Watch: Kelly Slater’s “huge concern” about Tokyo Olympics’ radiation risk, “Cancer rates in the country have skyrocketed and they’re not telling anyone!”

"It's a reality… and that's from friends of mine who live there and/or have moved out of the country because of it…"

Early last week, I enjoyed a breakfast with a movie industry heavyweight in the sitting room of a hotel in which Lonzo Ball had once stayed.

There were cigarettes on one table, flowers on another and a waiter serving strong and hot coffee. I felt like a young woman in the grip of a seducer who would reveal, shortly, the marvels of sex.

Instead, among other things, would I write a movie script etc, he told me of a meeting with Kelly Slater in which Kelly’s handler had advised that if he wanted to pique his interest, he should bring up conspiracy theories.

We laughed etc.

And it reminded me that sitting in my email box was a press release pointing me at Kelly’s interview with the sports reporter and wrestler Graham Bensinger where Kelly talks of the Japanese hiding “skyrocketing” cancer rates from its people.

True or no, it makes for exciting reading.

Watch or read excerpts below.

Slater discusses the environmental and ethical concerns facing Japan ahead of Tokyo 2020:

BENSINGER: What challenges do you think Japan has between now and the games in getting ready for surfing?
SLATER: Figuring out their radiation problem. That’s one. And making sure we got enough waves to surf. I don’t know. They probably don’t want me talking about that…But it’s a reality, and it’s actually not a laughing matter. The cancer rates in the country have skyrocketed. And they’re not telling people about that. And that’s from friends of mine who live there and/or have moved out of the country because of it.

BENSINGER: How concerned does that make you?
SLATER: I think it’s a huge concern. And for a surfer the Taiji Cove where they round up the dolphins and either kill them or sell them to amusement parks is another issue. So there’s a few things that I think won’t be sort of politically correct that are spoken about during the games and I think rightfully so, but that, you know, that brings up bigger topics around the world, around nuclear power, and captive animals, and the fact that we kill and eat so many animals around the world, and it’s something that we all need to be aware of and do something about I think.

Innovation: Brigham Young University’s surf team utilizes cost-effective Surf Ranch-esque training facility; achieves impressive results!

A new growth market?

The Mormon institution Brigham Young University made history this weekend by being the very first landlocked school to compete in a surf competition and what could be a more wonderfully fitting story on this early Saturday morning, a day generally dominated by collegiate football? As you of course know, BYU has produced some real stars in that sport including Steve Young and Ty Detmer. An extremely kind and clean-cut surf star now also seems a real possibility.

As I wasn’t in attendance, we must turn the school’s paper The Daily Universe for more.

This is the first competition that the team has competed in. Considering the team had not practiced in two months, they placed 14th out of 31 teams. The club is in a league with 31 schools from California, Florida, and Hawaii.

“We didn’t win, of course, but it was definitely a good result for a team that hasn’t practiced in two months,” said Christian Bowcutt, member of the BYU surf club.

Jordy Collins, a member of the BYU Surf Club, placed first in his heats all day. He got 5th place overall.

Utah is a landlocked state, so it adds an extra challenge for getting enough practice for their competitions. The team has alternative ways of practicing. They have found river waves in Spanish Fork, Ogden, and Provo. They also use something called a tarp wave, where they skateboard underneath a tarp that makes them feel as if they were surfing under a wave.

And congratulations to BYU. Beating 17 ocean-fronting states is wildly impressive and I think the unique training schemes must be credited with the success but, quickly, how much do Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranches cost to build? 30 million? 50 million? Do you think the World Surf League will try to squash the revelation that a very similar design can be constructed for $8.50 and directly lead to impressive results?

Will Kelly Slater be rolled out personally to provide back-handed compliments to the young Mormons?

More as the disinformation campaign begins.

Listen: “What if the entire Hurley surf team was put on an island and had to play Survivor for one contract?”

Outwit, outlast, outplay!

The surprise sale of Hurley by Nike to Bluestar Alliance really threw me for a loop, to be honest. Just pitched me right around the big ol’ double loop-the-loop.

The brand Bob built has been the big ship in the harbor for years, thanks to a ridiculously savvy founder, men’s bottoms designer using space age Nike materials and Nike’s billions upon billions upon billions of dollars.

With the Olympics on the horizon and Kolohe Andino qualified it only made sense that Hurley would be seeing a boom in support from its benefactor.

But overnight and without warning it was shipped away.

All those Nike dollars evaporated.

Costs and salaries certain to be cut.

