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.

Why?

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Alors, c’est le moment d’annoncer ma retraite du rugby, effective immédiatement. C’est une décision que j’ai prise avant le début de saison 19/20. Depuis la fin de la saison 18/19 je commençais à sentir une douleur chaque jour, notamment quand je sprinte ou je change de direction, donc c’est devenu difficile de trouver du plaisir pendant l’entrainement. Malheureusement pour moi, ce n’est plus les années 60 où l’échauffement était une cigarette et l’entraînement était 10 bières au pub ! De nos jours l’entrainement est en fait plus intense que les matchs et plus important pour la victoire. Alors, j’ai décidé que je pourrais donner 100% pour cette saison mais je n’ai plus rien à donner la saison prochaine. Malgré la pause du virus, mon corps reste inchangé et ma décision aussi. Ce n’est pas un moment triste, plutôt un moment de bonheur, j’ai eu une belle carrière et je suis allé le plus loin possible mais maintenant…. Le temps est venu pour le surf. Je ne veux pas trop en parler ici, je garde mes mots pour le premier match de la saison 20/21 quand je retournerai au stade pour vous dire merci et au revoir. Enfin, merci à Laurent Marti pour cette jolie aventure et merci à tous mes coéquipiers et les supporters qui m’ont soutenu tout le long de cette aventure. A bientôt !

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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.


@secretshawaii

Trouble in Paradise: Hawaiian activists go after legality of Jaws event on Maui, others on Oahu; World Surf League brass rumored to be “deeply shaken!”

"Land is Chief, Man is its Servant."

But right when the World Surf League finally began to see its way out of a complete Coronavirus shutdown, right when alleged plans to bring the Triple Crown, on Oahu’s North Shore, and the Peahi Big Wave Challenge, on Maui, began to form Santa Monica has run into a buzzsaw.

For it is on Maui where activists have mobilized and are demanding a reclamation of native lands, including the road to Jaws, with further actions planned on Oahu’s North Shore.

Per a direct to camera explanation on the Instagram account @secretshawaii, Mary Ann Pahukoa explains both the group’s mission and also the murky facts surrounding a recent arrest warrant:

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Weʻre asking for your support, we are WANTED for the Take-Back of Hawaiian Lands, the status of the Bench Warrant is “inactive” and we await the “active” status which could change at any moment. To be in the hands of Maui Police Department is a direct threat to our SAFETY as we have linked and exposed the corruption and ties of corporations to our government. Alexander & Baldwin have hired aggressors to threaten our lives. We do not live in fear, as our aloha & connection to ʻāina cannot be broken. They will attempt to silence our truths. Bail fund link is in my bio. _________________ ***please do not donate if you are not in capacity to do so. More important than $ is your love. Mahalo for your prayers, support, and aloha.

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“This is the TAKE-BACK of Pineapple & Sugar Cane lands, stolen from Hawaiian ʻOhana. This is the eviction of leaseeʻs & corporations who have mis-managed these lands for profit. We strive to work together with all persons who understand He Aliʻi Ka ʻĀina, He Kauwa ke Kanaka, Land is Chief, Man is its Servant.

We’re trying to end the continued displacement of Hawaiians. We’re trying to put Hawaiians back on their ancestral lands so they can be healthy, happy, sheltered. We reclaim lands for the rightful heirs and we have been challenging the real-estate fraud here.”

The World Surf League brass is rumored to be “deeply shaken” by this turn of events, especially in light of the “current climate.”

Land and usage issues have plagued the League before, most recently in 2018 where a wholesale tour re-imagination was scrapped and charges of “entitlement” and “arrogance” were leveled at then-CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

Will current CEO Erik Logan have the dexterity, the temerity, to navigate?

Much to ponder.


Black Girls Surf Founder launches extraordinary tirade at surf identity Sal Masekela: “I can’t believe your daddy is Hugh Masekela who was down there with apartheid and you act like this!”

“I’m coming for you!” says Black Girls Surf's Rhonda Harper.

In a shock spray just uploaded to YouTube from Senegal, Black Girls Surf founder Rhonda Harper has quit her association with the WSL, called surf identity Sal Masekela an “Uncle Tom” and accused the popular commentator and musician of “bringing negativity and dividing black people.”

Last Wednesday, Masekela was the hit of a paddle-out at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas where he led the five-hundred strong crowd in eight minutes and forty-six seconds of silence as a reminder of the amount of time police held Floyd to the ground by his neck. 

“Sal delivered a speech so powerful that it reverberates deep in our core,” said Stab magazine.

 

Rhonda Harper, you’ll remember from a wonderful story two years ago where police were called, reports filed and news organisations notified, when a Brazilian surf instructor pulled the leash of a Black Girls Surf member at Venice Beach.

It was, perhaps, a glorious trifecta of localism, sexism and racism.

(Black Girls Surf was established in 2014 “for young girls/women surfers of the African diaspora. BGS is training and coaching the nextgen of surfers ages 5-17.”)

When I spoke to Harper and asked her to explain why it was necessary to bring the pigs into it, echoes of Goggans v Smith, she told that she’d seen Chas Smith’s earlier story on the incident and “As the owner of Black Girls Surf, I’m going to tell BeachGrit, I have no comment, no…fucking…comment.”

Fast forward to 2020 and in a piece live to telephone from Senegal and titled “Sal Masakela (sic) you on notice” Harper truly lights up.

“I’ve had so many complaints about that paddle out.”

“He hasn’t done nothing for black people in surfing!”

“I can’t believe your daddy is Hugh Masekela who was down there with apartheid and you act like this!”

“I’m coming for you!”

“Everyone’s on notice! WSL, I told ‘em I’m done ‘cause you put that Uncle Tom in the way of progress, that’s what you did. I told you I wasn’t going to work alongside him. He ain’t doing nothing for black people. He did it for himself.”

“You grew up in Malibu. You ain’t had to worry about getting a wetsuit, getting a board… you never had to do that!” 

Etc. 


Happier days in whale-human interactions.

Breaching whale capsizes boat 30-yards from the sand launching two fishermen into the air!

Fish gone wild…

As if there weren’t enough reasons to not surf New Jersey in the summer, you can now add being catapulted into the air by earth’s largest mammal to the list.

Local news sources have reported a breaching humpback whale capsizing a twenty-five foot fishing boat thirty yards off D-Street in Seaside Park.

Belted boat, beached at Seaside Park by feisty mammal. Photo: Friends of Seaside Park/Facebook

The two fisherman in the boat were unharmed as was the mean ol whale.

Breaching whales are not uncommon in the area at this time of year as the water warms.

However, to have them cameo with such proximity to the shoreline makes a paddle-out feel akin to a stroll in a Mozambique open field, playing lottery with the Portuguese version of planted, undetonated, war flowers.

When local fisherman with thirty years of experience casting in the same waters were asked if they ever remember whales coming this close to shore the answer was simple, ¨Never.¨

Scientists say it is the growing population of Atlantic menhaden, a North American species of fish in the herring family, that are bringing them closer to shore.

Either way, it somehow feels we should be prepared to become the next orphaned Ishmael without a Queequeg on the next paddel out at the Dirty Jerz.