Cabarita foilboarder describes hit by White yesterday. | Photo: @linda_sinclair62

Foil-boarder hit by Great White described as a “tank” at site of Tweed Heads Pro “Then it came back and I was out without the board”; Broken Head cleared after surfer bumped by twelve-foot Great White; fisherman says Gold Coast is infested with sharks, “It’s out of control!”

"There is definitely no shortage of Great Whites."

A foil-boarder has been hit by a shark at the site of last weekend’s Tweed Heads Pro, the animal leaving behind a tooth in the foil’s resilient carbon fibres. 

If you remember, competitors in the event which was held at a B-grade point called Cabarita half-an-hour south of the Superbank where a surfer was killed by a Great White less than two weeks ago, were cleared when an eight-foot shark swam through the contest area.

Photos and video of the foil-boarder flew around Instagram, the man, a local surfer Christian, surrounded by onlookers as he describes the event.

Dorsal Watch reported a fifteen-to-eighteen-foot Great White, as big as they get, “a tank”, swimming through the lineup around the same time.

At Broken Head, same day, a twelve-foot Great White swam through a crowd of fifty surfers, bumping one surfer on its way through. 

At Kirra, a few hundred metres down the beach from the Superbank, surfers were cleared when a shark swam though the lineup. 

Meanwhile, a Gold Coast fisherman says shark numbers are “out of control” and that there is “definitely no shortage of Great Whites. We see them all the time and we never saw them before.

Joel Merchant, thirty-nine and from Tweed Heads, says he’s been fishing for twenty years off the same stretch of coast where there’s been two fatal hits on surfers in the past two months, Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, Nick Slater at the Superbank. 

“People say they are hungry due to overfishing but you never seen a skinny one, they are all healthy and there is plenty of food for them, they have been left alone and bred up so well and thriving. The chance of interacting with a shark is more and more because there is so many of them.” 

Commercial fisherman, Adrian Cottee, who is based in Yamba two-and-a-half hours south of the Gold Coast, said he he had to “leave the Tweed area two years ago because the sharks were eating the net and everything would fall out. There’s certainly big numbers of sharks out there.” 

Buy your crank-shaft tourniquets here. 

Patagonia sews provocative message into waistbands of “regenerative, organic, stand-up” shorts: “Vote The A**holes Out!”

Environmental warrior and billionaire Yvon Chouinard describes Trump administration as "evil".

If you buy a pair of Patagonia’s regenerative, organic stand-up shorts, ninety-nine-ninety-five, you’ll find, embroidered on an inside label, the message, Vote The Assholes Out.

It’s billionaire climber Yvon Chouinard’s hit on any politician that “denies” the climate crisis, not ‘cause they don’t see it happening, but because they’re in the in the pockets of oil and gas companies.

The slogan previously appeared on a t-shirt (buy here) and Chouinard also included the pithy slogan as a postscript to an open letter to 1% for the Planet supporters, a movement created to convince companies to give one percent of sales to environmental tax groups.

“Remember, vote the assholes out — all of those politicians who don’t believe we should do anything about climate change,” Chouinard wrote. “Vote for the planet and against those who would do nothing. We have the power and now is the time to use it.”

(Read here.)

Chouinard, who is eighty-two and founded Patagonia in 1973, has form when it comes to putting his considerable fortune where his mouth is.

Patagonia donates 10 percent of profits to various charities, they do this thing on Black Friday where they donate total profits to grassroots environmental organisations (in 2016 it was ten million dollars), used Patagonia gear can be traded-in via their Worn Wear website and, true to its central coast roots, has its office and flagship store in Ventura.

Chouinard describes the current Trump administration as “evil”.

Patagonia, I’ll admit, doesn’t do a hell of a lot for me. The ritual use of dull browns, the lingering smell of piety, the full silhouettes suited to the fashionably retarded.

And, yet, I’ve always found Yvon Chouinard, the climber and surfer who founded Patagonia, deeply interesting.

One of those men whom you would’ve loved as a childhood mentor.

Teach me to make tools, teach me to scale mountains, teach me to live in the wild.

Read his divine life story as told by The New  Yorker here.

Pod of Killer Whales accused of carrying out “orchestrated attacks” on boats off Spanish coast: “They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat!”

Extremely troubling.

The end of humanity is just over the horizon, without a doubt, what with pandemic, climate change, an increasingly belligerent China, a looming Joe Biden and/or Donald Trump presidency etc. but I feel we have our eyes on these threats and will handle by hook or crook.

It is the sneaky terrors that will undo us. Tik Tok, for example, or pods of Killer Whales carrying out orchestrated attacks on our boats.

But let us travel to the Spanish/Portuguese coast where nine orcas are wreaking, reeking, wrecking havoc and causing very much alarm.

Sailors in those waters have made multiple distress calls in the past two months and let us read Victoria Morris’s account. She happened to be on a 46-foot delivery boat and says that the whales continuously rammed it for over an hour, spinning it around and breaking the engine.

