Jae "Mullet" Waters, Cooper Allen and Thomas Harper.

“Kid with mullet” and pal get bravery award for dragging mutal buddy from jaws of Great White!

"My reaction was to try and get our friend out."

Two Ballina teenagers have been feted by the Queen’s rep in Australia and awarded bravery medals for intervening in a Great White attack on a mutual pal two years ago.

Jae Waters and Thomas Harper were fourteen and sixteen when they saw a Great White hit Cooper Allen, seventeen, at Lighthouse Beach.

“I was pretty close to him, probably ten metres away. We were just cruising,” Jae, left in the main photo, who became known around Ballina as “the kid with the mullet”, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I thought he was messing around, like jumping off his board.  Then I saw a bit more commotion and splashing around behind him. I saw the shark’s head behind Cooper at the start, then it swam between us. I didn’t look back but Tom did and said he saw the shark following us.”

(Read here.)

This is how your favourite shark bounty hunter Fred Pawle reported the attack at the time: 

As he lay on the sand surveying deep gashes to his leg after being attacked by a “massive” shark, 17-year-old Cooper Allen this morning made one heartfelt request: Don’t tell mum.

Cooper’s “Ballina hickey.”  Photo: Amanda Abate/Channel 7/TwitterSource:Twitter

“He said, ‘you can call my dad, but don’t tell mum yet’,” said local surfer Dan Webber, who was in the water 5m away when the attack happened at Ballina, NSW and raised the alarm.

Mr Webber said Cooper, who lives across the road from the beach at North Wall and is one of the most regular teenagers in the water, was extremely lucky, and is likely to make a full recovery. He added that Cooper is an HSC student at one of the local schools.

“I’m no doctor, but I think he’s going to be fine,” Mr Webber said, still shaking from the experience.

There were four “huge” gashes in his leg about 5cm apart. “So the shark was a massive f**king thing,” he said.

Mr Webber was on his way out to join Cooper and his two mates when the attack happened. He was wading in waist-deep water when he saw a dark object in the water. What unfolded then was similar to what famously happened to pro surfer Mick Fanning last year, he said.

“His two mates swam up to him, and I joined them,” he said. “He’s just swimming backwards away from it. I think it (the shark) was tangled up in his legrope. I saw the dorsal and the tail fin thrashing around.

“He’s looked at me and said, ‘get someone to call an ambulance’. He was so calm and in control.”

Mr Webber screamed at two surf lifesavers who were erecting flags on the beach. He was surprised that the response was not urgent.

“Everyone was just standing around. It was like a whole minute of me screaming. But I was screaming for an ambulance. I should have screamed shark.”


Curses: Real life Satanist to play Surf Ranch!

And you thought they all disappeared in jr. high!

Now that Tahiti is done (how exciting is the race ‘tween Filipe and Gabe?) we can turn our full attention to Lemoore, California and the wonders of Surf Ranch.

Tell me true, have you purchased a ticket yet?

Did the announcement that blink-182 will play Saturday night sway you?

Are you a Satanist?

But do you recall Satanism? I mostly do from my elementary school days when the angry boy sitting next to me drew upside-down stars on his Pee-Chee and my friend Jon Ross got Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry for his birthday. Rumors and research (asking another friend’s older brother who liked Dyno bicycles) revealed that the upside-down star was actually called a “pentagram” and was the symbol of Satan himself.

Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry featured lead singer Dee Snider likely eating a virgin’s thigh and singing songs about burning in hell.

Oooee it was a scary time to be alive. Nightmares of evil Satanists taking over the world terrorized my young mind. Satan sending his legions messages via Led Zeppelin songs played backwards. Sacrificed neighborhood cats. Etc.

When I was a bit older, I actually read The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, founder of The Church of Satan, and was brutally underwhelmed.

LaVey, who very much looked the part with his bald head and pointy goatee (pictured above), had basically just taken the real Bible and written the opposite. Hate your neighbor, don’t turn the other cheek, etc. Very uninspired and I wondered who could ever take such pulp seriously.

Apparently blink-182’s new guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba. He is a real life, modern Satanist, can you even believe, and let us read his own words on Alternative Nation, shall we?

