Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge, coaxed out of retirement. | Photo: WSL

World champs Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson coaxed out of retirement and nineties journeymen wrenched out of obscurity to star in reality TV series!

"This will be the most-watched event in Australian surfing history," says ambitious presser. 

Back in March, when the coronavirus first started wrapping its fingers around the world’s neck, my boardriders club committee got together to discuss what it was all gonna mean for the rest of our season.

Comps weren’t looking like much of a chance and we wanted to keep that sweet esprit de corps singing through the dead zone.

“How ‘bout we run something online for the groms, at least?” came one suggestion. “Everyone’s got an iPhone. Let them submit clips of them surfing during lockdown and we can judge them all virtually. Keep things moving for the club even if we can’t get together in person. Plus, it’s a piece of piss to run.”

Think Taylor Steele’s Innersection, but with $100 voucher and a few cakes of wax up for grabs, as opposed to worldwide exposure and major sponsorship contract.

Shit’s easy.


Fun to do.

Why wouldn’t ya?

And so the ‘”Instagrom Challenge” was born (I’ll let you know the winners in September).

As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones who had the idea.

The concept popped up in different clubs across Australia, and has now culminated in RIVALS – Surfing Australia’s made for TV broadcast surf comp.

Eleven of Australia’s iconic competitive male surfers will open up old battle scars in an innovative three month, 13 consecutive episode TV series set to air on Channel Nine from 12 pm on Saturday the 8th August 2020.

“This will be the most-watched event in Australian surfing history,” says the presser. 


MICK FANNING – Snapper Rocks – Queensland

JOEL PARKINSON – Snapper Rocks – Queensland

DEAN MORRISON – Snapper Rocks – Queensland

BEDE DURBIDGE – South Stradbroke Island – Queensland

JOSH KERR – Duranbah Beach – New South Wales

DANNY WILLS – Broken Head – New South Wales

SHAUN CANSDELL – Coffs Harbour – New South Wales

JAY THOMPSON – Burleigh Heads – Queensland

GLEN HALL – Avoca Point – New South Wales

KAI OTTON – South Coast Slab – New South Wales

NATHAN HEDGE – North Narrabeen – New South Wales

Each surfer has two hours at their ‘local’ wave to surf however they want, on as many waves as they want, with their best three rides to be scored by the public via online platform and Olympic Surfing Head Judge Glen Elliott.

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You’ll know I’m the biggest fan girl going when it comes to nineties and noughties Australian power surfing.

This line-up’s got me gooeyer in the fork than a big government intervention during an unprecedented fiscal downturn.

(Though, where’s Mick Campbell?)

But also, this concept, as pointed out in my boardrider’s committee meeting, is an absolute piece of piss to run.

So easy that it took a few volunteers all of five minutes to set up an amatuer version.

So easy that Surfing Fucking Australia have signed on two former world champs and Australia’s largest commercial television station within a matter of months for the same format.

How good would it be if you set the same challenge for the top 16?

Yet, we’re still putting up with re-runs of the quarter finals at France 2009 and motherfucking Lawn Patrol.


The ball’s in your court.





I know you guys are there somewhere.


Mate, we all just want to know you’re all ok.

Kick-flip three times in your next Insta vid if you need us to send help.

Hot, slutty, older model waitresses were not scared to flirt. Ugly slutty waitresses were not scared to flirt in between ciggy breaks and it was exceptionally rowdy at times. | Photo: @beachbum

Remembering the great long-gone beach bars of Newport Beach: Malarky’s, Cassidy’s, Mutt Lynch’s, Ho Sum Bistro, Snug Harbor!

Hot, older model waitresses were not scared to flirt. Ugly waitresses were not scared to flirt in between ciggy breaks. Glory days etc.

Newport Beach, Ca. 1993: Divorced, living in my warehouse in a business park on the cliff above River Jetties, I decided to move back into the surf hood.

Smallest one-bedroom on earth… living room was literally a surfboard rack.

No TV.

Donated couch and I had my mattress on the floor, no box spring or bed frame.

Two dinner plates, two knives (thank you Carl’s Jr), two forks, two drinking glasses and a hibachi.

That’s all I needed.

Women always tripped out seeing the bed (top grade mattress, btw) on the floor.

Clothes relatively neatly folded, also against the wall on the ground.

Magic boards lie awake in the closet inside the primitive coffin of that day.

The Cave was austerity on steroids except for the obscene amount of surfboards piled about.

Shower was clean, but the neighboring bath tub was filled with wetsuits “drying”…. Lucky the pad always smelled like weed.

Good waves one block west, bar district one block inland.

The obvious pubs with food, Malarky’s, Cassidy’s, Mutt Lynch’s, Ho Sum Bistro. All places to pluck a bird, varying food and nightly specials, tap beers.

Another short two blocks away, nestled against the harbor warehouses in a district soon to gentrified into homogeny, was the divest dive of dive bars known to Orange County.

Snug Harbor.

Over the years, surfers began infiltrating the commercial fisherman hang out. Maybe 40 square feet and a third of that was a circular bar.

One of those small english billiard tables, forgot the name. That’s it.

The real estate became so valuable, the commercial fishing industry went away and our crew took over the bar. I never had to call anyone or make plans, just peddled the beach cruiser to Snug.

Never had to lock it, everyone knew it was mine.

Bartender was a relic… looked like Herman Munster on heroin. His face was a cartoon and he was grumpy as all fuck, we had replaced his drinking buddies.

Unsettled scores from the water were settled outside Snug.

Fights were no longer settled on the sand during altercations. Lawyers had litigated in favor of chaos.

