Aye-aye cap'nperson.
Aye-aye cap'nperson.

Controversy: Seafaring Brits infuriated by BBC, revolt against “Woke Auntie” as revered news organization replaces toxic word “fishermen” with inclusive “fisherpeople!”

"I'm losing it."

Oh bother. And if there was one thing proud Great Britain did not need it was a kerfuffle over its English language but, amidst eternal Brexit negotiations, a Coronavirus pandemic and Boris Johnson here we are for the nation’s proud, revered news organization, the British Broadcasting Corporation, has decided to drop the toxic and triggering word “fishermen” and replace it with the more inclusive “fisherpeople.”

The change occurred on Radio 4’s Today program and sparked instant backlash as fisherpeople took to social media to decry the change, the BBC’s continuing “wokeness” and to point out that a tiny fraction of commercial fisherpeople in the country are women.

Ashley Mullenger, who calls herself the ‘female fisherman,’ joined the fight and told the Daily Mail she only knows of six women also doing her job in the entire United Kingdom.

The BBC’s style guide declares: “Unless you are sure only males are involved, avoid words such as ‘newsmen, ‘businessmen’ and ‘policemen.'” And a spokesperson, when reached for comment, insisted that there was no “ban” on fishermen though “fisherpeople” was perfectly acceptable.

Anchor Piers Morgan, who used to be almost cable news famous in the United States, took to the airwaves infuriated.

“Here’s the point, it’s a rough old job, on the trawler boats on the rough high seas. I’ve never seen a woman on a trawler boat doing that. There must be some, I guess, but is there a single woman in the country who actually trawls for fish professionally… the whole language is being changed from fisherman to fisherpeople. There are certain jobs that women don’t like to do. And it may be that in a trawler, rough and tough in the North Sea at midnight on a Wednesday in January, it’s not up there on the to-do-list of the equality brigade.”

How much time do you think Piers Morgan has spent commercially trawling in the North Sea?

A few months a year?

More to our point, should we change the outdated and exclusionary word “surfer” for “surferpeople?”

Should DJ Paul Fisher change his potentially offensive last name/stage name to Fisherperson?

Much to ponder.

Warshaw, sexy at sixty. | Photo: Chris Burkard/Matt Warshaw collection

Surf historian Matt Warshaw launches fundraiser to increase scope of Encylopedia of Surfing website: “A huge number of surf movies and magazines will vanish forever if we don’t grab ‘em. It’s tedious but incredibly necessary work!”

Come for Warshaw’s sizzling prose; stay and save surf culture from the Great VAL replacement… 

I’ll begin this story with an obscenity: the surf historian Matt Warshaw, sixty years old, earns twenty-five thousand dollars a year as the custodian of the sport’s entire media catalogue.

Ain’t it crazy?

Earlier today I asked Warshaw, if he ever dreamed that, one day, he’d be earning the majestic sum of twenty-five thousand dollars a year.

Warshaw, whose brow is marked by a thousand anxieties, is, necessarily I think, good humoured about his modest stipend.

“Last week I was trying to figure out if I’m earning more now, at 60, then when I was a 25-year-old sub-editor at SURFER,” he said. “Same pay in terms of dollars, but adjust for cost of living and I’m way down in 2020. That’s okay. Jeff Bezos pays (wife) Jodi, she lets me do EOS, I take our kid to all his orthodontic appointments, and let’s call it even.”

Now, seeking funds to expand the reach of the Encyclopedia of Surfing, he’s asking for a little help.

The EOS 2020 fundraiser is 100% dedicated to raising money to buy more work hours. The site should be growing faster. Just look at the Surfboards section. Seven boards posted so far. There should be 100 on there by now, and more added weekly. The Contest section is way behind too, and I know a lot of you aren’t into competition but if you open those pages you will find some amazing little time capsules. (Try the 1959 Makaha Championships, and don’t forget to hit play on the video clip.)

