Kelly came alive mid-heat. A first turn that had shades of the JJF layback snowboard carve, except tighter and a square snap pulled so tight that on the slow-mo he rode back through the wake he had created. The French judge was so moved he awarded a nine. Did you watch? Did you feel the last vestiges of rational defence against Kelly being swept away in your mind? Like the judges.

Margaret River Pro, Day Two: “Kelly Slater showered with eights like broken glass at an Ashkenazi wedding!”

Did you feel the last vestiges of rational defence against Kelly being swept away in your mind?

In Australian parlance, a dag is the piece of matted wool and shite left hanging on a sheep’s tail. Also known as a dingleberry.

Today could have been anything but odds favoured a few desultory losers rounds hanging off the main event like a ripe dingleberry.

But it weren’t.

Mostly due to a timeless performance from the old guy.

Someone in the audience at the Byron Q and A asked Kelly for some tips to hold the line or keep improving as you age. To my internal guffaws, Kelly claimed it was mostly mental, a matter of believing that physically “your best days are still ahead of you.”

He rammed those guffaws right back down my throat today.

It was Jack Robinson we wanted to see first up and he kept the hometown crowd on it’s toes, not catching a wave for 20 mins before a horrifically nervous start where he could barely contain the twitching and spasmodic pumping off the bottom.

That is one advantage of watching the broadcast over the live event.

From the slow motions and close-ups the nervousness was almost overwhelming. He settled enough to throw down a finner and do enough to advance with Jack Freestone in lumpy/glassy three-to-four-foot gurgling rights.

Hard to surf, a real tricky bitch of a wave to surf.

It didn’t augur well for Kelly.

The first sign it might be his day came in heat two, when Leo Fioravanti scored an eight for a well-surfed safety wave. During the Keramas coverage, if you recall, we noted that the continual judging lowball could not hold and at some point there would be a detente and the high scores would flow freely again.

That point was reached during the finals at Keramas and with the Leo eight it was now obvious judges were ready to spill the wine at the banquet.

The next two heats were insane.

Panda, Fred Morais and Yago Dora fought a pitched battle with multiple lead changes. Last went to first and first went to last etc etc. Dora shut the lid on it with a real popped air rotation, no foot placement change at all on the landing.

That has to be seen as a point of difference, as Pottz would say, between the front foot on the nose and awkward shuffle back style or air.


Kelly Ace and Caio. Caio’s first wave looked an underscore at a low six for three solid on rail turns. Kelly came alive mid-heat. A first turn that had shades of the JJF layback snowboard carve, except tighter and a square snap pulled so tight that on the slow-mo he rode back through the wake he had created.

The French judge was so moved he awarded a nine.

Did you watch?

Did you feel the last vestiges of rational defence against Kelly being swept away in your mind?

Like the judges.

He’d been surfing his brains out for fives and now he was being showered with eights like broken glass at an Ashkenazi wedding.

Bad error in the reporting yesterday.

His Aipa looked too easily overpowered but we’d neglected the Tokoros he’d already dialed in at Pipe last year. They looked drivey and incredibly loose.

Somehow, the oldest guy on Tour by a decade, has made a unique selling point out of… looseness. It wasn’t the Ghost of Dane Reynolds but the Ghost of Kelly’s past.

Better than the ghost. A better ghost.

That’s it I’ve swallowed the Kelly Kool Aid – I don’t care about objectivity.

Kelly’s heat made the next couple of women’s heat a very tough watch.

So I went and paid a visit to my unicorn. I found one.

A non-surfing pro surfing fan.

Thirty plus Dad who works down the local hardware store.

“Where’d the eights come from?” he said. “Haven’t seen so many fucking eights all year long.”

Just breathe it in bruz, I counseled. Suspend your disbelief and let it wash all over you.

Caroline Marks smashed it but I could barely watch.

I’m coming around and I can see she is in the process of cleaning up the counter rotating arms. We’ll meet in the middle, this year.

What I could come around to is Sally Fitz, who is holding the most improved style and skill set on the womens Tour. It’s not Steph level but it ain’t too far off.

She took down Johanne Defay, easily.

Carissa still doesn’t quite look the Carissa of old. Head noise? It was shocking to see her husband on the steps. Somehow, the way the women surfers are treated and portrayed by the WSL seems to infantilise them.

That they might be active adults with hubbies and such comes as a weird shock.

Why? I don’t know.

Instead of being a dag, today was a great connector to a potential great day tomorrow.

I think a very big day for the Brazilian Storm, who have been rattled by WA and intimidated by the Box.

Lot of things have changed since they last surfed it.

I think a very good day ahead for pro surfing fans, even reluctant ones.

Margaret River Pro Women’s Round of 16 (Round 3) Results:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.44 DEF. Silvana Lima (BRA) 6.33
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.50 DEF. Coco Ho (HAW) 6.30
Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 17.60 DEF. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.10
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.10 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.20
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.34 DEF. Keely Andrew (AUS) 8.17

Margaret River Pro Remaining Women’s Round of 16 (Round 3) Matchups:
Heat 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 7: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 8: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

Margaret River Pro Women’s Quarterfinals Matchups:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 4: TBD vs. TBD

Margaret River Pro Men’s Elimination Round (Round 2) Results:
Heat 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.60 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.83, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.67
Heat 2: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15.34 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 13.00, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 11.23
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.66 DEF. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.77, Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.46
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.40, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.93

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

Here, Eithan, winning the Netanya Pro in Iz. | Photo: WSL

Oy vey: Ventura air-boy Eithan Osborne rediscovers Jewish lineage! Will surf for Israel at Olympics!

Team Jew just got hot!

