Australia's first wave pool, a Wavegarden-created Cove – the word's first full-sized version of the new tech. | Photo: jazzy p

Progress: Digging continues at Australia’s first Wavepool!

Much dirt has to be shifted for Wavegarden Cove debut…

Four years ago, the former banker Andrew Ross made the bullish promise that there’d be ten wave pools across Australia within a decade.

It would be, it seemed, the greatest act of colonisation by a single entity in Australia since the British waded ashore from their prison hulks in 1788.

In February this year, it was announced that the first of the ten pools, which is being built near Melbourne’s airport, was nearing completion. It would be, promised the Perth-based company URBNSURF, “safe, convenient, accessible and welcoming.”

From the presser:

Major earthworks, civil construction and services installation are now largely complete, and the heart of our 2-hectare surfing lagoon, our next-generation wave generator, has been installed.

We’re now on the final countdown to filling the world’s first full-scale Wavegarden Cove, and for first waves to be breaking around Easter 2019.

Last month, BeachGrit‘s Jazzy P was wandering by and shot a few photos.

What we’re hearing is building a full-sized version of the Cove, the first of its kind in the world and Wavegarden’s return salvo to KSWaveCo and American Wave Machines, ain’t as easy as it seemed on paper.

Tech difficulties etc.

The company says it’s now squaring up for a late-2019 reveal, with the tap getting turned on to fill the lagoon in a couple of weeks.

“Opening in late ‘19 after testing and commissioning our wave generator over Winter. So close and we’re psyyyyyyched,” the company told its 11,000 followers on Instagram.

Interestingly, the co says it’s still on for a Sydney pool, construction beginning early next year for a 2021 open.

Now, an examination of these photos suggests six months or so to go before you’ll get to shred ‘tween flight connections.

Still, it’s happening etc.


Update: Sunny Garcia moved to California hospital; lung surgery tomorrow

"See him catching a wave, on the water with the sun on his back. Picture him happy, healthy and loved."

On April 29, the world champ and six-time Triple Crown winner Sunny Garcia, was found unconscious at his home in Oregon, almost dead, and presumably by his own hand.

On the day Sunny was found, he posted this.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw0vh7WpcnV/

Three weeks later, despite a general pessimism from doctors, Sunny was breathing on his own and responding to stimuli.

Now, according to his daughter Kaila, Sunny, who is forty-nine, has been moved from ICU in Portland to a hospital in California and will go under what’s called VAT or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery on his lungs.

In the old days, like, until the early nineties, surgeons would go in with a saw to get through the sternum. Now, the procedure is minimally invasive, less risk and so on.

Good news for Sunny who got his nickname from a mama who delighted in her little boy’s elevated spirit.

Kaila writes:

“Bring to mind a happy memory of my dad @sunnygarcia. See him catching a wave, on the water with the sun on his back. Picture him happy, healthy and loved. Send that picture of Sunny as healthy and loved as a prayer and a reminder to Sunny. When you breathe out send that happy picture with your love to My dad @sunnygarcia. Please join us in doing this once a day for the next month.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzcL4zvjB5z/?utm_source=ig_embed


Titillation: Kelly Slater gets excited, employs rarely used “lecherous” emoji, over provocative Miley Cyrus image!

"Oh wow."

Kelly Slater, age 47, is a very avid and competent Instagram user. It is no secret and a fact that adds layers to the most approachable top-tier professional athletes of all time. Keep rolling the dice, throwing questions into his comment section and chances are better than even that you’ll get a response or blocked, depending on what you ask.

He is also not afraid to leave his walled garden and will comment here and there across the Instagram universe. Yesterday found him sharing an excited “Oh wow” over a very provocative Miley Cyrus, age 26, photo advertising the pop star’s newest music video.

The twenty-one year age gap between the two public figures might raise eyebrows in certain corners though I would imagine only where professional surf watching is not a way of life. Kelly’s co-workers on tour, as we well know, average 24 years old and Kelly himself stopped aging eight years ago technically making him 39.

In any case, the fact that Kelly was engaging with a very provocative Miley Cyrus photo is not surprising. That he went into the emoji database and pulled the rarely used “lecherous” face is.

The “lecherous” emoji, featuring a toothy full-faced smile with tongue barely kept in mouth and eyeballs open wide, was introduced before the #metoo movement exploded onto the scene. Major mobile phone manufacturers quickly realized it sent a troubling message and buried it on most devices. My iPhone 4 does not have, for example, which brings us to our important questions.

At what age should adult men abandon using emojis? Can an extra few years be added for ironic emoji use? Is it ok to use suggestive emojis in every context or just certain contexts?

Now let’s watch the Miley Cyrus music video together.


Longtom on John John: “Airs will be off the agenda for a long time. Maybe for good in competition!”

Fact is, one-in-three NFL athletes have careers ended by ACL ruptures. That knee may never come back to what it was.

John John Florence, two-time world champion and on track to canter to a third title, is out for the year with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

The ACL is a short ligament, one of the two cruciate ligaments that in their crossed orientation provide stability to the knee joint. You can exist with a torn ACL, you can surf.

But it’ll be old man surfing in a straight line.

Worse news than Arctic ice caps melting for surf fans. We were just starting to see John John really open up and with J-Bay and Teahupoo in John’s crosshairs next the prospect of seeing something truly transcendent was very real.

You want to fold that back knee down and hammer the close-outs with a big layback like John did at Bells you’re going to need that ACL.

