Photo by the greatest to ever do it. Steve Sherman.
Photo by the greatest to ever do it. Steve Sherman.

Listen: “Greatest surfer ever Kelly Slater is so epically, beautifully, poetically tone deaf that he makes our grandparents seem woke!”

Brazil nuts!

I woke up early this morning and thought, “Time to drive up to San Clemente, sit across a fine coffee table from David Lee Scales and talk.” Then I thought, “I have talked a lot this week.” After that I thought, “I am the Ryan Seacrest of surf.”

A relatively distasteful figure who is, nonetheless, everywhere.

All the time.

Even though not one person has ever uttered the phrase, “You know what I need right now? Some Ryan Seacrest.”

In any case, after drinking a French pressed pot of French roasted coffee, I drove up to San Clemente and sat across a fine coffee table from David Lee Scales and talked.

About what?

You already know.

Kelly Slater.

First, can I please offer my deep, deep thanks to all of you for the comment thread underneath Derek Rielly’s pinnacle work of art Kelly Slater Hits Back at Historically Inaccurate Troll on Instagram:I Don’t Give a Shi*t… You’re on Glue. You’re a Miserable Coward… Accusing me of Being a Racist? My Girlfriend is Chinese… F*ck Off.

The best piece that has ever appeared here, or anywhere for that matter, and you… all of you brought your absolute A games into the comments.

I laughed. I laughed until I cried. Then I laughed some more, fell asleep and drove up to San Clemente, sat across a fine coffee table from David Lee Scales and talked about Kelly Slater and about you.

Oh and the WSL being laughably wrong about everything. And how Ken “Skindog” Collins is the Consciousness of our Community.

And how Surf Ranch is unwatchable and dumb.

Ryan Seacrest 4 Eva!

The aftermath of a White hit on a JS Air 17.

Australia’s Great White shark crisis: “Freakishly big” Great White hits surfer near Margaret River; “it came out of the water and inhaled his board”

Extent of injuries unknown.

A surfer in his twenties has been hit by a “fifteen-foot” Great White shark at Bunker Bay, an awesomely pretty crescent of white sand and green water almost at the tip of  Cape Naturaliste, a little north of Margaret River.

Phil Mummert, twenty-eight, was surfing The Farm, a wave protected from today’s south-west onshore. He was bitten on the right thigh, helped by a longboarder to the beach and stabilised at a nearby house before being choppered to Bunbury hospital.

A local surfer on the scene said, “the White came out the water and inhaled the board pretty much. The guy managed to roll out of the way and then a longboarder got him to the  beach.”

Mummert’s girl, Mish Wright, posted an update, with photos,  on Facebook.

“Just want to let everyone know that Phil is doing okay! He was bitten by a shark at Bunker Bay this afternoon and got a few chunks taken out of his leg. I honestly don’t know how a person can see a total stranger getting attacked by a 4m great white shark and swim towards to save him so we are beyond grateful to everyone that helped save Phil’s life. So lucky that Phil got away with his life and limbs and beyond lucky that we live in such a kind and caring community. So thankful for everyone who carried him to shore and for the ones that held his leg together for half an hour while waiting for the ambulance. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts — thank you, thank you, thank you. We’ve been flown to the hospital and just waiting for him to get stitched up. Phil’s doing great and singing [baby] shark do do do do do do.”

Nine years ago, bodyboarder Kyle Burden, twenty-one, was bitten in half at a nearby beach called Boneyards by a Great White witnesses say was six metres long or twenty feet. 

Both waves, Bonyards and The Farm, are right there on Cape Naturaliste, a fist of geography that juts out on the western edge of Geographe Bay, home to a thriving New Zealand fur seal colony. 

Plenty of White around the Cape?

Yeah, there is.

Plenty of ’em circling the rest of Australia, too.

Today’s attack is the third hit on surfers by Great Whites in two months.

Three weeks ago, fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville was killed by a White at Wilsons Headland, just north of Coffs Harbour; the previous month saw sixty-year-old surfer Rob Pedretti killed by a White near the Surfing Australia High Performance Camp at Casuarina, just south of the Gold Coast.

Two weeks ago, a ten-year-old by was snatched off the deck of his daddy’s fishing boat by a twelve-foot White on Tasmania’s north-west coast.

More on the latest hit as it comes.

(And read about the ethics of executing Great Whites, here.)

Kelly Slater hits back at historically inaccurate troll on Instagram: “I don’t give a sh*t…you’re on glue. You’re a miserable coward…Accusing me of being a racist? My girlfriend is Chinese… f*ck off.”

Bait offered, taken, much entertainment.

A few days ago, Kelly Slater, world champ many times, posted a provocative response on his Instagram account to news that 260 Chinese boats were fishing near the Galapagos Islands, that volcanic archipelago in the Pacific with the most diverse and plant species in the world.

Same joint that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Slater was succinct,

“Send the navy and sink em?!”

