Breaking: World Surf League completes transition from governing body of sport to absolutely fabulous surf blog!

Oh, darling!

There was, if you can recall, a time before the Coronavirus where human beings touched, school classrooms were filled with laughing children and newly appointed World Surf League CEO Erik Logan unveiled his grand plan for the future of our favorite pastime.

The WSL would no longer simply be a governing body, hosting an international tour and crowning the world’s best male and female surfer at the end of the year. It would, rather, become a “content and media company.”

How that would be, specifically, was both exciting but unclear. It would involve a reality-style network television show, robust TikTok account, “user generated” content, Kelly Slater, Chris Cotê and mounds upon mounds of positivity but… how would it look?

Well, in this time after the Coronavirus where surfers are locked in their homes and school classrooms sit empty, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has completed a dramatic make-over and shall we go and see the new and improved product?


We’ve got content sharing with The Inertia, a Stab-esque layout, the world’s number 1 surf podcast as header, listicles, upbeat “stay at home” messaging and ooooee!

A surf blog, an absolutely fabulous surf blog, and I only have a few small questions.

When Dirk Ziff opened his wallet, those handful of years ago, and purchased the Association of Surfing Professionals for free but then spilled a few tens of millions later is he pleased beyond pleased that this is the end result?

An absolutely fabulous surf blog?

Old WSL vs New WSL!
Old WSL vs New WSL!

I guess that’s really my only question.

When reached for comment, CEO Erik Logan said, “When look back over the past 11 months or so, the work the team has done to create all of these other franchises that we have on our platforms, like Sound Waves and Brilliant Corners and these other series we put on in-between events, in addition to the things we’ve done off-platform whether that’s 24/7: Kelly Slater [with HBO Sports], Ultimate Surfer, and the other things we have in the pipe, what we’ve seen is that the success rate, the consumption, and the use of the platforms really have all grown exponentially, and it gives us great confidence to double down in that space.”


Question: Should the surf industry simply invoice China for damages once the Coronavirus Catastrophe has run its course?

Problem solved!

But how poor has this Coronavirus Apocalypse made you and whom do you blame? City officials frothing with newfound powers, closing businesses, parks, beaches, etc. just because they can? State officials making obscene plays for the presidencies and prime ministerships? Presidents and Prime Ministers frozen by fear or China, where this novel disease was first synthesized and released out into the world?

The surf industry, made even poorer than you and I, might never fully recover from this blow. Dirk Ziff, owner of professional surfing and co-Waterperson of the Year, could easily pack his remaining pennies and skulk off. Erik Logan, professional surfing’s chief executive, could continue his dream of becoming Instagram famous. Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Volcom could shut doors and congratulate themselves on a few fun decades. Board builders could go back to doing it part-time alongside long haul trucking.

Well, what if that same surf industry got progressive, like the Germany’s largest newspaper Bild and simply invoiced China for damages?

Shall we learn?

On Wednesday in an article titled “What China owes us,” the newspaper created an itemized invoice of damages from the pandemic. The items on the list included €24 billion in lost tourism revenue from March to April, €7.2 billion in losses for the German film industry, €1 million per hour in costs for Lufthansa, and €50 billion in lost profits for German small businesses.

The total losses came to a total of €149 billion, which the newspaper estimated caused a 4.2 percent drop in Germany’s GDP. It said that such a drop would amount to a loss of €1,784 per person.

That same day, the Chinese Embassy in Berlin responded by claiming that the estimate of damages printed in the newspaper “stirs up nationalism, prejudice, xenophobia, and hostility to China.”

How did editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt respond?

In a searing open letter to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Very fine, inspired, and if Germany’s bill equals €149 billion what do you think the surf industry is owed?

€149 and seven bars of Sticky Bumps wax?

€1490 and a promise from Fernando Aguerre to apologize for all his “Olympic” antics?

€14,900 and an artistically powerful piece of artwork featuring Dirk Ziff kissing Harv Weinstein?

€149,000 and enough Hurley skin toner to keep Erik Logan looking sharp all year?

Other ideas?

Katharine (pictured) sassy in all the wrong ways.
Katharine (pictured) sassy in all the wrong ways.

“Misunderstood but sassy” female Great White Shark seemingly comes back from the dead, packs on an extra 1000 lbs, “terrifying” scientists and researchers!


We human, we wily, wacky humans have all, each of us, been in at least one unhealthy relationship on our lives. Maybe a boyfriend who wore, used, Mick Fanning’s signature bottle opening sandal. A girlfriend who flashed around all over town. A husband who refused to do laundry. A wife who disappeared without a trace before suddenly returning very much overweight and vicious.

Sharks are no different and one particularly popular yet extraordinarily dangerous Great White named Katharine, who vanished off the face of the earth for over a year, just re-emerged likely 1000 lbs heavier and lookin’ for dysfunctional love.

Katharine had been fitted with a tracking device, much like an ankle monitor used for Mama June, but the signal went dead.

Where did Katharine go? She describes herself as “misunderstood but sassy” on her personal Twitter account, terrifying scientists and researchers alike as both descriptors are favored by the most problematic exes.

Extremely scary but let us turn to The Gray Lady for the absolute latest.

For years, Katharine, who is named after Katharine Lee Bates, the writer of the verses to “America the Beautiful,” delighted the public, especially when she drew near coastlines, as reports of her whereabouts appeared on Ocearch’s online tracking map.

Her Twitter account (“misunderstood but sassy girl just tryin’ to get some fish”) gained more than 61,000 followers.

“The people in Florida just fell in love with her,” said Chris Fischer, the founder of Ocearch. “She became the ambassador, the diplomat for the ocean.”

