Rumor: “Cost-cutting and belt-tightening at the World Surf League as Dirk Ziff runs out of patience!”

Workers nervously rub hands together!

Oh it has been so quite up Santa Monica way since Dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt, released a stirring propaganda video and I suppose that I assumed it was business as usual, preparing for the upcoming season, sending detractors to re-education camps, morning hymns to the Father of Modern Professional Surfing Comrade Dirk Ziff etc.

BUT a hot new rumor straight from a highly placed source in the High Tower suggests there is turmoil behind the beaming facade. That the Father of Modern Professional Surfing Comrade Dirk Ziff is running out of patience. That owning professional surfing was maybe not as fun and/or profitable as suggested by wife and/or friends.

First, it has been alleged that Terry Hardy, one of the architects of the Association of Surfing Professionals re-brand into the World Surf League and Kelly Slater’s longtime manager is leaving the organization. Whether jump or push is unclear. Mr. Hardy had a very hands-on role for many years, apparently, and would certainly have been one of the more, if not most, knowledgable people in any WSL room. Did he leave for another opportunity or another “opportunity” (in Siberia)?

We shall see.

Second, there has been cost-cutting and belt-tightening across the board. Freezes etc. The Father of Modern Professional Surfing Comrade Dirk Ziff has never made himself available for interviews with the surf media so any guess as to what he is thinking is simply that. It has been assumed that he has enough money to dump down professional surfing’s gaping maw forever but exceedingly rich people don’t become exceedingly rich via unsound financial moves.

Will Surf Ranches be hustled out posthaste? Will tour events be trimmed and/or professional surfers? Will the non-surfing masses finally turn on and tune in, creating a cornucopia of opportunity?

We shall see.

Dreams come true: Become a very famous and glamorous surf journalist today!

Leave everything behind. It's worth it.

I know what you’re thinking. “I could never be a surf journalist. Like extremely famous actors and musicians, quality surf journalists possess a skill set that has been gifted directly from the heavens. They are handsome and beautiful, wildly talented, fundamentally important to our cultural depth. Surf journalists are artists, maybe even the greatest artists of our time, sought after, righteous and good. Surf journalists not only speak truth to power but speak gibberish to the void and thereby course-correct the universe.”

All of that is true BUT I still believe in you. I believe that if you really commit yourself, you could enter the august ranks, standing shoulder to top of head with Nick Carroll, and forever slough off a meaningless existence.

But how?

Oh. Carve magazine, out of England, is hosting a 25th anniversary writing competition and let’s read about it!

Stories are at the heart of surfing whether from your last wave, latest trip or the myths and legends from years gone by. We want to encourage writers, young, old, or those that would like their work published but are either not sure where to start or are not sure if their work is good enough. Everyone has to start somewhere! So this year we are running Carve surf journalist competition.

Anyone can enter, and each month we will pick one story to publish in the magazine and a couple to publish on our website. It could be an interview, opinion, a feature or travel story. Humorous, informative, adventurous, technical, if you feel inspired to write we want to hear from you! At the end of the year we will announce our Carve 25th Anniversary Writer of the Year.

There will be a prize, although we have to sort that out at time of writing!

Send entries to [email protected]

You’ve got this!

From the never-too-much-of-a-good-thing Dept: Professional surfing returns to Maroubra!

Feat. Keanu Asing, Connor O'Leary and Stu Kennedy!

Not this coming weekend but the following will feature the Super Bowl in the United States of America and also the official end of the professional football season. Fans will flock to bars, restaurants, parties and homes to watch and super fans will dry their eyes after the game, knowing that they will not get to see any more football for many bleak months. Their lives will be hollow shells. They’ll commit unspeakable crimes just to silence the voices.

Well, it’s a great thing that professional surfing has no offseason. The fan can find satisfaction every week of the entire year and this week satisfaction comes to Maroubra.

