Bristol, England: Curtain lifts on first full-sized Wavegarden Cove!

"We have finally created a true surfing paradise that will bring enjoyment to newcomers, as well as lifelong surfers."

If you’ve been following the wavepool arms race, this rise of the Sea Machines, you’ll know there’s two full-sized versions of Wavegarden’s new Cove tech being built concurrently.

One, on dirt at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport; the other, in a city of half-a-million souls in south-west England. Bombed by the Luftwaffe in World War II, the Irish Republican Army in the seventies and, now, getting its own three-foot bombs via technology provided by the Basque-German-Israeli wavepool builders.

According to this morning’s flowery presser,

“It is incredible to see sets of 5, 10 and even 15 waves breaking and maintaining their quality,” said Wavegarden’s Founder and CEO Josema Odriozola, from the new Bristol surfing lake.

“We have been able to create an immense variety of waves. For instance, there is kind of a point break with long and easy Malibu style waves. And we have a range of high performance waves, some with easy tubes and others that are very challenging. This is a new phase of man-made waves whereby we have finally created a true surfing paradise that will bring enjoyment to newcomers, as well as lifelong surfers”.

The Wavegarden Cove technology provides up to 1,000 waves of varying sizes and shapes an hour – around a wave every 10 seconds. Heights start at 50cm and peak at 1.8m.

The 200m surfing lake is at its heart, but The Wave is not just about surfing. It’s about sharing incredible experiences with anyone who wants to enjoy them, in a naturally healthy space. It’s about improving health and wellbeing, helping people feel like the best version of themselves and having a shedload of fun in the process! As well as the surfing lake, there will be wonderful food and drink, a surf shop, beautiful gardens, meadowland and woodland, peaceful hideaways and family-friendly camping.

Surfing is a rapidly growing sport and will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The accessibility of surfing has been held back by geographical limitations: weather, swell conditions and tides. The Wave will be able to overcome all these issues to bring perfect surfing conditions for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers. Its expert coaching team will be able to help everyone learn and improve. Furthermore, they will all be specially trained in teaching ‘adaptive surfing’ for those with a wide rangeof physical disabilities.

The Wave is located in a beautiful rural site on the edge of Bristol, close to the M5. It will be open year-round and a one-hour surf will cost £40-45 for an adult and £30-35 for a child, depending on the time of year and day of the week. A 1.5 hour surf session with coaching costs £55-60 for an adult and £45-50 for a child. All prices include everything you need, including a wetsuit, wetsuit boots and surfboards. There are dedicated areas of the lake for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.


Surf Rage: San Clemente cop pulls gun on young skater, threatens to “shoot him in the fucking face” for playing music too loud!

"Police gonna police..."

You might think that police officers in the United States of America would be a little more circumspect in light of recent police brutality business, see incidents in Dallas, New York City, Cleveland, Everywhere, but negative publicity and/or jail sentence (Dallas) don’t seem to be a strong deterrent.

Police gonna police, as they say, and when you toss loud music, skateboards, sixteen-year-olds who for sure surf Lowers and a burly off-duty cop who probably SUPs and/or rides a mid-length things can go sideways very quickly.

But you can’t take my word for it. I’m an untrustworthy narrator, blinded by bias, alcohol and Christian Dior’s Sauvage. No, we must go to the Earthly Surf Paradise United Kingdom’s Daily Mail for details.

A sheriff’s investigator was placed on leave after allegedly pulling a gun on a teenager who was watching a band play with friends at a skate park.

Cellphone footage shows the off-duty Orange County deputy approach the group in San Clemente, California, on Saturday night, and order them to stop playing music.

The band did as instructed but the confrontation quickly escalated and the officer, who has not been identified, appeared to pull out a gun and aim it at a 16-year-old boy carrying a skateboard.

One of the teens at the park, Koa McClung, told CBS Los Angeles that the deputy had aggressively grabbed one of the boys, and when a friend help up his board to intervene, the cop threatened to shoot him.

‘The guy pulled a gun and said “I’l l shoot you in the f*****g face if you don’t stop”‘, said McClung. ‘The kid dropped the skate board and it just went downhill from there.’

“Downhill from there” included the officer stalking around like a “boy-eating” Great White, wagging his gun around, dropping young skaters/Lowers surfers to their knees and you may think it is presumptuous to assume they surfed Lowers but one is named Koa and another is named Sage.

How does the horror end? Thankfully not with a bang but not with a whimper either. The kids are alright.

Watch here!

Pip Toledo, wounded, cruises into round three. Maybe you'll see a little of that light-footed magic later tonight. | Photo: WSL

Comment live, Rip Curl Pro, Portugal, Day two!

Hide behind moniker, unleash the hounds etc.

What’s your favourite moment in Portuguese history?

