WSL CEO Erik Logan, socked in the bona fides.

Blood Feud: Black Girls Surf’s Rhonda Harper socks WSL CEO Erik Logan’s social justice bona fides, “I sat and watched with absolute horror…I told you the George Floyd paddle out was a performance more than a social justice moment”

"How do you co-op a Black woman’s work just like that? Proof that they take EVERYTHING from us."

The World Surf League’s CEO Erik “Elo” Logan has had his and his company’s woke bona fides socked by the founder of Black Girls Surf, Rhonda “Rokki” Harper, in a powerful screed posted to Facebook.

(Black Girls Surf was established in 2014 “for young girls/women surfers of the African diaspora. BGS is training and coaching the next gen of surfers ages 5-17.”)

“Part of ‘fighting systemic racism’ includes honoring the labor of Black women, not taking credit for it or using it as inspo for brand activations,” writes Harper. “Listen to this part of the Action Sports + Culture conference I sat and watched in absolute horror. Proof that they take EVERYTHING from us. According to Erik Logan, WSL is responsible for their BLM response and it started with Tyler Wright. I told you the Encinitas George Floyd paddle out was a performance more than a social justice moment. He invokes Harpo…Oprah’s company during this same interview. How do you co-op a Black woman’s work just like that?”

Watch the Elo interview here.

It isn’t the first time Elo’s woke bona fides have been questioned.

Earlier the year, we asked, Is the WSL festishising people of colour and is it this patronising approach masquerading as progressive values that has its potential audience staying away in droves?

And it ain’t the first time Rhonda’s bitten hard on mainstream surf.

Four months ago, Harper called surf identity Sal Masekela an “Uncle Tom” and accused the popular commentator and musician of “bringing negativity and dividing black people.”

“He hasn’t done nothing for black people in surfing!” said Harper, after Sal spoke at a George Floyd paddle-out in Encinitas, a speech described by Stab “as so powerful that it reverberates deep in our core.”

Harper said, “I can’t believe your daddy is Hugh Masekela who was down there with apartheid and you act like this!”

 


Beach sex, a rare and secret pleasure.

Brave Instagram influencer and philanthropist smashes surfing’s entrenched homophobia and exclusionist patriarchal structure via beach theatre!

Terrific fun and many important messages.

Social media influencer Willem Ungermann from Tweed Heads, just across the border from Snapper Rocks there, is a man of the times, a truth seeker who uses his online power to highlight surfing’s exclusionist patriarchal structure and its deeply entrenched homophobia.

In a two-episode series, which is part beach theatre, part Jackass-style pranks, we find Willem, who goes by the handle Willem Powerfish, terrorising a D-Bah line-up on his bodyboard, at one point accepting a beach fight only to drop to his knees and tell his surprised fellow duellist, “I’ll suck you dry, mate.”

Between waves, he tells one surfer “I fucked a bloke like you once”, another, “You’re lucky my dad Rex isn’t here, he’d smash your pelvis”, another, “Heard of the Bra Boys? We’re the Flatty Boys. Instead of going around bashing cunts, we fuck ’em”, another, “You know why I like surfing? When guys wear wetties and I can see their dick”, another he asks if he’s seen Ross Clarke-Jones’ cock and says, “I’ve fucking sucked it dry.”

(William is also known for his philanthropy, recently delivering five thousand dollars to shoppers at a regional supermarket. Watch here.)

Terrific fun and many important messages.


A ten-foot White caught, tagged, released off Angourie on Australia's east coast by the Department of Primary Industry's Shark Smart program. | Photo: @nsw_sharksmart

Eyewitness: Monster Great White took well-known Esperance surfer “almost whole”; WA Premier blames victim: “There’s always a risk when you go in the water.”

"You’ve got a situation where the numbers have built right back up again. I don’t think a lot of people understand that. The numbers are very high… similar to what they were in the 1960s."

Historical perspective is a hell of a thing.

So how about this.

There has never been a period in human history when humans, divers, surfers, whatever, have been killed by Great Whites in such numbers as in 2020: seven deaths this year, four surfers, Rob Pedretti, Mani Hart-Deville, Nick Slater and the  “well-known local surfer” Andrew Sharpe killed yesterday, and three divers.

A local surfer said he was taken “almost whole. The body is just fucking gone.”

An Esperance local, Jess Anne, was swimming with her kid a kilometre away and said the water turned red.

“It did stretch quite a fair way in the water,” she told 7News.

And the fatality rate from Great White attack, usually one in ten, is now two out of three.

For the Western Australian premier Mark McGowan, Newcastle-born, educated in Coffs Harbour and Queensland before joining the navy and moving to WA, another shark attack is business as usual; a result, he says, of man entering the beast’s domain.

After yesterday’s attack at Kelpies in Esperance, where teenager surfer Laticia Brouwers died in front of her family after being hit by a Great White in 2017, where Sean Pollard, 23, had an arm and another hand bitten off by a Great White in 2014 and a few clicks away from where diver Gary Johnson was killed by a White in January, the premier said “There’s always a risk when you go in the water.”

Fuck me.

As Marie Antoinette asked her servants after being told the peasants were starving, “If there’s no bread why don’t they eat brioche?”

The mood, as you’d expect, is pretty hostile to Great Whites down in Esperance right now. There’s a theory kicking around that once a shark has a “blood meal” it’ll return to the area during their annual migration.

