According to developers, this is the "view from the splash pad in Gromland."

Just Announced: Kelly Slater’s Wave Company loses yet another battle to arch-rival Wavegarden as Spanish company in talks for over half billion dollar Florida surf park!

How many more defeats can the world's winningest surfer suffer?

Oh to be Kelly Slater. Rich, talented, successful, multi-national (thanks to his girlfriend) and the name behind the most famous artificial wave technology on the planet. Eyes popped and mouths gaped when he unveiled Surf Ranch, there in Lemoore, California, some five years ago.

Two of those eyes and one of those mouths belonged to Brazilian surfer Adriano de Souza whose skull had been crushed, hours after the happiest day in his life, by Slater but the rest of them belonged to fans, rivals, movie stars, businessmen and environmentalists.

A barrel. A real barrel created on demand.

The future of the newly created World Surf League, bought for free by billionaire Dirk Ziff, made instant sense. A chicken in every pot and a Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in every garage.

For sure there would be developments built around the eleventh world wonder scattered near and far. Multi-million dollar developments, smiling faces, barrels, shopping, ice-cream, etc.

Five years on there are none and Kelly Slater’s Wave Company’s arch-rival Wavegarden, featuring fun surf (“fun” said with a rising tone like “I don’t know, it was fun?” by people who have surfed them) is busy in talks for many projects including the just announced Willow Lakes in Fort Pierce, Florida.

According to TCPalm, a digital subsidiary of Treasure Coast Newspapers,The $595 million venture will feature 800 residential homes, 600 hotel rooms, 400,000 square feet of retail space and 125,000 square feet of office space across 200 acres. The first phase of construction is to focus on a $40 million surfing center, which will include a “Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon” and resort which will be comprised of several distinct neighborhoods, knit together by a network of walkable, pedestrian-oriented streets, and navigable flow-ways designed for maximum environmental and recreational purposes.

“Willow Lakes and the surf park project, in our view, is a catalytic economic development event which has the ability to ‘move the needle’ on our collective efforts to enhance Fort Pierce’s reputation as a premier tourist destination and further diversify our growing economy,” Pete Tesch, president of the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council, wrote in an endorsement letter about the project. “As we enter the ‘new normal’ and the post COVID-19 environment, this important project will have a historically significant impact on our community.”

Very exciting for Wavegarden.

Very un-chill for Kelly Slater’s Wave Company.

And how many more utter defeats can Slater have before becoming a gadget punchline like Archie McPhee’s Yodeling Pickle?

Much to ponder.


They-die-so-we-may-live: “Half-a-million sharks” to be slaughtered for COVID-19 vaccine!

A lesson in how to manipulate the news cycle, rivalling even the fabulous Coffey sisters.

A shark advocacy group has claimed that the production of a COVID-19 vaccine will result in the death of 500,000 sharks.

Wild number, yeah?

Oceans red with the blood of slaughtered sharks; immense grottoes filled with their discarded corpses etc. 

Shark Allies, a not-for-profit group “dedicated to the protection and conservation of sharks and rays”,  has gotten the required headlines across most news sites over its alarmist numbers. 

How they got it is a lesson in how to manipulate the news cycle. 

(See, also, EJ Coffey, parts one, two, three, four and five. )

See, if the vaccine contains squalene, a fatty molecule that maintains moisture in the skin, and which is found in all plants and animals although shark livers are bloated with the miracle juice, and every single human on the planet gets a piece, a quarter-of-a-mill sharks might get iced. 

If humans need two doses and every single human on the planet gets a second hit, half-a-mill sharks. 

A lot of ifs. 

In May, GlaxoSmithKlinem announced that they intended to produce one billion doses of their “pandemic vaccine adjuvant” in 2021, enough for every American to get three hits. 

Shark Allies says 21,000 shark will be killed for the required squalene. 

For comparison, four billion fish and nine billion chickens are killed every year in the US.

And, in case you didn’t know, squalene is already used in sunscreen, lipstick, foundation, lotion and other cosmetics. 

Sign the petition, “Stop Using Sharks in COVID-19 Vaccine – Use EXISTING Sustainable Options” here. 


Shock: Surfer loses $12,000 insurance claim after car stolen with “Surf Lock” attached!

The price of convenience… 

An Australian surfer has discovered, at the cost of twelve gees, that shoving car keys in a locked box shackled to the bumper bar voids your insurance if your ride gets stolen. 

The unidentified Volvo-driving surfer lost the dispute with his insurance company who had denied his claim for $12,202, which covered external and internal damages of the recovered car, hire car costs and personal effects.

See, if you were to actually read the conditions of your policy, all of ‘em say you gotta remove all keys from within, on, or in the immediate vicinity of the car while unattended. 

Locked box or no locked box.

Surfer said he wasn’t “clearly informed” of the policy deets. 

The court disagreed.

