Heartless scientist declares, “That’s what they’re there for, to clean the ocean…” after sharks devour dolphin in front of stunned beachgoers!

Goodbye, flipper.

The water turned a frothy red off a Jersey Shore beach teeming with innocent children and less innocent elderly people as a mob of vicious sharks tracked an adorable dolphin before feasting on its nubile flesh.

Many children complained it was the absolutely worst thing they had ever witnessed. The elderly still had fading memories of the television show Jersey Shore and disagreed.

A local scientist did not provide any comfort, declaring, “That’s what sharks are out there for, to clean the ocean. It’s not the first time an injured, bleeding animal has drawn sharks to it. If you’re standing next to a dolphin while this is going on, you’re going to be in danger. It’s just food to a shark. The sharks are not going to know the difference (between a dolphin and human), especially when there’s that much blood.”

Heartless.

Keep the dolphin in your thoughts.

And also that one guy from Jersey Shore who became a DJ.


Taking Pipe as the start, and assuming a Fiji finish, with the Tub and the G-land/J-Bay/Teahupoo Grand Slam as the “home straight” of the Tour. Does that, or does that not-especially with Slater's Kryponite, the closeout beachbreaks of the European leg gone, seem tailor-made to keep Slater on Tour ad infinitum? | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Longtom: “New tour changes tailor-made to keep Kelly Slater on Tour ad infinitum. Even deliver World Title #12!”

"It has his fingerprints all over it, no?"

Wow, what a difference a month or two makes.

Elo looks fabulous again, tanned and terrific, million watt smile back on full beam. and has dropped an epic roadmap to get pro surfing back on track.

Of course, it’s one thing to say you are going to do something and quite another to actually do it but if ELO can even get close to the implementation of the New Era roadmap then he may well go down in history as the sports saviour, not the chump holding the baby when it sighed it’s last breath.

BG rumours as reported by Chas Smith were right on the money, so much of what was dropped yesterday was already known.

A quick analysis is in order.

2020 CT and Q’ey are consigned to the dustbin of history but pro surfing will still take place this year. A novelty series called WSL Countdown is scheduled for August through November with events in the Lemoore Tub and Australia on the books.

Who will actually be able to compete in those events given travel restrictions is an unknown, but a moot point as the events seemed designed to both get the machine running again and generate some eyeballs back to live WSL surfing.

2021 CT officially starts with the Pipe Masters in its normal pre-Christmas time-slot.

That will be the weirdest part of the New Era. Starting with Pipe, instead of ending, then breaking for the new year, coming back three months later for an event in cold, wintry Portugal. Which will feel like an entirely different year and start to the Tour, even though it’s not.

From there it rumbles back into familiar form.

An Aussie leg, Brazil, the Tub, then a “grand slam” trio of G-Land, J-Bay and Tahiti to get a top five men and women. A single day surf-off imaginatively titled WSL Finals gets Dirk Ziff’s wish of a Title decided in the water

World Number One going into the Finals goes straight into the Final, which is a best of three heat deal. I think, a very epic and fair way to decide.

Does the WSL maintain their most valuable asset, a credible World Champ?

Very much so.

Especially if the as yet announced Finals day takes place in, say, pumping Cloudy or ten foot No-Kanduis.

September is still prime time for southern-hemi reefs.

The online presser delivered peak Elo: he claimed with a perfectly straight face that the changes in the New Era were “designed to harmonise with wholistic evolutions to multiple parts of the sport”.

No, I can’t decipher either.

I think it was something about the lower tiers of the sport, which are now split into the Q’ey proper and a Challenger Series. The relationship between the two feeder Tours and the CT itself remains confusing to me.

The aim is for QS surfers to be able to qualify for the Tour in a single year, but I can’t see how that would happen.

The gals are back in Teahupoo. A brave, bold move. Which will likely deliver copious laydays, zero-point heat totals and a Caroline Marks dynasty into the forseeable future. Also, many back-to-the-future wildcards for Keala Kennelly.

More pertinently, starting in 2022, there will be a mid-season roster cut with the mens numbers cut from 36 to 24 and gals from 18 to 12. That may end up being the single most significant advance in the sport for decades.

