Simply the best.
Simply the best.

New field “surfonomics” delights with surprising discoveries of largesse: “You guys have got to be kidding me. Surfers are spending that much? But, like, they are!”

We are a blessing.

2020/21 has been a banner year for surfing with booming participation, exploding participation, robust growth in participation. Of course, we, here, all feel very grouchy about it and salve our grump by openly mocking a World Surf League that, somehow, has not been able to take advantage of a participatory windfall but, still, those stuffed lineups hurt.

Well, at least the spike is both doing wonderful things for the environment and local economies as spotlighted in the delightful new field of “surfonomics” just profiled in the august BBC.

Per the story, “The idea of using economics to assess the value of surfing resources, branded “surfonomics”, has been around for a little over a decade. An early study in the field centred on Mavericks in California, a famous break that throws up waves of 10-30ft (3-9m), and draws in huge crowds of spectators. Big wave surfer João de Macedo, a campaigner who was involved in the research, says Mavericks already had legal protection as a national marine sanctuary, but surfonomics “was something that when you talk to a politician [they could use to] justify conservation in a more practical way”. The net economic value of Mavericks was finally estimated at about $24m (£17m) a year filtering through its local tourism industry.”

$24m a year.

Does the figure surprise?

A drop in the bucket compared to jolly old Great Britain where local surfonomists estimate our Pastime of Queens squirts an extra $2.5b into the coffers which can then be used to solve mental health crises related to feeling isolated from Europe etc.

The International Association of Surfing Academics studied Lobitos in Peru, and showed how protecting its environment, reefs, etc. was important to wave health and surfers would then kick down $3.6m while they came to enjoy. The government was so impressed that it became the very first country to give legal protection to waves.

Other nations are now following suit.

But did you know we were so generous and that our generosity made the world a better place?

I didn’t.

Thank you, surfonomics.

I shall sleep well tonight for the first time in, like, eight years.

Book out private island at world’s last surf paradise for one week for one Bitcoin: “I’ve died and gone to heaven,” says surf explorer Martin Daly

You and fifteen pals. All booze included.

Got a spare bitcoin gettin’ all het-up in that virtual wallet? Want to throw a crypto-shekel at Martin Daly, the great surf explorer who set up his alt-universe on Beren Island in the Marshalls there, and get a piece, maybe the last piece of empty surf heaven, for you and fifteen pals?

All booze included?

To celebrate the wild ride of cryptocurrency, and to attract a hipper, more tech-savvy crowd instead of the usual dinos wiring cash via Western Union, Marty’s offering a deal which means, given bitcoin’s volatility, either you win, ie the currency crashes, or he wins, it soars.

If you want in, want to examine the parameters of the deal, dates, what you get and so on, click here.

Marty, who is now sixty four, tells me what brought him to the Marshalls, specifically Beran Island, a twenty-hour sail from Majuro, the republic’s capital city, in the first place.

“I know what the ocean and the reefs are supposed to look like. I grew up diving pristine reefs, reefs without names when I was a kid in Townsville in Queensland. When I was on The Crossing I went everywhere, dove everywhere and I saw that ninety-five percent of the world’s reefs were impacted. Two thirds were actually gone or dead. Put your head underwater here and you see what’s supposed to be here.”

Near Beran island he found a righthander, which Marty called Nirvana (“The best thing I’ve ever seen”) and “like a typical human being when I first came here I sat on the beach and thought, I’ll put a treehouse here, a wharf here, I could build bungalows here. And I said to myself, ‘What sort of fuckwit are you? You spend your whole life looking for Nirvana, you find it, and the first thing you want to do is destroy it… You never get sick of it. If you were standing here you’d go, ‘Oh my god, mate.’ It’s everything a bloke could want: great surf, great diving, the reefs are alive, it’s not fishing it’s catching, so we never run out of fresh fish. It’s stupid.”

