Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater savages Elon Musk over tech billionaire’s bitcoin strategy: “Does he have an issue with kids mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo to build batteries?”

"Elon is bad for crypto"

A welcome return to form on Instagram for Kelly Slater this weekend when he put Elon Musk, creator of Space X, Tesla, PayPal etc, to the sword for suggesting, vaguely, that Tesla might sell its store of Bitcoin, a decision that would probs send the price of the crypto-buck spiralling downward.

See, in Feb, Tesla announced it had bought a bill-and-a-half of Bitcoin and said it would accept Bitcoin as payment for its electric cars. Price went up etc.

Then, in May, Musk said they weren’t gonna take Bitcoin for cars ’cause the currency’s “insane” energy use was “hurting the planet.”

Price went down.

From Kelly’s IG story,

“Elon Musk and Tesla Motors proudly bought $1.5B worth of Bitcoin for around $34K in Feb. Elon comes out this week and says BTC mining is bad for the environment and they dump their bitcoin for an estimated $804M in profits (but he’s still pushing dogecoin, a useless shit coin).

“So a guy who owns an energy company doesn’t understand this stuff before he buys it? Has no problem taking the profits. Does he have an issue with kids mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo to build batteries? He could probably address and potentially help solve the real energy issues (68 per cent of the energy produced in the US, for instance, is wasted … seems like a bigger issue to me which would solve any BTC problem).

“I think Elon’s board and backers hate crypto and what it’s doing for the average investor and pressured him to put out a statement which they knew would inevitably tank bitcoin. I hope the SEC is taking a good look at this (and all of them who might be buying the dip today and this week in their private accounts). Interesting times. But Elon is bad for crypto.”

No reply from Musk, as we went to press.

Ballina boat tour goes bad.

Scientists predict 1800 shark hits in Australia over the next 45 years, children most vulnerable: “Shark attacks will become so frequent that the government will have little choice but to deploy lethal methods of shark mitigation!”

"We need to reject the deification of nature."

A team of scientists predicts that 1800 people will be hit by sharks in Australia over the next 45 years.

To stem the flow of blood, they want to equip everyone who goes in the water with a personal shark deterrent device in the hope of saving, perhaps, a thousand people. (The most effective shark deterrent, the Shark Shield, reduces the risk of attack by about 60%.)

Thing is, apart from the forty percent failure rate, the user has to tolerate the occasional electric shock, these painful random jolts.

Initially, it seemed ridiculous but y’get used to it. I figured it was a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Ironically, using the device actually increased the risk of my being attacked, because I surfed more than twice as often. Around Ballina, you tend to find other things to do if the waves are not so good, especially if you are on your own. But, I felt invincible with my Shark Shield and would paddle out in anything.

So, my exposure to the risk eventually cancelled out the benefit of using the device.

There are various other problems, which might be solvable, since they concern the design of the product. But, the problem of electric shocks is unavoidable since the user needs to be positioned within the electric field and the current has to be strong enough to cause a shark to pull away.

While most adults would get used to it, I think children would refuse to use the device.

Children are actually more vulnerable to shark attack, despite offering less in the way of sustenance, because sharks tend to bite the smaller of two objects presented to them. While most surfers feel safer in a group, because it reduces the odds of being taken, children remain vulnerable on account of being smaller than everyone else.

As winter approaches, surfers on Australia’s east coast look forward to regular south swells. But, the arrival of whales soon brings to mind the inevitable influx of Great White shark accompanying the migration.

How many people’s lives will be ruined this year?

Eventually, shark attacks will become so frequent that the government will have little choice but to deploy lethal methods of shark mitigation.

It is already beyond a joke.

How bad does it have to get?

I engaged in the shark debate at all levels over the past six years and came to the conclusion that the technocrats at the NSW Department of Primary Industries are more concerned about sharks than people, and that government ministers are powerless to defy them.

So, I don’t think we stand a chance unless we can expose the root problem which is the anti-human agenda of environmentalism. We have been trained for decades to cherish the natural environment and so it is hard not to think that environmentalism is good.

However, there is a genetic defect in their philosophy, which ironically stems from our success as a species.

Environmentalism provides a convenient distraction from the challenges of being human and looking inward must seem petty compared to controlling society for the benefit of nature.

Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore echoes this sentiment, suggesting that fear of catastrophic destruction, such as climate change, might actually be fear of death, projected onto the natural world.

Eco-warriors identify with a stable ecosystem, as if it mirrors their own psychological stability.

That is why they can’t compromise.

They view the occasional human tragedy as a necessary sacrifice.

The sea might even be symbolic of the subconscious mind, making it especially sacrosanct.

I am afraid this is where the battle needs to be fought.

We need to reject the deification of nature.

North Narrabeen's Nathan "The Hog" Hedge hot out of gate.

