A hapless Jaddy Andre had to be assisted from the water after another pole-axeing in heavy water to add to the collection. | Photo: WSL

Quiksilver Pro, France, Day Two: “Truncated day as judges forced to give numbers to rambunctious closeouts!”

And a notably sadistic edge in the roughing up that La Graviere delivered to the queen of surfing, Stephanie Gilmore…

Truncated day in France as competitors battled rambunctious close-out toobs generated by ex-hurricane Lorenzo in conditions described by longboard babe Kelia Moniz as a “giant toilet bowl”.

First, a quick apology for the low energy recap on day one. I know it was dog caca.

People are tired. Sick. It’s as if Medina is absorbing the energy of his opponents, demoralising them. Gabe is ascendant, romping around in his full power in his happiest hunting ground and looking in the rear view mirror he sees, what? A crippled Toledo, JJF sailing the South Pac, Jordy and Kolohe; both brittle.

I didn’t get my finger on the emotional tone for the day, which I only recognised later in my own pedestrian writings. The dominant mood was resignation. People are tired. Sick. It’s as if Medina is absorbing the energy of his opponents, demoralising them. Gabe is ascendant, romping around in his full power in his happiest hunting ground and looking in the rear view mirror he sees, what? A crippled Toledo, JJF sailing the South Pac, Jordy and Kolohe; both brittle.

Kelly with a cold, buckled board, sleep deprivation and sciatica, out of the Title race, freed up and surfing like a teenager. Making some kind of larger statement about his relevance to some fuzzy concept which will come into focus soon. Next year’s tour, the Olympics, a stinging rebuttal to his critics post-wavepool. His actions will speak louder than any words.

For now, past and future cease to exist for Kelly, the Goat is in the moment.

Sure, there is plenty of energy and movement in the back end, as Colapinto so ably demonstrated on day one when he dropped the “kids of at the pool” in the tornadoed Atlantic. Absent a Medina choke the story of Europe will be a smokey from the back end storming the beaches of the Olde World in search of liberation from relegation.

Why not Soli Bailey?

I recused myself from commenting on the rookie this year because I’m pals with Papa but it hasn’t been a good year. He had Toledo on the ropes at D-bah and when he failed to put him away that lost opportunity seemed to set in train a series of unfortunate events. More than anything he has surfed “short”, the turns pulled and judges hate that. Here in France, and later on Portugal and Pipe, that won’t matter. If he can decipher hieroglyphic lineups that would confound work-a-day surfers he’ll make it through.

Which he did today. One magnificent make on a throaty cave reminds us Bailey is a Pipeline winner. He has a long way to go and even an Asing-style French miracle might not be enough to get him onto next year’s CT.

I find close-out toobs confounding. So do you. So did the twelve male and six female surfers in the CT elimination heats today. Kolohe was entertaining. We are constantly being assured that he wants this (world) Title more than anyone but I don’t see the execution of a world champ, not yet. That haunting Teahupoo loss, where the Tahitian wildcard paddled past him and he sat mute with a confused and yet arrogant grin, still seems to stalk him.

Still, he was able to obtain no-fault eviction from collapsing french teepees, while French wildcard Marco Mignot could not and a hapless Jaddy Andre had to be assisted from the water after another pole-axeing in heavy water to add to the collection.

The sense of being freed up and somehow liberated extended to the booth. Strider was loose, extolling the pleasures of the flesh, American* libertines have always been drawn to the more relaxed attitudes of the French. Mel and Kaipo giggled nervously.

It was fun, compared to the scripted debacle of Tahiti, almost a revelation.

Judges were forced to give numbers to close-outs. A mid-threefor a non-make was a crucial score. Seabass ended up, agonizingly, heartbreakingly on the wrong side of a couple crucial non-makes while his babe looked on, crestfallen. Lacomare made the first proper tube-ride, a deep but scrappy left. His 9.10 was shared in the last heat by Conner Coffin, who overcame a comical start to post an equal score. His wave, which followed a broken board paddling out and some proper doughnuts from trying to smash close-outs, was the best of the day. He side-slipped down the face backside, with the fins somehow magically re-engaging behind a steely french curtain, emerging with the spit and a crotch-grabbing claim.

A Miley Cyrus claim?

All and sundry in the surfing world played merry hell poking fun at Kelly’s pool but I’d bet my left nut the women sent out in elimination heats today would have gone back there in a second if they had the chance. I favour kindness myself, but there was a notable sadistic edge in the roughing up that La Graviere delivered to the queen of surfing, Stephanie Gilmore.

She seemed to spend equal amounts of time in her heat on the beach, waiting for a lull, or getting ragdolled onto dry sand emerging with a resentful, sometimes quizzical expression on her face.

In the end, coach Jake Patterson chewed his lips dry and Gilmore was gone.

