Death from Below: Northern California surfers reel under new horror as scientists reveal just as many lyme-carrying ticks around area’s beaches as woods!

First Great Whites, now this.

Surfers have long been the focus of many, many terrifying natural phenomena from man-eating sharks to scary riptides to reef bashes, drownings, angry seals, clueless VALs, the World Surf League CEO Erik “ELo” Logan.


Lyme-carrying ticks, though, provided no worry.

Those nasty critters were for our woodland hiking friends to deal with and nasty is an understatement.

Lyme disease is one of the very worst plagues, very difficult to diagnose and causing fevers, rashes, aching joints, sleeplessness, semi-lucid hell.

Well, according to a new scientific study just released, there are just as many lyme-carrying ticks around Northern California beaches as there are in its woods.

Lead author Daniel Salkeld, a research scientist at Colorado State University, told NBC News, “We went into new habitats and found them in numbers we didn’t expect. A few years ago I would have said the ticks there wouldn’t have been infected because there aren’t any grey squirrels, which are the source for Lyme in California. I think they’ve been under our noses all along. We just haven’t thought to look very closely.”

Grey squirrels are, of course, thought to carry the ticks but a working theory suggests that northern California’s rabbits are transporting the li’l bastards around.

“This is a great study,” said Laura Goodman, an assistant research professor at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “There is a bias in this country where people think they are only at risk when they go into the woods. But really, prevention and vigilance should be practiced everywhere outdoors, and we should be vigilant year-round.”

Great study my ass.

Lyme disease.


Surfline gets trapped behind World Surf League Wall of Positive Noise, sends SOS in form of overhyped swell: “Para bailar la bomba se necesita una poca de gracia!”


The world’s largest surf forecasting website Surfline spent much of last week hyping, re-hyping, a south swell due to hit California that was going to be so wild, so wooly, that only one name would do.


The bomb.

La Bomba would travel north from Chile to mainland Mexico, where it had properly lit Puerto Enscondido’s famed Mariachi Pipeline, and lay waste to every south facing beach from San Diego all the way to Crescent City.

La Bomba would be great, it would be grand, it would be unlike anything else ever, a full hand jam off the top etc.

I was excited to surf La Bomba and to see others surf La Bomba too but then a fine sailing wind reared its head and seeing as yo no soy capitán but certainly soy marinero, set out to sea with my very best friends leaving cell phone service behind.

We gusted back into range early last evening, colorful spinnaker fluttering, and the first thing I did was to check with other friends, to see if they were still alive after experiencing La Bomba or if they had been exploded.

“It was ok…” was the universal reply.

Was La Bomba a dud in California?

Had those other friends been surfing the wrong spots at the wrong times?

Or, has Surfline become unwittingly trapped behind the World Surf League’s patented Wall of Positive Noise™, stuck issuing Newcastle-esque projections to non-professional surfers too? The Huntington Beach-based company has, for the past few years, been the World Surf Line’s exclusive forecasting partner and the event forecasts have become increasingly surreal. I can’t imagine that sort of “cup-not-only-half-full-but-overflowing” attitude couldn’t help but infect day to day operations.

Mightn’t one of the programers, someone who escapes the daily Joe Turpel morning affirmation readings and ELo smile exercises, have slipped an SOS to the surf world in the form of La Bomba?

Para bailar la bomba, para bailar la bomba se necesita una poca de gracia. Una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti y arriba y arriba. Ah y arriba y arriba por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré?

Or maybe those other friends were surfing the wrong spots and the wrong times.

What was your experience with La Bomba?

Has it not really hit yet?

Sailing, man.

Mick's "retro beach pad" in Rainbow Bay, very near Snapper Rocks.

Opportunity knocks: Rent Mick Fanning’s own “retro beach pad” metres from Snapper Rocks’ infamous Superbank for only $400 a week!

Fifties-fab and pregnant with the fingerprints of the Gold Coast's most successful surfer ever… 

The world surfing champion turned property tycoon Mick Fanning has listed his “retro beach pad” at 2/219 Boundary Street, Rainbow Bay to rent for a very affordable four hundred dollars per week, with a sixteen-hundred dollar surety, refundable if you don’t destroy the joint. 

The apartment, one of two in the duplex, features two bedrooms, one bathroom, and is, even at the slowest canter, or with legs heavy from much surfing, ten minutes walk from the Snapper Rocks jump rock (if you dare). 

