Broadcast wars: Stab High crushes WSL viewership numbers!

Live surf viewing is a growth industry!

The just wrapped Stab High was a wonderful event, something I was very happy to watch live across the vodka-cocos from David Lee Scales, and comment upon. It was the first vision of broadcast professional surfing we have seen since the Association of Surfing Professionals transgendered into the World Surf League and I was hungry, starving for a new, different interpretation.

Oh it was fun and of course just an airshow and in a pool but different and new. We all wag our tongues at what we are given for free by the WSL. We all wag our tongues and complain about blah blah blah and blah blah blah and sour grapes and Joe Turpel’s vacuousness because we are bastards. And bitches. All of us are bastards and bitches.

But how would different look? How would new look?

How many people spend either $9.99 (pre-book) or $14:99 (day of) to watch an airshow in a pool?

I enjoyed every second until the Acid Drop bit, though I did have a few heartfelt critiques, but overall was over the moon because it was different and new and hoped that hundreds, maybe even a few thousand, were enjoying with me. Hundreds maybe even a few thousand seeing a different, new interpretation of professional surfing.

Well guess what?

The numbers Stab is telling brands absolutely dwarfs anything the World Surf League has ever done aside from Mick Fanning getting bumped by a Great White Shark in South Africa.

20,000 purchases.

20,000 people logging on at either $9.99 or $14.99 starving, hungry for professional surfing.

Oh the number absolutely crushes anything the World Surf League has ever done (aside from Mick Fanning + Great White Shark) and we have Facebook to thank for that or at least Facebook to thank for some visibility here.

Of course we are talking concurrent viewers here but still, the WSL has never seen that windfall and especially not for people willing to part with money. An incredible number an amazing number and it gives me hope that our future is bright. That surf websites can harness an appetite for humor-filled good times and earn near $200,000 or $300,000 in pay-per-view revenues alone.

We’ve all made fun of the World Surf League’s response to lower than awesome numbers enough. The league’s “these-are-regional-representations” etc.

Let’s just all be transparent. Let’s just all let the freak flag fly.

Why not? We live in a beautiful world where plucky media properties can dance with billionaires.

We live in paradise.


Buy: Julian Wilson’s Astonishingly Gorgeous Beachfront Hacienda!

Swing by 31 Pelican St, Peregian Beach…

Sometimes I feel like I’m doing alright. I got my health (apart from degenerative arthritis), a newish surfboard (busted nose), a rental loft near the beach (but for how long), a few kids who don’t hate me (yet) and a bowl full of bananas on my desk (unripe).

Money came and then it went, as did love, but the sun doth shine and the rain doth glow.

Rarely do I feel envy. Until now.

Julian Wilson’s Sunshine Beach house, which is currently for sale, is the sort of wood-and-concrete build that fills me with that old architecture of happiness. Of course, any words I might construct can be no match for the real estate copywriter.

Let’s open her up.

Designed by renowned Noosa architect Tim Ditchfield, this stunning oceanside home is a master class in coastal luxe. From the external zinc cladding to the beautiful mix of concrete and timber, it’s clear to see why this is an award-winning home and a beautiful example of contemporary design.

Sleek yet sophisticated, it was no surprise number 31 Pelican Street was awarded House of the Year and received a Regional Commendation in 2009 by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).

Set on an elevated site, fresh ocean breezes and an abundance of natural light fill the home, while banks of louver windows and stacking doors allow you to feel as though you live on top of the world.

Inside, timber floors, walls of glass and a crisp white colour palette feature throughout the split-level floorplan. Soaring ceilings up to three-levels high and wide hallways enhance the sense of space.

The star of the home is the open-plan living space where a wall of glass completely retracts to perfectly frame the breathtaking views. You will want to step outside onto the sunny poolside terrace and take in that exceptional panoramic vista. A built-in BBQ, infinity-edge pool and spa are ready to entertain friends and family.

There are four bedrooms, including a guest suite and the magnificent master suite. Retreat at the end of the day to the luxe suite with a walk-in robe, opulent ensuite and its own private terrace with awe-inspiring ocean views.

There is a home office with built-in polished concrete benchtops, which also feature in the kitchen, laundry, bathrooms and hallway seating. A media room comes with surround sound and a big screen TV, while the kitchen boasts soft-close two-pac cabinetry, a butler’s pantry and suite of quality Gaggenau appliances.

Low-maintenance materials such as timber boards and off-form concrete were chosen to adorn the exterior to ensure longevity as well as a raw aesthetic that helps this home blend into the surrounding environment.

Offers invited. 

(I’ll be sitting on my hands on this one. A little short this month.)


Do you remember when John C Reilly and Kelly Slater honoured each other with silly face swaps?

Wow: Philanthropist pays $US600,000 for two hours at Surf Ranch and Private Lesson with Kelly Slater!

Travel and accommodation not included.