Grassroots Australian boardriders event trumps WSL’s Rottnest Island contest, “A working class barnyard jamboree while the bosses laboured through another staid, tiresome offering of enforced formality!”

The working class vs the ruling elite

Come every Autumn in Australia, as sure as the first cool morning offshores will begin their insolent tickling of backyard gum trees, I’m compelled to write about my love for the Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle teams format.

It’s our culture manifest. Surfing as socialist democracy. All of the best bits of competitive aquatic poncing rolled into a two-day shoot out.

I’ve nothing new to add, sort of. Still a massive fan

But this year did offer the juxtaposition of the ABB running at the same time as the WSL.

Newcastle and Rottnest. The working class vs the ruling elite.

Newy on finals day was unruly, messy in parts, but highly contestable. Hidden gems popped up throughout the unscripted madness.

Rotto, on the other hand, was perfectly groomed. But ever so slow. Monotonous. Droning.

I’ll let you draw your own analogies.

The Nudie teams format always delivers. Guaranteed drama every match up no matter the quality of the waves, or the surfers. Hour-long heats fly by with 20 surfers in the water.

My club was bundled out in the trials at the start of the weekend so I was able to catch a lot of the Nudie broadcast at home. Jeez it was fun. An easy choice over the WSL’s dull grey.

There were core legends, both mens and womens. WSL-adjacent rippers. A bevy of up n coming juniors. Air shows. Beach sprints. Larrikins like Jacko Baker giving mid-heat analysis. Beau ‘Nitro’ Walker still surfing in a backwards baseball hat.

Grom interviews that could have been lifted directly from a 1980s beachside vox pop. “Aww yeah it’s pretty filf out there ay.”

The passion of club surfing in Australia. North Narra captain Hedgey’s pre-final determination/death stare would make the Felipe meme look like a doe eyed puppy shot.

And all ably commentated by the likes of Vaughan Blakey, Sean Doherty, Reggae Ellis.

Yes there were technical issues.

The amount of live action missed because of wave replays was criminal. There were some commentary howlers on the frequent beach crosses.

But instead of trying to ignore it, pretend there was nothing happening, the crew took the piss. Called it as they saw it. Made the entire package even more entertaining.

Do you see big corpo sponsor Nudie tearing up its contract with Surfing Australia because not everything went to script?

Is City of Newcastle or Destinations NSW threatening to cut funding and burn the welcome mat because a commentator spoke his or her mind?

As if. They love it. And the format continues to thrive.

It begs the question: why is the WSL still scared of its own shadow?

From what LT says in his post-heat there were some small progressions made in the commentary booth yesterday. That’s good. But I thought we had turned the same corner early last year too, only for the double positive corpo speak to kick back in even harder post-Covid.

One step forward, two steps back.

Team surfing is never going to replace man-on-man (which in these gender fluid times I think should be simply renamed ‘the Drouyn format’). Not should it. There’s way too much ingrained history.

But the liveliness of Nudie was undeniable. The party atmosphere. The passion. The fun.

A working class barnyard jamboree, while the bosses laboured through another staid, tiresome offering of enforced formality.

I know where I’d rather be.

Construction on $50 million Sydney wavepool starts in six weeks; waves to run six am to midnight!

Very good news for Sydney's chlorine shredders… 

A few years later than expected, but better late than never etc, Urbnsurf are loosing the bulldozers on their second Australian wave pool, this time at Olympic Park, fourteen clicks west of Sydney.

Construction of the Wavegarden Cove at the three-hectare Hill Road site begins in July, with an estimated build cost of fifty mill, double what it was gonna cost back in 2016. 

Yoga studio, skate ramps, a rooftop bar, a swingers hot tub, and the place is going to be open in the pre-dawn all the way through to midnight.

Aerial view of Sydney tank, opening in a year and a half.

Two-fifty jobs during the build, one fifty when it’s open.

Gates open in the summer of 2022-23.

If you live in Sydney, and y’dig wave tanks, this is very good news for several reasons.

One, it ain’t easy to get a seat in the Melbourne pool, it’s been that popular, and if you want to get some chlorine turns, tubs, you gotta coordinate cheap airfares with availability of sessions. The current booking system is pretty clunky and does y’head in when you’re hitting airfares/pool sessions simultaneously.

The water temp in Melbourne is insanely cold, a couple degrees less than the ocean. Summer is bearable in a short-sleeved steamer, but winter, oowee, five-fours, booties, little hats. 

When it opened I gave myself one hundred and fifty waves to examine the flaws in my technique. A shocking revelation, which you can read here.

Urbnsurf, Sydney, brings warm water and considerably more sun.

A win and a win.

Comment live, Rip Curl Rottnest Search, Sudden-death Elimination Rounds!

The weak are put to the sword!