I love the art and the fashion and the aesthetic of the Church Of Satan. That’s what always drew me to it. I have a lot of books about black magic and demonology, and I err on the side of that being real, but I wasn’t putting curses on people. And there was a time when I would say I was a Satanist. Me and Derek bought each other Church of Satan membership cards for Christmas because we didn’t want to pay the $300 or whatever it was to join, so that kind of shows you how loyal a member I am. For me, it was all aesthetics, and my interests were solely on the black arts. Then a friend of mine gave me a book that I have on my coffee table to this day. She introduced more of what a witch would call white magic – or, as I’ll put it, positivity, kindness, beauty.

You also keep revenge and all the seven deadly sins in your pocket because they’re good to have, but you need balance. Before that good juju came into my life, there were a lot of kids who really loved it, but somebody said to me recently, ‘Your band probably would have been a lot bigger had you not had the satanic imagery,’ and my answer to that was, ‘Good!’ I feel people made a bigger deal of it than it actually is. I’m still a fan of black magic, but I’ve also learned such a lot in the last 20 years that that little black-magic kid seems like a different person to me now. I mean, I have crystals at my house that I meditate with. I’m such a fucking hippy. But it works for me and if you were me you’d do it, too. You’d try fucking anything.


Do you think Surf Ranch will produce limited edition merchandise feat. pentagrams? Are there already Satanic symbols marking the property? Are the neighborhood cats safe?

I’ll get to the bottom of this, don’t you worry. Don’t you even lose one night of sleep.

Matt Skiba pictured making a Satanic face.
Matt Skiba pictured making a Satanic face.

Oh and P.S. you’re welcome for this other little bit of Satanism.

Soul: Kelly Slater’s Mom Fast Pals with Aretha Franklin (RIP etc)!

"When she came down to sing we'd hang out," says Judy Slater.

Real sad the Big Mama of soul Aretha Franklin died three days ago. Oowee, the way she threw her head back in the throes of some mysterious climax; the electricity she poured through our spines.

Ain’t surprising she dead, though.

Can’t weigh two hundred and figgits pounds your whole adult life and think nothing bad’s gonna happen.

Now, a Florida newspaper has revealed that Kelly Slater’s mother, Judy, was pals with Aretha back in the sixties when the Queen of Soul was hitting dive bars all along the east coast.

Barefooted and underage, Judy Slater would find a nice, quiet seat inside the Vanguard bar in Cocoa Beach back in the mid-’60s, rubbing elbows with astronauts and surfers, to see a young Aretha Franklin belt out a few melodies each night.

“It was a crummy little bar, but everyone went there,” Slater said Thursday, just hours after the legendary singer passed away at her home in Detroit at the age of 76, reportedly from pancreatic cancer.

Who knew “The Queen of Soul” had close ties to the mom of Kelly Slater, “The King of Surfing?”

Judy Slater (now Judy Slater Lane) had just moved to the area in 1966 from Bethesda, Maryland, rooming with three others in a townhouse. The Vanguard bar, located at the end of SR 520, often played rock ‘n roll, but owner Nort Kurlan also saw something special in the melodic lyrics of a budding superstar who spent vacations in the Cocoa Beach area.

“She was just my friend,” Slater said. “When she came down, we’d hang out, and we became friends with the owners, Nort and Laura. We even spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at their house. She (Aretha) and I really didn’t have any place to go.”

In 1968, Slater was seven months pregnant with her first son, Sean, who also became a world-class surfer. 

“We were up in that area (of Maryland) and saw where she was performing at Constitution Hall in Washington,” Slater said. “Well, we got tickets, sat in the fourth row and it was so loud. I really thought I’d never see her again (because of being so famous). But she was great.”

When news came Thursday of her death, Slater was saddened.

“I felt bad, but she had quite a life and I really admired her,” said Slater, who loved the song “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” the most. 

“When I knew her, she was just a young girl who had a dream,” Slater said, “and she went for it. I’ll never forget her.”

Read the remnants of the story here! 

“I’m Losing it!” Former Pro Surfer-Comic Turns Chart-topping Dance Music DJ!

Oh he just…sends it!

The last time the Gold Coast pro surfer Paul Fisher called me was five or six years ago. It was eight pm and I was about to sit down to a delicious dinner with my (then) wife and (still) two sons. It was a Skype call from America, three in the morning or thereabouts in LA, which gave it some importance.

I removed my bib, drained my pitcher of department store red wine. (Family man.)

