@tariquepeters Instagram.
@tariquepeters Instagram.

New York tourist and potential Covid-19 super spreader arrested in Hawaii after Instagram posts depict him carrying surfboard on beach, flexing muscles!


You know, by now, that I am very critical with regard to how surfers have acted during our current Coronavirus apocalypse. That our scaredy-cat, tattle-taling, collaborationist souls have been laid shamefully and absolutely bare in a time of crisis

Surf media publishing passive-aggressive missive after passive-aggressive missive, demanding that surfers stay locked indoors, huddling under beds. The governing body of professional surfing re-imagining itself as a less interesting, more family friendly version of The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Shame on us etc. though sometimes the tattle-taling collaboration with law enforcement is funny? Dare I say justified?

The exception that proves the rule?

Let’s fly straight to Oahu, Hawaii, USA for more from the New York Post:

A Bronx man on vacation in Hawaii was arrested by agents with the state attorney general’s office Friday morning — and charged with violating the state’s strict rules that tourists observe a 14-day quarantine after arriving.

The giveaway?

Officials say the tourist, Tarique Peters, 23, posted incriminating photos of himself sunning and carrying a surfboard around the beach on his Instagram account.

Peters landed in Honolulu on Monday and is accused of immediately venturing off to see the sights, according to an announcement from Gov. David Ige’s office.

“He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation,” the news release scolded.

“Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him — on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night.”

Local sleuths realized he’d Instagrammed a selfie from Bryant Park just a week ago, pegged him for a new arrival and then ratted him out to authorities.

A picture on an Instagram account that appears to belong to Peters from two days ago tagged at “Honolulu – Waikiki Beach” shows him posing in front of the ocean holding a surfboard with the caption “#newchallenge surfing.”

“We appreciate the assistance of local people who spot flagrant violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities,” Connors said in a statement.

Hawaii residents were apparently none too pleased with the New Yorker’s alleged rule flouting.

“Don’t come to Hawaii and break our laws,” one Instagram user replied to his surfing photo.

“You thought you were cute skipping out the 14 day mandatory quarantine and putting our residents in danger. Good for you.”

Oh damn it.

Damn it, damn it, damn it.

I just can’t do it. As much as I loathe mainland tourists who descend upon Hawaii, stop their rental cars in the middle of the road to take pictures of turtles, paddle out inappropriately and shoot their Tuf-Lite boards at shins, line up for miles and miles to get shave ice, treat the islands and their locals like squatting servants I just can’t take the Karen Goggans You-thought-you-were-cute-skipping-out-the-14-day-mandatory-quarantine-and-putting-our-residents-in-danger-Good-for-you tone.

Damn it.


Kelly Slater, left, knows his roots. Here, with Fred, both in wonderful formal slacks. | Photo: Steve Sherman

Revealed: Pipeline Masters created for “average schmuck watching TV in Middle America!”

As for spectators at the early events, "you had the guys hanging off in the bushes, smoking dope and calling bullshit on the whole thing."

Every Sunday afternoon, east of the international date line that is, Seattle-based former surfer Matt Warshaw emails subscribers to his online encyclopedia a thoughtful summation of a certain event or epoch in surfing.

Today is Pipeline Masters themed, and the email links at the end to an interview Warshaw made with the father of the Pipe Masters, and pro surfing, the former Republican senator, Fred Hemmings.

Oh, reader, it’s thunderbolt after thunderbolt.

“I wanted to develop a format that would look good on television so I could market surfing to a larger audience—to the average schmuck watching TV in Middle America,” says Fred.

“I didn’t kiss the surfing establishment’s ass. I was an outspoken critic of drugs, back when that wasn’t cool. ‘Do your own thing, man’ —all that stuff. Well, a lot of my friends died as a result of doing their own thing.” FRED HEMMINGS

On why he chose Pipe over Sunset or Makaha.

“I went back and talked to people in New York, TV people, business people, and surfing was a really hazy thing to them. I’m sure they wouldn’t have really understood what was going on with a guy riding a 10′ wave at Sunset or Makaha. Seen one wave, seen ’em all; this guy looks just like that guy. That kind of thing. So I wanted to sell them on something a little more challenging—and dangerous, to be frank. The Pipeline is so different from other spots. And back then, as a contest site, it was virgin ground. The reason I just had six guys in the first contest was because I didn’t want to create a situation where someone was going to get in over their head.

Why the surf media ignored his event, at least initially.

“I didn’t kiss the surfing establishment’s ass. l didn’t play ball with Drew Kampion and the rest of them. I was an outspoken critic of drugs, back when that wasn’t cool. ‘Do your own thing, man’ —all that stuff. Well, a lot of my friends died as a result of doing their own thing. Anyway, I didn’t see things the way the magazine folks saw ’em, and my contest was a victim of that.”

And the spectators?

“I did the best I could to hype the thing, but I doubt if there were any more than a hundred people on the beach—probably not even that. And then you had the guys hanging off in the bushes, smoking dope and calling bullshit on the whole thing. But we just went ahead and ran it, and all in all, I think it was pretty exciting.”

(Subscribe to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, here. It’s a few bucks a month and will give the interested surfer rabbit hole after rabbit hole to fall down.)

The WSL's number one announcer Strider Wasilewski, like a spider in the thicket with jacuzzi toy boy.

Hot rumour: Tour cancelled for 2020; WSL to launch series of exhibition events; America-based surfers mobilised for Lemoore contest “within a month”!

Given the paucity of high-level surfing in front of us, will you be thrilled to watch Filipe, Brother, Griff and co oxidise Lemoore's water spouts?