“The noise was really scary. They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat. And this deafening noise as they communicated, whistling to each other. It was so loud that we had to shout.”

Days earlier, Nick Giles was out sailing his 34-foot yacht when the wheel suddenly jerked and he heard what sounded like a sledgehammer.

“The boat lifted up half a foot and I was pushed by a second whale from behind.” While he was resetting the cables an orca hit again, “nearly chopping off my fingers in the mechanism.”

On yet another delivery boat, a crewman’s shoulder was nearly dislocated after an attack.

Researchers are very confused as this behavior is not common. Ruth Esteban, who has also studied the region’s orcas extensively, told a local newspaper that it was unlikely multiple orca groups would display such unusual behavior and that a single group was therefore most likely responsible.

A gang.

A gang of toughs.

Street Killer Whales with devil may care attitudes, smoking cigarettes etc. Making lewd comments at passing Killer Whale dames.

And you are certainly aware of T.S. Eliot’s famous phrase from The Hollow Men:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Wrong, I suppose, and should be re-written:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a horrible echo.
I thought they could capsize the boat.
And this deafening noise as they communicated,
whistling to each other.
It was so loud that we had to shout.

Notoriously incorrigible sharks take advantage of rare waves in Central Florida, bite two surfers in one day!

Blood in the water.

Central Florida, best known for the NBA bubble, Kirsten Dunst, The Backstreet Boys, Wesley Snipes and tutti-frutti ice-cream, is not very well known for waves. Certainly they appear on the ocean there, mainly around New Smyrna, but are rarely large or powerful save hurricane season when robust storms whip delightful nuggets toward shore.

Yesterday, a “red flag” day across Volusia County featuring those delightful nuggets, thrilled surfers from Daytona to Melbourne Beach, also Denver, and saw many surfers in the water.

The region’s sharks, notoriously incorrigible, took advantage of the influx and bit not one but two surfers within a short few hour period.

The first was a mostly innocent 15-year-old boy who happened to be paddling out at Ponce Inlet at 10:45 in the morning. The shark bit his hand as hard as it could and left many ouchies though the boy refused medical attention.

The second occurred in Melbourne Beach where an adult male had his arm bitten so severely that it caused much bleeding and a hospital visit was required.

Sharks don’t generally kill people in Central Florida but two hits in one day that featured waves is… not cool at all and should be looked into by the authorities.

What I really wonder, though, is what happened to Wesley Snipes? He starred in so many important movies in the late 1980s through the 1990s but then disappeared, more or less. What was your favorite Snipes vehicle? I saw Demolition Man in the theater and enjoyed it very much. I also thought the actor carried Michael Jackson’s music video “Bad.”

Did you know “Bad” was directed by Martin Scorsese?


"I could watch Surf Theater all day long..."
"I could watch Surf Theater all day long..."

U.S. Olympic team shuns Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, heads to Waco for training camp: “Waco really allows us to do; really kind of fine-tune equipment and maneuver in the Japanese-style waves.”

Introducing Surf Theater.

The biggest investment co-Waterperson of the Year and billionaire Dirk Ziff made, when he purchased professional surfing for free back in 2013, was the acquisition of Kelly Slater’s eponymous Wave Company.

Surf Ranch, unveiled hours after Adriano de Souza claimed Brazil’s first world title in 2015 with the express intent of crushing his joy, was a marvel. An engineering wonder and certainly the future of surfing altogether.

Things have not quite gone according to plan.

New, more interesting, cost-efficient, scaleable technologies popped up in Surf Ranch’s wake, the facility has hosted the two most boring contests in surfing history and also the most boring specialty events, the only being built outside Lemoore, California is killing koalas by the truckload, or whichever cuddly Australian marsupials lives in wetlands, the U.S. Olympic team is shunning Surf Ranch for Waco and U.S.A. Today has no idea where it is.

Per the most widely read newspaper in America:

Surfer Carissa Moore, ranked No. 1 in the world, is no stranger to wave pools, training in Waco and competing at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in La Cienega, California, over the past three years.

“The biggest difference is Kelly Slater’s pool, or the surf range, is about 45 seconds long, and the Waco pool is probably top five seconds,” Moore said. “Kelly’s wave is pretty much kind of the same every time, and Waco has a lot of different settings, different waves that they can produce.”

Coach Brett Simpson went on to add:

“We’re not really expecting big waves. I mean, there is a chance for that, but we are expecting more high-performance, shorter rides, and that’s what Waco really allows us to do; really kind of fine-tune equipment and maneuver in the Japanese-style waves.”

Surf Ranch sure wishes it was in La Cienega, California, which isn’t actually a town but rather a boulevard that runs north/south through the west side of Los Angeles from very near Los Angeles International Airport to Sunset Boulevard hugging the Hollywood Hills.

Ideally, where could it be placed?

I’d say West Hollywood and could be themed very flamboyantly. Pulsing neon lights, staged productions, house music pumping at full volume, surprise appearances by Cher etc. and not called Surf Ranch at all but rather Surf Theater.

Very progressive. Very now and oh what might have been.