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

Kolohe had looked amazing. He let Kelly have a wave under his priority and Kelly leant back into a savage back foot heavy layback hook. It was the turn of the day. The turn of Kelly's year. It lit a little candle of hope in the deep dark cave of Kelly's retirement year.

Corona Bali Protected, Day One: Pottz says Kelly Slater’s world title dream “delusional”

The greatest surfer ever has other ideas, howevs.

It coulda been so good. The best epic double-bill ever.

In the end, it was a damp squib, but maybe all for the best. Red Bull Cape Fear and Corona Bali Protected both playing at the same time gave us Chris Cote and David Wassell simultaneously broadcasting over the web with Joe TURPEL and Martin POTTER*.

Pretty quickly a decision had to be made and I made the call to mute Cote, abandon baby Shipsterns and pay attention to waist-to-head-high Keramas on a silky, sleepy Indonesian morning.

It was the Seeding Round. I don’t understand it, nobody understands it: JJF and Medina still met too soon on the wrong side of the draw at Bells so it’s a dud idea but someone must love it because in the booth it was presented as the greatest innovation since the silicon chip.

Note: in his post-heat presser John John Florence, two-time world Champion and understudy to great strategist Ross Williams, said he doesn’t understand it either.

John looked a little sleepy in his heat, threw a clean flat-spin full-rotation for a mid-seven and that was pretty much the heat. It was an unfortunate decision because it set a scale for the day that paid mediocre aerials and relegated some of the best high-fi turns of the year to the bargain bin.

Jordy Smith being the biggest loser. Even though he won. His razor sharp repertoire was judged merely good by judges. It was the best surfing of the day.

Luke Egan proclaimed that today we would see a “level much higher than it was last year.”

We didn’t.

Lack of waves was the biggest issue. And lack of size of waves.

There was a lot of really ugly threes and fours desperately ridden in scraps to avoid last place. That has been the main impact of the change in format. Someone gets the best waves and skips ahead. The other two scrap for last place.

Jack Freestone’s last-to-second-place heroics with a three and a five to advance over Ace Buchan being an example of the tone of the day.

Something has changed in Italo’s style and approach and I don’t like it. Last year he had the perfect blend of verticality and aerials. His vertical backhand whips spat white noise.

This year, the turn approach has become more lateral. He sacrifices more real estate for the aerial or fins-free whip/reverse. Judges are paying it, for now, but it’s looking scrappy. The idea of good surfing here has yet to be set but if they are defining it by two pumps and a launch as they did today then there will be big ramifications for the rest of the year.

I think head judge Pritamo, after a good massage and a go on some oxygen, will settle the panel down and they’ll get the mix correct.

Have you noticed anything missing from the broadcast this year and last?

No water footage.

The great Sam Smith used to provide but got an email saying don’t come Monday. Did you also notice the credit at the end of the dreamy M-Feb edit in West Africa: the same Sammy Smith. I don’t know why I bought that up except the day seemed to need a little more M-Feb flow and not so much adrenal pumping.

By the time Filipe Toledo hit the lineup it was looking like a perfect little day at Trestles and that is how FT dealt with it. Spiked, slid, soared.

The only excellent score for the day for a single lofted punt with a pillowy landing. I think a FT/Jordy final with a judging panel suitably chastened by over scoring airs today would be a logical outcome for a forecast chock-a-block with more head-high Keramas.

Thirty-six percent of the fan vote in heat nine was directed at Kelly Slater. Thirty-five to Kolohe Andino. Slater, on a sexy little Akila Aipa squashtail thruster, construction unknown though spruced up in Firewire technology clothing, promised to “put a little Sunny backfoot into it.”

The broadcast went missing for three-and–half long minutes. When it kicked in four waves had been ridden. Kelly looked skittish and weird to open with a 3.73 and a 4.83. Turpel seemed to allude, if in a Freudian manner to the nature of Kelly’s quest, by stating that Kelly had “started another year, where, in his mind, he’s going for another World Title”.

“Yes Joe, he’s clearly delusional,” said an unleashed Martin Potter in an alternative universe of unmuzzled commentary.

Except he wasn’t!

Kelly pulled a carving three-0, which Joe disrespectfully called a “speciality manouevre”. The slo-mo showed perfect execution. Wel,l if they paid a flat spin air with a seven, I thought they should pay that at least a low six. They left that carving three-0 floundering in the Lombok Strait like a turtle drowning on a plastic straw.

Andino let Kelly have a wave under his priority and Kelly leant back into a savage back foot heavy layback hook. It was the turn of the day. The turn of Kelly’s year. It lit a little candle of hope in the deep dark cave of Kelly’s retirement year.

A lowly 4.60.

It was hard not to see that as Kelly’s whole year up in smoke.

An unmuzzled Potter was shocked. “I don’t agree with it,” he muttered to a silent Joe.

What he did next was astounding. Kolohe had looked amazing. He let Kelly have a wave under his priority and Kelly leant back into a savage back foot heavy layback hook. It was the turn of the day. The turn of Kelly’s year. It lit a little candle of hope in the deep dark cave of Kelly’s retirement year.

Sometime in the next couple of heats I tuned back into Shippies for an entertaining final. Not a fan of the mixed tow and paddle format. Nate Florence was paddling bombs, Laurie Towner threading deep ones. One of the Tassie boys – there were so many! – got towed into a bomb and Nate took the bikkies.

Two other highlights of the day.

Luke Egan’s deadpan delivery is not to everyones taste, but I enjoy. Referring to Joan Duru’s habit of punching himself in the head to claim a good wave he deftly described the Frenchman’s claim as showing an “alternative excitement.”


The other unexpected treat was brother of Sam George and writer/director/actor of In God’s Hands Matty George’s turn in the commentary booth during Steph Gilmore’s heat.

He riffed on the Wallace Line, got it a bit wrong, with the marsupials, monotremes and eucalypts on one side and tigers and rhino’s on the other.

But no matter.

He also introduced us to a new movement called “Bali Power.”

Not something to be on the wrong side of presumably.

He sagely noted the viewing pleasure to be gained from Nikki Van Dyk’s bottom turn. Steph looked a bit shakey. Caroline Marks looked solid.

It was a double billing that didn’t quite live up to it’s promise. Still better than digging holes though.

* Caps Lock but it looks better in caps, yes?

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 1 (Seeding Round) Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 11.50 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 10.16, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 7.47
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.00 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.44, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.04
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.90 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 8.60, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.74
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.97, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 7.80
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.17 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.40, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 7.60
Heat 6: Rio Waida (IDN) 9.60 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.54, Deivid Silva (BRA) 6.77
Heat 7: Yago Dora (BRA) 11.63 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.33, Soli Bailey (AUS) 9.50
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.24 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.00, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 8.17
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.66 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.23, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.67
Heat 10: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.93 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.63, Seth Moniz (HAW) 5.10
Heat 11: Mikey Wright (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 9.50, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 1.77
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (FRA) 12.43 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.63, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.73

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 2 (Elimination Round) Matchups:
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 2: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)