Rumour: Texas Wavegarden to close until 2020!

Staff layoffs? Remodelling of superseded wave tank?

Who would’ve thought that, one day, Bible-raising, silver-crucifix-hanging-on-the-review-mirror-with-machine- guns-in-the-trunk Texas, would be giving surfers honeymoon dick?

Little ol’ BSR Cablepark in Waco stood the world upside down this year when its Hawaiian magician Cheyne Magnusson turned an unremarkable wavepool technology into something capable of creating the world’s best section for airs.

And then came the brain-eaters.

One hundred miles south of Waco is Austin, home to America’s first commercial wavepool, NLand Surf Park, which opened two years ago. Its owner, Doug Coors, paid for the exclusive rights to Wavegarden in Texas, pushing BSR into the arms of American Wave Machines.

And, oowee, how did…that…work out?

Anyway, according to rumours swinging around the Central Texas Surf Club Facebook page, “insiders at both parks” say NLand will be closed for all of 2019, with a new-look opening in 2020.

The money is on this theory: NLand was losing steam to BSR and the investors made the call to invest in new technology, either remodelling the old design into the newer, more American Wave Machine-ish Cove or overhauling the original machine to “make it more compelling.”

I hit up the club to ask ’em if the brain-eaters scared hell out of ’em?

One nice man replied: “We all love BSR. Nothing stopping any of us from surfing it again. Especially knowing how much Stuart (Parsons) is investing in the new filtration. To be honest, he was very on top of ensuring water quality control even before so we never second guessed it. I actually cracked my head during one session so figure if the amoeba didn’t take the invite then it prob won’t ever.

“Seriously though, we’re all transplant surfers from all over the world and we have all come to grips with the fact that we have all surfed, and continue to surf breaks that would never be considered truly clean and safe. I moved here a few years ago and surfed during and after storms in Orange County and always got sick. I have seen some really scary stuff float out of the river jetties…”

Meanwhile, giant plungers are set to take over the world! 

(But not Switzerland. They’re going Wavegarden Cove.)

Swiss wave pool!

From the selfishness-is-a-virtue Dept: Get a brand new custom Pyzel Ghost while helping fire victims!

The last win-win on earth!

It is the giving season, the most wonderful time of the year, when friends help friends and friends help strangers and… ohh who am I kidding? It is a vicious time, a terrible time where Ayn Rand’s ethos reigns supreme. Gimme gimme gimme and have you ever read The Fountainhead? What about The Virtue of Selfishness? Are you a fan? Did you name your son Howard Roark? Do you wear Roark Revival on principle?

None of it matters. The human race is all but lost, thanks to Rand Paul and his damned Atlas Shrugged but would you like to win a brand new custom Jon Pyzel surfboard while helping victims of the California wildfires at the same exact time? It is maybe the last win-win left on earth. An almost extinct combination of altruism and egoism and let’s read about it (AND ENTER HERE)!

The recent California fires have devastated communities and left thousands without homes. The tragedy is too large to know where to begin but the stories of people helping one another are inspirational. It’s hard to know how to help when so much help is needed. The best way we know how is raise some money by auctioning off a custom surfboard and donate it to the Red Cross. The Red Cross are always on the front lines of every disaster and we would like to help their efforts in providing shelter for those who have nowhere to go. You can also donate directly on their website

The winner of the raffle can select a model from our ghost collection, either custom made for the winner or from our retail stock in time for Christmas. The models in the collection include our best selling board, the Ghost for bigger waves, the Phantom for smaller ones or the Gremlin for mushy days. Go to for more information on boards. This prize includes shipping to any US address. If you live outside the US you can still enter but you will be responsible for all shipping costs.

Australia? Did you catch that last line? You can be selfish too! JP up there in Scotland? A Ghost under your Christmas tree! It is the board that changed Longtom’s life wherein he exclaimed:

If you have a shred of decency, self-respect and pride in your skill set, then the Ghost is worth the effort to figure out. You can do the best surfing in your life on it. Big call, but true. If you’ve given up or were never there then walk on by. This board has nothing for you, and that’s no judgement on your worth as a human being.

