Obscure retro-surf IG account raises $50k for bushfire relief from sport’s superstars!

“Nearly every coastal town from Noosa to Bells has been affected by these fires, so the great Australian surfing adventure depicted in Morning of the Earth now looks more like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."

A deep, dark heat sits over Australia. The rump of our continent burns. You’ve heard the high level stats. Millions of hectares, thousands of properties, dozens of lives taken. Thirty thousand koalas cooked.

But it goes further than that.

Stories of despair and near escapes that you won’t read about in the media are instead are traded in the line up, at the pub, on worksites. It’s estimated a third of the country’s population of twenty-five mill has been exposed to dangerous smoke levels.

As well, a vacuum of national leadership and a stilted response to the catastrophe has left a whole lotta Australians feeling helpless. Lost.

Many are taking things into their own hands.

In two days “the funniest woman on Instagram” Celeste Barber (yes, she of WSL fame) has raised more than $20 million for Australia’s volunteer firefighters via an online funding pledge.

And in the surf world, mysterious underground icon and purveyor of holy artefacts @surfcore2001 has commissioned a one-off run of shirts bearing his iconic label, with all profits going to the fireys and WIRES, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity.

Surfcore’s own childhood town was blasted by the fires back in November, as have so many other iconic surf communities before and since then.

“Nearly every coastal town from Noosa to Bells has been affected by these fires, so the great Australian surfing adventure depicted in Morning of the Earth now looks more like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” said Core from his bunker somewhere in the Byron Bay hinterland.

He decided to act.

But what he initially thought would be a trickle of responses has turned into an outpouring of support through the aperture of Australian power surf nostalgia.

Buy in from the core has been overwhelming.

Nineties headliners Margo, Trent Munro, Mick Lowe, Jeremy Byles have all made purchases, along with countless everyday followers.

And so have the A-listers: Slater, Gilmore, Taj, Craig Ando, Luke Egan, the Gudangs.

Even Jessie Milley Dyer put it an order from her Santa Monica high castle.

In less than 24 hours Surfcore has already raised $40,000 for the cause.

“I never wanted to see a VAL or corporate reptile donning my sacred sigils (Maurice Cole tribute logo and Matt Hoy cranking a raucous nooner on the back). But I think I’m ok with a few real estate moguls and WSL employees running the shirt knowing the money is going somewhere good.”

Core reckons getting behind the effort is a no-brainer.

“The act of surfing is as immersed in nature as you can get. Actually, I once saw a photo of a guy with his dick in a beehive, so maybe surfing is a close second. But the Australian east coast to me is the most beautiful and pristine coastal ecosystem on earth, and to see it scorched like this is crushing. Anything we can do to help douse the flames and get our land and people rebuilding is a good thing.”

And to the leaders of Australia, the current high priest of lowbrow surf culture says this:

“Tell your story walking, cunts. Tools down, we want you off site. Our country is in a national crisis, the death toll is rising and our Prime Minister is mincing about Hawaii hoping to brush shoulders with Kelly and his sociopathic soul brother Gabs. Fuckwit behaviour.

(For those not fully apprised of our leader’s current litany of failures go tune in to Sean Doherty’s Instagram).

I mean, Scomo’s not provoking a ground war in the Middle East, but he’s having a shocker none the less.”

Pre-orders can still be made, and Core will ship worldwide.

Fifty bucks, Australian.

Cut off will be Tuesday at noon(er) AEDT so get in quick.

Which should go?
Which should go?

Bait and Switch: Family made famous for feeding their young children to “ravenous” Great Whites come under fire for “duping fans!”

“Shady or, at the very least, very confusing."

“Being sold a bill of goods” is one of my very favorite aphorisms. Have you heard? Used yourself? I won’t get into the linguistically gorgeous joys but, basically, it means “swindled.”

Have you ever been? Ever not read the fine print or bought a new car off the lot?

Well, you will certainly understand the outrage surrounding the “Bucket List Family” made famous for throwing their very young children into a shark cage with regulators that didn’t fit their tiny, little mouths.

And over the just-passed holidays, the Bucket Lists offered their fans some too-good-to-be-true giveaway that turned out to be just that, thus coming under much anger. Shall we read from once-important BuzzFeed? Of course!

