See: Greg Webber’s latest invention, floating reefs and portable sea walls!

"A $200,000 wet dream!" says inventor.

I was burying my spoon under the milk in my Cheerios mix this morning, when I saw that the shaper and wave tank designer Greg Webber had created a Facebook page for his new invention, floating reefs and portable sea walls. 

It’s worth a call, I thought.

Now, I ain’t gonna sit on his face and jerk him off about his new invention when his previous brainstorm, a wavepool to beat all others, still exists only in his imagination.

Greg, who is fifty-eight, says a pool in the US is at the engineering stage, finance covered etc.

“I have been saying that for five years or more,” he says, adding the reason it’s taking so long is it’s being built within an existing resort. “Building a wave pool on a bit of farmland in the middle of essentially nowhere is way, way quicker.”

Greg also puts the slowness of the build down to his refusal to dilute his and his existing shareholders’ stock holdings to chase quick capital.

The Gold Coast pool, he says, is back at the looking-for-land stage after the the local government re-zoned the site for a highway bypass.

Is it still a chance to be built?

“God knows, actually.”


What he’s got for me today are three pretty cool-looking designs that have the potential, on paper at least, of turning shitty waves into spinning wedges. 

First thing is a vee-wall, a fifty-metre long portable sea-wall that can be stuck anywhere on a beach to turn a corresponding length of sand from closeouts into “mechanically perfect” wedges.

These things cost around $A200,000 and Greg hopes they’ll become a gateway drug to councils and developers to buy his thirty-million dollar vee-reef.

“The vee-walls are incredible fun. They achieve a lot for the average surfer. Have ten or twenty of ‘em along a stretch of coast and he’ll be able to get away from all the other nutcases.”

The vee-reef, he says, are three hundred metres long, base to tip, and they’ll create “a phenomenal wave, a world-class wave that is like two Supa Banks, back to back. How the fuck wouldn’t you want to ride something like that? Of course, it’s the same deal as the Supa Bank, crowd-wise, unless you’re building seven or eight of them.”


Therefore, Greg recommends a mixture of vee-walls and vee-reefs for somewhere like the Gold Coast where overcrowding has made surfing there, for the most, a Mad Max-esque experience.

Greg has sat on the reef and wall idea since 2015 ‘cause he didn’t want divert attention away from his pool. Now, he figures his little 200-grand walls may have the potential to convince someone to stump up the two million bucks needed to build a single channel, linear wave pool to show the world how good it is.

Same plough sorta idea as Kelly, but with his patented reverse current to make the wave “hollow as fuck.”

Third invention? An EVA blanket that sits under water and that’ll act like a kelp bed and keep the surface of the water clean even in an unfavourable wind.

“You can ride an onshore day and there’ll be no surface chop at all,” he says.

The vee-reef, which would be anchored in deep water offshore, also comes with shark nets, which opens an interesting, and compelling I think, philosophical side to Webber. He says that by employing the old we’re-in-their-environment-deal-with-it argument every time a surfer or swimmer is hit by a shark, we’re doing society a grave disservice.

“These nets are to appease environmentalists so sharks, dolphins, whales or any other loveable sea creature doesn’t even get a graze from the reef,” he says. “I am being a bit facetious but I do count human lives above the life of a shark or any fish, really. There’s a biological instinct that makes us fearful of deep water just as children are scared of the dark. As adults, we can rationalise the dark but when you’re sitting in deep, dark water no rationalising can stop that fear. And, I think, we all need to become more comfortable with the ocean, not less. And the only way to do that is for more people to surf or to feel comfortable swimming out into the ocean. The more people who use the ocean, the more who will want to protect it.

“We make a mistake when we favour the shark at the expense of the happiness of billions of people. If a billion people are happier by being immerse in the water, you’re having a large-scale effect on the way people think about life, society and materialism. The ocean gives us that.”

Greg laughs.

He’s feeling his 200-grand vee-walls, knows they’re affordable enough to actually be built.

“Not this thirty million dollar fucking nightmare (wave pools),” he says. “These are a two-hundred thousand dollar wet dream. I’m excited.”

