Surfer Adam Coons, with gift of stuffed Great White. | Photo: @adamcoons

Surfer attacked by Fifteen-foot Great White four days before Christmas and his rescuer talk about hit: “The shark had him in [its] mouth!”

"It felt like I just got blasted by a torpedo. I didn't feel the bite from the adrenaline and then I was immediately underwater getting thrashed."

Four days before Christmas, Californian surfer Adam Coons was hit by what he and his lifeguard buddy, Jez Howard, estimated to be a fifteen-foot Great White while surfing at Santa Rosa island, twenty-six miles off Santa Babs.

If you’ve ever been to Santa Babs, you might’ve stared at the Channel Islands out there on the horizon, these inconvenient land masses that block all the summer south swells.

Santa Rosa is the second biggest. Plenty of waves, too, if you like ’em uncrowded.

As we reported at the time, it was Jez who saved Adam’s life with his practised use of tourniquets, a simple device that can save almost anyone who’s been hit by a shark. 

Now, Adam and Jez have appeared on ABC News to talk about the attack.

“It felt like I just got blasted by a torpedo,” said Coons. “I didn’t feel the bite from the adrenaline and then I was immediately underwater getting thrashed.”

Jez saw it all from the boat.

“I looked up and the white shark was hitting at him, it took him out of the water probably I’d say about five feet, ya know the shark had him in [its] mouth. I just said ‘Come on buddy, you can make it.'”

Coons said his survival was due to the actions of his pal, the professionalism of the local Coast Guard and the miracle of Christmas.

“If any of these puzzle pieces didn’t come together, I don’t believe I would be here right now… I don’t know why it’s me and my family that get to stay together, while others have lost so much, and why I am keeping my legs and why I will have full recovery, except to hopefully inspire others to not give up on their passions and for families to hear the story of a Christmas miracle and to come together during the holidays no matter what might have been otherwise standing between them…I know that this is the plan for me and I don’t intend to squander this new lease on life.”

Coons also had his recently departed ma helping.

“My guardian angel, my mom, who was there as a lone seagull following the boat keeping a watchful eye until the chopper arrived.”

Coons says he’s unsure when he’ll surf again.


Watch: “Famous, irresponsible” travel blogger parents drop 5-year-old children into shark cage while hungry Great Whites circle aggressively, menacingly!

Irresponsible or... progressive?

But what is the worst thing you have forced your angelic children into? Surfing all sandy, painful and awkward? Skiing, freezing cold, also painful and even more awkward? A sedentary life on the couch playing video games and eating frozen pizza while developing diabetes?

I have forced seven-year-old daughter into tennis. I imagine her, one day, impressing the dukes and duchesses of impressive lineages with her graceful forehand. Parking another Porsche in my garage with a wink, after winning the French Open.

She hates it. I don’t care and sometimes shout back, across the net, “You’re lucky I don’t feed you to Great White sharks!” only somewhat in jest.

As it turns out, feeding children to Great White sharks is a true phenomenon and also lucrative. Don’t believe? Oh we must turn to the well-respected child monetization website Traveller for the absolute latest.

A travel blogger couple has been labelled irresponsible after posting a video of their children, one just five years old, diving in a shark cage.

The Bucket List Family, who have a popular Youtube channel, uploaded a video of their dive with great white sharks off the coast of Baja California, in western Mexico.

Parents Garrett and Jessica were happy for their daughter Dorothy, seven, and son Manilla, five, to step into the shark cage.

The children go through the requirements beforehand, taking a safety briefing and signing a waiver.

“I was a little bit scared,” Dorothy said in a post-shoot interview. “But then I was brave.”

The two children don wetsuits and breath with ‘hooker lines’ – essentially long tubes pumping air from the boat above.

Dorothy and Manilla then plunge into the submerged shark cage, their father swimming with them.

As Manilla put it later: “It felt like I was floating in space.”

Dorothy had something else to add: “You’re in the cage. But there are holes. Lots of big holes.”

