Rumor: Kelly Slater to join Senior PGA tour!

The competitive fire can still burn!

Kelly Slater’s announced retirement plans, just weeks ago, sent shockwaves though the entire world. Oh sure avid “Kelly Watchers” realized that, likely, the 11x world champ heard Parko’s announcement then his tongue just started moving all by itself. Before he knew it the spotlight was back his though the price for fixated attention was the specter of retirement after the 2019 season.

Now, avid “Kelly Watchers” know that retirement is something the champ likes to mention from time to time but doesn’t take very seriously. He has been surfing, professionally, for three whole generations and at least seems to need the competition.

But might he get his competitive fix from somewhere else? Florida Today hinted possibly yes in a long piece titled Can Pro Surfing, Brevard Stand to Lose Kelly Slater?

“Brevard” refers to the county Cocoa Beach calls home and Cocoa Beach is only famous for Kelly Slater so it is a very good question. I would imagine that Brevard county will disappear entirely, swallowed up by the swamp, the last remaining residents eaten by crocodiles. Pro surfing will also disappear entirely but for reasons that have to do more with Facebook than Kelly’s disappearance.

Anyhow, Kelly’s new competitive fix. Florida Today reports:

What would his retirement mean for the world tour, and what’s in store for Slater’s future?

After all, he’s modeled on catwalks, been linked to Hollywood celebrities, appeared on a TV series (“Baywatch”), recorded a CD (with “The Surfers”), and even appears in a current popular beer commercial.

His “retirement” portfolio is certainly diversified.

He has produced an eco-friendly fashion label (“Outerknown”), launched a new drink brand (“Purps”), and the Kelly Slater Wave Company has created an artificial wave pool in Lemoore, Calif., (and another one coming next year at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce along the Beeline Highway in northwestern Palm Beach County) that could be the sport’s future.

And there’s always golf, where his 2-handicap and countless rounds from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews could help him qualify for the Senior PGA Tour when he turns 50.

Did you catch that? In four short years Kelly Slater can be playing senior golf professionally. Traveling the world like he once did. Spotlight still flickering. Still fluttering.

And do you like golf? Are you good? I’ve only ever played for laughs but do enjoy that there is much discussion of handicap in the game.

Nathan Florence to Kelly Slater: “I can hold your hand through some barrels old timer.”

Middle Flo bro shows kindness to surfing elder…

There’s never been much notice paid to Nathan, the middle Florence brother. There was the paddle-in at Teahupoo that lifted eyebrows, of course, but, for most, the spotlight remains fixed on his theatrical older brother John John. 

Over the course of a couple of interviews, I have found Nathan to be pleasingly off-centre, whimsical and cheesy, like synth-laden music.

Sample exchange:

Describe your older brother’s personality.

He can be super mature, just ’cause he has to deal with so many interviews and business-like stuff, but then at the same time he’s more immature than me and Ivan… especially when he gets drunk.

What does he do when he’s boozed? 

He looks like a little kid. He looks like a five year old.


“I can tell you the cruellest thing (John John) has ever done to me. When I was 10, he threw a rock at my face and knocked out all my front teeth. He had perfect aim.


“I was actually thinking it would be sick if they chose the president by a Gladiator’s tournament. The guys have to be super smart but super good at warfare fighting stuff, too. Like they have to fight their way to the top. They put ’em through a maze kinda thing straight into a battle thing so that our president would be, like, the gnarliest fighter and the smartest. Then there’s not some guy just giving orders. He could go and destroy if he wanted to.”

Read that interview here. 

Yesterday, Nathan posted a breezy little POV clip surfing behind pal Billy Kemper.

Before long, and as his his wont, Kelly Slater soon got into it.

“I totally trust you to get to barrelled behind me at backdoor this winter a lot,” wrote Kelly.

Nathan replied:

I can hold your hand through some barrels old timer, like walking a grandpa across the road, I got you.”

Oh he’s good. 

And it made me think: well, it’s time I lifted the telephone and called Nathan again.

But what should be asked?

Gimme a dozen questions and I’ll call him tomoz.



Thirteen-year-old surf-skate virtuoso Sabre Norris Wins X Games silver!

Multi-discipline teen shredder takes on and beats (most of) world!

A year-and-a-half ago now, I spent a day with surf-skate prodigy Sabre Norris. It was two days before Christmas and Sabre gifted me the true nature of family.

