ryan callinan
Ryan Callinan chooses quantity over quality. Wins elimination heat.

Corona Bali Protected, Day Two: “Silky toy waves at Keramas! A German VAL’s dream scenario!”

A total crap-shoot, as they say…

Six heats run and done in silky little toy waves at Keramas. a German VAL’s absolute dream scenario.

I only say German, not to be racialist, but to pay homage to my favourite overseas species of VAL. You there, with the booties, over-sized Cymatic and GathHhat. I tips me lid to you.

Chances of running seemed nil but KP said he saw runners on the incoming tide, with a better, more southerly angle. First elimination heat and the wildcard paddled into a zippy close-out for a 0.5 to start the day.

Joe Turpel: “These are the waves KP was talking about.”

After SurfAds piece on the fully muzzled commentary it almost seems the problem is more deeply existential. If Joe said the sky is blue, it’s almost certainly time to hit the storm bunker.

If he says “your gal was so well behaved last night, in fact the whole week long” I’d be packing the suitcase.

Kanoa paddled up the reef with Deivid Silva, a tactic that I am yet to find any advantage for in a three-man heat. Didn’t hurt Igarashi, though, he sizzled on that SharpEye, like he did at J-Bay last year.

He would be the only one from today’s elimination heats to trouble any of the top seeds. Did you see him surf yesterday? A single wave with a heat score of 1.77. All that gesturing and waving of arms.

It was like Marcel Marceau reincarnated as a pro surfer. Very entertainment.

Zeke and Leo paddled up the reef again to start Heat two. Why? What possible strategic outcome, favourable or deleterious could occur as a result? Were they coached to do so?

Zeke caught the first wave. Did a power hack layback that drew the ire of Martin Potter and took an early lead. A traffic jam of fives ensued. Leo Fioravanti with four minutes to go was a miserable last. The surf had that silken texture – that makes a gal blessed to be alive when luxuriating in it – that only Indonesia can provide.

There was much talk of coaching. In the next heat, Luke Egan made the point that one bad decision could cost you, while on another occasion a trio of bad decisions could see you make it through.

But what to learn from it? What lessons could a coach impart?

Philosopher of science Karl Popper famously made the claim that all biological science was a series of exceptions in search of a rule.

How much more so a pro surfing heat?

If every heat is an individual case, every cause unique, then every effect must be equally unrepeatable and unknowable.

You get my drift?

To prove the point Leo savaged a waist-high righthander for the best score of the heat. Results went into a blender and last went to first, first to last.

What could a coach make of it?

It’s a total crap shoot.

A non-elimination leader board opening round is the only way forwards to sort the wheat from the goats and isolate the variables we want from the ones we don’t. It smacked the WSL in the face at Kelly’s pool and they didn’t even realise.

Heat three came to life with an electrifying flurry of head-high waves ridden.

Soli got one, Seth got one and Ace. Judges awarded them each a point separate from each other. Ace a full point higher for a floater and vertical hit. Seth drained the juice from a peachy little barrel that would have made any out of shape cube monkey glisten with sickly envy. Hey, I could ride that!

Another good one to Ace, Seth consolidated and Soli Bailey was left with a long, lonely wait with ten minutes ticking down. The exact situation Ronnie Blakey had said surfers in this elimination round would be vigorously advocating against.

They would want opportunity, he said. But opportunity did not come.

A scrappy shoulder on the buzzer was not enough to keep Soli away from the solace of a proper Pina Colada.

The last men’s elimination heat fell into a state of somnolence. R-Cal fell and fell in an effort to get the ball rolling. Sebastien Zietz sizzled and got into first place then last place as Jesse Mendes charged from the back field. Another heat where anything could have come out.

It makes the hundreds and thousands of heats that Kelly bent to his will seem even more like a bargain with the devil.

Two women’s heats followed.

The second far superior with Silvana Lima and Courtney Conlogue both looking stronger and sharper than Carissa Moore in the previous heat.

The Indonesian wildcard , Kailani Johnson, was eliminated after stuffing Carissa on a dreamy little peak. Such is life in the crowded line-ups of Bali.

I probably surf like Paige Hareb. Bit stiff, bit off kilter.

Do you surf like someone on Tour?

Is it just me or is the Seeding Round and Elimination Round making comps this year take forever to get “warmed up”?

