Just in: Surfing “one of world’s most exciting, innovative and forward-thinking sports!”

I need your help again!

Just over a month ago I attended the Surf Expo trade show in Orlando, Florida and, thanks to your wonderful advice, had a very good time. As I told you then, I had never really been to a trade show before and was worried how’d I navigate.

You were there for me, telling me what to do with my lanyard, where to get free beer, how to gently caress another grown man’s supple beard. I walked out of the Orange County Convention Center a changed man.

Reborn.

And now I might need your help with conferences because our very own Dear General Secretary of the World Surf League, Sophie Goldschmidt, is going to be speaking at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in Miami this May 6.

The summit, as described, will, “… usher in a new era of tightly-focused, data-driven events, designed exclusively for the people whose decisions shape the future of sport” and promises to, “…deliver unmatched data, analysis and actionable insight to facilitate effective and profitable decision-making.”

It sounds like something we need here, no?

Our Dear General Secretary who, “…has been recognized by both Forbes and Adweek as one of the most powerful women in global sports” will give a lecture on… To be honest, I don’t know but the tweet sent out this morning from the Sports Decision Makers account declares, “Sophie Goldschmidt is set to appear at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in Miami. She leads one of the world’s most exciting, innovative and forward-thinking sports.”

Exciting, innovative and forward-thinking.

I like the sound of that.

So.

At a conference what should I wear? Should I tuck my checked button-up into my khaki pants or purchase one of those UNTUCKit shirts that I regularly see in inflight magazines? What should I do if I see a gorgeously dangerous yet passionately refined beard?

Can you help me live my best life once again?


A popular sign in Byron Bay. | Photo: @RobbieSthGoldy via Daily Mail

Update: Surfer hit by “baby Great White” at Byron Bay: beaches closed etc

"There was a lot of thrashing and splashing and a lot of blood."

A surfer has been airlifted to hospital after being hit by a shark on that gorgeous sandspit called Belongil, which you can access as you leave Bryon Bay to the north-west.

The forty-one-year-old from Suffolk Park, a sort of gentrified surfer ghetto just south of town, was surfing just after sunrise when he was bitten on the thigh by what is being called a baby Great White (so little but so feisty). He paddled to the beach, told other surfers, the paramedics were called and he was treated at the scene while they waited for the bird to take him to the Gold Coast.

“There was a lot of thrashing and splashing. He started screaming, we didn’t realise until we paddled back to the beach that there was a big chunk taken out of his leg. There was a lot of blood, a lot of bleeding. The bleeding was pretty bad. We didn’t see the shark but a bloke who was out there earlier said he saw a fin and he reckons it was a juvenile Great White.”

A pal, Dane Davidson, said he and the attackee, who hasn’t been named, had just paddled out when the shark hit from below.

“There was a lot of thrashing and splashing. He started screaming, we didn’t realise until we paddled back to the beach that there was a big chunk taken out of his leg. There was a lot of blood, a lot of bleeding. The bleeding was pretty bad. We didn’t see the shark but a bloke who was out there earlier said he saw a fin and he reckons it was a juvenile Great White. I was freaking. When I heard the screams he was making in the water and then I saw a chunk of his board floating off, that’s when I realised it was pretty bad. He was conscious but … his eyes were drifting around a bit, he seemed a bit dizzy. He was saying his breathing was labouring … overall I think he was alright, he was just in a bit of shock.”

Davidson and other surfers used leg-ropes as tourniquets.

“Hopefully that prevents him from losing (his leg),” said Davidson.

Decent sorta bite. @MaggieRaworth

All nearby beaches have been closed for twenty-four hours.

It’s very difficult to un-attach one’s lips from the teat of shark fever in Byron Bay. Every day, some new angle, some new bump, attack or theory or sightings.

Owen and Tyler Wright’s Lennox Head-based dad, Rob, told The Australian a few years ago: “We’ve never seen anything like this. We’re all over it. We live up up here and we surf up here, but this is all we’re thinking about. The married guys, they’re not allowed to go surfing. The young guys with kids, they’re thinking about it all the time. Everybody is.”

According to the story, “Wright has had two sharks swim beneath his board in recent weeks. One — ‘a fricken big thing’ about 4m long with a pointy head and wide body — was chasing a fish at full speed. “It was flying, but it wasn’t after me, thankfully.”

A pro surfer whom I know reasonably well moved to Byron Bay and when I asked him about the sharks, he shook his head and told me, “Oh man…every…day…”

More, if there is more to this than a leg bite, as it comes.


"Some say love, it is a vulnerable adult learner."