A few days ago, his serene highness Prince Albert II held the second annual Monte Carlo Gala for the Ocean. The ball holds out its collection tray “in order to support its worldwide initiatives in favor of a sustainable ocean, a crucial issue calling for immediate and collective action.”

Juicy meats are served and there’s a sprinkling of zingy stars.

And to raise cash, various celebrities offer “experiences”, as we call them now. These included “a magical afternoon of riding horses through the forest and the beach along the Atlantic Ocean with Madonna”, a customised electric powerboat, diamond watches, a Jeff Koon sculpture, vacations on mega-yachts and, you’ll like this, two hour-long sessions with Kelly Slater at Surf Ranch.

“Test the latest wave profiles that Slater and his team have developed, plus spend the day with other surfers from around the world. Your day at Surf Ranch includes: light breakfast, lunch, and dinner, additional activities including skate bowl, SUP, wakesurfing and more, video footage of all waves of the day, in water photographer capturing great moments. Travel and accommodation is not included.

The auctioneer didn’t fuck around.

The starting bid for Kelly’s pool time was €100,000. Fifteen seconds later it was sold, after one single bid, for €500,000 or almost 600k US.

Madonna, if you were wondering, hit 400k.


Bon voyage: The great Backward Fin Beth leaves the World Surf League!

The WSL's famous Chief Commercial Officer steps down!

It has been confirmed that the World Surf League’s Chief Commercial Officer, Beth Greve, will be leaving her position in a few weeks and also leaving the World Surf League. My refurbished phone started buzzing furiously last night and I thought it was because of its refurbishment. I was forced onto the ugly Wheel of Suffering due the fact that I washed my other phone in the washing machine while doing a load of whites and had no option.

The refurbished phone arrived yesterday, I spent the requisite 8 hours setting it up and then it started buzzing furiously. At first I blamed Apple then I blamed China then I blamed T-Mobile then I actually looked and saw messages were responsible for the buzzing.

Messages that whispered, “Backward Fin Beth is gone.”

“She’s gone.”

And now it has been confirmed.

She’s gone with no immediate answers as to where or why.

I didn’t want to believe it. We had just begun dancing and I knew, just knew, once we met again and chatted that there would be so many laughs. Surfing is funny, it’s hilarious, and Beth would get it. She would understand that what surfers do when they’re not surfing is make fun of things. Making fun is as essential to the surfing life as wax, as trunks, as removable fin systems.

But now she’s gone and this story arc will be truncated. Cut off nowhere near completion. Left on the scrap heap along with the story arc where I laugh with Paul Speaker.

I don’t know where Beth is going but hope she has an exciting opportunity lined up. I hope she remembers her time in professional surfing fondly. I hope she is proud.

She starred on a billboard and that is a greater accomplishment than I have ever achieved. She made us smile and that is something I strive for every day.

Bon voyage, Beth. May the wind always be at your backward and the sun upon your face.


Invest: Global surfing equipment market set for “sound growth!”

Up, up and away!

And the good news just keeps coming. Coming and coming and coming. Because you remember how we, and by “we” I mean the surf industry, was trapped in a 20-year apocalypse right? How no matter how bullish the economy was surf just kept sinking and sinking and sinking. Companies floundered, went belly-up, declared bankruptcy etc.

A brutal bloodletting. A reign of terror seemingly without end.

But then cracks appeared in the darkness. Small rays of light. ActionWatch reported that the Wheel of Fortuna might turn right. But was it just a tease? Something to draw our heads out of our shells exposing our necks for the final blow?

Apparently not. For today investors are being encouraged to put their money into surfing and not just any part of surfing but the global surfing equipment market!

Global surfing equipment market has been anticipated to showcase a sound growth at a CAGR of close to 6% during the forecast period (2017-2022E). Growth during this period is expected to be supported by the rising popularity of surfing as a recreational and profession activity, increase in the number of surfing championships and tournaments, increase in demand from Millennial, increased awareness regarding fitness benefits of surfing, expanding geographical presence of major manufacturers, intensifying distribution channels, expansion of online retailing, new product launches, government initiative to promote the usage of protective surfing equipments and others.

Fantastic! But where is this growth centered?

The global surfing equipment market was dominated by Americas in the year 2017. The region occupies the largest share owing to the presence of well-established water sports/surfing infrastructure and large number of surfing enthusiasts. In the recent years, surfing has been adopted as a recreational activity along with being taken-up professionally. Europe accounted for the second largest share in the surfing equipment market. The presence of increased number of water sporting sites across Europe makes it the second-largest revenue contributor. APAC region also witnessed growth in demand for surfing equipments with an increase in both consumption and production especially in Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Middle East and Africa has accounted for the lowest share in the surfing equipment market in 2017. Major reasons to support such low revenue generation are lack of natural resources and water bodies to support the sport, low participation rates, less number of surfing facilities available and low awareness amongst population regarding surfing as a sports event.

USA! USA! USA!

Read the rest here and don’t sleep on this boom!