Which should go?
Which should go?

Famous South African Surfer asks: “Only 10k Great Whites estimated left in the world and 7 Billion people. Who needs a culling more?”

Thought provoking.

But do you belong to any helpful organizations like PETA or NOW or Teamsters Local 542 or the Surfrider Foundation? I’ll admit to being perpetually intrigued but generally lack the courage of my convictions when it comes to filling out paperwork etc.

Still, jealously bubbles and FOMO too when I see activists having a fine time. Enjoying themselves etc.

On a similar note, the very famous South African surfer Grant “Twiggy” Baker proposed a provocative question on BeachGrit’s semi-famous Instagram account late last night. Derek Rielly, reporting on a second possible Great White carcass stuffed under Margaret River’s famed reef, posted a little teaser and encouraged people to visit BeachGrit’s anti-depressive website for more.


In the comments Mr. Baker wondered, “Crazy shit, only 10000 whites estimated left in the world and 7 Billion people. Who needs a culling more”.

A very interesting hypothetical but before I could come to a conclusion @jordossr asked where he got the stat to which Twiggy replied, “NatGeo said 5000 I just doubled it Incase”.

Is it true? Only 5000 Great Whites left worldwide?

As the leading shark-cum-surf journalist, I immediately got down to work and discovered that treehugger.com claims only 3500 “left in the wild” while phys.org declares there are 8000 in Australian waters alone.


Still, both numbers are very much less than the 7.8 billion people on earth.

Culling people is a very slippery slope, though Shirley Jackson might have been on to something with her famous short story The Lottery.

Did you read in school?

Did it terrify?

Also, do you think Twiggy is more famous than Jordy Smith?

I would make the argument that he is.

But back to this human cull. Could shark cages filled with children (above) be a possible answer? A lottery for which kids go in and how long they stay down?


Mike Huckabee (pictured) threatening hopeful surfers with a golf club.
Mike Huckabee (pictured) threatening hopeful surfers with a golf club.

Outrage: Florida beaches becoming privatized at record clip as wealthy homeowners seek to “put an end to that degenerate surfing life!”

"Get lost bums!"

Public beach access is very much taken for granted in the windy and cold (this morning) state of California. Oh there are certainly some crotchety homeowners in enclaves like Malibu who dillydally with fences and/or sit on modern steel and glass decks gripping 1928 Purdey hammerless shotguns but they are the exception as opposed to the rule.

Across this great nation, however, in the state of Florida, the public beach is on the verge of extinction as one-time governor of Arkansas and prominent television host Mike Huckabee leads a campaign to shut out the masses and, very likely, put an end to that degenerate surfing life he so loathes while also having them pay for upkeep etc. with their dirty, wax tainted pennies.

It’s almost too fantastical to believe but let us turn to the Tallahassee Democrat and stoke our outrage.

Beachfront property owners, aided by high-priced lobbyists, have stripped local governments’ power to oversee your ability to enjoy the beach.

In 2016, Walton County adopted a “customary use” ordinance, reorganizing the public’s long-time use of the coast for traditional fishing and recreation, while codifying the ability of residents and tourists to continue to do so.

Wealthy beachfront property owners, however, led by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rebelled. They lobbied the Legislature into passing House Bill 631, making it easy for beachfront owners to employ the courts to block the beach. Threatening signs, fences and security guards have been employed to block public beach use.

Similar efforts are being planned throughout the state. Indian River County for instance has been forced to file suit to establish public access to a large portion of its beach line, while beach blocking attempts are being looked at in Sarasota, Pinellas, Palmetto and elsewhere.

Threatening signs? Security guards? I wish there were more than thirty-thousand surfers in America so we could stage an impressive march and carry our own threatening signs.

What would they say?

What is the surfer version of the wonderful pussy hat?

Maybe we should march anyhow? All twelve of us?

Just in: Second Great White shark found killed and wedged under reef at Margaret River!

Good times etc.

They don’t mess around in the West, home to the great Kanga Cairns and waves that make the nostrils of even the hardiest big-waver dilate.

Four weeks ago, as reported here, “a scuba diver discovered buried in a shallow reef cave underneath stop number three on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour Margaret River…Our source on the ground says, ‘Some of the fishermen here are real cowboys. They carry guns when they go out in case of, uh, emergency.’”

BeachGrit commissioned divers to photograph and video the grisly discovery but by the time the swell had dropped enough to get into the cave, the shark was gone.

Now, according to Surf Life Saving WA there’s been a report of another dead Great White found “wedged under reef between South side and Rifle Butt beach.”

Two questions, I suppose.

Did the original dead shark get pushed deeper into its hole, giving the impression of its disappearance, before getting squeezed back out?

Or did the area’s cowboy fishermen kill a second Great White and jam it under the ledge, if that was possible, as a grim warning to other sharks?

And, a caveat:

If Western Australia’s healthy shark population causes you worry, don’t go near the SLSWA twitter account, a sorta porn site for people who get off on hearing about sharks at their local surf spots.

