Listen: “The World Surf League ‘Cone of Silence’ immortalized by Australia mainstream media as BeachGrit takes reins of public relations!”


And you can imagine my pure joy waking up this morning, reading the headline “When will the Pipe Masters resume? Surfing’s bizarre ‘cone of silence‘” splashed across multiple mainstream Australian publications. Joy mixed with that unmistakable feeling of doing a job and doing it well.

The World Surf League has needed, desperately needed, someone running the public relations for many years but especially since current CEO Erik Logan ascended to the top spot. Chief Marketing Officer Backward Fin Beth did hard work, putting surfing on the map, but after she left there has mostly just been crickets singing their violin-adjacent song in Santa Monica.


And when Logan went down, last week, with the dreaded Covid-19 I knew I would have to take an unpaid position doing forward facing branding.

My week’s worth of effort paid off. Per News Corp:

The ill-fated return of professional surfing amid the COVID pandemic is turning the World Surf League into a laughing stock.

Sidelined since cancelling its season-opening event on the Gold Coast in March, the tour finally returned last week – and expectation couldn’t have been higher for fans as the traditional season-ending Pipe Masters became the launch event.

But after the opening day of competition was followed by weather conditions that kept the waves away, the WSL unexpectedly announced the event was being suspended because of a coronavirus outbreak at the site in Oahu, Hawaii.

Embarrassingly, league CEO Erik Logan and four staff members tested positive for COVID in a disastrous development given the tentative fashion in which Hawaii had welcomed dozens of professionals from all corners of the world to its shores.

That was five days ago. Since then the only communication from the WSL came from Logan on his Instagram page, where he promised to be transparent “through this incredibly challenging time”.

David Lee Scales and I chatted about the Cone of Silence today, whilst podcasting, and also about Stab magazine going behind the paywall. Have you purchased your year’s worth of Ashton Goggans yet? Very exciting. Also, is Ashton Goggans an onomatopoeia?

Listen here.

Open Thread: Comment Live as the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask exits quarantine, enters Day 3!

Maybe women too!

WSL CEO Erik Logan.

Breaking: Inside impeccable World Surf League source suggests ruthlessly enforced “cone of silence” in place to calm local Hawaiian officials, Pipe Masters set to resume tomorrow in time for epic swell!

Hope springs eternal!

Hope, as they say, springs eternal and that is all well and good except “eternity” only has four more calendar days left in it for the World Surf League to finish off the Covid-19 shuttered Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask.


A “cone of silence” but why? The most progressive public relations moved ever crafted in order to protect World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s ill-advised travel to Hawaii to be seen and see?

A never-before-tried keep-them-starving-until-they-are-dead approach to hype in a small core market?


According to an impeccable inside source, the cone of silence is in place because formal approval from local government who is expected to go public tomorrow with an announcement that gives the green light.

Do you believe?

Can we believe?

The answer is, obviously, yes.

Common sense dictates that it serves all sides to complete the already launched event but common sense has rarely dictated the WSL moves.

But who cares about common sense or history. Can we believe that the State of Hawaii x CEO Erik Logan’s World Surf League will sort this last four days and give The People™ a contest?

More as the story develops.

Bugs, at peak.

World champion surfer Rabbit Bartholomew hospitalised on Gold Coast after snake bite: “Waiting to see if it was deadly or had a chance to inject its venom.”

"May the odds always be with me."

Australia, eh? If it ain’t the Whites, it’s the waves and if it ain’t the waves…

Just one day after posting his commiserations re: WSL commentator Ronnie Blakey’s snapped leg, world champion surfer, former ASP head and almost state politician, Wayne “Rabbit’ Bartholomew, has had his own brush with mortality, hospitalised after being bitten by an unidentified snake.

“Hanging out in hospital waiting to see if it was a deadly snake or a non-venomous one or maybe a juvenile snake that did not inject its venom. In Australia, they treat it as a worst-case scenario. May the odds always always be with me.”

The Gold Coast is home to some real sons of bitches including the deadly Eastern Tiger Snake, the Eastern Brown Snake (“fastest acting venom in the world”) and the slightly less poisonous Red Bellied Black Snake.

Spring, summer, real active times for snakes on the GC.

Bugs’ old pals had a field day on Instagram,

From Hawaiian legend Micky Nielsen, “Make sure it’s not COVID! Everything’s COVID now days!”

Journalist and Whale Beach property baron Jon Jenkins, “I had flashbacks to your thong getting caught in the escalator at Sydney airport!”

More as the story, or poison, develops.

Celebrity tributes pour in for WSL commentator Ronnie Blakey after snapping leg in horror wipeout during wild Kirra session: “Big enough to fold my leg in half!”

Faces surgery etc.

Tributes have poured in for popular WSL commentator Aaron “Ronnie” Blakey after he broke his leg during a wild Kirra session on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

From Bob Hurley and Rabbit Bartholomew to fellow commentators Strider “Attack-Dog Tits” Wasilewski and Rosy Hodge, the surfing world has been quick to offer condolences, words of encouragement etc.

Strider: “Oh shit, you shred so hard you broke your leg!!!! WTF my bro, heal up… I’m sure it was a monster lip.”

Bob Hurley: “Speedy and fantastic recovery my friend…i want to experience you airing over me paddling out once again…let’s do this.”

Bugs: “Sorry to hear Kirra was unkind, a lot of rainwater making those lips collapse without notice Glad you got in ok, what an ordeal. Heal well mate, you will be back for Snapper 2021, we can share a wave in kiddies corner.”

Rosy: “Ah no Dawgie!! I’m sure u were hoofing it moments before the catastrophe. Thinking of u pooch, rest up and I’m sure the fam will pamper u.”

Ronnie, the one-time understudy to his perennially famous older brother Adam aka Vaughan, writes, Quick Sunday mission to surf Kirra gone wrong. Copped a lip to the outside of my leg. Tibial plateau fracture. She packs a punch! Thanks to the legends that helped out me of the water, whoever you are. Surfing spirit is alive and well as far as I’m concerned.

Sexy break.

The photogenic and brawny forty year old will, likely, spend the early parts of the new year imprisoned in hospital, strung up under fluorescent lights on a steamy rack of desire and frustration.