Shark attack: “This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here!”

Cape Cod thrust back into the limelight.

A 20-year-old man boogie boarding at a beach near Cape Cod, Mass. was attacked by a shark yesterday and killed. It was the first shark attack in Cape Cod in 80 years.

Local police released the statement:

Around noontime today (9/15) a male swimmer at Newcomb Hollow Beach was bitten by what is believed to be a shark. The male victim mid 20’s was pulled from the water, provided emergency first aid to include CPR. The male victim was transported to Cape Cod Hospital by the Wellfleet Fire Department, were he passed from the injuries.

The name and info of the victim is being held till proper notification.

Wellfleet PD is working with the National Park Service and the MA State Police on this investigation.

And the Associated Press interviewed a local fisherman:

“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark, shark!’ It was like right out of that movie Jaws. This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”

Amity Island is, of course, the fictional Cape Cod town terrorized by a giant great shark in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws.

It has long been believed that Jaws was based on a series of 1916 shark attacks that terrorized New Jersey but the author of the book denied this and said he based his work off the 1964 story of a fisherman who harpooned a 4500 lbs shark off the coast of Long Island.

The real Jaws and fisherman Frank Mundus.
The real Jaws and fisherman Frank Mundus.

To be honest, I didn’t really know that great whites were an Atlantic thing. I thought the east coast’s big worry was bull sharks. I thought Hawaii’s big worry was tiger sharks. I thought the west coast and Australia’s west coast’s big worry was great white sharks. As a lifelong west coaster (except for a few childhood years spent in Papua New Guinea), I always felt a little proprietary about the great white.

I suppose I’ll have to adjust my worldview (again).

From the who’s-your-daddy department: Surfers help fatherless boys charity!

Throw a few shekels at this fine mentoring charity…

It’s getting real teary in here. My eyes are burning so intensely I can hardly see.

Yesterday it was the kid who chases big waves but got no gas in his balloons. Today, it’s the story of the two-time Fiji Pro winner and rookie of the year Damien Hobgood and his role in helping boys without daddies get mentoring from someone other than their moms or female teachers.

This arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

What’s Up, Friends?

I was at this event where I learned about what Boys to Men is doing for kids in San Diego. For me, it’s important to line up your life with where your heart’s at, and Boys to Men is a cause that is close to my heart.

Boys to Men has been providing positive male mentors for at-risk and fatherless young men in our community for over twenty years. The 100 Wave Challenge is their biggest fundraiser where surfers come together to catch 100 waves in one day.

It’s a win-win when you can help kids out, meet new friends, and have an awesome time at the beach. I’ve taken the challenge again this year, and I ask that you support in any way you can. While surfing and volunteering makes the event successful, donations also help us reach our goals.

If you love surfing, being at the beach, hanging with some great people, and supporting a great cause for San Diego, then the 100 Wave Challenge is for you. The amount you give doesn’t matter – it’s about helping our kids.

Thanks for supporting these guys, and I’ll hopefully see some of you in the surf!

For more information, visit


I’m not swimming in cash but I peeled off a hundred for ol Damo. It was the first charity I’d thrown money at since I fell under the spell of a doctor who was putting eyeballs back into blind kids in Bangladesh.

What got to me about Boys to Men?

It ain’t a secret that a fatherless boy, without strong men in his life, without a patriarchal figure who inspires obedience, is trapped in a world of women who elevate feelings above all other considerations. And, as a consequence, the wonderful, animal side of his masculinity is never realised.

When I hit up Damo for an interview he wrote back: “Not sure you want to interview an old washed up surfer but this is a rad organization that does some really cool stuff for fatherless boys or kids just going down some dark roads.”

Try and watch this video (hit the play button above) and not soak your pinafore in blubber.

“If my dad was around it would be much easier because my dad would understand more than my mom would… I need somebody who can tell me what direction I should go,” says one kid.


Help ’em out.

Click here. 

Jacob Venditti
Jacob Venditti, at big Mex, little balloons got no gas!

From the feel-good department: Man with incurable lung disease rides ten-foot Mex tube!

If your lungs were useless, would you be circling big Mex swells?

How good are your lungs? I get under three feet of whitewater and my little balloons feel like they’re going to give out. The spectre of drowning has always been the turkey vulture circling around me. And I’m healthy as hell, give or take a few sleeper viruses.

A week or so ago, an old pal o’ mine, Hans Hagen, who is the executive director of the the Mauli Ola Foundation, pointed me in the direction of the North Carolina surfer Jacob Venditti. The Foundation is a not-for-profit that uses surf to deliver good times to anyone living with a genetic disease. And Jacob, who is twenty four, has the incurable disease cystic fibrosis. Means his lungs work at thirty or so percent.

