Shark researcher jumps into pen to shepherd two-ton Great White into position for tagging ceremony. | Photo: @ocearch

Fully clothed Shark researcher jumps into water with fifty-year-old, two-ton Great White; Twitter explodes: “So bad, how horrible that you would do this. Now trophy hunting has gone to the ocean, you bastards.”

"Let's see how long it is before she's no longer with us because of pure stupidity."

Sometimes you can’t win for losing, as they say.

Ocean Research organisation Ocearch is in the biz of tagging Whites and sharing the data with whoever wants it in near real-time.

Important work. Environmental warriors at the front line.

Recently, they tagged a Great White in Nova Scotia, fifty years old they estimate, the footage including one researcher jumping into the drink, fully-clothed, to guide the seventeen-foot long, three-and-a-half-thousand pound Great White they called ‘Nukumi’ – a name given to her to honour a ‘legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi’kmaq people’, into the pen where it got tagged.

Footage is pretty wild, see below, and everyone wins: research is collected, and Great White gets a little holiday above the water.

Twitter, which was founded in 2006 to push the then just awakening outrage culture, was pleasingly on point with its apoplexy.

Leave him alone! We have done enough damage to the ocean and it’s occupants!

You should have left her there in her natural habitat

I Would like to know what are they trying to do with her they need to let her go back to her home

It’s OK to admire a beautiful animals from a far. But why do we need to probe the ‘Queen of the Ocean’? #sad The worse momment her life was you spotting her.

I totally support your efforts, but this looks really aggressive to me. Y’all need to use a gentler touch. Design some more comfortable equipment to get her out of her habitat, even if it’s only for two minutes

Right- let’s see how long it is before she’s no longer with us because of pure stupidity.

Did you guys let her go?

Stressing out an “ancient mature female” seems like the right thing to do.

So bad, how horrible that you would do this. Now ” trophy hunting” has gone to the ocean, you bastards.

I think, tagging Whites is a very good idea and a little jabbing and jostling ain’t such a bad price to pay for science etc.

You?

https://twitter.com/OCEARCH/status/1312536896434659329


The Benny's Surf Club gang. | Photo: @bennys.club

New York gay and BIPOC collective “Benny’s Club” created to neutralise surfing’s “intimidating…scary…straight, white male energy.”

"I know a lot of queer surfers I’ve talked to feel [this]: you sort of have to live a double life. You might be out and proud on land, but in the water, you better keep your mouth shut."

It ain’t easy being a fag, this I do know.

For whatever reason, cheekbones, high-ass, penchant for all-white ensembles, I’ve been hassled since I was kid, called a faggot, poofter and so on.

And so, I sorta hear this.

New Yorkers Johnny Cappetta and Momo Hudes have created a gang of queers and non-whities, who wanna surf but who don’t dig, and who get freaked out, by the taciturn white bastards, men, who dominate American lineups.

Benny’s Club organises surf lessons, happy meet-ups in the Rockaways and much chatter about technique and how lineups work.

In an interview with i-d magazine, founder Momo Hughes, recalls an early taste of the horror,

“As a very small, skinny kid, [I’d] have grown men threatening to fight me on a regular basis. It’s just pretty aggressive. Even as you get older and better and become a regular at certain spots, there’s very much a pervading vibe in the water: shoulders down, head hunched, black wetsuit, don’t say shit to anybody. I felt, and I know a lot of queer surfers I’ve talked to feel [this]: you sort of have to live a double life.” JOHNNY CAPPETTA

“It was just my dad and my brother and all of these older white men. It was really intimidating. I don’t know if when I was younger I realized how uncomfortable I was by that — I think I was more concerned with the ocean at that point. There’s that feeling that if I drown, if something happens, none of these people would bat an eye or be concerned. Just being in the water by yourself and not knowing anyone is really scary. The straight, white male energy is the reason why Benny’s was created, but also to make it a less intimidating and scary experience to go out there alone. Occasionally at Rockaway, I’d see a female surfer, and those times were so exciting. Any time that would happen I’d always paddle closer to her. That’s so much less intimidating, and inspiring to see — a female surfer out there in a crowd of men.”

Johnny says,

“As a very small, skinny kid, [I’d] have grown men threatening to fight me on a regular basis. It’s just pretty aggressive. Even as you get older and better and become a regular at certain spots, there’s very much a pervading vibe in the water: shoulders down, head hunched, black wetsuit, don’t say shit to anybody. I felt, and I know a lot of queer surfers I’ve talked to feel [this]: you sort of have to live a double life. You might be out and proud on land, but in the water, you better keep your fucking mouth shut. There’s a feeling of keeping your politics out of the water. And what that really means is, don’t make any of the straight, white, old men consider things that they don’t want to consider. I think that Benny’s for me is a way to open space in the lineups, in the water, to an understanding and an acceptance of our whole humanity as surfers, and to provide access. It’s an intimidating and serious place and if you’re not white and male passing, it’s very hard to even get a wave, let alone feel comfortable.”

I’m white and male-passing so I get by.

You?

Contact Benny’s Surf Club here.


Hooooo-eee!

Open Thread: Comment live on Boost Mobile Pro as Australians, including activist Tyler Wright, keep the professional surfing dream alive!

What a time to be alive!

Is the World Surf League still a functioning body? I, for one, don’t know, but there is another professional surfing competition in Australia happening right now, the Boost Mobile Pro, and you are allowed to watch for free.

Are you old enough to remember when Boost Mobile first floated into our world?

I am.

It was supposed to be a content x mobile play that certainly seems prescient but was also based on extreme sports, which certainly don’t.

Or maybe do.

Weigh in on Tyler Wright etc. as they surf professionally and live here.


With fog of sorrow lifting, punters come out to dance on Surfer magazine’s still warm corpse: “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!”

