Almost famous surf journalist rejoices at Seattle’s new Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone; Quietly wishes “Zone” would be spelled “Sone!”

The utopia we've been waiting for!

If you are aware, or aware-adjacent, of surf and surf culture you will know that surf culture’s only living historian lives in Seattle, a tiny walk away from Capitol Hill, where a new experiment is being tested.

The police free, racism free, business friendly Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ.

The police precinct near Capitol Hill was recently covered with plywood and abandoned. Protestors moved in, declared victory, and ask that the station be turned into a community center very much angering President Trump who tweeted, “Radical Left Governor @JayInslee [of Washington State] and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”

No word on if surf culture’s only living historian Matt Warshaw is enjoying freedom, true freedom, for the very first time but surf culture’s current number four journalist [following Nick Carroll, Derek Rielly and Steve “Longtom” Shearer] is planning a trip up in a few weeks with a message.

In accordance with shifting times, “Zone” should be spelled “Sone.”

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Sone, or CHAS, would be much freer, funner and less beholden to totalitarian “linguistics.”

You see the way I subvert totalitarian linguistics here everyday.

Imagine if we had a whole neighborhood in too play which.

Matt Warshaw there playing to.

Beautifull, nyet?

Feel free to join. I’ll post dates soon.


This latest decline and fall of western civilization will someday be tied back to the short-sleeved 2 mm full wetsuit!


We all feel it, see it, shaking ground under our feet, thick cracks in the once impossibly strong foundation of western civilization. It’s over, again, just may take a few weeks to fully teeter into collapse. Someday historians will look back into the crystal clear 2010-2020 and be able to finger where it went wrong.


It’s always wild, over the top decadence that sends once strong empires crumbling to the ground.

Rome burning while Nero danced with a new-fangled fiddle.

Marie Antoinette prancing through King Louis’s court smeared with fruity cakes and multi-colored macaroons.

Decadence but what is the high-water mark of decadence betwixt 2010-2020?


It is the short-sleeved 2mm full wetsuit.

Has there ever been such a creation so perfect yet meeting such a tiny window of “necessity?”

Water temperatures a smidge above normal 3/2 fulls. Water temperatures just a sliver below jacket and trunks.

A tiny window of roughly 1.5 degrees.

When I surf in my Matuse 2 mm short-sleeved full (currently sold out) I feel like the Dauphine himself and I gaze around the lineup at multiple other Dauphines and think, “We’re fucked.”


I don't know that I have ever seen an image of a professional surfer looking so beatific. St. Sally.
I don't know that I have ever seen an image of a professional surfer looking so beatific. St. Sally.

World Number 5 Sally Fitzgibbons declares major shift in women’s surfing when competition returns: “There will be a change!”

Time for quantum leaps.

A crackle in the air, energy, as people begin to emerge from their house caves, protest, eat meals in restaurants, take their children to the park, fly kites etc.

I only counted one solo masked drivers in car during a short drive yesterday afternoon. A heavy reduction from the two-in-three just last month.

Major news outlets are reporting deadly spikes in Coronavirus, a new hot (as in feverish) girl (as in overweight 80 year-old diabetic men with underlying heart conditions) summer that might see the death toll double in just two short months.

The the crackle, the energy is undeniable and life is returning to normal.

But can life ever be normal without professional surfing?

Certainly not and it must be on the verge of busting through the “abundance of caution.”

And when it does famous Australian and current World Number 5 Sally Fitzgibbons declares, definitively, “There will be a change.”



Aerial surfing, of course. In a recent interview with Fitzgibbons opened up about how she spent the quarantine hours, trying, trying, trying again to get consistent, watching video parts, dealing with the bumps and bruises, etc.

“I think aerial manoeuvres will make a huge push when we return to competition. There will be a change. They are so hard. The ones you see in all the surf movies getting stomped are just so technical. I’ve always had such a fascination in them.

You see some of the best [aerial] specialists in the world, like a Filipe Toledo or Italo Ferreira, the way they stomp them, and you think they have never been through the process of it being very awkward and getting hurt and the board hitting you every which way. You think maybe they just got them straight away because they make it look so effortless, but that’s the beauty in this sport. You can be inspired by the pursuit.