This week, angry fans said they felt duped by a popular Instagram account that did not make clear the full details about a massive annual giveaway for free trips around the world. Some people even argued that the lapse in disclosure allowed the family’s account to rack up a lot more engagement and followers.

What we know so far is thanks largely to a lawyer named Paige Griffith, from Montana, who spent her holidays digging and posting about the debacle to her Instagram stories. More from her later.

The Gee family, more ubiquitously known as the Bucket List Family by their more than 2.4 million Instagram followers, are five self-proclaimed nomads who travel the world for content. This lifestyle was possible after dad Garrett Gee reportedly sold his app to Snapchat for $54 million in 2015. You love to hate to be envious to see it.

Each year, parents Garrett and Jessica host a huge giveaway series they call “12 Days of Bucket List Christmas.” The idea is that for 12 days at the end of the year, they surprise “families in need with a gift that means so much to [their] own family: the gift of travel,” Jessica told me. This year’s destinations include Tanzania, Hawaii, Fiji, Disney World in Orlando, and more. It’s a huge, commendable idea, and fans get excited about it every year.

This year, however, the family’s latest posts about their giveaways have been flooded with comments from frustrated fans who say the whole thing was carried out in a way they felt was “shady” or, at the very least, very confusing.

And that’s all I need. Fans of the Bucket Lists who felt “duped.”

What a crock and I’m busily planning a shark diving trip with my daughter. Sure she’s six, no longer five, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Families that look thusly while riding a bunch of hideous mid-lengths…

…are up to something and I’ll get to the bottom of it shortly.

More as the story develops.

Oregonian local (pictured) enjoying a post-surf banjo pluck.
Oregonian local (pictured) enjoying a post-surf banjo pluck.

Locals Only: Oregon journalist-cum-VAL crows about “sublime, amazing” surf in MY Beaver State!

Real insight: This kook don't know.

I do everything here for you, you know that right? Everything. Oh you think all the shark business, all the horrifying tales from our modern and current shark apocalypse is due some weird personal kink?


But also and mostly they are also my counter to the World Surf League’s Wall of Positive Noise, to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, to Fake Hurley now selling beard oil to Des Moines, Iowa farmers who hope, dream of one day, of absorbing surfing right into their pores.


Surfing is for us and only us. Like Gotcha’s wonderful founder Michael Tomson once boldly declared, “If you don’t surf, don’t start.

But how is the World Surf League going to make money if nobody starts? How will Kelly Slater or Fake Hurley?

And so they all crow about about how amazing, how spiritual our Pastime of Kings is while I scream, “Beware! There’s a Great White circling your pale legs!”

In any case, as you may or may not know, I grew up surfing the cold hell of Oregon. The miserable cold rip-tidy, sharky hell and that’s what it truly is but today I stumbled upon a piece in The Oregonian that began thusly:

I’m a mountain guy. A lover of lakes. A backpacker, climber and skier.

As such, few of my adventures pull me toward the beautiful Oregon coast.

But I defied that tendency a few months back, heading west in search of a new thrill: surfing.

Cold hell. Messy hell. Horrible hell. Welcome to hell, now you’re in hell (buy here).

But the journalist-cum-VAL decided to lie and write:

My day started at a surf shop in Seaside, where I met up with surf instructor Lauren Ahlgren and got outfitted with a rental wetsuit.

We then headed south down the coast, passing Cannon Beach and parking our rigs just off the highway at Oswald West State Park, home to the popular Short Sand Beach.

We hiked for a half-mile, hauling our unwieldy boards, and emerged at the beach before too long.

It was, in a word, sublime.

The beach, which is known as Short Sands or Shorty’s, sits in a stunning cove framed by volcanic basalt and sandstone cliffs.

There’s no highway noise. No concession stands. Just classic Oregon coast vibes.

I believe he means “classic Oregon coast vibes” as a positive but take it from one who grew up there.

It’s a meth.

One big giant meth plus the surf sucks too.

And I’m going to hunt down this lover of lakes, this backpacker, climber, skier and teach him a proper lesson. I’m going to take him for a surf around Coos Bay, a bowl of Mo’s clam chowder in Florence then… Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned.

