An embarrassment of riches, yes? Even many years ago, a juggernaut etc.

From the embarrassment-of-riches dept: Brazil’s Monumental Olympic Problem!

Two Brazilian male surfers are going to Tokyo in 2020. Who's gonna get cut?

So the Olympics, eh? I suppose I’ll pay attention.

I predict it will be mostly shit to really shit, and that Kanoa Igarashi will be an Olympic Gold Medalist but never a world champion.

I do like the Olympics.

It reminds me of a simpler time, when TV was the evening hub of warm family life. When we would gather round the telly after Sunday lunch and listen to Dad’s casual racism (“By God these darkies can run”) and watch Linford Christie’s full-cock-and-balls whipping wildly under lycra as he ran.

And, I’ll never forget Ben Johnson, in 1988’s 100m final, who couldn’t have made it look more like he was on drugs if he was gurning his face off and stripping off to roll around and rub grit into his tits.

It’s about looking at the swimmers and feeling superior because, despite their spectacular v-lines and liberal attitudes to lying about getting mugged in petrol stations, at the end of the day they spend most of their lives staring at the bottom of swimming pools. It’s about watching the javelin and thinking, fair enough, guy, if the civilised world crumbles tomorrow then you and your big shoulders and your spear might be validated. But, as of right now, you look like a bit of a knob.

However, the Olympics is about far more than just drugs and racism.

It’s about looking at the swimmers and feeling superior because, despite their spectacular v-lines and liberal attitudes to lying about getting mugged in petrol stations, at the end of the day they spend most of their lives staring at the bottom of swimming pools. It’s about watching the javelin and thinking, fair enough, guy, if the civilised world crumbles tomorrow then you and your big shoulders and your spear might be validated. But, as of right now, you look like a bit of a knob.

And it’s about watching the equestrian events and thinking how wonderfully inclusive it all is.

What a multicultural socioeconomic melting pot! What a victory for the common man!

When I sat down to write this I had intended to pen something semi-serious about the different manifestations of Olympic qualifying and how the countries with multiple athletes might game the system blah blah… I’ll maybe do that another time. I’m feeling a little too loose right now. Like Chas at ten am after a few Babycham & lemonades to wash down his Eggs Florentine.

But I do want to mention Brazil. I love the Brazilian Storm. I love their fire and their chanting and their flag waving and their cosmetic surgery addiction. Don’t they make the Tour more colourful in an entirely non accidentally-racist-like-my-dad sort of way?

However, there’s a problem. The Brazilian Storm is so named because there’s lots of them, right? But not at the Olympics. At the Olympics there can only be two. And that means the Brazilian Olympic people are going to face some tough selection choices.

Do they take the one whose dad’s the best whistler? (Filipe) Do they take the one who’s the cutest? (Italo) Do they take the one who’s dad’s the pushiest? (Gabriel) Or do they take one whose dad we don’t know anything about and maybe he just sits and home and doesn’t care about the WSL or maybe he’s dead? (Adriano).

Or do they, just to fuck with everyone and take Jadson?

Who’s to say! But it’s exciting.

What I suggest is a kind of Hunger Games type thing. The entire Brazilian Storm are dumped on an island. They’re allowed to take two items of their choice. Final two alive qualify for the Olympics.

Who’s qualifying in that scenario?

I think Italo’s out. I think he’d forget entirely about food and shelter and survival. He’d take two Timmy Paterson’s, a 5’9” and a 5’10”, and be picked off getting out of the water within a day.

Adriano’s gone, too. He took two sentimental items, the nose of a $7 surfboard and a soiled handkerchief, and just sat under a tree and cried and cried and cried.

My bet, I think, would be on Willian Cardoso. I think his chosen items would be some salt and some pepper. And I think it entirely possible that he would have eaten everyone in the space of a few hours. Gabriel, of course, would be second. Not because he’d be especially difficult to kill or catch, but just because he’d taste the best. Right? Smooth like silk. If he’s lucky the game will end and they’ll be rescued before Willian has digested Italo and gets hungry again.

If you had to, absolutely doublefuckingdareyou HAD to…which current CTer would you eat?

