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Johnny Get Your Gun: North America’s Great Lakes to see “towering waves of up to 20 feet” according to CNN meteorologists!

A "green light" for the Big Wave Invitational presented by Husqvarna.

And while we have all had our eyes pointed towards California’s desert, where the world’s most famous surfer and noted environmentalist, Kelly Slater, just declared war on one-time friend Kalani Robb and one-time neighbors CJ and Damien Hobgood, climate change has descended upon North America’s Great Lakes which just received a “green light” for its inaugural Big Wave Invitational presented by Husqvarna.

Unbelievable but true and let’s quickly turn to CNN and its lauded meteorologists for the latest.

"Calling Ben Gravy."
“Calling Ben Gravy.”

Towering waves are forming Thursday on the Great Lakes, with swells that could reach 20 feet, CNN meteorologists said.

Huge waves already have been spotted over southern Lake Michigan, following a mass of cold air that pushed a north wind over the region, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
Lake Ontario could get waves of up to 20 feet near its center, Guy said. Waves as tall as 10 feet could form on Lakes Huron and Erie, peaking on their southern shores.
More than 2 million people south of Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario are under lakeshore flood warnings Thursday, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

Imagine. 20 foot waves, towering 20 foot waves even, in those bodies of freshwater straddling Canada and The United States. 20 foot waves. Kelly Slater struggles to get a wave over 4 feet in his body of freshwater and could it be that God has built a better wave tank than the greatest surfer of all time?

Let’s not let our minds wander there. Let’s force them, instead, to wander over to Ben Gravy. The famous YouTuber and noted novelty wave pioneer has to be there, no? Has to be waxing his gun even as I type these words. There are absolutely zero critiques of Gravy’s ability etc. but if there was one it would be that he enjoys very little waves and can only ride very little waves.

A 20 foot novelty wave?

If Ben Gravy had one critic that one critic would bury his head in shame at the sight of the longer hair’d boy carving down a monster.

Don’t you agree?

More as the story develops.

World Champs prepare for desert wavepool wars: “Welcome to the party Mr Slater, we’ve been expecting you!”

Three wavepools side-by-side in the Californian desert. A miracle of human ingenuity and ability to triumph over the natural world, yes?

Who would’ve thought that one day a wavepool war would erupt in a fashionable resort town with more same sex couples than any other community in the USA and the largest concentration of modernist architecture in the world, one hundred miles inland from Los Angeles?

And the kicker is the joint don’t got water?

Heady days.

In January last year, it was reported, here, that the Maui surfer Cheyne Magnusson, who has hair like a spitfire and singlehandedly altered the course of aerial surfing at BSR cable park in Waco, had been signed to design and set-up a pool at the old Wet ‘n’ Wild site in Palm Springs, California.

Six month later, the terrifying ménage à trois of Clifton and Damien Hobgood and Josh Kerr simultaneously announced they’d been signed up to sell a new wave tank which is being installed at the Desert Willow Golf Resort, also in Palm Springs.

Two hotels and between 40 and 88 villas, which you can buy, as well as a Wavegarden Cove, and all under the handle DSRT Surf.

Today,  y’heard about Kelly Slater’s proposed joint, a two-hundred million dollar development with a hotel and a six-hundred homes and, according to the LA Times, “In addition to the 18-million-gallon surf basin, the features might include a network of ponds that hotel guests and residents could navigate on stand-up slow-moving paddle boards or decidedly faster electric hydrofoil boards that lift riders out of the water.”

Can all three pools survive?



Wanna take some bets?

Peer into the future. It’s 2030.

Who still stands?

Who wins?

Geaux to Hell: 2000 lbs Great White shark moves into Louisiana’s coastal waters, stalking state’s “Cajun spiced” but wave-starved surfers!


As if Louisiana’s surfers did not have it bad enough. As if there were not enough troubles and travails in their lives already. First, a whole mess of northerners discovered their Popeye’s chicken sandwiches and gobbled them all up, leaving none for the Cajuns. Then a study came out that declared the state the worst place to live in the entire union. And now a 2000 lbs, fifteen-foot Great White shark has made her way very near the coast, starving for Pontchartrain wave sliders and at the very beginning of Lent, no less, when those Pontchartrain wave sliders are starving for meat, along with waves, themselves.

