Breaking: Surf cinema royalty tied up with “most audacious Ponzi scheme in Hollywood history!”

A film within a film.

There are two families that come directly to mind as surf cinema royalty. The Browns (Bruce, Dana) and the Oblowitzes (Michael, Orson).

Oh, you are most certainly aware of Michael Oblowitz’s body of work, one of the finer of the last decade plus. His Sea of Darkness, whispered about in hushed tones from Sydney to Paris. His Heavy Water an award winner. His yet-to-be-released Sunny Garcia documentary certain to cement his place in history.

His soft core vampire porn for Showtime already having done.

His son Orson is a cinematographer, producer, writer, director of much note who also worked on each of his father’s surf films but hitting worldwide headlines, these past few days, for directing one Zach Avery in the 2018 horror film Trespassers.

Avery, whose real name is Zachary Horowitz, was recently arrested for running an over $600 m Ponzi scheme in which he raised money from investors in order to buy the rights to films that were to be purchased by Netflix and HBO.

A can’t miss deal except…. the contracts were allegedly forged, investors hung out to dry, Horowitz awaiting trail.

690 million United States dollars.


The Los Angeles Times has called the classic Ponzi scheme “the most audacious in Hollywood history” and I reached out, directly, to Orson, who is from New York but lives in L.A. for the surf, for more.

“Fuck, dude…” he laughed a disbelieving laugh into the phone. “All I knew was the guy could not act. A terrible fucking actor. He came attached to Trespassers and I just assumed he was a rich kid who had put up some money to be in it but he was awful. A nice kid, though, and we spent a lot of time together on set then doing press. Went to London and all that.”

I asked Orson if he had any idea that he was working with a criminal mastermind.

“Not at all. I mean, once the story came out I just thought, ‘If you were bilking people for $600 million dollars how can you not act?’ My dad always thinks he’s the Prince of Darkness, cinematically, but I think he’s met his match.”

I would say so, seeing as Michael Oblowitz has never unwittingly directed a lousy-acting criminal mastermind unless we can consider Nathan Fletcher such.

Orson has another film coming out this summer, The Five Rules of Success, and I am looking forward to it but first shall watch Trespassers. It is on Hulu here in The United States.

What luck.

Can we turn BeachGrit into a Ponzi scheme?


Think about it, will you?

Margs on Feb 21. | Photo: @peterjovicphotography

Waimea-like “La Bomba” swell to hit Margaret River on opening day of WCT event; locals report active salmon season and multiple Great White sightings, including fifteen-foot “leviathan”, as spectre of attack haunts organisers!

A "nightmare scenario"… 

You want to know what it’s like to wear a fifteen-foot set on the head out at Margaret River’s main break, five thousand nautical miles from any sorta land mass that might temper the big south-west swells? 

The pro surfer turned real estate agent Mitch Thorson, ranked #16 in the mid-eighties and noted for his jams in big waves, knows.

Last Thursday, he and a few pals were surfing late-arvo Margs, eight-to-twelve feet. Ain’t no soft-tops or fishes out here. Raw deep-water swell.

Mitch had scratched over a twelve-footer and when the spray cleared he saw it, a top-to-bottom fifteen, maybe eighteen-footer. 

His first thought? I’m fifty-six years old, I’ve surfed twenty-five footers at Waimea and the outer reefs, sure, but back then I was twenty eight and healthy. 

“It’s a bit different when you’re a chubby real estate agent wallowing around at Margarets,” he says. 

But he’d been doing a bit of underwater rock running in the lagoon at the Box, he knew it was a fifteen-second period swell and figured he had ten seconds “to get my shit together.”

He took his three deep breaths and got “absolutely smashed, absolutely rag-dolled by this thing that looked like Waimea but the other way around”. His old twelve-foot Creatures leash held, as it would for the following four fifteen-to-eighteen footers. 

“Pretty stoked it happened, it was an awesome experience,” says Mitch. “I haven’t been clobbered like that for fifteen years.” 

Mitch says the surf report was for six-to-eight feet. 

Therefore, he says, he won’t be real surprised if the predicted eight-to-ten-foot swell for the opening day of the Margaret River Pro on Sunday, May 3, turns into something that will infuse even the boldest tour professional’s stomach with piles of sick. 

He says it ain’t unusual for swells to piggyback each other, turning a supposed three feet into ten as it did a couple of weeks back.

“That’s what’s happening around here,” he says. “There’s the forecast and then there’s what you’re looking at.”

Couple the report, which you can read here, with one of the most active salmon runs in years, reports of a tagged fifteen-foot White hitting one receiver at Meelup on the other side of Cape Naturaliste fifty times, as well as untagged animals “poking there heads up here and there” and, well, who ain’t licking their stank fingers in anticipation. 

Watch: Brave Australian longboard champ calls out competition organizers, sponsors, from stage for giving women half the prize money of men!

