Breaking: Faintest heartbeat heard as World Surf League finalizes six-part documentary series to be aired on Apple TV+ featuring an “exploration of the competitors who make up the 2021 WSL Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour!”

A new day!

And look at that. I go writing this current iteration of our World Surf League off, for the 234th time, and its CEO Erik Logan turns around, snags an executive producer title and sells a six-part documentary series to Tim Apple+.


Per Deadline:

From Box to Box Films and the World Surf League, the as-yet-untitled docuseries will go behind-the-scenes to chronicle the aspirations, failures and accomplishments as each surfer endeavors to remain on the elite WSL Championship Tour.

As described by Apple TV+, each episode will explore the competitors who make up the 2021 WSL Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour, taking viewers to incredible surfing locations across the globe, starting in Hawaii. The docuseries will showcase various surfing cultures, as well as look at timely subjects tied to the sport including eco-conservation, sustainability and marine preservation.

As-yet untitled?


But do you think one of the various surfing cultures will feature BeachGrit’s vibrant anti-depressive community?

It has to, no? We, or rather you, are the essence of eco-conservationist, sustainable and marine preservationist.

To a fault, if I’m being honest.

Well, exciting.

But back to the “as-yet untitled” business.

What should it be called?

More as the story develops.

Cutting a lil edit to Santaria, last strike mission to Tavi.

VAL-Lit: “I’ve been pulled into a work surfing group text thread that meanders from Surf Ranch to Tavi ‘strike missions… This is why I don’t tell anyone I surf”

And introducing the "kook rhombus"!

“Jesus Haploid Christ! I’m an idiot,” I think, remembering what happened in the surf this morning.

Relative to my ability, I had negotiated the crumminess of the waves and crowd with uncharacteristic finesse.

I had gotten greedy and paddled back out after what should’ve been a session-ender.

A voice.

“Hey, Karl?”


I angled my head to get a view of him. It was Conner, from the office.

“Oh, hi, Connor.”

“I didn’t know you surfed!” he said excitedly.


“This is so cool! Hey, Aiden is out today, too. He’s just out there,” he said pointing towards the lineup.

As I got closer, I noticed Aiden and his glistening beard on a mid-length, sitting with a female, Connor’s girlfriend, Dana, who I’m pretty sure ended up working for Herbalife, getting “hired” on there after doing her SDSU MBA program final consulting project on one of the company’s semesterly marketing studies projects meant to make it seem more legitimate and less swindle-y and pyramid-scheme-y.

“Hey, look what the cat dragged in,” said Connor as we got to the others, forming a sort of circle, a kook rhombus.

“Hey, man! So cool to see you surfing out here!” said Aiden, loudly.


“Now that we know you surf, we should do this more often!” said Connor.


I pretended I’d seen something and paddled a little to the north to get away.

The group followed.

Angrily panicked thoughts raced through my head.

“What the fuck? Why are they following me? This is why I don’t tell anyone I surf… ugh…only my family, my girlfriend, and one other girl I was interested in ten years ago, who I grew up with and also surfed, knew! And now I’m surfing with three VALs… I mean, Aiden has been surfing for seven years (so I remember him making a big deal about then) at least and rides a shortboard… no, he’s still a VAL!”

“Hey!” said Connor, breaking the spiral. “Aiden was thinking of heading up to Rincon this weekend, he’s been looking at swell charts and forecasts for the last two weeks. I wasn’t going to go, though now that we know you surf, too, maybe we can all make a trip out of it!”

“Is there going to be any surf even? Anyway, I’m going to be pretty busy this weekend,” I lied.

“OK. That’s cool. Well, maybe we can do something over Thanksgiving weekend. Aiden was telling me that Bryce was thinking about getting into surfing.”


“The mega-investor guy our company brought in for our training unit on Corporate Social Responsibility,” said Aiden. “I’ve been talking to him for awhile, trying to butter him up?”

“For what? Doesn’t he only invest in startups? Like those bullshit startups that don’t even offer products or services, existing for who knows why?” I asked.

“Yeah, but…” he trailed off.

I said, “Social climbing. Got it. He’s Hurley Man.”



Aiden went quiet.

“With Bryce, you can call yourselves The Alphabet Group or Alphabet, Inc,” I said.

“Like the Google company?” asked Aiden.

“Yeah, I guess, sorry,” I said, no one getting the reference.

Everyone went quiet.

