In memoriam: ESPN recalls Courtney Conlogue!

Nude and in Hawaii!

Yesterday found me bored for a very brief moment and perusing various stories on my phone about Ofglen, Ofwarren, Offred and other happenings throughout Gilead. Things seemed normal, more or less. Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t allowed to eat at a meat n potatoes restaurant. Her father, Michael Huckabee, riffed on gang hand signs and their place in modern political conversation.

The normalcy bored me further and sent me fleeing into the arms of sport, to the warm embrace of ESPN, where I assumed tales of World Cup soccer injuries and faked injuries would keep me entertained.

Boy was I wrong. ESPN had no mention of World Cup soccer. Instead, the entire home page was memorializing Orange County’s own Courtney Conlogue with a bold caption reading:

Remember when Courtney Conlogue posed in 2016?

I did and I don’t remember much these days.

What are your thoughts on ESPN’s Body Issue? Did they effectively steal Sports Illustrated’s thunder or… is it just weird?


Maurice Cole, at right, with Tom Curren, the man he built his famous reverse vee surfboard for, some years ago in France.

Maurice Cole: “Why (the fuck) is Australia’s Olympic Squad Training at Surf Ranch?”

For a contest two years away in a Japanese beachbreak…

Right now, I’m looking at a presser from Surfing Australia. The headline, and it’s a doozy, reads, “Opening Three Days of Surfing Australia’s National Squad Olympic Readiness Training Camp at WSL KS Surf Ranch a Success” 

Impressive, yeah?

Two three-day blocks of exclusive “training sessions” at Surf Ranch. With coaches, shapers, surfers. The whole entourage is over there. And it poses one really fucking big question. Why the fuck is Australia’s Olympic squad training for a contest that’s going to be held in two year’s time in a two-foot Japanese beachbreak at a long, slow wave-pool point?

Think about it.

Who’s paying for all the tickets? The hotels? The rental cars? The pool? What’s the total budget? Every single airfare is a couple of grand from Australia. It makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

The Board locker room at the Surf Ranch during the Surfing Australia Olympic Readiness Camp. Surfers, Ace Buchan, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Ethan Ewing, Connor O'Leary, Wade Carmichael, Stuey Kennedy, Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Keely Andrew, Nikki Van Dijk, Macy Callaghan, Bronte McCaulay. Head Coach Bede Durbridge, Andrew Stark, Kim Crane. Support team, Dave McCaulay, Jason Rodd, Martin Fitzgibbons, Mick Fanning, Darren Handley, Mick Cain, Luke Egan, Nam Baldwin, Chris Prosser, Jason Patchell , Ted Grambeau & the My Surf TV crew, ( Nim & Blainey ). @bededurbo @surfingaus @australian_institute_of_sport @mfanno @stephaniegilmore @sally_fitz @mattwilko8 @stueykennedy @mysurftv @acebuchan @thegreenapple10 @connoroleary @ethan_ewing @nikkivandijk @wadecarmichael @dhdsurf @tedgrambeau @keelyandrew @brontemacaulay @dmacsurfboards @jrsurfboards @kswaveco @jeffbiz1 @kellyslater @owenwright1

A post shared by Mark Richards (@markrichardssurfboards) on

Unless.

Unless. 

It’s a WSL marketing exercise. Are they trying to put pressure on the ISA and IOC to use that pool for the Olympics? Why else would you be training in a pool? It’s the worst training you could do for Chiba. For fuck’s sake, send ’em to Chiba and train over there. It’s a lot cheaper and a lot more relevant to go to Chiba and surf two-to-three-foot beachbreaks and work on their technique there instead of in long lefts and rights.

If you wanted instant improvement, wouldn’t you send the surfers to the American Wave Machines pool in Waco? Kelly’s pool is great, it looks beautiful, photogenic as hell, but I haven’t seen anyone surf there the best they can surf. At Waco, you can see the improvement in a day.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BifhZ2RA_ya/?hl=en

Six weeks ago, or whatever it was, the CEO of Surfing Australia, Andrew Stark announced he was leaving to become the WSL’s general manger for Australia and Oceania. He’ll also be working on “the development of the first WSL High Performance Training Centre in the region, leveraging the Kelly Slater Wave Pool Technology.”

