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.

@sharkgirlmadison | Photo: @sharkgirlmadison

Dead fifty-foot, forty-four-ton Sperm Whale sparks shark feeding frenzy on Australian beach; Surfers warned, “Stay out of the water between Ballina and Evans Head for the next week!”

Ballina is fifty miles from last Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at the Superbank and thirty from June’s fatal hit at Kingscliff, heading north, and a hundred miles to Wooli, headed south, where a teenager died one month ago.

If a further reason was needed to temporarily holster your board after three fatal attacks by Great Whites in three months along a few hundred clicks of Australian coastline, this might be it.

A fifty-foot, forty-four ton dead Sperm Whale, yeah the Moby Dick sort, washed up near South Wall Ballina, a sometimes rifling lefthander protected from the prevailing summer nor’easters.

Ballina is fifty miles from last Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at the Superbank and thirty from June’s fatal hit at Kingscliff, heading north, and a hundred miles to Wooli, headed south, where a teenager died one month ago.

The sight was as grim as it was photogenic.

And, to the surprise of nobody, along came the sharks to feed.

Self-described “shark girl” Madison Stewart has been posting drone images of the dead whale, and the prowling sharks, on her Instagram feed while warning surfers to avoid surfing, at least for a week or so.

View this post on Instagram

She was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I followed her for ages, watching her move in precision following oil coming from the dead whale. The beach was empty but I warned the few people on my walk back, including one lone surfer. I told him there are sharks around, to which he replied "when isn't there", I continued to mention "well it's different because of the whale carcass…" but he was already walking away. In many ways, I respect the surfers who will go no matter what, but do they respect where their choices could lead? The trauma of the first responders and families? Then to the culling and hunting of the sharks? At what point do we make people take responsibility for their actions? If you choose to surf downstream of a whale carcass, shouldn't the shark be relieved of the blame and consequences? For decades this species has been at the mercy of our inability to accept our place below them in the pecking order in their homes. Our egotistical domain over the oceans did more damage to them than any natural disaster has. Your actions as surfers directly effect the animals in the ocean. I'm not a good surfer but surfing has become a huge part of my life, surfing is supposed to be an appreciation of the ocean, not of egotistical dominion over it. That means knowing when to just stay out of the water sometimes. These sharks will remain in the area due to the smell. The energy expelled by sharks to find the whale will lead them to look elsewhere. PLEASE DO NOT SURF PATCHES BEACH OR BALLINA OR EVANS HEADS. #ballina #beach #byronbay #surf #sharkattack

A post shared by Madison Stewart (@sharkgirlmadison) on

Of course, y’can’t leave a dead hunk of blubber on the beach forever.

Workers, knee deep in the detritus of forty-five tons of dead Sperm whale. Photo via @balna_nsw

You live anywhere tween Coolangatta and Port Macquarie?

How you feeling right now?

Seven-timer Stephanie Gilmore with Caz Marks. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Sixty-six-year-old man arrested for allegedly stalking world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore

Magistrate denies bail, noting the distance Squire Winter had travelled to allegedly bump into Gilmore and that it “indicated fixated behaviour and some degree in planning.”

A man, previously banned from coming within even half-a-click of seven-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore, has been charged after allegedly approaching Gilmore at the Tweed Coast Pro on Sunday.

Squire Winter, a sixty-six-year-old, told police he was a surf coach who’d “briefly worked with Steph” and that his understanding of the court order was that he only to stay one hundred metres away from Gilmore in the surf.

Police allege Winter had scared hell out of Gilmore in previous incidents earlier in the year and that she had sought a personal violence order.

As part of the order, Winter wasn’t allowed to contact Gilmore, look for her or come within five hundred metres of her or her workplace.

In facts tendered to court, Winter allegedly appeared next to Gilmore as she was unloading a surfboard from her car.

Police allege Winter said, “Hi, how are you going?”

Gilmore responded, “Great, thank you,” before recognising Winter.

When he suggested “catching up later” she said, “No, no we won’t. Bye.”

Police allege Winter said, “We are going to catch up later, aren’t we?”

Gilmore said “No” and walked away.

Winter was allegedly found by police fifty metres from the carpark.