Eventually, he decided, yeah, he’ll do something but he’d learn from lessons past and make something he calls “a shining light of responsible development.”

So he built an off-the-grid lodge for sixteen people, powered by wind turbines and solar panels. All of the rubbish the lodge creates is processed and all non-biodegradable refuse is taken back to Majuro’s dump furnaces and its recycling centre. He grows watermelons, papaya, tomatoes, kale, catches a ton of fish and even keeps a few hogs.

“Fuck,” says Marty, “I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

Interestingly, the Marshall Islands is going to be the first country in the world to swing over to a cryptocurrency, shucking the US dollar.

“This is the way of the future,” the country’s minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, David Paul, told Reuters. “As a country, we reserve the right to issue a currency in whatever form it is, whether in digital or fiat form.”

Called the SOV, supply is capped at twenty-four million in order to prevent inflation.

The 24 mill tokens represents the country’s 24 municipalities and some very clever Israelis are going to issue the SOV.


Listen: World-famous big wave skier Chuck Patterson confronts alleged woman abuser in parking lot, becomes face of hot new superhero franchise!

Look at that wave... it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a man skiing Mavericks!

I cannot imagine that you missed it, but in case you did, world-famous big wave skier Chuck Patterson confronted a girlfriend/wife-abusing man over the weekend and posted footage of the exchange to his Instagram.

The scene, pure Orange County noir, playing out under street lights in t-shirt warmth.

Chuck Patterson is wearing a long-sleeved flannel and flat-ish brimmed hat.

He describes the action, well, and let us soak it all in first.

I don’t normally post things like this but last night’s situation really bothered me. Date night took a turn after watching an abusive scene go on for way too long at the restaurant. It’s too easy to look the other way and not say anything but you could tell that she was so scared, and I don’t blame her. We cut dinner short to try and do the right thing. My girlfriend Trish tried talking with her in the parking lot while she was waiting for him in the car; in hopes to empower her in feeling safe and strong and that it’s not ok to be treated like this and letting her know we were there to help. He came out and after a few words we watched them drive off, but we were worried for her safety and decided to follow him and found the right moment to let him know no man can ever treat a woman this way. Apologies for the profanity; just about lost it!!Sadly this happens to so many people, and it’s rapidly on the rise in these challenging times. If you are in an abusive relationship, please know there is help. Don’t spend another night scared, feeling helpless. And if you see something, don’t stand on the sidelines, STAND UP, you can make a difference… do something about it, if it’s safe to do so. The National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.SAFE (7233)

Now, can you deny the man the world most needs is Chuck Patterson?

On the scene whenever justice is in demand?

He would absolutely smoke The Silver Surfer.

A Marvel franchise that would make The Incredible Hulk green with envy.

The Chuck Patterson.

After a two week hiatus, David Lee Scales and I discuss the future of superhero films, how the WSL has failed, VAL stuff, David Lee being trained to surf by a master etc.

Best show yet?


No it is not.

Worth a listen?

Party Pete?

The waves at Alaïa Bay, set up with forty-six motors, are going to be that much better than the Melbourne Urbnsurf facility, with a slightly smaller pool size translating into slightly bigger, and more powerful waves.

Swiss Wave pool built at the base of Chamonix ski resort set to open in weeks!

Bigger than Melbourne's Urbnsurf, less crowds etc.

Switzerland came twenty-third out of fifty-four teams in the ISA World Games in 2019. Great Britain was 20th, Philippines 21st, the Netherlands were 22nd.

Just below Switzerland were Ecuador, Barbados, Ireland, Fiji and Morocco.

Not a bad result then, for a nation without a coastline.

However, in the time of wave tanks, they have decided to build their own piece of coast.

Sion, in Valais, is a sunny little town nestled in the foot of the Alps. It is well-known as the area in Switzerland that receives the most sunlight annually. It is at the foot of famous ski resorts like Zermatt and Chamonix and does have quite wonderful views.

