Coming soon: World Surf League announces co-ed teams for this weekend’s thrilling “Rumble at the Ranch!”

I can't quit pro surfing!

And in a mere 48 hours we professional surf fans, we exalted amongst professional in-line skating, professional lip-synching, professional shadow-boxing fans, shall have our game back again.

Can you believe?

The Rumble at the Ranch kicks off this Sunday, August 9 at 12:00 pm Pacific Standard Time and unveils a never-before-seen format.

Girls and boys making up teams that fight against other girls and boys in a bracket tournament.

Very cool.

Who those girls and boys were, though, has been a mystery, until just today (or something) and now the picture is complete.

As you can see, Round 1 pits Coco Ho x Filipe Toledo against Alyssa Spencer and Kolohe Andino

Carissa Moore and Seth Moniz against Sage Erickson and Kelly Slater

Kirra Pinkerton and Conner Coffin against Sweet Caroline Marks and Adriano de Souza

Lakey Peterson and Griff Colapinto against the Mother of Dragons and Kanoa Igarashi

Really awesome.

But, quickly, let’s fill our brackets in together. I’ll start.

Round 2: Ho/Pip against Sage/Kelly

Marks/ADS against Mother of Dragons/Kanoa

Final: Ho/Pip vs Marks/ADS

Winner: Marks/ADS

Now your turn.

Listen: Kai Lenny on foiling with Mark Zuckerberg, sailing from Alcatraz to Maui and “t-boning God by accident! It scared the hell out of me! We’ve since formed a pretty good relationship…”

Daring and aristocratic… 

There’ll be no bad things said, no sarcasm aimed, at Kai Lenny, the daring twenty-seven-year-old multi-discipline surfer with sea-spray eyes shaped like pecans, skin the colour of buttered cocoa and lips as red as if he’d just applied a fresh coat of pomegranate lipstick.

His legend grows each day.

The first windsurfer to cross mighty Lake Michigan.

A world record time for the Molokai-Oahu paddle race.

Winner of the WSL’s XXL biggest wave award and the overall performance award.

Youngest surfer ever to be inducted into the surfing hall of fame.

Like WSL owner, the billionaire non-surfer Dirk Ziff, a former Waterman of the Year.

In February 2020, he dropped jaws worldwide with vision of a chop-hop-to-monster-drop on a thirty-footer at Nazaré.

Over the course of ninety minutes, we hear exciting stories about foiling with a trillionaire, Twiggy Baker fighting off a shark at Jaws and big-wavers threatening to beat hell out of each other in heats, t-boning a twelve-foot tiger shark fishermen called God on his windsurfer when he was thirteen and so on.

The episode ends with Kai accepting an invite to the first contest of snowboarder Travis Rice’s Natural Selection tour at Jackson Hole.

Hot rods or nothing.

A rebuttal to Sam George’s mid-length propaganda: “The path to enlightenment ain’t easy. We get it through trial, struggle, self-flagellation. That’s how you improve; that’s how you find meaning”

The perfect board is a drag racer. Hard to master. Difficult to handle. Not suited for most roads.

Camus said there’s only one real philosophical question in life, and that’s whether or not we should commit suicide.

All other considerations, what is matter, what is time, what is consciousness, come afterwards. No use asking them if existence is meaningless.

By extension, the only question a surfer should ask themselves is whether or not they should ride a mini-mal.

Think about it. A seven-foot, round-nose thruster with shortboard profile is essentially the ultimate vehicle for ninety per cent of the conditions an everyday surfer finds themselves in.

Paddle power. Speed. Responsiveness. Glide.

It’s everything any surfer really, truly wants for a midweek scrap amongst the pack. The absurd answer to our absurd existence.

The PT Cruiser of the surf world.

But, just like sticking a hot one in the mainline ain’t always the best way to deal with such fundamental questions, nor will speed-hopping a McCoy or a Meyerhoffer ever really satisfy your deep-seated surfing desires.

So too it goes with the current glut of mid-lengths.

Attn: Sam George.

Yeah, mid-lengths work.

Yes, volume is your friend. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to enjoying pleasures found above forty litres.

But, the path to enlightenment ain’t meant to be easy.

We obtain it through trial, struggle, self-flagellation.