Any port in a storm or so the rationale goes at three am in an emptying bar or, in our case, a year with no surfing contests. 

So it was with much excitement that we fielded a rumour, straight from WSL HQ where twenty-five percent of its staff have been “furloughed”, that America-based WCT surfers were being mobilised for a Lemoore contest “within a month.” 

The field will include Filipe Toledo, Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin, John John Florence, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto and the tank’s creator Kelly Slater; Carissa, if she decides to end quasi-retirement, Caz Marks, Lakey Peterson, maybe Stephanie Gilmore (Malibu crib), Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson, Malia Manuel and Brisa Hennessy if she can sneak in under the tortilla curtain. 

The Freshwater Pro, of course, has never been a favourite of surfers or fans. 

As Longtom opined last year, it was “damned with faint praise by Kolohe Andino, openly mocked by Jeremy Flores, universally panned as a doomed experiment by surf fans the Tub should have retreated back to its by now natural niche: as a novelty venue for things like Founders Cup and a high-priced corpo retreat. It ain’t a championship Tour stop. Especially one now stretched out over six days. That’s cruel and unusual punishment and I refuse to cover it.”

But, now?

Given the paucity of high-level surfing in front of us, Pentacoastal and Reynolds and Mini Blanchard’s new blog aside, I’ll be thrilled to turn on the WSL channel and watch Filipe, Brother, Griff and so on oxidise Lemoore’s water spouts.

Are you of similar mind?

A season in hell: Tyler Wright on being catatonic for fourteen months; meet pop star girlfriend Alex the Astronaut; Doctor says, “How do we make her human again?”

Gone for two years.

If you were curious why Tyler Wright disappeared from the tour for two years, and were disappointed by the WSL’s belated and half-assed explanation, this television feature might fill in a few gaps.

While it ain’t the tell-all you mighta wanted, for mystery still surrounds the Wright family, you’ll get partly inside the head of a preternatural talent who won her first big event at fourteen and two consecutive world titles at twenty-two and twenty-three.

Meet the pop-star girlfriend “Alex the Astronaut” who nursed Tyler through her long illness, the physical therapist who asked, “How do we make her human again?” and how, at the depth of it all, and after being bedridden for months, the champ couldn’t stand up without feeling like her heart was going to explode.

A season in hell.

Revealed: “I’m in love with a mid-length surfboard and I don’t care if the whole world knows it!”

Birds are singing!

A grey pall hangs in the air this morning. The sort of grey that rudely threatens to malinger all day. Thick. Monochromatic. Lazy. One lonely crow squawks a miserable song in the backyard. A vehicle is backing up somewhere on the street making that horrendous beeping sound.




Maybe its a hearse.

Or a refrigerator truck.


Everything is the color of death, the sound of death maybe reflecting the hundreds of thousands of otherwise healthy overweight diabetics with underlying heart conditions north of 80 years-old who are mysteriously dying but I’m entirely unaware of the grey, the crow, the refrigerator truck and/or hearse, the fragility of life because I’m in love.

In love and there’s music playing. In love and it’s almost like praying.

In love with a beautiful mid-length surfboard and I don’t care if the whole world knows it.

Before I received my custom 6’10 21 2/34 seamfoam green Channel Islands MID from the very hand of Devon Howard, I’ll admit to being extremely conflicted.

Would touching the thing taint me forever? Turn me into a lily-livered, big tent-preaching, cop-calling Vichy capitulator?

Maybe but Devon Howard, Devon fucking Howard, surfs the way I want to surf clean lines, no wasted movement, in control and pretty, so I touched it, posed for a picture, drove home with a mind full of sin.

The afternoon surf was garbage but… I couldn’t help it, waxed up fresh and paddled into the wind beaten chunk. I was surprised at how it moved. I thought it would be like a cork, bobbing above the water, impossible to duck dive with my spindly arms but it was no problem at all. When I saddled up it sunk to normal sitting-on-shortboard depth.


I caught a couple waves, had a bit of fun but it wasn’t good enough to fully assess.

The next morning, I woke, waxed, paddled before the wind had a chance to yuck my yum.

It was a classic Cardiff day. Peaky, shoulder high nuggets spread in front of the crumbling bluffs watched over by the ghosts of campers past.

The first wave I swung, dropped and… felt it. The board wanted to surf. It wanted to surf well. I stayed low, lower than I normally do, and thought about my body, my legs, my trunk. Made sure my hands weren’t jazz dancing. Focused on that first bottom turn. It bit with rail and fin hard and pushed back against me. I could feel the energy, feel that it wanted to harness that energy, so pointed it toward 9 o’clock (where Devon Howard told me to point it) and suddenly I was there.

On the roof of the world.

I rolled back on my heels, moving my back foot over the fin box, and took the rollercoaster drop before repeating then gliding over the diminished shoulder into the flats. It felt good, almost too good, and I quickly paddled back out, swung, dropped on a late one and it felt glued to the face, rail drawing its own line with me simply along for the ride.


It is a fast board but, riding it, my body felt slow. Like I had time to pay attention to the little things. Do those little things right. Little things that I’ve been neglecting for years. Decades. Little things blown right through on my way to trying to surf like Ritchie Collins at Newport.

I know it ain’t for every wave but it feels made for the wave a bike ride away. The one I’ll be stuck surfing most of the summer what with Coronavirus restrictions malingering with no end in sight and now, this grey morning, death all around, I’m skipping to the beach and will, in three months time, surf like Tom Curren at J-Bay.

True love.