Breaking: John John Florence undergoes unspecified knee surgery ahead of Olympics, vows to “do everything I can to make it happen!”

Kelly Slater fumes.

Two-time World Surf League champion and current tour number four, John John Florence, has just gone under the knife for an unspecified knee surgery after pulling out of the just-finished Margaret River contest ahead of its quarterfinals.

On an Instagram post featuring Florence, left leg braced and heavily wrapped, lounging comfortably on a very thin hospital bed surrounded by his doctor, filmer and an unspecified natural beauty, the surfer wrote:

I woke up to the report from the surgeon that everything went as well as possibly, and the procedure I had will give me the opportunity to surf at full strength sooner than I had hoped. Feeling motivated to really know that the Olympics are attainable. I’m excited for this and I’m gonna do everything I can to make it happen!

“Everything” and “the procedure” both left un-clarified.

Now, I’m no knee specialist, furthermore have no idea what sort of knee surgery involving a very thin hospital bed can entirely heal in three short months.

Cosmetic maybe?

An unsightly mole disappeared?

Whatever the case, this is good news for U.S. Olympic surf team fans, bad news for Australia’s deadly Irukandjis and first alternate Kelly Slater.

Or maybe not.

The fact that Florence needed serious medical intervention ahead of Tokyo may bode well for the world’s greatest surfer’s chances to make the leap.

In any case, Brazil for gold and silver, on the men’s side. Japan for the bronze.

U.S. a close fourth.

Australia somewhere below South Africa, Portugal, France.


More as the story develops.

Who's missing?
Who's missing?

Confession: I was at a very fine birthday party last evening, chatting with a surf industry luminary, and neither of us could remember which males were on The Irukandjis save Julian Wilson!

For shame.

Embarrassment comes in many forms. One could be crossing a busy street in New York City, not paying attention, and bump directly into a cute paralegal holding many important papers, sending them all flying into the air.

One could get toilet paper stuck to one’s shoe in the bathroom of a prestigious restaurant and march down the center aisle, between the banquettes, in front of many eyes.

One could be at a birthday party in a quaint Hollywood canyon, introduced to a surf industry luminary that one had not previously met and enter a fine conversation covering the most important topics from Margaret River’s Main Break vs. The Box to Jack in that Box to Australia’s national surf team, The Irukandjis, and who in the world is on the male’s side save Julian Wilson.

Oh but fate had me right there two evenings ago and the shame, the abject shame, is barely but finally starting to dissipate.

The birthday party was for a skate industry luminary and very fine. Guests mingling in the perfectly appointed mid-century home, eating cheeseburgers, chatting and catching up. The surf industry luminary had right to be very upset with me but was kind and open and I was enjoying our conversation until it came to the Olympics and the qualification process. How International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre is pressing his advantage by forcing World Surf League surfers to attend the full 10-day El Salvador World Surfing Games bacchanal and how tough that will be for Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitz, Julian Wilson and…



My face began to redden as I looked to my new friend for a bailout except he was only rubbing his chin, trying to sort out who the second male might be as well.

An awkward silence.

“Boy, look at us. If anyone knew…”


“This is very disgraceful…’


“Well anyways, that’s going to be tough for The Irukandjis to have to go all the way from Australia to El Salvador back to America back to Australia to Tokyo what with the various quarantines and all.”

The conversation, which had been flowing beautifully, ran aground and we parted soon thereafter, never solving the riddle.

Julian Wilson and…

I did not Google, out of principle, and the answer came to me a full 22-hours later whilst Googling pants from my favorite Australian clothing boutique.

Owen Wright.

But it did make me wonder.

As dear Longtom has reported, the Australian government is pouring millions upon millions into its surf development programs. Its Olympic-bound team is the only, in all the world, to name itself, later tagline itself (Deadly in the Water™), design uniforms, hold press conferences etc.

I wasn’t trying to be purposefully rude in forgetting the current number 28 in the world Owen Wright but is the proud surfing nation set for profound embarrassment, mirroring my own, on the brightest international stage having helped set that stage with much pomp and circumstance?

Will those surf development programs be scrapped in the wake of or doubled down upon?

The future bright as the sun shining off Morgan Cibilic’s veneers?

Or is it stuck in a deep, dark Burrow?

More as the story develops.

'You can love each other, cherish and nurture each other or you can kill each other. Incidentally, "kill" is the word. It's not "waste." If I meant "waste" I would have written "thou shalt not waste." You're doing some very funny things with words, here. You're also turning the sky into mud. I look down, I can't believe the filth. Using the rivers for toilets, poisoning my fishes. You want a miracle? You make a fish from scratch. You can't. You think only God can make a tree? Try coming up with a mackerel. And when the last one is gone, that'll be that. Eighty-six on the fishes, goodbye sky, so long world, over and out.'

Question: Does the religiosity of the WSL tour reflect the beliefs of average surfers?

Is there a vengeful, box-ticking middle manager in the sky with a cosmic wire on you?

In his Margaret River comp write-up, Longtom drew attention to the outspoken religiosity of some of the surfers on tour.

“There really is a God and Brazilian pro surfers are her Chosen People,” he wrote.

Professional athletes thanking the divine in their victorious interviews is nothing new.

But, does the religiosity on tour reflect the beliefs of average surfers? 

According to a 2010 Surfer poll (cited in the EOS entry on religion and surfing), 63% of the magazine’s readers said they believed in God, 15% didn’t, and 22% said they weren’t sure.

Are these numbers still accurate?

