Discrimination: Canadian surfers must answer math question to win WSL entry!

A vile plan to repress The Great White North!

The World Surf League and Red Bull have had a notoriously frosty relationship though it does seem to have entered a detente. In less than two weeks, in France, the two will jointly host Red Bull’s Airborne, a version of the re-popularized air format. The WSL describes thusly:

For the first time in history, the World Surf League (WSL) will be hosting an aerial specialty event combining a cross-section of the world’s best surfers from the elite Championship Tour with a global field of specialists for the Red Bull Airborne France this October.

Josh Kerr, former Championship Tour (CT) surfer and universally-regarded as one of the most progressive aerialists in the history of surfing, is one of the co-developers of the Red Bull Airborne France and will serve as Event Director in October.

The Red Bull Airborne France will feature an 18-man field across six qualifying heats and a Final, and will run in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro France – the 9th Stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour.

Two remaining spots for the Red Bull Airborne France will be determined via an online submission site at wslairborne.com. The submissions will be judged by a panel including Event Director Josh Kerr, former CT stalwart and progressive surfing deity Taj Burrow, Ventura innovator Tim Curran and Santa Cruz’s aerial virtuoso Jason “Ratboy” Collins. The most deserving contestants — one surfer over 18 and one under 18 — will be awarded a spot in October’s competition.

Would you like two be one of the wildcards (enter here)? Do you have what it takes? Well, if you would like and do have what it takes but are also Canadian then there are extra hoops for you to jump through. Shall we read the fine print?

Winner Notification: The Winners will be notified by email, on or about September 16, 2018 and must acknowledge receipt of Sponsor’s notification within 48 hours. All decisions of Sponsor are final. All selected Winners are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules and will be required to sign a Declaration of Eligibility, written acceptance of agreement to these Official Rules, as well as enter into an Athlete Agreement and other requisite documentation in order to participate in the Event. In addition, potential winners from Canada, if any, will be required to correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without aid or assistance before being declared a winner.

What the hell WSL? What is this sort of punitive slap at The Great White North? It seems aimed at making sure that Canadian surf aerial specialists are both disenfranchised and shamed into not competing. Imagine winning one of the coveted wildcard spots. Imagine you have put it all together, the best airs of your life, and you’re set to go to France to compete both with and against your heroes. Then imagine an official from the World Surf League knocks on your Tofino door (or Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg… wherever your Canadian dream home is) holding a mathematical skill-testing question. This WSL official takes your phone and any calculators away, clicks her stopwatch and says, “Begin.”

Would you pass? I wouldn’t. I would fail even if the mathematical skill-testing question was 6 x 7.

And now we have a very real scandal on our hand.

What do you have against Canada, WSL?

I need answers and I need them now, eh.

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.)

kelly slater john c reilly
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.