WSL fans go "bad dog".

World Surf League’s own fans turn on master over Instagram post celebrating Tyler Wright’s Pipe Masters win: “When you go woke you win. Not actually surfing…stop with this stupid hype… WSL should be ashamed of this post!”

WSL fans go "bad dog".

I doubt if there was a heat in pro surfing history pressed with as much tension as Sage Erickson and Tatiana Weston-Webb’s Pipe opener five days ago.

It wasn’t threatening Pipeline by any stretch, but if you’ve ever tried to ride the joint you’ll know it is a devil of a wave, unpredictable, dangerous and surprisingly difficult to find a barrel without max skills. 

God, I felt for Sage and Tati, whose heat was a curtain raiser to the first WCT women’s heat at Pipe. All those condescending and critical eyes. Given I tend to view surfing through the prism of my own abilities I was pleasantly surprised by the surfing. 

Rails held, a little vision here and there, Carissa, unsurprisingly, the stand-out, Tyler’s win an anti-climax, I suppose, although she looked comfortable enough.

Here comes the however.

BeachGrit’s tour correspondent Steve “Longtom” Shearer spoke for many fans when he wrote, “If performance at Pipe is the measure then we are way behind the standards of the previous century… In one of the more blackly comic scenes of the day Pipe pioneer Rochelle Ballard was reduced to giving real-time lessons in technique for successfully threading Pipe tubes to hapless contestants.”

And, today, in response to a WSL post celebrating Tyler’s Pipe Masters win, surfing’s “bad dogs” turned on their master, bludgeoning stroke after bludgeoning stroke, all with the casual precision of a butcher. 

vidalcordova: First person to win an event in pipeline with ZERO barrels

nathan____bishop: 12 year olds at 3 foot lowers get deeper than that

betaklein: She’s calling herself a PIPE MASTER on her last post! Check out her trophy. 😂 Delusional much? 🤣😭

grom_dad: When you go woke you win. Apparently the new judging criteria. Not actually surfing

jonwest843: That’s a two,,, just sayin

loco.lobo.loco: Stop with this stupid hype. Worst pipe win ever . Wsl should be ashamed of this posts

chatty_cathy_doll: Why would you want someone else’s trophy? Carissa won kook.

therealjayse: Shame WSL

lau_z_foto: i feel if you don’t get barreled at a pipeline comp, your score shouldn’t be higher than .05

ju_pdvn: Barrel dodge much?

dkeps808: Two turn champ! What a joke this is👎🏽hawaii and everyone knows who won. Barrels win the pipe💯

dkeps808: Two turn champ! What a joke this is👎🏽hawaii and everyone knows who won. Barrels win the pipe💯

bchsiao: Man I would hate to have a trophy where all my peers and elders say I didnt deserve it… Really not Tyler Wrights’ fault that the event format and judges gave her the wi

michael_r._hogue: Shame on the judges and the WSL.

glenndurflinger: I went over the falls and hit the reef in 2’ Pipe – does that make me a Pipe Master? 😂💩

masemonsta: Pipe not a good idea. WSL very lucky no girls got seriously hurt.

crawdady: Sick head dip !

andy_ruddock: @tylerwright I have always appreciated your level of finesse, but the digital edit to say “Pipe Master” over the top of your Maui Pro trophy is disrespectful to the pipe masters who have come before you – @gerrylopezsurfboards, Micheal and Derek, @markocchilupo, @kellyslater, Andy, @bruceirons, @whoisjob, @john_john_florence and all the other legends that put in the time and work to earn the right to that title. Can’t wait to to see the 2021 Pipe Masters with all the ladies charging! Respect to @rissmoore10 for getting out there and charging early with @whoisjob. Mick O’Brien says she won…can anyone argue with that? Thank you Jamie for helping the best to get better. I love to see you giving back. #RissGetsBarreled

And, this.

Tough crowd, I suppose.

Listen: “The holiday season is that most wonderful time of year we get together, as fans of professional surfing, and mercilessly criticize everything the World Surf League has done!”

A new tradition.

And, like that, a new holiday tradition has taken flight. This gorgeous Christmas Eve, David Lee Scales and I woke up (him in Newport Beach, me in Cardiff-by-the-Sea), left our loved ones, drove to San Clemente and began to bad-mouth the World Surf League.