You may best know the seaside hamlet as home to the famed Bra Boys but it also has nuggety little waves and, this week, Keanu Asing. Let us read the World Surf League press release together.

Some of the world’s most accomplished surfers will venture to Maroubra tomorrow for the start of the 2019 Carve Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 rated event.

The elite four-day QS1,000 rated event will form the first of three stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will take place in Maroubra Beach from the 23rd January – 26th January 2019. The event will also kickstart the new calendar year for the 2019 WSL Australia / Oceania QS series.

Entered into the Men’s division is a range of former WSL Championship Tour surfers including Keanu Asing (HAW), Connor O’Leary (Cronulla, NSW), Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW) and Mitch Crews (Tugan, Qld).

“I’m stoked to get to Australia and kick off my year in my sponsor’s event,” said Asing. “I hope I can get the ball rolling early in 2019, especially after some less than ideal results last year. I hope I can use this event to build my heat confidence for the entire year.”

Are you excited?

Nostalgia: Boost Mobile set to sponsor upcoming Gold Coast Pro!

Back to the future!

There was one minute in professional surfing’s history when egregiously bullish predictions could be excused because surfing was everything. Everything and everything and everything and who wouldn’t want a piece? Who didn’t want a piece? Quiksilver was valued well over a billion dollars. Billabong was valued at over a billion dollars too. Rockstar Energy, X-Games, extreme sport, PowerBalance love.

Boost Mobile.

Boost motherfucking Mobile. A cellphone company geared toward extreme sport enthusiasts.

Toss one quarter into surfing’s well and it would instantly multiply because surfing was the universal dream.

Until it wasn’t.

Quiksilver went bankrupt then combined with a bankrupt Billabong, Rockstar Energy sauntered off to who knows where, extreme sports became an embarrassing quantifier, PowerBalance bracelets got sued out of existence and Boost Mobile just signed up to be title sponsor for the upcoming kickoff women’s World Surf League World Championship Tour event on Australia’s Gold Coast and what?

Exsqueeze me?

Let’s read the press release!

The World Surf League (WSL) is excited to announce that Boost Mobile has signed on as Title Sponsor for the opening event of the 2019 Women’s Championship Tour (CT) on the Gold Coast. The Boost Mobile Pro will run at Snapper Rocks from April 3 – 13 and make history as the first CT event to award equal prize money following WSL’s groundbreaking commitment in September of 2018.

“We’re really happy that Boost Mobile has come on board to support the season opener and are thrilled that they are partnering with us to put on one of surfing’s most iconic and historic competitions,” WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said. “The 2019 women’s Championship Tour is set to be our most exciting season yet with the introduction of equal prize money being rolled out across our events, the first of which will be the Boost Mobile Pro on the Gold Coast”.

Current World No. 6 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), is no stranger to success at Snapper Rocks with four Semifinal appearances and one Final at the famed point break.

“What an epic new look having Boost Mobile partner with WSL for the women’s Gold Coast Snapper Rocks event,” Fitzgibbons said. “It is such a significant time in women’s surfing and I feel empowered to be part of the sport and what it represents. With the added energy of youth brand, Boost Mobile as a sponsor, it’s sure to be one awesome show for Stop No. 1 on the 2019 Women’s Championship Tour!”

11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is excited to return to full-time competition at stop No.1 on the Gold Coast, particularly given the historical significance of the event.

I honestly have no idea why Kelly Slater was roped in there at the end nor why Sally Fitz was forced to give a statement but… hello 2005!

And would you like to know what BeachGrit founder Derek Rielly says about nostalgia? I’ll tell you. He says, “Nostalgia is for people who love being old/getting old. For the afraid and the worthless.”

Viva our very bright future!

Jen See: “I watched Tom Curren mother an adult learner like a hen minds her chick!”

A beautiful moment! Tears in everyone's eyes!

