Howie D (pictured) somewhere.
Howie D (pictured) somewhere.

Just in: Backstreet Boy Howie D makes real-estate fool of co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff, breaks ground on $35m condo in Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach!

Baby buy, buy, buy.

If co-Waterperson of the Year, owner of professional surfing, Dirk Ziff’s face was not red this morning when it was revealed that he took a $100m bath on a slice of South Florida where everybody, literally everybody, is making money then it will certainly grow crimson when he discovers that Backstreet Boy Howie D stands to make a fortune on a condominium complex in Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach.

Per Click Orlando:

With his Backstreet Boys touring schedule postponed by the pandemic, Howie D addressed a small crowd during the groundbreaking of his $35 million Cocoa Beach condominium complex, News 6 partner Florida Today reports.

“This is actually the first time I’ve been in front of an audience in a year,” Howie D said, speaking to about 35 people standing on a sidewalk Monday morning at the future site of The Surf.

“This is not my normal gig,” he said, generating laughter.

The Surf will feature 25 luxury condominiums ranging from $975,000 to $2.5 million and a second-floor swimming pool, spa and fire pit atop ground-level retail space with a target opening date in the first or second quarter 2023.

Guaranteed to make much money because of both its name and likely association with the 11x World Champion.

Howie D will start recording the Backstreet Boys Christmas album next week, basking in his coming real-estate riches. “I’m actually catching up with the guys for the first time in a year next week. We’re going to catch up somewhere in the winter wonderland — somewhere wherever there’s some snow — to get into the Christmas spirit,” he told the outlet.

“We’re going to go in and do some pre-production on it, getting to see who’s going to sound right on which song. And then we’ll probably all record the rest of it individually.”

Very cool though equally unlikely that Dirk Ziff will buy or listen as he is known for extreme jealousy.

The story probably as developed as it will ever be.

Co-Waterperson of the Year, owner of professional surfing, Dirk Ziff takes bath on ultra-luxury South Florida property: “Daddy would be pretty bummed right now!”


First, co-Waterperson of the Year, owner of professional surfing, Dirk Ziff had to charter an airplane from Los Angeles to Newcastle, Australia filled with the world’s best, or best-adjacent, professional surfers. Then he had to secure a large room block at the local Ibis Budget, to sleep all of them for two weeks, also arranging enough Mrs Macs meat pies from the nearby Metro Petroleum station to feed them during that time.

And all while taking an over $100m bath on a South Florida ultra-luxury property.

It has NOT been a good few months.

The “15-acre ocean-to-lake compound” sold earlier this week for a reported $94m which would be very fine except it was listed 6-years ago for $200m.

According to The Real Deal, “The more than 30-bedroom estate connects via tunnels, including a furnished tunnel underneath South Ocean Boulevard that features a 15-foot-wide gallery. The property has a 12-bedroom main house, two four-bedroom beachside cottages, a seven-bedroom Mango House, a staff house and recreational amenities, including a swimming pool, golf area, tennis court and half-basketball court.”

No Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch likely depressing the value.

It was owned by Ziff and his brothers Robert and Daniel, who inherited their fortune from their publishing magnate father. Daniel was listed as the manager on the entity that sold the property.

No Kelly Slater likely depressing the value.

Even though the ultra-luxury home market has been strong in South Florida with the arrival of Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, the Ziffs could not capitalize.

Much like not being able to host naturally-socially distant surfing competitions in the time of Covid when they would have been the only live sporting events on television.


Breaking: Haleiwa residents allowed to return back to the first jewel of the Triple Crown as threat of “catastrophic flooding, general apocalyptic hoo-ha” subsides!

Feat. Jack Johnson.

Oahu’s North Shore felt the brunt of a very mean Pacific storm, yesterday, and many Haleiwa residents were forced to evacuate as officials feared “catastrophic flooding.”

While not as mean as the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater, the storm system dumped much water on the island, destroying roads and swelling rivers.

The National Weather Service described the usually tranquil Opaeula Stream, flowing through town, as “particularly dangerous” with levels rising from 4 to 16 feet Hawaiian.

Locals described the terror they felt as the sky opened up and poured down its savagery upon them.

“It was kind of dry and then all of a sudden!” One couple said. “… We thought we were gonna be OK and the next minute it was on our stoop and another few minutes it was going to be in the house.”

While not as savage as the 11-time world champion, it still sounds scary.

The storm system also soaked Maui, Kauai and the Big Island and Oahu’s south shore where a gushing river washed an unsuspecting man away.

The song and bath time fun man Jack Johnson was videoed saving lives earlier.

Extremely brave.

Not the hero we deserve but have nonetheless.

Thoughts etc.

Opinion: “Tyler Wright’s rage is a cleansing fire for the cutesy-wutesy but diabolically dysfunctional charade of women’s pro surfing!”

Wright recalls her relationship with her Father as a source of great stress and mentions his early-onset dementia. I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot.

How nuts has women’s surfing exploded into mainstream consciousness in the last little while. It’s been on a slow burn but the thing went supernova after the release of Girls Can’t Surf, then International Women’s Day and now the release of Tyler Wright’s bombshell confessional in ESPN.

It’s a crazy case of cometh the hour, cometh the gal.

I feel so ecstatic about all this I can’t hardly breathe.

