Kelly Slater, candid: “I want to take (Filipe’s) head off!”

The day before his epic quarter-final at Keramas with Filipe Toledo, the 11-timer shows his tonsils are in fine form…

Tomorrow morning, afternoon, depending on your geo-tag, Kelly Slater and Filipe Toledo are going to tee off in the first quarter-final at Keramas.

Waves? Two foot, maybe three.

Don’t tell me this is a heat you’re going to miss.

With nobody in his corner, nearing fifty and in zig-zagging form, Kelly Slater is going to see if strategy and experience can beat the man who has so far seemed unbeatable in Keramas’ little righthanders.

In an interview yesterday, Kelly was in fighting form.

Salty, challenging, philosophical… loose.

“Well, its obvious, like, I’m not going to go out and let him win. I’m going to go out and do my best to smash him. And if I lose who cares? On the Gold Coast at Duranbah, I surfed like crap. Everyone wrote me off, I probably killed my own confidence.

“People forget that’s it’s a marathon not a spring and there can be days where somebody looks totally unbeatable, uncatchable, going to win everything and then they lose.

“Look, I love Filipe. I think he shreds. I think he’s probably the best small-wave surfer that’s ever lived. And, he’s outscored me in every round of the year so the chances of me beating him are very slim. 

“I got no delusions about that but I’m going to see if I can figure out a game plan to beat him and get some high scores for myself and get the right waves and hopefully it’s six-foot and barrelling. 

“Filipe is probably the gnarliest guy you could ever have in a small-wave heat, especially in rights, but basically in any small waves. But that doesn’t mean I have to sit here and praise him before we surf, you know I want to go out there and take his head off. 

“But, it’s nothing personal. 

You just to have to have that mindset as a competitor and leave it all in the water. And I have a little bit of confidence now and I’m going to try and use what I got to win a heat and win a contest.”

Tell me: who’s going to have tear-stained cheeks tomoz?




Safe Space: Cape Cod activists get “horribly inappropriate” shark merchandise off shelves!

Send more tourists... the last ones were delicious.

Is there any cultural corner left where militant activists won’t come swinging in, demanding that it be turned into a safe space? Any oasis from weaponized hurt feelings? I would have thought that cute cartoon shark merchandise being sold in Christmas Tree Shops in New England might be that one perfect intersection.

Who could possibly be offended?

Enough people to get that “horribly inappropriate” stock removed while writing stinging rebukes on Facebook and let us turn our attention to Cape Cod, the picturesque Massachusetts town best known for its connection to the Kennedy family. Let us read together from the Boston Globe.

Merchandise making light of shark attacks has been stripped from the shelves of Christmas Tree Shops around Cape Cod because of complaints from residents who said the language and images on the items were inappropriate following two serious incidents last year between people and the apex predators — one of which resulted in a man’s death.

One of the items removed from the stores was a notepad featuring a drawing of a smiling great white shark. At the top of the pad it said, “Send more tourists,” and at the bottom, “The last ones were delicious.”

A second item no longer for sale was a kitchen towel that pictured a great white shark popping out of the water, below the words “Shark Week.” The bottom of the towel read, “Nice to Eat You.”, which first reported on the removal of the items, also documented a shirt that said “Come to the Shark Side Cape Cod” and another that read, “Cape Cod, Massachusetts — Dangerous Summer — Shark Patrol.”

Heather Doyle, co-chairwoman of the Cape Cod Ocean Community, an active online group focused on “surveillance, deterrence, detection, and Community awareness” about sharks off the Cape, said members pointed out the items in a discussion on the group’s Facebook page recently.

Members mobilized — not in a “militant way,” she clarified — and reached out to the chain’s corporate offices about what they deemed inappropriate products.

“Our reality is going to be sharks on everything; sharks on this — but when you start to personify sharks as evil animals that are hunting people and smiling . . . it’s probably not a lane we want to go down,” said Doyle, who went to two of the stores to see the products for herself and take pictures.

