From the we-didn’t-get-the-exclusive department: Occy’s wavepool opens for testing!

“It’s so big! It’s so deep! It doesn’t look real!” says 1999 world champion Occ.

Right now, like right now, a sturdy contingent of WQS-level Australian pro surfers are swinging their stakes in the Occy and Barton Lynch-endorsed wave pool called Surf Lakes.

The pool had its first official test run yesterday, with Occy and his son Jay riding the opening wave at Occy’s Peak; Barton Lynch rode the A-Frame and got a small barrel on the left.

Other surfers arriving to test the pool include Mitch Crews, Flick Palmateer, Conner O’Leary, Laura Enever, the fantastic super kid Dakoda Walters from Angourie and, possibly, Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison later today.

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.

“We had our first waves yesterday but we’re not at 100 percent capacity yet. We at around forty percent,” says media director and former Tracks magazine editor Wayne Dart, who says the first waves were two, maybe three foot. “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.”

I say to Dart that it sounds a little Apollo mission-esqe, pushing the technology into the unknown, risking catastrophic breakdowns, and so forth.

“Walk around the actual structure and it actually feels like a rocket launcher,” he says.

Dart says the technology, the jumbo plunger, has exceeded expectations.

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.”

“Mate, it was unbelievable. The thing is mind-blowing. Everything about it. 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.”

Is it a noisy son of a bitch?

“The movement of the plunger is dead silent but there’s engine noise from the generators. In a full commercial model you can configure it so there’s no noise at all. And if you use renewable energy, it’d be silent.”

Has it got a filter or do you not fear the brain-gobbling amoeba?

“We’re chlorinating the water, with pool guys testing it every day so it meets regulations.”

There are four waves in the pool: the A-Frame, Occy’s Peak, a beachbreak-style wave and “further around, a wave that stands up on this ledge and rifles down the line. We’ll get to that one today.”

Footage gets loosed on Monday.

Hoo-ee etc.

(Watch a short film from earlier this year as the pool neared completion.)

Breaking: Sea level rise is wiping Hawaii off the face of the earth!

How much longer will Oahu's North Shore be around?

In a widely expected but also completely unexpected turn of events, sea level rise and increased hurricane strength has disappeared a small island belonging to the Hawaiian chain. And let us turn to Honolulu’s Civil Beat (one of the best resources around) for more:

Hurricane Walaka, one of the most powerful Pacific storms ever recorded, has erased an ecologically important remote northwestern island from the Hawaiian archipelago.

Using satellite imagery, federal scientists confirmed Monday that East Island, a critical habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles, was almost entirely washed away earlier this month.

“I had a holy shit moment, thinking ‘Oh my God, it’s gone,’” said Chip Fletcher, a University of Hawaii climate scientist. “It’s one more chink in the wall of the network of ecosystem diversity on this planet that is being dismantled.”

I am no scientist nor am I an alarmist nor am I an ecologist but I do have a fever (still) so feel permitted to weigh in here.

Do you think that World Surf League CEO had this information available, that sea-level rise was going to knock out Hawaii, when she flew to Honolulu with bullish demands? Insisting that the WSL season should begin on the North Shore and not end there? Do you think she was worried about the North Shore being entirely vanished by the time the WSL rolled in to town in December?

Many things to ponder.


Watch: Kelly Slater on The Joe Rogan Experience!

Come learn everything you ever wanted to know!

This should have been up the second it dropped but I came down with a raging fever last night, a historic fever that’s still burning through my body. It is difficult to see the computer screen right now because sweat is pouring into my eyes but there are no excuses. Kelly Slater has a broken foot and made it onto The Joe Rogan Experience. I have a fever and should have posted the video of him on The Joe Rogan Experience sooner and I am sorry.

Is it malaria? Maybe. Ain’t it strange how travel plants exotic diseases deep into the travelers bones where viruses and bacterias and etc. lie semi-dormant before pouncing? Between the sexually transmitted variety and the tropical travel variety I’d reckon surfers have more exotic diseases than any other first-ish world population group. Definitely more than golfers. I don’t even know, in fact, if any exotic diseases besides the common cold and tuberculosis are hearty enough to live in Scotland. J.P. Currie? Can you weigh in here?

Damn it. Sweat.

Here, anyhow, is Kelly and Joe, Joe and Kelly and, real quick, do you think Kelly regretted wearing a white t-shirt to the taping? Joe and Kelly could/should/maybe are twinsies.

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?