New Year’s Miracle: Parties in Venice Beach’s “aggressive leash pull” make nice (possibly)!

A wonderful example for our fractured times!

You remember the act of wanton localism that rocked our surfing world to its very core. Oh no, not where a man jumped off his surfboard near another man who proceeded to press charges. Not the other one either where Stab magazine’s editor and best friend off all surfers Ashton Goggans felt threatened enough to call the Orange County detective.

No no no.

I’m talking about the aggressive leash pull in Venice Beach, California. Do you remember? It went a little something like this:

It was a day like any other in Venice Beach, California. The waves were horrible and dumb. A Brazilian man, Wagner Lima, who owns Brazilian Surf Club, was out amongst it as was a Senegalese Olympic hopeful, on whom NBC was shooting a profile, and her host Danielle Lyons. Also shooting photos from the pier was Rhonda Harper, the owner of Black Girls Surf.

Ms. Lyons paddled for a wave, Mr. Wagner dropped in, faded behind her and pulled her leash, Ms. Harper captured every motion in crystal clear frame by detail.

All hell broke loose in the wake of these explosive actions. Mr. Wagner Lima was threatened on Yelp. Ms. Lyons and Ms. Harper threatened on Instagram. Bad blood all around.

I had assumed, at the start of this new year, that the the case was being slow-walked through Venice Beach’s courts, possibly hampered by the partial government shutdown but I was wrong.

In truth it appears that Queen X been prowling the mean streets, looking for an apology and let’s not ramble anymore. Let’s let her pick up the thread.

#wagnerlima update: In my quest to be a better me in 2019, I reached out to Mr. Leash pull. The intention was to speak to him immediately but he was busy enjoying his herbs so I walked the boardwalk. I came back and my rental car had been vandalized😒so I went directly to him. He explained his side of the incident, which I stopped him dead in his tracks and reminded him that his actions caused this chain reaction. I told him about the threats I’d been receiving from his friends. He told me about all of his woes. I reached out again and reminded him that his actions caused this. We talked for awhile, I suggested we do an anti-bullying beach day. He declined. He said, “all I can remember everyday is when you said -you’re going to hear from me again. And my life has been devastated.”🤷🏽‍♀️He said if he had to do it again he wouldn’t done it. In the end he said the Harbor Commission pulled his license and he’ll go today to try and get it back. We filmed it even though he asked us not to. Said our first goodbyes and that was it…until he went and spoke with his friend. He apparently told him to get his butt back over there and continue to apologize profusely and get a picture together.🤣😂🤣 We exchanged numbers and he left. Then he came again to thank me for coming to speak with him. He texted later again thanking me for coming down. Someone had to address this situation, so I did because I’m grown. Look at his face. 💅🏾😏 #localism #blackgirlssurf #blacksurfergirl #surf #venice #beach #imgrown

Now, this is truly a New Year’s miracle and I only include “possibly” in the above title because there are parts of the passage I don’t understand.

Which herbs was Mr. Wagner enjoying? Rosemary? Chives? Are chives herbs?

Who vandalized her car?

When Mr. Wagner Lima left the first time and was ordered back to offer a proper apology and snag a picture was his friend a lawyer?

Is it ok to film people who don’t want to be filmed?

“Look at his face” at the end there… What does Queen X mean?

I’ve reached out for answers and you can be sure many more stories will follow.

As evidenced yesterday there ain't no party like one hosted by 11-time world champ and father of modern-day wave machine, Kelly Slater, and long boarder and grappling aficionado Joel Tudor.

Capitulation: Kelly Slater Changes Title of IG Post after Joel Tudor Shakedown!

Should Kelly Slater fear for his safety on the North Shore? Joel Tudor says yes!

As always, there is nothing like a keyboard party hosted by Kelly Slater and Joel Tudor to kick off a new year.

Yesterday, Kelly made a nice Instagram post titled, “Don’t tell anyone how good the left is at V-Land.” The gag being, the left off that very localised, almost entirely righthand wave a mile or so north of Sunset, puts the rider onto a difficult part of the reef.

Joel, who is a longboarder and jiujitsu aficionado and who’d previously gone after Kelly for wearing the wrong belt while grappling, responded by calling Kelly a “dork”, writing, “Way to tell a million people in one post.”

Today, in spite of the clip’s filmer Peter King claiming it wasn’t V-Land at all, Kelly removed the name of the wave from the title of his post.

Joel Tudor wrote to BeachGrit and, after a little fun roasting us as “girls” said, “(Kelly) changed the name for his own safety out here.”

Kelly, however, remained relatively defiant in his own comments pane despite the cosmetic capitulation.

Yago Dora writes, “I don’t even look right.”

Kelly replied, “Well, now you shouldn’t look left. Secret.”

Field trip: “Tomorrow I head to largest surf trade show in the entire world!”

And I need your help!

As part of your regular work do you have to attend trade shows? I generally don’t but think they must be fun. Right? Lots of polo shirts. Little pressboard villages. Very bright overhead lighting. Lanyards. Evening drinks with fellow trade showers. And so I am very much looking forward to tomorrow when I head to the largest surf trade show in the entire world. Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida!

The event is described thusly:

Surf Expo is produced in January and September in Orlando, Florida and draws buyers from specialty stores across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America and around the world. The show features more than 2,500 booths of apparel and hardgoods and a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, annual awards ceremonies, and demos. Average buyer and exhibitor turnout exceeds 28,600 attendees including retailers, exhibitors and media per show. Surf Expo is a TRADE ONLY EVENT and is not open to the public.