Very rude.

Very thoughtless and intolerant but let’s go straight to the local news for more as is both our duty and right.

“Wow look where white shark Unama’ki is! She has moved west of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico,” OCEARCH tweeted Tuesday. “It’s the first time we’ve tracked a white shark to this area off the coast of Louisiana.”

When Unama’ki pinged south of New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, they joked that she wanted to join the Mardi Gras celebration.

Join the Mardi Gras celebration by snacking on surfers, getting all wasted on surfer blood, throwing surfer metatarsals like beads to randy women showing off their breasts.

Extremely intolerant.

Many in the “scientific community” are excited by the arrival of Unama’ki, declaring that her presence suggests that the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana is crawling with delicious seafoods. Healthy etc. but we all know the Great White’s favorite treat is surfer feet.

We know to stay out of the water for at least three, maybe four, weeks and spend that time hunting Popeye’s chicken sandwiches. Have you tried? Delicious? Delicious to humans like surfer feet are to Great Whites?

More as the story develops.

Damo Cole at the Torquay paddle-out. "We're at the forefront, we surf everyday, we're at the coast. We see the changes. Now that we've seen what we can achieve I daresay this is the beginning of a new era of putting our environment and our planet higher up the priority list and realising we have got the power to do great things and make some positive changes." | Photo: Photo: Fight for the Bight

Warning: Maurice Cole’s activist son Damo on collapse of mining giant’s plan to drill in the Bight: “It’s not over yet!”

"We've woken up the surfers. We're at the forefront, we surf everyday, we're at the coast. We see the changes."

Damien Cole, Victorian surfer and son of designer-shaper Maurice Cole has been the main man when it comes to organising the David and Goliath battle against Norwegian energy company Equinor’s proposal to deepwater drill for hydrocarbons in the Great Australian Bight.

Cole was the chief architect of the Australia wide mass paddle-outs on November 23 last year and played a pivotal role pressuring political parties by running for the Victorian seat of Corangimite in the 2018 state elections.

A monstrous ordeal that involved copious blood, sweat and tears is how Cole described the fight for the Bight.

I copped a bollocking (correctly) below the line from Maurice Cole in my reportage of the Byron Bay paddle-out for failing to emphasise that Equinor had no social licence to drill in the Bight.

It seems that paddle-out pressure from the community, effectively robbing Equinor of the social licence to extract resources from the Bight, played a key role in their backdown from drilling proposal yesterday.

Damo Cole was in a buoyant mood when I spoke to him minutes ago about the Equinor backdown and the future implications for the Bight and more generally.

LT: The paddle-outs were in November and the NOPSEMA greenlight came just before Christmas, did you see this pullout from Equinor coming?

DC: Nah, I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t see it coming at all. I and a lot of people I spoke to around the country felt very deflated in December when they got the approval just before Christmas, so this decision came as a complete shock. I still can’t believe it.

LT: They’ve said the economics don’t stack up. What role do you think the community pressure from the protests played in their decision?

DC: I think it played a vital role in them pulling out. It’s obvious they’ve felt the pressure but they didn’t want to lose face: if they do state that it was because of public pressure then their showing a chink in their armour. You don’t push for a project for two years and then suddenly turn around and do the books. These companies do the books way beforehand. They know the risks, they know the costs. As they said themselves, they’ve been doing it for years and they know it all. I think it all got too much with the Wilderness Society taking them to court, with the pressure Surfrider put on and all the communities all around the country standing up. That was all really pivotal in them pulling out.

LT: It doesn’t sound like the politicians involved, like Keith Pitt, have acknowledged community sentiment, the lack of social licence for Equinor. Where does that leave us now, with respect to the political situation?

DC: It’s a really interesting point. While this has been an incredible win for Australia, for our communities, for our Oceans, the fight for the Bight is not over yet. It won’t be over until we have permanent protection for the Great Australian Bight under a World Heritage Status. That’s what we’re going for next. That’s where the Government will have to step in and reflect our wants and needs. They’ve been elected to represent the Australian people and this is what the overwhelming majority want. It’s up to the communities to keep pushing but we’re looking at our governments and demanding protection.

