"I'm voting Warren now!"
"I'm voting Warren now!"

Analysis: New study ties vicious “man-eating” shark attacks to impending Coronavirus pandemic to Donald J. Trump’s re-election odds!

Everything is sharks.

Adam Smith who uttered the now iconic phrase, “All things relate to vicious man-eating shark attacks, more or less…”, couldn’t have known how right he actually was back in those bucolic 1700s. The Father of Capitalism, prescient, though hit that nail straight on its head. In a new-ish book titled “Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government, two political scientists, Larry M. Bartels and Christopher H. Achen, examined how the terrifying 1916 New Jersey attacks that inspired the film Jaws sunk President Woodrow Wilson’s presidency.

Let’s sample from the Boston Globe.

With sharply declining tourism revenue, and no system in place to prevent shark attacks, local communities turned to the federal government for help. President Woodrow Wilson, who had previously served as governor of New Jersey, convened a Cabinet meeting, but his own Bureau of Fisheries told him there wasn’t much to be done. By the time he mobilized Coast Guard resources to patrol the waters, the sharks had moved on and the fear and controversy had faded.

But local voters, adversely affected by the economic consequences of the attacks, still took their anger out on the president. According to Bartels and Achen’s calculations, in the communities most impacted by the attacks, Wilson underperformed by 10 percentage points.


And, I’m sure you can guess where this is going, no? Exactly correct. To what many are calling “The Great White Shark of the Lungs.” Again we turn to the Globe.

The more the new coronavirus outbreak, and the government’s response to it, becomes politicized, the worse things are likely to turn out for Trump. Since Trump has already gone out of his way to blame Democrats and the media for exaggerating the potential impact of the virus, the politicization train appears to have left the station.

Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to minimize the impact of the rapidly spreading virus for fear that panic will negatively affect the economy may backfire spectacularly. Now his actions and response are tied directly to the crisis.

If Covid-19 causes major dislocations, Trump will inevitably pay a price for any resulting economic slowdown, even if blame for the underlying pandemic can hardly be placed at his feet.

So do you agree that Great White sharks will essentially undo Trump’s political fortunes or do you think this is MSM straw-grasping to an unprecedented and rude degree, stoking fear and division and blaming the prehistoric beasts for all our problems?

Rude, if true.

More as the story develops.

Watch: Either “heroic or villainous” man torches rack holding over 500 surfboards in beautiful Waikiki!

Things we lost in the fire.

Do you recall the mid-2000s tragedy Things We Lost in the Fire starring Benny of the Bull and Halle Berry? My recollections are vague though I do remember heroin somehow being involved. In any case, a few evenings ago a man torched a surfboard rack behind a police substation in Waikiki that held well over 500 boards.

Per the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is asking the public for information about the person who started a fire that destroyed about 525 surfboards and damaged nearby buildings Thursday night in Waikiki.

Police opened a first-degree arson investigation in the fire that began about 8:20 p.m. near the Waikiki police substation at 2425 Kalakaua Ave. Fifty-four firefighters responded with 13 units and found the surfboard rack fully engulfed in flames, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Jeff Roache.

The fire was extinguished at 9:17 p.m. A fire damage estimate is pending.

Roache said in a statement that the fire destroyed all the surfboards in the storage rack, which is operated by the city. The rack also sustained extreme damage.

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said the destruction included five rescue boards used by city lifeguards for a loss of $6,000.

A video showing the suspect has just been released.

Now, fire is very bad and destroying other people’s property should almost always be frowned upon but…

…oh no “buts” at all except…

… just one observation. Many of the burned boards appear to possibly be SUPs and/or 12-foot longboards.

More as the story develops.

Seventh Seal: “Mr. Pipeline” Gerry Lopez releases signature softtop surfboard at Costco!

Is the end nigh?

There is, likely, no surfer in our universe as iconic as “Mr. Pipeline” Gerry Lopez. No? You disagree? Well, I would say that you have surf goggles covering your eyes and are not seeing things correctly. Lopez’s mark is everywhere, from our favorite wave to our favorite movie, and now his mark is inside big box discount retailer Costco, partially covering the “stringer” of a Gerry Lopez signature model sotftop surfboard.