“There is a clear causal link between the act of leaving keys within, on, or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle and that of the vehicle being stolen,” the Australian Financial Complaints Authority ruled. “Whilst the complainant took steps to lock the vehicle, the keys were still attached to the vehicle by being in the key safe on the towbar when he went surfing. On this basis, the insurer is entitled to decline the complainant’s claim as he failed to comply with the full conditions of cover under the policy.”

A quandary, yes? 

Man can’t put a immobiliser key in his wetsuit; getting a non-immobiliser key for wetsuit don’t work either, ’cause you still have to leave the immobiliser key in the car. 

Read the ruling here. 


Payback: World #25 surfer monetises toxic male desire after enduring “years of abuse” and “misogyny” by “male dominated (surf) industry”

“The managers and the people in positions of power really abuse that to, not just me, but a lot of girls.”

It’s been a terrific couple of weeks, publicity-wise, for the former world number twenty-five rated women’s surfer Ellie-Jean Coffey.

First, there was the pivot from surf to porn with a XXX-rated website that invited men to pay ten-dollars a month to examine, what they hoped, would be a souped-up clitoris ready to spring and a vagina ready to discharge.

The early signs were good.

Posts include, “BARE PUSSY and wet down my stomach…I’ve been eXXXtra naughty girl. CUM taste me” and “SOAKED pussy. My eXXX wet cameltoe after I cum.”

Some early adopters of the website were quick to complain of a poor return on the dollar, however, one man spending eighty-five of ‘em for a “private XXX shower video with my nipples showing.” 

“Her nipples are not visible at all,” the man wrote on reddit. 

Next came an interview with Rupert Murdoch’s news.com.au where Coffey spoke of “liberation” and “empowerment” and “express(ing) myself openly.” 

Yesterday, in another interview with news.com.au, the tabloid writes: “Ellie-Jean Coffey has broken her silence on years of mental and physical abuse in the surf industry she says left her contemplating suicide.”

Sample quotes. 

“At first I thought and believed I was the luckiest girl in the world to be living such a life, and not long after that, the darker side of the surfing industry soon revealed itself to me, and it was terrifying,” Coffey told news.com.au.

“The abuse, both mentally and physically, I endured during my teenage years far away from home with adults in positions of power has haunted me my whole life.”

“It was a pretty horrible time in my life. I think people in positions of power tend to abuse that power, and I was only a young girl, and it’s taken me a long time to recover.”

“I really don’t feel that anyone’s come forward and really highlighted the things about the surfing industry. It goes back decades, this misogyny and male-dominated industry — it’s really toxic.”

“The managers and the people in positions of power really abuse that to, not just me, but a lot of girls.”

“As much as I loved surfing, I just completely broke down. I couldn’t continue with all the abuse; it almost drove me to suicide, and I was lucky to go get that therapy and recover from it. And I know a lot of girls in the industry who have a very similar story.”

Now, journalism ain’t what it used to be. 

And, given the clunky, semi-formal nature of the quotes with links to Nick McCandless from McCandless Group, who “assisted” in setting up the XXX-subscriber-only site, in both stories, I’m guessing, and it’s only a guess, that the revelations were a quid pro quo. 

To wit, exclusivity for “candid” stories, an old-time “scoop” even if the accusations were vague enough to accuse everyone and no one. 

Either way, the fish are biting.


Cheyne Horan, beautifully photographed in Hawaii by the late, great Peter Crawford. | Photo: @petercrawford

Surf Icon in $2 million legal stoush over estate of “alcoholic, cancer-ridden” Aunty, dead forty years!

A Supreme Court blood feud.

The four-time runner-up to the world surfing title and star of the compelling is-he-gay-or-is-he-ain’t surf film Scream In Blue (he would later clarify he dreams about women not men), is locked in a Supreme Court battle over who owns a Sydney terrace house worth two million bucks.

Bondi-born Cheyne Horan, sixty years old and a pioneer of professional surfing, is fighting a “trailblazing female barrister” over who gets the spoils of a house owned by his grandparents, Albert and Alice Horan.

See, Cheyne and his brother Stephen claim their grandma wrote in her 1974 will that she wanted the joint to stay in the family. And, since Cheyne and his bro are her last surviving blood relatives, they get the cash from its sale.

They’re fighting the executer of the will, Sydney lawyer Janet Coombs, a member of the Order of Australia and daughter of Australia’s first-ever governor of the Reserve Bank. A gun, you might say.

It gets weird, as these things tend to do.

A couple of months before Alice died, alcoholic and riddled with liver cancer, two new wills were drawn up, leaving the property to the grandma’s other kid, Cheyne’s uncle John Horan.

John, who is described in court docs as brain injured, suffering a mental condition, violent and “incapable of looking after himself or his affairs”, died in 2016, leaving the now dilapidated house to a Christian charity that no longer exists.

Ms Coombs was named as the executor and trustee of John Horan’s will.

Cheyne and bro want the wills deemed invalid leaving ‘em the house.

Etc and ad infinitum.

Families, eh?

(Read this classic interview with Cheyne, by Matt Warshaw and via the Encylopedia of Surfing, here.)