One-time Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson fronted Balter Beer brewer sets out to break kitesurf distance record: “I tried onion eating but that was way too hard!”


Brian Kiss von Soly, 36 and one-time brewer for Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge etc’s Balter Beer, is more than just nifty with hops and mountain spring water. The Ocean Shores local is a dreamer, the sort of dreamer we all were as much younger children and should have been as younger adults.

Mr. Kiss von Soly, you see, received a Guinness Book of World Records when he was 21 and his imagination became instantly sparked. “I looked through the book and thought what records could I do. I tried onion eating but that was way too hard,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. But not too hard is the world kitesurfing distance record and set out from his northern NSW home, pointed toward to Melbourne and hoped to shatter.

Thursday afternoon, when he sailed past Werri Beach south of Wollonggong, he achieved the dream.

862 kilometers.

An unofficial new world record.

Guinness bound.

He is still headed to Melbourne, even still, a few liters of water on his back, a few puffs of wind in his sail. Sort of lame wind though, this year, with too many southerlies.

“It can get pretty gnarly out there but I do everything I can to reduce the risks and stay safe. My mum still worries about me, though.”

But what a man, what a dream, and can you remember the first time you laid eyes on a Guinness Book of World Records?

I was ten, I think, and awed by the world’s longest fingernails, though never considered breaking.

Long fingernails, especially on men, are gross.

Back to Mr. Kiss von Soly. Do you consider his world record more or less impressive than one-time boss Joel Parkinson’s world title?


I agree.

Surfer hit by twelve-foot tiger shark on Kauai; same westside reef where Mike Coots lost foot to shark in 1997: “I looked and saw this big grey head and no eyes!”

And surfboard co-op Channel Islands to replace savaged Fish Beard gratis…

Gav Klein is a twenty-eight-year-old contractor and a shredder who describes his surfing as “a poor man’s Jadson Andre.”

Last Saturday, while surfing at a westside reef notable as the place adaptive surfer Mike Coots lost his foot as an eighteen year old in 1997 (“I remember flying down the road to the hospital lying down in the bed of the truck with blood just pouring out of my leg and down through the tailgate. I got attacked pretty early in the morning—around the same time kids were getting to school—and I remember passing all these cars full of parents and kids. As we passed them, they would look at me in the bed of the truck with my foot torn off and they would just pull over. I’ll never forget the look on their face when they realized what was going on”), Gav paddled straight into a twelve-foot Tiger. 

A pretty sorta day. Two guys out, Gav’s uncle and a grom. Gav remembers sitting up and looking to see if his Uncle had made a wave, and was pushing forward on his board when, he says, he ran into a rock. 

It’s a reef, there’s rocks. 

“But where I was it wasn’t shallow. Six feet deep.” 

Gav looks and sees “this big grey head. No eyes. Super fast. Everything moving super fast. It latched onto the nose of the board. I let go of the board and then floated over its head as it pulled it down.”

Next thing, Gav grabs the board back, the shark has let go, and he climbs onto the flipped board, hands and feet pulled out of the water and starts screaming at the grom to get the hell out of the water.

“That’s when I looked at the bottom of the board and saw the bite. Oh, shit, it really was a shark.” 

Gav says he froze for a moment, figuring the shark was going to come back and finish what he started. When he realised he was gonna have to get to the beach, he paddled hard, yelling at the kid, again, and his uncle to clear the water. 

On the sand, a giant turtle had beached itself. 

“It wasn’t there when we paddled out,” he says. “That the shark was chasing the turtle is a good assumption.” 

Gav didn’t post about the attack until word and photos crept along the grapevine and Channel Islands, via nineties pro Rochelle Ballard, contacted him and said they were going to replace his banged up Fish Beard gratis.

The aftermath of the attack, he says, has been a couple of weird shark dreams, although he ain’t claiming PTSD, he’s surfed hard a mile down the beach since and has no qualms about returning to this wave, and a feeling of gratitude that he isn’t shopping for prosthetics. 

“There was no time to be scared, no anticipation. If I had to watch the shark coming towards me and trying to eat me, that would be terrifying. It was almost like a I bumped into someone walking backwards on the street, like, ‘Oh sorry, man’, and we went our separate ways.” 

An Italian slice of the Med looking for all the world like Puerto Rico.

Meet the Italian photographer who’ll make you believe The Boot is a legitimate surf destination: “She is the school as well as the playground of the world!”

