Professional surfers? Basically.
Professional surfers? Basically.

Evil Empire: Maoist China abducts native Muslim Uighur university students in order to “cleanse their brains of religion!”

The bastards.

The plight of professional surfers, and their lack of freedoms, really got me going late last month. The fact that none of them, no not one, can speak freely about their lives thanks to an article baked into the just signed 10-year contract which prohibits any negative statement about the World Surf League or the “sport of surfing.”

My blood boiled for them, for gagged peoples everywhere, and so I became an activist. A megaphone for the silenced. A voice for the voiceless and while Ace Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Caio Ibelli need recognition and action, China’s native Uighur population needs both much more, especially from the free folk.

From us.

The Uighur, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority who live in China’s western Xinjiang province, have been the target of Chinese ire for decades. They are not Han, the ethnic group making up 92% of China’s population, for one, and mostly Muslim, for two, flying in the face of Mao Zedong’s utopian cult of personality. A real affront to total control and according the a just-released New York Times report, the focus of an unprecedented crackdown. Shall we read? It is our duty and our right.

China’s Communist Party has a special manual instructing officials on how to deal with Uighur university students who get back to find that their families have been imprisoned as part of the mass repression of the Uighur people.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has installed a high-tech police state in the region and detained at least 1 million Uighurs in prisons and camps. Former detainees have described physical and psychological torture in those centers.

The 403 pages of internal documents published by The New York Times detail the extent of China’s efforts to deflect questions and criticism of unprecedented crackdown.

The documents include instructions for local officials to corner Uighur students returning home, as soon as they arrive, to stop them from speaking more widely about what is going on.

A seven-page guide for officials in Turpan City, in eastern Xinjiang, includes 13 questions and model answers to tell students when they ask about their vanished families. The Times described it as “chillingly bureaucratic.”

On and on it goes and… really fuck China. First punk pop “surf” brand Vans had to disappear a gorgeous shoe, fearing that sales in Beijing would tank. Now, Beijing is trying to brainwash the best people on the mainland.

There is a fantastic Uighur restaurant in greater Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley if you’re down for a culinary adventure.

Otherwise, fuck China.

Rumour: Hurley family tried to buy biz back from Nike; Bob Hurley on “forced absence of leave” while Bluestar deal goes through…

Leak to Wall Street Journal kills deal 'tween Bob and Nike…

Three weeks ago, Nike cut a deal with brand management company Bluestar Alliance to buy Hurley for an undisclosed amount.

The sale followed Volcom, which was sold in April to a maker of velour tracksuits and Rip Curl in October to camping retailer Kathmandu.

Bob Hurley, of course, cashed in his chips to Nike for a hundred and twenty mill in 2002, three years after Hurley International was launched, although he continued to run the show until 2015.

Bob, a legend in the game, first as a shaper then as a biz-man, spent sixteen years turning a little-known brand called Billabong into a hundred-mill-a-year biz. When the US license came up for renewal in 1998, he knocked it back and Hurley Int was born.

Now, according to a source, the Hurley family were in the process of buying the ol biz back from Nike, their movements were leaked to The Wall Street Journal, and they were subsequently outbid by Bluestar Alliance, owners of clothing brands for the “confident, sexy modern woman!”

As a consequence, and according to the yet-to-be confirmed rumour, Bob’s sons Ryan, who was supposed to become the new Bob, the new face of Hurley, and Jeff, the chief of marketing, and two other family members, have been let go by Bluestar.

Hit up Bob on DM, I’ll let y’know when he hits the keys back.

Peace in our time!
Peace in our time!

Bombshell Rumor: Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, crown jewel of World Surf League, a “break even at best” proposition!

Pennies from heaven!

And you trust me don’t you? You trust my various little birds trapped behind the World Surf League’s Santa Monica Wall of Positive Noise who peep out rumors so hot that they take months to substantiate? Oh you should because they are always right, even though they take months to substantiate, and when they are not right it is due some massive billionaire posturing behind the scenes, derailing certain true scenarios and writing their will upon bad ideas.

See Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in the otherwise drought-stricken California central valley. I reported, two months ago, that Santa Monica’s powers that be were set to shutter the KSWaveCo. Solana Beach offices and lay off basically everyone. It just came true. I also reported that the Freshwater Pro would be abandoned as the competition was hated by professional surfers, did horrible viewership numbers and was otherwise generally unloved. It didn’t come true but only because the Santa Monica powers that be are running a just announced reality television show there and also it is the only part of the entire World Surf League that makes money.

How much does it make?

As just revealed by a little bird… zero.

