@mikaylajane23

Judge denies professional surfer busted as part of alleged Australian drug syndicate request to see Instagram model girlfriend even though it is taking toll on mental health!

Tough times.

Oh the tangled webs we weave. Life is a cabaret. Etc. And this past November, professional surfer Tate Robinson, 21, was busted alongside a National Rugby League coach/ex-player, his Instagram model girlfriend and a handful of others as part of an alleged cross-border drug syndicate supplying steroids, MDMA, cocaine between Queensland and New South Wales.

Robinson was sent behind bars to await trail.

His Instagram model girlfriend, Mikayla Noakes, 20, who was living with Robinson at the time, was sent to live with her grandparents and put under a strict 7am to 7pm curfew.

Harsh.

Well, things are moving through the court system slowly, as they do, and Robinson petitioned the judge to see his girlfriend as their separation was taking a mental toll.

The judge denied his request, keeping Ms. Noakes curfewed.

She took to Instagram, declaring maybe cryptically, “It can only break you, if you let it.”

There was no word from the Robinson camp.

But who is your favorite pair of star-crossed lovers besides Robinson and Noakes? Juliet and her Romeo? Bonnie and Clyde? Sid and Nancy?

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle?

Very hard to choose.

Virtually impossible.


Anti-WSL protester at Lennox Head. | Photo: @balna.nsw

Disaster Porn: “How did the World Surf League lose the room so badly?”

Terrible, terrible mess in the last fortnight

Disaster porn is the new surf jernalizm, at least when it comes to covering the WSL.

Terrible, terrible mess in the last fortnight.

Bells is now officially kyboshed. The disastrous Lennox bid has been officially memory holed now that the “fourth” CT has been substituted at Newy. It’s a higgledy-piggledy approach from the Woz. Normally when you count to four you begin at one, then go to two, three, four etc etc.

Andrew Stark got Newy approved as the first event of the Australian leg and called it the fourth, which means not only is Bells cancelled but we now are in a post-maths world when it comes to World Tour coverage.

On the face of it, pro surfing should have natural advantages to thrive in the Covid sporting landscape. In actuality it’s been one of the worst affected, mostly not due to the virus but a deadly combination of hubris, a lack of vision and a business model hopelessly dependent on the good graces of Australian* politicians.

Can we believe any of the maxed-out corpo spin presser about a new three-year deal for Bells?

Kelly and Outerknown signed a three year deal for Fiji that was wordlessly reneged on after one. I’m not by nature a naysayer, I prefer a “Yes!” to a grim-faced “No” but extreme scepticism seems the only fair and reasonable response to the shenanigans unfolding with the WSL this year.

If they tell me the sky is blue I’m going to assume it’s grey unless I see it with my own eyes.

For a global sporting organisation dedicated to “changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling”, is it not a major trip out how badly the WSL under Starkey lost the room when it came to the failed Lennox CT bid? Especially when it came to their supposed new strength, “best in class” storytelling?

I think a little examination, for the historical record, is in order.

Humans are hard-wired to seek meaning in story, according to many, including Eric Hoffer, whose classic work “The True Believer” outlined the necessity of belonging to a story bigger than the individual.

Can a foundation story for such a sense of belonging be based on a lie or at least a very shaky premise?

From the about tab on the website: The World Surf League (WSL), established in 1976…

Huh?

The WSL didn’t exist until 2014 and the “acquisition” wasn’t exactly all rainbows and unicorns, according to my source who sat in on the board meetings. That bad blood still sits pooled up in various back swamps, oozing out like a miasma when the WSL needs friends to help tell the story, as they did when Starky came knocking on the chamber door at Ballina.

Starkey should have had those friends on lock.

In 2008, when Rip Curl was kicked out of town following their ill-fated Lennox Search bid Andrew Stark was CEO of Surfing QLD. He would have been well aware of community sentiments. Well aware that the rec surfing community was averse to the infamous long dick in the guts of a full-scale pro event imposed on them with its attendant hangover.

