Bigger than Coronavirus: FCS releases “dazzling, stupendous, better-than-sex” new fin that Nick Carroll declares “gets you high!”


Forget about pandemics. Forget about cancellations, deaths, Great White Shark attacks and SeaWorld trainers crushing the spines of baby Killer Whales, a wobbly stock market, Kelly Slater, abundances of caution, toilet paper, Donald J. Trump sending you $2000 (if you happen to be an American), millennials and their war against boomers, Kanoa Igarashi.

FCS has released a new fin and acceptable, respected surf media has lost its collective mind.

In one day, headlines across august publications were synched and screamed, using a font size not seen since Laird Hamilton towed Teahupoo.

Magic Seaweed: “Testing the world’s smartest fin.”

Stab: “FCS Just Released The Most Premium Progressive Fins Of The Last Decade”

CoastalWatch: “Tested: FCS’s New H4 Fin Set Is Scary Good.”

Surfline: Nick Carroll Tests FCS’s New H4 Fin Set And he finds the space fighter smart fin…scary good

But can it be true? Is it possible that a fin could be so incredible, so wonderful that every important surf media bumped every other bit of planned editorial in order to celebrate?

We must turn to Nick Carroll himself, who found the time to write three of the above four stories at over 8,000 words each.

The H4 is another thing. At first look you’d think you’d got hold of the wings off some sorta hi-tech mini Space Fighter. The fins are a deep grey verging on black, with a super-fine grooved finish that shimmers slightly in a certain light, like a vinyl record surface. Moulding is super precise, with fine edges and no spare flesh anywhere.

As with other H-series products, the fin design is distinctive. The side fin has a conventional leading edge template and a less conventional trailing edge, which cuts short and up at the tip, hatchet-style. The foil follows the trailing edge, creating a slight ridge on the outer surface of the fin where it tapers into the hatchet. The inside face is dead flat, and all the edges are sharp and tight. Like I said, very precise.

The rear fin begins conventionally enough at the base, with a curve in both leading and trailing edges, but just a couple of cms up, the whole fin tilts back and the template lines straighten, tapering into a football-ey tip.

I know you can see all this in the graphics, but you won’t quite be able to pick that ridge running back to the hatchet, nor maybe absorb the hard precision of it all. The fin materials are also highly precise and “built”, with a shell of unidirectional carbon tape containing an injected composite core, which produces an extremely quick-flex, tight fin that’s also very light.

I was high on them pretty much immediately.

Now I understand. A fin that makes a person high.

H4 + Surfing: A love story (buy here).

But do you remember the day that SurfStitch purchased Magic Seaweed, Stab and FCS but then uh oh?

Simpler times.

The WSL + Elo’s Golden Opportunity: “Massive disruption to the 2020 season offers a historical opportunity for a re-set; but has Elo got the balls to hit Dirk up for the resources to make it happen?”

How grand it would be to praise a decisive action when the world's surfing population was most in need of what the WSL could offer.

,File under: never let a crisis go to waste.

The Tour is cooked for the year, that’s a serious bummer for everyone involved, but it ain’t the life and death scenario many are facing, especially our brothers and sisters in Europe.

Surfing is banned on the shores of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Puerto Rico, may be banned elsewhere.

God Help us all.

Please don’t come at me, but I won’t curtailing my coastal activities.

I found Elo’s video message on the impact of CoronaVirus on the Tour strangely soothing, definitely the most human, least corpo-robot transmission he has imparted to us through the WSL “enablement platform”.

He asked what we wanted to see, what possibly could be done by a League that is likely to remain shuttered for the year.

To preface my proposal, I know Elo has shifted the WSL focus to spoon-feed feel good pap to a non-surfing audience.

I know he is unlikely to listen, but he should.

I’ve watched every heat of the CT for the last two years, and a fair smattering of the QS.

In epidemiological terms, I’m a super-spreader of information on the Tour.

Massive disruption to the 2020 season offers a unique world-historical opportunity for a re-set, even if just for a moment in time.

No wheel needs re-inventing, the brain-storming has already been done by ex-CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. Her still-born idea of a “match play” season ender in the Mentawais could be activated, either as one-off or as prelude to the Hawaiian season, assuming we’re passed the worst of the pandemic by then.