It’s all very sad news of course, probably worse than Arctic ice caps melting for surf fans. We were just starting to see John John really open up and with J-Bay and Teahupoo in John’s crosshairs next the prospect of seeing something truly transcendent was very real.

Almost certain. No more.

What now?

John’s ACL is ruptured. Partial tears are uncommon, it’s the same dicky knee he twinged in Bali last year which means this time it’s fully cooked. Surgical grafting of either his own patellar or hamstring tendon or if a suitable donor can be found, someone else’s, is used to replace his ruptured ACL.

Forgive me for indulging a fantasy but surely there must be some Chinese political prisoner of mountain stock with very robust knees who could donate the ligament? What a gesture of international reconciliation.

A period of pre-op pre-hab will be followed by surgery then a six-to-nine-month rehab. Airs will be off the agenda for a very, very long time. Maybe for good in competition.

Based on results in the first half of the year John won’t need an injury wildcard for next year. If the re-hab goes well the first we will see of him will be Snapper next year. Very sad face.

The implications short and long term are hectic.

A tantalising title race was in the offing this year if John didn’t run away with it. Jordy, Pip, Slater, Medina at Pipe all beckoned as dance partners for our faux-hawked golden boy. Audiences were up 25% according to WSL; anecdotally from what I heard in my local lineups, surfers were tuning in to watch JJF do his thing live.

I hate the term: an asterisk next to the Title, but really and truly, with JJF out it’s going to be impossible to say the best surfer on Tour won the Title this year.

Young men and gals are going to be busted up by the time they are 30 and Kelly’s career arc will seem even more of an anomaly. Pro surfers are going to have to be re-engineered from an early age if they are to survive the rigours of advanced progressive surfing. Unlike NFL or NBA or even pissant Australian sports like NRL and AFL there isn’t enough high-end talent to burn through.

John has been busted up before advancing the Sport. Landing into the flats at Snapper gave him a high-ankle sprain, broken back at Pipe, the Keramas landing last year that damaged the ACL. The injury toll is an existential dilemma for a sport supposedly based on progression.

Young men and gals are going to be busted up by the time they are 30 and Kelly’s career arc will seem even more of an anomaly. Pro surfers are going to have to be re-engineered from an early age if they are to survive the rigours of advanced progressive surfing. Unlike NFL or NBA or even pissant Australian sports like NRL and AFL there isn’t enough high-end talent to burn through.

Kelly is a one-off talent, John a once in a generation. There’s no replacement waiting in the wings.

Barrinha was an exhibit A example of a sport held back by the fear of injury to it’s top talent. The high-speed wedges had potential for the biggest aerials ever seen in the sport, as noted by Kolohe Andino.

And no-one, apart from John’s flyaway kick-out which caused the injury, attempted one.

Hard to imagine another “extreme” sport where competitors deliberately avoided going big because of the risk of injury. Andino was being ironic when he said the next day “Go small, don’t fall” but that was about the truest thing ever said in a post-heat presser.

Going small is the norm.

John is putting a brave face on it with modern therapy speak.

“I’m excited for this new adventure and everything I will learn along the way.”

The fact is, one-in-three NFL athletes have careers ended by ACL ruptures. That knee may never come back to what it was.

As far as pushing the limits of high-performance surfing we may already have seen the best of JJF. More very sad face.

What will he learn along the way?

If we took the therapy speak to its logical conclusion would his medical team investigate the use of testosterone to address muscle wastage or human growth hormone as a therapy to “promote connective tissue” growth if it helped get the knee back to full strength. Out of season testing for injured athletes seems lax or non-existent.

Would you begrudge John getting access to the latest medical advances which might intrude into grey areas if it meant he could come back full strength to do what he does?

I sure wouldn’t and I couldn’t imagine Sophie would either.

We’ll soldier on but it’s going to be another long year without John on tour.


Taylor Swift (pictured) enjoying our President of Content, Media, Etc. Erik "ELo" Logan's favorite pastime.

Question: Which professional surfer most “lacks understanding of a business deal?”

The World Surf League's President of Content, Media etc. can't stand a dull contract mind. Which pro will feel his rage first?

There are too many best parts of our World Surf League President of Content, Media, Deleted Rants, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan’s open letter to pop star Taylor Swift, yesterday, but if I was forced to pick one line it would be this:

“I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and allow you to re-write history and bend the truth to justify your lack of understanding of a business deal.”

Ms. Swift, as I very much hope you read yesterday, called out Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun for acquiring the rights to her back catalog. Many celebrities and personalities jumped into the fray, forming up Team Taylor and Team Scooter and our President was very much on the later, taking hours out of his High Castle schedule to let the pop star know exactly what he thought.

And fascinating because we haven’t had an entirely clear picture of which direction President ELo will attempt to tug professional surfing but his letter contains clues. Thoughts and ideas we can, must, parse for small truths.

Understanding a business deal, for example, seems extremely important to our President but this is professional surfing and it makes me wonder which professional surfer will find her or himself on the pointy end of a piqued missive first?

Who has the worst business mind on tour (either Championship or Qualifying level)?

Who invests poorly? Who puts her money in dumb places? Who signs bad deals then barks loudly yet ignorantly?

Sure, sure, me too but we’re not on tour.

So which professional surfer will get called out before all others on the World Surf League’s official Twitter account?

My money is on Michael Rodrigues but, again, I put it in dumb places.