Gabriel Medina
Watch this little short and you'll be dabbing a napkin at your tear-glistened eyes! Here, Gabriel, in 2014, as world champ.

Charlie Medina: “Gabriel’s not here to make friends. He’s here to win!”

A tearjerker feature on the wondrous life of Gabriel Medina from WSL Studio…

Let’s admit it. It’s taken a while, years, but who isn’t ready to be impaled on Gabriel Medina’s jumbo stake?

In this very good eight-minute short from WSL Studio we go beyond his fumbling post-heat interviews (you try and express the platitudes of pro sports in a second language) and into Gabriel’s world. Which comprises, mostly, surfing, family, airports.

Will Gabriel, the boy with the tawny eyes and coarse black hair, win the world title at Pipe? The odds are short enough. A one-dollar bet will get you $1.33. Four bucks for Julian. Ten on Filipe.

In this short, Barton Lynch tells us that Gabriel is his favourite surfer in the world.

Mick Fanning says he’s one of the “most naturally talent and gifted kids I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t have any flaws.”

“He’s got the way of carrying himself that he feels unbeatable,” says Peter Mel.

Soccer man and Medina pal Neymar Jr says, “Everyone knows his greatness in the ocean.”

Step-daddy Chuck says, “He isn’t here to make friends. He’s here to win.”

It’s a brush-fire I doubt anyone will extinguish soon.

Click here to look into his slumberous and mesmeric half-drawn lash curtains. 

Erik Logan Watch: “#lostmypaddlesomewhere #staples!”

Did the World Surf League President of Content, Media and WSL Studios Elect take matters into his own hands?

This morning had me pondering a possible John John Florence return to competition in 2019 in order to counter Gabriel Medina. I thought, “Well, if I was the World Surf League President of Content, Media and WSL Studios elect I would take John John Florence into a back alley somewhere and either give him a briefcase full of cash or threaten him with a paddle because that’s the storyline.”


Erik Logan knows how to draw an audience. He worked for Oprah Winfrey’s network (OWN) and I don’t know that giving free cars to audience members was his idea but I also don’t know that it wasn’t his idea.

So anything goes. Anything possible thing for eyeballs.


Well, today Erik Logan is apparently mysteriously SUPing without a paddle.


Shall we read the caption together?

elo_erikloganSuper #sundayfunday morning on the @infinity_surf #HPL. Trying to squeeze every drop out of this south we’ve got. And trying to squeeze this board into a tight spot . 😊 Off shore and fun with the crew this AM. #infinitysurfboards #whendotherightsshowup #manhattanbeach thanks @jawadchabib for the 📸

All fine-ish and good but as we now know, ELo likes hiding secret eggs in his hashtags and now let us go there.

#beach #ocean #summer #waves #photooftheday #wave #outdoors #surfeveryday #make1board2 #closeoutsale #lostmypaddlesomewhere #staples

Staples Center, downtown Los Angeles, is basically surrounded by all sorts of alleys.

Could it be true?

Might Mr. President Elect have taken matters into his own hands?

2019 Professional surfing scenarios: Does a 2018 Gabriel Medina title guarantee John John Florence return?

Certainly the competitive animal is there sleeping. Most certainly.

It is now middle to later October and Pipeline, still the final event of the 2018 World Surf League season, is months away. Like, basically forever away but we know who’s going to win the Jeep World Trophy Cup don’t we. We know, unless there is some freakish rip in the fabric of the universe that Brazilian Gabriel Medina will be smiling, maybe even crying, probably even smiling and crying alternately, at the end.

Filipe Toledo made it interesting all year and Julian’s late charge was second only to Lord Cardigan’s in historical importance but we know there is nothing to be done now, don’t we. Gabriel Medina is not the sort to fumble.

He will mercilessly prowl Pipeline’s lineup, sitting on competitor’s boards, playing footsies under the sea if that is what needs be done for the title. It is his and likely should have been his in Portugal if only to spare us the “there’s still hope…” storylines because there is no hope. Gabriel Medina does not falter.

Which brings us to 2019. Gabriel Medina will begin there at Snapper with two trophies in his plywood locker. Who else has two trophies? John John Florence does, it’s true, and do you think being tied with Gabriel will be enough to bring him back? Well?

The thought that John John is not competitive is semi-ridiculous. I have zero doubt that the boy likes more than just competition but a person doesn’t win two of anything without having a killer instinct.

