Ex-ASP Judge to Dirk Ziff: “How long can your WSL survive a constant barrage of criticism from the surfing world that you set out to conquer?

Thank you sir, may I have another etc.

The World Surf League remains under fire. Well-aimed salvos shot daily from all angles at the Santa Monica bunker.

A loyal army of entrenched BeachGrit snipers and artillerymen are among those leading the bombardment of dissatisfaction. Encouraged by Rielly and Smith, with stirrings from well-versed Longtom and his WWII Russian expertise, the Resistance grows stronger to the WSL’s ignore-the-core brand of pro surfing.

Some questions for you Commander Ziff, if I may be so bold.

How long can your WSL survive a constant barrage of criticism from all corners of the surfing world that you set out to conquer?

Are you growing concerned that your huge war chest is becoming noticeably more depleted? As El Supremo will you be waving a white flag soon?

Or do you expect the tide of fortune to turn when your elite guard is called to action on France’s historic shores of battle this week?

Meanwhile, the touring grunts on your Qualifying Series have been engaged in serious fighting on other European fronts. Credit to you Dirk and the WSL where it is due. The QS events this autumn have been a refreshing distraction to listen to and watch while the cannonade of your Championship Tour continues.

Decent swells, drama-filled heats, plenty of new faces and excellent surfing have made QS viewing a more attractive theater of surf war.

So, also, has a relaxed international commentary team. Brit wit Paul Evans and South African anchor Gigs Cilliers have called the shots in a more refrained style, kind of like Test cricket commentators do.

Please take note Dirk.

They let the live action largely do the talking, then add well-phrased observations when analyzing the replays, while all the time keeping us informed with changing sea conditions, useful stats and situations as they develop on the scoreboard. Compared to your more censored and monotonously repetitive over-cooked CT commentary, the presentation of these QS events makes for easier and better tuned-in listening.

This more laid-back style is also bringing out the best of hardened stalwarts like Peter Mel. The liberated Santa Cruz charger has found a good niche on the 10,000 series, sharing his knowledge of equipment while drawing on past experiences from years competing on the QS grind.

Australians Ben Mondy and Chris Binns are both reliable hacks. The two Aussie freelancers have proven themselves adept at roaming outdoors with a mic for background color, even climbing steep stairs and cliffs to get decent interviews.

Meanwhile Dirk, your CT continues to cop a pounding for its bland presentation and wearisome format. We love and appreciate that your webcasts are free of charge, thank you.

But, why persist in trying to entertain us with world title contests that take too long to complete with a surplus of competitors wasting time in meaningless rounds?  Was the format designed by some of the CT surfers with strong positions on the Board who wanted to prolong their careers and chances of winning each comp?

Perhaps you and your WSL decision makers could look more closely at your QS events and see how well they are being presented. Maybe you might surprise us next year (if you haven’t surrendered by then) by doing something really radical, like ditching the entire WCT!

This would save you money while also making the world title race more meaningful and captivating. As a suggestion, all you’d have to do is simply merge the WCT with the QT’s existing 10,000 series.

Think about it Dirk, in the first week of competition we’d see 112 QS surfers competing in four-man heats, until whittled down to a field of 24, like proven Trials events from previous years. The second week, another swell, you bring on the WCT’s top 20, plus your four injury and wild card surfers. So now you have 24 of the world’s best taking on the 24 QS surfers. A dozen four-man heats with first and second progressing leaves us with 24. Four-man heats are more exciting to watch, if you haven’t noticed already. There is double the action and very little goes to waste. These remaining 24 combatants then contest eight three man heats, with first and second still progressing, until 16 surfers remain, same as the current QS format.

Then, man-on-man competition until the winner is proclaimed. That’s two weeks to run an entire comp.

Do that at ten of the best locations and there’s your new world champion from a more interesting field.

Not only would this merged format mean less of your money being spent, it would also revitalize the world title race. Fans would get to see more passionate young surfers taking on the world’s top 20. Emerging young guns we have just witnessed this campaign in Europe, like Brazil’s Sam Pupo, South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray and Adin Masencamp, Aussies Chris Zaffis, Morgan Cibilic, Jacob Willcox, USA’s Jake Marshall and Hawaii’s Josh Moniz, to name a few, all deserve a faster route to earn more money and pit themselves against the elite.

As for the women’s tour, cast them adrift I say, but in a nice way.

Hand that tour over to your wife. Let Natasha, Sophie and their friends take control of the women’s tour and see what they can really do with it. Let the women compete at different locations in waves that suit them better, with equal pay, new sponsors and all.

(Editor’s note: Wayne Murphy is a former ASP judge from Western Australia. He is the co-author of Ian Cairns’ epic 340,000 word, two-volume biography, Kanga: The Trial and Triumphs of Ian Cairns. Wayne now lives in Ireland. “That fierce southern sun with its baking heat would have killed me if I stayed living in West Oz any longer,” he told Tracks magazine in 2014.)

Rhode Islander (pictured) fighting off "man-eating" Great White.
Rhode Islander (pictured) fighting off "man-eating" Great White.

