother Vaughn. What’s an American supposed to do with a dull Australian? Not a lot and I don’t see Mr. B transcending the dais.

’89 World Champ Martin Potter has got a shot at a cooking show, I think. Like a redone Guy Fieri or that one man who yells “Bam!” after making sauces. Mr. P won’t yell “bam” that’s for sure but he might stutter, “The judges like those finishing moves at the Little Marley section…” Got a ring. No?

Peter Mel could very easily be a sturdy-jaw’d newsman, breaking stories. I see him sharing a desk with Rachel Maddow.

Strider W. is for sure the sleeper hit. Lemoore’s own Country Club Surf Club has already imagined him hosting a daytime television show (above) and I can’t disagree.

Rose Hodge could be big in South Africa and she could be big here too but she needs a little more Charlize and a little less ’89 World Champ in her dance.

J. Turpel would make a nice Scientologist.

So who? If you seriously had to put money on one of Da Crew leaving professional surfing behind to chase a real television career which would you choose?

Don’t you wish Barton Lynch was still here?

“Ahhhhhh loooooook…..”

Record: Brazilian rides biggest wave ever!

Nazaré delivers a gem!

What would our world look like without Nazaré? Without the Portuguese chub breaking so picturesquely in front of a lighthouse? Without G-Mac’s wet dream? Well I’ll tell you. Things would predictably dull and the famous XXL Big Wave Awards would be a laughingstock. Or not a laughingstock, just ignored but today nobody can ignore because of Nazaré. Sweet Nazaré and the world-record breaking wave ridden there this winter.

It was a Brazilian man by the name of Rodrigo Koxa who conquered the first ever 80 foot wave. And can you imagine surfing a wave as tall as the Trump Soho Grand? I didn’t think I could until reading a quote from Mr. Koxa on Surfline.

I had an amazing dream the night before. Where I was talking to myself, ‘You gotta go straight down. You gotta go straight down.’ I didn’t really know what it meant. But I figured somebody was talking to me. When I got my wave, I let go of the rope, I started to use my rail to angle towards the shoulder, but then realized, if I used my rail, I’d never get deep. And then I remembered: ‘go straight down.’ When I said it, I remembered my dream. I turned and I almost fell, but then I got my feet again and went super fast. I’ve never had a big wave like that where I didn’t use the rail at all. Just went straight down. It was amazing.

I hear the same small, still voice when I surf. It whispers “go straight…” “go straight…” “go straight…use neither rail nor fin and go straight all the way.”

Heeding its clarion call, I have been privileged and honored to watch shoulders race on without me. Barrels curling empty toward the horizon. I am now happy to know that someday, maybe soon, I too will go straight into the record books.

surf ranch
Sullen pond or game changer? CBS says latter!

CBS to broadcast Founders Cup Live!

Just like a real sport!

Remember the last time the Eddie ran? The one John John won? Jetskis roaring up the beach, closeout sets that brought the apocalypse etc? If you live in the US, you might’ve watched it live on CBS instead of crouching around your phone or computer.

Two years ago, CBS and the WSL signed a deal where the broadcaster would provide 40 hours of coverage, mostly after-the-fact two-hour episodes although the Eddie was too good to miss.

One day. Thirty foot waves. That’s a sport you can sell to dumb-asses on their synthetic fibre couches, jerking off into their Mac and Cheese boxes between rounds, heats, innings.

In a similar vein, CBS Sports Network will be live broadcasting The Founders Cup, which begins this Saturday, May 5 (early Sunday on the other side of the dateline) and running the entire weekend. CBS’ coverage will begin at 11am with the Sunday coverage to be announced.

Now, whether you thrill to the idea of pools or see ’em as a portent of End Times, the fact the WSL can get a little live coverage happening has less to do with it being in a pool but with a contest that starts and finishes at a fixed time.

As I wrote here, if you want to improve the WSL you gotta hit it hard and hit it fast. Reduce tour numbers. Finish an event in two days, max. The tour, as I do like to say, is a good-looking woman with poor dress sense and a permanent tension in her mouth.

Which makes The Founders Cup historic and not just because it’s being held in the intimidating witchcraft of Slater-Fincham’s man-made perfection. For the first time in surf history, a mainstream broadcaster is gifted a studio, start and finish times, guaranteed waves and a role call of the best surfers in the world.

Now, let’s extrapolate that a little.

What if non-pool contests were one or two-day events at eight-foot Cloudbreak or Teahupoo?

Wouldn’t that be a sport you’d watch?