“The name of Italy has magic in its very syllables.”

When you think of surf in Europe, how far into the mental rolodex do you have to slide before Italy greases open a neuron?

France, Portugal, Spain are the pillars of surf from the Old World leaving the land birthed by Romulus and Remus as a core destination for foodies rather than frothers,

But, artists, those with an abstract eye, possess the innate ability to blow breath onto dormant or unnoticed things.

After seeing a photo, with its palm trees and water color, that seemed to come from some island near the equator but was revealed to be Italy, a message was dispatched to Italian photographer Andrea Giana to peel some skin off the Italian fruits.

Now, Italy ain’t known for its waves so I asked Andrea how is it to snatch an image that looks appealing? He tells me it’s easy, there’s so many epic lil spots.

Want to tell me where they are?

“The waves here in Liguria are very much on reef breaks, our spot was formed long ago after the war years (World War II), where in a very rainy period there were great floods and where they brought a lot of debris and rubble,” he says. “The locals thought of throwing all the rubble into the sea and slowly with the currents a particular point has formed. All thanks to our elders!”

One of his photos is of surfing at midnight because of Covid restrictions.

“My post spoke clearly and said that you could play night sports but only up to the established hours, because we are very respectful first of all of ourselves but above all also of the others. We hope to soon get out of this situation that is bringing all of Italy to its knees and beyond.”

Gimme me the three best joints to go surfing.

“Definitely my sweet home, then Levanto and Sicily and Sardinia.”

Tell me three things I need to know about Italian surfing.

“Passion, dedication and above all … attention!”

Big wave legend Laird Hamilton discusses skirting taxes, egalitarian coffee creamer, in wide-ranging interview: “It’s not just exclusive — you don’t have to be wealthy only to get it!”

Sage wisdom.

Kelly Slater is, without doubt, the world’s greatest surfer but when the history’s dust settles, Laird Hamilton will be recorded as the smartest. The big wave legend has had many great successes across his career, starring in North Shore, riding an impressive Teahupoo wave, ice baths, to name a few, but none greater than Laird Superfood his multi-million dollar eponymous coffee creamer.

Not many know that the company is based in neither Maui or Malibu, Hamilton’s homes, but rather Sisters, Oregon right smack in the center of Oregon.

But why?

The local television station asked the question directly.

“Culturally, Sisters is a perfect environment,” he declares. “The people that move there — they are outdoor people. They’re into nature…” though adds, “It’s the perfect place for us to be headquartered. until it’s not — and then, we don’t know where that is. But right now, it’s been very, very — it’s been fortunate to be there.”


If you were a Sisters resident and employee of Laird Superfood would the “until it’s not” bit give you anxiety?

Hamilton also states the tax rates of his home Hawaii and California are not favorable.


Is that what the “until it’s not” phrase is about? A shot across Oregon’s tax law bow?


Hamilton goes on to say of his creamer, “It’s not just exclusive — you don’t have to be wealthy only to get it. The fact is, healthy food is expensive.”

But, at the end, profit over people.

The only true way.

Watch: New Zealand man lives worst nightmare, forced to run in slow motion from two sharks snapping at heels!

The horror, the horror.

If there is one thing that unites all humans, be they Antifa or Proud Boy, Brexiter or Continentalist, it is the nightmare of being chased by someone, or something, and only being able to run in very slow motion.

Well, a New Zealand man lived our collective horror in real life.

There he was, enjoying a warm summer’s day at the popular Ōhope Beach with other revelers. Warm water, beautiful sun but… SHARK!

The shout went up and the man looked over his shoulder then started that very slow motion run. The fins get closer, man running slow, stuck in quicksand, absolute nightmare.

Did he survive?

Let’s ask Phil Squire who caught the whole action with his 15-year-old daughter Eliza. Word had been spreading that sharks were present but that didn’t stop the Squires from getting it.

“(My daughter) was a bit nervous, she was definitely staying on her board with the possibility of sharks and stingrays around … but I think it added to the excitement. We did a lot of surfing around those beaching but weren’t dipping our toes in, in case they got nibbled.”

The possibility of sharks and stingrays adding to the excitement of surfing? Very brave and maybe she can life coach Pip Toledo or other professional surfers who need a jolt.

In any case, the shout went up and Phil Squire saw the man freaking out, trying to run, and make it to the beach.

Eliza filmed with a steady hand.

He made it will all toes intact though acted panicky.

Not brave like the young Squire.

Watch here.