And let me quote…

Bottom line is that KSWaveCo has total operating costs per month between $800k – $1m and are renting the place on average of 15 – 20 days per month with an asking price of $50k per day so are grossing $750k -$1m per month. In other words, much sound and fury and make-believe surf but capitalism-wise much ado about a basically break even proposition. On top of that, research and development plus getting the place up and running was an easy $10m+ so they’re servicing $10m in debt and running at roughly break even. Not how the Rockefellers, or even the Ziffs made their fortunes.


Are you happy that the Freshwater Pro is back for another year as the lone success story of co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff’s reign, equalling a break even proposition, at best?


If Dirk Ziff was a character on HBO’s Succession who would he be?



More as the story develops.

Mainstream media lambasts “myopic, lazy, self-obsessed” surfers as giant grey whale swims through Doheny lineup unnoticed!

Much image rehabilitation instantly undone.

And you have, by now, certainly seen the stunning drone footage shot by eighteen-year-old Doheny local Payton Landass. There he was, lounging at his parents beachside home when he spotted the incredible; a giant grey whale, or blue whale according to Russia Today, casually swimming through the lineup. Landass, alertly, grabbed his drone and flew it overhead capturing what he correctly dubbed “an insane and surreal” tableau.

The particularly high tide allowed the stately beast to move so close to shore and casually flick her or his tail.

The clip is wonderfully moving and should have been a moment for our fractured world to come together in a celebration of nature’s majesty but has proven otherwise. The story and video went viral with mainstream media coverage mostly focusing on how the surfers in the lineup were “unaware” of the whale’s presence with a very thick insinuation that “unaware” should be read myopic, lazy and self-obsessed.

Surfers have, for years, tried to shake these stereotypes by participating in beach clean-ups and a rehabilitation of the “surfer image” has been the near-sole focus of our World Surf League. We are, in President Storyteller Erik Logan’s soft hands, “athletes, world-citizens, ecologically-minded wave tank builders.”

And yet one grey, or blue, whale swimming through a lineup unnoticed kicks us straight back to being a pack of naval-gazing Jeff Spicolis.

Too dumb to notice a behemoth.

Too addled to care.

Is the stereotype true? Should President Storyteller Erik Logan throw in the towel and greenlight “Box of Rocks” alongside his heart-stirring hit “Transformed” (three-thousand views and counting) wherein a gaggle surfers sit in a parking lot and argue about surfboard volume for three uninterrupted hours?


Probably even.

But would you watch?

Seeking: A hero who will kiss away our pain, stand by us forever, take our breath away!

Who is our "Ultimate Surfer?"

So yesterday I was driving through town of my way to pick up some Vietnamese-Laotian fusion when I heard, on the radio, the story of hockey goon John Scott and how fans, furious with the National Hockey League, made him an all-star.

It was an epic of the sport journalism genre and you must read in full, but I will give the very short version and how it relates to us, Professional surf fans and professional hockey fans are the basically the same. We both love a game where men and women dance upon the water. We both mistrust our governing body. I had no idea, but true hockey fans consider the National Hockey League an inept interloper exactly like we consider our World Surf League.

And so one day, the host of a famous hockey podcast became furious with the NHL and its perpetual tinkering with the all-star game format. He mustered his fans to vote for an older, large, not extremely skilled player named John Scott. A classic hockey goon but also the near last of a dying breed.

Fans rallied, John not only won the vote but smashed all-comers, the NHL got all inept and mad and tried to convince John it would be embarrassing for his children if he attended the all-star game, he decided to anyhow and so they had his team trade him and the team that acquire him kick him down to the minor leagues. But there was no rule that a minor league player couldn’t be an all-star and so John went and… I won’t spoil it for you. Must must read but how does it relate to us?

Well, the World Surf League just announced its new reality show Ultimate Surfer and while we can’t just vote anyone in, like our lucky hockey fan brethren, I feel if we muster our forces we can figure out our standard bearer and get her or him onto the show.

A grumpy local.

A Peoples’ Champion.

It is casting right now with the only requirements being:

You must be at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of the United States.
You must be in good physical condition to be able to compete in a series of skills-based challenges that may be considered physically demanding (e.g., running, climbing, lifting, swimming, balancing).
You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one from the date of your application until one (1) year after the initial broadcast of the final episode of the Program in which you appear.
You may not ever have been convicted of a felony.

And besides the “legal resident of the United States” bit which seems both entirely anti-surf and xenophobic who could we push forward?

Who should we?

Bobby Martinez?

Shawn Briley?

Jamie O’Brien?

Keala Kennelly?


We must decide together and then petition that person to fly our flag.