Do you remember ten years ago when Jordan Michael Smith turned down a five million dollar contract with Nike to ride for O'Neill because it was a "traditional surfing company"? And even after a personal intervention by Tiger Woods on Nike's behalf?

Watch: Jordy Smith in “A Catnip Dream!”

An examination of the South African's fire and brimstone…

Last night, O’Neill, the primary sponsor of the world number twenty, Jordy Smith, loosed a four-minute edit of their prize surfer.

Now, tell me, what’s wrong with that last sentence? The combination of “world number twenty” and “Jordy Smith”, wouldn’t y’say? Jordy Smith, who is thirty years old, has only sputtered in these opening two-and-a-quarter events and now languishes in the ratings’ stern.

This edit (as they say) demonstrates the misleadingness of competition ratings for, here, Jordy reveals his otherworldly ability to lace endless combos around the Bells and Margaret River events. It is a short mostly free of quirky lifestyle shots and serves, instead, as an examination of the fire-and-brimstone the South African is capable of.

Yes, much is at stake for Jordy career wise in the back two-thirds of the tour.

But I like to think that his bad start to the year is less a squandering of talent and more a failure to unwrap. 


Thanks SharkBanz!
Thanks SharkBanz!

Repelled: SharkBanz is back!

Magnetic device apparently recovers from 2017 attack!

Do you remember two Januaries ago when brave Florida teen Zack Davis paddled out at his home break wearing a a brand-new SharkBanz shark repellent bracelet and was subsequently bit by a shark? The most mortifying thing ever, if you happen to own and/or invest in SharkBanz. The owner and/or investor quickly took to the news and put the blame squarely on young Mr. Davis’ sore shoulders.

“What happened here is essentially the rarest of shark encounters where Zack jumped off his board and pretty much landed on the shark,” (founder Nathan) Garrison said, of Zack’s rare attack wearing the device, “if anything it probably helped clear the shark out of the area quicker.”

Mmmm. Totally probably.

Well, an investigation into the incident was promised though I don’t ever recall seeing it. In fact, I thought SharkBanz disappeared entirely, going the way of PowerBalance but I was wrong. A press release informed me today that SharkBanz is not only not gone but co-sponsoring the Eastern Surfing Association’s girls and boys under 14.

Sharkbanz (Mano LLC), the affordable, wearable shark deterrent is excited to announce their sponsorship of the largest amateur surfing association in the world, the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA). Sharkbanz joins notable surf brands Rip Curl, OluKai and Stick Bumps in supporting the grassroots surf community and competitions.

“We want to enable all people who love the ocean, but especially young surfers because they spend so much time in the water.” Commented Tim Nelson, Brand Manager, Sharkbanz. “Our products were created by surfers and divers so they could focus on their efforts, not their fears.”

Mmmm. Yeah.

The ESA regionals appear to take place near Melbourne Beach, Florida.

I still can’t believe a boy was attacked while wearing a SharkBanz and the company survived.

We live in remarkable times.

Now please enjoy some video from this year’s Eastern Surfing Association regionals.

Shock: Kelly Slater “Not Planning” To Surf Rio!

Founders Cup, yes, Brazil and maybe Bali, no!

Last Friday, the WSL posted a very good story called Brazil’s Rich Surfing History Continues at the Oi Rio Pro.

The contest, which begins in one week, and shortly after the Founders Cup at Surf Ranch this weekend, is an event steeped in history and wrapped in notable historical monuments (churches and so forth) as well as a fabulous bucolic charm.

A slice:

The Church of Our Lady of Nazareth was built in 1630 and the surfers in the competition, when not paddling for priority, can take in the church’s incredible architecture and history from the water. The last 400 years, miraculously, haven’t seen much change.

Mick Fanning won his first title there in 2007; Kelly his seventh in 2005.

Brazil got history etc. Read here. 

But that ain’t enough to drag Kelly Slater there after the Founders Cup, where he’ll captain equal contest favourites USA (the other frontrunner is Brazil).

For the third year running, Kelly will be calling in sick for the Oi Rio Pro, an event he has missed four times out of the last seven years. In 2015, Kelly said the water, which scientists said was the equivalent of raw sewage, had made him sick and the following year was the epoch of the Zika virus. Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson and Kai Otton also tapped outta that one.

In a brief exchange on our telephones this morning, Kelly wrote he wasn’t “planning to” surf in Brazil and “might not surf til the J-Bay event. Not sure yet.”

Is it a pool thing? Is the tank light on a busted foot?