He allegedly told ‘em he was on his way to Brisbane, an hour or so north, and that he saw Gilmore on his way back from the shitter.

Appearing by video link from the Tweed Heads Police Station on Monday, Winter pleaded not guilty to contravening an apprehended violence order.

The police prosecutor opposed bail and said Winter had a “long history” of violence and breaching apprehended violence orders and that he feared for Gilmore’s wellbeing.

The magistrate denied bail, noting the distance Winter had travelled to allegedly bump into Gilmore and that it “indicated fixated behaviour and some degree in planning.”

In 2012, a homeless schizophrenic junkie, Julius Fox, was sentenced to four years in jail after bashing Gilmore with an iron bar, breaking her wrist, outside her Tweed Heads apartment in 2010.

He was released in 2014.

In March, 2020, a woman was charged with the unlawful stalking of three-time world champ Mick Fanning and breaking into his house with intent and two counts of stealing.

Sarah Foote, a thirty-eight-year-old from Ballina, same age as Mick, was accused of following Fanning between January 29 and February 4, the break-in of Mick’s pretty beachfront joint in Tugun allegedly happening on Feb 2.

Foote was accused of sending “rambling hand-written letters with accusations of pedophilia, declarations of love for Fanning and thoughts of wanting to kill him.”

The woman, who looks nice enough if you like mysterious blondes, was bailed on the condition she stayed hell out of Queensland except for court appearances.


French surfer Justine Dupont keeps pressure on extraordinarily tone-deaf World Surf League: “I want to remain consistent in my approach and I therefore decline their invitation to participate in French Rendezvous of Surfing next week.”

Mr. Logan... Mr. Logan...

The World Surf League, based in Santa Monica, California, released its much anticipated winner of the women’s cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award last week and was immediately engulfed in an inferno of criticism.

The award went to Brazil’s Maya Gabeira and released a breathless report detailing how the wave also set a new Guinness World Record for “Largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female.”

France’s Justine Dupont immediately pointed out a cornucopia of dubiousness, writing via Instagram:

The @wsl announced that the record for the biggest wave surfed would be awarded to a surfer who does not finish her wave. I decided to smile about it even though I am deeply hurt to be subjected to a decision that I believe is totally unfairI’m especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport.

They are based on a report from scientists who use the word “approximate” in front of each of their statements. It is stipulated among other things that:

-The size of the 2 surfer girls is approximately identical: FALSE (at + or – 10cm)
-Our two waves are approximately the same distance from the photographer: FALSE these are 2 different peaks on the biggest beach break in the world.
-They define the bottom of the wave of my competitor about 2m below where the lip of the wave breaks.
-Images of the other surfer were used after the publication deadline.

Most importantly, as noted in the opening salvo, Ms. Gabeira did not complete her ride.

Today, Ms. Dupont doubled down on her frustration by refusing entry into the upcoming French Rendezvous of Surfing, writing again via Instagram:

I have always loved surfing in Anglet. Having still not received a response from @wsl to my questions regarding the many aberrations in their report, I want to remain consistent in my approach and I therefore decline their invitation to participate in #frenchrendezvousofsurfing next week.

I wish a nice day of surfing to all the competitors. In the meantime, I resource myself for a few days in France before tackling winter full. Thank you again to all of you for the support these last days you have been amazing. It’s heartwarming.

Very polite but I’m also confounded by the fact that the World Surf League has not reached out to her. Let’s be honest, there is very little happening, currently, in professional surfing. Ms. Dupont’s confusion about the award is legitimate and deserves, at the very least, personal explanation.

Like, what else is WSL CEO Erik Logan doing aside from getting his side all waxy in Manhattan Beach?

Certainly not fielding calls to sponsor upcoming Bumbles at the Ranch.

And so, Mr. Logan, on behalf of Justine Dupont and French speakers everywhere, I look at you and say:

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the World Surf League can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. CEO Erik Logan, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the World Surf League and surf culture in general, if you seek liberalization, come here to this comment section. Mr. Logan, open this gate. Mr. Logan…Mr. Logan, write Justine Dupont an explanatory letter regarding the cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award.

Do you think it will work?

More as the story develops.