Listen: Former world #2 surfer Ian Cairns on cheating Democrats, Edward Snowden being fixed on the “Russian teat” and strangling a Hawaiian surf star on a ten-foot wave: “You have to be a gnarly tough son of a bitch cocksucker to go beyond the point where you think you might die!”

And a blow-by-blow account of contract beatings on the North Shore.

It was with considerable pleasure that Charlie Smith and I engaged the pro surfing pioneer and former world number two Ian Cairns in an hour of conversation yesterday evening.

Cairns, a sprightly sixty-something and famous in the nineteen seventies for brazenly presenting his titanic buttocks to the beach as he flexed into bottom turns he himself described as “berserk”, is very human, often brilliant, so caustic, and with a dynamic contempt for all who cramp and spoil. 

He is described by another legend, Rabbit Bartholomew, as a “strong minded son of a bitch, a brilliant politician and an absolute master in big surf.”

A delightful sparring partner.

Watch: Nic Von Rupp and João Guedes identified as surfers who bumped into each other, maybe politely, at “The Melee in Nazaré!”

Stuff happens.

I often write “more as the story develops” at the bottom of my various pieces of surf journalism hoping beyond hope that something might. An extra bit of insight. Another angle. Someone clarifying. Oh, I never go searching for the “more” as that’s not how surf journalism works but this very morning more did develop concerning The Melee at Nazare and landed right on my keyboard.

What joy.

You’ll recall, two days ago, when all hell broke loose at Portugal’s most famous big wave. Rumors of fights and near fights in the lineup. Surfers jumping on other surfer’s ski drivers. Two men taking off on one wave and becoming very incensed. I did my best to get to the bottom of who was involved but lips were zipped and details sketchy.

Well, this morning it emerged those two men were Nic Von Rupp and João Guedes.

Von Rupp writes, via Instagram:

Shit happens, it’s the way you deal with it that matters! Dropping down this wave feeling @joaoguedessurfs board on my heels was one of the scariest moments out at Nazaré. No bad vibes here, Joao and myself are friends and glad we both are Ok after this. Watch the full #vonfroth episode link in my bio. This clip filmed by @maquinavoadora

Very cool. But how do you think the matter was dealt with?

More as the story develops.

Courtesy WSL.
Courtesy WSL.

Portugal’s government bans surfing at Nazaré: “Failure to comply with this determination incurs in a criminal offense punished by law!”

Officially on ice.

Well there she goes. Surf forecasting website Magic Seaweed is reporting that Portugal’s National Health Ministry is enforcing a ban on surfing Nazaré beginning today, November 4th, enforced by the harbor captain with “failure to comply” incurring “a criminal offense punished by law.”

You certainly recall the recent “monster” swell which had much fighting and ski jumping and bad behavior. More than 30,000 spectators packed the cliffs to watch the punching and hair pulling and no-no business, which alarmed authorities. Oh, not the naughty water play but all those looky loos.

Europe, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a second or third wave of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic and having many people together is not generally smiled on so there she goes.

But were you planning an autumn trip to The House that Garrett Built? Maybe a little poke around the lineup like famous newsman Anderson Cooper?

Ice those, for now.

More as the story develops.

Watch: Whale attempts to swallow two kayakers whole in what experts are calling “A Divine Comedy!”

"I'm thinking, 'I'm dead. I'm dead.'"

But are all of your nerves completely frayed after last night’s election results marathon that will likely stretch out for weeks and weeks and weeks? Republican signature experts and Democrat signature experts sitting side by side in fluorescent rooms surrounded by Republican lawyers and Democrat lawyers presided over by many judges.

Not exciting at all but we can always count on nature to deliver and in Avila Beach, yesterday, very near Pismo on California’s central coast a sperm whale tried to swallow two whale watchers whole in what must be called a Divine Comedy but lets not tarry. Let’s hear directly from the actresses, Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel, in this wonderful Biblical tableau.

McSorley told the local news affiliate, “I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh, no! It’s too close.’ All of a sudden, I lifted up, and I was in the water.”

“The whale was right here in my face, literally,” added Cottriel. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push. Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way! It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me. Next thing I know, I’m underwater.”

But the whale was just playin’ and both of them emerged unscathed with a wonderful story to tell their grandchildren.

Back to the election, though, did I downplay the thrill of watching signature experts, lawyers and judges dance a glorious tango? Will the next weeks and weeks and weeks be even better than competitive professional surfing?

Much to discuss.

For weeks.

AI by the great Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Open Thread: Comment live as Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden paddle out for what is being called “The Most Exciting Final in US Presidential Election History!”

The hooter has sounded!

And the day of all days is finally here. Those on the left have been waiting, albeit not very patiently, for four agonizingly long years. Those on the right have alternated between cheering, robustly, and wincing. Facial muscles exhausted. Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive has been boarded up, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has been getting covered up all in anticipation of November 3, 2020.

The most exciting, most talked about, most early voted on Presidential Election in United States and America’s history!

The pollsters, so cocksure but four years ago, are hedging heavily with their now-tarnished icon Nate Silver only being able to write, “And indeed — although nobody needs any reminders of this after 2016 — Trump can win. All the election models are bullish on Biden, but they are united in that a Trump win is still plausible despite his seemingly steep deficit in polls.”

But do you feel debilitating anxiety? A barely-harnessed sense of euphoria? Will you be watching multiple channels, reading multiple news sources until the clock strikes next week or will you be hiding in bed watching Cheers re-runs and dreaming of simpler times?

Well don’t do Cheers. Instead, come to the place where everybody knows your Disqus account moniker and be amongst friends. Oh, we may not all agree but we fight funny and, when all is said and done, we’ll still have each other.

Now, let’s start the final heat!