In Sion, Alaïa Bay is soon to turn on engines and make some waves for visitors and locals.

Alaïa Bay founder, Adam Bonvin, is a twenty-five-year-old surfer, who had the idea of building a wave pool in Switzerland when he was 18-years-old and traveling.

“I have always loved snowboarding, but when I discovered surfing I was hooked,” said Bonvin on his motivation behind building the Alaïa Bay facility. “The idea for the Alaïa Bay pool actually came to me after a surf trip to Hossegor in France.”

There has been much planning, as well as dealing with all the COVID details and protocols, but all is set for the grand opening in April.

The Alaïa Bay management opened up tickets for pre-0pening sessions, and they were offered in various packages and at different prices. Those pre-op tickets valid for the pre-opening period were immediately sold out.

There are two main payment structures: pay per session or join the Alpine Surf Club, pay a premium, and receive extra sessions and reduced rates. The Alpine Surf Club offers several membership options, much like the Gold memberships at Melbourne.

A big diff with Melbourne’s UrbnSurf is the number of surfers in the water. An expert session in Switzerland will consist of eight surfers on the left and right on the right, with a wave count of about twelve waves in the session.

The advanced sessions will consist of eleven surfers per side, and about thirteen waves per session.

In Melbourne, the numbers are eighteen and twelve.

Your wave count will be above ten rides for a fifty-five-minute session. That’s a wave every five minutes.

In today’s crowds, some people would be ecstatic with that wave count.

The Wavegarden Cove set up is modular, and the number of modules, which is the number of motors, effects the length and quality of ride.

The waves at Alaïa Bay, set up with forty-six motors, are going to be that much better than the Melbourne Urbnsurf facility, with a slightly smaller pool size translating into slightly bigger, and more powerful waves.

How cold is the joint going to get?  Everyone asks about the water temperatures.

For a location like Sion to have good snowboarding and ski locations twenty minutes away, the temperatures will drop through the middle of winter.

Still, good rubber and warm facilities will see any stoked surfer through the coldest patch. We all know that wetsuit quality and tech are excellent. Surfers are getting barrelled in Iceland, Norway, Kamchatka and Scotland.

In the height of summer, there are about sixteen hours of sunlight in Sion, the air temps get into the high thirties (nineties Fahrenheit)  with all sorts of heat-wave warnings and advice, like ‘stay indoors’ and ‘stay hydrated’ etc.

Surfers however, will use any sort of heatwave excuse to disrobe and surf in boardshorts and bikinis.

So there is that.

Witness: Great White Sharks stalk SUP pilots sporting “extra-juicy dad bods” off the coast of sunny Santa Barbara!

Shark incident.

There has been so much turmoil, such mess, around the winter of our World Surf League’s discontent that typical billboard material has been left on floor. I was, for instance reminded, in Cedar Hobb’s glorious timeline, of CEO Erik Logan calling a fatal Tiger hit at Honolua Bay a “shark incident.”

“Shark incident.”

Mick Fanning gets back on the ski and resets.

Shark incident.

In any case, two SUP pilots sporting extra-juicy dad bods were stalked off Santa Barbara’s sunny coast over the weekend. The moment was captured by outdoor photographer Adam Ernster who wrote on Instagram, “Respectfully enjoying nature is one of my favorite things about living in Santa Barbara. Whether you’re a fisherman, surfer, or avid hiker, SB brings together a passionate community of like minded nature lovers. Although great white sharks deserve tremendous respect and space, it’s always inspiring watching the locals safely interact with these apex predators. Sharks worldwide are going to need our help to survive into the 21st century and beyond. Connecting and coexisting with beautiful predators is the name of the game if we want to progress peacefully into the future.”

If one of the like-minded nature loving SUPpers would have slipped and fallen into the drink, do you think the Great White would have enjoyed his snack?

I think probably no. I think, of all the sorts of bods out there, dad bods are the least tasty.

Much beer basting.

Shark incident.