World Surf League officially cancels Snapper Rocks; confirms four-event Australian leg: Merewether, Narrabeen, Margaret River, Rottnest Island!

One contest to run on former penal colony famous for having "the largest mass burial site in Australia." Can you guess?

As reported yesterday, the WSL has iced its Snapper Rocks event after the Queensland state government refused to cover the cost of quarantining surfers and the WSL’s entourage and NSW and WA state gov’s turned the money spigot on, offering five million bucks or thereabouts per event.

The Australian leg of the CT is gonna be, Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona: April 1 – 11, Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona: April 16 – 26, Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona: May 2-12, Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona: May 16 – 26

It’s got a whiff of the old Billabong Junior Series events, which ain’t a bad thing.

And Rotto, where your ol pal DR once lived and loved, is one of the dreamiest joints on earth, a government-run, mostly no-car limestone and coral outcrop paradise, famous for its giant rats (hence name, Rat’s Nest) and a bumper crop of Great Whites.

Read, Discover Rottnest’s Wildlife here, spearos getting charged by a White, here, a father-and-son being circled by a White in their lil boat, here, the swimmer doin’ the Perth-to-Rotto race and being followed by a White, here, diver killed by a Great White at Little Armstrong Bay, here.

“Cowardly” Italo and Gabriel are going to love it. 

Rottnest was also, at one point, a penal colony for indigenous Australians and features “the largest mass burial site in Australia.”

Reports ABC News, 

“More than 371 men sent to the Island died as a result of disease, torture, execution and murder and their remains lie in an unmarked grave.”

You’re not gonna be able to watch, howevs, broadcast only, no spectators. Contest held at Strickland Bay, a fun peak, short right, longer left over coral floor.

Rip Curl, meanwhile, has scooped up naming rights to three of the contests.

From the presser,

“When the WSL told us they had three alternative World Tour events to sponsor after the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach got cancelled due to Covid 19 we did what comes natural and got involved,” said Rip Curl Founder Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick. The former WSL judge, competitor and Board Member sees it as a great opportunity to keep pro surfing rolling. “Newcastle, Narrabeen and Margaret River have long-term pro surfing histories; and Rottnest Island gave us the chance to bring back the Rip Curl Search, which hasn’t run since twice world champion Gabe Medina won in San Francisco a decade ago. The Cup, The Classic, The Masters and The Search. That’s a great Quaddie to go for! Congratulations to WSL. They are working very hard to keep the Tour alive and we are privileged to be onboard. We love watching the world’s best surfers ripping in great waves.”

More from tour correspondent Steve “Longtom” Shearer shortly.

Professional surfing and the Fetishization of Youth: Oakley cuts tour vet and current World no. 9 Caio Ibelli after sixteen year relationship!

"I can't understand things, I swear!"

Oh to be young and talented, the eyes of the world gazing lovingly at all that potential, nothing but blue skies and green pastures ahead. Or, in our water world, blue skies and tasty waves. Surf and surf-adjacent brands so happy to ink sponsorship deals, to release glowing press releases about etc.

Father Time, though, he is an unrelenting menace and soon the young and talented turn twenty-seven and talented and those same surf and surf-adjacent brands hold their nose, turn the other way while whispering, “It smells like Geritol.”

And let us read from the Instagram of twenty-seven year old World Surf League Championship Tour veteran Caio Ibelli who was just dumped by Oakley even though he is currently sitting 9th and could easily win the year as he is a proven competitor.

Per the translation:

16 years ago I joined the team @oakleysurfing were many trips and dreams conquered together as pro junior world champion, Brazilian champion Junior champion WQS, rookie of the year … It was a lot of money invested getting ready to get where I am today, in the world surfing elite. I am very grateful for everything they did for me but I can’t understand things, I swear! Today I am in the elite, without a main sponsor and I lost another co-sponsorship! But that’s it, let’s go in love, and appreciate who’s on our side!



That is primetime, not old, and what is surfing’s major malfunction? Does it fetishize youth, like an unfortunate pervert, not properly valuing talents reaching their own?

Should surfing be forced to register as a sex offender?

Much to ponder but while you are pondering, come listen to Caio Ibelli on Dirty Water and feel the rage boil at his dumping.

This is the end...
This is the end...

Eastern Seaboard VALs discover waves are better in winter horrifying longtime surfers: “Last year there were one or two people out, this year there are twenty-five!”

But who could have ever guessed, who could have ever possibly imagined, what toll the Covid-19 pandemic would have upon our little ol’ surfing? Less than a year ago we were happily plying a trade that had been forgotten, more or less, by the mainstream. One-time World Surf League CEO Paul Speaker’s pronouncement that The Sport of Kings would soon eclipse the National Football League as laughable as any Louis C.K. comedy sketch.

The surf industry apocalypse stretched far into the past and farther into the future.

Then came the lockdown orders, the quarantining, the social distancing, the no traveling, working or leaving and those who lived near a coast decided to paddle.

Soon, surf shops couldn’t keep wetsuits in stock, Costco couldn’t keep Wavestorms, and lineups swelled with new faces.

On the east coast, where freezing cold winter waters long kept vulnerable adult learners out, they now looked at better waves peeling, bought thicker wetsuits and kept paddling.

In a just-published The Philadelphia Inquirer piece titled “More brave souls try winter surfing during the pandemic, with sales and traffic going up,” the real troubles are exposed.

After 35 years of surfing, Chris Konicki particularly loves winter surfing — for the intense waves, often bigger than at other times of the year, and the solitude. Yet this season, he’s not quite alone.

