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.

Bizzack (pictured) leaving court.
Bizzack (pictured) leaving court.

Breaking: Kelly Slater’s ex-partner and one-time World Surf League exec receives jail time in college admissions scam.

A hefty bill.

Those who have plead guilty to crimes associated with the college admissions scandal have been rolling into court for the past few months to receive their sentences. The scandal burst into view last winter when charges were brought against parents who had bribed university officials in order to get their children accepted. Famous names have graced the headlines including, Aunt Becky and founder of surf-adjacent brand Mossimo, Mossimo, Felicity Huffman though not her husband William H. Macy and less famous but equally rich including Kelly Slater’s ex-business partner and one-time World Surf League executive Jefferey Bizzack whom, in a 2017 Tracks interview, Kelly referred to as “…partner in everything I’ve done in the past few years… I’ve been the face of it but Jeff is just the bones and structure of everything that we’ve done.”

According to The Los Angeles Times:

Like 11 parents who have pleaded guilty and were sentenced before him, Bizzack admitted conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, a Newport Beach consultant who fixed SAT and ACT tests for his clients’ children and passed them off as top recruits for sports they didn’t actually play.

Bizzack — a former executive for the World Surf League, the clothing company Outerknown and the Kelly Slater Wave Co. — met Singer (the mastermind  in April 2017, after being introduced by a mutual friend, according to a report prepared by a probation officer.

Just a few months later, prosecutors wrote in a memorandum, the two had agreed to tap what Singer called his “side door” at USC — a scheme that required bribing coaches or school officials to usher in his clients’ children as phony athletic recruits.

Singer tasked a former USC coach with creating a bogus recruiting profile for Bizzack’s son, which depicted the boy as a “nationally ranked volleyball player, high school team captain and starting setter, and the recipient of a number of league awards,” Kristen Kearney, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Because Bizzack’s son didn’t play volleyball competitively, his profile featured a picture of someone else playing the sport.

For his crime, Bizzack, sentenced yesterday, received 2 months jail time, a fine of $250,000 and 300 hours of community service and…I’m going to be real honest here. This whole college admissions thing has confused me greatly from the start. USC, most often referred to as the University of Spoiled Children, is a private school very popular amongst wealthy southern Californians.

How is this behavior not par for their course? I mean, it ain’t like Bizzack’s kid stole a volleyball scholarship from a deserving inner-city youth or a spot in the Freshman class of ’19. I’m sure he got zero scholarship and, furthermore, his dad paid a ton of money to the university along with Rick Singer for his boy to attend. USC lets anyone with money right through those brick gates, especially big donors.

Now, I get our current “eat the rich” climate and am not defending this sort of lazy, entitled behavior but… can someone please explain how this is not business as usual for the 1%ers and especially at USC?

Is this truly shocking behavior?

Also, will Kelly Slater and/or the World Surf League release a statement defending their bro or is Santa Monica’s finest astride a very high horse furiously tsk-tsking? Every headline includes the phrase “Surfing executive” or “World Surf League” or Kelly Slater’s ex-partner.”

A bit hard to ignore and not release some sort of statement, no?

Breathtaking: Watch Russell Bierke in “Pull the pistol’s foreskin back and enjoy the orgasm of a crushed trigger!”

An excellent document of a young big-waver operating giant surfboards in uneasy waves…

A few words about the Hawaiian-born, Australian-raised big-wave dealer Russell Bierke while the going is good, before another leg snaps, before his tiny antlers are sucked dry like they were at monster Nazaré last year.

(Or, two years before that, when he was blue as a Smurf” and “on all fours spewing” after a wipeout in fifteen-foot waves in Victoria, an injury that put him in intensive care.)

Russell is twenty-two years old, diminutive and old world, deceptively fragile looking. He is the son of the noted Californian-born shaper Kirk Bierke whose boards are sold under the label KB Surf and made in Ulladulla, three hours south of Sydney. Russell’s earliest memories are of watching his dad run out the door whenever the surf was big, going to the beach and seeing him ride these big, blue-water reef waves, and wanting to be part of the game.

Kirk’s been making boards since 1975. He likes big waves and shifted to the North Shore, made a baby (Russ), then moved to Australia where Russell was schooled and raised in the art of strangling reef ledges. Russell grew up riding Kirk’s seven-foot and eight-foot guns at a lefthand outer-reef that had only ever been towed before the Bierkes got to town.

This film, which is called Flow State, was made by the Sydney filmmaker Andrew Kaineder and, in a neat twist, has another South Coast big-waver Brett Burcher interviewing Russell in the front seat of their four-wheel-drive.

It features footage, mostly, from 2019 although a failed paddle-in at the start and the closing wave are from a Shipstern session in 2018 which Russell says is the best he’s ever seen it.

“And the last wave was the wave of my life,” he says.

You’ll examine Russell in Flow State and note his tight mouth and the very plain-face in his black rubber headgear tinkering with waves that have the ferocity of an angry cuckold, a cranky Italian denied his lunchtime siesta.

I can’t recommend highly enough.