Cooler Runnings: Ben Bourgeois to coach Jamaican National Surf Team in Olympic hunt!

But we need to help!

The best part of surfing in the Olympics is that no one at the executive or coaching level has been accused of having sex with a fourteen-year-old. The second best part of surfing in the Olympics is the reintroduction of wonderful friends from the past. Of course you already know that Bede “The White Fijian” Durbidge is coaching Australia’s team and someone fun must be coaching the U.S. team. Neco Padaratz? Are you involved with the Brazilian team per chance?

Ben Bourgeois is coaching the Jamaican team and I can’t think of a cooler fit. Benny B, you recall, is a stylish surfer from Florida. He came up for a few professional cups of coffee but I have heard one of his greatest skills is finding secret yet amazing waves in the Caribbean and surfing them like no one else. Multiple respected surf photographers have told me that Ben is the best they’ve ever seen and I believe.

The Jamaican team is then very lucky. Will they make the cut? Ben says yes.

“I think the chances of us qualifying for the inaugural participation of surfing at the Olympics Games are good. I think we can do it especially that there are some smaller events leading up to it that the surfers can really gain some experience from. But we have to get the right equipment and it is difficult to get equipment down to the island.”

Is it illegal to sponsor a surf team? What could be cooler than sponsoring the Jamaican one? The number of wonderful collaborations I’m thinking up sitting here, stone cold sober, right now… ooooee! The possibilities are endless.

Get me… which shaper would be best here? Which shaper would shine in black, yellow and green? I’m gonna think and you’re gonna think and then we’re gonna get him on the phone.

Don’t worry, Ben Bourgeois. We’ll sort this out.

You ain't never seen a dang thing like it! | Photo: @surfinglife

From the milk-a-story-dry-department: Occy’s wave pool from the bird!

Come and get a little of that boom boom!

Of all the crimes I might be accused of, letting a story run its natural course is not one of them.

Last week, the Occy and Barton-Lynch endorsed wave pool called Surf Lakes opened for testing, and which we duly reported with a lazy phone call to the company’s media director.

“The thing is mind-blowing. Everything about it,” the former Tracks editor Wayne Dart said.  “The technology and just the sheer beauty of the backdrop and surrounds. It’s surreal. You look at the footage and it looks like an artist’s impression. You’ve got trees and mountains in the background and this crystal clear green wave breaking down the line.”

He added, “We’re analysing all the numbers, making sure we can get it to full size and not break it, essentially. But, this afternoon, there’ll be waves that are overhead. From an engineering perspective, all the numbers are matching. We’re confident it will handle full-tilt.”

Last night, the company released its first official vision, a carefully curated, and very short, clip of its pool before it broke down and the site was closed.

And which we reported, and spat all over social. 

Today, further footage of the tank, this time from Surfing Life magazine, one of the few remaining print titles in this special interest niche still in existence, who’d negotiated exclusive rights to the story.

And, this, my favourite, of the Western Australian surfer Felicity Palmateer. The North Queensland sunset is juxtaposed expertly with machinery so dystopian one expects there to be a large clock somewhere striking thirteen.

Surfers hopefully just remain addled and dumb.
Surfers hopefully just remain addled and dumb.

2020 Olympic Update: Surfing gets facelift courtesy of skateboarding!

A gymnastic-esque scandal rocks Olympic skateboarding!

Day 5 of plague-induced sobriety and I’ve lost my vigor. The fever has transmuted into something far worse, either the Bubonic Plague or leprosy, and I likely won’t be around much longer but at least I’m not part of USA Skateboarding.

Have you read the headlines? Have you seen the news? USA Skateboarding has suspended one of it officials over alleged sexual misconduct with a child. It is not a pretty story and let’s turn to ESPN for the details:

USA Skateboarding has placed executive committee member Neal Hendrix on interim suspension following allegations of improper sexual contact with a then-14-year-old skateboarder. Hendrix is under police investigation for the same allegations.