More as the story develops.

Celebrate! Mavericks is back!
Celebrate! Mavericks is back!

Winning: Young, non-surfing co-ed on verge of reviving Mavericks contest, shaming “incompetent, billionaire-owned WSL!”

From the mouth of babes!

And what has Greta Thunberg taught us all this past year? Yes. That adults are uninspired, selfish, greedy, destructive, uncaring, bloated, hideous, wastes of air. That we can’t get anything done, can’t even save ourselves from catastrophic climate change much less hold a surf contest not even thirty minutes from metropolis San Francisco at California’s premier big wave spot not even if a co-Waterperson of the Year, who happens to be a billionaire, owns all of professional surfing.


…out of the mouth of babes etc.

The children are our future and a child-adjacent co-ed who attends Georgetown University is on the verge of reviving Mavericks but we must not waste anymore time self-loathing. We must head to The Mercury News directly for more.

The World Surf League, surfing’s version of the NBA or NFL, failed to bring a big-wave contest to Mavericks, the renowned break near Half Moon Bay.

But a Georgetown University senior and San Mateo coast native — who doesn’t even surf — is inching closer to resurrecting it in time for an event this winter.

“I’m not very athletic,” said Elizabeth Cresson, the 21-year-old who is spearheading the effort. “We’re connected to the ocean, and it’s something I care a lot about from a conservation and athletic standpoint. Mavericks has always been top of mind.”

Top of mind for the potential invited surfers: proof that this isn’t just another narwhal-like proposal they’ve become so accustomed to since the contest began as the Men Who Ride Mountains in 1999 and has only been contested 10 times in the two decades since.

“I’m not holding my breath for anything until things become a little more solidified where athletes see invites and we see who the title sponsor is,” said Tyler Fox, a Santa Cruz surfer who finished fourth in 2016, the last year the contest was held.

Potential competitors do not know much about the plan that is being spearheaded by Cresson, a Half Moon Bay native who grew up in Hillsborough.

Cresson stepped in to try to fill a void after World Surf League officials announced in August the end of the Big Wave Tour that was supposed to include Mavericks this season.

“We are planning on doing this full-throttle, making it exciting and as impactful as it can be,” Cresson said.

The piece goes on, inspiring, detailing how our brave heroine has secured the permits, $50,000 and the dreams of weary professional surf fans exhausted by an unscalable Positive Wall of Noise.

Bravo, Elizabeth Cresson. Come be CEO of BeachGrit next.

A Great White is captured, tagged, released. | Photo: Department of Primary Industries

Man killed by suspected Great White in Esperance, Western Australia; two years since town’s last fatal attack by White on 17-year-old surfer

"They are still searching the ocean for the victim."

A recreational diver has died after being hit by a suspected Great White shark near Cull Island around 1:00pm, WST, on Sunday.

Early reports suggest the man, named as Gary Johnson, lost his arm fending off a Great White.

From the police presser:

“Esperance Police and Marine Rescue WA volunteers deployed to the area on board marine rescue vessels. They are still searching the ocean for the victim. A woman who was on board the boat at the time of the incident has been returned to shore, and has been taken by St John Ambulance to hospital. She is suffering from shock.”

Two years ago, seventeen-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer died after being hit by a White at a popular wave in Esperance called Kelpies.

By coincidence, the surfer and doctor Jon Cohen, whom we interviewed a month ago about how to save someone who has been bitten by a shark and who sells tourniquets for surfers on his website, is currently working in the emergency department at Esperance Hospital where he is believed to be comforting the diver’s wife.

In that early interview, Jon spoke of the effect Laeticia’s death had on hospital personnel.

“I know some guys who were in the ED that day and it was a traumatic experience to manage. Cases like the are preventable deaths. People can act on the beach if they’re there when it happens. It might be scary to talk about but it’s reassuring to know that there is something you can do and it’s not complicated.”

Still, you gotta get ’em to the beach or a boat.

According to a report from the ABC, local man Glenn Quinlivan heard a mayday call his wife and raced to the scene in his boat.

“There was nothing to see,” he said.

All beaches in the area will be closed until Monday.