Travis Rice executes a backside rodeo on a run on the Natural Selection test event course in Jackson Hole, WY, USA on 27 January, 2020.

Open Thread: Comment Live as world’s best snowboarders mock professional surfing in Day 1 of Natural Selection!

A full day of hot cold action!

Professional surfing has been left in tatters, its Waterloo the brave town of Lennox Head, Australia where locals rose as one and scratched and clawed and issued multiple swears, sending the World Surf League torn and bloodied back to Santa Monica, maybe all the way to the gates of hell.

A victory for the ages but maybe pyrrhic? Maybe we cheer today but weep tomorrow when their is no more professional surfing to entertain us?

Well don’t worry! The world’s greatest snowboarder Travis Rice has envisioned a whole new tour, the first stop is Jackson Hole, Wyoming and day one has received the green light.

Rice (pictured) explaining the course to the riders in a Duke of Wellington moment.
Rice (pictured) explaining the course to the riders in a Duke of Wellington moment.

It’s all simple to understand, with no overlapping heats or priority squabbles.

24 (16 men, 8 women) of the very best, hand-selected, snowboarders will hit the course, blending big mountain riding with enhanced features, today at 9:30 mountain time. Three heats of eight (8 men, 8 women, 8 men, repeat). The top 12 will advance to day 2, which will occur sometime between now and Feb. 9.

Judges will be looking at creativity, difficulty, general coolness, etc. All things we surfers will be able to comprehend easily and snarkily weigh in on like we know.

We are very good at appropriation.

Watch here. Comment below.

Biggish White, lil boat. | Photo: 7News

Twelve-foot Great White stalks father-and-son in inflatable raft as Australia declared shark attack capital of the world: “All it had to do was open its mouth, take a bite of that airtube and the boat would’ve gone down!”

"A mixture of shock and awe!"

A little inflatable raft three miles offshore ain’t the finest podium to view the majestic wanderings of a ten-foot Great White shark.

Perth dad Brett Martin and his kid Archie were slaying fish off Rottnest Island, the eight-mile long hunk of rock that keeps any sort of meaningful swell from hitting West Oz’s capital, when the White started to circle the little boat.

(Click here to watch the video.)

“Really all it had to do was open its mouth and take a bite of that inflatable airtube and the boat would have gone down… we were all freaking out a bit. It’s a mixture of shock and awe,” Brett told 7NEWS.

The kid kept telling his old boy that they should get the hell out and said he was “a bit scared but at the same time just amazed by that massive creature coming at me.”

“After we had a good look and interaction, we said, ‘it’s time to go!’” says Brett.

Last week, the University of Florida declared Australia the “shark attack capital of the world” with twelve fatal attacks in 2020.

“It’s a dramatic spike, but it’s not yet cause for alarm,” the Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark research program Gavin Naylor said. “I think the frequency of White sharks swimming in the same places as humans may be on the rise, but if so, we don’t yet know the cause.”

Vroom vroom!

British jet surfer under heavy fire for driving 600 miles to jet surf massive Newquay waves responds to critics: “I did everything to mitigate any risks – I took a small van rather than my campervan so I wouldn’t have to fill up with petrol!”

"Also I brought a sandwich from home."

As any British big wave surfer knows, when Newquay calls it’s almost impossible not to answer. British big wave jet surfer Jeff Scott, who hails from Eastbourne, had been tracking the storm system and knew, instantly, an unmissable swell was on the way so off he scooted, some 600-odd miles.

His epic panic was not appreciated by his countrymen who are currently under strict Coronavirus lockdown. Many took to social media to slam Scott as selfish etc.

Not one to take it on the chin, Scott responded to the criticism.

“I did everything to mitigate any risks – I took a small van rather than my campervan so I wouldn’t have to fill up with petrol, I took a packed lunch so I wouldn’t have to visit a shop, I sanitised my hands when I left and returned to my van, and I wore a mask on the cliff when many others didn’t and I socially distanced keeping away from surfers in the water. I could have come down in my camper van for the whole week – but I made a Covid compromise. I filled up in Eastbourne and took my own food. I did everything I could to minimise the impact.”

Also jet surfing.

That thing that Garrett McNamara once did is not only Scott’s great passion but also dream job. He continued, “Yes, big wave riding is my passion but I also have business interests. In order to grow the sport and afford it you align yourself with manufacturers and this was my only chance of catching a big wave and using my new board.”

