Kelly Slater, the world’s oldest living professional surfer and once the crown jewel of the World Surf League, becomes massive liability as reality of Covid-19 infections settle in!

Surf journalism.

Day 3 of the Covid-19 stricken World Surf League and what, just 30-odd hours ago, presented as shock and surprise has morphed into cold, limp reality. The whole business is still confusing with many more questions than answers. Why was CEO Erik Logan on the North Shore in the first place?

As far as I’m aware, he neither runs a camera nor calls the production from the booth. “Abundances of caution” etc. has been the WSL’s mantra since the beginning of the pandemic and a very big deal was made, during the two days of competition, about all the testing protocols and how safe everything was. In light of this, was ELo’s presence necessary?

Yago Dora?

Well, we can ponder together but, I’d imagine the cold, limp reality is now morphing into real worry as Kelly Slater, the world’s oldest living professional surfer, is still very much in the draw.

Slater’s age-defying greatness has long been the most marketable tool in the World Surf League’s box and has been used to great effect, attracting many surf-curious potential fans.

Now, it is a massive liability.

If there is one thing we know about Covid-19, it is that the elderly are more susceptible to complications etc. not that Kelly Slater is old but he is, factually, “old” not that he would have any troubles though he once “smoked” a cigarette.


Is that’s what’s holding up the “resumption” of “production?”

Much surf journalism is in order to get to the bottom of this unfortunate “suspension.”

More as the story develops.

Cox, masterpiece.

Zeitgeist-y: Australian super designer Hayden Cox collabs with New York artist Daniel Arsham to create world’s first “trans” surfboard!

"The most challenging surfboard I've ever built!"

Recently, the highly cited New York-via-Miami artist Daniel Arsham petitioned Australian surfboard shaper Hayden Cox to build an art piece for a department store exhibit in London.

Called The House, and squatting on a corner at Selfridges in Oxford Street, Arsham “has reimagined the typical family home (and the everyday home goods it’s filled with), to represent the distant future of 3019.”

Cox and Arsham.
Arsham’s The House at Selfridges, London. Cox’s piece against wall.

Cox’s piece is a ninety-pound (forty kg), solid-resin trans-surfboard, mold-cast and hand sculptured.

Per Hayden’s blog,

This is by far the most challenging surfboard I’ve ever built. We tried and failed about 3 times before it finally got there. There are no shortcuts when working with resin in this form. This particular board is a non-functional art piece, however adding to the fun challenges of this project,  I’m excited to release what’s to come on the performance surfboard sides of things. Definitely our coolest collab yet.

The clear board sculpture is currently on display in Selfridges London as part of  ‘The House’ by Daniel Arsham. It is for sale for collectors/the public by direct enquiry only.

Cox and his masterpiece.

Think y’might be seeing a few of these in the water?

I was told by HS,

“We are planning to release a limited run of a functional version of the transparent surfboards next summer! A few of the execution and methods are still being tweaked to perfection… work in progress and Hayden himself is riding and testing this week.” 

There could be, as Voltaire would say, some correlating themes here.

The destruction of Arsham’s house as a child in Florida by hurricane Andrew when he was just twelve forced him to move and was a traumatic experience, hence the “See through” house.

Would a see though surfboard protect us from our own “hurricanes” with rows of multiple incisors?

Ya gotta admit, it would enhance our Peripheral vision. 

Accusations fly, conspiracies flower, as heartbroken professional surf fans attempt to make sense of Pipeline’s suspension: “Kelly Slater’s unorthodox board choices was the only thing keeping me from the blackest despair!”

Blame Yago?

Pipeline was very good, yesterday, though no professional surfing was allowed. And by now you are caught up with the latest details. World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, and five of his helpers, tested positive for Covid-19 thereby forcing a “suspension” of the Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask “production.”

“Suspended” and “production” because the business is being run as a film/television set which brings much irony to the one-time motto “You can’t script this.”

Heartbroken professional surf fans, having a beautiful contest with all the fixings (including Joe Turpel, 88, Kaipo) being so viciously ripped away, have moved quickly through the first three stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining) and have entered the fourth (conspiracy).

Who brought the Covid and how?

On Reddit, a user floated that Yago Dora tested positive in Brazil and the World Surf League helped him skirt regulations in order to get to Hawaii though the post was subsequently deleted.

I pondered it, anyhow, and decided that it doesn’t stand to reason as I can’t really imagine Yago and ELo hanging out.

Can you?

What would they talk about?