Now, on today’s podcast with David Lee Scales I instantly, on the spot, came up with the best programming the World Surf League’s President of Content, Media, Studios and Competitive Corn Hole Erik “ELo” Logan has ever even smelled.


What if, in collaboration with Hurley, WSL Studios produced a series based on the hit television show Survivor where John John Florence, Michel Bourez, Kolohe Andino, Julian Wilson, Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson are shipped to an island, presumably with surf, where they surf, eat bugs, backstab and vote each other off the island? Last person standing gets the one remaining Hurley contract likely available.

Tell me you wouldn’t watch from the very edge of your stool.

Tell me it wouldn’t be the best programming to ever come out of professional surfing.

Oh, I came with lots more ideas too in honor of our 50th show. Listen and celebrate!

Discovered: What the elusive non-surfing surf fan loves most about our favorite pastime!

An absolute shock!

You well know that, in order to reach its stated potential audience numbering in the hundreds of millions, the World Surf League is going to have to appeal to the elusive non-surfing surf fan too. Oh, President of Content, Media, Studios and Pizookies Erik “ELo” Logan talks a good line about the inherent beauty of the Pastime of Kings, the uplifting-ness and there are undeniable signs the strategy is working. Who could forget Ms Cornelia Van Helden, the middle-aged divorcée from the Netherlands…and fan of the WSL’s Facebook livestream?

Well, technical barriers made it difficult to ask Ms. Van Helden what she most enjoyed about the game and we were all left to wonder. Was it the scintillating commentary from the dynamic duo of Joe Turpel and the ’89 World Champ Martin Potter? Air-reverses? Uplifting Oprah-esque cinematic shorts?

A great puzzle and then, yesterday, as I was perusing BeachGrit‘s own comments, I stumbled on a new non-surfing surf fan. Unlike Ms. Van Helden, @Anrky22 appeared real and wrote:

Live in Colorado, ride dirt bikes in the summer and snwbrd in the winter….but read beachgrit comments year round because they are the most entertaining and hilarious statements posted on the internet!!!! Lol!!! Go surfers!!! Fuck sharks!!!


And imagine the shockwaves reverberating through Santa Monica’s Wall of Positive Noise when it is revealed that what the non-surfing surf fan loves most about surfing is you.

Prognostication: Kelly Slater to get beaten by cripple for final Olympic spot thus ending glorious competitive career!

Happy Halloween!

And can you believe that this professional surf Olympic qualifying season is basically over? Almost finished? I can’t. I can’t at all as it seems like just yesterday we were introduced to the concept of “Olympic Surfing?” altogether. That we were forced to wrap our minds around precious medals hanging around wetsuit tanned necks etc. but we’re here, excited, thrilled and Kanoa Igarashi.

The Huntington Beach transplant will be surfing for Japan, locked and loaded, and how wonderful is that? In this day and age he represents a beautiful trans-national success story. Parents bravely crossing borders, oceans, barriers in order to realize professional surf dreams for their youth. A wild victory.

An unmitigated success.

The American dream.

Plus Kolohe Andino confirmed for the United States of America. What better story could there be? A legacy surfer from Moldova’s legacy wearing the Stars and Stripes as he waltzes in to Tokyo’s opening ceremony. Surfing for gold, surfing for us.

Except the last American slot is up for grabs. According to the World Surf League’s wave forecasting partner:

Despite missing half the season due to his ruptured ACL and subsequent surgery, Florence is still in the top 10 on the CT rankings, and 3,130 points ahead of Slater. So, that means that it will come down to the Pipe Masters to decide who gets to join Kolohe Andino on the US Olympic surf team.

But what will it take for Slater to overcome Florence and snatch the Olympic qualification? We reached out to the Evan Quarnstrom – media manager for the ISA and Olympics qualification expert – for a breakdown of the John vs. Kelly scenario:

If Florence does not compete, Slater would need a fifth-place finish in Pipe to pass him. Seth Moniz would need a second-place finish, with Slater getting no better than third.

If Florence does compete, a third-place finish would guarantee him the slot, even if Slater wins.

Do you think the Kelly Slater of Sound Waves fame and recent form will get a fifth at Pipe?

Oh, he very well might but I will claim right now, if he does it is because the Biggest Little Website in Surf pushed this narrative right here thereby infuriating the 11 x World Champion while inspiring his Svengali Charlie Blackman to conjure up some dark, dark magic and kick our hero over the line.

A gold medal for us, the passive viewer, either way!


More as the story develops.