Unprecedented: For first time in recorded history “man-eating” Great White sharks head to Rhode Island!

Hell is on the move.

Oh and you thought it was over. I thought it was over too, quite frankly, but the current Great White shark apocalypse appears to just be getting underway. Terror everywhere. Terror in my once agrestic North County, San Diego. Terror in Cape Cod. Terror in Florida, New Zealand, Antartica and for the first time in recorded history terror in Rhode Island.

Did you even know that Rhode Island was part of the United States of America? Were you even aware of its existence?

You should have been.

Sid “The Package” Abruzzi hails from Rhode Island and founded the world’s most core surf shop/brand Water Brothers there so many years ago and if you unaware of Sid then shame on you. He looks and talks exactly like Robert DeNiro yet surfs.

But now he has to worry about Great Whites. Man-eating Great Whites but don’t take my alarmist word for it. Let us turn to Rhode Island’s NBC affiliate 10 at 10 for more.

The Atlantic Shark Institute confirmed the first detection of great white sharks in Rhode Island waters on Tuesday.

The institute used acoustic receivers to record pings from two sharks that swam in Ocean State waters in July.

An 11-foot male shark was confirmed to have swum near the Block Island Wind Farm this July, according to the Atlantic Shark Institute. A second 12-foot female shark visited the Southwest Ledge off Block Island the institute reported.

The sharks had been tagged in the water off Cape Cod said the release.

The institute says they employ about a dozen receivers that could pick up the shark’s coded pings from several thousand feet away.

The Atlantic Shark Institute teamed up with the RI Department of Environmental Management to use this method of recording.

“This is the first confirmation of white sharks in RI using this technology and we couldn’t be happier,” said Jon Dodd, the Chairman of the Atlantic Shark Institute. “We expect that this will be the first of many critical shark findings in the partnership between the Atlantic Shark Institute and the DEM.”

Are you kidding me, Jon Dodd? You Could’t be happier?

Well hell hath come to your doorstep and seeing that Rhode Island’s entire population numbers 59 souls, hell can eat the entire male* portion. The entire male portion save Sid Abruzzi who eats Great Whites for breakfast after he gets done terrorizing Juliette Lewis and Nick Nolte.

Re. Juliette Lewis, very quickly, I once knew a man who was married to her. They got divorced without any children but I don’t think it was contentious and that’s all I have to say about that.

But where will “man-eating” Great Whites turn up next? Which unsullied burgh will they pollute?

More as the story develops.

*Male population only because it has been scientifically proven that “man-eating” Great Whites hate the taste of women.

NFL broadcaster attempts to erect Wall of Positive Noise; Livid fans explode in violent protest!

Not everyone as gifted as Joe Turpel.

So there I was having just run a quick lunch errand, nibbling on a piece of bbq chicken pizza, drinking a cold pinot gris and scouting the news when I stumbled across a Sports Illustrated headline declaring that National Football League broadcaster Anthony “Booger” McFarland  had a “rough night in the booth” yesterday and that the ensuing extreme fan outcry was completely deserved because his offense was “very egregious.’

“Oooooh….” I thought between sips, visions of Miki Dora dancing in my head, “……racist. An NFL broadcaster uttered something racist or maybe sexist.” And I licked the bbq sauce off my lips ready for extreme moral outrage.

The story did not disappoint. Fans were apoplectic, furious, filled with rage and delivering violent, toxic barbs in comment boards, through Twitter, in text to each other but there was nothing racist, sexist, ageist or even handicappist at all.

It was worse.

Booger McFarland attempted to erect the World Surf League’s Wall of Positive Noise and let’s go straight to the source for more.

It’s usually not fair to pick out one thing a broadcaster says during a three-hour plus game and criticize him for it, unless it’s very egregious.

Booger McFarland got egregious last night. For some reason, McFarland thought it was a good time to heap praise on the Bengals were they were getting blown out by the Steelers in a loss that would move them to 0-4.

The Monday Night Football analyst had nothing but positive thoughts about Cincinnati head coach, Zac Taylor. McFarland also kept comparing the Bengals to the Rams since Taylor was their quarterbacks coach last season.

While sports fans can be overly critical of broadcasters, it really doesn’t sit well with them when you’re spin is just bizarre and non-sensical. Naturally, Twitter noticed and had a lot to say about McFarland.

On and on it went showcasing those lots of things to say and it was harsh.

Very harsh.

Every other sport outlet picked the story up too and now dump trucks filled with rage are being backed up and emptied on Booger McFarland.

Imagine if these fans, the same that ex-WSL CEO Herr Paul Speaker and current WSL CEO Obergruppenführer Sophie Goldschmidt are hoping to bring into professional surfing, listened to Joe Turpel while watching Willian Cardoso? Imagine if they knew the singular glories of the ’89 World Champ Martin Potter.

Peter Mel.

Just imagine.

And does it frustrate you that professional surf fans are more compliant, more listless, less discerning than American football fans?

It does me.

