Pip Toledo, Pipe.

Listen: “Plump Pip is the exact sprinkling of holiday magic our weary world so desperately needs!”

Joy to the world!

Yesterday, whilst David Lee Scales and I sat across from each other in Album surfboard’s upper room chatting, he asked me if I like holiday movies. Home Alone, A Christmas Story, etc. I told him I generally do not like them as they often feature depressingly dysfunctional families and unchill scenarios, exceptions being Elf and the just-released instant classic Plump Pip.

Oh when I saw Filipe Toledo waltzing Pipeline’s sand it filled my heart with such joy. Such pure, pure joy. He was like a little Christmas gnome dropped straight to us from the North Pole. Like dreidel spinning magic.

Longtom noted in his brilliant-per-the-norm wrap that, “Toledo has been parenting. And as all parents know, time in the water comes at a premium. By the time you’ve fed the kids and cleaned up half their bowl, fitness can suffer. Can Pip surf his way back to peak fitness at Pipe? It does seem a little late in the day for preparation.”

But I vehemently disagree with his analysis. Yes, Brazil’s second favorite surfer has been parenting but I would argue that the extra cheer around his middle is exactly what was missing. The secret ingredient that will take him from title challenger to title winner.

No drop will be too scary, no wave too big and he will gouge and hack and barrel his way toward the crown.

Don’t believe? But you must. That’s what the holiday season is all about.

Listen here.

Entrepreneur offers “surf lifestyle coaching” in Bay Area: “A full emersion experience that will have your lips tasting salty and your hands in a permanent shaka!”

"Expert coaching topics include: Surf talk, scheduling your day around waves, etc."

(Editor’s note: The following advertisement can be found on Craigslist under the title “Live the Surf Lifestyle – $100 (Santa Cruz). It has been copied and pasted word for word without editorialization. Enjoy.)

ALL BOOKED THROUGH 2020! If you’ve emailed us, please be patient, we will get back to you soon (Shaka emoji).
*Hey all, we are getting lots of inquiries about surf lessons, just to make it clear – our specialty is the part of surfing that’s out of the water, on than land. Once you have the lifestyle down, real surfing will flow from within and translate to the waves. Thanks! #stayblessed

Offering surf lifestyle coaching. For those looking to carry the stoke from the ocean to back on land.
Surfing is a way of life and we’re here to jump start you into an full emersion experience that will have your lips tasting salty and your hands in a permanent shaka.

Expert coaching topics include: Surf talk, scheduling your day around waves, surfboard quiver selection, music, knowing surf history, influencing and vlogging(new!)

Classes and 1 on 1 sessions available, also group or party events with enough notice.

“For a surfer, it’s never-ending. There’s always some wave you want to surf.” – Kelly Slater

Oregon surfer, shark expert, open up about harrowing Great White hit: “That fella has a lot to be thankful for. If a shark really wanted to consume him, it could have.”

"The shark made a decision it didn’t want to eat him and let him go."

Very tragic news out of Maui, this morning, as it has been revealed that the surfer who was hit in Honolua Bay has died from his injuries. Sharks are vicious creatures, not purposefully of course but naturally, and Tigers are some of the very worst.

Across the Pacific, in my home state of Oregon, a 20-year-old surfer named Cole Herrington was hit by a Great White the day before and it currently in the hospital recovering from a bite to the leg and described his attack to the local NBC News affiliate.

I was just sitting on my board and then the next thing I know I just got hit really hard. And I looked around for my board, and grabbed my board, and knew I got bit. I don’t really remember what happened. Some people said it came form behind me and that’s why I didn’t see it. It bit me and lifted me out of the water and dropped me back in. When it first happened, it was like “What’s going on? OK this is getting real.” Once you figure out that you’re getting attacked by a shark, you’re just calling out to God asking that it doesn’t come back to bite you again. You just want to get out on the rocks. Once you get on the rocks then it starts to hurt, you want to get this blood stopped.

Other surfers helped fashion a field tourniquet and the young electrician’s apprentice vows to surf another day. Extremely harrowing and, according to shark book author and retired University of California professor A. Peter Klimley, extremely fortunate.

That fella has a lot to be thankful for,” he told The Oregonian. “If a shark really wanted to consume him, it could have. If they don’t want to release something, they don’t have to. This surfer was small and helpless in the mouth of the shark. The shark made a decision it didn’t want to eat him and let him go.”

I’ve always held the assumption that Tigers go all in and Great Whites just take a taste but I don’t know if that is backed up by science.

In any case, sharks. What the hell.

Surfer attacked by tiger shark at site of Maui Pro dies of injuries; WSL confirms no further competition to take place at Honolua Bay.

"You can bleed out very quickly from an injury like this."

A recreational surfer who was attacked by a Tiger shark at Honolua Bay, the site of the WSL’s opening tour event for women, has died of his injuries at Maui Memorial Hospital. 

The Lahaina man, who was fifty-six, was twenty yards offshore from the old boat ramp when the shark hit, causing catastrophic injuries to his left side lower extremities.

A paramedic on the scene, Maile Calasa, told KITV, “You can bleed out very quickly from an injury like this… My partner and I were watching the surf because we already got canceled from a call that was already at the bay, and we got approached and told from the Jet Skis that a person got bitten so we got down there in a reasonable amount of time. Then, two bystanders in a truck picked us up and took us in to him… and that was huge as far as timing went. It really came down to the whole team of people that helped him, honestly. From the people at the Roxy Pro, to the watermen, the lifeguards, firemen, police, the ER doctor that had blood as soon as we got in the ER at bedside, the surgeon was there… all the nurses, it honestly was a really great team effort. And everyone worked together really, really well.”

The man’s board was recovered with a seventeen-inch piece torn out of it. 