When I became aware of this truth, late last night via secret message to Derek Rielly then forwarded to moi, it surprised. I assumed the Gerry Lopez model was part of the Wavestorm line. As you know, the ubiquitous VAL steed is produced in environmentally dubious Chinese factories very near even more dubious Chinese factories producing exotic new diseases. As you also know, Gerry Lopez is a Patagonia brand ambassador. Very ecological etc. and I was having trouble synching his involvement with Wavestorm.

Well, as you continue to know, I am a surf journalist of rarely seen integrity and before writing the title “Seventh Seal: “Mr. Pipeline Gerry Lopez releases signature Wavestorm softtop surfboard at Costco!” first Googled “Gerry Lopez Wavestorm” and discovered a treasure trove of information on the discussion website Reddit.

Let’s read.

Went to Costco to get a wavestorm (reserve your judgements, they’re great for what they are) and was surprised to see only 8’ white soft tops bearing Gerry Lopez’s surfboard logo and his face in the packaging. That was weird on a couple levels. This board has a fake stringer painted onto it. Fins are removable/different from wavestorm’s. Felt slightly heavier than a wavestorm too. As someone who already feels a little conflicted purchasing a surfboard from Costco, I couldn’t stomach buying one of these.

Anyone know what’s up? Are wavestorms a thing of the past? Anyone surf one of these Gerry Lopez soft tips? Do they surf differently than a wavestorm? I’ve got a pink fin that I put on my old wavestorm and it made the thing surprisingly fun/able to hold in steeper waves. Don’t think it would work in the new one….

The comments were mostly sad about how Gerry Lopez did naughty, collaborating with the devil etc. UNTIL…

Yes, that’s our board!! California Board Company. We’re out of Vista CA and have been making soft surfboards since Scott Burke was making BZ softops back in the 1980’s. Gerry felt it was time to put his name on a softie – he’s a legend as you know, and he hooked up with us for 2020 to compete with WaveStorm. We chose to do fin boxes instead of the screw/plug version. Gerry shaped the blank, Scott made it a foam board and our business partners at the factory did the rest. We’d love to hear your feedback!

I immediately gumshoed straight over to California Board Company’s website and smashed the “View Surfboard” button many times but apparently it is broken. Still, much good surf journalism, no? You disagree? I would ask that you please remove your surf goggles and take another look.

But quickly, any opinions? It seems as if Lopez’s board may sell for $400 while that Wavestorm is a cool $99.

I think California Board Company might make “The Sushi.” You know, that foam board that looks like sushi?

Much good surf journalism.

His name is James. He’s wearing surf goggles and a cap pulled down over his eyes. | Photo: The Beach Bum

Name-and-shame: Mysterious “pro surfer with surf goggles from Huntington Beach” stars in Lyft driver’s horrifying tell-all!

“Are you a professional surfer?” I prod. “Pro … surfer. Huntington … Beach. First … place.” We’re in the parking lot of the West Union Sports Pub in landlocked Beaverton, Oregon.

It ain’t always easy driving drunkards home, but it’s as living.

You want to work for Uber or Lyft, you deal with the good, a little cash, flexible work hours and you deal with the bad, a spray of vomit here, a circular conversation there.

Peter Jakubowicz is a “science writer” and Lyft driver from Portland, Oregon.

In a mournful, ie cry-baby, story for Slate called The Drunk Men I Drive Around Every Night, Pete writes about meeting a “surf goggle” wearing pro surfer from Huntington Beach called James.

Come, sit on my lap, massage my legs and let’s read a little:

Pro … surfer.” I think that’s what he said after struggling to get out the second word. Sometimes I can’t make out what they’re saying, and I just nod and say “Yeah.”

His name is James. He’s wearing surf goggles and a cap pulled down over his eyes.

“Are you a professional surfer?” I prod. “Pro … surfer. Huntington … Beach. First … place.” We’re in the parking lot of the West Union Sports Pub in landlocked Beaverton, Oregon. It’s about 3 a.m. I’m his Lyft driver, or, as I have come to think of it, his designated driver on demand.

