Bugs, beautiful since forever. | Photo: EOS

World champion surfer Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew in knife-edge race for seat of Burleigh Heads in Queensland election as voters desert incumbent member: “I fully acknowledge my ability to fly through cliffs and shoulder the mountains themselves.”

"I am the legacy of ancient warriors and kings."

You can’t put a thing past ol’ Bugs, the 1978 world champ and ten-year prez of the ASP, back when it pivoted to the Dream Tour, a format still largely in play today. 

Bugs, who is sixty-six and with a shock of dyed maroon hair, is attempting to try and win back the seat of Burleigh Heads for the Australian Labor Party, a seat held by the conservatives since 2012, Labor figuring Bugs could use his surf celebrity to achieve the necessary four-percent swing. 

A three-to-one outsider, according to betting agencies, and with sixty-two percent of the vote counted, Bugs is six hundred votes off the pace, a considerable, but possibly not enough, three-and-a-half per cent swing to the ALP.

In his autobiography, Bugs wrote: “I am the legacy of ancient warriors and kings. I’ve passed through the dark caverns of fear, I’ve overcome the pain barrier and now fully acknowledge my ability to fly through cliffs and shoulder the mountains themselves.”

When asked about his bid for parliament, he said, “I’ve always seen impossible as just another challenge!” 

Click here for live updates. 

All hell breaks loose at biggest Nazare ever as surfers fight in lineup, jetski drivers attempt to run each other over, witnesses openly weep on the rocks!


Wavelength magazine reported, yesterday, that a fight broke out in what is being called the biggest Nazare ever. The lineup was packed with a who’s who of big wave folk including Kai Lenny, Andrew Cotton, Nic Von Rupp, Carlos Burle and Sebastian Steudtner.

Very exciting action etc. but things got too exciting when a ski maybe piloted by Ramon Navarro went straight for the aforementioned Von Rupp for allegedly “dropping in.”

Then Carlos Burle got in a punch out with Christian Fletcher’s favorite German for, allegedly the same infraction.

Then “…the driver of one ski pulled up alongside another team’s ski to talk to the driver about etiquette, the surfer on the sled behind stood up and jumped on top the other driver.” The surfers were, were rumored to be Justine Dupont and Maya Gabeira which was later denied by Dupont who said, “My team were not involved in any of the fights and trouble during the swell.”

All while 60+ foot waves detonated.


Witnesses on the rocks were said to be openly weeping, turning tear stained cheeks toward the heavens and pleading for the bad water behavior to stop.

But have you ever heard of such a thing?

I must say, I have not.

More as the story develops.

I wish this were surf-lit, but it ain't. It's my life and those around me, now and forever.

Longtom on surf nihilism and the mental illness epidemic: “There’s no shame in celebrating our old friend surfing, our soul corrective, our anti-depressive medicine”

Feeling blue? If you can surf, you've won the cosmic lottery.

You may have noticed your old pal Longtom, third favourite post-modern Antipodean surf writer, has been a bit slack lately.

Productivity down, AWOL below the line etc etc. I think, in this age of total transparency, an explanation is owed.

Maybe blow up a few mental health myths in the process, in an anti-depressive way, if that is possible.

Y’see things were cruising along pretty OK in the early stages of the Covid drama here when it became apparent, at first slowly and then all of a sudden, that someone very close to me was suffering a severe mental health crisis, possibly lifelong, possibly life threatening.

Dante got it just about right in The Divine Comedy: Life is a vale of tears etc. Seneca even moreso when he said the people we love are on loan from fate and can be taken at any time. It brought on a savage realisation straight off the bat.

It’s hard to suffer. It’s even harder to watch someone close to you suffer.

Especially when they are lost in an internal world of pain.

I wish this were surf-lit, but it ain’t. It’s my life and those around me, now and forever.

Despite that I’ve always been the most cheerful pessimist in the room. And the surf Gods, if there are such a thing, threw down the most outlandish run of surf in a decade. It’s the fashion, mostly in reaction to the VAL led kookocracy, to view surfing in nihilistic terms, understandably.

I have a different view, especially now. Derek Rielly on a recent Dirty Water ep.called surfing an “old friend” and that is much closer to the mark.

A corrective of the highest order would be another way to put it.

Anxiety is worry about the future, depression is the feeling that everything has gone to shit, dread is that immoveable rock in the pit of your stomach warning that something terrible is about to happen. Danish miserablist Soren Kierkegaard might have called them the three horseman of despair*.

All three march on me during the dead of night. Force me to take up arms. Leave me awake in the early hours tense and exhausted. The mind can’t escape the rabbit holes of its own making.

I used to lay awake in the half light before dawn and have a little waking dream about surfing. It was a little ritual that I used to fantasise helped me improve.

That went, there was no time to think about surfing. Days were spent with medical appointments, having difficult conversations, helping someone get through the day as best they could.

In between I could still get a go out. Ironically, despite the stress and pressure, I surfed better than ever. The close range suffering robbed me of white hot joy but even a joy bled white contains within it enough of a spark to make a life worth living. It helped me take the three horsemen and give them a burial at sea.

As far as the corpo takeover of surfing goes, nihilism is a trap, not a solution.