Since Feb 1, they’ve reported the dead White at Margs, an eight-footer fifty metres off Rocky Point in Dunsborough, another eight-footer two hundred metres off Windmills in Dunsborough, two eight-footers circling near Margs main break, a ten-foot Tiger a hundred metres off a Busselton groyne, an hour north, an eight-foot Tiger caught, tagged and released near The Womb in Gracetown, two eight-foot Tigers just off Rocky Point in Dunsborough, the closure of Bunker Bay in Dunsborough because of sharks, an eight-foot Bronzie near The Farm in Dunsborough and thirty swimmers evacuated from the water at Yallingup ’cause of a “loitering” eight-footer. Species unknown.”

Good times etc.

Completely undeserving, sick man with sick liver (pictured without yellow beanie) being cast out of applicant pool.
Completely undeserving, sick man with sick liver (pictured without yellow beanie) being cast out of applicant pool.

Opportunity: Describe how you would cover “the biggest surf industry story of the last decade” and earn chance to be Stab’s new senior editor!

Dreams come true.

When opportunity knocks you’d better drop what you are doing and answer that door and right now, knock, knock, knocking is a very handsome plus-sized model in a stylish jaunty beanie. Very punk rock tee. The knock is extra loud, thanks to the many rings that adorn his salchichas. Impossible to miss. The rhythm reminiscent of T.S.O.L.’s Sound of Laughter.

You’d better drop what you are doing and answer because you just might, just may, just could get to be Ashton Gogganses’ second hand.

His senior editor.

Oh not so fast. You think the last hire just raised a delicate French hand and was allowed to sit in the presence of greatness?


And we must go directly to the source for more. To a Stab job offer.

Put Your Thinkin’ Caps On, Kids: Here’s Your Homework:

1. The Nike/Hurley sale is perhaps the biggest surf industry story of the last decade. How would you cover it, what stories would you want to read?

2. You can interview one current A-List surfer. Who do you call and what questions do you ask?

3. Pick two products from brands that you think would be good fits for Stab’s audience, and give us 150-300 words about each.

4. Grab your two favorite short surf clips from the last year from YouTube or Vimeo, and give us a 300-word write up for a post on our site.

5. Send a one-page cover letter and single page resume to: [email protected]

I would have failed the first question, even though Ashton will likely win a Pulitzer for his wall-to-wall coverage of the “biggest surf industry story of the last decade,” as I would have accidentally answered, “You should look into Hurley’s new beard oil offering as yours was feeling very rough when I last felt…

It would have been a lie, a pure vicious lie.

Ashton’s beard felt as soft as a chinchilla. As potently delicious as cotton candy and any man, any woman, who has the honor, the privilege, will count themselves lucky.

But that’s why I am completely undeserving of the senior editor title for, you see, I am a sick man. … I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don’t consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors.

Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a doctor from spite. That you probably will not understand.

Well, I understand it, though. Of course, I can’t explain who it is precisely that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well aware that I cannot “pay out” the doctors by not consulting them; I know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and no one else. But still, if I don’t consult a doctor it is from spite. My liver is bad, well–let it get worse!

My diseased liver and I will also never be Stab’s next executive editor.

Go, dear reader. Run to the light and bring venti white chocolate cremé frapaccino on your first day.

But also, Ashton will be reading these comments so you will be very well served to post Cliff’s Notes version here.

Pick two products etc.

Terrifying: Surfer in his late-20s, elderly woman hit by lightening within ten minutes of each other on suburban Sydney beach

NSW Ambulance Inspector Carolyn Parish said the circumstances were “extraordinary.”

Four weeks ago, a surfer in his late-20s leaving the water at northern suburban suburb Dee Why was hit by lightening. Ten minutes later an elderly woman, standing under a tree in her yard was also struck. Both were transferred to nearby hospitals in serious and critical condition.

Yesterday, the surfer, Josh Bush, who survived after his brother performed CPR he’d learned on the television show Bondi Rescue, was released from hospital.

According to news.com.au:

NSW Ambulance Inspector Carolyn Parish said the circumstances were “extraordinary” and credited the first responders. “This is the first time I have ever come across two lightning strikes within 10 minutes – it’s terrifying,” she said in a statement.

“How you react to being hit by lightning depends on the circumstances and where you have been hit. “Most people, however, will go into cardiac arrest so those first moments of CPR are vital.”

And lightening… ugh.

I have been out in the water before, surfing alongside Derek Rielly in fact, when bolts shot from the sky and hit Cardiff by the Sea’s Pacific horizon then moved closer to where we were putting on a very wonderful show. I had assumed, I suppose, that getting hit in the water was a rare thing and didn’t hurry to get out of the water but have never lived in a place where electrical storms are regular occurrences.

What is protocol?

What is the right thing to do and wrong thing to do other than standing ramrod straight in a field?

Damned lightening.