Sunny Garcia’s family on surf legend’s status: “We are told we are not allowed to give out any information about our dad anymore.”

"Very hesitant and extremely careful."

It has been almost one year since Sunny Garcia, 2000 World Champion and six-time Triple Crown winner, was hospitalized in Portland, Oregon after a reported suicide attempt. He had been found unconscious at his home. A few months later, to the surprise of doctors, he began breathing on his own and responding to stimuli, after being taken off sedation and the family reported progress with his condition but then all communication suddenly ceased.

Yesterday, on the Instagram page @prayforsunny, Sunny’s daughter Kaila wrote:

I know it’s been a long almost six months since the last time I posted anything and there is a reason for that. I just wanted to explain briefly why there have been no updates on my dad. I just wanted to say how grateful and thankful we are for all of your love and prayers for my dad through these last ten months! Prayer is so strong and

I know it works! God is so good and though the pain of what has happened to our dad has been excruciating and unexplainable we know that God has a plan for him.

We have been very hesitant and have to be extremely careful with what we say that pertains to our dad. I have asked one of our attorneys if it was OK to explain why we have not been allowed to update anyone on our dad.

We have been told we are not allowed to give out any information to anyone about our dad anymore. And that’s why the updates stopped.

I’m sorry it has to be this way because I know there are so many of you who love and care for my dad including those of you who have known my dad for 30-40 years or longer and are so eager just to know how he is doing. We wish things were different but this is the reality of this situation for now.

Thank you all again so much for all your continuous prayers! Please please continue to pray for our dad!

Certainly cryptic and, with no other reporting, difficult to parse. Respecting the family’s privacy is important but the desire for information also understandable. Sunny is, of course, a legend and well-loved in our surfing world and many have donated to the family’s medical expense fund in order to pay for the myriad expenses associated with his ongoing treatment. The most surprising donation came from Percy “Neco” Padaratz, who fled Pipeline in 2007 after he hassled hell out of Sunny in their Pipe Masters heat. On the beach, Neco jumped a fence and climbed into the relative safety of the judges’ tower and was given a police escort back to his house.

Bold Claim: Well-respected business magazine credits Gabriel Medina and “Brazilian Storm” with “professionalizing the sport of surfing!”

"Fifteen years ago you got out of the water and drank a beer."

But when you think of this, our current epoch of professional surfing, are you happy? Filled with joy? Positivity? Or do you quietly mourn that once upon a time when surfers were curse-mouth’d derelicts?

You know my position.

Cocaine (buy here).

But where do you stand? In front of your still wall-tacked poster of Andy Irons?

On a SUP with visions of Kai Lenny dancing through your head?

Somewhere in between?

Well, there is no doubt that surfing as a “sport” has cleaned right on up but who is to blame/credit with squeaky cleanness?

According to The Economist our eyes belong on Gabriel Medina and let’s absorb this hot take quickly.

Gabriel Medina, arguably the best surfer in the world, grew up in Maresias, a coastal town in Brazil known for its white sand and rolling waves. As a child in the early 2000s, he watched his fellow Brazilians compete in the world surf championships in Hawaii. They were known as “small-wave surfers”: scrappy but second-rate. Australians and Americans took home all the trophies.

That changed in 2014, when Mr Medina’s daring aerials and cut-throat competitiveness led him to victory. His generation, called “the Brazilian storm”, professionalised the sport. “Fifteen years ago,” says his trainer, Allan Menache, “you got out of the water and drank a beer.” Adriano de Souza, a Brazilian surfer who went pro before Mr Medina, introduced unprecedented discipline. Cross-training (eg, swimming and yoga) gave him and his compatriots an edge.


And hmmmm.

Do you agree?

I’m going to blame/credit a combination of Kelly Slater and polo-shirt-tucked-in-to-light-blue-demin-held-together-by-braided-belt Dirk Ziff.

I’m going to call it “synergy.”

But you?

Uprising: Brave group of anonymous pro surfers force International Olympic Committee into “Place of Shattered Skulls!”