Mine, and only because it’s the least remarked, is the Guerra Colonial Portuguesa, that lovely thirteen-year scrap (from 1961 to 1974) with its African colonies, Angola, Guinea-Bassau and Mozambique along with a little side-action on the Indian island of Goa.

The country even manufactured its own version of the famous Heckler & Koch G3A3 combat rifle, its soldiers enjoying carte balance to mow peasants, or terrorists as they saw fit.

Yesterday’s highlights included Gabriel Medina…

And, a loose-as-anything, Kelly Slater.

In today’s battles, in waves Surfline again calls “five-to-seven-feet”, although with a wind more favourable than yesterday, we’re treated to a few sparklers amid the tour’s detritus.


MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Miguel Blanco (PRT)
HEAT 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 4: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)

Once that’s cleared away we can get down to the biz of mowing through round three and then…then…to the sharp end of the contest.

Watch here, comment a little further below.

Rip Curl Pro, Portugal, Day one: “Onshore muck; Turpel declares ‘incredible day of surfing!'”

But one thing that will never bore is a Kelly Slater heat…

France elevated itself over the fatigue with a magnificent home town win but as day one rolls around in Peniche, Portugal I’m sensing boredom in key markets. Onshore muck, rain and miserable close-outs did not elevate the hype despite Joey Turpel bald-facedly declaring we were in for an “incredible day of competition”.

Putting aside all other considerations for a second it really does beg the question, why WSL couldn’t have an extended waiting period for Europe and run the contests interchangeably depending on the storm track?

Make modern forecasting a handmaid instead of the bearer of bad news.

I guess that might entail disentangling the men’s and women’s Tours again, shoot, too-hard basket.

Ricardo Christie came last in his round one heat. I’ve waited all year to find something to say about the second-time debutante, and other than him fitting into my theory that pro surfing hates a late blooming journeyman, haven’t been able to.

A heroic performance today.

A lot of people have chipped in their hard-earned for him to pursue his dreams. His major sponsor dropped him and he’s out watching his own dream die in grimy close-outs in front of thirty people. You could forgive him for displaying some of what Slater’s therapist might call “negative emotion”. He scrapped through the entire heat, last from start to finish in total control of his body language. What sighs of despair or wailing and gnashing of teeth in frustration were all done internally. Total dignity.

We learned, via announcement and interview, that Kanoa Igarashi had “provisionally qualified” for the Olympics under the flag of the rising sun. Kanoa was suitably thrilled, achieved my goals etc etc.

Were you thinking, like me, provisional?

When I went to school provisional and its adverb provisionally meant subject to change or further confirmation; for the time being. I won’t even pretend to understand the qualification process but where’s the provisional part of it come in?

Are there Japanese contenders waiting in the wings, total unknowns wielding surfboards like sashimi knives who could knock the might Igarashi off his Olympic pedestal before he even gets there?

Is it provisional because he might get injured, because a super-typhoon might wipe out the contest site?

Jen See? Chas, you’re a linguistics prof: wherefore this “provisional” and what does it mean?

Soli Bailey was also pushed into the elimination round. Also surfed good. Showed amazing control to survive a late under-the-lip hit on his backhand that received no love from the judging panel. Showed amazing control over his body language, too. Maybe that is part of what coaches do nowadays, one of the few things a pro surfers can control in the beachbreaks of Europe.

The Brazilians were a class above, you won’t be surprised to hear. Yago, in the ascendancy after being acquitted of the accusation of cowardice in Teahupoo debacle. So smooth, backside and front. John Florence must dream of having the constitution of Italo’s knees and ankles. So robust, flinging airs into the flats, smashing heaving close-outs. With a finicky forecast and sans injury, hard not to put the peroxided gymnast at the top of the pile.

Caio stayed busy, looked tinny before connecting strongly with a closeout section, which he belted with the loose authority of Matt Hoy in his prime. He dominated a sleepy Jordy Smith and wildcard Crosby Colapinto.

Filipe will make a great forty-year old, hopefully retired by then with two world titles under his belt, the last delivered at macking Pipeline which he surfed on painkillers before retiring with a bad back. That back, susceptible to flaring up under pressure and stress, which we know our Pip feels most dreadfully is also having the paradoxical effect of freeing Pip from expectation.

He surfed loose and nice. It calms him down.

In the presser later he made it clear he had let go.

But miracles do happen. A win here. A three-foot day at Backdoor.

Gabe started his heat with two misses. One closeout the drone shot showed him desperately paddling into had me worried for a brief moment. Was he cracking after the French result, where he had a shocker at La Nord?

No, no.

Just going back to the Medina template of hoovering up anything that moved, chewing it up and spitting out the gristle. Surfing a beachbreak with Gabe Medina is not an unpleasant experience. He moves through the line-up so definitively, with so much variety and geographical scope he may as well be surfing a different break.