(read here).

surf lakes
A Surf Lake license costs $A500,000, which buys you exclusive rights spanning an area covering a million people. You want something for, say, Sydney with its five million people? Gonna cost $2.5 million if you want to shut the door on other Surf Lake biz's. 

Revealed: Billionaires line up to buy Occy’s wavepool licenses!

Oil money hot for Queensland wave tank!

Earlier today, the company Surf Lakes released a presser reporting that following “the success of full-scale prototype testing” licensee enquiries have been “flooding in from around the globe en-masse.”

There are six projects on the boil, says Surf Lakes, despite the breakdown of machinery during the initial testing. Two in the USA (a site in southern California, which is going to be a country-club style joint and Arizona, which is going to be a commercial operation), Sao Paulo in Brazil, somewhere just out of Perth, London and Spain.

All companies are doing their due diligence, says Surf Lakes, with the two American pools “ready to go” and another site “not far off.” Construction will begin in 2019, doors open 2020.

What was interesting when I spoke to Surf Lakes’ media prez Wayne Dart was his offhand remark, “There’s a lot of money in the world, let’s put it that way. We’ve had conversations with billionaires who are ready to drop as many million dollars as they need to into their thing, to create a private theme park almost. That’s from Europe to the US to the Middle East, where one billionaire wants to put it in the ocean where the waves are flat using reclaimed land. Guys that want to have it for themselves and their mates. Which is a pretty cool thing.”

A Surf Lake license costs $A500,000, which buys you exclusive rights spanning an area covering a million people. You want something for, say, Sydney with its five million people? Gonna cost $2.5 million if you want to shut the door on other Surf Lake biz’s.

Build cost? Surf Lakes says the ball-park figure is $20 million. That’ll buy you the giant plunger and a concrete lake. Land, cute cabanas and yoga teepees, whatever, is up to you to find and buy.

And a warranty?

Readers will remember the giant plunger buckled during its great reveal while operating at only fifty percent capacity. Surf Lakes says the failure was a manufacturing fault, say a new part is being built and that the Yeppoon prototype will be operational by the end of January 2019.

And, yes, a warranty card comes with your $20 million pool.

“There’s a variety of warranties, it’s a pretty big document,” says Dart.

As for the promised “eight-foot” waves, Dart says, from a surfer’s perspective it’ll be “a solid four foot.”

“The promise is have Occy standing tall in a barrel,” he says. “That’s what we promised at the launch and that’s what we have to deliver.”

Ed Sloane/WSL
Ed Sloane/WSL

The greatest mystery in sports: World champ Tyler Wright disappears from tour, nobody asks why!

Come inside for the big reveal!

Today the World Surf League released an interview with 2 x world champion Tyler Wright as to why she has been largely absent from this 2018 edition of the tour. I had heard rumors that this was coming down the pike and was very excited to learn some truths. The Wrights, Owen and Tyler, have both been plagued by extremely mysterious physical ailments over the past few years. Sensible reasons/causes etc. were never readily served up and so I was very excited, assuming all, or at least some, would be revealed today but must say after reading the just released interview feel that I too have contracted chronic fatigue.

Maybe it is the looming turkey? Tryptophan overdose etc? I don’t know but enough about me. Here’s Tyler…

WSL: You’ve officially pulled out of the final event of the season – the Beachwaver Maui Pro – and we haven’t seen you in a jersey since Uluwatu. Can you explain what went down this year?

Tyler Wright: I actually got sick in July, during the J-Bay event. I had gone to Africa early to go surf and prepare. I love J-Bay and had gone the year before just to surf, plus I thought I could get some waves before the crew got there. So I was happy to get a few surfs in.

I first started feeling ill when I went on an overnight safari. My head was on fire and so was my body. I’d never felt like that before and I actually called Mikey [Tyler’s Brother] who said he thought I needed to go to the doctor. I didn’t want to believe him so I called Jessi [WSL Deputy Commissioner] and told her how I felt and she was like, ‘please drive to the hospital’. Mikey got the medical team organized and then we went from there. I had to go to Port Elizabeth where I was admitted through Emergency.