Finally, there is a staggering amount of material—magazines, books, movies, video, photos, and more—that needs to be collected, digitized, archived, and databased. This is a project unto itself. Ultimately, in fact, it is the most important part of the EOS mission. A huge number of surf movies and videos are yet digitized, for example, and will vanish forever if we don’t grab ’em. SURFER and Surfing magazines, and dozens of other titles, have not yet been scanned. This is the tedious but incredibly necessary work that will continue long after I hit “send” on my final Joint, and the more we get done now, the better.

So let’s raise 30K. EOS needs another pair of hands. Two pair would be even better. I’d like a small raise, too, if I’m being honest. 

Here is a shameless feel-good EOS clip designed to trigger the credit-card extension reflex. 

Donate here.  Subscriber or buy a gift sub here.

When I asked Warshaw what satisfaction the site gave him, he said,

“It’s like moving into a house and figuring out where all the furniture and art goes. You like doing that or you don’t. I love it. Although I don’t expect anybody to understand how or why the job is as satisfying as it is. My first date with Jodi, we were walking to Cafe Claude for lunch and I was going on and on about databasing, as I’d gotten on top of Filemaker Pro, which means you’ve defeated the First Boss in the surf history game. We got past that very awkward moment, had lunch, and got married.”

Thirty bucks a year to subscribe. Terrific value. 

Bombshell: Powerful Islamic parties seek total booze ban in Indonesia; happy drinkers could face two years in jail and $5000 fines!

"Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining of arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork."

Shocking news just in from the Jakarta Globe. Powerful Islamic parties, who control a third of the seats in Indonesia’s House of Representatives, want to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of any beverage containing alcohol.

Indonesia, of course, has become a repository for the some of the world’s keenest drinkers, the tropical heat and endless open-air bars, particularly in Bali, making the consumption of booze an all-day ritual.

Roughly one third of Bali’s tourists come from Australia, who also enjoy its conduciveness to street-fighting, silly pranks and so on.

Indonesia is also the world’s biggest Muslim nation, home to thirteen percent of its almost two billion Muhammadans and booze, ooowee, it haraam.

Muhammad, y’see, said alcohol’s potential for sin outweighed its medicinal value, something I think is very easy to agree with.

Peel open your Qur’an to Surah Al-Maidah where Allah says:

“O ye who believe ! Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining of arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. So will ye not then abstain?”

Al-Qur’an 5:90-91

Who hasn’t lost a telephone to a cross-dressing pixie while boozed in Bali or tried to annihilate a wall of night-club bouncers, confidence inflated by arak-based cocktails?

Bit of push-back from bar owners and politicians in Bali, that little Hindu enclave east of Jakarta, as you can imagine.

The head of Bali’s regional legislative council, AA Ngurah Adi Ardhana, said the proposal was “shallow and a piece of Islamic self-interest” and that it is “too superficial; Bali will definitely reject it. We are a unitary state built on diversity, and the potential economic impact involved is unacceptable.”

Gray Lady: In scathing new report, the New York Times eviscerates World Surf League claims of being “The Global Home of Surfing!”


Imagine waking up this morning as World Surf League CEO Erik Logan. Sleep still in eyes. Excited, though slightly nervous, with the start of the 2020/21 Championship Tour Season mere weeks away. Competition. World’s best surfers, world’s best waves. Heats.

Scores in and out of the excellent range.

You get out of bed, make a cup of bracing herbal tea still wearing your Kai Lenny pajamas, check the El Porto surf cam, throwing “Hawaiian Handshakes” to the boys in the lineup and whispering “See you in two shakas…” giggling at the play on words then walk past your wall mounted Laird Hamilton signed SUP to the front door to retrieve the morning paper.

The New York Times.

Only the best.

After flipping through many scary stories of Covid-19 spikes and President Trump’s lasting damage to the nation, you stumble across the headline Endless Subscribers: Surfers Follow a New Path to Stardom with the subhead “In the digital era, a carefully crafted persona has become more valuable than contest results.”


You read again “…more valuable than contest results.”

A shiver races up your spine.

Surely the sentiment was meant in jest. You laugh at your own tension, purpose to do some mindfulness exercises later in the day and press forward, excited that surfing is getting the spotlight it needs and, as surfing’s “Global Home,” it will all reflect directly on Santa Monica.

