"Amazing. Isn’t there always a rainbow over these two wherever they go?" said WSL commentator Ronnie Blakey. "They’re like Care Bears."

House of “gentle but fierce-looking” Hawaiian surf legend destroyed in terrifying blaze: “It was a towering inferno!”

"Today we remember a house full of love."

A fire of a yet-to-be-determined cause has destroyed the home of Hawaiian surf legend Tony Moniz, daddy to rookie of the year Seth, Pipe trials winner Josh and longboard world champ Kelia,

Tony and his wife Tammy split the fire with nothing but their lil dog, a Bible and a couple of Tony’s beloved surf trophies from the Duke contest.

“Twenty-four surfers get invited each year,” Tony told Hawaii News Now. “As a young child growing up I always wanted to get into the Duke Classic. Which wasn’t easy to do. It was the world tour to me. That was my goal.”

Ten fire trucks with forty firefighters hit the blaze, which started in the garage, but were unable to save the home.

“Within minutes, it was a towering inferno,” said Tony, a champion boxer, motocross rider and one of Hawaii’s best surfers in the seventies, eighties and nineties.

According to Warshaw’s Encylopedia of Surfing, “In the early ’80s, Moniz was one of the first to master the lay-forward stance, which allowed a backside-riding surfer to get nearly as deep inside the tube as a frontsider. In 1982, 1983, and 1984 he was a finalist in the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, held at Sunset Beach. By the mid-’80s, Moniz was concentrating on big surf, and he placed sixth in both the 1999 and 2001 Quiksilver-Aikau events at Waimea Bay.”

Another surfer of note, Derek Hynd, who lost his own home in 2019, wrote, “From unfortunate experience the entire sequence from spark to knowing the worst is coming down can take place in seconds, not even a minute. Tony sits as the toppest Top Bloke that I’ve met in my surfing decades and I hope he and the family emerge without long lasting effects from the trauma. Tragic.”

The house, which is in a real nice part of Honolulu, just east of Diamond Head, was worth around $600k.

There’s a GoFundMe kicking around, hoping to raise 200k to help rebuild the joint.

Already it’s hit sixty, from 459 donors.

“If you know them and or have visited Hawaii you were probably invited over their home for dinner or for a visit. Their house has not only been a home for them and their family but to countless others whom they have welcomed and loved over the years.”

Despite losing everything, Tammy Moniz was characteristically upbeat.

The memories don’t stay with the house,” she said. “The memories stay in my heart and their hearts.”

Breaking: Australia names Olympic surf team after tiny, highly venomous jellyfish that inflicts incredible pain on those it touches!

Introducing "The Irukandjis."

Outside of Eddie the Eagle, I have zero room in my heart for Olympic nicknames, especially when they refer to teams. Wallabies and kangaroos, Fierce Fives and Fabulous Fours. Super lame but maybe lamest of all is the just announced nickname of Australia’s Olympic surf team.

Per the press release:

Australia’s Olympic surfing team have been named “The Irukandjis”, after a deadly species of jellyfish that menaces the country’s tropical northern waters.

The irukandji is a tiny, highly venomous, species of box jellyfish that inflicts an incredibly painful sting on its victims.

“The irukandji’s sting in the water is ferocious and that is how our Australian surfers approach competition,” Surfing Australia chair and seven-time world champion, Layne Beachley said as the team’s new name was announced on Wednesday.

That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.


Sorry for the totally out-of-proportion splash of grump.


The team’s kit was designed by Indigenous artist Jasmine Craciun, who derived inspiration from her ancestors the Barkindji people, to “represent fluid movement within the water and emulate light hitting the ocean when viewed from below.”

Very cool.

It will look beautiful on Julian Wilson.

That’s better.

Watch: 75 Killer Orcas devour majestic 50-foot Blue Whale alive in front of introspective whale watching tour off coast of Australia!

Nature is metal.