Holes big enough for those blood-mad Great Whites to swim right through, no doubt, and of course the general public became very angry, calling the escapade “child abuse” and “bad” but… and bear with me here… kids say the darndest things!

Still, the horror goes on and on and on. People declaring that the regulator does not fit in a five-year-old-mouth and the children may drown. People crowing about “safety” and “responsibility” and “common sense.”

But let’s be honest. Would you toss your beatific offspring into a shark cage? If you were paid lots of money? The video has received very many views on YouTube. Over 4 million which equals well over a few thousand dollars.

Leased Porsche coming soon (I recommend the Panamera which comfortably seats two parents plus two earners)!


More as the story develops.

Revealed: The highest yielding surf investment everyone is afraid to talk about!

What you can do, today, to start earning 30x!

If I’ve written it once in the past three days, I’ve written it six or seven times. Mostly in relation to sharks, Great White, Tiger and Bull, but it can and should be equally applied elsewhere too. It is the start of a new decade, a brand new start, and the perfect time to make some changes. To earn more money. To make better investments.

And on this note, do I have an opportunity for you that guarantees not 10x, not 20x but 30x return over investment.

Now, you may think the surf industry is still going through the worst economic downturn in the history of mankind. A still-reeling 20-year-plus recession with no end in sight and you’d be correct.


…you know what the Warren Buffetts and Carl Ichans of the world preach and practice?

Zig when others zag and there is exciting potential right under your roof, likely, or for you to make if not.

A child, your child, and turning him or her into a professional surfer.


Please watch this free-of-charge instructional video. My repayment will be seeing the look on your face when you pull into the carpark in your brand-new, leased Rolls-Royce.

Say it with me, “I can Dino Andino too!”

You’re welcome!

Jamie O on Kohl Christensen’s near-death, head-busting wipeout at Pipe: “If he wasn’t wearing his float suit it would’ve been a different scenario!”

Life and death at mean old Pipe.

On New Year’s Eve, the Eddie Aikau-invitee Kohl Christenen, as famous for his off-the-grid lifestyle as his big-wave wrangling, was belted by his surfboard while surfing twelve-to-fifteen-foot Pipe.

Fractured skull, a little bleeding on the brain, ear drum maybe blown to the heavens.

Could’ve been worse for forty-two-year old Kohl.

Jamie O’Brien, the carrot-topped vlogger who grew up at Pipe and whose house is directly behind the famous Lopez mansion, saw the whole thing from his upstairs perch.

“He was on this second reef double-up roll-in and he was trimming and the wave before had some turbulence in front of it and he went over the turbulence and then he skipped out.”

Jamie didn’t think much of it.

“Kohl’s a great surfer, he knows what he’s doing. He’s the kinda guy you don’t see until it’s bigger than ten feet.”

Pretty standard sorta wipeout at a wave given to sudden flourishes of unpredictable violence more than most.

“And then he popped up, it took a while, and I was, like, something’s wrong. He was looking the wrong way and the lip of an eight-foot wave was landing on him. His board was sideways and he was right behind the board. From my point of view it looked the lip launched the board straight into his head and knocked him out. I’m not sure if he broke his eardrum first and that was why he was out of it.”

Dressed in baggy sweat shorts, Jamie tightened up the legs, grabbed an eight-foot soft-top and ran down the beach. He thought, ‘Ok, I need to act right now.’

A life or death moment.

“I saw his board tombstoning right when I got to the beach. The jetski was already on him, Makua Rothman was already swimming out. It was super gnarly. I knew there was nothing I could do. He was in good hands. It was lucky help was there faster than I was. I was trying my best.”

Jamie in makeshift rescue outfit, sweat pants with legs secured, soft-board.

The accident gave the former Pipe Master pause.

“It was one of those days. I had to make that decision, should I go surf, is it worth or is it not? It wasn’t worth it. Twelve-to-fifteen-footers, it was as gnarly and as big as Pipe gets. I was talking to Dave Wassel briefly about it and he said that if Kohl wasn’t wearing his float suit, it would’ve been a different scenario. Apparently, that made a big difference in getting him to the beach. He was unconscious and out of it on the beach. He didn’t know what was going on. I heard he wasn’t really doing that well.”