Starkey won’t remember it but I was in his office a few years earlier, interviewing him as part of a social science documentary on Kirra. I have the tape and scrupulous notes, as always.

My impression then (and now) was that here was a true True Believer when it came to corporate/bureaucratic surfing. The goal was numbers, growth, success and the method was government funding via tourism and participation metrics.

I don’t believe the concerns of the rec surfer base, the host body on which the whole show depends, ever crossed his mind.

Starkey proved himself an effective operator working the peculiarly Australian nexus between peak bodies like Surfing QLD and Surfing Australia and political operators at state and national level.

His “constituency”, his people, are the boardriders clubs. There, he finds a natural alignment with his interests and world view. The blunt instrument that has become the de facto method of attaining goals at Surfing QLD, then Surfing Australia and now the WSL is the state politician.

In currying favour with State Tourism Ministers and Deputy Premiers the pathway to get events approved and funded does not pass through the eye of the needle of local government or communities.

Which works great for long-standing events like Bells and Snapper where the narrative, even if never put to the people, is long established and accepted.

It presents more of a threat to expansion or plan changes when the heavy lifting is done by state politicians like John Barilaro, who has been accused of political bastardry by his own side.

The story he tells, of exposure and huge tourism growth, doesn’t have the appeal needed. Especially when the organisation belongs to an American billionaire who freely suckles from the teat of the Australian taxpayer.

The crux of the nut: it looks like cheap rent-seeking for a product that few want in their backyards and a story that has never really made sense except for a few rare birds who live at an altitude the rest of us will never attain.

Why did Starkey not try and win the argument first? Why not wheel out the storytellers? Where were the allies?

In the aftermath it was amazing how friendless the WSL was.

Former ASP CEO Graham Cassidy exclaimed “It would never happen with the ASP!!”

Former ASP Australia king pin Bushy Mitchell laid the boot in saying in his time it would never have happened and accusing the WSL of failing to address ethical and moral issues.

With friends like these etc etc.

In an interview with Nick Carroll on Surfline, more noteworthy for what was not said than what was said, Stark cooly brushed off the Lennox fiasco saying, “Obviously it was rejected. Which is cool — if you don’t want us to come to your town, we’re not coming.”

The follow-up questions of “Why do you think it was rejected? Why do you think you weren’t wanted?” were left dangling in the ether. That’s leaving out the issue of what made Stark think it a good idea in the first place without some sort of community softening up before he tried to go through the back door.

Starkey never sought to win the argument or tell the story because he never thought he’d have to. He secured state government support first from Barilaro, then picked off the local boardriders and the Mayor, who would’ve been ready for the photo op when the comp was announced a week later.

The Wozzle under that model only needs the story ready to go post hoc.

After the politicians have done the heavy lifting. I’d love to read the presser that was written for the Ox before it was hastily shelved and re-written for Newy.

But alas, down the memory hole it goes.

Bad blood is inherent in the current WSL operational model.

The story told behind closed doors to secure political favour and money is toxic to the rec surfer fan base and stinks of what Oscar Wilde termed “low grade tyranny”.

Is there any other global or national sporting entity that treats its fans with such contempt?

Weaves a cocoon of such blatant corpo BS around them to appease the sensitivities of the politicians who keep the sport alive?

Without a functioning business model to wean itself off State Tourism bodies the WSL is locked in a prison of its own making. ­

*And Hawaiians­


Maybe more intriguing than selling frozen hats is the narrative tacitly continued by Nic regarding surfers. We often wonder why common folk consider us simple or why there’s never been a Hollywood film that captures our perceptions of surfing. Because Lamb, tan, dynamic, and perpetually happy, acts the caricature with honesty and aplomb.

Big-wave surfer Nic Lamb pitches miracle headache cure on Shark Tank; Mark Cuban buys twenty-five percent of biz!

The secret revealed in "ancient manuscripts"!

