Rumor: World Surf League handing out onerous contracts to all surf media (save your BeachGrit) in order to meet CEO Erik Logan’s bullish pledge!

Rebel tour time.

But don’t you remember, at the beginning of this Coronavirus Apocalypse, when freshly appointed World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, fresh from roles as World Surf League President of Content, Media and Studios and President of the Oprah Winfrey Network declared…

I’m very bullish that the other side of this is going to be a more robust media property with the World Surf League and a more inclusive media property for our endemic partners, our surfers, and our fans. And, I think, a more widely consumed product than we’ve ever had before because of the platforms, so I’m energized by the opportunity we have to think about the business.

That energy has led to many, many offers from the World Surf League’s Santa Monica headquarters to existing surf media properties including……… oh I can’t say but have heard and also heard the offered deals are completely onerous and outright laughable. Like, laughable even from hardened and desperate souls begging to sign anything at all.

I don’t know, officially, though because, also rumored, the World Surf League has assured potential takers of the onerous deals that your BeachGrit, specifically, is not included.

If this is it, if the war is finally all the way here and it’s The People™ vs. Co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff, who is no doubt quarantined to the gills, then I am weeping with happy and weeping even more with happy when the World Surf League presents Stab High re-emerges after this epoch subsides.

Will it subside?

Will we ever hug again?

More as the story develops.

Surfline Man still gets up every day and checks the cams. Look at those sets! It’s totally firing. Should he drive up to Huntington? He could go surf Huntington, but would it even be worth it? Probably not, really. He considers sneaking into Trestles, but how super embarrassing would it be if he got caught.

The Return of Surfline Man: “He believes the Coronavirus models as devoutly as he ever believed the surf forecasts. We’re gonna get through this, man, we just have to wait 23 more days. That’s what the model says!”

No surfing! How will Surfline Man survive this strange and uncertain new world.

When we last saw Surfline Man, he was bobbing around the lineup, explaining to his friends why their boards were all wrong.

You know, that board would work totally better with different fins.

Oh, you got Futures? I always get FCS2.

They just work, you know? You should try them sometime.

Surfline Man was busily tracking forecasts, following the multi-colored blobs as they headed straight toward his favorite break.

Two weeks from now! Two weeks from now, it’s gona be firing, brah!

That’s all over now.

Surfline Man is stuck at home in San Clemente. His shiny Sprinter Van sits idle in the driveway. His quiver stands untouched in the garage, dry and lonely. No surfing! How will Surfline Man survive this strange and uncertain new world.

Surfline Man still gets up every day and checks the cams. Look at those sets! It’s totally firing. Should he drive up to Huntington? He could go surf Huntington, but would it even be worth it? Probably not, really. He considers sneaking into Trestles, but how super embarrassing would it be if he got caught.

That’s bad vibes, brah, he texts his buddy.

Gotta respect the rules, you know?

Don’t want to be like those guys in the boat!

Surfline Man is many things, but he tries really hard not to be an asshole. It’s just that all that trying doesn’t always work out for him.

Even though there’s no surfing, Surfline Man is keeping busy. He would not want to waste time with, like, doing nothing or chilling on the couch. Surfline Man is not chill, generally.

So he bought some kettlebells and twice each day, he does a work-out he found online.

He’s also been trying yoga. So good for my back, brah, I feel like a totally new person! I’m going to surf so much better when this is all over.

Can’t wait to hit the water!

The new foam roller he ordered from Amazon is doing wonders. It hurts like a motherfucker, but all the pros use them, you know. And he’s fucking crushing his ab workouts. Surfline Man is gona be so ripped when all this is over.

You just gotta be consistent, you know? Every day, man, just don’t skip a workout ever. Surfline Man has a lot of advice.

Surfline Man gets text messages (Somehow he has friends): hey im playing halo this afternoon, come hang on twitch

Surfline Man: Sorry, brah, can’t. Baking bread. Got a new sourdough recipe!

Surfline Man is really into bread now. He got this killer sourdough starter from his ex-girlfriend’s best friend. You have to feed it all the time, you know. But fresh baked bread is so good.

I’ve been working on my technique, just checking out different recipes and all. I think I’ve got the perfect one now. You gotta try it! No more grocery stores, man, I’m going to make all my own food from now on.

Surfline Man made his own cotton mask, too. There’s instructions on the internet, you just sew it together. Super easy! Come on, man, it’s the right thing to do.

