Victory: USA Surfing announces former USA Volleyball CEO, and man who has never surfed, as Chairman of the Board!

"No, that was a Beach Boys song. We’re talking about USA Surfing."

The Tokyo Olympic Games may be postponed for a year but that doesn’t mean the USA Surfing, the officially recognized governing body, is standing pat.

Following the World Surf League’s lead, which has a standup paddleboarder leading the charge, USA Surfing just announced that Doug Beal, longtime CEO of USA Volleyball and man who has also never surfed, as its new Chairman of the Board.


Obviously but let’s turn to for the very latest.

Surfin’ U.S.A.?

No, that was a Beach Boys song. We’re talking about USA Surfing.

And USA Surfing’s new chairman of the board of directors is Doug Beal, a volleyball guy who, well, is not exactly a surfer.

It puts a whole different spin on Surf’s Up.

“It’s likely to be a very popular, visible sport on the Olympic calendar in Tokyo,” Beal said.

He may live in Colorado Springs, kind of far from the ocean, but that’s not the point. Beal, the former USA great volleyball player, 1984 Olympic gold-medal coach and longtime USA Volleyball CEO knows how to Get Around the international sports waters.

So when USA Surfing needed someone to guide its Surfin’ Safari, Beal was the guy.

Beal said last fall he got a call from a USA Olympic and Paralympic Committee consultant on behalf of USA Surfing and asked if he would help out.

“I said sure, and they happen to be located in San Clemente, which is where most of my wife’s family is,” Beal said. “So under normal conditions we go out there half a dozen times a year to visit her mom, sisters, and cousins.”

Very cool.

Erik Logan and Doug Beal leading surfing out of the wilderness and into the promised land of Oprah Winfrey respect and multiple gold medals.

Very neat.

Five surfers killed, more missing, off popular Dutch beach resort as strong winds, excess foam wreak havoc


Tragedy struck, and continues to slowly unspool, off the popular Dutch beach resort of Scheveningen as five surfers have been killed, more are still missing and several others required rescuing during the last 24-hours.

Per DW News:

Rescue teams in the Netherlands on Tuesday recovered the bodies of three surfers. Two other people rescued from the sea the day before died shortly after being pulled from the water.

Surfers familiar with the conditions at Scheveningen told the Dutch public broadcasting organization NOS that strong winds and adverse currents might have made things difficult for the surfers, some of whom were reportedly very experienced. They said the large amount of foam on the waves may also have played a role.

The search for the missing surfers was called off as darkness fell but resumed this morning with rescue helicopters flying close to the water in order to blast away the foam.

And in all my years of reading, writing about surfing I have never seen anything like this. It is difficult to fathom the scope of destruction and conditions that could have claimed so many lives.

Surf forecast site MagicSeaweed describes Schevenigen as, “Most well know spot in Holland, a stretch of small jettys flanked by a huge harbour wall that gives SW wind protection and a paddling out channel. Often lacks in power and closes out, therefore a lot of longboarders. Picks up all swell directions and breaks through the tide but best on a NW at high.”

Aftermath: Man who filmed surfers’ hair-raising escape from “member of Great White family” near Bells Beach talks of bitten man’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: “He kept messaging me that night, saying he couldn’t sleep, saying he was stressing out!”

And watch the full HD movie! Hear the blood-curdling screams!

It’s not every day a man gets nicked by a member of the Great White family, in this case the broadnose sevengill, a shark hunted by the Chinese for its excellent liver oil, very good for giving a man the hardest of honeymoon dick.

Two days ago, Australian media was breathless, as were we, at a French surfer belting a suspected Great White in the beak and beating a retreat for the shore.

Now, the full story of the event and its aftermath can be revealed.

Graham Blade is a twenty-eight year old plumber from Torquay, the town you live if you wanna surf Bells, Winki and so on. He’s a little sick at the moment, chronic fatigue syndrome, and was filming his pal Matt Sedunary, thirty-five, shredding small Southside, a wave immediately south of Bells.

Blade was sitting on the cliff overlooking the waves with his digital camera, entry level but quality lens, good enough to film his buddy surf, when he heard a shrieking so loud it felt like someone was yelling directly into his ear.

“Literally…screaming,” says Blade. “I didn’t know what was happening. I thought he was having a panic attack or something.”

In the water, Blade’s buddy, Matt, was trying to calm down a surfer from Reunion Island, Dylan Nacass, who said he’d been bitten by a shark.

Blade started filming, the water unseasonably clear, the shark visible.

If you examine the photo, below, you can see Matt, yellow, thinking it’s all a fabulous time, while Narcass is in what he believes, perhaps incorrectly given  is a life-or-death scenario.

It wasn’t until the pair had paddled twenty metres in that Blade realised the shark was at their feet.