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 2 (Elimination Round) Results:
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.60 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.67, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 10.10
Heat 2: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.90 DEF. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 10.66, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.07
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.00 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.50, Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.40
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.50 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 8.43, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.40

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 3 (Round of 32) Matchups:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 4: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 6: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 10: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Rio Waida (IDN)
Heat 13: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 14: Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)

Corona Bali Protected Women’s Round 2 (Elimination Round) Results:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.67 DEF. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.33, Kailani Johnson (IDN) 2.33
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.53 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.57, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.80

Corona Bali Protected Women’s Round 3 (Round of 16) Matchups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 7: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 8: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

Red Bull Airborne Bali Qualifying Round Matchups:
Heat 1: Noa Deane (AUS), Chippa Wilson (AUS), Jack Freestone (AUS), Eli Hanneman (HAW), Lee Wilson (IDN), Made Darmayasa ‘Blerong’ (IDN)
Heat 2: Ian Crane (USA), Eithan Osborne (USA), Matt Meola (HAW), Mason Ho (HAW), Oliver Kurtz (USA), Eric Geiselman (USA)
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Finn McGill (HAW), Kalani David (HAW), Bronson Meydi (IDN)
Heat 4: Ian Crane (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Mason Ho (HAW), Kalani David (HAW), Made Darmayasa ‘Blerong’ (IDN)
Heat 5: Noa Deane (AUS), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Finn McGill (HAW), Eli Hanneman (HAW), Oliver Kurtz (USA), Eric Geiselman (USA)
Heat 6: Yago Dora (BRA), Chippa Wilson (AUS), Eithan Osborne (USA), Matt Meola (HAW), Lee Wilson (IDN), Bronson Meydi (IDN)

Florida surfer arrested for reckless driving begs cops to take him to jail instead of back to demanding wife!

"She treats me like a servant and she’s the mistress!"

I’ll tell you one thing that makes me happy about the “ride anything” movement currently hurtling our world toward the surf apocalypse, maybe the only thing. This story right here about a seventy-year-old man “surfing” his Cadillac down the highway in Florida. Before the age of SUPs, SUP foils, dog longboards etc. a story about “surfing” a Cadillac would have been inappropriate for a surf website to cover.

Today it is par for the course, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor, and let’s get straight to it without delay. Let’s not waste anymore time even thinking about SUP foils.

State troopers recently arrested a Florida man who was caught trying to live out his Titanic movie fantasies and make his heart go on atop a moving vehicle. Local news affiliates report that authorities arrested Leonard Olsen, 70, after an off-duty deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department caught him on video, attempting to “surf” his Cadillac while traveling on the highway with cruise control enabled.

The deputy first noticed Olsen’s Cadillac doing more than 100 miles per hour when it abruptly slowed down to just 40 mph. Then, Olsen supposedly opened the sunroof and propped himself up on top of his moving car while traveling on Interstate 4 in the westbound lane. This prompted the officer to begin recording video on his smartphone.

Following the event, the deputy called in for on-duty reinforcements, to which Florida Highway Patrol responded. Olsen was pulled over just a few minutes later at the intersection of US-98 and Wedgewood Estates Boulevard.

“I thought it would be a nice way to praise God for a minute, and I thought it would be nice at the time and that’s what I did,” Olsen supposedly said in his testimony, according to the Florida Highway Patrol’s arrest report.

When Olsen was apprehended, he was quoted saying that he’d rather go to jail than go back to his home.

“My wife treats me like a servant and she’s the mistress,” Olsen continued. “Lock me up, I’d rather go to jail than go back home.”

Note perfect, no? From the Titanic fantasies to the “wife treats me like a servant and she’s the mistress…” it doesn’t miss a beat.

But quickly, would you rather go to jail for a month or be forced to ride a SUP foil for the rest of your life?

Pam, centre. | Photo: @napkinapocalypse

Live Fast, Die Young: BeachGrit Icon dead, aged eight!

Kooky lil bitch was the Dan Savage of the surf world…

If you’ve been around since we pressed play here four-and-a-half years ago, you’ll remember our first columnist, Pam Reynolds.

Pam is, was, the French bulldog of the best surfer in the world (2004-2011) and his falconer and designer wife Courtney Jaedtke.

Over the course of a year or whatever it was, Pam headed an advice column that covered topics as diverse as the insignificance of life and the Solange-Jay-Z rift.

Dane provided the animation.