Not open to the public but will you be there anyhow? And would you mind giving me a few tips?

-If I get lost in the cavernous convention center where should I go?

-If Rip Curl has North Korean slaves working their booth should I report it to the authorities or let it slide?

-How should I wear my lanyard?

-When a Reef Girl offers me a bottle of beer freshly popped by Mick Fanning’s patented beer popping sandal in new sea foam green should I accept?

-What if I lose my lanyard?

-Should I test a shark-killing foil if the opportunity presents itself?

-What if I get lost in the SUP section and find myself becoming strangely attracted?

-What if someone calls the police on me?

That’s mostly it, other than needing to know what you’d like me to discover there for you. And, now that I think about it, it’d be a lot easier if you were there. Do you think you could take off work for a few days? I’m really worried about my lanyard.

Blood Feud: Joel Tudor to Kelly Slater, “Way to tell a million people in one post you dork!”

Wrong, Joel, 2.4 million!

The New Year begins, as it always should, with a blood feud involving tireless warriors, Joel Tudor and Kelly Slater.

Joel is a longboarder and grappler from San Diego. You’ll remember his role as the protagonist in these classics, Blood Feud: Joel Tudor and Noa Deane in creative battle royale!, Blood Feud: Joel Tudor vs The World, and Blood Feud: Kelly Slater vs Kelly Slater (part one) and Blood Feud: Joel Tudor vs Kelly Slater, part two.

Kelly Slater is the 11-time world champion and father of the modern-day wave machine. His blood feud opponents include, MMA fighter Paul Costa, “Serious haters“, flat-earthers, Hawaiian Airlines, the mourning fans of Gene Wilder, and the recently retired from surfing Mavericks, Ken Collins.

Earlier today, Kelly posted an excellent short clip of himself surfing what he says is the left at Velzyland, a wave popular with local Hawaiian surfers, advising his 2.4 million fans,

“Don’t tell anyone how good the left is at V-Land.”

(Read here.)

A red rag was thus waved to Joel Tudor, who climbed aboard his keyboard to write,

“Way to tell a million people in one post you dork…”

Kelly’s fans responded: 

“Hey Kelly Joeljitsu called you a DORK! Them’s fightin’ words!!!! How about you and Joel in the Octagon???!!?!? Pay per view???!?!?!? No holds barred??!?!?!? WSL and Red Bull to sponsor?!?!? I’d buy that for a dollar. Or not.”

@joeljitsu – no worries, only 74k have seen it so far.”

“u called Jesus a dork.”

There were a couple of departures from the tidal wave of adoring comments, although these were rare.

“Instagram ruined surfing.”

“Dude but seriously @kellyslater @peterkingphoto WTF the place has become so overrun in the last 15 years… to the point where I don’t even surf it on a Saturday or Sunday we all don’t have wave pools to go run and hide from the crowds some of us have to rely on our local spot.. once again Instagram stealing the soul of surfing.”

To which the clip’s filmer, the wonderful Peter King, (who has enjoyed his own Blood Feuds) wrote: “Love that everyone believes you that it’s VLand.”

Which opens a new front.

Is it somewhere other than Velzyand and Kelly threw up a smoke bomb?

To which, one might ask, why?

Or is Peter trying to save the day, and perhaps his own skin, by presenting a red herring?

Kelly Slater to his 2.4 million followers: “Don’t tell anyone how good the left is at V-Land!”


Kelly Slater, greatest surfer of all, greatest surfer on earth took to Instagram today in order to tell his 2.4 million followers a secret.

“Don’t tell anyone how good the left is at V-Land. Sneaky ones on a @slaterdesigns 5’9 rounded pin #FRK by @dan_mann.”

And I will tell you what, it is this sort of hot action that makes Kelly Slater the greatest surfer of all, the greatest surfer on earth. To me and to you that is an ugly, aberrant closeout that could only lead to many stitches but to Kelly it is a canvas. The lefts at V-Land will never be seen the same but have you surfed V-Land before?

Matt Warshaw the greatest surf historian of all, even though Pulitzer Prize winning author William Finnegan calls him ‘self-proclaimed’ writes:

Feisty high-performance wave located at the far east end of the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii; a two-way break, but generally known as a right. Velzyland needs a medium-small west swell, and breaks best from three to five foot. Bigger waves fold over on an outer reef, roll shoreward, and sometimes reform just prior to hitting the Velzyland proper. The rights wedge up into perfectly formed tubes, and often throw out two or three times on the same wave; the lefts are longer but softer.

Velzyland’s jagged reef is the sharpest of any break on the North Shore, and riders who blow a tube section often surface with long red scratches and welts across their backs, shoulders, knees, elbows, hands, and feet. “For a hotdog spot,” as longboard ace Herbie Fletcher noted in 1974, “it’s a wave with a lot of consequence.” Velzyland has also been regarded since the late ’60s as a hardcore locals break, and unwelcoming to visitors.

(you subscribe to the Encyclopedia of Surfing I absolutely insist here and now.)

Unwelcome to visitors. That’s sort of what I thought but I’m sure Kelly’s 2.4 million friends will both keep the secret and be very respectful when they paddle out and shaka Eddie Rothman who happens to live nearby.