I have made some huge leaps in practice, but I think the quantum leap is putting them regularly into your competitive repertoire and under pressure going to them, even though they are super risky.”

Exciting but do you think she has watched BeachGrit‘s award winning serial Girl Goes into Orbit while training?

Many good tips from Filipe Toledo himself.

Five years ago, Derek Rielly interviewed Fitzgibbons about many wonderful subjects including her “air-reverse almost on tap.”

My how times have changed.

Do you wear a mask when driving alone in your car, though?

King Jesus with Chas, top, and DR, on bottom.

Listen: The King Jesus of Wavepools Tom J Lochtefeld talks “Bangladeshi workers locked in a sheik’s dog kennels”, why “wavepools are full environmental disasters” and how he’s gonna solve it!

The environmental paradox as explained by the man powering the waves at Palm Springs Surf Club…

There’s no bigger name in the wavepool game than San Diego’s Thomas J Lochtefeld, a former tax lawyer turned water park proprietor turned creator of surf dreams.

Lochtefeld got his surf chops threading caves at Big Rock in La Jolla, San Diego, and has spent the last thirty-five years trying to recreate similar thrills at the punch of a button.

In 1987, he sold his share in a bunch of theme parks for two million dollars and used that cash, as well the sale of his beachfront joint at La Jolla for 950k to create a standing wave, called Flowrider, that ended up being installed in over 200 joints in thirty-five countries.

In 1999, the Swiss watch company Swatch toured a souped up version of the Flowrider called Bruticus Maximus and that caused more permanent injuries in one year than Teahupoo in the last thirty, around the world: from Florence to Munich, Vienna, Hanover, Long Beach, San Diego, Manila and Sydney, with Tony Hawke, Kelly Slater, Chris Miller and Terje Haakonsen wowing crowds with a surf, snow, skate combo of airs and tubes.

Lochtefeld’s real goal, however, was a wave that didn’t involve standing waves and finless mini-boards.

As computer tech got better, he deepened his research on the different ways of making waves: hydraulics, ploughs, boats.

Lochtefeld ended up using pneumatics, which is pretty much wind power, to birth his newest invention, called WaveLoch, and being used, right now, as the tech behind the Palm Springs Surf Club, currently in the proof-of-concept phase and only half the size of his proposed build.

“It’s going to be an A-frame so you can backdoor it,” says Lochtefeld.

Lochtefeld ain’t afraid to call a spade a spade, as they used to say, and is a born entertainer.

You’ll dig this one.

Note: The surfer with the fabulous capacity for booze in between sessions on Bruticus Maximus and that Lochtefeld couldn’t remember during the interview was Matt Hoy and the ovum, egg story he references can be read by clicking here.

(Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn + Alexa, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Deezer and Listen Notes.)

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Australian rugby star retires at 31 declaring: “Unfortunately it’s no longer the 1960s where a warm-up was a cigarette and training was 10 beers in the pub. Now the time has come for surfing!”

"Le temps est venu pour le surf."

When I lived in Australia for a year, in the late aughts, I fell very much in love with Australian Rules Football. Collingwood claimed my heart but I would happily while away the evening hours, Carlton Draught in hand, watching whichever team happened to be playing that evening.

Carlton was my second favorite team, thanks its namesake beer (the best in all of Australia), St. Kilda third.

I did not like Geelong because the town reminded me too much of my hometown Coos Bay and was on the way to Bells.

In any case, I could not understand how people would choose to watch rugby over Aussie Rules but rugby is more popular, no?

Certainly more popular worldwide where we find star Australian winger Blair Connor playing for Bordeaux-Begles in France and retiring at the ripe young age of 31.


Surfing of course as he announced, “Unfortunately for me, it’s no longer the 1960s where a warm-up was a cigarette and training was 10 beers in the pub. I decided I could give 100 percent this season but I’ll have nothing more to give next season…. Now the time has come for surfing.”

Bravo but do you think that Gabriel Medina, Michel Bourez, Kanoa Igarashi and all the super hard one-time professional surf trainers are re-thinking their plotted course?

They very much should be as I’ve always held that a cigarette and 10 beers in the perfect regimen.

And here’s to Blair Connor’s new surfing career.

Our next Chris Ward?

Fingers crossed.