Diver Greg Pickering, who’s been hit twice by sharks, the last a Great White in Esperance in 2013 (interestingly, seven years almost to the day since yesterday’s attack) called for a cull after Laticia Brouwers was hit warning then that WA could expect “more of the same” unless action was taken to reduce growing shark numbers.

An abalone diver for forty years, he told PerthNow, “There wasn’t any. You never saw them. That’s changed now. You’ve got a situation where the numbers have built right back up again. I don’t think a lot of people understand that. The numbers are very high. I’d say they’re similar to what they were in the 1960s. I’ve seen more sharks over the last few years than in the 20 or 30 years before that.”

The attack and Australia’s Great White Crisis has gone curiously unreported by the surf media, Surfline running a story on the importance of sharks in the eco-system and Stab magazine ignoring the attack altogether instead preferring to run a story called Rusty’s Been Rad Since Forever and Their New Collection is No Exception, a thousand or so words on the brand’s Before Crowds collection.


Orange County surfer sells 5’8 Lost Puddle Jumper for $5 after becoming disillusioned with shaper Matt Biolos and the “conscious-presenting” industry that protects him!

"Cant imagine being seen in public riding a board that has his name on it."

There are many deals available on the internet but maybe none better than a 5’8 Lost x Lib technology Puddle Jumper for $5 currently on Craigslist. The board seems to be in wonderful condition, with the exception of a dirty wax job and ugly tail patch so what’s the catch?

Well, it has Matt Biolos’s name on it and let us read the advertisement, together, now.

Well, I really liked this board. It had an eco-element, lib-tech futuristic technology, and a really fun shape… Then I found out that Matt Biolos is an arrogant racist pig. I should have assumed, but fuck this guy. Wan’t his brand built on decades of images of degenerate drug users? Wardo, AI, Spike… Seeing him veil his racism with social elitism, coming from a drug addict himself, is disgusting. What’s worse? An industry that protects him and pretends to be “conscious.”

Cant imagine being seen in public riding a board that has his name on it. First $5 cash in hand, it’s yours.

The full-throated takedown of Biolos seems to be misplaced and/or not fully informed. Tying racism, social elitism and drug addiction together is also a bit difficult to follow but the spirit is admirable. Putting money where mouth is, or rather, taking money from where mouth is.

The Lost x Lib Puddle Jumper retails for nearly $800.

But have you ever made a similar stand?

Selling something for cheap and/or buying something expensive and altering like golfer Bubba Watson did with the famous General Lee?

Or are you too busy furiously searching Craigslist, clutching a $5 bill?

More as the story develops.


Great White circles twenty-five-foot patrol boat. | Photo: David Riggs

Breaking: Surfer killed by suspected Great White at Kelpies, Esperance; same beach teenage surfer killed by Great White in 2017 and where surfer lost both arms to Great White in 2014.

The new reality.

Police and paramedics are investigating a shark attack on a surfer at Kelpies, Esperance, a pretty stretch of sand on an impossibly pretty stretch of coastline, seven hundred clicks south of Perth in Western Australia.

A large shark spotted, a surfboard found floating in the water, no surfer.

Beach closed.

“The surfboard washed up nearby to where the attack occurred and with obvious signs of shark attack,” Senior Sergeant Justin Tarasinski told reporters.“The chances of survival are obviously pretty slim considering some of the accounts that have been provided to us.”

The name Kelpies rings a bell don’t it. In 2017, teenager surfer Laticia Brouwers died in front of her family after being hit by a Great White.

Three years earlier, Sean Pollard, 23, had an arm and another hand bitten off by a Great White at the same beach.

Nine months ago, Gary Johnson, hit by a White as soon as he dived into the water off Esperance to set his anchor, killed.

Last month, I spent a fascinating hour examining the new military-grade crankshaft tourniquets of Mr Jon Cohen, the emergency department doctor who has made it his business to stem the death rate from Great White shark attacks in Australia.

Jon lives in Sydney most of the year but spends a little time each year in the ED of Esperance Hospital.

Jon knows hits by Great Whites in Esperance are a new reality.

“I know some guys who were in the ED that day (Laeticia Brouwer was killed) and it was a traumatic experience to manage. Cases like that are preventable deaths. People can act on the beach if they’re there when it happens. It might be scary to talk about but it’s reassuring to know that there is something you can do and it’s not complicated.”

He doesn’t have, or won’t share, any opinion concerning solutions to a growing population but he does have a solution post-hit. His goal is to have a shark bite kit at all the main beaches, and he runs regular classes on what to do if a White takes a limb.

His kits even include a sticker to put on your car to show you’re packing a tourniquet and the skills to staunch a wound.

Last year, Cohen told me he Cohen wanted to get a haemorrhage kit at Kelpies. He said it might make the difference between life and death if someone was attacked.

Esperance has become such a byword for Great Whites, the Discovery Channel brought a New York-based marine biologist, Dr Craig O’Connell, to the isolated town to film a documentary exploring the peculiarly aggressive nature of Esperance’s Great Whites.

“People have begun arriving at the beach after hearing about the possible shark attack, worried about if their loved one is a victim. At least one person is in tears,” reported the ABC’s Emily Smith. 

(Below, watch as a Great White circles a twenty-five-foot patrol boat in Esperance, from 2017)