More importantly, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that “production” will “resume” Monday as long as ELo and his five Covid elves are locked away and did not infect anyone else.

I think that stands to reason and you read it here first.


World Surf League CEO Erik Logan releases epic party pooper statement: “I feel a strong sense of responsibility to share the news of my positive Covid test to highlight how deeply serious this matter is.”

"I am feeling well and experiencing only mild symptoms."

Let’s play make believe. Imagine you are the CEO of professional surfing, an Oklahoman by way of Oprah who bounded in filled with exuberance, grasping an unparalleled corpo-speak handbook and SUP oar, ready to finally but finally make the Pastime of Kings profitable and/or widely accepted by Middle America.

Imagine the various difficulties in the learning curve. An intransigent grumpy local core, Kelly Slater, Hawaiians, co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff, pandemic.

Imagine that you sorted it, though, (sort of) and got both the women’s and men’s tours launched in the Hawaiian islands just barely pre-vaccine. Months after the NBA and MLB finished their seasons, sure, and with much easier parameters but still.


Imagine that a fatal shark attack cancels the women’s event and you, yourself, cancel the men’s because you tested positive for the dreaded Covid-19.

How would you feel?





Well, all of this really happened and to the real CEO of professional surfing Erik Logan who just so happens to be an Oklahoman by way of Oprah, filled with exuberance, corpo-speak on lock, SUP oar firmly in grasp and let’s read his latest missive together.

As the CEO of World Surf League, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to share the news of my positive Covid test to highlight how deeply serious this matter is. Fortunately as of now, I am feeling well and experiencing only mild symptoms. My intention is to be transparent and for you to know that the partnerships and protocols we have with the local community in Hawaii are paramount. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversations with local officials to establish the best path forward and I’m deeply grateful to the team on the ground with me working to navigate through this incredibly challenging time.


He feels a strong sense of responsibility to share the news of his positive Covid test to highlight how deeply serious the matter is because he is feeling well and only experiencing mild symptoms even though the 2020/21 Championship Tours hang very much in the balance?

No shame?

No devil-may-care and/or scare?

That’s straight party pooper business right there. Punting the apocalypse.

Self-centered and odd.

I would have written:

As the CEO of World Surf League, I feel a deep and abounding sense of embarrassment over the news of my positive Covid test and would like to apologize to all the professional surfers, Joe Turpel plus those who participated in the Surfvival League, especially those who picked Italo Ferrari as he was looking extremely solid. Big sorrys. I’m headed into quarantine where I will binge watch Sex in the City as punishment.


As the CEO of World Surf League, I am vacationing in Hawaii and you wish you were too so I will be paddling out at Pipe instead of Plump Pip and you wish you were me so… barrel. Check out my sick view.

Wait, should I be CEO of professional surfing?

What would you have written?

More as the story develops.

World Surf League social media transmogrifies into front lines of culture wars as covidiots, smug commies, lob grenades: “It’s important that we demonstrate our right to do whatever we want by refusing to do the right thing because we don’t want to!”

Happy days are here again.

As of this very moment, there is no more professional surfing for our entertainment. The waves are there, feathering magically on Pipeline’s famed reef, the surfers are there too, making barrel, but the cameras are turned off, judges quarantined, Joe Turpel alone in his bathtub, commentating an exciting heat between Julian Wilson and Plump Pip’s Sun Bum miniatures (buy here).

The whole lot shuttered due positive Covid-19 tests from World Surf League CEO Erik Logan and five of his staff.

No, there is no more professional surfing for our entertainment, but we are not left high and dry for the WSL’s own Instagram account has transmogrified into the front lines of the culture wars. There, the acrid smell of smoke, rotting flesh, fill the air, the explosive sound of comments crafted in the heat of a moment, as Covid-deniers and nanny staters go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

It is must-see.

Yesterday, for example, as you read Olympic coach and Brett Simpson call for the incarceration of ELo and others so that the show can go on.

Santa Barbara native and lensman, Morgan Maassen, lobbed a statement back so smug, so self-satisfied, as to be rightly classified as art: “It’s important that we demonstrate our right to do whatever we want by refusing to do the right thing because we don’t want to.”

And that’s just the start of it.

Recriminations, name-calling, anger, hurt, disbelief.

If we could do an open thread and all comment live as soldiers on opposing sides make their points, we would soon forget that we even cared about Kelly Slater’s twin fin.

Happy days are here again.

And now, I will get down to the business of surf journalism and find patient zero. Wish me luck.