He’s down the beach, he’s fifty yards away, he’s right next to you paddling for a wave that didn’t even look like a wave. It’s a continuously moving feeding frenzy on a bait ball. Fins and spray everywhere.

Gabe landed a full rotation on his backhand and judges paid the slightly messy completion. It was not a hard heat for him.

The Australians were mostly compressed into the middle heats of the day. Am I the only one completely bored shitless by Australian surfing at the moment? Trying to figure out why. We have – for the first time ever?- no World Title contender. No genuine excitement machine. The next gen contenders, J-dub and Owen, look distracted and contented with family life. Callinan looks like a top ten surfer who may have a good year or three in him. The rest, honest journeymen.

Where is the future? Recycling Matt Banting and Ethan Ewing?

If, despite our previous testy exchange, High Performance Director Kim Crane takes my call, I will find out what the top brass have in mind. From this perspective the future looks, not bleak, but bland.

Owen and Ryan end up in the losers round, the rest through.

One thing that will never bore is a Kelly heat. Anything Kelly, realistically. The last Mic’d up episode, featuring Kelly at his Tub was fascinating, in a slow-motion car crash kind of way. Kelly in the hands of a self-serving, self-promoting “healer”, being spiritually micro-managed despite an obvious resistance to the process.

A million kinds of weird. You have to watch.

The tide had come in, the wind a little lighter, the waves marginally improved for Kelly’s heat. He started strong, fresh and crispy as a baby cos lettuce. So loose on the redirects. He failed by a millimetre to lay down a lofted oop.

Rode the wave of the day just after the buzzer. Got through easily.

He continues to confound. To amaze and repel us in equal measure. In the water, it’s pure amaze. I know that makes no sense, but if Wozzle can make no sense, me too.


MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Miguel Blanco (PRT)
HEAT 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 4: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Seeding Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 10.60 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 8.83, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 5.50
HEAT 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.96 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.20, Soli Bailey (AUS) 7.74
HEAT 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.56 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.37, Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.37
HEAT 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.84 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.30, Crosby Colapinto (USA) 5.17
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.70 DEF. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 9.56, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.33
HEAT 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.67 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 8.60, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 6.80
HEAT 7: Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.30 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.53, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.73
HEAT 8: Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.34 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.16, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 6.43
HEAT 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.66 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.97, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.33
HEAT 10: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.04 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.77, Seth Moniz (HAW) 5.47
HEAT 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.50 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.13, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 6.76
HEAT 12: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.27 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.00, Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.06


Famous Brits enjoy the national pastime.
Famous Brits enjoy the national pastime.

Revealed: The United Kingdom is officially the world’s greatest surf paradise!

Aloha, Hawaii.

Yesterday we had the great pleasure of meeting the world’s first and only surf therapy PhD candidate, a handsome man named Jamie Marshall who studies that ancient art in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Today we shall learn about the “branding agency” Cre8ion just down the pendulum in Cardiff, Wales, UK that gives its employees Fridays off and forces them to go surfing. Before we tuck in to the BBC’s wonderful reportage let’s spend a brief moment discussing the name “Cre8ion.”

I assume it’s pronounced “Creation” but feel the firm would better fit my branding needs if it was pronounced “Cre-eight-ion” and would likely sign up for their services if the employees aggressively corrected anyone who dare call it “Creation.”

In any case, the BBC:

Allowing staff to take Friday off every two weeks to “do sport, go surfing or read a book all day” has boosted employee performance, according to a company boss.

Cardiff branding agency Cre8ion said the move improved its creativity and staff retention.

The idea of a four-day week – or reducing average weekly hours to 32 without a pay cut – has Labour backing.
Business body CBI Wales said there was not enough evidence to back the move.

For six months, the nine-strong team at Cre8ion, which has offices in Cardiff and Bristol, has worked a two-week pattern where staff take the first Friday off entirely, then on the second they work on research and development and their own ideas, either in the office or wherever they want.

Staff with young children, for example, cannot always do the things they really enjoy on the weekend, he said.
“Having that extra day back, allowing them to go and do sport, go surfing or read a book all day, that gives them that time back.

“And people can think ‘well it might not work in my industry’, so I challenge people: ‘Well if you can’t give a Friday off to all your workforce, why not have half the work force take Friday off and the other half take Monday off?’

“If you’re looking to retain millennials, these sorts of things are really important to them.”


I thought the staff had to go surfing on Fridays. This “do sport” or read a book all day sounds off. Still, between surf therapy PhDs in the north and “surfing Fridays” in the south, the United Kingdom is more surf-friendly than the United States, Hawaii, Australia or Brazil.

Do you think Prime Minister Boris Johnson would open the coffers and give BeachGrit (buy here) a substantial incentive package, including money, to move its offices, currently in Cardiff-by-the-Sea (America) and Bondi (Australia), to Manchester (England)?

How much?