In the word’s of Neil Young- “It’s better to burn out, than it is to rust.”

I am now an entirely apolitical person. I excused myself from the annals of the internet in mid 2019 after what you may call internet induced political fatigue. Thats quite a feat considering I come from a family with political roots in both federal and local government, went to a polling university that garners an A+ from FiveThirtyEight where I pursued political science and later went to law school where Mr. Biden himself was a constitutional law professor. The cacophony of purity tests and conspiracy theories from the left and right were so deafening that I now abstain from all news and voting and vowed to fulfill my civic duty by creating jobs in my local economy and being an active participant in my kid’s school district, the ultimate goal being to help impact my local community and hope that there is a butterfly effect that ripples further.

In a country so divided, surfing and reading about surfing were my safe haven. In the water, especially during COVID, my friends and I would put any politically induced stress in a neat box and compartmentalize it for an hour session, focusing on the things that unify us, rather than separate us. Environmentalism was always a topic of discussion, parenting, jobs, etc. But never politics. The sport we love has unified so many disparate characters that it only seemed logical that the sport could get us to drop our arms and embrace our brethren from 6 feet away and enjoy one of the last bastions of human contact many of us have since we are all working from home and trying to also, somehow, teach our kids science via a fucking Zoom connection while also taking conference calls.

Surfer magazine was, for years, the sports bible. With a long history of writing some of the most interesting and compelling articles in surf, Surfer magazine represented, to me, a unifying publication aimed at every surfer. As I exited the internet and stopped reading news, I vowed that the only things I would read would be BeachGrit, PE Newswire, and Surfer. The articles on surfer, especially the ones by Zander Morton, scratched my itch and reminded me of when I would thumb the physical pages as a kid.

As I read daily, I was pleased and loved what I was reading. But as 2020 went on one voice, Todd Prodanovich, stood out as just fucking tone deaf. Dude straight up doesn’t get it. He is the exact type of person that pushed me off social media (and out of Democratic Party affiliation). Purity tests, finger wagging, and hyper politicization of everything are Todd’s name of the game. As things got weird in 2020, TP dropped the facade of any sort of journalistic integrity and wrote articles (more like Vox than Surfer) finger wagging at those who surfed under COVID regulations, selling COVID pseudoscience, finding injustice everywhere, and just being the worst kind of elitist opinionated limousine liberal most liberals hate. Earlier in the year he had a call to action claiming surfers should embrace our anti-establishment roots and then went on this week to endorse a ticket filled with two of the most establishment centric politicians who have ever filled a ticket, how radical.

Fast forward to this weekend, Todd announced that Surfer, is indeed dead. I for one, am happy. He announced that the cover will feature a paddle out for George Floyd and include a longford piece on the LGBTQ community. Those thought pieces are great for those who want that intermingled with ads for the SharkBans, but most of us don’t. I have no problems with the cover or the article, but putting those things front and center, Todd proved that as Editor-in-Chief, he didn’t care about all surfers, just the ones he agreed with politically. It was disheartening to know that TP’s vision for Surfer was not for surfers, but to turn the magazine into yet another virtue signaling outrage machine more focused on having its finger on the pulse of woke than on being the source of truth for all things surf.

We as surfers, are a group of individuals tied by a common bond- mainly a love for the ocean and getting fat tubes. Needless division in our tight knit group should not be tolerated. In almost every surf documentary, people of all races and socioeconomic statuses describe surfing as an escape from their day-to-day. Shoehorning politics and egalitarian elitism into a sport that so many of us rely on for an escape should not be something we accept carte-blanche. Who the hell is Todd Prodanovich to tell us what to think and who is he to needlessly divide us over what he perceives as important. We are anti-establishment, and that’s why Surfer Magazine was replete of political grandstanding, because surfing isn’t supposed to represent that. Also, judging by the fact that the majority of the comments and thumbs ration TP’s opinions into absolute oblivion, its pretty obvious the masses feel the same, at least the ones on Surfer.com.

In the word’s of Neil Young- “It’s better to burn out, than it is to rust.” Thank god Surfer did the former rather than the latter. Todd, Vox and The Atlantic might love your reductive and pedantic race to politicize everything and find your way to the lowest common denominator, but for the time being- don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. You won’t be missed.


Seventeen-year-old boy describes terrifying moment when shark began its vicious attack: “I was stressing, I was screaming at everyone, and everyone just started paddling away from me!”

"In the moment, you just think you’re not going to come out of it alive unless you do something."

Do you consider yourself a brave and hearty soul, not easily rattled or put off your game? Like, Julian Wilson brave, swimming directly toward a shark attack in order to help a friend?

A hero?

If you answered “yes” I am certain that seventeen-year-old Perth surfer Sav Marafioti wishes you were in the water a few days ago when a shark began its attack.

He was out at Toms Surf Break in North Beach with many others when he felt that dreaded nudge.

And let us head toward Perth, and Australia’s Channel Nine News, for the very latest:

“As I put my leg down, I felt it again, so I’ve put my leg up and it’s grabbed my leg rope and started pulling down, and my leg rope’s just started to stretch. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know what to do. I was stressing, I was screaming at everyone, and everyone just started paddling away from me. In the moment, you just think you’re not going to come out of it alive unless you do something.”

Absolutely terrifying, especially being abandoned like that. Everyone just paddling away and not a proud day for Perth surfers except one hale friend who stuck around.

Marafioti undid his leash, swam to that friend who paddled him in on his board.

A hero though… this whole two boys, one board setup seems very dangerous, like tempting fate, but no matter. Fortune favors the bold and it favored Marafioti who added, “You can’t explain how it feels to have an animal grabbing at you. I don’t wish it on anyone.”

“Except Carole Baskin.”

Just kidding. He didn’t say that part about Carole Baskin.