And then came May 12, 2019. A ping placed her about 150 miles off the coast of Charleston, S.C.

After that, nothing. She was not heard from again.

Had she died? Was she looking for a bigger boat? Was she practicing social distancing?

Then at the end of March came a single faint ping. It was first thought to be a “ghost transmission,” said Bryan Franks, an assistant professor of marine science at Jacksonville University in Florida, who works closely with Ocearch.

On April 4, three more pings came in less than 24 hours. Mr. Franks said that many signals in a compressed time led researchers and the satellite company that collects the data to believe it was indeed Katharine.

Rough guesses based on those transmissions put her about 200 miles off the coast of Virginia. Katharine was not considered a full adult when she was tagged in 2013, but she has likely added 1,000 pounds since then, Mr. Fischer said.

Do you think Florida will take her back?

Let’s hope the state has more sense.

Let’s really hope that lessons were learned as they relate to “toxic” relationships and that Florida is ready to prioritize emotional health.

More as the story develops.

Watch: Bucolic North County, San Diego town explodes into fiery protest against draconian “stay at home” orders!

A love story.

I was drinking my second cup of coffee, yesterday morning, when I saw the news helicopter floating above what I assumed to be Swamis, the semi-famous surf break located in Encinitas, California.

Hovering low.

Immediately, I guessed there must be a protest of some sort. Frustration has been palpable over the past few days as North County San Diego has seen no new Coronavirus cases since April 11 yet city councils continue to close public spaces, lock the beaches and misdeamean people who dare to sit in their car, watching the sun set, or eat Asian fusion cuisine outdoors.

“Time to be a surf journalist…” I thought to myself, hoping the protest involved a defiant paddle-out.

It did not and I missed most of the scene as the protesters had marched up a street leading away from the beach and made their way through a neighborhood. A few remained, holding signs that read “Your fear doesn’t cancel my rights.” and “Free the beaches.”

As I sat on the hood of my truck, pondering these wild times, a early 2000s minivan came screeching up, its driver a early 50s hippie with frizzy brown hair, teeth clearly brushed with Tom’s of Maine and a giant placard in her window that declared “VEGAN.”

“Did I miss it?” She asked.

“I think they’re up in the neighborhoods now.” I responded.

She whipped out an early 2013 iPhone and bid me over as she was tracking the band of rebels via Instagram Live.

“I take it you think they went to far with all these closures, tickets and trouncing of our civil liberties.” She said as I got within her 6 foot bubble in order to see how many protesters there were, both of us maskless.

“It’s ridiculous.” I responded.

“A complete joke…” she interjected “…the fault of big Pharma and the industrial animal farms.”

I didn’t know what the industrial animal farms had to do with any of it unless the Wuhan bats were raised on one.

We chatted a bit more then she clunked off to find the action.

I read her bumper sticker “Billions of animals are abused & violently killed because you eat meat” and continued pondering. Never in my life have I had common cause with an aggressive, older vegan. Never been on the same team, as it were, and will this be an unforeseen but wonderfully welcomed outcome of the Coronavirus Clampdown?

A bulldozing of the incredibly dull left/right trenches and a new, funner war pitting those who love state security versus the jackboot skeptics?


More as the story develops.

La Jolla's Dez Dunfee ain't one for commie lockdowns either. | Photo: @derekdunfee

Californian Mayor turns on state’s no-surfing ban: “Since when did catching a wave turn into an illegal activity worthy of a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor?”

"Enforcement of these prohibitions is not in the public’s interest. These orders are an abuse of power that infringe on basic civil liberties and defy common sense."

Little Coronado, that pretty little quasi-island in San Diego Bay famous for its Navy SEAL training camp, has become ground zero for the surfing-ain’t-a-crime movement.

In a missive released by the town’s mayor, Rich Bailey, and headlined, Can We All Agree That Surfing Should Not Be a Crime, he writes:

A viral video from earlier this week shows a lone surfer, in the ocean near La Jolla, fleeing the water as multiple law enforcement officials chase him down in a powerboat.  As the surfer exits the waves and runs up the sandy bluff, dozens of spectators are seen cheering on his display of civil disobedience.

Since when did catching a wave turn into an illegal activity worthy of a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor?

Although state and county health officials have credited social distancing for reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our region, effective April 10, county health officials made it illegal to participate in a variety of activities, regardless of whether social distancing was possible, including surfing.

With rare exception, the public has practiced social distancing as part of the collective effort to protect our most vulnerable population. The success of these efforts is evidenced by the low case and hospitalization rate in San Diego county. However, the latest county health order is unreasonable threatens to erode the public’s trust and compliance.

In addition to turning lone surfers into criminals, the county health order also criminalized fishing alone on your boat, paddle boarding in the bay, and even watching a sunset from your car.

For a policy to be effective, it must be evenly applied, logically sound, and in the public’s best interest.

If social distancing can be maintained, does it really matter if you are social distancing in the ocean or on land? Does it make a difference if you are six feet apart from one another while walking on the sidewalk versus walking on the beach?

If you are catching fish from your boat, are you more of a danger to the public’s health than buying fish at the grocery store?

Of course not. Six feet is six feet.

Enforcement of these prohibitions is not in the public’s interest. These orders are an abuse of power that infringe on basic civil liberties and defy common sense while putting the health of the public and enforcement officers at risk.

The public deserves to be treated with trust and respect. Policies that are arbitrary, inconsistently applied, and criminalize harmless activities erode the public’s trust.

As politicians, economists, and health officials begin to deliberate on how to safely reopen the county and state, many consequential decisions will be made with lives and livelihoods hanging in the balance.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, can we at least agree that surfing should not be a crime?