Kelly wrote it’s “somewhat” easier on his foot and that he’s not in pain and is only experiencing a “slight discomfort.”

When I asked whether or not he was worried of punitive action by the governing body of pro surfing if he surfs The Cup but not Rio, he politely tapped out with, “Sorry, not gonna jump into this clickbait. Hasn’t Jamie O humped a turtle today or anything?”

The WSL’s vice-president of strategic media announcements, Mr Dave Prodan, was contacted for comment. At the time of publishing, there was no response to a request for a description of the terrible punishment he must now prescribe for the former champion.

Mainstream: Pro surfing no longer ours!

Our small island has been invaded.

For so many years professional surfing has been our secret garden. A place only we knew existed. We could slip into its WSL app after work or sometimes even during work and be amongst 379 other likeminded souls. There we would sit, comforted by the velvety tones of Joe Turpel and insights into what it takes to be ’89 world champ. We would watch Jeremy Flores wiggle for an extra .3 or Adriano de Souza pump his fist and feel… ok. It was ok to watch because 378 other likeminded souls were watching too.

Our own private Idaho.

But no longer.

First the WSL did a deal with Facebook and we nervously laughed, then the WSL did a deal with CBS and we looked around confused. Now the WSL is doing a deal with Turner Broadcasting and Bleacher Sports and are you still here to even read the press release?

Bleacher Report Live – Turner Sports’ new premium sports streaming platform – has reached a wide-ranging partnership with World Surf League (WSL) to distribute live coverage of elite surfing competitions, while becoming the official destination for championship-caliber video on demand content, replays and highlights for the league. As part of the agreement, beginning this season, Turner Ignite Sports will also partner with WSL to sell sponsorship opportunities.

The new partnership – showcasing the world’s best professional surfing events – will begin with the inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, May 5-6. B/R Live will offer 12 hours of live Founders’ Cup coverage at the WSL Surf Ranch, in which five teams representing USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and a World Team will compete over the two-day specialty event held in Lemoore, Calif.

“World Surf League has an established community of very passionate fans and B/R Live will serve as a destination for those seeking direct access to these exciting competitions that showcase the best surfers in the world,” said Hania Poole, Vice President and General Manager, B/R Live. “From live event competitions to on-demand content and a deep collection of video highlights, we’re looking forward to creating the best experience for fans to discover this premium content on B/R Live.”

“It’s an exciting time for surfing and the World Surf League as the sport’s popularity and interest continues to grow,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL Chief Executive Officer. “Our new B/R Live partnership is evidence of this and we are thrilled to offer sports fans another way to enjoy incredible WSL surfing action live and on demand.”

WSL joins the growing portfolio of live sports events that will be available directly through B/R Live including UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, NBA League Pass games, 65 NCAA Championships, PGA Championship, National Lacrosse League, The Spring League, World Arm Wrestling League and more. B/R Live is currently available on iOS, Android and the Web.

Now I know how the gays felt when their bars turned into trendy drinking holes for open-minded social explorers.

We should make a secret handshake so we know who’s who. Right?

Weep: The forgotten original wave tank!

The pioneers left unloved on the sideline. But wait!

With all eyes turned toward Lemoore, California for this weekend’s Founders’ Cup let us take a few moments and weep for the wave pools that came before and did not capture CNN’s imagination. Let us think about that one pool in Dubai that produces two foot waves but doesn’t allow surfboards. Let us also remember Big Surf in Tempe, Arizona where Rick Kane won a drawing set plus a trip to Oahu’s North Shore.

They are all dead. Done. Washed up. Over. Financially bereft.



Big Surf in Tempe is hosting some fantastic concert series and let’s read about it real quick.

‘Tis the season for pool parties, outdoor music festivals, and events put on by local radio stations. And for events like ALT AZ 93.3’s first-ever Band Splash, which takes place this weekend at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe.

The outdoor concert event, which is being put on by the local radio station on Sunday, April 29, will feature eight hours of live performances by a mix of indie and alternative bands, including Dreamers, The Unlikely Candidates, and Robert DeLong.

According to Alt AZ morning show host Mo Rodriguez, Band Splash came about because the station’s staff wanted to do “something unique and cool.”

“We were trying to do something different where it wasn’t just about seeing bands at a concert,” she says. “It was also about the experience of having fun with your friends and other things to do in between checking out bands.”

Son of a bitch. Are these bastards drafting off of Surf Ranch popularity? Is the pool made for the masses actually still valuable?


Who’s playing Founders’ Cup?