From the same presser, “Andrew started at Surfing Australia in 2009 when the organisation was very small, with 7 staff and less than $1 million turnover. 9 ½ years later under his strong leadership, the organisation is now a thriving business with nearly 28 full time staff turning over $7 million per annum. In July, they are opening the doors to the massively expanded $10 million High Performance Centre at Casuarina Beach.”

I get it. He’s real good at building bureaucracies. (Yeah, I’ve written about that before, too.)

So Australia’s got the finest facilities in the world and the biggest infrastructure. Except we’ve got no fucking surfers coming through the system. Australian competitive surfing is in a lot of trouble right now. It has become so sanitised through Surfing Australia that the really gifted surfers seem to shy away from it. People talk about the Brazilian Storm. It’s not a Storm it’s a fucking Brazilian earthquake.

And you know what comes after an earthquake? A tsunami. What we’re seeing is a tidal wave of Brazilians coming through. Who’s Australia got? Mikey Wright, Jack Robinson, maybe Ethan Ewing. We’re a dribble. There’s no substance.

And that’s what worries some of us older guys, people who’ve been amongst competitive surfing for a long time. It stands out like dogs balls. To see these huge bureaucracies grow, these millions of dollars spent, and no results.

Just fucking more and more motherhood statements and empty theatrics.

Fuck. 


John Moore (left) and Kelly Slater and the look of victory.

Ethically sustainable: Kelly Slater wins you over!

Oh you fickle, fickle people.

Well, well, well you grouchy sod, you crusty skinflint, I hope today finds you in the mood for crow because that is exactly what is being served for breakfast. Piping hot crow. For do you remember when Kelly Slater launched his brand OuterKnown some… what… three years ago? Four years ago? And of course you remember. How could you forget? There you perched in front of your computer, maybe on your phone, watching $50 t-shirts and $35 beanies and $65 button-downs roll off the line and into your life.

“$50 t-shirts and $35 beanies and $65 button-downs?” you shrieked. ” What? Are they spun from 24k gold? From gossamer so pure that the kings and queens of Europe fight for its control?”

Kelly Slater tried to tell you then that the supply chain is broken and the only way to offer you an $11 t-shirt is to follow Rip Curl into North Korea’s famed Surf Industry mines where poor men, women and children scrape their fingers against genetically engineered cotton and neoprene 23 hours a day for seven grains of rice but you didn’t listen and continued to shriek, “$245 for a blazer? Are you friggin’ kidding me? For reals?”

And you let the man know on his Instagram. You let him know in the comments that he was robbing the middle and upper middle classes but Kelly Slater kept his head down, didn’t stop believing, and today his company is a shining example of ethical sustainability. Let us read a message from him now.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkYl8tuA3NX/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share&igshid=ivmtjvy4r32u

We started @outerknown with the highest regard #ForPeopleAndPlanet. From seeds to suppliers to circular design, our mission is to protect natural resources, empower the people crafting our clothes and inspire change within the industry and beyond. Funny enough, doing the right thing at all levels of making clothes takes a lot of patience and is much pricier so I want to thank everyone who has understood what our goals are as a brand and has had patience with our process. Check out our Sun Sale on now through Sunday, June 24th, at outerknown.com (link in bio). 328 styles at up to 60% off normal prices. Hope you all dig it and are having a good summer! 🌞✌🏽🏄🏽‍♂️

And do you know what the comments say underneath? They say, “Thank you, Kelly.” And, “I love your cargo shorts!” And, “It’s my favorite brand to wear!” And, “I’m happy to pay more for organic and free range food and always try to buy from local producers. I understand the costs of production are higher but OK prices are exorbitant even with 60% off it’s not cheap. I believe that real sustainability can only be achieved if the said environment friendly products are accessible to the majority of the population.”

Wait a second. How did that last bastard slip in here? His mouth should be so stuffed with crow by now that his fingers shouldn’t even work.

Bastard.


How sharks used to be repelled in the olden days.

Shark repellant news: “Essence of Dead Shark!”

Welsh inventor says he's cracked the code to fending off sharks. The stink of death!

Who would’ve thought, say, fifteen years ago, that the development of shark repellants would become a boom industry?

Wasn’t the ocean dying? Less fish not more? A desert beneath our toes?