What I’d give for a mammy who played for Team Jew.

Israel, as you might’ve worked out, here, here and here, is a joint real close to your ol pal DR’s heart.

Gimme a two-bedder in Tel Aviv, a handful of shekels, a top-heavy Jewess fresh out of the paratroopers but who still carries a loaded pistol which bulges out of fitted army pants and I’d be a happy man.

Ventura surfer, Eithan Osborne, who is nineteen and who already carries passports from France and from the USA, has a Jew mammy and, therefore, has decided he’s going to swing for the great, brave, beautiful nation of Israel at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Eithan, a Hebrew name which you pronounce A-ton, was courted by the head of the Israeli ISA when he won a WQS event there.

And, according to the Israeli Surfing Association website, Eithan just inked the deal.

Kanoa, Japan.

Tatiana, Brazil,

Eithan, Israel.

Who’s next to turn their back on their country, do you think?

Come, watch, comment, on Kelly Slater's synchronised popping in last heat of death round. | Photo: WSL

Open Thread: Comment live, Margaret River Pro Elimination Round!

Let's have fun!

It’s live, again, and ooooee! I don’t know what happened today. Oh, wait. I do. Lots of driving. Lots and lots of sitting in traffic but enough about that. Let’s get together and watch the men’s elimination round. The most exciting… however many minutes in surfing.

Heat 1: Wade Carmichael v Jack Freestone v Jack Robinson

Heat 2: Michel B. v. Leo F. v Jacob Willcox

Heat 3: Cardoso v Yago D v Fred Morais

Heat 4 Ace Buchan v Kelly Slater v Caio Ibelli

Jack Robinson is in the water now. Pottz is imagining about heats in The Box. Nobody is giving too much away.

The staircase has microphones on it.

Niki Van D. is tapping into herself.

Pottz just said, “Bring back the biff, I reckon.” and my feed went dead.

Did they cut Pottz’s mic for inciting violence?

Much to discuss.

Let’s do this!

Sorry, kid, no tank for Florida. You want a pool? Go to Typhoon Lagoon.

WSL abandons plans for Palm Beach, Florida, Surf Ranch!

"Unforseen challenges!"

Amid much hoopla in 2017, the WSL announced it had bought a 30-acre hunk of land in Palm Beach for six-and-a-half-mill and was going to stick a Surf Ranch on it.

Palm Beach County commissioners loved the idea.

“(Surfers) don’t like some of the slop we have here,” the mayor told Kelly Slater.

“We’re trying to fix that,” Slater said.

Slater predicted that the new Surf Ranch, only the second in the world, would be running by early 2019.

Yesterday, the WSL announced it was abandoning the plan.

“The WSL is disappointed to confirm our decision to cancel the development of the wave basin planned for West Palm Beach,” said the WSL in a statement. “The nature of this site, including the extremely high water table, exposed unforeseen challenges that made the decision around this unique project clear. These projects are complex and in many ways without precedent, and we have learned important lessons in this process.”

Meanwhile, the former Wavegarden in Austin, Texas, sits idle while the WSL, who bought the joint earlier this year and ordered the inferior technology removed, decides whether or not the site is going to be Surf Ranched.

Eat the Rich II: Ultra-wealthy Florida homeowners join forces to turn already public beaches private!

It's a mad, mad, mad world!

As if yesterday’s bald-faced expression of entitled greed wasn’t enough. As if two old white people barking guttural swears at a workaday surfer before having him arrested wasn’t the peak. And why were they barking? Why were they cop calling? Because the workaday surfer dared to dream that a North Carolina beach might be accessible. A crime, apparently, against decency and as if that wasn’t the height today we have 350 old white people, this time in Florida, banding together in order turn previously public beaches private again.

Can you believe it?

Can you?

I wouldn’t be able to if it wasn’t for the NFW Daily News and let’s turn there together now. Let’s get all lathered up.

About 350 beach property owners say they plan to intervene legally to prevent Walton County beaches from becoming public again.

A coalition called Florida Coastal Property Rights, established by owners that include “individuals, associations and condominiums,” issued a news release Monday to announce the number of residents who had requested to be named as defendants in a lawsuit the county filed Dec. 11.

“It is not surprising to see hundreds of parcels, owned by thousands of owners, intervening,” FlaCPR President Tammy Alford said in the release. “Many owners wish to preserve their property rights, which will be diminished should Walton County prevail in this lawsuit.”

The county’s lawsuit asks Circuit Court Judge David Green to affirm customary use along its coastline. The county contends it is the public’s right to recreate on all 26 miles of Walton County beach, including those dry sand areas deeded as private property. It claims the county’s coastline has been shared by everyone through time immemorial, and is public by virtue of that customary use.

“If Walton County is successful in affirming customary use on all private beachfront property in the county, the action will remove private property owners’ legal rights to decide who can use their property,” the FlaCPR news release said.

By filing the lawsuit, the county is following a path laid out by House Bill 631, passed last year, that it must travel if it wants to re-establish a customary use ordinance. When the state law went into effect July 1, it impacted Walton County alone by eliminating an ordinance approved by county commissioners in 2016.

Chaos ensued as private property owners sought to prevent trespassing on their stretch of sand and beachgoers protested their sudden lack of access. County officials and law pfficers were caught up in the fray. HB 631 became a political football in an election year, and debate could heat up again as tourist season opens and visitors start flocking to the beach.

A hearing was held Monday in which Green ruled to allow the great majority of those who had thus far requested to join the lawsuit as defendants to do so. It was the first hearing held since the lawsuit was filed.

The audacity.

The audacity.

(Thanks to Marc Keene for the lead.)