WSL: Have you tried to compete since?

Tyler Wright: I actually was going to try and compete at the Surf Ranch Pro because I thought of all the events on the calendar that was the one that I could manage myself the best at, with the set schedule, set number of waves, etc. I even flew to California for it, that’s how convinced I was.

I came early with the idea that I would go and see Mark Kozuki [California based Physical Therapist] because he has always fixed me, and then go up to Lemoore for the training days prior. I went and saw Kozuki the day I landed and then I literally changed my flight for the next day and flew home. I spent one night in California.

Read the rest here!

Bombshell: World Surf League CEO denies calling equal pay “an abuse of the #MeToo movement!”

An explosive allegation roils professional surfing!

The World Surf League received very much press, deservedly, in September when it became one of the first organizations in professional sports to equalize pay across male and female divisions. Of course you read the many stories. Of course you read the effusive coverage in ESPN, Forbes, The New York Times etc. Deservedly. What a statement moment for the League. Even better than one of its stars getting brushed by a shark while being live streamed in South Africa.

The WSL’s CEO Ms. Sophie Goldschmidt said at the time:

“This is a huge step forward in our long-planned strategy to elevate women’s surfing and we are thrilled to make this commitment as we reveal our new 2019 schedule. This is the latest in a series of actions the League has undertaken to showcase our female athletes, from competing on the same quality waves as the men, to better locations, and increased investment and support.”

Bravo. Except… today it was revealed in Deadspin that there might maybe have been some different opinions behind the scenes, specifically as it related to equal pay and Mavericks. Let’s dive in!

(San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner and member of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing) Sabrina Brennan said that in several meetings in the lead-up to the WSL’s September decision, the organization routinely claimed that any discrepancies in pay were a response to the smaller pool of women. Despite Goldschmidt’s effusive public statements in support of the change in pay status, emails provided by Brennan show that both Goldschmidt and Graham Stapleberg, WSL executive vice president and general manager of events, had previously been opposed.

According to Brennan and CEWS member Karen Tynan, in a July 23 meeting, Goldschmidt used the term “poor performance” to describe the women’s showing at the Pe’ahi Challenge, despite Paige Alms’s victory in what Surfer magazine described as a “well-deserved win” within a contest that “saw arguably the best top-to-bottom surfing that has ever gone down at a big-wave venue.” At that same meeting, Brennan said that pay equity was more important now than ever. Brennan and Tynan said that Goldschmidt, who became the first female CEO of the WSL in July 2017, made “thinly veiled threats” about not holding the Mavericks event if the request for equal prize money persisted, and called it “an abuse of the #MeToo movement.”

My old pal G. Stapleberg back in the news for the first time since tasting Eddie Rothman’s open hand (buy here)! It makes my heart soar, to be honest, as I forgot entirely that he was still kicking around. Remember The Grahmmies? I will bring them back this year, don’t worry, don’t weep. And don’t worry Graham… I’ll bring you back too!

But back to the story at hand. I’m really trying to understand the context, any context, where Ms. Goldschmidt would make thinly veiled threats about not holding Mavericks and calling the push for equal pay there “an abuse of the #MeToo movement.” You know me. You know that I would like to believe in the relative incompetence of the League creating that context but… to be honest, I can’t even think of a slap-drunk Graham Stapelberg saying something like that.

Ms. Goldschmidt, for her part, denied the whole thing, releasing the following statement:

Those claims are wholly inaccurate and actually the opposite is true, as shown by WSL’s actions in recent years where we have invested in the right to run a competition at Mavericks for the good of the athletes, women as well as men, and the Big Wave Tour in general. We will continue to do everything we can to celebrate Mavericks as the iconic location and wave that it deserves to be, and the athletes that surf it.

I wish someone would employ me to write denials. I would do a much, much better job.