Do you remember the $250 anti-shark leash, a device so magical it prompted one surf website to write: “The streets of Torquay and Jan Juc are abuzz right now. It’s not about a warm wetsuit, or the Sci-Phi or even about stealing Micro Hall as a coach. Instead, surfers are lining up for something much smaller… pros are scrambling to acquire one particular piece of surf tech… The tech? A leash with shark-deterring capabilities.”

Then there was Sharkbanz. The $600 anti-shark tail-pad.

And so on and on.

Of course, they all sucked, at least according to Australian consumer magazine, Choice

But maybe salvation is nigh, in the form of a Welsh cafe owner who admits he knows “nothing about sharks or science” but who has sold his house, his biz and his pension and poured a quarter-of-a-million pounds ($US350,000) into his version of a shark repellant.

From Wired magazine.

“I was really pissed off at the authorities,” Brooker says, speaking about the 2014 protests that erupted across Brisbane and Western Australia when the Western Australia Shark Cull was implemented, and which Brooker witnessed first hand. The policy was to cull sharks of over 3.5 metres, and as the majority of sharks in that area are in excess of four metres, Brooker saw this as a general attack on the entire species. “I thought, ‘’We’re the most intelligent species on the planet, there has to be a better way of resolving this conflict,’” he says.

Hoping that if sharks could be persuaded to leave humans alone, such measures would no longer be necessary, Brooker put his thinking cap on, and he and Simon sold their stakes in their Cardiff properties and sank everything into developing the Podi. The device, which can be attached to a surfboard or worn on the person that slowly, releases a chemical based on the scent of dead shark. This chemical continuously dissolves in water, providing a potent, and potentially life-saving, repellent. With Podi, the Brookers’ aim is to prevent sharks from wrongly being killed, while also preserving reefs and wider marine ecology.’

“Brooker admits that he “knew nothing of sharks, or science” yet he did what anyone would do in his position: he took to Google. A comprehensive trawl of the internet told Brooker that not only were most current shark defence systems expensive, the majority only worked in close-proximity, a range which Brooker believes is too dangerous. Or, as he puts it “Not even a double-barrelled shotgun will stop a white shark when it’s a metre and a half away in attack mode.”

Brooker sought a more logical approach, beginning with the assumption that, like every animal in existence, a shark can be persuaded to flee as an act of self-preservation. The key to encouraging such behaviour was stimulating its most powerful sense. Many sharks can detect their prey at one particle of DNA in 10 billion, while a white shark can smell prey up to 1.8 miles away. Using a shark’s own sense of smell against it, it seemed, was the answer.

“I thought if we can make a smell that it doesn’t like that encourages it to move on, we’d have something. Sharks generally aren’t cannibalistic, so I thought a rotten shark might just scare another shark,” says Brooker.

Long story short. Brooker’s Eau de Fuck Off Sharks is eighteen months from completion.

“We’re risking everything,” says Brooker.

Do you believe? Or he crazy?

Read the story here. 


Victory: Israel smashes Surf City, USA!

And the official death of American Exceptionalism.

These are not proud days for the United States of America. Not proud days at all. We didn’t make it into the World Cup in soccer, the closest American to the Jeep Leaderboard Yellow Jersey is Kolohe Andino in surfing (all the way down there at 12), the most exciting picks in the recent NBA draft are from the Bahamas and Slovenia, jailing babies is the new national pastime and Israel, a nation 300% smaller, just beat our record for “most people ever in a paddle out.”

Fuck.

Reuters tells us:

Hundreds of Israeli surfers in black skull-and-crossbones shirts took to the waves on Friday in what they said was a record-breaking protest against potential environmental damage from off-shore gas development.

Organizers said 992 people, among them athletes and actors, paddled out and held hands to form a circle opposite Herzliya, promoting their demand that a planned gas rig be relocated further from Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

A slogan on their shirts read: “Don’t poison us.”

Israeli authorities say the new platform poses no environment or health threat.

Friday’s event would be submitted to Guinness World Records for recognition, organizers said. Guinness currently lists a 511-person circle of surfers off Huntingdon Beach, California last year as the world-record “surfing paddle-out”.

Damn it. Not only did Israel beat our record they smashed it. Is there anything left for us or is American Exceptionalism dead?

(A video of Israelis celebrating their victory).