Watching Shark Tank eats up time like Armie Hammer does a date.

Still, we watch.

Did you see last night’s episode?

Big-wave surf champion, model, and now entrepreneur Nic Lamb pitching his new product, Ice Beanie.

I will not insult your intelligence here. The Ice Beanie is exactly what you think it is: a beanie with cold gel packs to push over your skull when you’re overtaken by a headache.

Kevin O’Leary shrugged.

I sorta liked it.

Mark Cuban did, too, and bit quick, scooping up 25% of his fledgling company.

As the segment starts, Nic, decorated in mandatory Hawaiian shirt, boardies and bare feet, rolls in on some sort of soft top affixed to a skateboard. He hops off, shares his impressive bio, then immediately shows a clip of him getting crushed on a wave at Mavericks “six or seven stories” tall.

Lamb describes the experience as “being in an underwater train wreck.”

He follows it up with a brilliant, “It’s awesome!”

With the exception of the perfectly coifed Lorie, they all slip them over their domes, smiling, surely fantasizing what it would be like to be Lamb.

But they’re not. They’re five old suits with oversized poly-pro buckets on their heads.

But they can afford to look stupid.

And we smile, too, fantasizing what it would be like to be them.

The Sharks pepper Nic with the usual questions: How long have you sold them? How much to they cost? What are your sales to date? Did you have shoes on the plane ride in? (I made the last one up but was curious all the same.)

The big question might be: Is this the best invention of the surfer’s mind?

I’ve got an idea, boys. You know when your head hurts? When ya’ get headaches? What about a hat with pouches for Advil? No, wait. Pouches for ice!

If you go to the Ice Beanie website there’s a whole section on the science behind the complexities that underpin the Ice Beanie.

The website gives a bunch of fluff about cryotherapy.

But we already know about Laird’s devotion to Wim Hoff. We already know what our grandmothers told us about cold compresses to quell the vapors. Spare us, please, Dr. lamb.

Maybe more intriguing than selling frozen hats is the narrative tacitly continued by Nic regarding surfers. We often wonder why common folk consider us simple or why there’s never been a Hollywood film that captures our perceptions of surfing.

Because Lamb, tan, dynamic, and perpetually happy, acts the caricature with honesty and aplomb.

It is what it is.

But as trite as Lamb might have appeared on camera, we’re wise to two things:

First, surfers actually do dream up some pretty sophisticated crap. Anyone remember San Clemente shaper Pete Arslanian? No college education, developed a piece that’s now on space shuttles.

Second, Lamb ain’t simple.

He knew he could hypnotize the Sharks, he just had to play the part for the hook.

And, of course, it worked. Good for Nic. He’ll be set.

It makes me want to think up an invention. The only thing springing to mind currently is tossing my Cordell Flexfit in the freezer and see what happens.

What inventions would you pitch on Shark Tank and make you slobbering rich?


The one, and only, Tommy Gomes.

Fourth generation San Diego fisherman weighs in on WSL’s latest anti-fishing initiative: “But this World Surfing League? Where the f*ck they come from? I took Gerry Lopez out fishing off the Cortez Bank and never heard of no f*cking World Surf League!”

"The American fisherman is not the bad guy."

I don’t often interview people but when I do, it’s… better than what I normally do. Random hot takes on beach-adjacent lifestyles, books about radical Islamic terrorism and bank robbery, snowboarding etc.

Ugh.

But you have, by now, certainly been made aware of our World Surf League’s most recent virtue signal 30 x 30.

A push to get professional surf fans to sign the 30 x 30 petition in support of AB3030 which pledges to fully protect 30% of the oceans, worldwide.

Wonderful?

Certainly, theoretically, but ill-considered?

Let’s do what the WSL didn’t and talk to a 4th generation commercial fisherman and vibrant personality Tommy Gomes.

The San Diego native has long been fixture in the seafood scene, from education to advocating sustainability to running a non-profit culinary program. He knows his fish, and his fishing, so what does he think about the World Surf League’s new advocacy?