Negatron Rejoices: Auckland, New Zealand in final discussions to host a WSL QS 10,000!

I'm ready to move!

Be honest. Do you wish you were from New Zealand? The proud island nation that never got conquered yet savaged surrounding islands? The small archipelago of under five million souls that has a rugby team that gives Australia and America nightmares? The tiny little cluster of emerald rocks that delivered one of the best movies ever made into my childhood heart?

Oh, have you not seen Dead Alive (Braindead officially and I don’t know why it turned into Dead Alive in North America)? Let’s all watch the trailer together and then you can rent it later tonight.

Good, no? Well, not only does New Zealand have Dead Alive it is in line for a World Surf League Qualifying Series 10,000 event and let’s dig into the NZ Herald for up to the minute information.

Some of the biggest names in world surfing could be heading to New Zealand.

The Herald understands discussions are advanced for Auckland to host a World Surf League challenger event.

In documents obtained by the Herald, the event is pitched as a World Qualifying Series 10,000 — the highest ranked competition on the WSL’s qualifying circuit.

It is normally restricted to the top 100 surfers, and are often those picked by surfers looking to re-qualify for the following WSL season.

Six of the 63 events are 10,000s, with only one — South Africa — in the Southern Hemisphere.

The annual event, believed to be called the “Piha Pro” would be staged for the first time at the famous Auckland West Coast beach in March 2020.

It’s also understood that discussions have been held with arguably the greatest surfer of all time, 11-times men’s world champion, Kelly Slater.

The legendary American is believed to be keen to head Down Under to use the event as preparation for the season-opening event on Australia’s Gold Coast. Slater was in Piha earlier this year and is thought to have loved his time.

And that’s all I need to officially want to swap my U.S. passport for an all black one.

Any takers? Mine comes with automatic secondary inspection at every airport where you will answer questions about your Middle Eastern travel in a stifling cubicle and get felt up for free.

Brave new world: All female crew storms Uppers, disjointing the toxic male patriarchy!

I just witnessed the surfing version of Lysistrata and it was amazing!

2019 (ish) has been a good year for women’s surfing. The WSL standardized prize money for equality. Keala Kennelly got a good case of Athletes Mouth and then mobilized a team of minions to go after any naysayers who called her on her mistake in the name of social justice. Caroline Marks became the youngest surfer to ever qualify for the world tour. Bethany Hamilton did better air reverses in a single session BSR as a thirty-something mother of two with one arm than most of our male readership have done in their life, myself included.

Women’s surfing is amazing.

I was able to witness this level of empowerment with my own two eyes last Sunday evening at Uppers. A crowd of women, ages ranging from 20ish-40ish, descended onto the already crowded golden-hour uppers with mid-lengths and longboards and proceeded to trample the ego and bravado of about thirty puffy-chested men who, until that point, had thought they ruled the peak.

Like a majestic pride of hunting lionesses, I watched these women overtake the point. They blocked for one another, sat deeper, faded more gracefully, and did more critical maneuvers than the men on their long and alternate craft. The level of surfing by these ladies on atypical Uppers equipment in the chest high/onshore conditions far surpassed what I had seen while in the lineup from my like-gendered brethren. The crowd of men did not know how to respond or counteract the female dominance in the line-up and eventually, one-by-one men began to paddle in.

I just witnessed the surfing version of Lysistrata and it was amazing.

Even so, I see a lot of vitriol in the comment sections on many a surf Instagram page throwing shade on women’s surfing. I wonder, however, if those men throwing the proverbial shade are doing so from a metaphorical umbrella of their own. Why are you mad at women’s surfing? Because they surf better than you? You can’t back paddle a girl? They didn’t throw three thousand boring ass air-reverses in a single heat? Probably and you should probably shut up about it.

