"Ouch! My fin! It's man-eating time..."

Kitchen Confidential: New Jersey officially bans harvest of “sexy” shark fins thus increasing vicious, “man-eating” Great White population by 72 million!

Oh hell.

And oh no, oh drat, oh hell because that’s where we are currently living. Smack dab in the middle of a Great White, Tiger and Bull hell. You well know how they’re eating us by the tens. You well know that scuba divers, soccer players and surfers, especially surfers, are considered delicious crudités amongst their vicious, man-eating numbers but, real quick, would you like to hear a funny story?

For years and years I thought crudités was pronounced “crud-ites” and would order them thusly at fancy restaurants. “Yes, garçon, I would like the steak frites but bring the crud-ites first.”

Embarrassing except… whatever. I’m an Applied Linguist by education. Language is what we make it.

In any case, there are soon going to be 72 million more Great Whites, Tigers and Bulls swimming around The United States’ Eastern Seaboard as New Jersey’s governor just banned-ish the illegal harvest of tasty, libido reviving shark fins but this issue is extremely serious and we must not take my word. We must turn to NorthJersey.com for truth and reconciliation.

Shark fins will be banned in New Jersey next year under a law signed Thursday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The new law is designed to end the shark fin trade, which kills about 72 million sharks a year, primarily for soup, according to Humane Society International. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Asia, but the method of making it poses a threat to the fish.

Sharks are caught and their fins are cut off while they are still alive — a practice known as shark finning — before being released back into the water to drown or bleed to death. At least 70 shark species are at risk of extinction because of the practice, according to the advocacy group Wild Aid.

“Shark fins are often obtained in a very inhumane manner that causes much suffering to the animal,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am proud to sign this law that will prevent the catch and release of sharks for the purpose of cutting off their fins.”

The ban takes effect Jan. 1, 2021, but it doesn’t necessarily mean shark fin soup will vanish from restaurant menus. The Animal Welfare Institute maintains a list of restaurants it found serving shark fin dishes in states that have enacted bans.

Wait.

There are more than 3 shark species? There are 70?

Oh… shit.

Oh……..shit.

We’re officially finished.

And so are Chinese libidos.

More as the story develops.


World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan, seated, the glamorous face of the vulnerable adult learner. | Photo: elo_eriklogan

Longtom: “Farewells twenty-tens, the decade of the VAL and the Great White apocalypse!”

As chaos threatens to carry-over into the new decade the only surfer constant this past decade, as he was in the previous and will be in the current: Mr Robert Kelly Slater.

Did we really just sleepwalk into a new Decade without an epitaph for the old one? I believe we did.

Chas alluded to an avalanche of (upcoming) listicles, writer Karl Von Fanningstadt took a swing at the rankings of the various World Titles but the greater task of writing the Epitaph for the recently concluded twenty-tens remains undone.

With BG now recognised by mainstream media as the website of record for surf, I think the important historical task belongs here.

Warshaw, of course, has written beatifically on the subject but dragged his analysis out to the start of the decade. Ours begins in twenty ten.

Farewells twenty-tens, you was book-ended by death. Andy Irons died November 2010, the surf industry, as we knew it, officially kicked the bucket with the sales of Rip Curl and Hurley in 2019.

I can’t help feeling those two facts are connected. Andy’s death and all the official and unofficial BS that went with it shattered a fragile truce between the base and the industry. The surf industry never again enjoyed “buy-in” from surfers. We saw it now as something alien. Something malign. Pundits said that wouldn’t matter, the kids in the malls were the main customers anyhow.

Billionaires, hedge fund traders, venture capitalists suits of all flavours; visionaries who saw – what? – in pro surfing. Presumably money, but more likely, charmed and seduced by a meeting with Kelly, they saw a lifestyle and status upgrade. A present from a billionaire to his wife. A plaything, in short. Picked up for a song. It didn’t seem the same without Dane, even with Dirk Ziff pumping millions into it.

Politics has taught us one thing: you lose the base and you lose everything.

There was a Messiah waiting in the wings who could have resurrected it. Dane blew up in the early twenty tens. There was no quibbling, no debate. He was the best. And when he turned his back on it, not just the industry but pro surfing was adrift in a very big sea, with a lot of very hungry sharks.

Billionaires, hedge fund traders, venture capitalists suits of all flavours; visionaries who saw – what? – in pro surfing. Presumably money, but more likely, charmed and seduced by a meeting with Kelly, they saw a lifestyle and status upgrade. A present from a billionaire to his wife. A plaything, in short. Picked up for a song. It didn’t seem the same without Dane, even with Dirk Ziff pumping millions into it.