In a piece to camera from Oahu on the morning of the attack, the WSL’s CEO Erik Logan called the attack an “incident” adding the WSL’s “thoughts and prayers” were with the “victim” and that the event may be cancelled, which would make it the third WSL event to be called off because of shark attack, following Jeffrey’s Bay in 2015 and Margaret River in 2018.

There have been five fatal attacks in Maui in the last twenty years, 2004, 2013, 2015, 2019 and 2020.

All hits by Tigers.

A week-and-a-half ago, a Californian woman suffered severe trauma injuries to her front torso after a hit while swimming in front of the Mahina Surf condos on Maui’s Lahaina coast.

Billabong Pipe Masters, Day one: “Homoerotic! Languidly sexual! ‘He wants to feel that twinny in the backdoor, he wants to feel it!'”

A glorious opening gambit.

What was the end is now the beginning. Pipeline.

And it feels OK.

Come Trestles it might be a wholly different story, but right now, even with backwashy weird Pipe that looked like an Australian beachbreak at various points in the day things are OK. It was a day of moreorless soothing entertainment, low grade soap opera to paraphrase Kaipo.

It was weird seeing the draw, I’d forgotten half the people on it were still on Tour. Jaddy, Alex Ribeiro, Fred Morais, Peterson Crisanto, Seabass. I think Strider may have damned them with faint praise calling them an “eclectic crew”.

Seems like the Tour consisted of Italo, Kai Lenny and John Florence over the last six months.

We got the last heat of the Mikey Wright/Leo three-peat to decide who gets the injury wildcard. Both will be on Tour anyway, so no great stakes but a fun enough drama watching Leo up the ante with minutes to go threading a deep Backdoor bomb and greasing a tail-high reverse on the end.

Mikey needed a wave and it came. He got pitched from crest to trough. And that was really the tale of the tape. Superior decision making from the Italian stallion.

Wait, can that still be said? It seems too toxic masculinity.

The Covid protocols seemed weird. Strider started with the mask, then stripped it down. Filipe rocked it for the full presser. A black branded Hurley. Jordy in the paper, generic blue mask. Then they were dispensed with. Slater, in plain black, wore one down the beach but not for the presser.

Hair styles were a feature. Voluminous and man-bunned in the Thor style by Connor Coffin, extravagant and unruly SeaBass and JJF, luxurious helmets like Medina. Bodies likewise revealed those who had let go of the reins and those who had been in the gym. John, with an extra 10 pounds of muscle, looked the strongest. Italo brought the same high energy, reckless approach. One huge rotation to the flats on the shallow inside section drew groans from the booth. A similar throwaway flip attempt by John on the buzzer despite a comfortable win made my heart leap.

Italo seems indestructible, John fragile.

Ross claimed starting at Pipe advantages rookies, a claim I strongly disagree with. Toy three-to-five-foot Pipe notwithstanding, there couldn’t be a wave on tour that favours incumbents over aspirants more than Pipeline. Compared to the traditional start at Snapper, where a warm-water playful right really does favour the rookie unless it is behind the rock.

I think we will see a rookie bloodbath at Pipe, with the obvious exception being Jack Robbo, who was imperious in the last heat of the day.

Jack joined a small number to make double-figured heat scores. An even smaller number went excellent. One, in fact. That being one Jack Freestone. That’s a fair assessment of a day where grinding was as vital as threading tubes.

One new feature of the webcast was the celebrity call-in. An extended video chat over the broadcast that ranged from the languidly sexual with new mum Kelia Moniz to the wildly homoerotic with Tom Carroll who could barely contain his froth at the sight of Kelly Slater’s Twin Fin (he wants to feel that twinny in the backdoor, he wants to feel it, he’s ready to go!”) to the barely comprehensible with Mark Occhilupo.

It was strangely surreal, mildly unsettling and very amateur hour.

In other words, a perfect fit for the WSL.

More to come, I hope.

Kelly was in a mild froth himself. Two days arrived in Hawaii, no warm-up surf, hasn’t paddled out at Pipe since Feb. Riding a black 5’6”twin fin. 

It never ends,” he said, referring to the chase, the stoke, the “ADHD we get from waves”. Hopefully, I interpreted, his career.

He said it was “fun to find a new feeling” in relation to the twin-fin but my favourite moment was a new riff on an old classic. The carving/sliding three-o he pulled when the heat was won was a little bone thrown to the true believers. The twinny elevated the heat beyond the meat and potatoes served up for most of the day.

Comparing the frontrunners who will be there at Trestles or thereabouts: Jordy looked insane. Very happy, very fresh, very free. No soul crushing Pipeline waiting for him next year must be the most delightful feeling for him. Get the worst out of the road first. Cruise through the back end, forget about Tahiti and crush it at Trestles.

Medina looked both absent and then harried. But did enough to squeak through.

Did Italo steal his soul last year? Question one for the Medina camp 2021.

Italo was pure Italo, ready to go. More than ready, maybe. John looks superb. Very calm, very composed, very strong. Recent edits have shown a surfer in his prime, framing every turn with pure speed and stillness. Trestles could deny him a runaway Title, the one he was cruising to last year.

Toledo has been parenting.

And as all parents know, time in the water comes at a premium. By the time you’ve fed the kids and cleaned up half their bowl, fitness can suffer.

Pip Toledo, Pipe.

Can Pip surf his way back to peak fitness at Pipe? It does seem a little late in the day for preparation.

If you missed the day?

Go watch John’s waves, Jordy’s and Jack Freestones heat.

Every wave of Kelly’s. A barnstorming Kelly run on a twin-fin is the dark horse pick for 2021, and after the madness of 2020, nothing can be ruled out.

Watch the whole eight hours again, here!