His board also uses petrol which it is assumed he purchased in Eastbourne and he must get out and ride big waves to show people how cool it is.

Guy Blackford, sector Inspector for East Cornwall, said, “Last night we were made aware of reports that a person may have driven from out of the force area to Newquay to surf. An officer is now making enquires to see whether any restrictions were broken and what enforcement action is required.”

How much would you have to make to jet surf professionally?

More as the story develops.

Mad, mad scenes at Ballina Council chambers.

Wild scenes of jubilation as people power kicks WSL to the curb and Ballina Councillors reject proposed Easter Lennox CT!

A decade, at least, before they try again.

Wild scenes of jubilation at Ballina Council Chambers as people power kicks WSL to the curb and Ballina Councillors reject the proposed Easter CT at the Point 8-2.

Mad, mad scenes.

Huge turnout from local surfers, of all ages, many many artistic signs suggesting various points of the anatomy in WSL could stick their proposed comp, liberal usage of the now classic Fuck the WSL, many collared shirts, high vis, bambinos, surf media stars, spanner crab fishos, aftershave applied to dampen the humid Balinese afternoon sweat etc etc.

very heartwarming scene. Not boomer-ish at all.

Local dawn patroller and teacher Ben Holmes delivered the case against and did brilliant. Yours truly was thrilled to hear councillors lifting whole chunks of BeachGrit text as one by one they eviscerated the WSL proposal.

Councillors referenced community opposition, texts, phone calls, media.

Much hooting and hollering as the reality sunk in. 

Unofficial merchandise.

What now for the Woz? Back to Bells?

I received a text from SurfCoast Shire Mayor Libby Stapleton during the meeting claiming she couldn’t supply me with any info about the Easter Bells Comp and to contact the WSL, to which I replied: you better contact them Libby they are presenting the case for a CT at Lennox as we speak.

Bells is gone.

Many phone calls, frantic I expect. 

Can WSL General Manager Starkey survive this fuck-up of monumental proportions? 

Should we prepare the last rites, write the obit?

Unconfirmed reports on Prime7 News the WSL has withdrawn the application stating, “They will not go where they are not wanted”.

A decade, at least, before they try again.

By which time, Elo, Starkey and probably the WSL itself will be long gone.

Starkey, you will not be surprised to hear, did not take my call.

More as the story develops.

Jordy Smith, a popular Bells winner, 2017. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Breaking: Dates confirmed for Lennox WCT preclude Rip Curl Pro at Bells, “Very much confusion and white-hot anger!”

Surfing Victoria's Adam Robertson knows nothing, still expecting to set up. Torquay Councillors in the dark. Bells still on WSL site and Visit Victoria website as Apr 1-11.

Dates have been confirmed via Ballina Shire Council for the Lennox WCT event. 

“The proposed event is a professional championship short board surfing competition for men and women. It is proposed to run from 1 to 11 April 2021, with bumping in/out extending the event period from 25 March until 14 April 2021.”

Ergo, Bells cancelled.

Surfing Victoria’s Adam Robertson knows nothing, still expecting to set up.

Torquay Councillors in the dark.

Bells still on WSL site and Visit Victoria website as Apr 1-11.

At Surfing NSW, permit holders for any NSW events, an unidentified man answered the phone and said, “I’m not obligated to tell you anything.”

Ballina Shire Council GM Paul Hickey recommends council support Lennox CT proposal despite WSL claiming community support and written objections from said community orgs.

ie. WSL claims Support from Lennox National Surf Reserve Committee.

Actual statement from Surf Reserve:

We, as custodians of the LNSRA (Lennox National Surfing Reserve Association) have not been approached about the proposed contest by the WSL or BSC. We have had to contact you. Community disgruntlement is already occurring in regard to this proposal. Approving this contest will divide the community even more. Does BSC really need another point of division like the Lake Ainsworth road debacle

The LNSRA is also concerned that mass protest in the water while the event is on (paddle-outs to interfere with the contest) could result in injury to community members, contestants, officials, and security.

The Association also points out that under Federal, State and Local legislation within the Lennox National Surfing Reserve. ‘All current activities, access and licences which have been issued by regulatory authorities to individuals, or groups will also remain unchanged.’ If BSC allows a contest to occur they would be in breach of these laws as surfers would be restricted from the Reserve (the water) throughout the contest period.

And, at least once councillor, Jeff Johnson, is publicly against the event.

Very much confusion and white hot anger and potential chaos/mass protest paddle-outs.

More as the story develops.