Listen: “Chas, you are a complete and total fuckwit whose opinion is based on other fuckwits’ stories!”

Legendary shaper Maurice Cole spits the truth!

I don’t get star-struck, especially around surfers or surf folk. Oh not because I’m cool or unaffected but just because… I don’t know. Mick Fanning? Kelly Slater? Great icons, wonderful examples of human potential but… I don’t know. Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater? They’re like us with better bottom turns. And more complex theories re. chem trails.

Maybe I’m just too dumb to truly recognize greatness or maybe I was just waiting on Maurice Cole.

I learned his name the same exact time I learned “Tom Curren” and you know why. Because this…

I don’t get star-struck but meeting Maurice Cole had me absolutely tongue-tied.

He is a legend and the best sort. The sort with stories and opinions and heartbreak and triumphs. The sort that ain’t afraid to tell the truth and speaking with him today was an absolute honor and an absolute privilege. Would you care to listen?

Breaking: Kieren Perrow steps down as WSL commissioner for nineties superstar “Long-Ball” Patty-Cake O’Connell!

Momentum fixture and former movie star takes reigns of tour events…

You must give me a moment to catch my breath and wipe the sheen of sweat from my body. My favourite surfer of all time, the nineties superstar Pat O’Connell, who is so kind he can absorb any evil and whom you want to cover in lipstick marks and who has wrinkles on his face like cat whiskers, has been appointed WSL Commissioner, although the job title is now WSL role of SVP, Tours & Head of Competition.

Pat, now forty seven, starred in the Endless Summer sequel in 1994, qualified for the tour in 1995 and retired in 2004, his best rating an eleventh place in 1998. He was also a regular in Taylor Steele’s Momentum series.

“I want to be everybody’s friend,” Pat told Surfer in ’98. “I suppose that’s a character flaw in pro surfing.”

The WSL’s just-as-adorable Chloe Kojima emailed,

Commissioner Kieren Perrow is stepping down to take on a supporting role at the WSL, which will leverage his decades of experience in evolving and championing the technical aspects of the sport. 

“I’ve been a part of professional surfing my entire life, and I never imagined it would get to the level it’s at today,” Perrow said. “To be able to live out my dream on tour as a competitor, while also being a surfer rep and board member, was a massive high point in my career. However, getting to transition into my role as Commissioner and foster new talent and development pathways for surfers, has been even more rewarding. I’m really proud of my team and the WSL for all we have achieved together. With the role now needing to be based in Los Angeles, I’m taking this opportunity to step down and spend more time in Australia with my family, while continuing to be a part of professional surfing in a more focused capacity.” 


Pat O’Connell, former WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitor and current VP of Sports Marketing at Hurley, will succeed Perrow in the newly titled WSL role of SVP, Tours & Head of Competition (formerly titled “The Commissioner”), overseeing the Commissioner’s Office roles and responsibilities. O’Connell will be based out of WSL Headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

“Words can’t describe the amount of respect I have for the WSL, Kieren and his team,” O’Connell said. “From competitor to surfer rep to board member to commissioner, he really has given his all for surfing to get it to where it is today and I couldn’t be more thankful. It’s super hard to leave my family at Hurley as it’s been such a huge part of my life for more than 15 years. I’ve had an incredible experience at Hurley, but I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to lead the competitive aspects of surfing and further elevate the sport. I believe in the WSL, I believe in what it can be, and I’m stoked.”

A very good buy for the WSL, a Peter Pan to Sophie Goldschmidt’s Wendy, and a meteoric surge in talent levels at the Santa Monica office where Vals patrol the hallways with apparent impunity.

Review: “Wild nature, constant risk of death, colorful characters and men behaving badly!”

Jen See takes on the story everyone's talking about!

This morning I rode my Schwinn to the coffee shop with The New York Times Magazine clutched under my arm. Almost immediately it began to rain, so there I was carrying a paper magazine in the rain. This was not good planning. There is, it seems, something to be said for carrying a 10 thousand word feature in a glowing metal and glass box tucked safely into your pocket.

I arrived to a packed scene and sardined my way to the counter to order. After scavenging a chair, I tucked under the awning with my macchiato to read this week’s cover story, Daniel Duane’s delicious feature on women’s big wave surfing.

They had me at the subhead, which calls big-wave surfing “one of the most dangerous, rapturous sports on Earth.” I’m not sure this is true, never having experienced it myself, but it would have lured me straight into reading the story — even if I hadn’t already heard talk of some pure fire interview quotes from the women involved.

At length and in full-dress New York Times Magazine feature style, Duane traces the efforts of women such as Bianca Valenti and Keala Kennelly to gain admittance to the big wave boys club. This is a story that’s been begging to be told. It has all the best ingredients: colorful characters, nature at its most wild and unpredictable, a near-constant risk of death, and maybe best of all, men behaving badly.

The story’s sympathies are clear. The women come off as uniformly badass and determined. Valenti describes riding a wave at Jaws as feeling as one of “peacefulness” as though “this is where I was meant to be.” If you’ve wondered what compels surfers to throw themselves down mountains of water, Duane does as good work as anyone has at illuminating the seductive draw of big waves to those who chase them.

The juice of the story is the resistance that women have encountered in gaining access to big wave lineups, contests, and prize money. Here, the surf industry and the assorted contest organizers, from Jeff Clark at Mavericks to the WSL, do not come off especially well. The sexism appears to run deeply and Duane does not pull his punches. Men appear largely dismissive of women’s abilities and view them as rivals for prize money at best and as dangers in the lineup at worst.