Official: Surf classes more popular than Roman Gladiator School and Venice Carnival Mask-Making!

There is a vulnerable adult learner explosion!

Do you remember when one-time World Surf League CEO Herr Paul Speaker looked the world in the eye and proclaimed that the potential market for live professional surfing dwarfed basically everything? That there were billions upon billions of people just waiting to watch the pipelines. That, “We are going to turn the stop signs into welcome mats.”

Oh how we laughed, or least I laughed. Surfing isn’t a sport, for starters, and when shoehorned into a sporting paradigm with judges, priority, Gabriel Medina etc. will only ever be enjoyed and/or tolerated by the 428 people worldwide who surf at least once a week. Also, participation in surfing had been declining due its difficulty and byzantine social structure.

Very much mocking but wait… what’s this story that I see on Maui Now? Shall we read together?

The Maui Surf School ranked second on TripAdvisorʻs list of the Top 10 Most-Booked Classes and Workshops in the World in their 2019 Experiences Trends Report. The list includes a wide range of classes around the world, including the Roman Gladiator School and the Venice Carnival Mask-Making Class in Italy. Catamaranʻs Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise on Oʻahu earned the second spot on the reportʻs Top 10 Most-Booked Water Sports list.

A surf school ranked second in the entire world for bookings? It’s a vulnerable adult learner explosion!

Of course ex-CEO Herr Speaker saw it coming. Of course he knew the VALs are here, there, everywhere hiding in plain view. Of course he knew once those stop signs got hammered into welcome mats, the scary and very grumpy local removed from the equation, that the tender masses would embrace the “Pastime of Kings.”

Who’s eating crow now?

Us.

Or at least me.


Revealed: Surf tanks will erase surf rage and usher in an era of gorgeous benevolence!

You’ll find yourself cheering for complete strangers!

Do you have surf tank fatigue yet? Wavegarden, Surf Ranch, American Waves Machines, Waco, Lemoore, Spain, Palm Beach, Kelly Slater, Palm Springs, Tokyo, WSL, Barton Lynch, Mark Occhilupo, perpetual motion machine, Mad Max, pump house, Yo-Yo Ma?

Are you completely exhausted?

Well you shouldn’t be because these phenomenal monuments to Kelly Slater will soon usher in an era of peace and prosperity such as the world has never experienced before and in this age of wild, out of control surf rage.

How?

Oh. Let’s turn to German action sport something ISPO who interviewed John Luff, the founder and president of surfparkcentral.com who said:

Surf parks are a driving force for social interaction and community building. Perhaps one of the biggest differences between artificial waves and surfing in the ocean is the mentality in the water. It is a big difference to know that you are going to surf a wave for sure while paddling out. When people are no longer competing, positioning, and in some cases fighting for waves, the entire dynamic in the lineup changes for the better. You’ll find yourself cheering for complete strangers – a rare phenomenon in most crowded natural surfspots around the world today.

And now we sing.

Can you feel the love tonight? The peace the evening brings. The world for once in perfect harmony with all its living things.

Etc.


Let me tell you this. Eighteen feet. Very big. My finger, not my trigger finger, not my tequila boom boom finger, but a finger nevertheless, it snaps. Very big waves. Eighteen feet.

Tech billionaire breaks finger surfing “18-foot waves with Laird Hamilton!”

Is Adam Neumann the most important man in surf? He's got wavepools, Laird Superfood and big-wave skills…

You might’ve heard the name Adam Neumann thrown around if you follow the travails of new money and the inexorable rise of various tech billionaires.

Yesterday it was revealed Neumann, who is an “avid surfer with a house in the Hamptons” busted a digit while surfing “eighteen-foot waves with Laird Hamilton.”

(Briefly mentioned here.)

Neumann, thirty-nine, is an Israeli-American who was raised on the collective farming miracle called kibbutz and who served three years with a M4 machine gun protecting Israel from its vicious enemies.

His company WeWork, which is valued at twenty billion dollars, is based on similar collective principals, various workers share office space, enjoying the cross-pollination of ideas as well as the reduced cost of renting an office.

Two years ago, Neumann bought a “large stake” in the Spanish-German wave pool enterprise, Wavegarden and, earlier this year, he bought a stake in Laird Superfood, which promises ordinary people terrific benefits if you swallow the various potions, including performance mushrooms and Peruvian coffees.

Of course, the best part about Neumann, apart from his gun skills, is the story about the female employee of WeWork who said he “plied her with tequila shots during her interview with the company.”

The company used to have a free beer policy, with no limit stipulated.

Shortly after the suit, this was revised down to four beers a day.