"It says here in my book that you need to leave NOW."
"It says here in my book that you need to leave NOW."

Heartbreak: “Island of the Gods” Bali extends closure through year crushing the hopes and dreams of aspiring bikini designer/influencers, tube-starved surfers!

Unwanted in many languages.

Yesterday, when it was announced that Bells Beach there in Torquay, Australia had lost its singular claim to fame, hosting the longest running surf contest in the world, many tears flowed from Maurice Cole’s house to Love & Dysfunction pop up bar in Melbourne’s tony St. Kilda.

The new crown, resting jauntily on Virginia Beach’s head, glimmered and gleamed as the East Coast Surfing Championships removed “2nd longest running surf contest in the world” from its website’s masthead and replaced it with USA! USA! USA! along with Covid-adjusted rules including, “Unlike in typical years, no international surfers will take place in competition.”

Many more tears from Australian QS warrior Mitch Crews to Australian QS warrior Jacob Willcox.

And now, the “Island of the Gods” Bali has declared it does not want any Australian surfers or aspiring bikini designer/instagram models with dreams of opening unique concept stores somewhere in Seminyak.

Tears positively gushing from Bondi’s Rosenbaum and Fuller to Perth’s Bell Tower.

Enough tears to entirely flood Australia.

Indonesian officials, who just let locals back in the water in July, declared that due a spike of Covid cases, the entire country, Bali very much included, would be keeping its doors closed to foreigners for the foreseeable future.Bali’s governor adding, “Bali cannot fail because it could adversely impact the image of Indonesia including Bali in the eyes of the world, which could prove counterproductive to the recovery of travel.”

The island makes up one-third of Indonesia’s tourism industry and was expected to lose more that $10b with the existing closure. That number certain to jump with the extension.

But do you feel travel fever yet? The desire to leave on a jet plane with no country willing to accept you?

Should we all crash New Zealand’s Covid-free party?

Should we all launch bikini shops in Christchurch?

Success is but a great idea away.


Mahalo you fuckin’ surfers. You goddamn nerds. Im just kidding, were all part of the tribe. How are the breaks lookin’? Some lefts? Some rights? Scream rooms? Ape rooms?

SURF-LIT COLOUR PIECE: MEET EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE LOCAL, “Mahalo surfers, you goddamn nerds! How are the breaks lookin’? Some lefts? Some rights? Scream rooms? Ape rooms?”

Many LOLS…

It’s a hot Tuesday in August.

Three bare-chested men stand around an old green council park bench overlooking The Point. The bench has half its seat missing and ‘LOCALS ONLY’ carved in all caps across the front.

A weak windswell ambles down the headland under the mid-morning sun. But the men, all in boardies or with wetties hanging around their waists, are paying no mind to the waves.

“…and that’s why I’ll never do a job while there’s a tiler on site,” No Nose, a tall kneeboarder with deep brown skin and hair like Iggy Pop, is saying. “They’re all fucken queer cunts.”

The other two, both short and bald, nod in firm agreement as a lone seagull zips between their feet and under the shade of the bench.

The faint threat of an onshore hasn’t yet upset the morning glass and the pale blue sea stretches up and into the sky in one continuous fade. A couple of learners loll on the inside on their bright red soft-tops, more impressed with their postcard vista than the barely breaking surf.

No Nose turns to reach for his board, ready to call it a morning.

Just another day on The Point.

Then, like a cloud across the sun, Marco appears.

Marco’s barely five foot tall, an impish build with sporadic facial hair and narrow, sad eyes. He could be fourteen, he could be forty. Nobody’s quite sure. Indeterminate stains blot his faded Pennywise tee and the loose cargo shorts that hang from his round hips.

He stands just behind the group. Materialising from some unknown corner. Close enough to be in their space but not quite close enough to initiate conversation. Not that it stops him.

“Check out all of these bloody blow-ins, where do they come from?” he drones, motioning to the near empty line-up.