Professional skateboarder Julie Lynn Kindstrand Nelson, who goes by “Julz Lynn,” detailed the allegations to the Costa Mesa (California) Police Department on Oct. 11, providing a detective with a six-page letter describing interactions with Hendrix. The letter, also provided to espnW, states that when she was between the ages of 14 and 15 and Hendrix was in his early 30s, she performed sex acts on him at his request. The letter also states that he masturbated in front of her, photographed and took videos of her while she was naked and showed her pornography involving underage girls.


A very ugly story. Bad bad bad but good for surfing? Oh don’t look at me that way. Don’t look at me at all, in fact, because you will catch what I have but let’s discuss a bit.

Surfing and skateboarding were accepted into the 2020 Tokyo Games at the same time and I would imagine to add youthful appeal. Snowboarding, which has been part of the winter Olympics since 1998, is the highest-rated, most-viewed category. It does not strain credulity to believe that the International Olympic Committee dreamed of an equal spike coming from the other two boardsports.

Even still, I would continue to imagine that many starched collars in the IOC, headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, shook their heads at the mention of surfing and skateboarding while saying, “Nein, das sind keine guten Dinge. Sehr dreckig und schlecht.” And I bet they just meant it in the joint smoking, cocaine sniffing sort of way. That surfers and skateboarders are derelicts and not athletes.

I wholeheartedly agree with those starched collars, by the way. Surfers and skateboarders are derelicts and not athletes but then look at Neal Hendrix over there on the skateboarding side allegedly pretending that he’s USA gymnastics.

Vile vile vile and not a good look for anyone at all except surfing looks positively grand by comparison. And this is why sport stuff should be left to sport people and surfers should be left alone. No good ever comes from coaches, committees, training camps, etc.

No good at all.

This ledge'll wake you from your drunken slumber, you sons o bitches!

First vision: Occy’s Wave Pool and all its pianissimo thunder!

She's flawless! And small! But early days…

The raw perfume of another wave tank is something terribly hard to ignore.

Three days ago, a sturdy contingent of WQS-level Australian pro surfers and the all-but-retired former world champ Joel Parkinson flew to North Queensland to test the full-sized prototype of the Occy and Barton Lynch-endorsed wave pool called Surf Lakes.

Surf Lakes is a a full-sized demonstration model located midway between the Queensland towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton and uses a giant plunger to create waves, unlike the sled-foil combo of the Slater pool and Wavegarden and the air pressure game of American Wave Machines.

How it’d go?

The waves are very small (one-to-two feet, with the plunger working at forty percent capacity), very pretty and green (Surf Lakes uses tap water) and the background to the pool is artist’s impression-perfect mountains and cattle farms. This ain’t dirty ol Lemoore or cult-crazy Waco.


A mechanical breakdown means the demos are being postponed and the site has been closed until various parts are replaced.

It happens.

The various surfers at the site say the pool promises palpitations.

Want an early look?


Digital manipulation @theeedforshutterspeed

Question: How much would you pay to watch John John Florence vs Gabriel Medina?

Or Italo vs. Toledo or Reynolds v Anderson or any surfer-on-surfer matchup you can imagine?

It was announced today that the upcoming pay-per-view matchup pitting Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson will be priced at $19.99. If you are unaware of this unique sporting moment, Tiger and Phil are golfers with a historic rivalry. The Professional Golf Association powers that be decided to trim the field down to the both of them for a one day banger and let’s read a little more about it from ESPN:

The match, which will be played on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, will begin at noon locally (3 p.m. ET).

The winner will take home the entire $9 million pot.

During the match, Woods and Mickelson will make side challenges against each other, with winnings being donated to the golfer’s charity of choice.

Sources said fans won’t be able to watch the matchup live in person, as there will be no on-site tickets sold.

So there you go and if the World Surf League is not forking over $19.99 to observe then I am writing directly to Fiji c/o Erik Logan because ain’t this exactly what we want?

Now, the golf tour is not getting cut or curtailed. This is a specialty event custom made for fun. I don’t know exactly how the format would work for surfing. Three 45 minute heats a day? One three hour super session? Something mobile? Start at Snapper end at Burleigh? I don’t exactly know but there is something here no?

Something exciting?

My question is, which matchup would you pay for and how much would you pay?

Please address your comments to Fiji c/o Erik Logan.