“What kind of music do you listen to?” asked Dana to cut the non-actual tension tension.

“I don’t know. A little of this, a little of that. I usually just like individual songs,” I said.

Connor caught a left on his 5’10” MF Little Marley (Aqua), stiff legged and going straight, only slightly angled so as to perceive he’s going down the line.

“Do you listen to Sublime?” she asked.

“Do I look like a fifteen-year old pothead? They sucked even when they were relevant,” I said, causing her to noticeably wince.

“Oh, Connor loves them. Since he’s started surfing, he’s gotten really into them. And Jack Johnson, who we all listen to.”

“Oh, um, cool. I think I’m going to paddle in. It was nice seeing you… guys.”

I started paddling in, not even waiting for a wave anymore. As I was paddling, I passed Connor.

“Hey, so think about Thanksgiving weekend,” he said.

“Yeah,” I lie.

I make it to the car and drive home to hop in the shower to rinse myself of the stench of the session.

Three hours later, I receive a flurry of texts. Apparently, I have been pulled into a work surfing group text thread that meanders from Surf Ranch to Tavi “strike missions”. I make sure not to answer any of the messages unless directly addressed.

I ignore the vibrating block on my nightstand, checking in periodically for some unknown reason, only to make sure none of them are talking to me.

I glance at my phone and there is a text from Aiden, “Karl, should I get a Black and White or a Sampler?”

“Sampler is a terrible board.”

“OK. I’ll get a 6’1” Black and White.”

“Why 6’1”?”

“The site says ‘should be ridden about your same height to two inches longer’.”


Disappointed with myself for answering, I turn off my phone and boot up the computer.

Time for a new job.

American tour hopefuls digest news.

Longtom: “New mandatory diversity quotas on pro surfing tour to smash Australian, US, Brazilian dominance!”

A massive shift in the status quo looms.

It might have been the old wife stabber Norman Mailer or gallic poet Paul Verlaine who said “Life is Divertissement”, meaning life is entertainment, amusement, distraction.

True enough, I think, and reason enough for us to celebrate the upcoming Tour Openings at Honolua and Pipe.

In these hyper-polarized times is pro surfing not the only thing that can enable us to stand in the same room together?

Is that not a blessing? Kelly Slater, E-lo, JJF, Gabby not gifts from God sent to entertain us?

Thus we give thanks for the upcoming resumption of the CT and our ability to gather together and talk shit about it.

One thing though.

There is no Championship Tour without a runway to the Tour. Which be the Qualifying Series, and buried in an inauspicious part of the WSL website, unheralded by any presser or Podcast is the upcoming QS schedule.

It demands a little of our attention, in the way Dark Matter demands the attention of cosmologists as an unsolvable riddle.

Actually, I got that wrong.

It’s now the Challenger Series which is the runway to the CT. The QS is the runway to the CS.

The QS is to be divvied up into regional slices to lighten the load on aspirants credit card bills. Surfers no longer need to travel the world, they just surf their region and then get make the cut from there to the CS.

Clear as mud?

The devil, as noted when E-Lo first mooted this in June, is in the details.

And, if someone here can decipher those details you’re a smarter person than me.

According to the released schedule there are 11 events scheduled for Africa, and only four for Australia. Also according to the schedule of the 40 events proposed for the Jan to July QS only four are listed as upcoming, the remaining 36 are listed as tentative.

Maybe more worryingly for Ziff and E-lo is the fact that no CS events are currently listed.

Of course, many, many questions abound.

Will surfers be restricted to their regions?

Can Australian surfers, for instance, crash the proposed four Indonesian events or will those be restricted to Asian surfers?

Australia only has 1000 and 3000 events.

What happened to the Sydney Pro at Manly, which was booked for three years until 2022?

Is the Sydney Pro being re-booked for the August-December CS? In the spring?

If this QS Tour gets off the ground, and that’s a major if, then obvs the biggest losers are the incumbent surfing nations because their numbers on Tour will be cut by new mandatory diversity quotas.

No longer will numbers on Tour be allocated according to talent and grit (and sponno dollars) but according to where you were born.

That’s good or bad depending on where you are from.

Qualifying for the Tour just got much harder if you are a pro surfing hopeful from USA, Australia or Brazil and much easier if your parents birthed you in Asia, Africa or Europe.

Hundreds of QS aspirants in Australia will be culled to just 10 after our leg.