Knifing under a guillotine lip, while razor-toothed coral heads sing sweet nothings to your skin in preparation for the upcoming feast. Engaging the heelside rail on a warpspeed, wedging hook only to be obliterated by the oncoming foamball. Learning how to get into waves using your positioning and strength, not “some sneaky extra volume hidden up front.”

Rinse, repeat it all. Again and again. Sisyphus and his rock.

That’s how you improve your surfing.

That’s how you find meaning.

Even Camus agreed.

The only reason we ride bigger boards, every now and then, is to transfer the knowledge we obtain back to our main whip.

Because the perfect board is a drag racer.

Hard to master. Difficult to handle. Not suited for most roads.

But when you do hit that sweet spot and engage it at the peak of your performance potential…


Or at least that’s the story we run with.

In reality, I’ll continue riding my chunky love boats in ninety percent of conditions because it’s easier, and I get more waves, and I’m a lazy, lazy man.

But, I’m not gonna keep telling every other cunt about it.

Ultimate Surfers (as seen in reflection) slave under the burning sun.
Ultimate Surfers (as seen in reflection) slave under the burning sun.

Breaking: Details emerge of brutal “prison-like” conditions on the Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch set of “Ultimate Surfer!”


Yesterday, which feels like an eternity ago, it was reported right here that ABC’s new reality show “Ultimate Surfer” is rumored to be so fun, so enjoyable, so downright wonderful that it might be enough to save the thoroughly wilted World Surf League.

You believed and thrilled but, today, a darker, more ominous picture emerges from behind the gates of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. A place known by many experts to be “literally the worst of them in the world.”

According to Nicholas Caprio, the Chief Content Officer at Pilgrim Media, who spoke recently at a “virtual panel”:

“Every person who came up was put in a hotel and tested. When they got negative, they could go inside the ranch and tested them again a week later. That included anyone who came in whether it was a judge or talent. It was really tough because it was really hot and really dusty. Just because they had two clean tests, we still had to take all of the precautions with masks and stations.”

Inside the Ranch, contestants and staff lived in what was called a “tent city.”

Many experts wonder if both Lemoore’s surrounding hotels and then being cloistered behind the branded wooden walls of Kelly Slater’s facility constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The nearby Tachi Palace does not serve delicious cocktails and also serves them in small plastic cups.

It is unclear if Michelob Gold Ultra was the only beverage on offer inside the Ranch.

Kelly Slater could not be reached for comment as he blocked me on Instagram.

Watch: Once peaceful Humpback Whales turn on VALs, crushing two in Western Australia, getting “uncomfortably close” to others off Manly Beach!

Which sign of the apocalypse is this again?

There is much to worry over in these days etc. Documented, vicious encounters between masked and unmasked peoples in various Walmarts. “Bad Grandpa” United States of America presidential hopeful Joe Biden rounding on a kind African-American journalist, accusing him of “taking cocaine” while calling him a “junkie.”

Humpback whales, once the “poster animals of the left”, crushing vulnerable adult learners in Western Australia where Tahnee Pitman and her friend Sharnee Pannell had just finished their second snorkelling expedition when the mammals struck a 29-year-old woman, leaving her with internal bleeding and broken ribs.

Apparently the mother creature became “protective” and “aggressive” towards the snorkellers in the water without warning.

“We were all in shock, I really thought it was going to end a lot worse than it did,” Ms Pitman said.

“I was with a friend (Ms Pannell) and we all just kind of sat in silence waiting for the ambulance to come on board as there was nothing we could do to help the injured. She (the injured woman) was in a lot of pain.”

Victims (courtesy Facebook)
Victims (courtesy Facebook)

Meanwhile, on Australia’s other side, butthole Humpbacks charged other VALs in a never-before-witnessed attack.

One boardrider, Josh, told the press that he had never seen a whale, particularly a calf, come so close to the beach at Manly.

“There was a bit of pointing going on and I looked round and the little one was just there,” Josh said.

“Then mum came in pretty quick smart, I think when she realized how close people were.

“You often see [whales] further out the back but this one just came right up to where people were hanging on their boards.”

Sharks are one thing. Whales, much larger and with a history of swallowing itinerant preachers whole, are quite another.


You should be.

We all should be.

More as the story develops.