In the mornings, the best grub breakfast in town by yards.

Hot, slutty, older model waitresses were not scared to flirt. Ugly slutty waitresses were not scared to flirt in between ciggy breaks and it was exceptionally rowdy at times.

It was said that you could tell if the surf was good by who was eating breakie (good swell, joint empty).

Today, Snug has been mowed down to build a sterile live/work/loft two-bedroom one-and-a-half bath, vertical and skinny, ugly row of glass, reclaimed wood, stone and cement walls.

Too many to count.

None of the residents remember Snug Harbor.

Lemoore Goat Rodeo does.

Lonely Boy: Exiled Royal Prince Harry spotted surf-checking Malibu all by himself days ahead of impending lockdown!

Somebody ripped my stick.

I have never cared much for Great Britain’s ruling family, the Windsors, even though my father once told me that we were 12th cousins with Queen Elizabeth making me part of that family.

Much of my childhood was spent pondering how many princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, would have to meet untimely deaths before Sir Charles from Coos Bay could ascend to the throne.

A lot, huh.

12th cousins is farther away from Buckingham Palace than Sal Masekela is from attending Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach 4th of July party, I think.

But back to never caring much, since Prince Harry and his wife the Duchess of Sussex Meg Markle moved to greater Los Angeles my news feed has been littered with stories about them.

Incredibly mean stories.

Like, vindictive gossip featuring a violent sort of nastiness that I never knew existed. Really going for the throat of trying to rip families apart and make them hate each other and plot against each other etc.

I used to think I was an asshole but now realize my air kisses blown toward Herr Paul Speaker, Backward Fin Beth, Li’l Zach Weisberg, Ashton “Bilbo” Goggans, Kelly Slater’s sixteenth best friend Sal Masekela, Erik Logan’s undersized canoe, co-Waterperson of the Year and co-Owner of a Southern Plantation Dirk Ziff, etc. were so gentle as not even to register on the royal scale.

Well, that’s that.

Also, Prince Harry was spotted on a bike yesterday surf checking Malibu all by himself mere days ahead of the impending re-closure. If you saw him in the lineup would you leave him alone? Gift him a wave? Throw a loose shaka? Back paddle and send him to shore?

Have you ever fanned out on another man, or woman, surfing?

I saw Perry Ferrell coming up the stairs after surfing my local once but kept my mouth shut and my hands to myself.

But back to Ashton, how do you think he’s handling quarantine while being discouraged from awkwardly draping himself over his favorite professionals? Has he already moved through all the stages of grief or has he high-centered on the “eating ice cream straight out of the carton” phase?

Much to ponder.

One of those summers.

Summer of blood continues: French Olympian Michel Bourez attacked by twelve-foot hammerhead, only the eighteenth person since 1580 to be hit by species: “I put my foil in between him and I to protect myself!”

"I felt like surfing at Teahupoo when it’s ten-to-twelve foot!"

French Polynesian surfer Michel Bourez has posted a breathless account of being hit by a “three-to-four-metre hammerhead shark” while piloting a foil-board thereby confirming the summer of 2020 as the season of the shark.

Or, more colourfully, The Summer of Blood.

See here, here and here. 

“I was doing a down wind from Tahiti (Mahina ) to Moorea (Vaiare) when a hammer shark chased my foil and bite it. He broke the tail of my @signaturefoils so I could not keep going,” wrote Michel, employing excellent use of Instagram handles.

“Then I sat on my @firewiresurfboards and waved at my friends on the boat to come and pick me up. After two-to-three minutes by myself, I felt something was wrong so I looked around me and stayed in alert just in case the shark would come back again.

“I was right!

“The three-to-four-metre hammer shark came back again at me so I put my foil in between him and I to protect myself. He bit my foil for the second time realizing it was definitely not eatable and swam back away from me. The boat picked me up a few minutes after and I was safe.

“Fifteen minutes later I decided to go foil again and finished the race we had.

“I felt like surfing at Teahupoo when it’s ten-to-twelve foot! We know the risk to get hurt or even dying but the love of our sport is too strong. EVERY TIME I go foiling in the deep blue, I’ve seen hammers sharks cruising around so I know the risk since the beginning. The ocean is their world and I respect that! No bad feelings at all! He just owe me a new foil…”

Hammerheads are unfathomably rare.

According to the International Shark Attack File there have only been seventeen recorded attacks (make that eighteen) since 1580, none fatal.

Confirmed: “The Inertia” is one of the fourth or fifth worst surf adjacent websites to have ever been conceived by a University of Southern California business major!

"5 of the best coolers for a perfect 4th of July beach day!"

Hrd times. Or hard times if you happened to be born before 1999 but we are living in them.

A World Surf League purchased for free by South Carolina plantation owner co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff.

A virus that killed everyone and shut down the world’s economy but then started killing everyone else and shut down the world’s economy again.

Beaches shuttered though not really “enforced.”

Chris Ward still off tour.

But at least some things are consistent.

Even more than consistent.

I have not typed “” into my browser (sometimes Chrome sometimes Safari depending on the winds of change) for maybe a year.

I just did and oh my goodness.

Oh my goodness!

Founder and daddy’s tax write-off Zach Weisberg has hit a total consistent level of suck.

In our ever evolving world of shit this should come as great comfort.

Today’s offerings include, and I’m not kidding:

5 of the best coolers for a perfect 4th of July beach day.

Koa Rothman: ‘Malibu is more dangerous than Pipeline’

These four surfers just launched…


Thank you The Inertia for dredging the absolute worst of surf x humanity years ago and staying true to that course.