Pumped to see my pal Pauls get some long overdue reco and money in the bank. Pumped that Tyler has come out with no adverse reactions. Pumped she retro-fitted herself from a millionaire pro-surfer at 16 to a frustrated academic : “I don’t fucking dream of this shit. I want to read books. I want to go to school”.

That’s just too good.

What do you want? A million-dollar contract and a life travelling the world going surfing or sitting in that hot classroom trying to get your head around The Tempest? If she had her time again she’d take the sweaty classroom and the Shakespeare.

Great. If that is what she believes it’s OK by me.

I really mean that.

She says she suffers from PTSD. How the hell do we know otherwise?

Your subjective experience is your own. Ain’t no-one can tell you how it is for you and you alone when the thoughts are racing around the fringes of the mind at three am. I’m pumped that some of the demons and the strangeness of the Wright family have now been put into the public domain.

It’s a very singular family dynamic.

” I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot. We got him into a ute, drove him home and I got some help from his mate. That caused me great distress and some trauma. If Tyler claims her upbringing caused her distress and trauma then who are we to question it?”

To quote Tolstoy’s famous Anna Karenina principle: “Happy families are all alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.

Wright recalls her relationship with her Father as a source of great stress and mentions his early-onset dementia. I found her Dad Rob in a zombie-like state, dragging a half dead dog through a car-park at my local surf spot. We got him into a ute, drove him home and I got some help from his mate. That caused me great distress and some trauma. If Tyler claims her upbringing caused her distress and trauma then who are we to question it?

On the surface it might seem ridiculous and absurd. A multi-millionaire young athlete with two world titles to her name- more set-up than most of the poor schmucks busting their asses trying to make payments – playing what seems like a classic woke victim card.

A woman with all the earthly riches and fame that eluded earlier generations of women pro surfers claiming to be oppressed in an existential fashion, to the point of life and death, by the very thing that has elevated her into the sporting pantheon?

This is incredible stuff. Tolstoy could not compress this into a novel a thousand pages long.

I do not disrespect this untameable zebra of an athlete for a second.

I hope you all radically revise your position vis a vis Tyler Wright as I have done. More than anything I’m pumped that this anger, this rage she references will be a cleansing fire for the cutesy-wutesy but diabolically dysfunctional charade of women’s pro surfing.

All the body image pressure, the self loathing, the home-schooled pathway, homophobia, racism the psycho Dads etc etc – it’s all fair game now.

All thrown on the pyre of Tyler’s righteous fury. What a wonderful development.

Who will be the next to flame on?

I predict Carissa. Steph may follow suit.

Which opens up the delicious possibility of the three women surfers at the top of the tree rampaging gloriously through this garden of truth, all with “honest eyes” and unencumbered by the need to appease an organisation or sponsors. I don’t think the implications of what Tyler has done are fully appreciated.

Walking this path of woke may not be the easiest path for Tyler, long term. She has rebranded herself as an ally, claimed to be a beneficiary of white supremacist structures and that these structures need to be dismantled.

Fair enough.

British academic and author Kehinde Andrews in a recent book claims “rebranding a racist product is not a step in the right direction. It is a kick in the teeth to all those who suffer the impacts of white supremacy”.

See what I mean? Very tricky path to tread.

You could get called out and cancelled in a heartbeat if the walk doesn’t match the talk.

We don’t have to agree with Tyler to dig this new frisson added to the impenetrable bland of normal WSL programming. I thought I would never get back the brain cells I lost listening to the young Tyler’s pressers.

Now I know she is studying, reading books. Reading fugging books! What lies ahead. Big words, maybe some interesting thoughts. Big statements.

Anything will be a vast improvement on the “it’s all good #blessed” talk of recent times.

Surf fan wise, I’m a Gilmore gal.

I like the flow and the style, the double-hand layback cutbacks. Tyler is a little too predictable on the heavy backfoot for me.

Irrevelant though.

Women’s surfing just got more interesting than it has for years. Finally some personalities let off the leash.

Can we find some common ground and enjoyment at least on that?

World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater unleashes savage tirade on British royal family: “I’d be mad too if they disapproved of my hot American wife cuz it didn’t fit into their ongoing inbreeding program!”

Extremely cruel.

Kelly Slater, is not currently locked inside an Ibis Budget hotel room in the city of Newcastle, getting fed meat pies slid underneath a prefabricated door, drinking water from the bathroom tap while watching The Morning Show, staring down the barrel of thirteen more days of the same, no.

As reported here, the 11-time champion decided to skip the WSL’s re-jiggered Australian leg citing a four-year-old injury.

Sad but maybe all for the better as late last night, the world’s greatest surfer sunk his polished fangs into the British royal family, and Australia’s official head of state, with such ferocity, such vigor, as to make England’s notoriously heartless tabloids wince.

On the very funny Betoota Advocate Instagram account, Slater wrote in response to the recent, much discussed Duke and Duchess of Sussex Oprah interview:

I’d be mad too if I was James Hewitt’s unacknowledged, illegitimate kid, got essentially kidnapped and held hostage by the royal family, was forced to pretend that boring, square Prince Charles was my dad all those years, then they cut off my trust fund, and disapproved of my hot, American wife cause it didn’t fit into their ongoing inbreeding program. Did I miss anything?

I’ve, honestly, never read anything so mean in my entire life.

So savage.

Sassy, moody, nasty.