“It’s really not that funny,” she said. “It’s horribly inappropriate and insensitive to those of us who live here.”

Is there anything you’d like to see removed from shelves? What about little shot glasses that have “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” written on them? If we muster our Facebooks do you think we could get them banned from kiosks since they encourage excessive drinking and/or perpetuate an incorrect spelling of the word “four?”

Let’s try!

Report: Sunny Garcia “surprising doctors!”

The clouds part a little in Portland, Oregon…

It’s been three weeks since Sunny Garcia, world champ and perennial Triple Crown winner, was found unconscious at his home in Oregon, almost dead, and supposedly by his own hand.

In the interim, a drip-feed of reports of his condition have come from the family.

Five days ago, we heard that Sunny was off sedation, but still in a  coma, with doctors treating his kidney and liver with dialysis (an induced coma, where the body and brain is anaesthetised often results in further complications).

Today, we received the news that Sunny is “surprising doctors as he continues to get better.”

According to our source, despite the pessimism  of doctors, Sunny is breathing on his own and responding to stimuli.

When asked if there was news of any permanent damage the source said,  “No report. THAT’S the question.”

Ten years ago, the filmmaker Mike Oblowitz set out to document Sunny’s life in a film called Death and Taxes. A lot can change in a decade.

“During the 10 years of filming, Sunny has lost so many people close to him. Marvin Foster, Andy Irons, Buttons, Jay Adams. People so integral to his life and that’s just so hard,” Oblowitz told BeachGrit’s Chas Smith. “I regard Sunny as one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Where he came from and what he achieved? I mean, a lot of great, great surfers came out of Makaha but only one of them won a world title and what Sunny had to go through to get it, the racism, abuse, cards stacked so high against him, it is a tremendous work.”

The World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. seen here practicing the disputed activity. SUPing or SUCing? The courts will soon decide.
The World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. seen here practicing the disputed activity. SUPing or SUCing? The courts will soon decide.

The International Surfing Association and International Canoe Federation locked in vicious custody battle!

SUPing or SUCing? The courts will soon decide.

I know your first instinct is to laugh here but it is very sad that the International Surfing Association and the International Canoe Federation are locked in a vicious custody battle over stand-up paddle surfing which may well keep it out of the 2024 Olympiad which will be hosted by Paris, France.

Of course I’ve written about this dispute before and stand-up paddlers, or SUPs, became known as stand-up canoers, or SUCs, for a brief moment but the drama has turned particularly nasty in light of the Games. Sports and pastimes must have a governing body in order to be included in the Olympics but stand-up paddling is being claimed by both surfing and canoeing making it impossible to “qualify.”

The SUPer/SUCer caught in the middle like a sad child whose divorcing parents hate each other and will go to any length to shame the other but don’t take my word for it. Let us turn to the important international news service Reuters for up to the minute details.

Paddle surfers could yet be racing for gold medals down the River Seine at the 2024 Olympics if a row over who controls the sport is resolved soon, the head of the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP) believes.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) both claim it and last year placed their dispute over the running of the booming sport into the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“We are waiting to see what happens with the CAS arbitration which is unfortunate for everybody,” APP chief executive Tristan Boxford, a former professional windsurfer, told Reuters in an interview at a World Tour race on the River Thames on Saturday.

“Now we are late for Paris but it’s still possible. I was in Lausanne the other day and I had a good conversation with the (International Olympic Committee) guys there who said it was still possible to get this resolved and we could get fast-tracked to Paris.

It is easy to see why a dispute arose as the sport has elements of surfing and kayaking, with participants standing on a board propelling themselves forward with a paddle which, according to the ICF, means it should fall under its auspices.

With the rise in popularity of the sport showing no sign of slowing down, Boxford said it was frustrating that its progress had hit choppy waters with the ownership dispute.