Surfline Man always does the right thing. You should wear one. Here, I made this for you. Sorry it’s pink! My ex left her t-shirt at my house, figured I might as well use it.

Eventually, Surfline Man gives up on surf forecasts, I mean, if I can’t surf, why check it, right?

Instead, Surfline Man is tracking Corona cases hour by hour.

Oh, shit, Truckee is looking hot.

Watch out Brooklyn, it’s coming for you. Check out Seattle, though, they’ve got it together there.

Nah, that’s not the right model to watch, you got to watch this one!

This one is totally accurate. Surfline Man believes the Corona models as devoutly as he ever believed the surf forecasts. We’re gonna get through this, man, we just have to wait 23 more days. That’s what the model says. Surfline Man believes in science, especially when it tells him what he wants to hear.

Why would it lie?

It’s going be firing, brah!

Gabriel Medina, two crowns on the back of his magic Johnny Cabianca-shaped sleds. | Photo: WSL

Longtom: Surfboard makers cling to life during pandemic; Shaper to two-time world champ “fixing dings”!

"I don’t know how long we can survive.”

Surfboards, the indispensable item.

Surfboard shapers, designers, glassers, sanders, our indispensable craftsmen.

World-wide they are being hit hard by the pandemic, or more accurately by the response to the pandemic.

Europe is the worst hit.

Zarautz based builder Johnny Cabianca who puts the steeds under Gabe Medina has been essentially shut down since Spain introduced almost total lockdown on March 23.

“My two employees can’t come to work, it’s not allowed” he said via Whats App. “ We’re a young company, only four years old and without cash flow I don’t know how long we can survive.”

The shaper to a dual world champ, for now, is fixing dings and finishing boards that have been sitting in corners of the factory.

“For us it all depends on how things evolve. When the beaches open again and when the shops open again, worldwide, as most of the boards we do are for export.”

Collapsing export markets have hit closer to my home, too.

Lennox-based Steve (Shuey) Shubonj of Glassing Division laminates for DHD and LSD. Glassing for DHD makes up eighty percent of turnover and has come to a complete halt.

“It’s put me in a precarious position,” he said. “I’ve already put two people off. As long as people can keep surfing around here, it’ll keep ticking over, as long as the landlord cuts me some slack, but I’m doing it all myself now.”

San Clemente-based builder Timmy Patterson was working around the clock to get boards ready for Italo Ferreira’s title defence.

A last-minute drive to LAX to meet Italo en route to the Gold Coast and handover boards was stopped at the eleventh hour as the tour opening was cancelled.

The undelivered quiver sits in a corner of the factory, “like a stash of gold.”

Patterson is still building boards at a reduced level behind locked doors with the shop shut, for now.

Marcio Zouvi of Sharp Eye surfboards is in a surer footed position than most.

“We own our own building, and our employees are on the payroll,” he said. “It’s the sub-contractors who are in trouble. Our business is diversified, we export a lot. We’re still servicing orders from Japan.”

Zouvi says the virus catastophe may precipitate a shake-down in the surfboard building game.

“We have very little receivables, we’re fine. Others have very high overheads. Rent, insurances. There’s an ageing workforce. There’s a question over how many factories will survive.”

The shake-down could extend to shops with “retail also struggling. There’ll be some impact, how deep we don’t know.”

Zouvi also worries with clothing companies struggling that payments with team riders are being suspended in an effort to bring surfers back to the negotiation table, presumably for far less shekels than currently offered.

His main concern is with the sport’s governing body.

“I hope the WSL can weather this out. We need an organisation such as WSL to standardize a format for competitive surfing which we can use as a reference. It’s very important for my business, with the type of boards that I make, to really gauge who is who, what they are riding and how they are riding.”

Ballina-based builder Gunter Rohn has been in the game for a long time.

He describes a board-cutting facility as being down from 400 a week to 100 a week.

Things are “patchy, but not dire” for him, with a loyal custom clientele still ordering boards as shop sales go through the floor. He sees surfing as important for “mental wellbeing” and hopes beaches stay open but admits lots of people will fuck it up.

Conspiracy theory pisses him off.

“I have to tell people to stop sending me shit,” he says.

Fellow Ballina shaper Wayne Webster is also surviving from custom orders, with his shopfront closed.