Chas Smith: So what is this AB3030 business all about?

Tommy Gomes: Bait and switch, change country of origin and all that. Bring in more unregulated, unreported seafood by the Chinese and Taiwanese. If you go on vessel locater there is 127 Chinese boats less that 1000 miles from San Diego. To shut locals out is just ridiculous. Just another ploy to get money and funding and keep these environmental organizations going, keep them going but what they’re doing is crushing the last bit of the left coast commercial fishing operations. More imported, unregulated fish that’s chemically enhanced, that’s all 30 x 30 will do. The American fisherman is not the bad guy. Those paying for this sort of thing is ConAg and Monsanto or fish farming operations or wind farming conglomerates.

The money funding this 30×30 thing is coming from somewhere.

But this World Surfing League? Where the fuck they come from? I took Gerry Lopez out fishing off the Cortez Bank, I never heard of no fucking World Surf League. I’m a 4th generation commercial fisherman. This seems like just another tactic to shut down fishing and it doesn’t make any sense. We’re all watermen. No fisherman out there wants to kill the last anything. We all want to conserve, be sustainable. We’re doing everything we can. Now all of a sudden here comes this World Surf League who is probably getting money from… somewhere.

Chas Smith: Dirk Ziff. He’s a co-Waterperson of the Year.

Tommy Gomes: (Silence)

But there we have it and, seriously, how stunningly embarrassing is the ELo era?

Ugh.


"Noa Deane was right."

World Surf League backs effort to fully protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 thereby crushing small fishing operations: “Shame on you, WSL. If you like your fish caught by locals and not big corporations DON’T SIGN!”

"The ocean is our office, our playground, our place of worship..."

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, can the World Surf League find a way to somehow mess it all up? The answer is, definitively, yes and professional surfing’s governing body has stumbled on its fifth major embarrassment since the calendar flipped to 2021, one month and two weeks ago.

The latest eye-popping bit of uh-oh is the just announced its 30×30 initiative in which the WSL directs its fans to sign a petition in support of AB 3030 which, in turn, encourages world leaders to “fully protect” 30 percent of the ocean by the year 2030, or 9 years, as detailed in the bill.

Per the press release:

The World Surf League’s (WSL) fans, staff and Championship Tour surfers know as well as anyone how important the ocean is to our global surfing community. The ocean is our office, our playground, our place of worship, and whether you live on the coast, or thousands of miles inland, its health is vital to the health and well-being of everyone. To show our support for our favorite place and to ensure a healthy ocean for us and for generations of surfers to come, WSL and partners recently announced the We Are One Ocean campaign, encouraging world leaders to protect 30 percent of our global ocean by the year 2030, or 30×30. For more, visit: www.weareoneocean.org.

Well, “fully protecting” 30 percent of the global ocean certainly would add many more restrictions on fishing, especially small local fishing, and this fact has not gone unnoticed by those who make their living and/or have much fun casting line in the water.

Amongst our surf ranks, Jason “Rat Boy” Collins to to Instagram declaring, “Don’t sign this bullshit! Such a crock of shit! WSL do a bit of research before you try and push this on folks. Support sustainable local fishermen not global garbage.”

Sportfishing operator Duane Diego wrote, “Why aren’t any of the competitive athletes on the tour that enjoy fishing chiming in on the AB3030 push from WSL?”

Tyler Pahl, a San Diego fisherman added, “Shame on you, WSL. If you like your fish caught by locals and not big corporations DON’T SIGN!”

Half-baked initiatives that quickly fail and pointless and/or destructive virtue signaling are hallmarks of the CEO Erik Logan era at the League but is infuriating local fishermen around the world his greatest blunder? Well, let’s see if we, together, can’t get him and his WSL to quietly disappear support for 30×30 and/or release a statement loudly apologizing to fishermen worldwide.

As always, BeachGrit stands with The People™.

Calls are in to those People™ and more as the story develops.