He has set a pho-and-burger joint as his destination. I suggest that most pho-and-burger joints are now closed. He says, “Go … go. Go … go.”

So, we drive there. The placed closed at 9 p.m., and we now sit in another empty parking lot. I ask him whether there’s somewhere else he wants me to take him.

He says “strip club.” I ask for a name and whether it’s open. He says “Costco.” I know Costco is neither a strip club nor open, but he persists. We head toward the nearest Costco. After a few minutes of dead time, he begins to gesticulate, seeming to indicate that this is the place.

“Right here?” I say. “In the street?” We’re surrounded by three-story condos. I stop. “You live in one of these, right?” I do want these guys to get home. He gets out, walks frantically toward the building, and then disappears through the door.

I quit for the night.

I begin my next run the following night at about 11 p.m. My first request is for a “James” at the West Union Sports Pub. The passenger gets in my car, and before I even look, he says, “Pro … surfer.” Same goggles and cap, less slurred. I refer to the night before. He has no clue who I am.

The story descends, as it must in these instances and in this epoch, into the misogyny of men.

 I usually don’t censor my riders, but if they cross a boundary like that, I’ll say, “Change the subject, bro, OK?” If they don’t, I ask them to get out.

For our readers, however, the mystery comes in the identity of James, pro surfer, HB, surf goggles, living it up in Beaverton, Oregon.

Only surfer I know living in those parts is Gerry Lopez.

And he don’t drink.

Solve mystery in comment pane below.

Read story here.

British VALs turn on Bristol’s The Wave after owners turn up size to three-foot and double hourly rate! “You can surf the Canary Islands or France for less!”

A tragedy on multiple levels.

One month ago, Britain’s VAL community was told they had to prove their expert bona-fides via a licensing system if they wanted to ride Bristol’s Wavegarden on the so-called advanced setting.

As The Wave’s Founder Nick Hounsfield told Jamie Tierney, who visited the place for BeachGrit, it isn’t technology holding the place back, it’s the surfing level of its customers.

“Quite a few people are struggling to be honest what their ability might be,” he said.

Today, a little switcharoo from the owners, announcing three days of “powerful waves” for “highly experienced” surfers.

The kicker is you won’t need a licence to ride these waves as long as you self-identity as a “highly experienced and proficient surfer, able to negotiate more powerful waves with confidence.”


And the tariff for the experience? Ninety-five pounds an hour.

Writer pulls calculator out of briefcase.


Two hundred Australian dollars; maybe one-fifty Americanos; four-hundred-and-twenty-five shekels for my Jewish brothers.

And the VALs lost their minds.

Via The Wave’s IG.

Wow that’s crazy money for an hour only on the expert wave.

I was really looking forward to surfing the top setting but now it’s £95 my dads says it’s too expensive. Gutted!

For £95 I can park at my local spot for 31 days at an hour a time! Think I’ll catch way more waves over that period! Go to the beach it’s way cheaper!

Advance settings are in the ocean this weekend folks. Just turn up, go with a mate and stay safe. You’ll get a day out and a meal at a restaurant for £95 you’d spend here, and be riding as many waves as you can physically cope with. Unless you’re a capitalist surfer, you should be happy…

£95 is a crazy price to pay considering you can get a flight to France and back for that much (and more)

I had tried to stick up for them and had fun on the current settings but this is a marketing and PR disaster… finally released better waves but at 95 quid an hour….

£95 an hour🤣 surf the Canary Islands for less.

That’s £95 for the day right? Not for an hour

By the way what happened to the “risk assessment” excuse for not making waves bigger before? The result of the risk assessment is it’s fine if people pay £95??

From feeling stoked and supportive to disappointed and exploited in one swift move! You guys have done so much right but this is a major error. The supposed commercials, stories around beginner sessions and safety justifications just don’t add up. Someone saw ££ signs and blew it. Big mistake and clearly alienating a lot of loyal advocates.

The tragedy here, of course, is calling a three-foot tube that chandeliers and requires supple hip flexors to squeeze into…advanced.

Don’t you think?