Hopefuls (pictured) with trophy.
Hopefuls (pictured) with trophy.

Comment Live: Seeding Round, Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons!

A day that might live in infamy!

And it is here, our Super Bowl, our Wimbledon, our World Cup, Ashes, WNBA Finals. Our Pipe Masters. You know the storylines, the tension, drama, the stacked top of the World Surf League Championship Tour rankings where only 8000 points separate first from fifth. You know that Italo is clinging to the top spot followed by Gabe, Jordy, Filipe and Kolohe. Theoretically anyone’s game.

No?

And although no one will pack his bags today and head to Honolulu then home, we will learn many things. We will sense truths. We must discuss live.

Kolohe Andino surfs in heat 2. Filipe in heat 3, Michael Jordan Smith in heat 4, Gabe in heat 5 and Italo in heat 6.

Is that everyone?

No.

It is not for we also have a hot Olympic race on our hands. Kelly Slater vs. John John Florence for that final spot on the U.S. National Surfing Team in memory of Kolohe Andino.

John John surfs in heat 8. Kelly in heat 10.

Tell your boss to bug off… it’s time for professional surfing with friends!

Watch here but leave this page open. Comment your thoughts, feelings, impressions below and be responded to by people who care!


"Don't worry, baby. Surfers will forever protect you."
"Don't worry, baby. Surfers will forever protect you."

Heartwarming: Costa Rican surfers hear baby whale crying in the shallows, spend hours rescuing her!

Surfers are the BEST!

And just yesterday we learned that not all surfers are selfish, self-centered creeps. We learned of Roger Casugay from the Philippines who rathered to save a competitor from drowning, in the middle of a surf competition, than to wear shiny gold around his neck, proof of his absolute dominance. It made me believe further in us, our power, our ability to change the very course of the earth.

Today, my beliefs are solidified for, halfway across that earth in Costa Rica we have a pack of surfers out for dawn patrol who opt to save a baby whale over getting some and let us read the heartwarming tale of Mauricio Camareno and his friends.

A group of local surfers in Boca Barranca, Costa Rica were about to catch the waves when something unusual caught their attention. It was around five o’clock in the morning when Mauricio Camareno and his friends have spotted something that looked like a “black lump” in the mouth of a nearby river.

Shortly after, a creature could be heard crying from the spot, so the surfers decided to check in. They soon realized it was a baby pilot whale who got stuck there, about 150 feet downstream. As the poor creature seemed to be too exhausted to swim back into the sea, the surfers carried her back into the open sea.

“She was very weak and could not keep afloat,” Camareno told Amelia Rueda.

The ordeal took over six hours and ended very successfully with the baby whale regaining strength and swimming out to sea.

Do you have tears in your eyes? Rolling down your cheeks?

Well, pat yourself on the back, dear surfer. YOU are a benevolent and wonderful creation.


Death in the Afternoon!
Death in the Afternoon!

Horrifying: Magnificent “man-eating” Great White shark gets stuck in Mexico eco-tourism diving cage then dies bloody, tortured death!

But who is to blame?

Well what a giant bummer. What a real wet rag. And imagine that you have mustered enough resources to fly all the way to Mexico’s Guadalupe Island not to surf, not to be “bait” as it were, but to slide into a metal cage, into the magnificent, “man-eating” Great White sharks’ natural environment in order to witness her blood-lust. His rage. In order to float there and be one with nature.

Then imagine that one of those exalted beasts swims close to the cage, sort of into the cage, and you witness glory first hand.

Right there.

But then imagine that encounter kills the bastard, I mean glorious creation. Literally kills it dead. That curiosity, as it were, killed the shark but let us read first from a dubious sporting website…

Disturbing videos have surfaced showing a great white shark trying to squeeze into a cage with divers inside at Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, and ultimately sinking after apparently dying from injuries it sustained during the ordeal. (Warning: The footage is graphic.)

