Watch: Free diver with “species dysmorphia” hand feeds suspiciously calm Tiger Shark as if he was a mama feeding her man-eating young!

The calm before the end of mankind?

A very few short days ago down in the Bahamas where water the color of sapphire caresses sun-reddened Canadian skin, a free diver hand fed a Tiger shark as big as a small New York apartment. The video, which has since gone viral, represents the glorious dance between man and man-eater. Between what is and what could be.

We can all get along.

And let’s read of the account directly from MSN, half-genderless-parent of the very woke MSNBC.

Although many people would be scared to find themselves in open water surrounded by tiger sharks, this was not the case for free diver Dante Weston, who was captured hand-feeding the sea creatures on January 16 near Grand Bahama Island. Underwater photographer and videographer Szilard Janko was along for the journey with Weston and managed to capture a moment on video that he would not soon forget. The footage shows Weston floating above the ocean floor and reaching into a metal container and removing a piece of fish, as a tiger shark swims toward him. Once the shark gets close enough, Weston uses the piece of fish to guide the animal closer to Janko’s camera, before he lets go of the snack and allows the shark to eat it. “Each shark has a different personality, this one very gently takes the fish out of the hand and then is gently redirected to swim away,” Janko told Storyful. Tiger sharks are “aggressive predators,” according to, and one of the “Big Three” in the shark attack world, along with great white and bull sharks, “because they are large species that are capable of inflicting serious injuries to a victim, are commonly found in areas where humans enter the water, and have teeth designed to shear rather than hold,” according to International Shark Attack File.

Beautiful, no?

Except those with memories that extend past seven years will remember the darkly prescient drama Mars Attacks!, starring Jack Nicholson and the best others (SJP, Glenn Close, James Bond, Lisa Marie Presley, Michael J. Fox, Martin Short, ‘Nette Benning etc.). That film, which has aged like a Nostradamus text, predicted that peace-niks, collaborationists, hippies will actually spark the end of the world.

Again, prescient and I can’t help but think this mirrors, exactly, the above clip.

Much to think about.

Much to ponder.

More as the story develops.

John John, free as a bird. | Photo: @john_john_florence

Rumour true: John John Florence quits Hurley, loses millions; now, here’s how he can change the game!

An exciting time, culturally, as surfers shuck capitalist lords and seize the means to production.

Is it time for surfers to overthrow their masters and seize the means of production?

As reported two weeks ago, the introverted, prone-to-injury two-time world champ John John Florence has quit his Hurley contract two years early, losing millions.

Where to now for pro surfers and their lucrative sponsorship deals?

I was chatting with an old pal over the break who works in the bike game in Europe. He specialises in downhill, mostly, but does some street stuff too.

(Apologies if I murder any of the lingo here, but it ain’t my tribe.)

One of his contemporaries had just self-released a new clip a couple days before Christmas. A half-hour cut of this guy riding the streets of Paris, mostly self shot or with one other filming.

This is a very famous rider, large international fan base etc. Especially popular among the twelve-to-eighteen bracket.

Anyway, the guy charged nine euro a download for the video. An entirely affordable Christmas request for ma and pa by way of Santa, yes?

Within 48 hours it had been downloaded 560,000 times.

Can you imagine? You needn’t be a bike enthusiast to know that’s a whole lotta ROI. Baguettes for days.

It brought back to mind an idea I’ve been ruminating on for some time now. A half-formed theory that was looking for a real world host to propagate.

And the bike story, combined with the recent news of bloodshed at Hurley, delivered just that.

Maybe I’m using a big hammer to hit a small nail.

But that’s why we do this, right?

Sling shit from the sidelines and see what sticks?


Are surfers doing the sponsorship game wrong? More fundamentally, does surfing need surf brands?

Think about it.

The surf-industrial complex was built on the assumption that surfers only had their talent to give.

Brute, dumb forces of nature that needed the guiding hand of sponsorship (and the infrastructure it provided) to focus their energy. An entry point into the industry. Exposure to the public through state-sanctioned media.

And, of course, financial backing.

For many decades that detente stayed in place. Surfers got their pay day. Brands got their shit sold through them by way of a subservient media.

But now it’s 2020 and that model no longer holds. Everyone is a content producer. The cost of filming has decreased to the point where any surfer or a friend can make and release quality clips.

Accessing the public is, in essence, free.

Look at the Instagram follower numbers of each elite pro.

And the big brands continue to be tone deaf to the changing nature of the game. The only people wearing Hurley, Rip Curl, Quiksilver un-ironically are either over 40, or have never seen the ocean in their life. Couldn’t name a team rider if they came out and chop-hopped them (strapped or not).

So why haven’t surfers realised this and torn that detente up?

Seized the means of production?

Cut out the redundant middle man?

Fear of failure, maybe.

Craig and Dane already made the jump with Former, Kelly with Ok. But neither case study has been a resounding financial success or seized the cultural narrative…yet.

That’s often what happens to innovators, though. They lay the groundwork for those that follow, doing the hard work first, and it’s only in the washup that their acumen is lauded.