But surfing at the Olympics! What about surfing?

Will it fly like a spirited little bird? Will it soar across countries, across continents, and spread the joy of surfing to little boys and girls in all corners of the globe?

Or will people look at Julian Wilson, with dubious (but lustful) eyes, as he wiggles back and forth in two-foot beach break slop, and think: This.This is Surfing?


Money: Billionaire invests heavily in surf worrying other billionaires!

"...confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector."

It has long been assumed, in our glorious capitalist societies, that billionaires are very smart when it comes to money and therefore should be emulated. Let’s take the billionaire Warren Buffett, for example. Every move he makes, every direction he looks, every dollar he invests is quickly copied by other billionaires.

Oh the Oracle of Omaha is not the only one. As a rule, billionaires can follow the lead of other billionaires when it comes to investing. It is a good system, proven to work as the rich get richer but there is now a wildcard in the billionaire ranks making suspect investments that nobody wants to copy and furthermore worries the market.

You’ve met Adam Neumann before here, after he invested millions upon millions of dollars in Laird Hamilton’s personal creamer. He also owns a large stake in WaveGarden. And what do other billionaires feel about this?

Let’s check in with billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

The company’s new directions make for an eclectic mix of businesses. Some tie more evidently into office space, while others, like Laird Superfood, appear built around Mr. Neumann’s hobbies and personal interests. At his direction, WeWork also has invested in a wave-pool maker and started an elementary school that began after Mr. Neumann and his wife, Rebekah, expressed concerns with finding schooling for their children.

WeWork’s forays reflect the leeway that investors sometimes give founders of highly valued startups to shape companies according to their vision. The expansions could help WeWork grow, but also can be a distraction; several former employees said that they had found the variety of investments confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector.

That last sentence there, “…several former employees said that they had found the variety of investments confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector.” is basically billionaires telling Mr. Neumann to knock off his surf shit. That no one has ever made a dime through surf investment, see Dirk Ziff, and if he keeps it up than WeWork will be Billabong or the World Surf League.

Does he want WeWork to be Billabong? Does he want to get kicked out of the club?

I suppose we’ll see.


Some primitive sensory trip-wire was set off deep within my reptilian brain stem and I became aware of a sudden approaching wave of movement which had an impression of size and volume. Black dread flooded me and my blood turned to thick tar. A pressure wave hit me from behind, then a vortex like a whirlpool in front which tipped my board over and sucked me into the ocean. I felt a thud hit my board and the presence of a huge shape in the water. Blood drained from my brain, my body went ice cold, stiff and lifeless.

Miracle: Surf trunks save man from Great White attack!

"A pressure wave hit me from behind, then a vortex like a whirlpool in front which tipped my board over and sucked me into the ocean. I felt a thud hit my board and the presence of a huge shape in the water."

The world divides between labour and capital and capital wins, eventually but always. Rarely does a rising tide float all boats but the surf writer finds himself in the position of having to eschew the collective and fight for the individual.

The fellow surf writer with whom he would share common cause is his mortal rival in a viciously shrinking market. He (rarely she) has to be labour and capital. A major philosophical stumbling block rarely acknowledged until now.

A few, maybe more, months ago I sent Dell a thousand words or so which he agreed to publish. Two ways the surf writer prices a piece of work. One, according to the going rate and two, according to what the market will bear. In this case the market could bear nothing, so I pivoted and went for a pair of trunks, or boardshorts in the southern hemi, as remuneration.

There wasn’t a size to fit me but Dell graciously allowed that I could have his, which he described as “lightly worn”. They arrived in due course and after ensuring there were no suspicious stains consequent to Dell’s high-flying Bondi lifestyle I tried them on.

They were Need Essentials, with whom I have no association, and they seemed quite nice.

I’m a stranger to technical trunks but these were stretchy and felt deluxe against the twig and conkers. At 5’10” and 75 kilos, ripped like a classic middleweight from a combination of spartan tastes, surfing, rigorous training and hunter-gathering I’m a true size 32. The Needs were a bit big and hung low. That could be design or maybe Dell, who struggles with his weight, might have already stretched them with his more expansive mid-section.

