In Oliver Stone's football masterpiece Any Given Sunday, Jamie Foxx (pictured) plays running back for the fictional Miami Sharks.
In Oliver Stone's football masterpiece Any Given Sunday, Jamie Foxx (pictured) plays running back for the fictional Miami Sharks.

Opportunity Knocks: Star running back for NFL’s San Francisco 49ers once offered contract to surf for Billabong, turned it down in “moment of divine clarity!”

Oh what might have been...

But are you a fan of professional sport? Addicted to the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat? Oh of course I’m not referencing professional surfing here. We’re all obvious fans of that game but also recognize it is not a sport. More dance meets America’s Top Model.

No, I am curious about real professional sport. Baseball, rugby, cricket, Aussie Rules, football sport.


I’ll admit to being more than passively interested. I enjoy flipping on a game and being relatively up-to-date on the bigger happenings. Yesterday, for instance, found me driving home from Tahoe and happy to have the divisional round of the National Football League’s playoffs as company. The Tennessee Titans destroyed the highly favored Baltimore Ravens in the nightcap. The day belonged to the San Francisco 49ers running all over the outclassed Minnesota Vikings.

And this morning, perusing the game details, I learned that one of the 49ers star running backs, special teams pieces, Raheem Mostert, was once a rising star in our surf game and even offered a contract to surf for Billabong? Here, I’ll show you.

Raheem Mostert went from avoiding sharks on his surf board while growing up on the eastern shore of Florida to pretending to be one on special teams in the NFL.

“I was really a beach bum,” Mostert told The Bee last month.

While growing up in Smyrna Beach, Florida, an area just south Daytona famous for shark attacks, Mostert was a regular on the waves and his skateboard. He and some 15 friends would spend their spare time on the water or in skate parks after school or on weekends.

Mostert as a 14-year-old turned down a sponsorship deal from the popular surf wear brand, Billabong, instead choosing to focus on football and becoming the first member of his family to get his college degree.

“Football’s always been in my heart no matter what,” Mostert said. “It was one of those things where I just took it for what it was. I still enjoy it, skateboarding and surfing.”

I was so intrigued that I dug deeper for this “fork in the road” moment and found…

If Raheem Mostert hadn’t been so laser-focused on football, he might have had a career as a pro surfer. The San Francisco 49ers running back joined KNBR on Wednesday morning and discussed his love for the sport growing up and being offered a contract at the age of 14.

A surfing scout approached Mostert when he was surfing and skateboarding with his friends and wanted to see some tape of his skills, the running back revealed on the “Murph & Mac” show. Mostert didn’t have tape, so the scout asked him to perform some stunts on the spot. The 14-year-old impressed.

That’s when Mostert got offered a contract but turned it down.

I’m certain, now that Raheem Mostert is an NFL star, that he considers his decision a moment of divine clarity but just imagine how dominant today’s Billabong team would be with him on it. Already the best around, featuring Italo, Ryan Callinan Seth Moniz, Griff Colapinto and Jack Freestone, Mostert would have offered a sub-4.4 40 time and uncanny ability to read defenses.

Oh what might have been.

But, quickly, while you’re here, did you ever have a “fork-in-the-road” moment too?

Did you choose the right path?

Watch: New York Sculptor Tom Sachs’ thirty-minute paean to the Vulnerable Adult Learner Surfer!

Only today's demented society could make such a movie…

If there’s anything the 2010s will be remembered for, it’s the rise and rise of the Vulnerable Adult Learner Surfer.

Meteoric, as the Greeks say.

This thirty-minute film, How to Learn How to Surf, follows the travails of a group of New York VALs as they struggle to come to terms with their impotence in the ocean and the futility of their doomed pursuit.

There is no expense spared in their quest.

The group stays at Rizal Tanjung’s surf resort Disa Limasan with its six pretty Javanese-style houses parked in lush green paddocks overlooking three bays in the East Javanese village of Watu Kerung.

Cars, boats and surf coaches, which include Riz, Balinese shredder Marlon Gerber and Newport’s Punker Pat, are on call.

And yet, success is elusive, impossible.

If you don’t surf, don’t start, has never been more appropriate.

Still, it’s an oddly compelling movie if only to illuminate the thought processes of VALs.

How to Learn How to Surf was created by Tom Sachs, the fifty-three-year-old New York sculptor, who made his name in 1994 with a Christmas window display for Barneys called Hello Kitty Nativity.

Sachs fashioned the Virgin Mary as a Chanel bra-wearing Hello Kitty, the stable had a a McDonalds logo and the Three Kings were modelled as Bart Simpson.

My favourite work of Sachs is his Chanel guillotine  from 1998, a riposte to the home of world couture that was still decapitating its citizens, and others, as late as 1977

Chanel Guillotine by Tom Sachs.

Breaking: Oahu, Hawaii’s Westside “Birthplace of Mixed Martial Arts” set to receive brand new wave tank!

Welcome to paradise, now you're in hell!

If there is one common refrain seasonal tourists mumble on their way in and out of Honolulu International Airport it is, “Oahu doesn’t have enough waves. Pipeline? Yawn. Waimea? Snore. Queens, Makaha, Off-the-Wall, Sunset, Pupukea, Zippers, Ala Moana Bowls…. booooring.”

Well, ever aiming to please, the state body has tentatively OK’d an inland wave tank and let’s learn all about what is being called Honokea Surf Village directly from Hawaii’s KITV, your home for island news.

Surfing in Hawaii may be getting a whole new look on land.

A proposed park project called Honokea Surf Village could be built on 19 acres of vacant state land in Kalaeloa

The center of it would include a 5-acre wave pool where big and small waves will be generated for pros and first timers. The proposed plans also include a lazy river, skate park, buildings and more.