One follower of Slater, a kid who’d only ever made one post, aware perhaps of Slater’s penchant for responding to even minor player in the IG game, issued a bill of challenge.

“You would be the type of fool to advocate for military violence and US involvement overseas. The US needs to stop fucking policing the world. Getting the military involved has never helped anything it’s always the same people who end up hurting and having to pay for it.”

A popular, though untrue, historical inaccuracy.

The US was pivotal in saving the West in World War Two, its involvement in the Great War ended the stalemate there, South Korea would be Communist if not for the three-year long US-led UN intervention between 1950 and 1953 and Kuwait would’ve been folded into Iraqi borders in 1990.

Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, okay, not so great.

Slater’s riposte.

“Fuck off. It’s a joke, albeit a serious topic. I’m currently and always have been anti war. I’m also pro environment and wildlife.”

The kid parried,

“Sorry I didn’t find ur joke very funny. My family was displaced of the US fucking bombing their homeland.”

The kid’s parents fled Baghdad?

Here, I got into the DMs and asked where they were from.

“My mom came here from Iran during the revolution in the late seventies.”

Me: “US didn’t bomb Iran. Only that dang failed chopper rescue of hostages.”

He: “It was the result of US-backed coup. The US night not have been dropping the bombs themselves but they sure as hell funded it.”

Me: “US backed the Shah not the Ayatollah.”

He: “Point I’m trying to make is that US involvement overseas never works.”


After the thing about his family being displaced, Slater kissed the button, as they used to say in renaissance fencing.

“And I don’t really give a shit to talk to you or hear your opinion so fuck off.”

The kid proved a master of defence.

“Shits not really a joke.

“You privileged little fuck.”

“Don’t need to be an asshole about it wow.”

Before, finally, the dagger blow, the coup de grace, from Slater:

“Writing me out of the blue talking shit is such a crock of shit. Accusing me of being a racist? My girlfriend is Chinese. You’re on glue. You’re a miserable coward. And now you’re blocked.”

“Hahahaha,” wrote the kid.


Question: Will Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch redeem itself in the Covid era or is the place magically dull and dumb?

Like, so dull and dumb as to be a true honest-to-goodness miracle.

This, you know, is BeachGrit. A place where the glass is forever half full. The cob of corn always half uneaten. It’s anti-depressive to its very core and so I come before you with an honest question. Within our current vacuum of professional surfing (possibly extending through the next decade) are you thrilled to pieces about the upcoming Rumble at the Ranch or will you accidentally miss it due a gynecological examination?

I ask because if Kelly Slater’s crowning jewel doesn’t captivate in the Covid era, it is magically dull and dumb.

Like, so dull and dumb as to be a true honest-to-goodness miracle.

The John Carter of sporting inventions.

Rumble at the Ranch has an intriguing format, a solid cast including Pip Toledo, Caroline Marks, Kolo Andino, Kelly Slater himself and is taking place in front of starved-to-near-death professional surf fans.

But the wave.

That mechanical ripple mowing in that straight line as a high-pitched whir fills the cow stink. Four minutes between mechanical ripples. One surfer waiting her turn.


It is very difficult to imagine it being more captivating than a gynecological examination.

Am I being overly rude?

Convince me I’m wrong for I want to believe!

August 9: WSL to run “mixed-doubles” contest starring Kelly Slater, Caroline Marks, Toledo etc at Desert Ghetto; promises “one afternoon of perfectly-groomed rippage!”

No spectators, remote judging…

On August nine, sixteen WSL surfers, men, women, are gonna bring pro surfing kicking and jerking back to Lemoore in Central California. 

I don’t have a lot of affection for Surf Ranch events, who does I suppose, although that forty-second tube section does allow my Japanese houseboy to serve cocktails and I always have enjoyed watching Caroline Marks’ cut-throat savagery there.

Format is thus,

Eight teams of two, one man, one woman.

Each team is “determined by a blind draw as performed by the WSL Tours and Competition office.”

The Rumble, as it’s called, starts with a quarterfinal. Each team gets four waves, one right and one left each.

Judges score the heats remotely.

Top score from each surfer gives the total score.

Then there’s a thing called a “rebate.”

Let’s say Team A’s male surfer blew it on his Right, scoring at 3.33, but Team A’s female surfer smoked it on her Left, scoring a 9.17. In this scenario, Team A’s female surfer would be able to give her remaining Right to her male partner for a rebate surf to try and improve on his initial score.

The maximum number of waves a single surfer can surf in a heat is three — their two original waves and a rebate wave from their teammate. Rebate waves are not bonus waves — there are still only four waves available per team, per heat.

Think of this this way: Teams will either surf two waves each, or one teammate will surf three waves to their teammate’s single ride.

WSL’s gonna webcast this live, three pm local time on August 9, 2020.

Eight am on Australia’s east coast, midnight in Europe, seven pm in Brazil.

You dig?