A massive shift in the status quo looms.

It’s made the QS equivalent to club contests, with the meat in the sandwich now belonging to the Challenger Series, of which we know absolutely nothing.

How many events, how many qualify from CS to CT etc etc.

I know it’s my job to decipher this shit-show but if we could be honest, it’s obvious we – and I mean the royal we – are making this up as we go along.

Which will make 2021 the greatest possible year to be a pro surfing fan.

Be you enthusiast or reluctant hate watcher. We will create this as we go along.

So in the interim, before the siren sounds and we get to bathe once more in the sound I think we have all sub-consciously craved during this crazy year, the soothing make believe world constructed by Joe Turpel, can someone please explain the muther-fuggin QS?

Or should we just forget about it and wait for Pipe?

Father and son face off with “giant” fifteen-foot Great White at iconic Victorian big-wave surf spot: “It flicked its tail…faced them… then slowly sunk.”

“He’s had an eye-off with it while it’s circled him, then it came up beside him and brushed his leg… then just rolled at him, looked at him, and he just said his prayers!”

Australia’s busy year for Great White-surfer encounters has continued with a father and son, and the kid’s pal, getting eyeballed by a fifteen-foot Great White, a couple of clicks from Port Campbell, a town on the Great Ocean Road famous for its big wave spots.

Brendan Garreau, his teenage son Kai and another surfer Brodie Tweeddale were doing a little big-wave wrangling when the Great White surfaced nearby.

“This giant fucking shark pops up about 20 feet from him, and he looks at Brodie, who’s on the other board, and just goes ‘holy fuck that’s a shark’,” Brendan told the Murdoch papers. “He said it flicked its tail around and just sort of faced them, didn’t come at them or anything, just faced them from about 20 feet away, and then just slowly sunk. They were about 200m from us in the channel, so they just yelled out and go the attention of the first guys, and eventually the message made its way up to me at the very top of the line. and we just sort of had to group together and make our way in from there. The boys reckon it was five metres. Those clubbie boards are about 3.2m (ten foot) long, and he goes. ‘It was easily one and a half times that’.”

The locals weren’t real surprised.

One shredder was eyeballed by a fifteen-foot recently.

“It was probably the same shark, because it’s a giant, and it’s done the same thing basically,” he said Brendan. “He’s had an eye-off with it while it’s circled him, then it came up beside him and brushed his leg and everything, then just rolled at him, looked at him, and he just said his prayers basically.”

Surfing’s original wonder boy Wayne Lynch, a habitué of the region, is no stranger to Whites.

Watch as he tells the Greatest Shark Story Ever Told, here. 

Five days ago, surfers in Esperance were run out of town by a Great White only weeks after another White had taken a well-known local surfer whole.

Other Great White hits on surfers in 2020?

The hit-and-run by a “freakishly big” White at Bunker Bay near Margaret River,  the killing of teenage surfer Mani Hart-Deville at Wooli, north of Coffs Harbour, the death of Rob Pedretti at Casuarina, just south of the Gold Coast and Nick Slater, killed at the Superbank.

(Attacks on divers by Whites, not included.)

Dirk Ziff (as played by Kevin Spacey) remorseful over purchase of professional surfing.
Dirk Ziff (as played by Kevin Spacey) remorseful over purchase of professional surfing.

Listen: “Good rumor has it that billionaire, and co-Waterperson of the Year, Dirk Ziff is fed up with professional surfing and more than ready to pull the plug!”

But Pipeline!

Can you believe that professional surfing is almost upon us once again? Merely days away and I didn’t think I missed it, didn’t even think I could be bothered watching when it returned. You have seen my descent, though, since it left us over just under a year ago. Have watched me scrape the absolute bottom of the barrel with whale vomit stories etc.

Very unchill but now that it is back I can once again write about Filipe Toledo being a chicken.

Who do you have to win Pipeline merely days away?

Filipe Toledo?


You can, and should, pick him in our wonderful Surf-vival League.

David Lee and I discussed the upcoming season, today, along with the Surf-vival League and Maseratis being shit but most importantly he dropped a heavy rumor.

According to a source he deemed satisfactory, Dirk Ziff is fed up with his professional surfing investment, the WSL will run this year in whatever fashion they can but then, very likely, the billionaire owner is out the door.

Do you believe?

Does it make you sad?

Don’t worry. I can find new absolute barrel bottom

It’s a gift.

Listen here!