Also, I know that we are technically in a ceasefire with the World Surf League but…

…Derek is an Israeli at heart and I’m a li’l Arab.

Ceasefires are metaphorical.

Revealed: The meaning behind Kelly Slater’s mysteriously named OuterKnown!

Hint: Hawaiians use it for measurement.

Kelly Slater’s OuterKnown was unveiled to much fanfare nearly five years when the World’s Most Recognized Surfer ditched Quiksilver in its time of need in order to realize his fashion dream. Quiksilver, as you recall, was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, struggling with high overhead in the rapidly changing market etc. The brand had sponsored Kelly for two decades and I’m sure employee morale soared when the 11 time World Champ slammed the door on the way out.

So long, old friends and wish me luck!

OuterKnown. It was sleek, grown up, offered at a higher price point and best of all sustainable.


Oh the word has lost a bit of its sheen through bald-faced marketing grabs and unabashed hypocrisy but back then it meant something. The mysterious name was “OuterKnown.”

What did it signify? What did it refer to? The furthest known point on the horizon? A seismic event?

I wondered until this very moment when I stumbled upon a story about OuterKnown’s collaboration with Swiss luxury watch maker Breitling. The watch, which comes with a sustainable band, was tested recently at Kelly Slater’s sustainable Surf Ranch. A wonderland where human ingenuity figured out how to recreate the ocean’s waves using a large machine. And let us turn to the luxury magazine Robb Report for more:

Breitling unveiled a new Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown dive watch last week in its natural habitat. The watch was tested at the Wave Company Surf Ranch owned by surf champ Kelly Slater, a member of Breitling’s “surfer squad” of ambassadors. The ranch, located near Lemoor, California, just south of Fresno, offers perfect surfing conditions… 100 miles inland.

Outerknown is surfer slang for the other, unseen side of a wave. It is also the name a company owned by Slater that makes sustainable clothing—over 90 percent of Outerknown’s products are made from organic, recycled or regenerated materials.

And did you catch that? Outerknown is surfer slang for the other, unseen side of the wave. I honestly had no idea and that’s one of the true glorious about this surfing life. We’re all students, constantly learning.

On Dora: “Would a racist support Robert Kennedy or a Nazi support the Democratic Party?

"If he claimed to be a Nazi and hating blacks, maybe it was Dora putting on a fright mask and saying Boo! to the surfing world…"

Well Dora understood way back when, before Musk and before Trump and before WSL bought BeachGrit, the PT Barnumism that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Dora would say outrageous things and as long as people were talking about him or putting him in Surfer Magazine and paying attention to him and maybe even paying him, Dora was winning.

Dora had a big, black hole of a soul and he thrived on negative energy, poor sap.

Tubesteak said Dora was the product of a dysfunctional childhood and probably had an Oedipus complex about his mom, who sounds like a femme fatale from a Raymond Chandler novel: Human fish, swimming at the bottom of the great ocean of atmosphere, develop psychic injuries as they collide with one another. Most mortal of all are those gotten from the parent fish.

Da Bull said Dora was very bright and that was part of his problem.

Dora cared about things and was hardly the only person to be spun out by the cynicism and hypocrisy and violence and divison of the 1960s.

Anyone who surfs Malibu now fantasizes about rolling up to Furst Point in 1956 driving a Bel Air or a ‘Vette or an F100 or a Woody or a Spyder rocking out to Girl Can’t Help It by Little Richard and surfing yourself to jelly on balsa chips on those big, green days with maybe 20 friends and no dingalings coming for another five years.

That’s how Dora had it and it was paradise, pretty much, but it all ended very very fast – Gidget to Ride the Wild Surf in 1962 and that was the end of that.

And that would be a heavy, heavy loss. Soul shattering. Turn a guy into a racist and a Nazi lover, or someone who pretended to be, just because the world made him spin.

In 1959, in the movie Gidget, the big to-do was that Kahuna didn’t have a real job.

Ten years later in 1969, Tarantino’s 1969, during the historic swell of December, in that same week the fan was killed at Altamont, the first Vietnam draft lottery was held and Manson was trotted out on the front page of the LA Times as the evil mind behind Tate/Labianca.

The world changes a lot in 10 years but rarely has it changed as much as between 1959 and 1969. Dora got swept up in all that. Some say he was at the Ambassador Hotel the night Robert Kennedy was shot.

Would a racist support Robert Kennedy or a Nazi support the Democratic Party?


If he claimed to be a Nazi and hating blacks, maybe it was Dora putting on a fright mask and saying “Boo!” to the surfing world, to people he held in disdain because as we see from BeachGrit, there are a lot of dumbass proles in the surfing world.

Dora’s rascism could have been an act put on by an angry person who didn’t care about wrong or right.

He just wanted attention, maybe going back to the mom deal.

Dora was an act.

As is Trump, as is Musk, as is bitchgripe.com, all of it designed to generate controversy and, hopefully, money money money.

Or maybe Dora really did hate n**gers and Kikes. Who knows?

What was true about Weber and Velzy is true around here: Dora’s been dead for years, but people still want to kill him.