The other day I went down to the beach for a surf. There is nothing especially unique about this occurrence. Another day marked off on the calendar, another pearl on the string. The waves looked playful and inviting. The tide appeared cooperative. It was even uncrowded. Come here, little girl, come surfing. It’ll be fun, I promise.

I shimmied into my suit, turning to avoid the interested gaze of a passing beachwalker. They always do that, the beachwalkers. Show up right at that awkward stage of half-in, half-out, maybe this time there’ll be a nip slip. Not this time, bitches! Safely zippered up and ready for some surfing.

I mistimed the paddle out, of course, and took ten waves on the head. The resulting ice cream headache made me cranky. Fucking waves, what the hell. My good spirits started to wane. I found a wave, resolved to turn that frown straight upside down with some turns. A good wave, some turns, that’ll make it all okay.

It turned out the waves were less fun than they’d looked from the beach. I’d been played by equal parts illusion and wishful thinking. Mediocre waves are better than no waves at all, I told myself. Still determined. Still hopeful. Maybe it’ll get better!

In the meantime an additional twenty guys had shown up in the lineup. Clearly they were hiding under rocks and behind the bushes, ready to pounce. They saw me blissfully paddle out, hoping for an uncrowded, playful day, and figured it was time to strike.

Mediocre waves, I could accept. Mediocre waves and a crowd? That’s just taking things way too far. There I sat, stewing. I started thinking about sandwiches, about how maybe I should go get one. Sandwiches understand. Sandwiches never let you down.

Then, I saw it. Then I saw the most marvelous thing. I had to blink my eyes to believe it was real. For there was Tom Curren leading an Adult Learner around the lineup. The Adult Learner was perched precariously on a longboard as Curren paddled along beside him like a mother duck minding her chick.

If you’ve never seen Curren in real life, or at least not lately, he looks exactly like you’d imagine. A shock of blonde hair, grey around the edges, perpetually disheveled sits above a face cut deep with lines from the countless hours of staring at the horizon and beyond. His stocky build looks purpose-built for turning surfboards. These days, he has the slightly vague air of an artist, of someone who finds his interior life distractingly interesting, maybe more so, than the world around him.

A small wave came through with no takers. Curren cajoled his adult learner into position and urged him to paddle. Then he gave him a push. The adult learner came to his feet and did a thing that looked something like surfing. Success!

Suddenly, I was extremely jealous. I want a push, too! Where’s my Tom Curren! Tom, Tom, can I get a push? Tom, I need some help over here!

In a listicle over at Surfline — that he was quick to assure us is not actually a listicle, though it does offer a, um, list — Nick Carroll names Adult Learning as one of the surf culture trends of recent years. He predicts that Adult Learners will expand their range into new areas of surf tourism, learn new tricks, and Instagram the fuck out of it all. (Read here, etc!)

Could Curren be starting a new trend of his own? Soon, all the cool kids are going to want Adult Learners of their own. You won’t be able to rock up to the beach without one. There’ll be a rush to find an Adult Learner that best complements your personal style. Board size and color. Wetsuit choice. Gender. Hair color. Before long, we’ll have apps to find the best Adult Learner for you! Swipe right. Swipe left. Find your match.

The very next day, I went back to the beach. Plainly, I had not learned my lesson about the pointless nature of this whole endeavor. When I got there, I saw Shaun Tomson in the lineup. But there was something missing! Shaun did not have an Adult Learner. I tried to tell him that he was doing surfing wrong. Shaun! Stop! It’s all wrong!

But before I could do anything at all, Shaun paddled into the best wave of the day, threw some insouciant spray, and went home.

I figured if Shaun was going to surfing wrong, then I should go ahead and do surfing wrong, too. So I found a good wave, though maybe not the best wave, and threw some girlishy exuberant spray. I forgot all about Adult Learners and trends and lists, that might not be lists, but maybe actually are lists. And then, giggling madly, I paddled back out for another. And another.

Surfing, you are so beautiful and so stupid.