Despite the cash injection, with Dane gone, the Tour went back to the conservative Aus power surfing tradition. Stale years followed before the herald of the major transformation of pro surfing took his first Title. Medina’s 2014 Title ushered in the Brazilian storm. They owned the rest of the Decade. With the retirement of the Australian stalwarts Taj, Mick and Parko, John John Florence stands alone against the Brazilian onslaught.

Pro surfing was not a goldmine for the new owners. Paul Speaker stood aside in January 2017, his chief achievements being the acquisition of the ASP for nix and a purchase of a majority stake in the Kelly Slater wave pool.

Matt Warshaw called the 2015 reveal of the Slater pool surfing’s BC/AD moment. That maybe true. I prefer to think of it as our version of splitting the atom, and like that event the ramifications and future contingencies will be impossible to predict. At the end of the Decade the number of commercial wavepools globally can still be counted on two hands.

Australia became ground zero for our beloved shark apocalypse, most likely as White shark numbers began to recover after two decades of protected status. Western Australia suffered a horror run before Ballina had a year of terror. The land of the free is now in full catch-up mode as White sharks populations in the Atlantic and Pacific continue to rise.

Skeleton Bay became the premium “free” surfing location on Earth, with other mysto spots in West Africa sparking the allure of the hunt for the perfect wave, an ideal which may come to seem quaint for future generations raised on the reality of techno-surf on demand.

Australia’s loss of prestige in competitive pro surfing, as far as biological males go, was counter-balanced by it’s dominance in freesurfing. Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Craig Anderson dropped insurmountable edits. Torryn Martyn became a mid-length hero in the age of the Vlog. Mick Fanning transitioned seamlessly into a retirement as paid vagabond, ably assisted by Mason Ho.

A big-wave Tour came and went. Ireland blossomed as a big wave venue. Mavericks faded and Jaws cemented it’s spot as the premium big wave location on the Planet.

More people surfed, less people cared about pro surfing. It was the decade of the VAL. Celebrity VAL’s owned surfing. Val kilmer, Matt McConaghy, Elle McPherson, The Hemsworth bros, Mark Zuckerberg. Murfers went mainstream, the dream of longboarding the Pass with a million pals was about the most potent fantasy in popular culture as the twenty-tens drew down to their dreadful conclusion.

Sophie Goldschmidt, a tennis playing CEO, who had barely heard of surfing five years ago, took up the reins at the WSL and went full steam into wavepools and gender equality. Present history judges the first action harshly while the second came to fruition as sixteen-year-old Caroline Marks walked off the beach after surfing two-foot onshore D-Bah with the same first place prizemoney as Italo Ferreira, despite having to defeat only half the number of fellow competitors. Womens sports remains in the ascendancy, with surfing now at the front of the grid.

Chaos loomed as VAL numbers exploded and local lineups groaned. Localism itself, or at least the violent assertion of it, ended up in the dock with the famous assault case of Mark “Carcass” Thomson on Jodie Cooper.

Still, some elders, including former World Champ Nat Young continued to assert that the more surfers the better and that, in fact, the planet would be better off as a result of the increased level of “surfer consciousness”.

It was as if Satan himself was offended by this suggestion.

He ended the decade raining hellfire on the surfer consciousness dominated east coast of Australia. Fires claimed the properties of Derek Hynd, then Nat Young himself, the factory of Darren Handley and many, many more at hamlets up and down the east coast of Aus.

As chaos threatens to carry-over into the new decade the only surfer constant this past decade, as he was in the previous and will be in the current: Mr Robert Kelly Slater.

Now, the paperwork is up to date, yes?

Did we miss anything?


"I can't believe they picked _______ over us. Let's kill _____."

Broadcast War: Who will be the official “Voice of Surfing” when our Pastime of Kings makes its Olympic debut?

There will be blood.

2020 might just be the end of the world. Sharks are circling viciously, Hurley is making a full line of feminine sanitary products, claims will now become an epidemic and a nuclear Iran has likely lost control of its paramilitaries.

But what is most troublesome, worrying, is the coming broadcast war. The violent, scorched earth, take no prisoners conflict that will pit Joe Turpel against Ron Blakey, the 1989 World Champion against the 1988 World Champion, Sal Masekela against his own embarrassing professional slide from E! television host to Kelly Slater’s best friend in the whole wide world.

Only one, or maybe two, will be in the booth when surfing makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo later this year but who will it be? Who will go down in history as the official voice of surfing?

