John John at Baby Pipe. Healthy. Wink wink.
John John at Baby Pipe. Healthy. Wink wink.

Rumor: John John Florence surfed gimpy in recently concluded Pipe Masters in order to protect half his robust yearly salary!

Healthy, Olympian, rich.

And you certainly thrilled at John John Florence’s stirring return in the Pipe Masters no doubt. His coming into the draw, in his own backyard, and mixing up two fabulous storylines. Namely, his rivalry with one Gabriel Medina and his keeping the greatest surfer of all time, and neighbor, Kelly Slater out of the Olympics.

While John John failed in his first objective, getting lapped by Gabs in the quarters, he succeeded in his second, sending Kelly home (next door).

But rumors floating around greater Orange County suggest that there was a third, more vital, reason for John John’s Pipe run. Namely, that Bluestar Alliance, new owner of Hurley, were demanding a halving of his yearly rumored 4 mil a year salary.

And “What?” you say.

“How?” you gasp.

Because, apparently, Nike, Hurley’s last parent, has boilerplate language in athlete contracts that allow for a 50% pay reduction upon athlete injury. The top brass rarely, rarely trigger the clause but, allegedly, Bluestar’s east coast executives learned of it and were shocked. “What?” They said. “We pay the guy with the gimpy knee 4 mil? Get his agent on the phone right now and tell him he’s taking a 50% pay cut.”

Magically, majestically, John John surfed his way into the quarters and the entire world hold’s its collective breath for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics etc.

John John not injured! Healthy! Olympian!


How excited are you for Snapper, by the way?

Much time to… get back on the sled and reset, as it were.

More as the story develops.

"Get lost drone!"
"Get lost drone!"

Death from Above: Popular Christmas gift drones “terrorizing” Oregon’s once only nominally creepy nude beaches!

"It's something that's becoming a concern..."

But what did you get for Christmas? A fine pair of socks? Merino wool sweater? A lovingly refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Maybe a drone? Oh, you are not alone if you received a drone. The once-prohibitively expensive modern miracles have dropped in price so precipitously that they feature under Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs of all economic classes, from the lower-middle all the way to the straight upper.

And have you flown your gift yet? Sent it soaring over local park or beach?

In my one-time home state of Oregon a record number of drones are careening through the sky, especially over nude beaches and let’s go straight to Eugene’s Register-Guard for the latest troubling developments:

On a warm afternoon last July 21, a drone was spotted flying across the southern end of Smith Rock State Park.

It was a weekend, and the park’s honeycombed cliffs were dotted with rock climbers while hikers spread across the miles of trails below.

Suddenly, something went wrong.

As the drone buzzed toward Asterisk Pass and Llama Wall, it smashed into a cliff just above a team of rock climbers. The drone fell, nearly hitting the climbers, before breaking into pieces on the ground, according to a report obtained through a public records request.

Nobody was hurt, and the drone owners never found, but the incident highlighted a growing issue at Oregon’s state parks.

“It’s something that is becoming a concern, not in the majority of parks, but really at the most scenic ones — places like Smith Rock, Silver Falls and on the Oregon Coast,” said Katie Gauthier, a policy coordinator at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

That has led to conflict.

Rock climbers have threatened lawsuits over concerns drones will cause an accident. Hikers have complained about a lack of peace and quiet. Even one of Oregon’s nude beaches has seen a drone show up — carrying a camera.

Now, I sort of worry about the safety of the rock climbers and the privacy of the nude beachers but mostly worry about the rest of us for, again, I once lived on Oregon’s coast and cannot tell you how little the sun shines. How it hides for weeks and months at a time. And if this footage of Oregonians “sun”bathing nude was ever released, I fear it would cause much blindness and unspeakable damage.

It is ok for nude Oregonians to see each other as their eyes are accustomed to the glare but Australians and Californians, Brazilians and French would be forever harmed. Forever and ever.

More as the story develops.

Watch: Four beautiful minutes with Italo Ferreira!

Peel back the curtain on your world surfing champion…

In May, 2019, inside a Margaret River apartment complex best described as “early correctional facility” (cubist cells, tiled floors, small aluminium windows overlooking a central courtyard), the then world number three Italo Ferreira, twenty-five, submitted to a series of questions by a man holding an iPhone.

Later in the interview, which included discussion about existence, narcotics, death and the very existence of the phenomenon called BeachGrit, Italo’s girlfriend Mari Azevedo provided additional commentary.

Directed and edited by Jack Boston, filmed, poorly, by Derek Rielly.

Kelly who?
Kelly who?

Merry Christmas: “Bonafide phenomenon” Surfing Santas threaten to overtake Kelly Slater as Cocoa Beach, Florida’s most successful export!


And the biggest, warmest most heartfelt Merry Christmas to you and all of your loved ones. I hope you are sitting around the tree, Handel playing softly in the background either sipping on a hot cup of coffee or cold mimosa, depending on your family tradition and/or latent alcoholism. I hope you gave meaningful gifts and received some in return.

Kelly Slater, I imagine, is in Hawaii, on the North Shore, maybe surfing. Maybe thinking about surfing and I don’t want to cause him any undo stress but… I wonder if he should be in his hometown Cocoa Beach, Florida maybe shoring up his base.

Oh the 47-year-old gave us so many thrills this year, so much joy, just missing the U.S. Men’s Olympic Surf Team by a few heats. I still believe he can make it but if he doesn’t, many mainstream news cycles could pass with him unwillingly absent. What is worse, it appears that the “Surfing Santas” are primed to overtake the GOAT as Cocoa Beach’s most indelible offering.

Do you not believe?

Let’s read the pure joy emanating from all newspapers and websites today but mostly from Florida Today.

When surfer George Trosset paddled out in the big red suit in 2009, he just wanted a goofy picture with his family.

Now, 10 years after a FLORIDA TODAY photographer first snapped Trosset on the waves, dressed as Santa and flanked by his son and daughter-in-law in matching elf costumes, Cocoa Beach’s annual Surfing Santas event has become a bonafide phenomenon.

“I had no idea it would turn into this,” Trosset said, gesturing toward the buzzing crowd. “What I like to say is, Surfing Santas has become what it needs to be.”

Bigger than Kelly Slater, I suppose.

Bah humbug.

Travis Rice. Big Wave World Tour.
Travis Rice. Big Wave World Tour.

Watch: Curt Morgan and Travis Rice’s Dark Matter; the greatest surf, skate, snow, extreme sport video ever made!

Absolute inspiration.

Oh we’ve had a lot of them in our surf, skate, snow, extreme sport lifetime. Films, videos, clips are our lifeblood, our inspiration, our pre-session hype and post-session entertainment. The Endless Summer, Yeah Right!, That’s It That’s All, The Art of Flight.

Curt Morgan and Travis Rice, maker of the last two, are an artistic duo that may only truly be appreciated in decades. So far ahead of the curve. So far ahead of our time. Their relationship is as Paul and John, Jimmy and Robert, any truly destined married couple and their new film, coming on the heels of a break-up, is nothing short of tension-filled genius.

Dangerous, wild, unhinged, dark.

The greatest surf, skate, snow, extreme sport video every made.

I had the mind-blowing experience of watching it pre-release just the other night and my jaw has been on the floor since.

It’s everything we believe in. Everything we love and yes, in the snow, but what is snow but frozen water?

But still life waves?

Available today here or anywhere.

Watch with volume all the way up.

Go surfing.