Giving us a Grand Slam leg with a streamlined roster that can fit into swell events without major contortions.

The gals are back in Teahupoo. A brave, bold move. Which will likely deliver copious laydays, zero-point heat totals and a Caroline Marks dynasty into the forseeable future. Also, many back-to-the-future wildcards for Keala Kennelly.

Elo has good reason to be chuffed.

The sport needed change and he’s delivered the roadmap. How much he can actually deliver on will be out of his hands to a large extent so he’s accumulated a large bank of goodwill to exist on whilst the post-covid global landscape becomes clear.

One more tiny thing.

Taking Pipe as the start, and assuming a Fiji finish, with the Tub and the G-land/J-Bay/Teahupoo Grand Slam as the “home straight” of the Tour.

Does that, or does that not, especially with Slater’s Kryponite the closeout beachbreaks of the European leg gone, seem tailor-made to keep Slater on Tour ad infinitum?

Even possibly deliver a 12 World Title?

It has his fingerprints all over it, no?

A very, very good thing.


Two of the best, Herb Fletcher and Uncle Dezzie. | Photo: Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Matt Warshaw’s unpublished interview with world champ Derek Ho (RIP) from 1994: “I did it for myself and my family, especially my Dad and my brother. I don’t take things that aren’t mine. But what is mine, I hold on to it.”

Uncle Dez, unfiltered…

(Later today, Matt Warshaw, keeper of surfing’s flame, will send this unpublished interview with Derek Ho to subscribers of his Encyclopedia of Surfing. It’s a beautiful little piece. “I forgot how forthcoming he was during this short conversation,” says Warshaw. “I’d interviewed him a couple of times before, once with Michael at Mike’s big beautiful house at Sunset, and I guess he felt comfortable enough with me to go unfiltered, at least for a few minutes.”)

This interview was recorded at the Lacanau Pro, France, in 1994. Ho was the defending world champion, but had just lost an early-round heat in terrible surf.

What goes through your mind in a heat where the waves are that shitty? Is is a different thing compared to when the surf is good?

Different, for sure. You lose motivation. In fact, you almost don’t care if you win or lose. In this situation [the heat he’d just finished], I figured I’d win either way, ’cause if I lost I’d be on a plane back to Hawaii tonight.

I talked to Gary [Elkerton] earlier today, and he thinks that with events like this we’re all missing the point. Not just the surfers, but the sponsors, the people on the beach, everybody.

Some of these events are held in the worst locations, at the worst times. If it’s all about promoting products, that’s okay. But we can do just as good of a job—or a lot better, actually—by going to good spots. Same countries, better spots.

How would that come about?

I think the surfers are too soft on the ASP officials. We do a lot of talking among ourselves, but then nobody stands up and says much. Right now, for instance, the surf is barely one foot. We should have the balls to say we’re not going out.

Will that ever happen?

[Pause] I don’t know. I doubt it. Maybe. Surfing is such an individual thing, which is good in a way, but it also means everyone is out for themselves. So in a lot of cases, if something ain’t benefitting a particular person at a particular moment, they’ll just let it go—even if standing up and fighting would be to their benefit in the long run.

What would you yourself like to see?

[Another pause]. Remember when those guys pulled out of the contest at Waimea [1986 Billabong Pro], ’cause they were scared shitless? I’d like to see more of that. And less of this [gestures to the beach]. We’re not reaching for that level of excitement anymore. We just do these boring little neutral events. It’s senseless for us to be out in these tiny waves hopping and jumping around. We should be carving, slamming, disappearing into huge barrels. It ought to be everyone looking forward to these things, surfers, sponsors, fans. Everybody should be jumping out of their skin, you know?

How are you feeling, personally, in terms of where your career is?

I’ve been doing the tour now for 12 years. A lot of times, in good surf, I feel like I haven’t yet hit my peak. I’m still in good shape. I don’t have any chronic injuries. And the will is there—that’s just as important. Yeah, when the waves are cranking, I’m so stoked I can’t believe it, it’s like I’m a kid. I could compete at a high level for another five years. But these kinds of events [another head gesture toward the beach], all of a sudden it’s like—I’m 30, I feel old.