It will be a brutal bloodletting as onetime friends and podcast partners Chris Cotê and Todd Richards face off. As David Stanfield crawls out of the grave, hungry for human flesh and “big hacks off the top.” As Dave Wassel and The Woz power flex their wonderfully sculpted titties. As Peter Mel.

But seriously, who will NBC tab to call the action? Who will bring our Pastime of Kings into the living rooms and hearts of America’s living room? I know that Australia will have its own broadcast team but those on it will certainly be the first losers (Ron Blakey).

America is what matters. The gold standard and I think we should put some money on this. I think we should set up a betting pool.

J.P.? Can we do this? Do you know of a way?


Academic Paper proves Claims work: “Both laypeople and surf judges were biased by claims in judging surfing performances with claims (scoring) better than performances without claims!”

Science don't lie!

Some things in life sit beyond the tangible.

Not everything can be quantified. Nor should it be.

Why is the sky blue?

Why is water wet?

How does Chris Coté have such a hot wife?

Ageless questions that don’t always need an answer.

The Japanese have a word for the beauty inherent in these existential quandaries the world throws at us: yugen. There’s no direct English translation, but it’s best described as ‘an awareness of the universe that sits beyond words.’

The place beyond knowing.

As it relates to surfing, scientists shouldn’t be able to explain whether or not the sight of Tomas Hermes gesticulating wildly following a two foot close out re-entry will earn him the extra .1 needed to progress through to the non-elimination round.

They should be happy to just let it happen, with the reason for its effectiveness sitting someplace in the outerknown.

Yet, convinced claiming post-facto does matter and that they do influence judges, four German academics investigated “whether claims (postperformance nonverbal emotional expressions) inuence people in evaluating performance during surf contests.

“To test this research question we sampled videos from professional surf contests and asked laypeople and surf judges to evaluate the performance in two online experiments.
A subset of the surfing performances showed surfers displaying post-performance emotional expressions (claims) whereas another subset showed the same performances without the claims (nonverbal celebration).”

It goes on.

“Both experiments provided evidence that both laypeople and surf judges were biased by claims in judging surfing performances with claims better than performances without claims. The findings are in line with social-cognitive models emphasizing the social consequences of emotion expressions. We discuss the implications of the findings for sport competitions that rely on judging sport performance.”

I’ll repeat that again, for effect.

Both experiments provided evidence that both laypeople and surf judges were biased by claims in judging surfing performances with claims better than performances without claims.

Illusions shattered! Claims do quantifiably work!

But what does this mean?

Now that their magic has been uncovered and the true effect of the claim has been documented with scientific rigour, should they be banned as an unfair advantage?

Filed under ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’?

Is this the death of the claim?

Slater famously called for donations to be made for any claim on a score lower than a nine, $1000 per point.

Would this be fairer?

Or should they be left alone as an endearing historical quirk?

Like spitting on the bride at Greek weddings, or befriending kneeboarders?

So much to unpack.

(Read paper here.)


They’re Back: Great White sharks boldly return to South African bay recently vacated due Killer Whale murder spree!

Wait... who's worse?

If there was one bright narrative in our current Shark Apocalypse it was that of South Africa’s False Bay, a onetime apex predator Great White shark feeding ground that became vacated when the Great Whites began getting eaten by vicious Killer Whales but… wait.

If Great Whites are apex predators then what does that make Killer Whales?

AApex predators?

Ol Dirty Bastards?

We must decide later because Great Whites have returned to False Bay after an eighteen month sissy li’l mama’s boy spree but don’t take my word for it. Take Newsweek’s.

A great white shark has been spotted in South Africa’s False Bay over 18 months after disappearing from the popular feeding ground. It was thought the predators left the area after killer whales arrived and started hunting them.

Shark-eating killer whales turned up in the Bay in 2015. Researchers started finding the carcasses of sevengill sharks that appeared to have been killed by orca. Two years later, five dead great whites were found with similar wound patterns. Examinations showed how they had been bitten in the area between their pectoral fins. Their livers were also missing.

Since then, great whites have been largely absent from False Bay, off Cape Town.

A similar phenomenon was previously recorded off the coast of San Francisco. When killer whales arrived at the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the great white sharks would leave the feeding ground and not return for up to a year.

But they’re back now and does this mean Great White sharks are AAApex predators?

This whole business is feeling more Iran vs. USA every single day but I think until we get to the bottom of what’s actually happening no more surfing anywhere in any ocean.

AAAApex predators?

More as the story develops.