Teahupoo or bust.

You may recall, a handful of months ago, when I attempted to lead our professional World Surf League surfers in an uprising against CEO and Lord Commander over the Wall of Positive Noise Erik “ELo” Logan. To demand their God given right to say naughty things about professional surfing contests, to say “It was horrible out there today and the judges are blind and this whole charade is nothing more than a damned tennis tour etc.”

My efforts were met with deafening silence and I assumed that surfers, much like masochists, enjoyed their bondage. Enjoyed a ball gag in their mouths but as it turns out, I was the problem. Like Mayor Pete Buttigieg I was uninspiring and tepid, a soggy rag that no one, neither people who utilize co-working spaces nor professional surfers, would ever get behind.

And you already knew that Olympic surfing 2024 would be in Tahiti but how? Why?

Well, it was reported today, across multiple platforms including The Washington Post where “democracy dies in darkness” that an unnamed group of professional surfers raised their voices loud toward the all-powerful International Olympic Committee and forced a venue change. Forced the surfing discipline to be moved halfway across the world from Hossegor to Teahupoo.

The Place of Shattered Skulls.

But you musn’t take my word for it for my word is weak and useless. A thoroughly embarrassing whine.

Jeff Bezos will speak the truth for us with a deep, inspiring baritone.

The surfing events at the 2024 Paris Olympics will be held on the other side of the world in Tahiti.

The International Olympic Committee signed off Tuesday on Paris organizers’ wish to send surfing competitions more than 15,000 kilometers (9,000 miles) away to the Pacific island instead of using France’s Atlantic coast.

Olympic leaders were won over despite IOC President Thomas Bach initially saying last year that he preferred keeping athletes closer to the host city.

Paris officials told IOC executive board members Tuesday they found “overwhelming support” among the surfing community for going to Tahiti.

“The (board members) were convinced by the enthusiasm of the Paris 2024 presentation,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “They assured us, and went through sustainability and, importantly too, the popularity among athletes.”

And thank you professional surfers, ye athletes, for your bravery in providing us with maximum entertainment. But do you think any on tour voiced dissent like Gabriel Medina did when it was time to surf in Western Australia? Do you think any suggested holding the contest somewhere less shattered skull-ish?


Also, do you think Jeff Bezos made a lateral move in divorcing his longtime wife…

…for Lauren Sanchez?

Or do you think Lauren Sanchez is $36 billion better?

More as the story develops.

Not a drone. Full sized helicopter. Yikes.
Not a drone. Full sized helicopter. Yikes.

Apocalypse Now: Horrifyingly massive 32-foot shark menaces boat near New Zealand’s coast, “emotionally overwhelming” passengers!

The end is nigh-ish.

A 10-foot shark is one thing, a 17-foot shark quite another but a 32-foot shark? 32-feet of menace and fear? 32-feet of terror and hell? Well, it’s enough to stop even the stoutest of hearts and so it is no surprise that passengers aboard a boat named Bay Explorer were left “emotionally overwhelmed” by their encounter with one of the terrifying giants of the deep.

Emotionally overwhelmed and likely forever scarred (or is it scared?) and we must turn to their quivering voices, their fear-tightened larynxes for the absolute climate change inducing latest.

Climate change because, obviously, how does an apex predator grow to more than 17-feet? How does it basically double in size?


Carbon footprint.

But over to Stuff.

An encounter with one of the giants of the deep left passengers and crew of the Bay Explorer “emotionally overwhelmed”.

That’s according to Bay Explorer owner Brandon Stone, who spoke to Stuff about meeting a whale shark, the largest fish in the world.

Stone’s boat captained by Nik Weyel was out between Tauranga Harbour and Tūhua Island when one of the crew spotted a fin in the water, prompting them to stop the boat.

Stone said the whale shark, which he said was around 10 metres long, then spent the next half-an-hour circling the boat.


“People were crying, emotionally overwhelmed,” he said.

“Even one of my crew was in tears.”