LT: Does this signify a larger shift in public sentiment away from fossil fuels in Australia?

DC: Absolutely. This whole campaign has demonstrated that. Our Government has tried to paint this picture of radical activists being responsible for the protests. I’ve been to twelve or thirteen of these paddle-outs, I didn’t meet one radical activist. These are everyday people at our coastal communities. This could be a real shift and it could be a moment in history, a real turning point for Australia. We have the opportunity and the power, as the people in our communities, to drive that.

LT: What were you doing yesterday when you found out?

DC: I’m down in Tassie with my Mum, I was driving and my media manager from the Fight for the Bight campaign was calling me. When I called him back and he told me the news, I had to pull over and started shaking. Mum said, “I’ll drive” and I just broke down into tears. I called a few people and then I’d promised I’d take Mum to the movies so I switched my phone off and went to the movies (laughs). I’ve been speaking to all the community leaders, there’s elation all over the country. Finally some good news.

LT: Does this mark a new era in surfers being listened to as an Environmental voice?

DC: Yeah, I definitely think so. We’ve woken up the surfers. We’re the canaries in the coalmine really. We’re at the forefront, we surf everyday, we’re at the coast. We see the changes. Now that we’ve seen what we can achieve I daresay this is the beginning of a new era of putting our environment and our planet higher up the priority list and realising we have got the power to do great things and make some positive changes. That’s the feeling I’ve got from everyone I’ve spoken to over the last 24 hours: there’s hope again.

LT: Anything else you want to bring to the public’s attention?

DC: Yeah, I just want to reiterate this fight is not over. We’ll be moving on. We’ll be putting on some big events with Surfrider Foundation between now and April. We’re gunna push for World Heritage Status, we want this permanent. We don’t want to have to fight this fight again. It’s been a big win and the end is in sight but we got to keep pushing.

Bonus: Surfer and tactician Kelly Slater throws shade on Josh Kerr, Clif and Damien Hobgood, Shane Beschen!

Surf Tank Wars!

And by now you’ve read the wonderful news, the exciting news, that Kelly Slater and Michael B. Schwab* are building the world’s largest wave tank in the California desert near Palm Springs but were you initially confused? Did you scratch your sandy scalp and feel a overwhelming sense of déjà vu?

Well, that is because Josh Kerr, CJ + Damien Hobgood and Shane Beschen announced their DSRT SURF project almost eight months ago to the day and let us traipse down memory lane together.

Today, the terrifying ménage à trois of Clifton and Damien Hobgood and Josh Kerr simultaneously announced they’d been signed up to sell a new wave tank which is being installed at the Desert Willow Golf Resort, also in Palm Springs. There’s gonna be a “Surf Center” featuring two hotels and between 40 and 88 villas, which you can buy, as well as a Wavegarden Cove, and all under the handle DSRT Surf.

Yeah, took me a while to realise those letters ain’t an acronym. Like Slater’s VSTR or Tumblr etc.

Per CJ’s Instagram at the time.

!!!!!!!!!!!!! Desert Surf !!!!!!!!!!! [ Surf Pool @dsrtsurf Palm Desert, CA ]
The crew @josh_kerr84 @damienhobgood @shanebeschen and I have been at it for a couple years now to make this project a reality. We share the same passion for family, friends, good times and good waves. I believe we have the best team in place to make this a reality. Come along for the ride much more to come. To say my family and I are psyching might be understated!!!!

So now there shall be three wave tanks near Palm Springs as Cheyne Magnusson is involved in another project.

Kelly Slater, though, the master tactician, who paints in many hues of shade, patiently waited until he could make the biggest one, lancing four surfers at once and making his dismantling of Adriano de Souza’s joy seem like child’s play.

Do you think some of the exclamation marks will go missing from CJ’s above caption or do you think the boys are ready for the Battle of Borrego?

The wave tank wars will be extremely fun to watch and how do you think life will differ at Kelly’s Corral Mountain and DSRT SURF? Will the home buyers be very different? Will the overall vibe?

Much to ponder.

*How do you feel about people who use the middle name initial? Susan B. Anthony etc.?