Total cost of the project is an estimated 72 million dollars.

It’s not clear when construction will begin.

Wednesday, the Hawaii Community Development Authority gave the company HK Management the OK to explore the feasibility of the spot.

KITV reached out to the developers behind the surf village for more details but we have not yet heard back.

Many questions.

Which technology will the tank employ? Wavegarden? Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch? American Wave Machines?

How will localism be enforced?

Will the wave reach 50 feet every eight or so years for a possible running of the Eddie?

Many, many questions.

"I hate you."
"I hate you."

Revealed: Great White shark attacked Mick Fanning in South Africa due intense personal hatred for Australian champ not over color of board!


It seems like an entire lifetime since Australian champion Michael Eugene Fanning was attacked by a Great White shark whilst surfing a heat in South Africa but it was only 2015.

The greatest moment in World Surf League history? Yes, especially since surfing’s governing body has only been around since 2015. Or maybe 2014. In any case, I image that day fired co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff’s capitalist spirit. I bet he saw the spike of international wall-to-wall coverage and thought, “People love professional surfing!”

Of course he was wrong and also rude to think about such things as Mick Fanning was struggling with the heavy existential question of “Why.” Why had the shark tangled with him and not Julian Wilson or Jordy Smith or Gabriel Medina? What had he done?

After much wrestling, he deduced that it was the color of his surfboard that led to the terrifying incident and let’s reminisce, briefly, with Time magazine.

Australian surfer Mick Fanning—who made headlines around the world last month after he fended off a shark attack in South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay on live television—was back in competition for the first time since that incident this weekend, but without his trusty yellow surfboard.

After hearing that some divers called the color of his old board “yum yum yellow” because it is thought to attract sharks, Fanning opted to swap his yellow board for blue and black one, Australian news portal reports.

Well, a brand-new, just released scientific study directly debunks the “yum yum yellow” theory and let’s turn to everyone’s favorite SciTechDaily for the latest in a provocative article titled: “Fascinating Shark and Ray Vision Evolution Research Reveals Sharks Can’t See Colors.”

In his team’s new study, they have shown that all cartilaginous fishes, similar to the marine mammals, have lost the SWS1 and SWS2 opsin genes. Sharks and rays do contain both rod and cone photoreceptors; however rays possess two cone opsin genes whereas sharks have only one cone. Sharks therefore were found to have lost the ability to see colors.

“Furthermore, we provided measurements of the spectral characteristics of the visual pigments expressed in nine species of ray and two species of shark,” said Hart. “We can now confirm that all the shark species studied to date appear to be cone monochromats but report that in different species the single cone opsin may be of either the LWS or the RH2 class of opsins.”

“Broadly speaking, color discrimination may be useful for behaviors such as prey detection, predator avoidance, and mate choice. Given that many ray species spend considerable periods of time resting on or partially buried in the substrate, color vision may instead aid in the detection of approaching overhead predators through either enhancement of visual contrast or elimination of achromatic flicker.”

So, since sharks can’t see colors it can only mean that the Great White attacked Mick Fanning there in South Africa due an intense personal hatred.

What had Mick done?

How should he now feel?

Is there a way for the World Surf fLeague to further monetize?

More as the story develops.

Discretion advised when swimming with Whites.

Shark fisherman reveals secrets of Great Whites: “Three-second memories, cage diving doesn’t teach ’em to associate humans with food (but) if you’re in the water with a hungry White you’re finished!”

“If you can’t dance, don’t go to the party....”

I just hung up the phone with a forty-year vet of the South Australian fisheries industry, a guy I won’t name ’cause emotions run to boiling when it comes to Great Whites.

And, who needs either side, the killers or the huggers, twisting your words to either hang or beatify you?

Figured he’d have an interesting take on the animal that he sees almost every day he takes his little boat out to get his piece of the ocean.

On attacks: “I’d hate to see a shark attack on a person. I’ve seen ’em hit other shit and they’re no different to a Bull Mastiff dog once they get a bit of a sniff in their nostrils. If you’re in the water and there’s a hungry White you’re finished.”

On cage-diving boats attracting Whites: “One shark expert I met from Holland suggested that shark boats don’t have any bearing because they don’t have that repetitive memory. I agree. But while they may have three-second memories, they’ve got their engraved compass of life, what they do, where they travel to, that stuff’s in ’em, and that’s why they go to places like the Neptune Islands, but the will to survive overcomes everything. If they smell something they’ll have a look. If the Pointer’s just eaten, he might swim right past you. Others are starving and they have a completely different attitude.”

On behavioural differences between Whites: “They’re a big, beautiful creature but some are dumb as dog shit or haven’t developed a fear for anything while others, usually older one, are more agile more wary. All have different characteristics. Some will break the surface, for instance, while others won’t go near it.”

On Whites and water temperature: “They don’t like the warm water. It’s gotta be sixteen or seventeen degrees. Down around Cactus, the water’s been too warm. There hasn’t been any close encounters or even real legit sightings since 2000 when Jevan Wright and Cameron Bayes were taken.”

On the prevalence of big Whites: “The numbers are increasing but you don’t see as many sixteen-or-seventeen footers anymore. It’s been years since I saw I big one. But lots of little one, five-to-twelve feet. No tags on ’em either and they’re tagging ’em flat out.”

On beached dead whales: “Going surfing within twenty-miles of a dead whale is a no, no. Whites are steaming up and down the coast and can’t find it because it’s out of the water and they’re losing their minds. The big night tides wash all the oil, this big puddle of stinking dead whale out to sea, and the sharks follow it.”

On culling: “It’s cruel. If you can’t dance, don’t go to the party.”