It’ll have to be stripped down, what every surf fan has been baying for for years.

If the Ments are still off-line then alternative options exist.

Assuming the League has access to unlimited line of credit from it’s billionaire owners than private jet transport* could be employed to travel a skeleton crew, say the top 16 from last years tour to Martin Daly’s private island in the Marshalls.

Two-day comp.

The first, a leaderboard-style elimination.

The second, man-on-man to produce a winner.

The South Pacific, isolated by millions of square acres of open ocean, has a very low case load and is unlikely to experience pandemic.

An exhibition event could be held anywhere there, Fiji being the most likely alternative. Re-instating Cloudbreak, perhaps in the Olympic window if that is cancelled gives Elo the biggest opportunity of his presidency: the chance to reconnect with a core surfing audience who have become increasingly disillusioned by the direction of the Tour.

The embrace of the Tub, the wall of positive noise, the “nothing to see here” commentary.

All erased, all forgiven and forgotten if we get live action of the GOAT and a small crew back at ten-foot Cloudbreak.

Put a longer window on it, do whatever it takes.

There won’t be much that can salvaged from the year, but credibility could be one thing, if ELO throws us a bone, something to bite down on in these tremulous times.

It would be a sign, not just of good faith in the fans, but the survival of the League itself if it was prepared to invest in spectacle.

And, if there were to be some kind of global contraction in the Sport then a way forwards may have been already road tested.

I know, based on past performance we’ll probably get ten more ep’s of Transformed (Brilliant Corners is obvs dusted for the near future) but wouldn’t it be grand to see Kelly’s precious remaining time at the top not completely subsumed by a focus on psycho-babble.

We all lose in that scenario.

What say you Elo, have you got the balls to pick up the phone to Dirk and hit him up for the resources to make it happen?

History looks kindly on those who act boldly in a crisis.

At the current rate of WSL CEO churn we’ll be writing your Epitaph while the memory of 2020 remains fresh.

How grand it would be to praise a decisive action when the world’s surfing population was most in need of what the WSL could offer.

* Carbon intensive, yes. But nowhere near the carbon budget of the QS.

Disturbing: Unsealed lawsuit photographs depict well-muscled SeaWorld trainer with large buttocks “surfing” beached baby Killer Whale!

Round, full but not fat. Heavy.

Oh we are living in the last days, the end times, stuck in our own houses peering mournfully out the window terrified of our fellow man and the diseases in his lungs. But doesn’t it make you slightly wistful for simpler times when we could become very angry about genetically modified foods or Killer Whales who had been enslaved for our entertainment?

Blackfish, the 2013 documentary, struck many nerves with its depiction of apex-apex predators with sad, droopy fins. Even the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater became affected, writing on Instagram, “Have you seen the film #Blackfish yet? I assumed a lot about #Orcas’ intelligence but had no real knowledge on the subject. Adults spend their entire lives in pods alongside their parents and swim up to 100 miles/day. They’re one of the most intelligent and self-aware species in the world (making them highly inquisitive and unsuited for captivity).”

Well, the film led to a lawsuit and, as a result, new photographs just became released today.

Shall we peek?

Disturbing photos released during the ongoing SeaWorld vs Anderson Court Case-⁠

Seen in the photo, two trainers stand on the backs of two orcas (Taima and Malia) beached in the medical pool, posing and smiling for a photo. You may notice how large the male trainer may seem – he’s standing on an 18-month-old calf, pushing her head almost entirely under the water. At such a young age, the cervical vertebrae in Malia’s neck and the thoracic vertebrae in her back wouldn’t have been fully fused or formed and would’ve been susceptible to irreversible damage.⁠
While it was a common sight to see trainers standing on the whale’s rostrums and backs during performances, these stunts were only performed when the whale’s weight was supported by the water. Beached in the medical pool, Taima and Malia lack this support and are vulnerable to the pressure of their own weight, as well as the additional weight of their trainers. While it wasn’t an immediate threat for Taima and Malia, a cetacean’s own weight will begin to crush its internal organs if left beached for a prolonged period of time. Short term, it must’ve been very uncomfortable for the pair – something these trainers should’ve considered before prolonging their suffering further by taking photos.⁠
Potential harm to the animals aside, perhaps the most alarming aspect of this photo is how comfortable the trainers seem to be with disrespecting their animals – comfortable enough to pose for a photo nonetheless.⁠

Does this make you sad or do you think everyone is having much fun here including the baby Killer Whale?