Was Fisher in trouble? Did my little pal require serious counsel?

As the pixels settled down to a clear picture, Fisher appeared and ordered a girl to “Show Derek ya tits! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

And so on.

Recently, Fisher, who used to perform in a DJ duo called Cut Snake with the former pro Leigh Sedley, released the track Losing It which has been wowing crowds at music festivals around the world.

From the website EDM Sauce.

“Losing It” has been one of the most played ID‘s in DJ sets all summer. From tech house DJ’s to Hardwell last week at the main stage of Ultra Europe, “Losing It” has fans losing it all over the world. With distinct tech house sounds as well as a super groovy house drop, “Losing It” is a track that’ll be in my rotation for a LONG time.


From Australia’s national youth broadcaster Triple J:

FISHER has dropped a banger that house music heads have been frothing for since its live debut last year. Despite only being released today, ‘Losing It’ has already amassed over 13,000 hits on Shazam and millions of views online. That’s largely thanks to DJs spinning rips in their sets from video of FISHER playing playing the track live in one of his two Coachella 2017 sets.


Following on from ‘Crowd Control‘ (Best New Music in April), ‘Ya Kidding‘ and ‘Stop It‘, ‘Losing It’ lays down a throbbing bass-aided beat that’s sure to bring blisters to your feet, whether in your loungeroom, at the club, or alongside thousands of fellow fans when he tour as part of Listen Out festival.

Dance music fans on Reddit thrilled to his live sets at Coachella.

HE SENDS IT WITH A HANDFLICK!!! Never have I seen such a bold nonchalant dj maneuver.

holy fuck what an ID. This dude is far and away my #1 DJ I want to see live this year.

Just saw him in Brooklyn this past weekend at Schmanzki. It’s quite possibly the worst venue in NY. Easily the worst ive been to, so heads up to anyone else. Despite the venue, he was hands down one of the most fun sets i’ve been to and i’m not even a huge house fan. Dude’s energy is infectious.

Watch here!

(And, here, surfing Shippies with Ryan Hipwood and Mark Mathews.)


The remarkable Gabriel Medina wins the Tahiti Pro, peacocking a set for a win in the last thirty seconds of the final. Gabriel is now second in the world, just behind Filipe Toledo. | Photo: WSL

Gabriel Medina wins Tahiti Pro: “In the age of the rise of machines the sheer beauty of Tahiti needs defending!”

Your writer gripped from start to finish on final's day!

Sometimes it feels like being in a minority of one to admit to loving and being gripped from start to finish by small Teahupoo. But that’s the fucking truth, your Honour.

The heat-turning drama, the capriciousness of thousands of miles of empty South Pacific ocean, unforseen and unforseeable until seconds before impact. The sheer beauty. And it does, in the age of the rise of the machines, need defending.

The Tahitian program, as Filipe described it. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s the kindest program on Earth.

Toledo, with his semi-final finish, maintains a 6000-point margin to event winner Gabriel Medina, who leapfrogs a struggling Julian Wilson. Filipe’s razor-sharp whips on a quad that looked to be the best board in the competition was more than enough to account for for February in quarter one, despite judges engineering phoney drama by stripping Toledo of priority with three minutes to go by inspecting a wide set wave.

Owen Wright’s jedi tube skills came to the fore in quarter two with a deeply threaded foamball ride under Wade Carmichael’s nose. Positioning at Teahupoo, from three-foot to ten-foot is a question of inches. The most frightening sight I’ve ever seen in surfing is looking over my shoulder into the gaping techni-coloured maw of a Teahupoo ten-footer with Owen Wright throwing himself over the ledge.

Did you know Italo had a four-blot winning record against Medina?

Italo plays the opening stanza submissive, pacifying Medina. A pacified Medina is a confused Medina. He defines himself in conflict. Italo opens with a confused west bowl ride, flubbing the tube and turning a six into a three. From there, Medina is perfect. There is a premium attached to mastery of Teahupoo, even when small and judges have to pay attention. The ocean goes quiet and remedial action is denied to Ferreira.

Grumpiness, indignation even outrage are fashionable. I count myself one of the worst offenders.