“I’ve had pneumonia twice, I can’t risk it. But the landlord wants full rent and I’m not eligible for the Government stimulus money, so I keep going.”

He describes success in these “absolutely nuts” times as “not going broke, having a house and food. This virus is polarizing and magnifying everything.”

For Webster, this is the start of a potentially long journey.

“A lot of people might feel like they are on holiday with no work, they’ve got more time to surf. That won’t be the case in a couple of months. Social distancing is here to stay. Who knows how long my showroom will be shut for.”

Not everyone is in crisis mode.

Maker of the hottest item since custom face masks, the mid-length channel bottom twin*, Simon Jones is in a good mood on this day that Jesus got nailed on the cross.

“Touch wood, and I feel I’m tempting fate,” he says, “the orders are still coming in.”

Where from? USA, Japan and Australia.

“Shipping is more expensive, I won’t be shipping until next month. It’s a time to catch up on domestic orders.”

For now, Jones has his eye on a local break.

“Gunna head down on a seven footer and try and dodge the crowd.”

The virus might be global, but the solutions will be local.

Happy Easter comrades.

*As ridden by Torryn Marten.

Surfer (in white) getting taken off beach.
Surfer (in white) getting taken off beach.

Contagion: Mexico catches “Jackboot Fever”; Pauses “War on Drugs” to send Federales after Coronavirus Super Spreader Surfers!

Public Enemies No. 1.

And there is no longer a single place on earth, outside of Huntington Beach, California, where it is safe to be a surfer. Shot at in Cosa Rica, capsized and arrested in San Clemente, shamed and chased in Australia, taunted and teased in South Africa, shot, hung and tasered in New Zealand.

Our sort has emerged as public enemy number 1. Apparent Coronavirus super spreaders and the burning fever to keep us out of the water has now infected Mexico where it has just been reported that Federales have paused their war against the cartels to seize surfboards and levy massive fines against any and all who dare dance upon the water.

Federales (pictured) with contraband.
Federales (pictured) with contraband.


A proud country where freedom isn’t free, it costs a handful of pesos, but is plentiful, warm and chased with margarita on the rocks, a basket of tortilla chips and a stone pestle of fresh guacamole.

A near perfect country that can’t have decided, on its own, to make us outlaws but also, a country where outlaws find their true place.

Once this wild Coronavirus has run its course will be allowed, once again, or stay forever banned?

When reached for comment, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan said, “I’ve told people to try not to be on phones, try to be on video chats, try to see people. At every turn, try to have a human connection. I was also saying to our teams that we need to get into a form of routine. You need to get out of your house, go for walks, try to get away from the screen, find different places to work. A lot of our employees have children – I’ve got two teenagers at home so I’m relegated to the garage right now; I’m sitting in my garage with a desk. You have to figure out how to set that up for yourself.”

More as the story develops.

Covid-19 rebel: Meet the shredder who took on no-surfing ban at Lowers and lost $US22k boat in south swell maelstrom! “It was a spur of the moment decision!”

Better to die on your feet etc.

Gotta love a man who ain’t afraid to put his head above the parapet.

Don Abadie is a forty-eight-year-old surfer, and jiujitsu expert as it happens, who took his fourteen-foot Caribe out to four-to-six-foot Lowers this morning, along with a pal, to circumvent the no-surfing law shutting down beaches across California.

Didn’t turn out real well.

Abadie caught one wave, and missed another, before a set shook his little inflatable off its anchorage and sent it into the rocks.

While that was happening, rangers, guns drawn, were on the beach.

Abadie, who shreds by all accounts on his little five-four Timmy Patterson twinnies, says he and his pal James Brent Jnr’s plan to chase empty, pumping Lowers, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, was a “spur of the moment decision.”

In an interview with Johnathan Wayne Freeman on Instagram Live a few minutes ago, Abadie said he figured the law extended only to the high-tide line and that by boating in, and not touching the beach, everything was cool.

“They (the rangers) let us know the ground rules. Once a beach is shut down, everything is shut down,” he said. “Regardless if you’re in the lineup or on the beach. It’s all the same.”

His boat was dragged across the rocks and it was later towed back to the dock by BoatUS.

Abadie lost his only set of car keys (“My car’s still at the dock”), an iPad (“I figured I could check work from out there”), a new phone; his buddy lost his keys etc.

No tickets were issued nor arrests made.

“We were cool to them so they were cool to us,” he said.