What would Kelly Slater say?

My only real wonderment is why the well-muscled trainer with large buttocks is on the baby Killer Whale while the petite woman is on the full grown Killer Whale.

Do you know?

Any guesses?

More as the story develops.

Tortured juvenile Great White (pictured)
Tortured juvenile Great White (pictured)

New Zealand’s Dept. of Conservation fears nation’s fishermen turning into “sadistic, unrepentant, gleeful” torturers of juvenile Great White sharks!

Disturbing trends in Middle Earth.

But what if you had a child that began displaying sadistic behavior? Going into the yard, for instance, finding a frog and ripping its little froggy legs off while the animal writhed in pain. Would you punish via spanking? A good, long time out? Or would you feel a sense of pride in the rigid enforcement of humanities superiority?

I feel New Zealand’s Department of Conservation is chewing over this conundrum right this moment for as it was just revealed, the number of juvenile Great White sharks usually teeming in those coastal waters is dropping precipitously, due the behavior of some “bad apple” fishermen and let us go directly to Aukland’s 1 news for more.

“The number of juveniles being caught on fishing lines is a concern because these sharks are endangered, and it means they won’t grow to maturity and contribute to the breeding population,” Mr Duffy said.

“We want fishers to understand that white sharks are protected and should be released in the water immediately. They shouldn’t be hauled up the beach or dragged backwards by their tails because that will cause further injury.”

The sharks are vulnerable to a variety of fishing methods, including trawls, set nets and longlines, and have even been found drowned in crayfish pots.

In several instances, the sharks were quickly released and probably survived capture.

However, according to DOC, there has been cases where the carcasses were found discarded on beaches, and in some cases they had been butchered or had their jaws removed. There was also one carcass found finned before DOC staff were able to recover it.

While it is not illegal to accidentally catch or even kill a great white shark, all fishers are required to release it immediately and report the event to DOC or a fisheries officer as soon as possible, the agency said.

It is illegal to retain any part of the shark for food or as a memento or trophy, even if it is dead.

This whole “dragged backwards by tails” and “drowned in crayfish pots” seems very “putting kittens in a burlap sack and tossing it in the river.” Very “holding a butterfly down while slowly frying its little butterfly belly with a laser beam of sunlight through magnifying glass.”


And did you animal cruelty in children is a great predictor of future violence and criminality?

Much to ponder.

Watch: Brave Floridians laugh in the face of Coronavirus Pandemic, flock to the beach en masse for surf, sun and socialization!

Screw restrictions!

It was reported here, yesterday, that spring break had been cancelled in the state of Florida as hotels, restaurants, even the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shops, shut their doors and sent workers home. The Coronavirus Pandemic, having already eaten Chinese and Italian, is now hungry for American home cooking. Hamburgers, hot dogs and lungs used to breathing freedom. All reports suggest the novel disease is here in far greater numbers as reported due a shortage of testing and the best way to beat it is to stay home alone.

Well, nobody puts Floridians in the corner and the nation’s bravest population rushed to the beach, en masse, to enjoy warm albeit little waves, full sun and closeness with wonderful neighbors.

According to the local NBC news affiliate:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to issue an order to close the state’s beaches, despite fears regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

He instead signed an order that would limit parties on beaches to 10 people per group and force any businesses authorized to sell liquor to reduce occupancy by half, DeSantis told reporters Tuesday. The governor said that local governments can make their own decisions but that his order would follow the latest guidance issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

“What we’re going to be doing for the statewide floor for beaches, we’re going to be applying the CDC guidance of no group on a beach more than 10 and you have to have distance apart if you’re going to be out there,” DeSantis said. “So that applies statewide.”

Aside from sporting the nation’s bravest population, Florida also boasts the highest percentage of elderly folk, whose lungs appear to be Coronavirus’s favorite treat, making the rush to the beach all the braver.

And do you think the aging Boomers will defeat the disease exactly like they defeated communism?

Through sheer American grit?

More as the story develops.