“Yeah, I’m not too sure, Marco,” replies No Nose.

The seagull edges out from under the bench towards Marco and he kicks at it with a dirty bare foot. It lets out a squawk and jumps up and onto the half seat, so that it obscures the ‘LY’ in ‘LOCALS ONLY.’

“Out there, Marco?” No Nose asks.

“Me? No way. My board’s getting repaired, plus I wouldn’t bother with this garbage.”

He spits out his words like he can actually taste them in his mouth.

Gaaarbage.

An awkward silence. The group, four of them now, turn in unison to watch the surf.

“I’m thinking of going up to Angourie next week,” says Marco finally. “It’s a classic curling right, that wave, like you see in the books. I think my surfing’s suited to it.”

He picks at his fingernails, kicks the dirt some more. Then he looks No Nose in the eye.

“You know, my economy of movement.”

“Oh yeah, right… Angourie,” says No Nose, struggling to keep up with Marco’s staccato rhythm.

None of them have ever actually seen Marco in the water.

“You surfed it before?

Marco looks to the ground, at his dirty feet, then back out to the line-up.

He shakes his head.

“I don’t think these banks like the low-tide anyway. So I wouldn’t even bother surfing until high.”

No Nose shoots a confused sideways glance to the short baldies.

“What time’s high?” one of them offers.

Marco stares at the baldy as if he’s speaking Cantonese. The onshore is picking up now, carrying with it the smell of seaweed from the exposed rocks lining The Point.

“Look at these bloody blow-ins. I really don’t know where they all come from,” says Marco again, even though the learners are making their way in over the inside shelf.

“It’s enough to make you want to pick up and leave this shithole altogether.”

“Like, to Angourie, you mean?” asks the second baldy.

Marco shakes his head again.

“Why would I want to move to Angourie?”

More silence.

Baldy #1 attempts to help his mate.

“Didn’t you say you wanted to…”

No Nose cuts him short with a silent glare. Some roads just aren’t meant to be travelled down.

Out on The Point, the northerly is ripping through the line up now like a wildfire.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Marco walks off, still shaking his head and muttering under his breath.

The seagull shifts its position on the seat again so it reads ‘LO–LS ONLY’ and the three men pick up their boards, ready to go home.


Famous actor Rob Lowe spots monster Great White shark menacing children off Santa Barbara: “Amazing adrenaline seeing this animal up close!”

Very scary but potentially heartwarming.

Famous actor Rob Lowe has had an iconic Hollywood film arc. Child star turned heartthrob. Scandal while campaigning for 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. Redemption in the form of a lasting marriage. Lawsuits over “malicious lies” spread by nannies. Redemption in the form of Liberace’s plastic surgeon Dr. Startz.

And over the weekend, whilst beating the summer heat in Santa Barbara, he almost witnessed a ten-foot Great White Shark eat a gaggle of children splashing and playing without care. Possibly surfing* too.

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

Extremely scary and I don’t like to think depressively here, but worst case scenario, the children become eaten and a blockbuster Hollywood film is made about the incident who would play Rob Lowe?

His younger brother Chad Lowe is an obvious choice but maybe too obvious. The Academy Awards loves a surprise choice and I wonder if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could pull it off.

No?

Maybe Scott Bakula in a stirring comeback?

Hilary Swank?

Let’s continue thinking outside the box.

I don’t envision the film, currently titled And the Pacific Turned Red, to be a bloody gore-fest but rather a heartwarming romantic comedy where Rob Lowe’s character acts as matchmaker between a single dad whose child was eaten and a single mom whose child was eaten.

Or maybe half of one child is eaten, one half of another child is eaten but doctors are able to save them by sewing them together and then their parents (single dad, single mom) fall in love.

Something like that but let’s workshop it a little more.

No?

*Santa Barbra has no waves.


Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector
Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Greatest surfer ever Kelly Slater raises powerful voice in defense of law and order: “Wait, so some people want to abolish the police. Is that so these idiots can take over and run the asylum?”