The raised fist is better than the resigned shrug. Pardon the French but “fuck you cunts” seems the appropriate phrase to employ.

I ain’t giving it up.

Why should we?

JP Currie called surfing narcissistic, effete, selfish to which I would reply: that’s just the conventional wisdom rehashed.

I’m no emotional champ, marriage caught me off guard, parenthood has been a minefield I’m scarcely prepared for, let alone having to guide someone through a crisis I can scarcely comprehend.

I just have to learn on the job, day by day. Keep walking beside someone, step by step. Surfing helps me be the shepherd and not the sheep. Helps me face up to life day by day.

To those who would rough up our old friend and leave her defenceless in the gutter I’d also add, check your privilege bitches.

If you can paddle out you won the cosmic lottery, even moreso if you’ve got the skills and sleds to hang when the waves go alpha.

My comrades in the surf have been magnificent. Kings and Queens to share the water with.

One stormy grey afternoon when wedges detonated along the inside sand-bar a local chalkie, shredder of QS standard, found himself inside me on a wave of the day. He motioned to me to take it and surviving a free fall drop I got spat out of a stand-up backside toob. A wave to make a winter.

Fred Nietszche was no nihilist. After the publication in ’84 of Ecce Homo, on what he called a “perfect day” he mused, “I looked behind me, I looked before me, never have I seen so many good things together”.

What was rescued, he claimed, in the process of creation, “is immortal.”

He would have made the same claim, word for word, after a wave like that.

Why even talk about it?

Our mental health is fucked. Too many kids jumping off cliffs.

Why? I don’t know.

My personal theory is the hyper-consumer capitalist model is profoundly inimical to the human soul. Atomised human beings feel profound alienation and that alienation leads to dark urges and even darker actions.

Maybe the spectre of climate change and species extinction; a world run by AI just puts too much fear into the minds of the young to function. You’ll have your own take and it’s as likely to be right as mine. There’s no shame and no stigma putting it out there.

There’s no shame either in celebrating our old friend, our soul corrective, our anti-depressive medicine.

Especially if it helps you get through the day, helps you help someone else.

Suffering has no meaning, other than the one we give it.

Why the fuck should surfing be different?

*He didn’t, but he might as well have.

Listen: “Professional surfer Kolohe Andino’s management team makes strategic blunder certain to cost him millions!”

Mistakes were made.

So there David Lee Scales and I sat per the norm, talking about this and that. About how surf culture is a coal mine. A bleak, dark, unhealthy coal mine that has been thoroughly stripped leaving surf journalists in the deepest part, desperately searching for a vein, anything new, breathing in dust and getting black lung.

About how naming your dog after a surfer is lame unless you name your dog Wendy after Wendy Botha like Devon Howard did.

Then, in some inspired turn, we wondered about websites and which surfers owned their own URLs.

kellyslater.com was obviously taken as was gabrielmedina.com.


Lo and behold available for $12 a year.

David Lee Scales instantly purchased.

What should koloheandino.com be?

What should it feature?

Exciting times ahead.

Listen here.

Oh damn it. David Lee Scales bought koholeandino.com.

Being always anti-depressive where mistakes become opportunity, what should koholeandino.com be?

Two good ol boys Matthew Blew and Ryan Wetjen-Barry have created a thirty-five-foot electric motorboat with the “largest displacement wake surfing hull ever built which they say will create a continuous, head-height wave (that) matches the size and feel of ocean waves. It’s big, powerful, and clean; delivering a massive barrel that will take the sport to new levels.”

Miracle of ingenuity: Inventors claim ability to create head-high barrels on flat-water using specially designed $US600k boat with “wave manipulation hull”!

Cheaper than a wavepool; more expensive than using existing ocean…

Does the race toward wavepool superiority have an eerie Cold War arms race vibe? Each country frantically rezoning land and raising money to build the next three-storey plunger, hydrofoil, air powered system in order to cash in on the Heartlands desire to get wet the cool way. 

To push the country metaphor, we got the Soviet-like Surf Ranch, with its famine-like supply and unchangeable wave; the giant rusted plunger hammering madly into the earth like the dystopia of the US in 2020 and the nimble, easily customisable American Wave Machines and Surf Loch, mimicking perhaps the clever Japanese. 

Now, two good ol boys Matthew Blew and Ryan Wetjen-Barry have created a thirty-five-foot electric motorboat with the “largest displacement wake surfing hull ever built.” The pair say the hull will create a “continuous, head-height wave (that) matches the size and feel of ocean waves. It’s big, powerful, and clean; delivering a massive barrel that will take the sport to new levels.” 

(The sport referred to is wakesurfing. But, still…)

The Gigawave 350 GW-X creates its moving wave by putting three-and-a-half tonnes of ballast into the hull of a boat running two three-hundred horsepower electric motors. 

Cleverly, the lithium boat batteries form part of the ballast, and because the boat is open with the helm well forward, there’s room for twenty-eight passengers. 

Top speed will be 18-24 knots, with a surfing speed of 9-14 knots and a run time of 4-5 hours. Six hours plugged in to charge.

The hit is six-hundred thou’. 

Genius, yes?

(The clip below ain’t on the Gigawave 350 but it does show how wild y’can get even with a little boat and the parallels with ocean surfing etc.)