“I yelled, ‘It’s still behind ya! Paddle in!’”

In the carpark, Nacass’ hands were shaking so badly he couldn’t type his phone number into Blade’s phone.

“He eventually came good and said he was going to get some beers, that he was happy for his life, that he was going to go and relax.”

Torquay’s Matt Sedunary, left, and Reunion surfer Dylan Nacass, ever so gently roughed up by “member of Great White family.” Photo: @grahamblade

Blade says it wasn’t until his buddy Matt saw the footage, and saw how close the shark was the whole time, that it was actually just behind his feet, that he got shaken up.

“He was watching the footage and said he didn’t realise it was there, that it was so close the whole time. That spooked him out the most. That there was no warning. And even when it bit the dude on the knee not one bit of water moved around him. That kept playing on his mind.”

Back at their Torquay palace, Blade and Sedunary were hunted by reporters with their news crews, who made the pair play Supercross on their Xbox for some B-roll footage.

Blade wasn’t sure if he should, or could, ask for money for his footage so out it went, for free.

Later that night, when the pals, who share a house, spoke about it, Blade said, “Mate, it’s pretty full-on to be in the water when someone actually got bitten. Whether the bite was massive or tiny, it’s wild.”

And all though the course of the afternoon and night, Blade was getting texts from Nacass.

“He was saying he couldn’t sleep and he was stressing out. I told him, yeah, well, you did just get bitten by a shark. It does make sense.”

Watch the HD footage and hear the blood-curdling screams below!


Image courtesy of CCY Architects.
Image courtesy of CCY Architects.

Breaking: John John Florence determinedly surfs Kelly Slater’s new Palm Springs “wave basin” while ecstatic fans cheer!

The future is now.

Architectural renderings are such wonderfully utopian works of art, no? There’s something about the aspirational quality, the gauzy haze, the real-yet-computer-generated people standing here and there. Everyone always having a good time. Much space between parties, especially in the day of social distancing.

I’m a fan of the genre and am thrilled to showcase a just released piece featuring Kelly Slater’s recently announced Palm Springs Surf Ranch from CCY Architects, a team of “architects, interior designers, sketchers, writers, snowsliders, and motivated people united by a passionate spirit” based in Basalt, Colorado.

Per Instagram we read, “On The Boards: Located in California’s Coachella Valley, Coral Mountain resort is a next-generation recreational experience, anchored by the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s 14-acre Wave Basin.”

And if you click here you will behold the most detailed description yet of the project but back to the rendering, doesn’t it make you want to book your trip immediately?

John John Florence determinedly heading out in full wetsuit even though it is Palm Springs and everyone is in shorts and a girl appears to have just gotten out of the pool in a bikini. Seabass, maybe, watching from deck with triumphant fist raised. Millennial on skateboard really cruising for a bruising. Plenty of open space. Friendly conversations here and there. Enough ethnic diversity to feel “woke” or at least “woke-ish.”

Which brings us to the real question.

How much would you pay for a condo onsite?

What about a condo three blocks away?

Screenshot Reno 911
Screenshot Reno 911

Crime and Punishment: Man daring to lay on beach gets run over by Florida police officer driving Ford Explorer!

World's Most Dangerous Place.

When I was a younger man, one of my favorite things to read was The World’s Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton. The travel guide detailed various countries/autonomous regions like Afghanistan, North Korea, Chechnya, giving each one a danger ranking while providing tips on how to move around, where to eat, who to look out for etc.

Very fun though if written today, the beaches of these United States would rank the most dangerous of all, or at least would have one month ago.

Surfing outlawed, standing still while gazing at the ocean outlawed, eating Asian fusion cuisine within a chopstick throw of the beach outlawed. Much police officer harassment. Many bullhorns used at maximum volume.

Restrictions have, thankfully, started to relax but are our beaches any safer?

The answer, sadly, is no and let us fly, metaphorically, to the Sunshine State where a man soaking in some vitamin D was run over by a large police SUV.

A man lying on a Florida beach was injured Friday after an officer drove a police cruiser over him, authorities said.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, William Koziarz, 66, of Michigan, was taken to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Deputies said Indian Shores Police Department Officer Natasha Hindman, 27, was driving a fully marked 2018 Ford Explorer police cruiser Friday at 6 p.m., WTSP reported.

Hindman had just begun her beach patrol and was driving slowly along the sand when the left tires of her vehicle drove over Koziarz’s hips, the Times reported.

According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, Hindman stopped and immediately gave aid until paramedics arrived.

But have you ever seen anyone become run over by law enforcement on a beach? What about a surfboard?

I have only seen a lifeguard cruelly bulldoze a made-with-love drip sandcastle that took me over an hour.

Very sad.