Kennelly’s outspoken comments, in particular, had me cackling out loud. She describes the surf industry as she found it in the early 2000’s, when she was surfing on the CT, as teeming with “creepy team managers.” There’s more, and the story is worth reading for Kennelly’s unflinching excoriation of the surf industry as she experienced it. Duane shows the price she paid for the industry’s close-mindedness at the time as sponsors dropped her and she struggled to find support.

The WSL and their much-ballyhooed equal prize money initiative also fall short of the mark in this account. Some of this ground is familiar as Duane retraces the reporting of the San Jose Mercury News on Goldschmidt’s description of the women’s “poor performance” and abuse of #metoo. When placed in the context of the longer story, the WSL looks a lot more like an continuation of surfing’s old order than the fabulously shiny, new thing they like to portray themselves as.

Duane’s given us an inspiring story of guts and glory, the kind of thing that’s perfect for a rainy Sunday morning. Here’s a group of women, who didn’t fit within the narrow boundaries that the surf industry, or the wider culture for that matter, wanted to draw for them. So they set out to obliterate those boundaries. Duane, rightly I think, gives Kennelly the kicker. I’m not going to spoil it, except to say that it’s worth reading all the way to the end.

Read Duane’s story here. 

Taj Burrow, in tux, with DJ FISHER, wife Rebecca Jobson and Fisher's girl, Chloe Chapman. | Photo: @followthefishTV

Taj Burrow marries baby mama for second time!

Stars flock to Yallingup for wedding rematch!

Last December, the retired pro surfer Taj Burrow married his baby mama, the former Bondi model Rebecca Jobson, in a remarkably modest ceremony.

Modest, because as anyone who’s ever circled in his orbit knows, the forty-year-old owner of a beer company ain’t afraid of a good time.

And, as a man who put pals before world titles, before…winning…it ain’t a stretch to call him the most popular surfer, among his peers, and fans, of all time.

Big call?

On Saturday, pals flew in from around the world, including grammy-award nominated DJ FISHER (who would forget his passport and miss his private plane home),  nightclub wrangler Shane Moran, Stab founder Sam McIntosh, photographer John Respondek and trainer-to-the-stars John Gannon, for a wedding rematch at Black Brewery Co in Wilyabrup, Western Australia.

Right about now is where we cue up a few of Chris Rock’s married jokes.


“Those are the choices you’ve got in life, man. You can be married and bored, or single and lonely. Ain’t no happiness nowhere.”

“Whenever I go out with other married couples, I like to bring along a single crackhead. Just spicing up the activities. ‘Come on, tell us some of your cracky tales, please!’ ”

“Fellas, once you get married you become your wife’s pet. Cause women like to get their husbands together, that don’t even know each other, and have like a grown-man play date. Put you in a room with some other married motherfucker, and go ‘he likes baseball just like you’. Then you’re in some room with some fucking stranger, going ‘I like baseball.'”

It don’t gotta be like that, and a man like Tez, who’s seen it all and eaten most of it up, was never going to marry poorly.

“Reflecting on the wild wild cards that are on my table right now and going into the new year knowing that nothing matters more than the wonderful people you surround yourself with. Hold those close to you and hold them tight, tell them you love them 150 times a day and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Like sitting on a grassy hill by the ocean, sipping a gin and tonic with your nearest and dearest and watching the waves and the clouds roll in,” Jobson wrote after that first ceremony, which was held so her sick mom, who has now passed away, could see her daughter get  married. “Life is one crazy ride and I’m so lucky to be surrounded by the best breed of humans. Thank you for looking after me when I need it most. Be safe everyone, hoping you have a ground breaking earth shaking 2019.”

Inspirational: Kelly Slater emboldens once great golfer to live his best life!

"You have to enjoy the uncomfortable spots..."

Few here will ever achieve the sort of greatness that Kelly Slater has. We joke, sure, about his quirks and -isms but underneath funny, cheap, character-revealing smiles bubbles a never-waning fount of wonder.

Once great golfer Adam Scott was allowed to dip his tin cup into that fount, yesterday, and taste the secret of eternal competitiveness.

If you follow the game of golf you may remember the name Adam Scott. He won the Masters in 2013 and held the “number 1” spot for sometime after but has failed to win any major victories in years and has one foot dangling in the slough of irrelevance.

Well, yesterday he played a few holes with Kelly Slater at the Pebble Beach course ahead of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and let’s read from The Sydney Morning Herald about his experience together.

But as 38-year-old Scott continues his climb back up golf’s world rankings following a lean 2018, he says he learned some lessons from Slater about longevity.

Slater owns the record for the youngest (20) and oldest surfer to win a world title, last claiming it as a 39-year-old in 2011.

“His record speaks for itself; the greatest in every sport does things no-one else can,” Scott said.

“There are phenomenal athletes and I compared [Slater] to Tiger [Woods] in our sport for a while.

“There is a competitive drive inside and they refuse to let age hold them back.”

Searching for his second major title to go with his historic 2013 Masters victory, Scott said Slater inspired him to take more risks when in contention this year.

“It’s just a reminder, even to play golf, to win tournaments, you have to enjoy the uncomfortable spots,” Scott, whose winless drought stretches back to March 2016, said.

“You can’t play it safe all the time and expect to perform at Kelly’s level or even the levels I performed at in golf.”

Playing it safe totally is for the birds. I’m going to pretend that Kelly Slater whispered that into my ear too, down the back nine, and do my very riskiest, most uncomfortable work yet this year.

Maybe Tales of a Fucking Genderqueer or something.