Pam also had her own fashion brand, Pamwear, that sells hats, shirts, postcards and diaries. 

Yesterday, Courtney told Pam fans that that the kooky lil bitch had been euthanised on Saturday after the vet found her riddled with cancer.

“Chemo would be our only treatment option and for the type of cancer she had it has a low success rate. in two days her health had decreased to the point where the doctor didn’t feel she would return to a quality of life worth living again and we had to let her go.

“I didn’t know our last walk would be our last walk. Or that when I took her to the vet that she’d never come home again. I can’t help but think of all she left without knowing. Almost like she had affairs she needed to tie up before she could go. it all happened so fast and I’m not sure i’ve begun to process it all. in a way it’s a blessing that it came so quickly. it wasn’t a long, drawn out end. she was running, walking, happy, hunting, herself until 3 days before she died.
please have a drink in her honor tonite, she would have loved it. “live fast die young bulldogs do it well” – Pam ❤️we love you.”

And still the queen of the goofy-foots, Caroline Marks, looks solid. She had the highest heat score of the day and looked as consistent as ever. The Duranbah arms have mellowed out a bit and she looked more smooth than she did in the opening contest. That’s got to have some of her competitors worried. | Photo: WSL/Dunbar

Jen See: “And still the queen of the goofy-foots, Caroline Marks, looks solid!”

A Protected Pro discussion.

On Sunday I went surfing. The marine layer hung heavy and the waves drowned in their own mediocrity. A dad had brought a crew of groms into the lineup to surf a mock heat. They jockeyed for position and he gave them scores. Since he was sitting out the back and they were mostly surfing through the inside, he couldn’t actually see their waves. The scores he gave them were entirely made up.

All the same, the groms took the whole thing deadly seriously. They had a world title to win right there! Dad kept barking instructions and scores. The kids battled for position and bickered over who had the better wave. After every wave, they replayed each turn in joyfully exaggerated terms. As you can imagine, this setup was not ideal for a mellow, mediocre Sunday surf. Every wave I considered had at least two groms battling for it — if not, three. There I sat, as they surfed circles around me.

I was reminded of this dynamic this morning when I sat down to watch the women’s round 1 at Keramas. During heat 2 that included Carissa Moore, Brisa Hennessey, and Keely Andrew, Hennessey and Andrew surfed circles around Moore. It’s a pretty great tactic for beating surfers like Moore and Steph Gilmore. Just keep surfing waves. Make it hard for your opponent to find space to do anything at all. Similar to her heat at Bells against Conlogue, Moore got off to a slow start with a string of low scores. By the time she found her rhythm, it was too late.

When I interviewed her last year, Moore said she surfs best when there’s lots of waves, and ideally, good waves. She’s right, I think. Much the same could be said of Steph Gilmore. They’re both at their best when they don’t have to think about the actual business of heat surfing and can just catch some waves and ride them. Unfortunately, it very often doesn’t go that way in contest surfing. Hennessey who won the heat, followed by Andrew. Together, they sent Moore to the elimination round.

As with both the Gold Coast and Bells, Gilmore surfed an uneven heat. She showed flashes of her characteristic grace and had one legit solid turn on her first wave of the heat. But she also nearly fell on her second turn. She put it together well enough to advance with a 5.17 and a 4.60, but it wasn’t an especially emphatic performance. Nikki Van Dijk slid into second with a pair of three’s, while Kailani Johnson heads to the elimination round.

There were two air attempts during women’s round 1 and both came during heat 4 with Lakey Peterson, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Paige Hareb. I expected Peterson to scorch this heat. She did win Keramas last year, but Fitzgibbons had other ideas. The Australian took an early lead with a 7.83 on her second wave of the heat, and that was mostly it.

Peterson tried to get back into it, with an air 360, or whatever the correct degrees are there. In any case, she fell on the landing. Fitzgibbons answered back with a tiny, air-not-quite-reverse. It was a barely there kind of affair, with not much daylight between her board and the white water. You had to squint a little to see it. She finished the rotation after the landing, but managed to stay upright. It wasn’t sexy, but I’ll give her credit for getting it done. The judges weren’t overly excited — rightly — and gave her a 6.30. Fitzgibbons won ahead of Peterson and Hareb.