While my own house of cards was collapsing in a welter of sorrow, the foundations made rotten by poor husbandry, hers was exalting in each others’ complexities.

Sabre, whose surfing is expressive and features a grab bag of tricks, is also a fantastic skateboarder. When she was nine, and before she’d mastered riding a bike without training wheels, Sabre launched a thousand worldwide headlines by riding out of a 540 on the monster ramp in her backyard.

Read and watch that here. 

Yesterday, Sabre won a silver medal in the Women’s Skateboard Street at X Games Minneapolis, home to a fabulous diaspora of Somalis as it happens (diverse!). I know, I know, it’s skate, and we don’t touch skate usually, but this is so beautiful and her happiness is contagious.

Watch Sabre at the X Games, here, and perhaps watch her in Flying Doughnuts, BeachGrit’s profile movie of her and her family below. Scroll a little further and watch Sabre as tiny tot TV superstar on the insanely popular talkshow Ellen.

FLYING DOUGHNUTS – Sabre Norris from Luke Farquhar on Vimeo.


Watch: The teaser for Bustin’ Down the Door II!

Da Hui's revenge!

Do you recall the hit surf documentary Bustin’ Down the Door from over a decade ago? Ooooee how time flies! In case your memory escapes, the film told the story of how Rabbit Bartholomew, Ian Cairns, Mark Richards, Shaun Tomson, Michael Tomson etc. went to the North Shore in the early to mid 1970s. How they pieced together a professional surf tour but also took maybe some liberties both in the water and on land angering locals and spurring the creation of Da Hui.

Much hiding in the bushes and fearing for lives ensued which more or less marks life on the North Shore for the traveling surfer to this day (read here!)

I very much enjoyed the film but Eddie Rothman, co-founder of Da Hui (happy birthday!) did not, once telling me, “Bustin down the door…. there was no fucken door to bust down…” which is certainly a valid point. White, blonde men of northern European decent attempting to conquer a small Pacific island and coming out as heroes in the end is not the most self-aware narrative direction, though I am working on a concept right now titled Breakin’ Through the Glass Ceiling about surf journalists (me, Derek Rielly, Matt Warshaw, Nick Carroll and Scott Hulet) striving for respect amongst our war journalist and political journalist peers.

Anyhow, Bustin’ Down the Door was wonderfully fine and now, over a decade later, we have a scripted sequel. The teaser was dropped yesterday, inexplicably at San Diego’s Comic-Con and features a very strong proto-typical Hawaiian man handing out cracks, slaps and knocks on da head to all manner of interloping villain. From what I can gather, Rabbit Bartholomew has somehow taken over, blonde slicked hair etc. and is holding the locals captive with some dubious claim of ownership. Maybe he secured all the permits for Pipeline contests or something. It is unclear in the teaser but anyhow the very strong proto-typical Hawaiian man an he square off for control of the surfing world.

I would have called the film Busin’ Down the Door II: Da Hui’s Revenge but the director and producers decided to call it Aquaman. In any case, I am excited though also very scared.

Blood Feud: The Coffey Sisters vs. the Coffey Brothers!

Nothing is more precious than a name.

I was just, right now, minding my own business and rolling around the Internet while drinking a beer that claims to be the original pilsner when I stumbled upon mention of the Coffey brothers.

“Coffey brothers?” I thought while staring at my beer and pondering what pilsner means “…what the hell is that? Did the Coffey sisters… transition?”

Three clicks later and there I was at the Santa Cruz Sentinel which informed me:

Santa Cruz’s Ben and Sam Coffey each rolled into the fourth round following the first day of the Hurley Surf Open Acapulco – a World Surf League Men’s Qualifying Series 1,000 event — at Playa Revolcadero in Mexico on Friday.

In fact, Sam Coffey delivered the highest single-wave score of the day – an 8.60 — in the waning seconds to leap from third to first in his Round 3 heat. Competing in two- to four-foot conditions, Sam finished with a two-wave score of 13.77 and beat American Skip McCullough (12.24), Brazil’s Tales Araujo (11.10) and Mexico’s Tehuen Petroni (5.10).

With performance like that the Coffey name, long held by four Australian sisters, feels like it is up for grabs.

It feels like a blood feud.

Are you Team Boy Coffey or Team Girl Coffey?