It also seems to me like, even though you’re the champ, everybody lately is kinda rushing past you and paying attention to Kelly [Slater].

[Shrugs] Yeah, I don’t know. Part of that’s my fault, I guess. I never follow the photographers around to get shots. If anyone gets a shot, I’m stoked, I’ll take it. I don’t look for attention, though. I’m stoked for Kelly, you know? But yeah, this whole year so far, it’s like he’s world champion, as if he didn’t lose it last year—like he’s going straight from ’92 to ’94.

Are you bummed?

No. I’ve got too much pride, I think.

You sound a little bummed.

Yeah, I’m a little bummed. But I don’t dwell on it. I guess that’s what I mean. I laugh at a lot of this stuff, in fact. I know what I did last year. And I did it for myself and my family—especially my Dad and my brother. I don’t take things that aren’t mine. But what is mine, I hold on to it. Yeah, I know what I did.

 


The New York Times on WSL’s announced 2020 cancellation: “If surfing — a sport that takes place outside, with physically distant competitors — couldn’t pull off competition safely, was there hope for any other sport?”

But why?

The New York Times, an institution that has seen better days but still important, covered the World Surf League’s announced cancellation of this year’s tour and the changes planned for next’s.

A thorough, though not particularly enlightening piece of journalism (the non-surf varietal), with requisite interviews.

You can read here but there was one line, in particular, that got me. That continues to get me.

“If surfing — a sport that takes place outside, with physically distant competitors — couldn’t pull off competition safely, was there hope for any other sport?”

But I still don’t understand.

Why couldn’t surfing pull off competition safely?

I get that the World Tour, in its current format, would be impossible. Too much international travel, too many competitors etc. but for the amount of money it took to design the WSL Santa Monica headquarter’s lightly used new “studio” couldn’t the team figure out a way to charter a Mentawai boat and take the top five male, top five female surfers to there?

Or Tavarua with top ten male, top five female?

Or Kiribati?

Or the Marshalls?

Or… any island with waves?

It wouldn’t have been branded a “tour” obviously, but surfing could have pulled off a heavy card reprising Italo v. Gabe, Kolohe v. John, Filipe v. Michael Jordan, Steph v. Carissa. A captive audience could have been walked through the way “scoring” etc. works and thrilled at beautiful boys and girls threading gorgeous blue tacos whilst the world sheltered in place.

Inspirational and fun.

So what am I missing? Why doesn’t this work? Why didn’t it?

Help!


Breaking: Hawaii’s first surfing world champ and two-time Pipeline Master, Derek Ho, dead at fifty-five: “He was an artist loath to butcher his style for a few decimal points more on the judges’ cards.”

Uncle Dez, gone…

The great Derek Ho, brother to Michael, uncle to Mason and Coco, four-time Triple Crown winner, two-time Pipe Master and Hawaii’s first-ever men’s world champ (1993) has died, aged fifty-five. 

Earlier today, Ho was reported as being on a ventilator and in a coma with friends and family, including his older brother Michael and legendary lifeguard Darrick Doerner, at his bedside. 

The cause of his death is yet to be revealed.

North Shore pro surfer and friend, Jason Magallanes, wrote, “I will never forget the day you won the world title at pipe, I was walking by Tanyas moms by sunset and you were driving that lil blue hatch back thing. In your high voice he yelled “what boy where you going?” I replied “down to pipe to watch you win the title” you just have me that classic D HO smile and said “jump in I’ll take you down there. I jumped in with you and Tanya and literally watched you win the world title with all the odds against you!!! I’ll never forget when you walked into gerrys house and saw and and said “you gave me the mana saying you were gonna watch me win” and have me a big hug. Fuck man, I ant believe I was just with you and now you’re gone, legends truest never die.”

Pipe stand-out Landon McNamara posted,

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCxdxAchmK6/

 

As Derek Hynd wrote the year before Ho’s world title season in 1993, “He’s an artist who appears loath to butcher his style for a few decimal points more on the judges’ cards.” 

In a conversation with another two-time Pipe Master, Jeremy Flores, last week, he said Dez was still the number one surfer in the Pipe hierarchy.

Get a good taste of Dez as he hits a late-season swell in April, below.