I don’t know the answer to the “why don’t women do airs” question. I can tell you that it isn’t physiological. I can put a surfboard into the air and I am not a professional athlete. I can not, however, make it come back down in any predictable way. I can’t make it do anything interesting while it’s up there either. I suspect the answer is some combination of incentive and opportunity — and that before too long, the upcoming generation of women surfers will put this question to rest for good.

Johanne Defay mostly ran away with heat five. Malia Manuel, so impressive at Bells, couldn’t find the waves to do much at all in Keramas — so far. She held on to second behind Defay with an 8.53 heat total, which is lower than several of her wave scores at Bells. I’d love to see her — and really, all of the women — in better waves for the next rounds. Come on, ocean, do the thing!

At least Manuel didn’t get sent to the elimination round like her Bells finals opponent Courtney Conlogue. I thought Conlogue — Now, with correct spelling, I think! — had this heat won, but she was overtaken by both Tatiana Weston-Webb and Bronte Macaulay. Conlogue had some spicy turns, including a cute 360, but she couldn’t match the two goofy-footers. Weston-Webb looked especially strong this time around.

And still the queen of the goofy-foots, Caroline Marks, looks solid. The Duranbah arms have mellowed out a bit and she looked more smooth than she did in the opening contest. That’s got to have some of her competitors worried. Marks surfing better than when she won the opening event of the year is not going to be great for anyone else’s world title hopes. Marks beat out Coco Ho and Silvana Lima to advance.

I definitely did not have the highest heat score during my Sunday session. The groms beat me soundly, though I’m not sure who among them won. I just know that I didn’t. Finally, they went in. I sat in the grey, watching the horizon, hoping for just one more. I suppose that’s one part of contest surfing that’s entirely relatable. If I could just get one more — we’ve all had that nagging, insatiable feeling.

Ugly American: I just shouted at the kind and thoughtful Pete Devries live on Canadian radio!

Olympic surf talking!

There I was, sleeping the tortured sleep of the mentally unwell, when I heard my phone buzz furiously on the nightstand. I grabbed it and smashed its top button in order to silence then peered through bleary eyes at the screen. Who on earth would be calling at the ungodly hour of… 4:50 am?

It was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or CBC, live from Toronto.


I had forgotten, days earlier, that I had agreed to come on the air and talk about surfing in the Olympics, taking, of course, the “surfing in the Olympics is a stupid idea and doesn’t belong” side. I hopped out of bed, ran downstairs and called back. A kindly producer answered first ring and walked me through the order. There would be two segments before they got to the issue of Olympic surfing, the host would introduce me and then we’d chat.

It all made sense I told him, listening to a discussion of soybean production  in western Canada in the background.

Ten, or so, minutes later I heard the host broach the Olympic surfing topic and then toss to “a surf journalist based near San Diego, California.”

I came out of the gate as hot as I could, though still morning addled, trying to tie thoughts together in a semi-coherent fashion, laughing heartily when the host told me that surfing would bring in a youthful audience, barking back that surfing is an old person’s game now ruled by grumpy locals.

She lost her train of thought in the middle, which made me sad because it was certainly my barrage of nonsense that threw her so, but she found her footing and said, “We have someone on the other side who thinks surfing will be wonderful in the Olympics, professional surfer from Tofino Pete Devries.”

“Pete Devries?” I thought. “Damn it. Pete Devries is the nicest man in the world.”

I don’t recall ever meeting Pete but have heard only very good things. He’s kind, thoughtful and extremely talented and now, here he was talking about how fun it is for Canadian kids to have this Olympic opportunity, how his nine-year-old son enjoys competitive surfing etc. And there I was guffawing, muttering about how surfing is a form of rebellion and picking a winner in Japan’s tiny waves will be embarrassing.

Surfing was last a form of rebellion in 1983.

Red Bull’s Cape Fear just picked a winner in Shipstern’s tiny waves.

I kept up, hammering that surfing fitting itself into the Olympic criteria is a capitulation against its very core while Pete said kind and thoughtful things about more people getting to experience what we all love so much and then it was over.

And I’m very sorry, Canada. I’m sorry for saying “heck” and “dang” (I was told not to curse) and for flopping around semi-lucid in front of your national treasure.

While I still think surfing in the Olympics is a stupid idea and that it doesn’t belong, I will be cheering the red maple leaf for all the sports that do, like racewalking and dressage.

Pete Devries (pictured) surfing beautifully in his home country.
Pete Devries (pictured) surfing beautifully in his home country. Photo by Marcus Paladino