“I was out in early December …,” said Konicki, a Strathmere, N.J., resident. “There were maybe 25 people out. Last year or the year before, you’d maybe see one or two.”

He’s not thrilled about that, preferring the tranquility of solo surfing or with just a buddy when, in the winter, he hits the waves about once a week, the water temperatures as low as the 30s and the air as cold as 20 degrees.

On it goes, detailing horror story after horror story. VALs wonderfully impressed by the bracing chill, the feeling of aliveness, the wonders of modern wetsuit technology. How surfing is naturally socially distanced and close, or close enough, to millions upon millions of Jersey-ites, New Yorkers, Philadelphians etc.

And who could have predicted that a general surf apocalypse would follow the surf industry apocalypse?

Not me.

Not in one-million years.

Supermodel pro surfer Anastasia Ashley offloads redundant Miami Beach bungalow for $US870,000!

Complete with "private atrium" and circular driveway. A mid-century summer night's dream!

Anastasia Ashley is a thirty-something bikini gal and pro surfer from San Clemente, CA.

She has one million followers on IG and has appeared in Sport’s Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue alongside Kate Upton and the models Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen, and has featured in New York’s Esquire magazine.

Some years ago, Ms Ashley twerked before her Supergirl Pro heat in Oceanside, ran it on youtube, and stole many millions of views. 

A terrific success.

Recently, Ms Ashley sold her redundant three-bedroom Miami beach bungalow, a bolt-hole used while walking catwalks during fashion week and so on. Bought three years ago for $720,000, the 2200 square foot  three-bedder on 6000 square feet of lovingly maintained grass at 18 W 30th St, Miami Beach, the house features, among other things, a”private, screen-enclosed atrium” and a circular driveway.

Very mid-century mod etc.

Half-a-mile from the beach, too, although waves very poor quality except in Huzza season.

She was chasing a clean mill for the joint, but took the eight-seventy.

Get a whiff of the place here.

Longtime readers of BeachGrit will remember Ms Ashley socking us with recordings of her reading important poetry.

Song for a Lady, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anne Sexton in 1969 was my favourite. The recording took place in AA’s bedroom (for acoustic purposes) at her Mexican-style apartment in Orange County.

Read along!

Song for a Lady by Anne Sexton (1969)

On the day of breasts and small hips
the window pocked with bad rain,
rain coming on like a minister,
we coupled, so sane and insane.
We lay like spoons while the sinister
rain dropped like flies on our lips
and our glad eyes and our small hips.

“The room is so cold with rain,” you said
and you, feminine you, with your flower
said novenas to my ankles and elbows.
You are a national product and power.
Oh my swan, my drudge, my dear wooly rose,
even a notary would notarize our bed
as you knead me and I rise like bread.


Masterclass: The art of selling with former world #2 surfer Rob Machado!

Watch genius at work!

It opens with Rob standing in his doorway nonchalantly strumming some serene chords on an acoustic guitar.

He looks up, spots you, smiles his “need some more advice on trimming your bonsai, neighbour?” smile.

Before you know it he’s invited you round the back for, you know, just some hang time.

Distracted as you are by the luxurious flow of his gold and sliver curls – almost dreaded and yet not, as if even the hair on his head is too aggro-adverse to trouble itself with knotting itself into locks – you barely notice the talk has turned to surf.

“The last month has just been insane,” says Rob.


The bombast of the word loses all bluster as it passes across the Machado vocal chords, that NPR late-night vocal fry as comforting and homely as a well-brewed coffee supped on a patio-deck drenched in a Southern Californian sunset, in a modest yet charming suburban backyard.

A backyard just like this one in fact; for Rob’s backyard is that backyard.

It is humble, unassuming. Modest but assured of itself. Ramshackle yet rustic. It’s a misshapen pomegranate nestled in a hand-woven basket of a backyard.

He mentions something about Covid projects. Covid? Oh right, yeah. You’d forgotten about that. You’d forgotten about the WSL, Trump, the pain in your lower-back…

Now he’s giving you the tour.

“It’s like a little zen zone,” he says. “My tangerine tree is flourishing.”

Flo-rish-ing. You sigh the sigh of an Andalusian field-worker’s first sip of la primera cerveza de la noche.

“I got my avocado tree.”

Such a good avocado tree.

“And my Paulownia tree.”

Your what tree? Doesn’t matter. Whatever it is: You believe. You’re in.

Now he’s telling an anecdote, nay – a parable – about this one tree and how he coaxed it out of its seedling solely with the power of his voice, until it burst forth from its plastic pot and grew so high it tickled the moon.
“It seemed kind of stressful…“

Wait, stressful? The word jars against the serenity of the scene.

“…from a gardening perspective,” he clarifies.

Ah. Gardening. Gardening’s not stressful. Gardening’s wholesome, healthy. Chill.

Rob Machado ASMR gardening anecdotes. Sign me up.

Then he’s on about surfing again. Destination days. Strikes to Mex.

Oh, and did he mention? The rails on his custom board lying right there? Paulownia wood.

Gasp! Just like the tree from the story!

The world feels complete.

“It feels good to be surfed out.”

It feels good to hear Rob Machado say it feels good to be surfed out.

You gaze up at the hypnotic tips of the Paulownia’s swaying limbs. You close your eyes, feel the So-Cal sun on your face. Rob’s playing guitar again.

You awaken.


Back at your own dingy flat.

Everything is beige, anaemic.

You curse your asinine life.

There’s no tangerine tree in your garden, flourishing or otherwise.

There’s just next door’s dog shit and an up-turned garbage can.

The shrill squawk of your phone. The bank. Three thousand bucks worth of Rob Machado signature surf kit.

How the fuck?