To wit, are we asking the wrong questions when it comes to John John, Kolohe and the Hurley crew?

Instead of guessing which brand they will go to next, we should be questioning why they need a brand at all?

They are the brand.

I recognise it’s ultimately going to be a question of money. Surfers careers are especially finite, so athletes need to maximise their earnings. Brands offer a ready-made way to do that.

Sign here, receive money here, and here, and here.

But it don’t need to be that way.

For John John it could look like this.

Announce you’re going without a major clothing sponsor but retain hardware stickers like Vans, Pyzel, similar to skaters do with shoes and boards.

Do collaborations with independent wetsuit and clothing labels (Patagonia?).

Maybe even some mainstream stuff (Lululemon!).

But don’t be tied down to the one brand.

Market your name.

Your style.

Your stubbly little face.

Groms worship it, not the sticker on your top third.

Meanwhile follow the DIY model for content production. We know consumers are ready to fork out a little coin for premium content.

Rely on direct releases to the public. A YouTube channel following you ‘round behind the scenes, Nate-style. All geared towards promoting your next Blue Moon.

This can be the starting point for surfers getting into the game, too. Be like Soundcloud rappers.Put your own shit out there. Make it distinct. Build your own following.

Sell direct. It’ll be cut throat but that only serves to further speed up progression.

If you’ve got the talent, let it do the talking. If not, be more brazen in your style

Build the cult of personality. Be bold. Create new markets. Dissolve the game into a world of warring nation states, each vying to outdo the other in progression and attention.

It’d drive surfing forward while taking it back to its roots. Individual freedom of expression.

Counter culture, marketed as such.

It might sort some wheat from the chaff. It might splinter the scene even further.

But as a consumer, wouldn’t you prefer that to the hegemonic, green-washed, white-teethed hell E-Lo and Bluestar are steering us towards?

While we’re at it, dead the WSL. Cunt’s fucked anyway. Set up speciality events and tours for those that want to go down that path. Have the tribe come together at the end of year, ASP Ball or Surfer Poll, to hand out gongs like it’s the Grammys or the Oscars.

And watch the scene flourish.

But I’m wrong, aren’t I?

Tell me where I’m wrong.

North Shore photographer’s two-day shoot with Kobe Bryant: “It’s hard to process the eerie and poignant connotations these photos now have.”

And tells wonderful story of "unique interaction between fame and authority."

Justin Jay is a photographer whose name, like the great Steve Sherman, has become synonymous with the North Shore.

His book, HI 1K, which you can buy here, snatches the glamour of the North Shore over the course of ten years, many candid moments etc.

Jay, of course, ain’t just surf.

He’s a master portraitist from New York city’s Lower East Side who works with a Nikon film camera, a manual-focus 35mm prime affixed to the beak.

Shoots Sean Combs, Jay Z, Outkast, Kanye.

Big time. Big clients.

Three years ago, Jay spent two days shooting NBA god Kobe Bryant for a Nike basketball campaign, an experience that was suddenly brought into relief with Bryant’s death yesterday.

“At one point, I found myself driving in his car from the Staples Center to his house in Newport – just the two of us,” Jay wrote this morning.

“We casually discussed topics of marriage, real estate and fans until he saw a pair of flashing lights in his rearview mirror. He had been weaving out of the HOV lane and we were being stopped by the CHP. Before pulling over, we joked about the possibility of him making a run for it and splitting the money for the exclusive story and photos.

“As the officer approached the car, he glanced at her and nonchalantly informed me that she was new on the job. He obviously knew this stretch of the 405 extremely well.

“Additionally, he didn’t appear the least bit nervous. He seemed to have a subtle smirk on his face like he knew there was no way he was actually going to get a ticket. Sure enough, despite the officer’s best intention to maintain professional and composed, there was the unmistakable look of awe and surprise the moment they realized who they had just pulled over. Needless to say, he only received a polite warning. I felt so lucky to have gotten to witness this unique interaction between fame and authority.

“Later that afternoon, I went with Kobe to his church and shot these candid photos of him at a service. I haven’t looked at these images in quite a while, and it’s hard to process the new eerie and poignant connotations that they now have.”

Possibly a racist action, depending on if owner of bare feet is Hawaiian or not.
Possibly a racist action, depending on if owner of bare feet is Hawaiian or not.

Cultural Sensitivity: Hawaiians bigotedly “passenger shamed” at excessively high rate for being barefoot on airplanes!

Not woke.

Surfers, by which I mean you and me, travel via airplane more than our non-surfing peers. We fly to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia’s Gold Coast, Australia’s west coast, Reunion Island and Hawaii. Oh we see all manner of things when we fly, many of them disturbing, like open-mouth sleeping, headphone-less movie watching, clapping vigorously upon landing and bare feet.

Now, we surfers, we know that not all bare feet are the same. There are, to name a few:

White businessman bare feet… pale white and wrinkled as if they were just in warm water. Toenails not nice.

Chinese businessman bare feet… usually uniform in color with better toenails but worse overall vibes.