Hell of a thing. Let me describe. He wakes up in the morning and has to cough-start his lungs. Fills himself full of medicine. Finds it tough to hold down a job ’cause he has to go into hospital for extended stays four times a year, three weeks at a time, while they pump him with antibiotics through a PIC line. A plastic tube goes through his bicep, shoulder and into the heart. Thick as a straw.

And, soon enough, maybe in five years, Jacob’s going to need a double lung transplant.

Anyway, Jacob, who doesn’t want to give in to the disease and live a sedentary life as a couch-inflating Fortnite warrior, made it his goal to ride a big Mexican tube this past summer. He’s been surfing since he was eight, grew up at the beach, but try putting those paltry lungs to work at a Mex beachbreak. They’ll squash a healthy stud.

“It’s tough for me,” he says, even if he has been hitting Mex for the past seven seasons. “And it’s been getting harder every ear. It’s especially hard to paddle back out, getting worked by the waves and not blacking out.”

This year he hooked up with the Mex-based American Brian Conley, the same mad cat whom BeachGrit employed to sling Lakey Peterson into a thousand waves for 540 practice.

It meant Jacob could hit a swell that would’ve drowned him.

“Ten-to-twelve-foot backs,” says Jacob. “I was down there on a solo mission and this swell came and on the biggest day, Brian Conley stepped me off onto a really nice one. I didn’t stop smiling for a week afterward. It was pretty heaven, man.”

Jacob, understandably, is now an ambassador for Mauli Ola.

“They go around the whole US teaching people with genetic diseases how to surf. Not just kids, anybody who shows up. It’s about encouraging that natural therapy, which surfing is. It can adds years to your life. They’ve backed me since I met ’em six years ago. They know how much I love to surf and they said, ‘You’re the only person with your condition who can surf real waves. We want you to be the poster kid of our Foundation. So that’s what I do. I want to help and inspire other people, man. I think that’s what I was meant to do.”

Check ’em out here. 

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt: Pro Surfing was bought for “business reasons!”

It’s long term. 5-10+ years!

Are you the product of a broken home? Growing up with the wonderful promise of love and stability only to have the rug ripped out when dad went to Cabo and didn’t come back. Or didn’t come back the same all distracted and thinking about other things until he packed his bags and moved in with those other things?

Very sad and also the fate of professional surfing for the past decade or such. Dad left and we all sit on the carpet surrounded by broken toys and Cheez-It crumbs looking sideways at every one of mom’s new boyfriends.

Do they care about us or they just here for a hot second so they can drive the Camry and eat our Spaghetti-Os?

Well, a new and wonderfully wide-ranging interview with WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt in Boardsport Source reveals much but also that our new daddy is gonna be sticking around for a minute. Would you like a snippet?

Do they (the Ziffs) have a plan as to how long they will be invested for?

It’s long term. 5-10+ years. Most importantly they want to leave the sport in a better place than they found it, but they bought it for business reasons. And I think they have already significantly increased the value of the company and the profile of surfing. And hopefully this will continue.

Oh that makes me happy.

Very happy.

And it should make you happy too.

Daddy? Daddy would you tuck me in tonight?

Read the rest here!


Watch: Jordy Smith stars in “I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir!”

Visit Cape Town today!

Last year, South Africa’s second largest city stared disaster in the eye. Cape Town was set to become the world’s first major metropolis to run out of water. Day Zero was marked on the calendar, citizens and residents filled with worry, politicians rubbed their temples while drinking sweet wines. New Security Beat described the madness thusly:

This is what a water panic looks like in a major global city.

People hoard water. They queue for hours, well into the night, to fill jugs at natural springs. Like mad Christmas shoppers, they clear supermarkets of bottled water. They descend on stockers before they can fill the shelves.

Restaurants, malls, and offices shut off bathroom faucets and install hand sanitizer dispensers. Exhortations to conserve water are plastered throughout buildings. Above one toilet stall at the University of Cape Town a paper placard with a hand-turned dial indicates the number of uses since the last flush. “Be A Wee-Wise Water Warrior. Only Flush After 4 (No. 1’s only),” it reads.

While “Only Flush After 4” is a wonderful campaign it is not exactly “tourist friendly.” But it, along with other severe measures and some rain, dragged Cape Town back from the brink but the tourists. Are they even aware that the city still exists? That it didn’t become like Pompeii?

Well, Jordy Smith and other local stars swung into the rescue and produced a series of water porn. Let’s watch.

If you don’t want to go to Cape Town now then you don’t have a beating heart.

Very sexy water.