I wanted to watch the Red Bull air comp. I really did. The promos were cool and Vaughn Deadly was very high energy. Fifteen minutes in and no one had a good make. Next minute, Matt Meola and me were pulling bongs and he was teaching me how to rig livebaits to pitch to teased up marlin in the bluewater off Maui.

When I came to, my head was squished on the desk and white noise was coming through the screen.

It was over. Ian Crane won.


Quiksilver Pro France Elimination Round (Round 2) Results:
HEAT 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.66 DEF. Marco Mignot (FRA) 6.06, Jadson Andre (BRA) 2.46
HEAT 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.20 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 7.94, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.07
HEAT 3: Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.07 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.43, Deivid Silva (BRA) 4.30
HEAT 4: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.27 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.80, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 6.33

Quiksilver Pro France Round of 32 (Round 3) Match-Ups:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA)
HEAT 6: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
HEAT 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
HEAT 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
HEAT 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA)
HEAT 10: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
HEAT 11: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
HEAT 12: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 13: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
HEAT 14: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 15: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
HEAT 16: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)

Roxy Pro France Elimination Round (Round 2) Results:
HEAT 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.60 DEF. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.37, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6.97
HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.94 DEF. Silvana Lima (BRA) 7.63, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 7.53

Roxy Pro France Round of 16 (Round 3) Match-Ups:
HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
HEAT 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
HEAT 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
HEAT 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
HEAT 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
HEAT 7: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
HEAT 8: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Vahine Fierro (FRA)

Red Bull Airborne France Final Results:
1 – Ian Crane (USA) 5.83
2 – Nomme Mignot (FRA) 4.50
3 – Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 3.93
4 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 3.77
5 – Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 3.73
6 – Finn McGill (HAW)

The great Andy Irons wearing his iconic Rising Sun boardshort.
The great Andy Irons wearing his iconic Rising Sun boardshort.

Innovative: Japan utilizing “comprehensive town-building strategies centered on ‘Surfonomics!'”

An earthly paradise!

I don’t know if you have had the pleasure of visiting Japan but it just may well be the greatest nation on earth. The people are polite and kind, the fashion is without parallel, the food is out of this world and, as if things could possibly get better any better, coastal towns are being built around a new strategy called “Surfonomics.”

What is Surfonomics?

A great question and we must turn to Japan’s Kyodo News for answers.

(The town of Ichinomiya) has created a “surf street” along the beach dotted with surf shops and restaurants. An information center that opened in April 2018 rents surfboards and bicycles for people to carry their gear.

Hyuga in Miyazaki Prefecture on the southwestern main island of Kyushu has pursued an initiative dubbed “Relax Surf Town Hyuga” since December 2016.

Boasting a warm climate, the city has one of the nation’s most popular surfing spots. In 2017, the latest year for which figures were available, it attracted more than 300,000 surfers and beachgoers, up from 200,000 in 2012.

It regularly releases promotional videos on a special website and uploads images of the Hyuga coastline on social media. It is working hard to attract surfing events as it looks to capitalize on surfing’s Olympic debut.

Makinohara in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, lost out to Ichinomiya in the bid to be selected as the Olympic surfing venue, but it was chosen to host pre-games training for the U.S. and other surfing teams.

The city on the Pacific coast organizes surfing lessons for elementary school students to familiarize people with the sport from an early age.

Another spot known for the quality of its waves is Niijima Island. Part of the Izu Islands, Niijima takes about two and a half hours to reach from Tokyo by high-speed jet ferry or 35 minutes by air.

Niijima used to host international surfing competitions and is trying to boost the remote island’s economy by wooing back surfers.

“The beautiful ocean is the pride of the island,” an official said. “We hope more people will come and enjoy surfing.”

Do you ever wish Imperial Japan won World War II?


Love and sexing in France.

Comment live, Quiksilver Pro, Hossegor, Day Two!

Join the idle class in a hothouse of surfer opinion…

Who can regret the sins of the flesh? In the sand dunes behind Les Culs Nuls, site of this year’s Quiksilver Pro, the windless summer nights reverberate to the noise of indiscretion and reckless escapades.

To deny these experiences, as we know, is a denial of the soul.

It’s autumn in Hossegor now, the offshores have kicked, the holidaymakers have been stuffed back into their classrooms and office cubicles and the dunes are silent.

And, here, Saturday morning, October five, my birthday as it happens, The Quiksilver Pro France turns back on.

Today, blood on the sand as four surfers are removed from the event in the prosaically named Elimination Round, formally round two.

Watch, make a noise.

(Click. here for the live stream.)