I tried them out and went surfing, and this is what happened.

Twas late afternoon at Lennox Point, my home break, the greatest Pointbreak in the world, just after the summer solistice. The Point was pumping in a rare out of season south-east swell. Solid lines.

The crowd was thinning as the sun sank low towards the hills and the long summer afternoon threatened to turn to twilight. I paddled out and way out and way deep, where I had seen a big set break. I wanted one bomb before dark and I was prepared to wait for it. I had the NeedEssentials on and I could discern no phenomenological difference in my interior subjective state or my external reality compared to other boardshorts I had worn.

That is to say my position was completely neutral towards the product if I was asked at the time what I thought. I remember thinking that, if someone asked me what I thought I would be neutral.

At that moment, I became aware of movement to the south, seaward of the cliff line which marks the end of Lennox Point. It was a feeding frenzy, with terns bunched up and diving into a boiling mass of fish which were churning the surface into white foam. I could hear their metallic cries getting louder, they were coming this way and quick. I didn’t move.

Within the minute I could see they were small tuna, bonito. My heart quickened with excitement at seeing a feeding frenzy and anxiety at its proximity. I put my feet up and lay on the board, one arm paddling so I was roughly facing the approaching feeding frenzy and any sets.

A pressure wave hit me from behind, then a vortex like a whirlpool in front which tipped my board over and sucked me into the ocean. I felt a thud hit my board and the presence of a huge shape in the water. Blood drained from my brain, my body went ice cold, stiff and lifeless.

Within seconds the feeding frenzy went ballistic, it turned into an acre of chopping, leaping tuna with baitfish scattering like shards of broken glass in the last rays of the setting sun. I was in the middle of this, a long way out, no obvious escape route, so I slowly one armed deeper into the cliff line, thinking the bait ball was heading north.

Some primitive sensory trip-wire was set off deep within my reptilian brain stem and I became aware of a sudden approaching wave of movement which had an impression of size and volume. Black dread flooded me and my blood turned to thick tar.

A pressure wave hit me from behind, then a vortex like a whirlpool in front which tipped my board over and sucked me into the ocean. I felt a thud hit my board and the presence of a huge shape in the water. Blood drained from my brain, my body went ice cold, stiff and lifeless.

Then a raging jolt of electrical adrenalin surged in me, relieving my temporary paralysis and I climbed back on the board. I can’t remember any thoughts; there was nothing, a void and then there was something. Not a sound passed my lips, not even a silent scream. Vibrating at some high cosmic frequency I paddled over to a set wave paddled into it and stood, going up and down on the wave until I went past a paddling surfer. I made the sign of a fin with my hand in the air and went in.

On the headland I saw my brother and best friend. I drank a beer with them and smoked a joint as the sky darkened to a shade of bruised purple.

We went back to my place, built a fire and drank a case of beer under the southern cross. Chain-smoked joints until we had a fine intoxication. No need to make a fuss. Nothing reportable. A swing and a miss is no news around here. Attacks make news. Drive-bys, enquiries, bumpings are fodder for passing the time at the butchers. Two days later, someone got knocked at Broken Head. Fifteen-foot White. Not a soul got out of the water.

It’s weird how the names are adding up. Sam Edwardes, Lee Jonson (Grimace), Cooper Allen, Sam Morgan, Jade Fitzpatrick, Seneca Rus, Matt Lee, Craig Ison, Tadashi Nakahara ….there are others.

It’s weird how the names are adding up. Sam Edwardes, Lee Jonson (Grimace), Cooper Allen, Sam Morgan, Jade Fitzpatrick, Seneca Rus, Matt Lee, Craig Ison, Tadashi Nakahara ….there are others.

Pals, friendly faces in the line-up, fellow bullshitters in the carpark. But you know, bee stings falling coconuts and all that crap.

Sometime after midnight we got hungry. By the side of the house I grabbed a fat, young rooster from the low bough of a cottonwood tree, put him under my arm and to soothe him put him my face next to his.

“Time to go for you mate I’m afraid.”