Oh to be out off the coast of grand Western Australia on a whale watching tour. Sun warming faces, ocean teeming with life. The startled laughter of children as they see a playful seal bobbing and weaving. The quiet oohs and aahs of grandmothers as they focus on sea birds swooping and diving.

Then a collective gasp as massive pod of orcas is seen, 75 in all. Then a shared caught breath as a spout of water sprays the sky from an over-50-foot blue. Then stunned silence as those orcas proceed to eat that blue alive, children witnessing the brutality of nature, grandmothers seeing their own dimming light in the blue’s eyes.

But this is exactly what happened over the weekend and fun, no?

Jemma Sharp, owner of Whale Watch, had 40 people aboard her vessel when the action went down. The blue, she said, inadvertently swam into the orca breeding ground. “It’s a tricky situation because the blues can’t get through.’

The orcas went to work quickly, attempting first to drown the whale by pushing it on its side and keeping its air hole submerged but the whale was too strong and so the orcas changed tack and began biting the whale’s tail as a distraction. This worked then they drowned the stately creature while feasting on its flesh at the very same time.

A fine torture.

“All the family put their body weight on the whale so he couldn’t fight back, we saw the moment he took his last breath and then didn’t see him again,” Ms Sharp said, “It was a meaningful moment for the animals to be fed, it was nice to see all the birds and sharks and pilot whales receive a vital meal.”

As for the children and grandmothers, Ms Sharp declared they were able to have compassion for both the orca and the blue whale. “They were completely blown away but had the capacity to appreciate the importance of what they were witnessing.”

Very introspective.

Watch here.

Divine: Missing big-wave surfboard that was to be auctioned for a beautiful pediatric cancer charity lost at biggest Mavericks swell in twenty years; fisherman finds adrift at sea!

"The fisherman noticed handprints and messages scrolled across it from cancer patients, families, nurses and doctors, and knew it was special."

January 10, 2021, saw the biggest Mavericks in twenty years.

It “was about as substantial and the biggest, craziest day in a very very long time,” says San Diego charger and Mavs regular Jojo Roper.

Things almost turned tragic at the end of the day when a head count revealed someone was missing.

Mavericks local, Luca Padua jumped into action.

“Luca knows the reef and everything so well, he grew up there. He just jumped on the ski and booked it…. He was searching in the dark, couldn’t find anybody, and finally comes in, and the guy had already ended up coming in right when, or close to after Luca drove away.”

Crisis diverted.

Except in his haste to save a life, Padua forgot Roper’s 10’6″ was on the sled behind the ski.

“Somewhere along the way the board flew off the ski ’cause I’m sure he was driving like crazy, as he should, as I would have done the exact same thing and just in rescue mode trying to find him.”

Turns out this wasn’t just any old big-wave gun. Every year Roper auctions off one of his guns to raise a little cash for pediatric cancer patients.

The last board Roper auctioned off went for $11,000. It’s one thing to lose your board, it’s another to lose a board you planned on selling to raise money for sick children.

Roper thought the board was gone forever.

“I mean, boats were getting waves broken on them trying to go through the harbor. It was about as crazy of an ocean that you could ever imagine.”

The next day, fisherman Dan Stucky came upon the board a mile offshore.

He noticed handprints and messages scrolled across it from cancer patients, families, nurses and doctors, and knew it was special.

“I got a call from the harbor master, he was like ‘Hey Jojo this guy found your board yesterday and he brought it in to us because he didn’t know how to give it to you. He saw the handprints he saw the stuff and he knew it was a really special board and he wanted to get it into the right hands,’” said Roper. “There’s not a ding on and it’s back home to its rack safely.”

The board is tentatively set to be auctioned this August at the Luau and Legends event at Scripps Pier to benefit Moore’s Cancer Center.

Australian government ban on EPS foam threatens Asian surfboard production; puts Firewire and Kelly Slater biz model at risk!

Too much nanny state?