“Suddenly the ICF came and saw an opportunity with stand-up paddling grabbing everyone’s attention,” he said.

“They have had sports that have been around for a long time but are not necessarily growing and then they saw a sport that is growing exponentially and saw an opportunity, which I understand, because it’s a business opportunity.

“But the athletes are the losers because there is confusion.”

Last year the ICF’s attempt to host a Stand-Up Paddling world championships in Portugal was scuppered, but it will stage the event this October on China’s Yellow Sea Coast.

Very, very sad but, like wise Solomon before me, I think I have the perfect solution. You certainly remember the story where two women living in the same house claimed a baby was theirs. One had died, one was living and they were fighting over which was whose so they went before the king and kept fighting and fighting until he came up with the perfect solution. He’d split the live baby in half. The woman who wept and said, “Just let the other have the baby….” as opposed to “Chop away…” was clearly the mother and the dispute was justly solved.

I think we should split SUPs/SUCs in half. Like, literally and physically. SUPers/SUCers too. Someone else can sort out the bloody pieces but I think it is the only solution and I hope that’s what the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides too.

See: Jack McCoy, Kai Neville and Craig Anderson at (well, near) Sydney Opera House!

Jack takes his Talk Story tour on a run of dates on Australia's east coast…

Have you ever wanted to swing? In a historical sense at least?

Over the course of June, surfing’s most enduring filmmaker, certainly its tallest, the Los Angeles-born Jack McCoy will be “talking story” with noted guests along Australia’s east coast.

These guests include Kai Neville, who’s been making surf film epics since he was a little boy in Superman pyjamas, and the South African Craig Anderson who once famously tore up a million-buck contract to launch his own clothing label, which is called Former

Other guests, at other shows, include Mark Occhilupo, Dave Rastovich, Wayne Lynch and Joel Parkinson.

Yesterday Jack, who is seventy one, sent me an email detailing the event.

As I move closer to the end of my career, I want to give back and share some intimate moments that haven’t been documented in the movies. I have been doing Talk Stories and Master Classes at film festivals around the world, connecting with audiences far and wide.

The Talk Story event is a journey of the people and places that have inspired me. The stories will include: the planning, the execution, the life and death adventures whilst working with the world’s best surfers from Gerry Lopez, Tom Carroll to Andy Irons and Kelly Slater. From crude Plexiglas water housings to filming with an underwater jet ski to capture images that no one had ever done before. I also share the story of filming one of the 3 most famous surfed waves in surfing history.

It is also a behind the scenes look at what it took to create the images and films. I consider it a back stage pass into my life’s work. Accompanied by still photos and film clips (some of which have never been publicly released) this is not a show you will find on YouTube. It is shared with the audience who are invited to ask questions about working with the world’s best surfers or the location of a particular scene.

For camera and film maker buffs I’ll talk about the tools of my trade and for music lovers I’ll share how I choose my soundtracks and the personal relationship I’ve had with some legendary artists including Jack Johnson, Dave Grohl and even a Beatle.

I have approached my art with the best quality possible in film, soundtracks, surfers and equipment and therefore in order to deliver an event like this, I have not compromised on the venue. This is why I have chosen MCA during VIVID to start my tour and to deliver an intimate and interactive experience for the audience to benefit fully from the media we will share.

This is an event, I think, that will have your feet banging on the linoleum.

I’ll be there? You?

Tour Dates

Sydney: Saturday, June 1, two pm, with Craig Anderson and Kai Neville.

Sydney: Friday, June 14, eight pm, with Dave Rastovich and Wayne Lynch

Noosa: Thursday, June 20, seven pm, with Wayne Lynch

Gold Coast: Friday, June 21, seven pm, with Mark Occhilupo and Joel Parkinson.

Byron Bay: Saturday, June 22, seven pm, with Occ.

Newcastle: Friday, June 28, seven pm, with Occ.

Central Coast: Sunday, June 30, five pm, with Occ.

Buy tickets here.