Later in the afternoon, Jamie, who wears his Buell float-suit whenever Pipe is over five-foot, decided to paddle out and, “Yeah, I got some sick ones.”

Until he copped it.

“I hit the reef really bad. I hit my leg, my hip, my elbow, my knee, my arm. The hardest slam on the reef for a couple of years.”

And then he went back for more.

“I went to the lifeguard jetski, checked to see what was going on, went out and ended up getting my best wave.”

Skip through to 10:16 for Kohl’s wipeout.

(Thanks to BeachGrit’s Superworm for the link.)

Jamie’s vlog will drop its version of the day, which may or may not include Kohl’s wipeout (“It’s pretty personal, I haven’t talked to any of the boys about it yet,” says Jamie), on Monday, US time.

Kelly Slater, left, and Mike Stewart, far right, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away etc.

Meet: the surfing god who holds magical key to Kelly Slater’s eternal happiness!

He is simultaneously the Duke Kahanamoku, Miki Dora, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater of his sport; its godfather figure, its biggest legend, its most stylish practitioner and its greatest champion.

A genre has formed within surf journalism around dissecting the motivations of Kelly Slater.

Why does Kelly do what Kelly does? 

The killer competitive drive and all its associated personality traits that fuelled 11 world titles and 20 plus years at the highest level have also proven to be a little of his undoing.

With every passing year, Kelly isolates himself with a need to stay relevant. 

The now infamous “Sound Waves” episode offered a telling window into the depths he is prepared to plunge to stay in the game.

How does Kelly, as a once omnipotent surf god, manage the later stages of his  career?

Kelly has said he feels like he’s alone and that no one understands him.

But, what if there is someone who has been through similar experiences that he could turn to for guidance?

Mike Stewart, owner of nine world bodyboard titles and fourteen world bodysurfing titles knows what it’s like to be venerated within a surfing sport.

He is simultaneously the Duke Kahanamoku, Miki Dora, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater of the bodyboard world; its godfather figure, its biggest legend, its most stylish practitioner and its greatest champion.

But next year, at fifty-six years old, Mike won’t be on the bodyboarding professional tour, known as the APB. For the first time since 1982(!) he won’t directly qualify to compete on the grand stage at the highest level.

That’s thirty-seven years at the top.

Listening to Stewart speak in a recent episode of the “Le Boogie” podcast, the commonalities between his and Slater’s hyper-competitive personalities become clear.

At one stage, Stewart rattles off a list of things he feels he needs to improve to remain competitive against riders who may be up to a third his age: get more flexible, get stronger and adjust his mindset so he’s willing to endure the punishment of landing moves after hitting heavy sections on sizeable waves.

Says Stewart, “If you want it bad enough, you’re going to have to endure some mean poundings. It’s not a fun thing.”

Remember, he’s fifty-six and has been at the top of the sport since its inception.

The competitive desire to achieve obviously still burns strong. It’s just that these days, the goalposts have shifted.

“I’m competing, but I’m not here to win contests. I’m here to participate, which is a totally different mindset, just to be able to go out there and still mix it up, is a super big thrill for me, and I’m just stoked to do it.”

It’s a headspace that sounds eerily familiar to the one supernatural healer Charlie Goldsmith was trying to impart to Kelly. 

Which is, find the joy within the opportunity and experience, rather than the thrill of vanquishing all before you to reach the top.

During the commentary of the last day of the Pipe Masters, Shane Dorian said that Kelly had expressed a desire to do the tour again next year, although this time exclusively riding a twin fin.

Why not?

It sounds like a perfect fit for 2020 Slater. An opportunity to push and explore board design possibilities.To continue to expand the parameters of what people have assumed possible. The possibility of new and novel experiences.

The chance to still compete, but on his own terms.

So, Kelly, forget about an Aussie shaman and go seek out the one other man on the planet whose competitive drive and wave riding experience is comparable to your own for a little advice.

I’m sure you might be able to bump into him at pipe.

Or at the very least, listen to the podcast.