Mexican activist Arturo Islas Allende shared the first video to social media platforms on Dec. 5, under a title that translates to “Negligence kills white shark.” He implicated a Nautilus Dive Adventures vessel and complained that cage openings were not adjusted in a manner to keep sharks and divers safe.

The divers, who were clearly frightened as the massive predator writhed after getting its head stuck in a cage opening, were not injured.

On Dec. 8, Allende shared the second video, showing what appears to be a dead shark sinking in the blue water. In the second video, Allende complains about noncompliance of rules by Nautilus Liveaboards and other operators at Guadalupe Island, and a lack of enforcement by Mexican authorities.

And then let us read from shark whisperer Ocean Ramsey…

https://www.instagram.com/p/B51ppM0gXHC/

Great white shark ecotourism is really good for monitoring shark populations, encouraging conservation, & keeping poachers away, but it needs to be done responsibly with the sharks welfare in mind. A couple years ago there were several incidents with white sharks getting into cages, which can harm the sharks gills & more & could also potentially harm people, however conanp and scientists from Pelagios and Ecocimati advised on better designs for cages with smaller openings so the sharks couldn’t get their head stuck or in up to their gills & also advised on better bait handling to keep sharks out of line with cages…However as you can see not all companies followed the guideline recommendations and now that white shark was reported to have died and those people could’ve been injured. It’s a tragedy to lose a white shark because the owner of that company didn’t update his cage design & it makes great white shark cage tourism look bad when it shouldn’t because other companies complied. The video is calling for the owner of that company to be held responsible & the government authority to enforce the guidelines & consequences for this incident. I support cage tourism because it allows for protection from poachers and show the value of helping to keep sharks alive & inspires connection for conservation and I know far more sharks die from nets and fishing but had the regulations for the cage specifications been followed this could’ve been avoided. Will the owner of this company please comply to the regulations for the sake of sharks and people?

I’ll be honest. That is too much for me to read. So, help me, who is to blame?

The eco-tourists?

Mexico?

Curiosity?

No way sharks.

Right?

All I know is that sharks, worldwide, will be looking to avenge this death. No surfing is recommended for weeks if not months. No surfing especially in California.


Longtom and the case for the WSL’s billion-dollar wavepool development Part III: “What can’t be denied are the jobs and growth!”

We are too deep down the rabbit hole now, it's simply too late to stop. The people need somewhere to live, something to do for work and somewhere to shred. It really is that simple.

My head is full of nonsense, so I’m grateful to the greater wisdom of the crowd here.

I think Chas got that very much right in his latest vid – surfers can solve world historical problems. Vis-à-vis wavepools, we’ve now collectively come to the conclusion that the Kelly Slater Wave Company, with its “wave system” as Dear Sophie calls it, is a tougher nut to crack, at least as far as the dollars and cents go, than we all thought during those heady days of Xmas 2015.

The big-buck corpo model works, but only in shitsville where land and water is cheap.

In Australia, still the surfing centre of the world, wavepools only work near people and people live in cities.

Coastal land is expensive, unless it goes ten foot under water when it rains and you are pairing it with massive urban development and, well, here we are.

It would be remiss of us though, in this new post-sport phase of the WSL, if we didn’t at least take the corpo spin at face value and take a look at the case for.

Me and Starky will go man-on-man about this when the dust settles. No soft shoe shuffle. His interests are advancing the real estate concerns of American billionaires and Australian property moguls and mine are, not.

I’m sure we will get on fine. Couple of UQ boardriders good ole boys.

In the interim, we can walk a mile in his shoes. You put the x’s and o’s into the equation and you get a fuck-ton of money going into a piece of land that made pennies to the dollar growing cane.

Huge money. Fifteen hundred houses is huge.

I went down to the local monstrosity, what was once a serene sward of green where cows grazed and a reservoir of cool morning air fanned a mile of occasionally epic beachbreaks is now an angry red mess of machines and dirt.

Two hundred houses. Tiny by comparison.