Or wait, was John John simply that good where he could paddle out and surf and beat everyone tactics, swell, etc. be damned?

I don’t know but if I was the World Surf League President of Content, Media and WSL Studios elect I would meet John John in a dark alley sometime before March with a suitcase full of cash. A suitcase full of cash but in case he wasn’t interested, I’d be carrying a giant paddle and I’d be ready to use it.

The perfect carrot and stick scenario but necessary because Gabe vs. John could save professional surfing (if the field was trimmed down by 20 at the same time).

John John Florence rides a love stew that includes his master shaper Jon Pyzel. Photo, of course, by Steve Sherman/WSL/@tsherms

From the how-to-shoot-an-arresting-surf-photo department: Getting chaired up the beach is cool now thanks to Steve Sherman!

Put me on two men's shoulders immediately please!

I have always hated when a professional surf contest ends and the victor is chaired up the beach. Always. Hated and hated passionately. Like, as passionately as Brazilians love dancing salsa or samba or whatever. Please allow me to quote from the award-nominated book Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell. Do you mind?

Getting chaired up the beach is one of the most embarrassing things in surfing. The victor’s friends, usually countrymen, will meet him at the shoreline after his victory and they will prop him on their shoulders and move through the crowd to the podium. Two men carrying one man. And it might look OK except surf events never draw hundreds of thousands of people. They draw hundreds and sometimes thousands. It would look good if a surfer was being carried through an overflowing crowd of adoring fans, throwing roses and blowing kisses and uncontrollably weeping. But at surf events, when a surfer is getting chaired up the beach, sitting on his friends’ shoulders, through spread-far-apart beach gawkers, it looks embarrassing. It looks like Christian rock ‘n’ roll.

Yes, it looks like Christian rock ‘n’ roll or at least looked like Christian rock ‘n’ roll until the master Steve Sherman threw his beautiful Brixton hat into the ring. You know Steve, of course, through his decades of excellence. Matt Warshaw describes him in the Encyclopedia of Surfing (subscribe here if you want to go to heaven) as, “Durable, diplomatic surf photographer from north San Diego County, California; best known for his portraits and behind-the-scenes candids.”

All true but a year or so ago, Steve did my favorite thing yet. He loaded a flash onto his camera and started blasting surf contest winners getting chaired. Look above at the John John shot. Flooded with light, crisp and clear, it feels like… passion. Like glory. Like beauty and excitement. Look at Jon Pyzel there holding John John’s right leg, a handsome man by any measure but stunning in full light. Look at Jamie O there in the background like a New Testament saint. Positively beatific.

It changed not only the game but the act itself as evidenced by the now nearly iconic shot of Italo being chaired in Portugal. I don’t know who took it, and it very well may have been Steve himself, but if it wasn’t than it can be credited as Steve-esque.

Three tour victories for Italo. If not for a couple of dubious judging decisions he’d be in the race. As Fanning noted, surfers have been mystified by some of the calls.

I’ve never wanted to sit on two men’s shoulders at once until Steve Sherman showed me the light, as it were.

#TourNotes: Italo Ferriera stars in “Eeeeeetalo! Wahhowwwwwwww!”

Get behind the scenes, feel the cosiness of the in-crowd at the MEO Rip Curl Pro, Portugal…

As the Peniche sun sank like a big orange stone into the océano Atlántico one night ago, various dreams were being played out at the Rip Curl Pro.

The Hossegor surfer Joan Duru took a swipe at requalifying, sauntering into the final and Italo Ferreira, who goes around drenched in cologne and wearing loud clothes, took his third event win of the year.

This two-minute short by the singer and filmmaker Peter King, who makes people laugh by fondling a waistline that is threatening to get out of hand (“I’m persistent. And overweight. It’s a deadly combination,” he says), appears to’ve been shot by a camera with Vaseline smeared across the lens.

Still, no one except King, can capture the cosiness and noise of the in-crowd.

He knows everybody.

Mick Fanning makes acceptable Brett Simpson-style cameos, Michel Bourez, with skin the colour of buttered cocoa, gets hot under the collar as Joan closes in on an improbable finish, and Kanoa Igarashi leaps to Italo’s aid when wax is ordered (in Portuguese! How clever is Kanoa!).

It ain’t the best episode, more like a rag doll throw in a corner by a bored child, but it’s better than most web edits.