Quiksilver Pro France Elimination Round (Round 2) Matchups:
HEAT 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA)
HEAT 2: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA)
HEAT 3: Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
HEAT 4: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)

Quiksilver Pro France Seeding Round (Round 1) Results:
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.50 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.90, Soli Bailey (AUS) 8.07
HEAT 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.94 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.10, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.60
HEAT 3: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 14.40 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 14.33, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.00
HEAT 4: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 12.67 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.66, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.26
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.63 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.60, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 9.74
HEAT 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.40 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.87, Marco Mignot (FRA) 11.04
HEAT 7: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.10 DEF. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.34, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 7.94
HEAT 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.44 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.57, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.47
HEAT 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.84 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.67, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.94
HEAT 10: Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.24 DEF. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.50, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.13
HEAT 11: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.84 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.67, Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.67
HEAT 12: Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.77 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.10, Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.90


Opinion: “What the hell, boys? Why do we need to worship our heroes so mindlessly?”

We're surfers for pity's sake!

This damned Miki Dora thing has caught me off guard, to be honest. I thought sporting hero worship was the exclusive realm of stick-n-ball sports. Of weirdo American football lovers, European soccer freaks and Aussie Rules manics though I count myself among the latter.

Go Pies!

But Miki Dora? Mickolsossos Dora? You are willing to throw your own living life on the man who surfed Malibu exceptionally but nowhere else’s tombstone?


What is the goal?

What is the aim?

He surfed Malibu exceptionally yes, wrote a bunch of bad checks was racist, anti-Semetic and shot the derelict surfer narrative over the moon. I would theoretically like him for the derelict surfer bit except he was a sue-hound too. A perpetually aggrieved whiner who sued and sued and sued his way through middle age. Who leaned on the courts and the law and “The Man” to pressure others to give him his “fair shake.”

I fucking hate “fair shakes.”

I fucking hate lawsuits.

I fucking hate men who call the cops when a conversation, or fight, would settle it.

So worship Miki Dora but worship him clear-eyed and allow surfing to be a place where truth and honesty reign.

Yeah Miki was a racist, anti-Semetic suer. Yeah Andy was a drug fiend. Yeah Jeff Hakman co-founded Quiksilver over a doily of cocaine. Yeah yeah yeah fucking yeah surfers are the worst.

Why do we even try and protect the dead feelings of the derelict assholes amongst us?

I’ll beg you right now. When I’m done and dusted I hope I’m worthy of the remaining of you shitting on me all day and single every day.


My dying wish.

Talk about how I was an Oregonian nobody. Write about how I couldn’t get barreled at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch without getting hurt. Scream about my shit shit pumping down the line at two-foot George’s in my once-agrarian Cardiff by the Sea this morning, if you even remember me at all because…


Let’s just be us. Let’s just be surfers. It’s honestly all we have but worth more than anything else.


Tell me what you want on your own damed tombstone.

What is your memorial?


Tragedy: “Leading federal meteorologist” drowns in Outer Banks surf after issuing warning.

Not ironic.

Rip-currents can be real sons of bitches. Growing upon Oregon’s wild and wooly coast, I was no stranger to their clammy grasp. I lost a very sweet Nev potato chip with much rocker, once, as I clung to the barnacle’d rocks while the the ocean tried to steal me. The current was a raging river hurtling to Japan and I snagged the rock at the last second but my New potato chip was not so lucky and the leash plug popped right out and I watched it bob up and down, violently, until it was lost over the horizon.

Very sad.

But not as sad as the tragic story of a leading federal meteorologist who drowned in rough Outer Banks, North Carolina surf after his agency issued a warning about rip-currents in the area. Not to be glib, but if Alanis Morissette was still writing her hit single ‘Ironic’ I feel she would include this incident even though none of the incidents in the song were actually ironic as, like this, they were all just bad luck.

But enough about Alanis Morissette and let us turn to NBC News for more.

The director of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration division for predicting weather died Monday in North Carolina while swimming in dangerous conditions that federal forecasters had warned about.

William Lapenta, head of the NOAA‘s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, drowned Monday while swimming at Pelican Way beach in the town of Duck, according to a statement from the town’s director of public information, Christian Legner.

An off-duty ocean rescue supervisor spotted Lapenta, 58, struggling in the ocean, and lifeguards responded within minutes to pull the scientist from the water, the statement said. He was unresponsive.

Emergency responders tried to save Lapenta, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Monday’s surf conditions and a rip current in the area were likely a factor” in Lapenta’s drowning, the town’s statement said.

And we all know what to do when caught in rips, don’t we? Swim parallel to the beach etc. but I suppose it’s good to refresh our memories. Like shuffling feet during stingray season. Speaking of, I went for a cute little surf this morning. It was small but very fun and the water was crystal clear. After a little runner, I paddled back out, sat on my board and peered through that crystal clear. There were no less than ten stingrays swimming below me.

My feet did not touch the sand after that.