Melbourne is the home of UrbnSurf, Australia’s first commercial wave tub or “basin” as Joe Turpel refers to them.

It’s also the home of a muddy little ditch called the Yarra River where an environmentalist has called pollution by EPS foam (used in Firewire surfboards), “disrespectful.”

EPS foam, also called Expanded Polystyrene or Styrofoam, is a petrochemical polymer and the core material used for almost all Asian surfboard production,  including of course, our beloved Kelly Slater surfboard designs.

The consumer use of EPS is under threat from an Australian government initiative designed to cut down on plastic waste.

Last week the federal govt bought forwards a planned phase out of EPS for consumer products from 2025 to 2022. In a National Plastics Plan the government has said it would consider regulatory action if industry phase-outs didn’t happen.

In a sign of the times, forward-thinking manufacturer Hayden Cox of Hayden shapes surfboards, creator of the biggest selling surfboard of all time, the Hypto-Krypto, has already diversified his offerings to include PE construction which is a surfboard made with a PU core and epoxy resin.

That’s not new technology; it’s been refined over many years by shaper/designers including Maurice Cole.

PU or polyurethane-cored surfboards have been the industry standard since 1950’s when WW2 technology was used to replace the prevailing balsa board standard. PU has been denigrated as dinosaur technology in comparison to the use of EPS and epoxy but in actual fact PU was not formulated until 1937 by Dr Otto Bayer, while EPS was accidentally discovered in 1839 by German apothecary Eduard Simon which makes PU the far more modern material.

EPS gained a huge leg-up in the market when US blank manufacturer Gordon “Grubby” Clark walked away from his factory on “Black Monday” Dec 5, 2005, citing excess green tape in California.

In the ensuing blank shortage, surfboard manufacturers were forced to incorporate alternatives into the blank mix.

Floridian mad cat Greg Loehr, an early proponent of EPS/Epoxy construction was so bullish at the time he claimed anyone left behind still using PU blanks and polyester resins would be “mowing his lawn” in the near future.

That did not come to pass.

Overwhelmingly, we still shred on our PU/PE’s.

Somehow, despite being branded by Heidi Tait of the Marine Debris Initiative as a “horrifying blight” on the marine environment, EPS has come to be branded as the more ECO-friendly material to use as a core to build surfboards with.

A true victory in marketing and greenwashing.

Our favourite agent-provacateur against EPS boards and Asian production more generally is the flamboyant Peter Schroff, who built his empire in the 80’s. He is not Robinson Crusoe, of course.

Many, many others have either joined in the off-shoring or been equally vocal in less artistic ways. Long-time San Diegan shaper Tim Bessel described the use of styrofoam to me as a “plague” and an environmental nightmare.

Why use EPS?

It’s incredibly light and incredibly cheap.

Unlike Polyurethane (PU) it doesn’t have to be blown by surfboard specific manufacturers into surfboard shaped blanks. Any old EPS can be hotwired and used.

Which makes it perfect for mass-production in Asia.

And, to be fair, for certain backyard applications.

Phasing out of EPS for surfboard production would, in effect, be a tax on Asian surfboard production. It would be a huge boon for local surfboard manufacturers, a giant blow to Firewire and others, including Wavestorms and other soft tops.

Not insurmountable.

There is some PU/PE mass production in Asia, notably Indonesia. Smaller operators like HaydenShapes can pivot, and have already done so.

But the retooling and loss of profit margin would damage market share immensely for Firewire.

Potential high times in the surfing board biz.

Major competitors’ biz models being taken out by government fiat.

Unprecedented demand due to Covid kooks and stimulus checks being spent on new whips.

Lack of workers.

I see many price hikes in the near future.

Might be high times to get the quiver sorted now.

How do you see?

Too much nanny state, let my people ride EPS?

Or fcuk that horrible stuff, makes shitty surfboards anyway.

Me: the latter, very much so.