What can’t be denied is the jobs and growth. All the excavator drivers, surveyors, engineers, planners, landcapers for the little real-estate showroom. All turning a dollar from a piece of land and the dream of surf. That’s before the chippies and plumbers and sparkies and tilers and kitchen consultants and interior decorators etc get in there.

What can’t be denied is the jobs and growth. All the excavator drivers, surveyors, engineers, planners, landcapers for the little real-estate showroom.

All turning a dollar from a piece of land and the dream of surf. That’s before the chippies and plumbers and sparkies and tilers and kitchen consultants and interior decorators etc get in there.

McMansions, tastefully done. Plenty of toys in the garage. Modern, convenient, the subject of profile pieces and a million insta-perfect shots.

Coolum will be the same. And looking at it with Hegelian eyes, it really is the ultimate expression of freedom.

Human spiritual reality has transcended and freed itself of nature and is something separate and different. That’s roughly paraphrasing the old Kraut, but close enough to the gist of it.

Trophy tradie wife get the dream house, a little day-time dabble in anti-vax conspiracy on the side and Hubby gets his go-outs in the tub, a few sly bumps over at Damo’s house on the weekend.

Did you know Starky promised the people of Coolum a school on site? I hope that is a proper pinkie promise, because mad if true.

Imagine little Blayde and Jacxen and Bakardee wik-wakking all over the first few warm-up waves at the tub before school and maybe even surfing it for school sport.

Too much, right?

Sure, Mum and Dad will be hocked up to the eyeballs. This is Australia. But property. Equity. With a wavepool!

As Don O’Rorke said, “It is a simple sum – the only thing that drags down property growth is when there is no population growth.”

Australia is growing like billy-o. Unlike Europe and Asia and the Americas you can’t live in the middle, which means all the people will have to live at the coast. Even ten- foot under water Don’s places at Coolum will be worth a squillion.

Coolum is not New Orleans.

No, we are too deep down the rabbit hole now, it’s simply too late to stop. The people need somewhere to live, something to do for work and somewhere to shred. It really is that simple.

The wavepool development is an elegant solution to that problem. It makes Don O’Rorke a shed load of cash and, if WSL doesn’t fuck up the due diligence, gets them on the same path.

There really is no money in pro surfing, so if they can siphon off the real estate money we might continue to get our yearly World Champions.

You think I’m mocking. I’m not mocking.

OK. But, what do you think? I can hear someone ask.

My dream, just a little bit different to Starky’s in the details, is that the state govt under SARA compulsorily acquires the land, revegetates it back to pristine wetland with a small army of dole bludgers, names an endangered frog after Kelly Slater and WSL jumps on board the Blue Heart thing. Don O’Rorke donates a parcel of contaminated industrial land near the airport for the Slater pool and we all live happily ever after.

Yeah, not gunna happen.

Surely we’ve all got wavepool fatigue by now?

Don’t know about you but I am Un Chien Andalou*.

*Debased, pretty much.


Surfin' Santa (pictured)
Surfin' Santa (pictured)

Breaking: Retail giant Walmart forced to apologize over Christmas sweater featuring “surf-like” Santa Claus preparing a tableful of cocaine!

Just in time for the Pipe Masters!

We all know what the surfer’s drug of choice is. The one that most mirrors her wayward heart. The one that replicates his insatiable appetite in the water on land. It’s a love story (buy here) and in an apparent attempt to corner the elusive Christmas surf market retail giant Walmart offered a “surf-like” Santa Claus preparing a tableful of cocaine over the words “Let it snow.”

The sweater has, unfortunately, been removed from Walmart’s offerings and let us turn to People magazine for more.

The sweater’s description on the website read, “We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole.”

After the sweater was mocked and criticized on social media, Walmart issued an apology to Canadian news organization The Global News.

“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website,” the statement said. “We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offence this may have caused.”

The sweater, which was made by clothing company FUN Wear, is no longer available on Walmart’s website.

My question is, how will Walmart now corner the elusive Christmas surf market?

How will the executives hope to outfox gift idea geniuses at The Inertia?

More as the story develops.