We could have been lending a hand in baking Christmas cookies, cleaning homes for socially distanced parties, building vanities so they can be placed under the tree for morning joy, out running last minute errands, but no.

Surf needed to be spoken.

And how many other surf podcasters have ever gotten together on Christmas Eve to perform a service for The People™? Has Dave Prodan? The Great Mark Occhilupo?

I think not and I think a Christmas Eve surf podcast will become as much a December staple as gingerbread.


We, David Lee and I, spake of many things but mostly how the World Surf League is rudderless and may be finished before year’s end.


Sneak away from what you should be doing and listen here.

Watch: In act of brazen whimsey, Australian man gang presses partner into paddling him around gorgeous island while he observes the enchantment under the sea!

More questions than answers.

It is Christmas Eve in America, a beautiful time to be home basking in the love of family. Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow finding it hard to sleep. Husbands mixing comforting batches of egg nog. Wives stringing popcorn chains. Grandpas and grandmas nowhere in sight due the threat of Covid-19.

But what is the worst thing you’ve ever done to your significant other?

While you’re thinking, a man vacationing with his partner off Rottnest Island, near Perth, made her paddle him around on a SUP while he observed the enchantment under the sea.

Brazenly whimsical.

The video has gone mildly viral with people commenting unimaginative things like, “When you want to go snorkeling but don’t want to get wet.” And “No need for all your dive gear, only a mask and snorkel.”

Did you visit the World Surf League’s YouTube page, by the way, and read any of those comments while the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask was happening?


Ok, what is the worst thing you’ve ever done to your significant other?

Also, has World Surf League CEO Erik Logan ever made his wife paddle him around on one of his many, many SUPs?

A strong possibility.

Barrel or Nah: Kelly Slater stuffing John John Florence in the dying moments of the world’s most accomplished surfer’s semifinal loss?


I know this has been discussed, both in the Open Thread and on Longtom’s Pulitzer-adjacent Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask contest wrap, but not as thorough, or specific, as I would like. So, what are your true feelings surrounding Kelly Slater’s stuffing John John Florence in the dying minute of that semifinal?

A fantastic flourish a la great showmen or cheap, funny, character revealing?

I’ll show my cards here.

I loved it.

Loved the implicit rage, loved John John’s shrug, loved Kelly enjoying a Backdoor just for the sake of enjoying it knowing that his Pipe Masters campaign had reached its end and that he might as well catch a wave that he enjoyed even though it fundamentally goes against every “rule” in our sort of surfing.

But I don’t want to influence your opinion, not that I hold myself highly enough to think I could, so what did you think?

High water mark of 2020/21 World Surf League season or low-ish water mark?

Tell me true.

Also, are you happy that Kelly Slater is my new shark or sad?

More as the story develops.

Kelly Slater and Betet Merta, Padang, September, 2020.

Indonesian island Bali to re-open for foreign tourism “early in new year” in desperate bid to revive collapsed economy, stem mass unemployment!

Dark cloud about to lift from the island of the Gods.

Empty streets. Shuttered stores. Families ruined. Bali in 2020 ain’t an island filled with optimism.

A twelve-billion dollar a year tourist industry, sixty-percent of its GDP, evaporated. What terrorist bombings and hundreds of dead tourists couldn’t achieve almost twenty years ago, a mysterious virus has.

In September, eighty-three…yeah, eighty-three, tourists got into Bali, a 99.986% drop from the previous year.

Come for a little stroll down Jalan Legian, the main drag that runs north-south from Kuta to Seminyak. Gone are the machine-gun staccato of scooters, the quack of a thousand klaxons, the throaty gargle of tourists retching into Hindu offerings.

Fifteen bucks gets you a hotel room, fifty cents dinner.

Charity groups put the unemployment rate at eighty percent, a little different to the Indonesian government’s seven-and-a-half.

Babies fed water instead of formula, families relying on not-for-profit groups to survive.

Originally, Bali had planned to open the island to foreign tourists on September 11 but was revised when COVID lit up, again, worldwide.

But, now, after an inspection by a delegation from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the island may open to foreign tourists as early as January.

UN WTO Asia and Pacific director Harry Hwang said the island was ready to re-open, safety protocols ready and “excellent, if not the best there are,” he told the Jakarta Post.