Karen Slater.

11x World Champion and self-proclaimed environmentalist Kelly Slater threw his great and powerful voice behind a burgeoning law and order movement, last night, bolstering elderly white suburban males who prefer kids keep off their lawns and those who have just opened bespoke coffee shops in what was formerly “bad part of town.”

In a surprise all-caps Instagram story he firmly stated the question:

WAIT, SO SOME PEOPLE WANT TO ABOLISH THE POLICE.

before continuing:

IS THAT SO THAT THESE IDIOTS CAN TAKE OVER AND RUN THE ASYLUM? I WONDER HOW SAFE YOUNG KIDS FEEL IN THESE CITIES RIGHT NOW WITH THE ‘PEACEFUL PROTESTORS’ BLOWING SHIT UP. POLICE BRUTALITY AND BAD TRAINING IS A PROBLEM BUT ANARCHY AIN’T THE ANSWER. FEEL FREE TO GO TO ANY COUNTRY WHERE THE POLICE ARE ALL TRULY CORRUPT AND BOUGHT OFF BY THE CARTELS AND SEE HOW YOUR PROTESTING GOES.

It can be assumed Slater is referring to the very recent vigorous protests coming on the heels of yet another police shooting of a black man. The summer has, of course, burned hot since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the end of May.

Protests, riots, carnage spread from coast to coast then around the world and, clearly, the most accomplished professional surfer ever is sick of it.

Fed up.

Not going to take it anymore etc.

Anarchists will be disappointed to know, once and for all, that they do not have Slater’s political support.

As a world traveler myself (buy here), though, I am curious as to which country he is referring where “the police are all truly corrupt and bought off by the cartels” and love to bash protestors?

Belarus? I think a bit of a stretch to describe the Lukashenko regime as a “cartel.”

Mexico? To call “all the police truly corrupt” is… sweeping.

Australia’s Gold Coast?

Possibly.

In any case, Slater’s full-throated backing of those currently running the asylum will be applauded by Karens everywhere.

More as the story develops.


Torquay locals (pictured) in state of great shock and sadness.
Torquay locals (pictured) in state of great shock and sadness.

Champagne Pop: Virginia Beach plucks crown from Bells Beach’s hung head; becomes home to “longest continually held surf contest” in the world!

Long live VB!

A grey pall hangs low in the sky, this morning from Melbourne, through Geelong, all the way to the shore of Torquay and not the typical grey pall, either, but one infused with overwhlming sadness, with deep shame, with mourning.

For the region’s gilded crown has been plucked from its hung head and taken all the way across the sea, then a continent, and placed upon the regal pate of Virginia Beach where its professional surfing contest, the East Coast Surfing Championship, becomes the longest continually held surfing contest in the world, replacing Torquay’s Bells Beach and its Rip Curl Pro.

Much wailing. Many teeth gnashed. Tears falling, unrelentingly, into schooners of VB.

Victoria Bitters becoming woefully prescient.

And you will certainly recall, a few months ago, when the World Surf League cancelled the Gold Coast’s Corona Open followed shortly thereafter by the cancellation of the Rip Curl Pro due fears over Coronavirus. At that point in time, Bells had been surf contest king but with Santa Monica’s decision to let fear rule the cancelled the reign and now happy Virginia Beachers are dancing in their streets.

The contest kicked off yesterday, its 58th straight running, with the following Coronavirus adjustments in place.

-The event will not allow more than 50 people to be on site, with only surfers and staff allowed on location. No spectators are permitted.

-Unlike in typical years, no international surfers will take place in competition.

-Masks are required.

-The non-surfing sporting events and concerts that typically accompany surfing will not take place.

58 in a row.

Long live VB*.

But while I have you, do you think that stripping the one and only thing that allowed Bells to remain on tour will make it vulnerable to a cutting?

Quite possibly.

*Virginia Beach