The crew? In tears? I know boat crew and this is extra serious.

Oh, the horror, the horror and being on a boat is one thing but can you imagine being in the lineup straddling a shortboard?

What would you do?

Grab a friend for company in the belly of a beast?

To be very honest, I would grab the one, the only, Derek Rielly and even though it would end BeachGrit’s sheer domination we would have many laughs down there before being undone by stomach acid.

But who would you choose?



More as the story develops.

From yurt to ocean, minus leash.

Killers: Leashless VALS overrun Gold Coast; calls for compulsory leashes and ban on kooks!

Dramatic measures considered in wake of vulnerable adult learner onslaught.

Panic is sweeping across Australia’s Gold Coast like a well-aimed tropical depression.

But it’s not COVID19 or the oncoming thrust of libidinous pro surfers and their entourages that has the locals shaking in their Crocs.

Instead, surfers on leashless ‘logs’ – many of whom could be correctly identified as VALs – are losing control of their craft and causing collisions along the already crowded golden strip.

That distinct thwack of fibreglass on flesh on bone, simultaneously dull yet sharp, rings out  from Burleigh to D-Bah.

Fingers are poked into holes where cheeks should have been.

Exposed pink flesh grades white, then grey, then crimson red.

Victims shrieks as the horror of the injury sets in, while dreadlocked interlopers retrieve their bloodied craft and can only off a “Sorry bro, I totally didn’t see you there” in return.

It’s the soundtrack to the VAL-pocalypse.

And it’s reaching pandemic proportions there in south-east Queensland.

One lil girl has already ended up in hospital

Many more near misses that haven’t required pro medical care.

The community ain’t thrilled.

Local media are taking notice, again.

See this article, from The Gold Coast Bulletin, featuring local surf mum looking sternly off to the right of frame as she stands protectively in front of her brood.

The classic tabloid tableau.

A lack of respect and a flagrant disregard of surfing etiquette is causing havoc at popular Gold Coast surfing breaks – with a mother smashed by a rogue longboard at Snapper Rocks over the weekend. Later that day, a young girl hit in the face by a longboarder was rushed to hospital with stitches to her face, a broken nose and possible bruising on the brain. According to Terranora local Leesa Laug, surfing accidents involving “inexperienced” people on longboards, VAL, are becoming commonplace and she fears for the safety of her children in the ocean.

Another local, also quoted, calls for a ski-style ranking for surf access. Lesser talented surfers denied admission to the premier breaks, forced instead to ply their trade on the green trail peaks of a yet-to-be built local wavepool.

There needs to be respect for the unspoken rules of surfing, the article continues.

Basic safety measures. Legropes made mandatory. Crowd control etc etc.

Cute stuff.

I’ve spoken before about the death of the Pass as a surf spot.

Are Snapper and its nearby points that far behind?

Would you surf it on a four-foot south-east swell with light offshores puffing the endless caverns open for just you and your closest 3000 pals to enjoy?

Maybe, if you could get The One.


More questions:

Could a caste system for surfing, like the one being proposed at the Bristol wave pool, work for the Gold Coast? How would it operate? Would it even make a dint in the crowd at the Superbank, anyway?

And more fundamentally, do we need this Draconian level of state control?

Is the surfing world crying out for the firm hand of a benevolent dictator to bring order to its chaotic lineups?

As climate change-fuelled cyclone swells continue to unfurl down the east coast honey pot of points, and state and federal tourism boards in concert with the WSL do their best to send more surf-tourists there during peak competition times, things will only get worse.

The question will not go away.

Is there a vaccine out there to keep the VAL-pocalypse on a leash?

Does anybody have the cure?

I’ll leave the last words to mumma Laug:

“Back in the day if you were a learner you’d never go to a popular break until you were at a certain level, now everyone wants to be seen there and to project that cool image. Everyone needs to wait their turn in line and if you muck it up well back to the end of the line for you, these days there’s no such thing as getting in line. There’s no respect, it’s gone out of the window.”