Allowing for that an honest accounting of what is on display is appropriate, even necessary. The broadcast is stunning: camera angles, replays, even Barton’s commentary. Seamless, as miraculous as modern dentistry, minus the price tag. I’ve always counted myself one who would never pay but watching Medina I found myself recanting. I think I would pay… for a stripped down Tour in Grand Slam locations.

The alternative: the great dumbing down in search of a mass audience is too easy a dead horse to lay the boot into.

J-Flo simply waits and surfs perfectly the few set waves that come in his QF against Kolohe. Easy win.

Owen has a long elbow pinned to the face of Filipe with twenty minutes to go in their semi-final. At the eighteen-minute mark Filipe tries to break free with a brace of rides. In five minutes he rides four waves, a clutch of fours, then a five. The heat drips down and despite Toledo’s valiant chipping away he can’t bridge the divide. A semi-final finish at small Chopes won’t silence the critics but it will be critical in World Title calculations.

Medina’s perfection continues against Flores in semi-final two. This time under priority, which had, up till now, been reliable bodyguard for winning leads. Two waves, two clean air makes and a repertoire of sizzling turns ridden into the board width crack in dry reef. On an oily calm morning in Tahiti the sound of hoots and the whirring clicks of camera motor drives drives Flores into distraction. The veneer of patience is shattered. His best wave is underscored by a point and a younger Flores would have shown a more vigorous displeasure with the injustice. Maybe he has learnt that judges hold grudges too. In the end it mattered not. Medina was through.

The Tahitian program. I stay with Ginette and Papa. Ginette has kindly eyes, so does Papa. He’s a mariner, an engineer of sorts responsible for the channel markers and navigation buoys. In the afternoon, I buy the Hinano tallies from the supermarche. Papa sits on the concrete floor and grates the coconut flesh and squeezes the fresh milk for the poisson cru. He speaks no English. I speak little French, a smattering of pidgin Tahitian. We communicate with silence, smiling eyes. Hand gestures.

Ginette is disapproving of me because I have become willing hostage to the day drunks down by the boat harbour. We share warm beer from a canvas sack in the morning sun. Smoke joints. In the afternoon there is the long paddle out to No Pass in front of Ginette and Papa’s house. Their teenaged daughter is there when I come home to get my board.

“I come,” she says.

I point to the board, then out to sea. She nods.

It’s a very long paddle. Miles. It’s late afternoon when we get out there. Soon, it is apparent the teenage girl can’t surf. She sits in the channel. I ride waves.

The last boat leaves and I am gesturing to her to paddle in. She sits, immobile. The tide is running out, the tradewind blowing with it. It takes all my effort to drag her back against wind and tide through the pass.

The sun sets and it grows dark. She cannot, will not, paddle. I tow her in. There is no panic from her. Just silence and immobility. It’s taking too long. The shore stubbornly refuses to come closer. Like Gabe Medina prays to God for a set wave I am praying that I can get Ginette and Papa’s daughter back to shore.

Is anyone looking for us?

Then a small boat with a torch shining crazily across the lagoon. I yell and the boat comes closer. They drag her into the boat. And speed off. I paddle the rest of the way in the dark and sneak home.

When I get back the poisson cru is on the table and the Tahitian soap operas are on the television. Not a word is said. Then or ever.

And Ginette still messages me every year: “Steve, are you coming to Teahupoo?”

Owen out-muscles Medina for the opening wave of the Final. A well ridden fluffy tube. The wind is puffing up. Which paradoxically makes the judges decide to penalise Medina’s air game they had so richly rewarded in the semis. His 6.17 seems ridiculously underscored to my eyes. Past the half-way mark and Owen staggers his way through a messy tube ride like a drunk walking home from a Surfers paradise night club. The score puts him ahead.

Now Medina is rattled. Attempts to manufacture the score fail. And fail again. The Final seems done and dusted.

Owen takes a mid-sized set apart which looks like the victory lap. Behind it the wave of the Final appears like an apparition. Charlie Medina goes apeshit in the channel as Gabe stands in the shade of the only perfect tube of the Final. It is enough.

Tahiti is always enough.

But will it be enough to withstand the gaze of non surfing suits looking at “commercial considerations”.

Tahiti Pro Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07

Tahiti Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.10

Tahiti Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43 def. Michael February (ZAF) 8.60
QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.57
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.57. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.74

WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Tahiti Pro):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 41,985 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,685 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 32,380 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,160 pts
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 25,550 pts