Mick, who is forty, bought the duplex in 2005 and two years before his first world title, for $1.39 million. 

The following year he bought another joint for $1.2 mill and in 2007 swiped his card on an apartment block in the same street, number 213, for $3.1 million before selling it in February, this year, for $2.86 mill.

The shock loss, close to a mill after a fancy reno and buying and selling costs and maintenance, was a lesson in the caprices of the Australian property market. 

Rent Mick’s apartment here, move in date May 7. 

Surfer and graphic art icon David Carson launches epic thirteen-lesson series: “Never snap to guides! We want your mind; we don’t want your software!”

Carson joins titans of the creative game including directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee on Masterclass… 

The surfer David Carson is the world’s most imitated graphic designer, at least among magazines that do “hip” and “edge” and who like to break every typographic rule there is while straight-jacketing themselves to another set of strictures.

Carson, who is sixty-five, re-tooled Surfer magazine in 1991, Matt Warshaw calling his work “jarring but innovative”, and added “a majority felt, as one Pasadena subscriber put it, that the new look was “jumbled, ugly, chaotic and hard to read.”

The prestigious Harvard Graduate School of Design asked Carson to create publicity and posters. Apple called him one of the 30 most Influential Mac users ever. London Creative Review magazine named him the most famous graphic designer on the planet.

A big name, therefore, in the design game.

Now, thanks to online education platform Masterclass, you can sign up for thirteen lessons in graphic design from the little master whose surfer bona fides are proved by the fact he was once invited to the prestigious Smirnoff Pro Am in Hawaii.

Lessons include, An intuitive approach to design, send a message with typography, using photography in design, developing a logo, life as a working designer, tapping into the power of colour, collage art for designers, working with clients, designing impactful magazines , designing your future and making it happen.

A hundred and eighty, US, buys a yearly sub to Masterclass, which includes skateboarding with Tony Hawke, shooting threes with Steph Curry, how to make grits with Gordon Ramsey, self-expression and authenticity with Ru Paul and so on.

Regular readers will recall Carson’s brush on the island of Tortola, where he keeps a fine spread overlooking the blue-water right-hander Cane Garden Bay, at the height of COVID mania.

As the island bunkered down to fight the spread of Coz-vid number nineteen, Carson flouted its six-day long twenty-four hour lockdown law to ride empty three-to-four-foot CGB, posting the event on his Instagram page.

Six years ago, Carson designed, at BeachGrit‘s behest, 151 new logos for the WSL.

The existing logo, he said, “has no soul. The logo just doesn’t represent the sport very well. It’s pedestrian, unoriginal, forgettable,  safe, gentrified and corporate. All things surfing is NOT, at least to me.”

Readers were divided. 

A surfer to the bone but also with a few things to say about making pretty pictures.

Oowee, smells like a COVID.

Breaking: WSL’s two-event Western Australian leg thrown into chaos after immediate three-day lockdown ordered for Perth and surrounds following three cases of COVID-19; other states declare WA a “red zone”!

“We do everything we can to protect our way of life.”

Western Australia’s ultra-cautious and as a recent election proved, ultra-popular, left-wing premier Mark McGowan has thrown Perth and a stretch of coast hundred clicks south into an immediate three-day lockdown after a mammy, her kid and a man got poz for COV in their quarantine hotel.

A little under two-and-a-half mill souls are now stuck inside their hovels over the Anzac Day long weekend, one hour a day for exercise, bars, gyms, cinemas, libraries all closed, masks everywhere etc. 

“We have gone more than 12 months of no community transmission and our lives in Western Australia have been normal compared to what we have seen around the world,” McGowan said. “We do everything we can to protect our way of life.”

Checkpoints are being assembled on roads leading out of Perth, cops ready to wrangle any escapees.

The decision has put the WSL’s two-contest Western Australian leg, an event at Margaret River, starting in a little over a week, followed by Rottnest, starting May 16, on a knife’s edge with other states declaring WA a “red zone”, meaning when you swing back from West Oz, depending on what state you’re entering, you might be stuck doin’ two more weeks in a quarantine hotel. 

And while Margaret River has been excluded from this lockdown, Rottnest Island, eleven miles west of Perth, falls under the same rules as Perth. 


Even though the lockdown is slated to end on midnight on Monday, the state has shown it ain’t afraid to bring down the shutters real fast if even one case of the disease the premier describes as “insidious” appears.

The WSL is expected to release a presser shortly, detailing contingency plans and so on.