More specifically, do they represent the views of BeachGrit’s readership? For a while now I’ve wanted to do for BeachGrit what Chalmers and Bourget did for philosophers, fielding a big poll to figure out their crew’s consensus on certain issues.

This could just be me, but I’ve always thought that surfing and other wilderness/outdoor activities (climbing and sailing, from my own life) point towards there not being any type of caring, watching, intervening supreme being.

Sure there are those brief, transcendent moments of experiencing the sublime — but aren’t they in the minority when compared to times you gotta work hard to escape and survive? There’s no god that’s ever helped me out when I’ve prayed to avoid taking a set on the head. Even less so when I’ve prayed for a good wave to stand up in just the right spot, just for me.

Always seemed like the sets, the storms, the ocean were more out to get me than they were put there as my happy little playground.

To offer some context, I grew up in the American south as the child of some hardline evangelical parents. Taught the literal truth of the Bible, intelligent design in homeschool, hell as a real place, quiverfull, all the rest of it. So I know my background is offering some color to the way I perceive “god.” And the “god” I was taught as a kid is probably way different than what that word means for a lot of other people.

Still, surfing was actually what led me out of all that.

The cavalry never arrived to save me when I was caught inside; I learned to just get on with it and figure it out for myself. The ocean never seemed to give a snot for this human animal when it was bobbing around in the briny. And since abandoning all that supernatural stuff, my life’s been much better, the world a less terrifying place. No more vengeful, box-ticking middle manager in the sky who’s got a cosmic wire on me, listening for my thought-crimes.  

Plus, having worked in advertising, it’s hard to think up a better, more profitable business model than organized religion. As Breughel the Elder painted it out in one of his vignettes from Netherlandish Proverbs, be skeptical of anyone knocking on the door with both a flamethrower and also a fire extinguisher.

But I know that’s just me!

I know that religion brings a lot of comfort to a lot of people.

It’s on this note that I’m curious to poll the BeachGrit readers for where you fall on the spectrum of belief.

So: Anyone else find or un-find god in the lineup? Cast your vote here.


On a scale from 1 to 7, what do you think?

1: I know that God exists.

2: I can’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that He is there.

3: I’m uncertain, but I’m inclined to believe in God.

4: Who’s to say? Could be yes, could be no. It’s 50-50.

5: I don’t know whether a god exists, but I’m pretty skeptical.

6: I can’t know for certain, but it’s improbable that a god or gods exist; I live under the assumption that there isn’t anything supernatural out there.

7: I know that there are no gods or supernatural things.

Breaking: Champion of The People™ Caio Ibelli officially branded ahead of Rip Curl Rottnest Search, ready to win buoyed by our shared hopes and dreams!

A hero has risen.

It has been a long and winding road but here we are, staring down the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona and the final stop on what has been an altogether thrilling Australian leg.

Newcastle, Narrabeen, Margaret in the rearview.

Quokkas ahead.

Heroes have fallen, including John John Florence, chinks in armor exposed, not limited to Gabriel Medina, but all these are merely subplots to a broader theme.

The rise of The People™.

For it was ahead of Newcastle that blue-collar battler Caio Ibelli ripped his sponsor Oakley’s sticker from his board, expressing confusion. He had put the time in, done the work, punched the clock and proven himself amongst the best of the best, taking both John John and Gabriel’s scalps, but no, the multinational sunglass corporation decided his time was over.

Going another direction etc.

The People™ felt this injustice and rose, as one, declaring him our champion.

A crowdfund was set up, over $7500 raised, stickers printed.

A long and winding road that was supposed to lead to Narrabeen then Margaret but fate knows and fate chose Rottnest.

If you gave to Project Ibelli, thank you.

If you felt your heart warmed by this first step toward reclaiming surfing from shortsighted corporate nonsense, thank you.

Thank you to Spencer Driggs for designing the logo.

Thank you to Jake Holloway from in Australia who made each and every sticker with a borrowed vinyl cutter.

Thank you most, though, to Caio Ibelli.

A worthy champion.

Our champion.

VAL-pocalypse: In nightmare surf scenario, former first daughter Ivanka Trump nearly decapitates young son with waterlogged soft top in Miami!

The horror, the horror.

The world held its collective breath yesterday afternoon when images leaked out showing vulnerable adult learner, and former first daughter, Ivanka Trump nearly removing the head from her five-year-old son Theodore’s body with a very thick foam surfboard whilst taking a lesson in South Beach near Miami.

You must click here to see yourself the full gallery as, after much discussion, it has been deemed too disturbing by BeachGrit‘s editorial staff.

Also the Daily Mail is entirely litigious. Near Stab ed. Ashton Goggans level of police calling.

According to that same prosecution-happy though still august Daily Mail:

The 39-year-old was seen hitting the waves with her three children – Arabella, nine, Joseph, seven, and Theo, five – on Sunday, however it was far from smooth sailing for the former First Daughter, who suffered several tumbles during the session, as well as a scary collision with her younger son.

Thankfully, the youngster appeared unharmed, and proud mom Ivanka was later seen waving her hands, clapping, and flashing a thumbs up while watching her kids conquering the ocean on their own boards, all while under the watchful eye of several instructors.

Those several instructors should each be ashamed of themselves both for being surf instructors and for presiding over such an ugly show.

If you do not want to click to see yourself the full gallery, Ivanka is wearing yoga pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt.

Inappropriate at any beach outside Saudi Arabia.

Do you think the near decapitation was purposefully orchestrated by deep state lackeys?

More to the point, are surf instructors collaborators in the VAL-pocalypse?

Much to ponder.