No matter how many times we call a hack a “man turn” it will always be an inherently feminine dance we do on the water. I will argue that for the perpetual intermediate male- surfings everyman, that the Women’s CT is FAR more relatable and aspirational from a day-to-day surfing perspective than the Men’s CT. I can learn far more that I can apply to my own surfing by watching Steph do a steezy wrap than by watching John do an explosive ally-oop (especially considering that despite my best efforts, at most, I have never been more than a foot above the lip intentionally and unassisted by a Grinch).

Hate on women’s surfing all you want, it still won’t discount the fact that: Steph’s Keramas 10 could have won a Men’s final, Caroline Marks at 17 will surf circles around you if given the opportunity, Alana Blanchard earns more than her baby-daddy Jack Freestone, the Women’s tour is dramatic with last-minute lead changes and friendly rivalries than the Men’s CT, and Maya Gabiera and Paige Alms have more metaphorical balls in big waves than you do actual balls in your shorts.

People say the future is female but it’s pretty evident that women’s surfing is at its historical peak right today and we should all stop and enjoy the show.

Also, as a side note, I would like to formally apologize to my wife who has been on the receiving end of far too many “you go girls” and “Yassss Queens” than was necessary since I witnessed the female storming of Uppers.

Breaking: Famous actor Liam Hemsworth “strips out of wetsuit after a surf session!”

Drop everything.

There are many wonderful parts of the surfing experience but none the world’s paparazzi loves more than the famous actor or actress de-wetsuiting in public. Yesterday it was Australian Liam Hemsworth who stars in the Hunger Games franchise and is married to Miley Cyrus and let’s not waste anymore time here. Let’s turn straight to celebrity gossip website Just Jared for up to the second information.

Liam Hemsworth puts his hot body on display while stripping out of his wetsuit following a surf session on Thursday (June 6) in Malibu, Calif.

The 29-year-old actor parked his car on the Pacific Coast Highway while riding the waves and he stripped out of his wetsuit on the road.

Mmmmmmmm. Very nice. Good form etc.

And how do you take your wetsuit off in public? Do you stand in a large Tupperware box that ensures your wetsuit stays dirt and gravel free? Do you sometimes hurt your neck wedging the batwing feature over your head? Does a hand or foot every get stuck? Do you strip halfway then drive home and get in the shower or strip all the way and get dressed into your work clothes?

Towel or poncho?

I believe I’ve shared this story before but when I first met Derek Rielly in Australia, very many years ago, he and then partner at Stab Sam McIntosh picked me up at the airport and took me surfing. It was a fine early fall day and we wore 3/2s in order to cut the slight chill. Afterward Derek stripped out of his wetsuit using no towel and stood naked in the car park (what Australians call parking lots). I thought, “That’s how they must do it here.” Over the ensuing week I realized Derek was the only one who did it that way but it did make great sense.

Why should we be ashamed of our pieces?

If you were a famous actor or actress would you give the paparazzi a worthy show or cower like an ultra-orthodox rabbi?

Ask Doctor Jen: The advice column that we don’t deserve but get anyway because our Jen loves creeps!

Your life made better!

Advice columns are the beating heart of print media or at least used to be. The place where the experts crashed into the people, giving their very fine opinions on all manner of whatnot. And where would we be without Dr. Ruth, Dear Abby, Ann Flanders? I’ll tell you where. In a world of hurt. Leaving the toilet seat up (or down… I can never recall proper toilet seat etiquette). Burying our cremated parents in pet cemeteries for inappropriate laughs.

Doing lame things.

Well, times change and The People™ now rule or alt least rule here but you don’t think we still need advice from experts? We do and desperately. Oh not me, Derek or Longtom. We’re all dipshits (sorry Longtom) but can I tell you a little something that is probably a secret and maybe was supposed to be kept that way?

Jen See, the byline you see above some our best stories, is an honest to goodness doctor. She has a PhD in….. history I think but is honestly, truly, really Doctor Jen See. She’s smart, proper smart, and willing to help you navigate your life.

What help do you need?

What therapy do you crave?

What are you curious about?

Nothing is off limits. Dr. Jen is here to help and and all you need to do is ask. Toss a question into the comments, she will pluck the best (worst) and use her mighty brain to solve.

You’re welcome.