Spinning him around by the feet to disorient him I put his head on the block and with one swift strike with the machete chopped his head clean off.

By the time I’d bled him out, boiled and plucked him, prepared him in a marinade of lemon juice, thyme, oregano, seeded mustard and olive oil it was close to three am. I pulled him out of the oven as the sky lightened and the cock crowed.

By sunrise we were eating like Canaanite kings of the old Testament.

I had had the Need Essentials boardies on for well over twelve hours and despite the eye-ball sweating drunkeness, chicken blood, juices and spilt beer, and maybe a little bit of caca my testicles remained comfortable and without rash or other irritation.

I have to give them six and half stars out of five. A rare win for the worker against the forces of capital.


Mystery: World Surf League sends very cryptic gift bag to super fan!

What does it all mean?

Have you ever won anything, like a raffle or free box of Girl Scout cookies or an all-expenses paid three-day cruise after you first went to an informational meeting about the sensibility of “owning” a timeshared apartment in Branson, Missouri?

I haven’t and haven’t really been jealous of people who do win until last evening.

For it was then that I received a message on Instagram that read:

Mate, I received a freebie gift pack from the Woozle as apparently I “watch a lot of live surfing on their app”. Contains a poster of an empty wave, curiously signed by Conner Coffin. A WSL t-shirt with every 2019 stop on the back, some cheap stickers, an invite to the Margaret River Pro which is free to attend anyway, and a dope Hydroflask. I bought one recently, sans WSL branding, for 50 clams.

Oh how my insides burned burned with a covetous fire but I also began to wonder. What is the meaning of this freebie gift pack? Certainly it’s a message.

Like, why an empty wave signed by Connor Coffin? What does this mean?

And why Margaret River? Why not Bells (the only contest with a price for admission)?

But back to Connor Coffin, what must have he been thinking when he put pen to poster on an empty wave?

My mind automatically goes to dark places but can you give me some good possibility about what it all means?


Heart-warming: World Surf League Champion Gabriel Medina finds Carnival love with superstar Anitta!

It's one for the ages!

Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival etc. The time of year Brazilians go all in for. The time of year they let all their clothes down and dance, dance, dance like everyone is watching. Of course, we all have a little Brazilian in us seeing as our champion Gabriel Medina is from the Land of Order and Progress and what is he doing?

Apparently finding love in the arms, and dog’s tongue, of Brazilian superstar Anitta.

Now, maybe you are unaware of Anitta but that only shows your cultural biases. She is clearly famous, possessing more than 35 million followers on Instagram, and… well let’s just turn to Wikipedia for the people, and their socialist encyclopedia, are never wrong.

Larissa de Macedo Machado (born 30 March 1993), known professionally as Anitta, is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, actress, dancer and businesswoman. She is managed internationally by John Shahidi of Shots Studios.

In 2013, Anitta was the singer who most remained at the top of iTunes Brazil and was elected by the same as the Artist of the Year She was also elected by the Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte (APCA) as the revelation of the year in music in 2013. She is a five-time winner as the Best Brazilian Act on the MTV Europe Music Awards, and was the first Brazilian artist to win the Best Latin American Act award.

In 2017, she was chosen by Billboard as the 15th most influential artist in the world in social networks, getting ahead of artists like Lady Gaga, Shakira and Rihanna.

Etc.

And of course the woman who beats Lady Gaga requires a World Surf League Champion on her arm. Julian Wilson just had a baby, and is not a World Champion. Filipe Toledo, also not a World Champion yet, is happily married. Mick Fanning, while a World Champion and single, is under much scrutiny for his unfortunate rolling out of Stab in the Dark and World Champion 11x over Kelly Slater has had a rumored girlfriend for two decades.

Leaving Gabriel Medina.

Oh they look like they’re having fun here…

here…

and here…

And what if you were lucky enough to be his gal? Would you let your dog kiss his full lips or burn with jealousy instead?

Much to think on.

But what? Are you not completely sold on Anitta? That is mostly because you follow male professional surfing but here. Let me sweeten the deal.

And here…

And here…

And here…

Uh oh. He looks possessive dear Gabby. Run run run!