Vans employee tells kid with MAGA hat to ‘F*ck Off; Gets Fired

Trump supporter denied chance to buy iconic checkerboard slip-on shoes!

An employee at a Vans store in Kansas has been fired after, allegedly I suppose although he doesn’t seem to deny it, telling a kid with a Make America Great Again hat to fuck off.

“I’m sure he’s heard it before,” the employee told the kid’s mammy, who then reported the guy to his manager.

“My son walked into this store. That gentleman cursed and told him, ‘Take off your hat’. He said nothing to him, 14-year-old child, then he said, ‘F you’ to my son. My son said nothing to him, did nothing.'”

Shortly after, Vans, which is Dane Reynolds’ primary sponsor, released a statement saying, “The actions and comments from one employee in our Oak Park location are in contrast with our company’s values and belief in personal expression.”

And yesterday, it was revealed that Empire star Jussie Smollet, who’d claimed he’d barely escaped being lynched by two men chanting, “This is MAGA country!”, a hate crime that blew Twitter into the heavens and had GQ writing “They could lynch you if they really wanted to, and maybe get away with it too” , probs made the damn thing up.

From the safety of Australia, I ask: Are men, and boys, in MAGA hats tearing the heart out of America in “the blind rage of late-stage whiteness,” as posited by GQ, and therefore must have their smug faces punched as suggested by TV host Reza Aslan?

More importantly, should Vans invest a little cash in heating its stores?

Both employees are filmed wearing woollen caps and inflating jackets that belong, I would suggest, in Alaska’s famous tundra.

WA government creates safe space for sharks!

Progressive: Western Australian gov to monitor “health and well-being” of sharks caught in drum line trial!

Safe spaces for sharks!

Remember the good ol days when the torture of fish via knives and suffocation on jetties was a rite of passage for young boys and the occasional adventurous girl?

And when you could go into a restaurant and sit before a miniature train whose little cabooses presented fish that had been vacuumed from the ocean by super trawlers?

Oh you still can torture little fish?

And you can gorge on tuna and so on as long as it’s not…shark?

The elevation of the shark from fish to deity was confirmed a few days ago when it was announced that volunteers would monitor a drum line trial in Gracetown, Western Australia, where Great Whites have multiplied in such numbers one mental health counsellor now has the added custom of freaked-out mums of kids who insist on surfing, to ensure “the health, wellbeing and mortality risks of sharks.”

From a story in The West Australian on Friday.

The transparency of Gracetown’s fast-approaching smart drum-line trial has been bolstered by an agreement that will see two volunteer observers present when a shark is tagged and relocated.

The revelation came at a public forum tonight where Conservation Council of WA’s Simon Blears announced the move.

Mr Blears, CCWA’s representative on the Ministerial Reference Group, said the Department of Fisheries had agreed to make the system more transparent after ongoing concerns for the health, wellbeing and mortality risks of sharks.

The volunteer observers, one of whose identity was disclosed at the meeting, will require police checks and a thorough induction before being allowed on the contracted vessel.

Donna Martin, one of the volunteers, will watch as sharks caught on drum lines are secured with a rope, tagged and relocated at slow speed 500m further offshore.

Mr Blears said the improvements agreed on by the department were “large success points”, adding that trans-parency was a priority for the CCWA.

“One of the other things we wanted to make sure occurred was transparency of activities on the boats,” he said.

As part of the agreement, cameras and audio devices will be mounted to the upper structure of the vessel used for relocating the tagged sharks.

The footage will be made available to the Ministerial Reference Group. CCWA director Piers Verstegen, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s senior policy advisor Michael McMullan and Director of Fisheries Science and Resource Development’s Daniel Gaughan were also at the meeting.

The trial, which starts this month, will see 10 drum lines put about 500m offshore across an 11.5km area taking in Southpoint, Northpoint and Lefthanders at a cost of $3.84 million.

One volunteer, the former aquarium worker Donna Martin, has threatened to have the trial shut if it kills or harms too many sharks.

Is this splendid man a good surfer, a VAL or an EI? Impossible to tell! | Photo: @kook_of_the_day

New Threat: The Rise of the Emerging Intermediate Surfer!

What happens when a VAL completes his metamorphosis?

It’s the year of the VAL, the Vulnerable Adult Learner whose behaviour and habitat has been well documented on this website.

Read here, here and here

Here, here, here and here too.

But what happens when a VAL eventually gains enough confidence in his, her, ability? They become an Emerging Intermediate, a more aggressive and threatening form of surfer than the VAL.

Don’t believe me?

Let us, as they say in polite circles, start the conversation.

The EI is unassuming because he has a carbon-wrapped board it discovered while being self-radicalized by surfboard review clerics on YouTube.  There is also a hipster sub-sect that can afford one-thousand dollar “artisan”, asymetrical twin-fins.

Emerging Intermediates further blend in and confuse everyone else because they actually make a legit wetsuit purchase from a mainstream company, be it an Xcel or perhaps a Matuse (see again hipster sub-sect).

The problem:

Newly radicalised, weaponised, and over aggressive, they will come to your peak and start shoulder hopping waves with their heads down. They are oblivious to everything. The newly anointed martyrs will make suicide missions into set waves, tomahawking down the face. The real treat comes when they actually make the wave but you’ve burned them. Tantrums and a detailed explanation of “The Rule of Surfing” will follow.

You have EI’s who vacay in Bali to surf waves out of their league. They wear reef booties and tell everyone they hate wearing them. Secretly, they wish the booties came up to their knee caps and they proudly stomp around in them as proof of being battle-tested at Uluwatu and so forth.

The overarching problem with EI’s is that aren’t as easy identifiable as VAL’s. Therefore, you don’t know where the enemy is and you don’t know where the enemy fire will be coming from.

So what can be done?

Do we place a travel ban on VAL’s in Tourmaline, Pacifica, Venice, and Bondi, assuming that they one day will be radicalized as EI’s?

Is it our responsibility to de-radicalise EI’s by suggesting they go back to a fun board and a surf trip to Costa Rica?

Many questions.

From the shut-your-trap Dept: Censorship and the iron fist of surf websites!

You've been banned!

Yesterday, underneath a bubble gum story on vulnerable adult learners, Some Guy posted an intriguing comment about hypocrisy and censorship within the surf media. Oh we all live in glass houses, of course, and rocks etc. but the trend to wildly and brutally strangle the conversation, from the World Surf League’s booth to the various surf-centric websites to surfing subreddits, has reached a level that would turn Joseph Goebbels’ face green with envy.

Comments disappeared, whole threads vanished, people banned, tossed into outer darkness for the most inoffensive remark with no recourse for reinstatement.

I know behind its exciting, innovative and forward-thinking exterior that surfing is cloistered, grumpy, resistant to change but when did communication become so…. scary? When did the men and woman who pull the levers become so… fearful?

I understand it can be embarrassing when supporting brands are criticized in various comment sections but do those on the media side think that by either evaporating negative remarks and/or closing the conversation they trick those on brand side into thinking all is rosy and perfect?

I understand it can be uncomfortable when opposing views are presented but we’re all adults here and can handle a little ire.

Can’t we?

I understand that being mocked for this or that decision might not feel the best but owning mistakes, celebrating them even, is a path toward greater fun.

Isn’t it?

Ruthless censorship eventually backfires. The people may be a lot of things but they ain’t blind and so this current epoch of the iron fist confuses me greatly.

Maybe you know something I don’t. Maybe you have answers.

What are they?

I am honestly confused. It’s just surfing after all. What could go so wrong if, outside purely dumb and cruel language, various opinions were allowed to float unchecked?

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.


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.


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?