Except the whole thing starts with Sterling Spencer and his forsaking of contests and going the traditional structures in order to carve his own path.

Spencer’s vision held true. After decades during which legacy surf publications folded and the glow of contests dimmed, the longstanding route for promoting the sport and its participants has almost entirely vanished. Surfers remade it, cultivating their own audiences through the digital world and in turn altering the way professionals map their careers. The value of stories told by surfers soon eclipsed the world rankings, and a carefully crafted persona garnered more currency than contest results.

The piece transitions to Dane Reynolds and how he too became truly famous without contests and then to Jamie O’Brien…

With weekly videos that follow his life on the North Shore of Oahu and abroad, O’Brien has gained 655,000 YouTube subscribers, 10,000 more than the World Surf League.

Alana Blanchard…

Alana Blanchard, 30, followed a similar path after leaving the World Surf League’s tour in 2015. Her 1.8 million Instagram followers dwarf the number of her former sponsor Rip Curl by 800,000. O’Brien and Blanchard didn’t just get past the gatekeepers. They leveled the whole structure.

Ben Graeff…

“Ten years after I quit surfing, I became a professional surfer through making YouTube videos,” said Graeff, who is known as Ben Gravy. His career took off when a 2017 video of him surfing off a ferry’s wake in his native New Jersey went viral.

And by the time your eyes find the last line, a quote from Justin Quintall saying, “You are your own media outlet…” tears are also streaming out of them, landing softly on your customized Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch placemats.

A hit piece.

The Gray Lady just carried out a hit piece on your World Surf League.


Hawaiian surf star, sparring partner of Sunny Garcia and former world #19, John Shimooka, dead at fifty-one

Tributes pour in for popular tour surfer, manager…

The diminutive former world number nineteen and jiujitsu black-belt, John Shimooka, whose motto was “life is too short to be serious” has reportedly been found dead at his Sydney home. 

Shimooka, a suave motherfucker with excellent hair who had just turned fifty-one, quit the tour in 1999 to move from Hawaii to Cronulla, in Sydney’s southern suburbs, and raise his son Brandon with his Australian wife Lisa.

“When I looked at my baby boy I knew it was all over… I finally found out what we’re really put on earth for, to reproduce beautiful little human beings like Brandon. I have loved children all my life, and to have one of my own is the ultimate. He’s my jewel,” Shmoo told Hawaii’s Star Bulletin. 

Shmoo won a tour event in Japan and was runner-up to his best pal Sunny Garcia at Bells in 1995, riding an ultra-fast Greg Webber. He circled the tour for a dozen seasons, finishing nineteenth in 1995.

From Hawaiian photographer Brian Bielmann: “There’s a lotta broken hearts out there today, aloha John Shimooka Your Beautiful soul touched so so many.” 

A gaming card from 1992 said Shmoo “dances to the beat of a different drummer. His reputation as a party animal may overshadow his abilities in the water, whether tearing the tops off Ulu barrels or going airborne at a California beach break, but does he care? Of course not, as long as he has a chance to speak his mind. In which case he would probably say life is too short to be serious. Shmoo lives the classic surfer’s lifestyle: surf the best you can and have fun while doing it.”

After leaving the tour, Shmoo got deep into jiujitsu and became a manager for popular surfers Craig Anderson and Jordy Smith.

Two months ago, on the first anniversary of his wife Lisa’s death, Shmoo posted a moving tribute on Instagram. 

Last year, Shmoo spoke at a surfing contest organised by another former pro, Kurt Nyholm, to raise money for Head Space, an Australian charity that provides mental health support for 12-25-year-olds.

“Shmoo spoke of his struggles and the dark places they’ve taken him,” another tour surfer Toby Martin said. “Now we have Sunny(Garcia). So it has to stop, and we need to find ways to help. This event offered a passive way for surfers to reach out. It was a platform so surfers could let their guard down. That helps stop guys from becoming isolated, which I know from my own personal experience is where the problems start.”