Young adult traveling around Europe (male and female)… peak disgusting.

Hawaiians or various other Pacific Islanders… the very pictures of health. Brown, hearty, a symbol of national pride.

Hawaiians or various other Pacific Islanders wear slippahs and only slippahs. Toes, spread wide by lack of constraint, like happy turtles sunbathing, cannot even go inside shoes anymore.

Well, our non-surfing peers unaccustomed to such things lump all bare feet on airplanes together and then “passenger shame” with modern gusto. This unfortunate bigotedness even made it in to the august pages of The Wall Street Journal and let us read together.

THE CLIP IS CHILLING. Stephen King couldn’t have crafted a more skin-tingling scene. I am talking about the recent viral video of an airline passenger using their bare big toe to swipe across their personal TV screen. In the clip, which was posted by Twitter user Erik Olvera on January 1, the sockless flier toe-scrolls through the movie options with a disturbing level of ease.

I almost, almost, admire how little this passenger seems to care about her exposed tootsies. But should I be so surprised by this sockless wonder? Not at all, according to Shawn Kathleen, the former flight attendant behind the over one-million-follower Instagram account, @PassengerShaming. (She goes by her first name to maintain partial anonymity). The account is a catalog of ludicrous on-plane behaviors, as witnessed and submitted by fellow travelers and flight attendants. Recently, Shawn Kathleen has received a high volume of foot-related footage.

But how did we get to the point where bare hooves are the norm in the sky? “There’s a really strong sense of entitlement where people are like, ‘Hey I paid X amount of money for this plane ticket so I can treat this aircraft as I wish,’” she said in a phone interview. And it doesn’t stop at simply brandishing a bare foot. Passengers now throw their feet up on tray tables, inside the seat-back pocket and even on someone else’s seat.

That’s precisely what happened to A.J. Henning, 38, a teacher in Santa Barbara, Calif. On a recent flight to Hawaii, a seatmate “thought it was cool to take her shoes off and then put her bare feet” on his young son’s seat. He said something to the woman, who eventually removed her feet. “The lack of thinking of others was what got me,” said Mr. Henning.

In all sincerity, Mr. Henning should have been honored by the actions of the Hawaiian woman who graced her young son with those badges of virility. He should have thanked her, not shamed her and it’s our duty, as surfers, to pave the way for acceptance since we have culturally appropriated their Pastime of Kings. The very least we can do, really.

Unless, that is, the aforementioned seatmate was not Hawaiian at all but a young adult traveling around Europe by way of Hawaii.

Profoundly disturbing in that case.

While we’re together, what is your least favorite thing to see on an airplane?

Unprovoked: Sensational San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s wife survivor of vicious “multiple-bite shark attack” in Florida!

3 bites, 30 minutes.

And you are certainly well aware, by now, that the breakout star of this year’s National Football League postseason, San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert was/is a surfer and was once offered a sponsorship by Billabong to surfer professionally. He turned the offer down in order to pursue his football dream though does celebrate touchdowns by “paddling” in the end zone before popping to his feet and “surfing.”

Oh our surf world is very much like Christian rock ‘n’ roll. Any mention, any wink from “mainstream culture” our way is met with swoons, with much pride and a swelling of self-worth. We matter, we really matter.

Well, The San Francisco Chronicle, getting in on the fun, traveled to Mostert’s childhood home of New Smyrna to interview his “surfing pals” about these exciting days. Lo and behold his surfing pals are Eric and Evan Geiselman with special appearance by Billabong’s own Evan Slater and let’s dip straight in together.

Evan was friends with Mostert in middle school.

“We had P.E. together and he was miles above everyone in terms of athleticism,” Geiselman said. “He was a freak of nature.”

After eighth grade, Evan was home-schooled so that he could pursue his sport. But he still kept in touch with Mostert and surfed with him.

“I learned a lot of my skills from them,” Mostert said.

He and Evan are both goofy footed (meaning they ride with their right feet forward on the board).

“He just kind of had a knack for it,” Geiselman said of Mostert’s surfing. “I love how he celebrates his touchdowns.”

“New Smyrna is a hotbed for East Coast surfing talent and Raheem was one of a handful of local kids with real potential,” said Evan Slater, Billabong’s vice president of global marketing. “Even then, Raheem was clearly a gifted athlete who would likely achieve an elite level in whatever path he chose.”

And while the Geiselmans and Evan Slater are the absolute best representatives of this surfing life, the scariest reveal in the Chronicle piece was that Mostert’s then-girlfriend, now wife, is the survivor of a multiple bite shark attack and let’s read that together too.

When Mostert took his future wife Devon to New Smyrna for the first time, on spring break from college, he said she was bitten three times by sharks in the space of about 30 minutes. The sharks in the area, hammerheads and tigers, are relatively small.

“Not like the Great Whites here,” Mostert said.

He doesn’t surf anymore, and not because of the sharks. The activity is forbidden by his NFL contract.

“But I still like to go to the ocean,” he said.

Three bites in 30 minutes?