Give 'em hell, Lucy Small!

Longboarding competitions are usually not the times nor places to witness explosive fireworks but that commonality was radically challenged, this past weekend, when the very talented Lucy Small called out both event organizers and sponsors from the stage for paying the women half as much as the men.

Small, who won the Curly Mal Jam Pro, dubbed Australia’s premier one-day long boarding surfing event, was handed the microphone, along with an oversized cheque and beautiful glass trophy and wasted no time getting right to it (slide three).

“Hello… I finally won something,” she began, sun shimmering overhead. “Thank you so much for having us, super stoked to be here. I just wanted to point out, thank you so much to the sponsors for all the money for the event, but I would say it’s a bittersweet victory knowing that our surfing is worth less than half as much as the men’s prize money.”

Groans rose up from the audience but, undeterred, she continued.

“It costs the same amount to fly here, accommodation costs the same, and our surfing is worth half as much so maybe we can think about that for next time.”

The groans turned to half-hearted applause but, in my opinion, should have turned into wound up arms pelting those event organizers and sponsors with rotten fruit.

It is unbelievable, in this day and age, that the prize money would be different for the men and women. I understand how, if there are less women, the purse might be smaller, but not the amount paid winners.

And how does a statement asking equal money for equal work cause groans?

Has being a father of daughters blurred my vision?

Caused me to miss some key element where damned male longboarders deserve more a priori?

Nonsense, all of it, and I would go so far to argue that the women should get twice as much as the men in the world of professional longboarding.

Three times as much, even, as it is far more graceful, compelling, a spectacle.

Prove me wrong.

And bravo, Lucy Small.

Give ’em hell.

Give ’em all hell.

Innovative: Famous Canadian Ryan Reynolds plans to cure baby daughter of singing “baby shark” by showing her footage of surfing mother getting brutalized by Great Whites!

A vaccine for the VAL-pocalypse?

Celebrities… what a gift from on high, am I right? These beautiful creatures, with beautiful features, waltz the earth breathing different air, making different money, attending different parties, often coupling with each other then producing angelic little babies.

Every so often, though, our world’s collide, and we mortals can think, “Hey! I have those problems too!”

Take the most recent case of famous Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Van Wilder, The In-Laws) and his near-perfect wife Blake Lively (The Town, Savages, The O.C.). The two have been married for almost ten years and share a beautiful 18-month daughter but suffer a very common injustice.

Baby Shark.

Any parent knows the jingle, handcrafted in South Korea some five years ago, that takes hold of children and refuses to leave their mouths.

Baby shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.


Well, the infestation has manifested itself in the Reynolds-Lively household but Ryan has a plan on how to cure, sharing on Instagram, “My one year old daughter is obsessed with Baby Shark. All day. Every day. There’s only one way to fix this…” alongside a picture of The Shallows, a movie that focused around Lively and two other surfers getting torn limb by limb by ravenous sharks.

Fabulous, no?

I’d imagine this innovative solution would not only cure South Korean musical maladies but instill a deep fear of surfing in general.

The vaccine for VAL-pocalypse Now?

Aren’t vaccines often stumbled upon accidentally?

Very promising.

The accused, flanked by strike force detectives, and wearing a t-shirt with a word I can't decipher (can you?), heads to the station to help with enquiries etc.

Woman charged with astonishing 749 counts of stealing $1.5 million from two-time world surfing champion Tyler Wright and brothers Owen and Mikey faces court for first time!

Accountant alleged to've invested $1.2 in gambling projects while "wasting" the remaining three-hundred gees.

The accountant charged with 749 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception totalling more than $1.5 million from Tyler Wright and brothers Owen and Mikey has faced court for the first time.

Shane Maree Hatton, fifty-three, a family friend of the Wrights, although one must now presume that friendship has become somewhat strained, was a bookkeeper for the Wright’s plumbing biz.

When the kids started to rake in the sponsor cash, Hatton took on their finances, too.

Hatton’s layer did not enter pleas to the 749 charges and she’ll return to court on June 21.

World champ Tyler was celebrating her twenty-seventh birthday when she learned Strike Force Strathwallen, which was formed to investigate the case at the behest of Tyler’s manager Nick Fordham, had raided the svelte fashion-forward blonde.

In one of the greatest press releases ever issued, and which still delights a month or so later, police alleged Hatton spent $1.2 mill on gambling and poker machines “while the rest of it was wasted.”

One must presume the cop had tongue planted in cheek, of course, for it echoes perfectly the Irish soccer superhero George Best’s wonderful quote “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

Bookkeepers, accountants, whatever you want to call ‘em, are notorious for sticking their fingers in the honey pot, although their lifespans can be shortened considerably depending on the victims.

One man who ripped off Andy and Bruce Irons for a mill, as well as another thirty or so people for a total of fifty-mill, ended up at the bottom of a canyon after a mysterious car accident.

“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” Andy told me at the time.