Sea turtle (pictured) mating.
Sea turtle (pictured) mating.

Florida identifies new environmental threat, the evil volunteer sea turtle nest protector, vows to destroy: “These so-called do-gooders have no place on our beaches or in our lives!”

The gall of some people.

The proud state of Florida, home to many fine professional surfers including, but not limited to, Kelly Slater, CJ Hobgood, Damien Hobgood, Jimmicane Wilson, Caroline Marks and Austin Clouse (who appears on this summer’s much-anticipated The Ultimate Surfer though does not win because Zeke Lau does) has long been an environmental pioneer.

Many wins and near wins as it relates to the protection of our earth and its sacred marine space.

Most recently, it has won by identifying a heretofore unforeseen threat and wasting no time in rooting out and violently destroying.

The evil volunteer sea turtle nest protector.

According to a disturbing just-released story in the Sun Sentinel, volunteer sea turtle nest protectors take to Florida’s beaches during nesting season to ensure that hatchlings, fresh from cozy shells, don’t get disoriented by city lights, accidentally turning west toward many parties feat. Pitbull, and instead do the right thing and head out to sea.

Ron Mezich, section leader of the the state’s wildlife commission’s Imperiled Species Management Section Division wrote, “We originally authorized hatchling recovery and release programs as a temporary measure on Broward County beaches where local governments had recently adopted ordinances to reduce lights visible from the marine turtle nesting beaches. Now that all local governments have a mechanism to address beachfront lighting, we have determined there is no longer a need for these programs to continue.”

Permits to voluntarily protect sea turtle nests at night will be halved in the coming years then cut altogether.

Good riddance so-called “do-gooders.”

Like most malicious, arrogant, altogether rotten blights, though, the volunteer sea turtle nest protector is not going quietly.

Richard WhiteCloud, founder and director of Sea Turtle Oversight Protection, said, “They’re saying they would rather have dead sea turtle hatchlings in storm drains, parking lots and in the roadways, and dehydrated on the beaches, versus having our rescue staff, our volunteers on the beach. People who are out there doing the right thing are being punished.”

Dr. Holly Wilson, a physician who has been malingering around sea turtle nests for years added, “I am absolutely going to go out and rescue these animals, whether it’s legal or not. We’re not getting a salary. We just want the turtles in the water. If this goes through, turtles are going to die.”

According to research, Florida is the most important region in the United States for sea turtle nests. In South Florida 27% of little baby sea turtles become disoriented and wander west, having to witness the breakup of J.Lo and Alex Rodriguez live whilst serenaded by Gloria Estefan.

Fucking volunteer sea turtle nest protectors.

To hell with you all.


“This, my people, my tribe, could be a La Flama... times three.”

Surf-lit: Escape from VAL-mageddon, “These south swells are our new unicorn, people. Our value proposition. Our core business model…  but we need to build on that, to maximise this space so we can position ourselves as the official content owners of any major swell events!”

Inside the brave new world of surf forecasting.

Darian is resting in a green beanbag, familiarising himself with the #surf hashtag on Instagram, when his iPad beeps.

The SurfWatch intern is used to a suite of interruptions in his new role. Camera down. Link broken. Hate speech on a foiling comment thread needing deletion. He’s quickly earned a reputation as a Mr-Fix-It for any of the tech problems one would expect from a web company under rapid expansion.

But this one is different. It’s the NOAA app.

“New south swell approaching; thirty feet, sixteen seconds, 187 degrees.”

Wow.

He shuts Instagram and takes a quick look around the rest of the office. A handful of hip young twenty-somethings are poised in similar positions across lounges and comfy chairs, each staring intently at their own smart devices. He’ll need to deal with this delicately to avoid causing too much of a buzz.

He steps out into a paved courtyard to Facetime his boss. The cool spring breeze is refreshing after a day spent in the dead air of the collaborative work space.

Within three rings a face pops onto his screen, a plump, soft-featured man offset by keen blue eyes and a viciously receding hairline.

“Darian, my dude, what’s happening?” the man says, wiping his face with a towel.

Behind him Darian can make out a pilates class in action.

“Boss, we’ve got something you might like to…”

“Uh ah ah, what did I say about calling me boss?” the man says. “My name is Connor, just like Coffin. Use it, bro.”

Darian chides himself for such a stupid mistake. He will need to reflect on it later.

“Sorry, Connor, we’ve got something you might like to see.”

“Yes?”

Holding his iPad in his spare hand he sends Connor the notification, which arrives instantaneously on the other end of the line with a ping.

“A new south swell is firing up in the Pacific,” says Darian. “It looks like it could hit the west coast of central within the next five days.”

“And?”

“Well, sir, I mean, Connor, based off the data we’ve run on user engagement with similarly-characterised swells over the last year, this one is big.”

Connor stops wiping his face and looks directly into the camera.

“Like, how big?”

“Like, off the charts big. I’m talking…”

Darian takes a second to run some calculations in his head.

“La Flama… times three.”

Even through the pixelated reception Darian can see the look on Connor’s face change.

“My god. Get everybody on a call now. I’ll be there in five.”

There’s a mix of in-person and Zoom faces in the tastefully decorated SurfWatch boardroom. Darian and Connor sit on either side of the pint-sized Suzie from partnerships. Up on screen is Benny from the social metrics team. Hutcher, from sales. Aziz, IT.

At the end of the boardroom table sits a lone figure. A late-middle aged man. Easily the oldest person in the room, virtually or otherwise. Underneath a torn flannelette shirt Darian can make out tanned, weathered skin. Dirty blond hair hangs over either side of his face. A dark pair of Arnette Catfish covers what’s left.

Darian is not sure if he is even awake.

Weird. There’s not much that happens in this office that he’s not aware of. He will have to make a note of it for later.

“So, firstly I want to say thank you to everybody for convening this meeting so quickly,” says Connor as he stands up and looks around the table. “It really stokes me out to see how responsive you all are to these swell events and the amazing opportunities they afford us. Are you all as stoked out as I am?”

Nods of  agreement around the room. Except for the mystery guest the general consensus is that yes, they are all stoked out.

“As you may be aware we currently have a low pressure system stirring down in the South Pacific, spinning its way across the globe from…”

Connor stops mid-sentence.

“Actually, first: a massive shout-out and props to Darian for picking this one up early by going direct to the source for weather and swell maps. You might be from Indiana, my bro, but this sort of tech innovation is true waterman stuff.”

A brief round of muted applause fills the office. Darian feels his face flush with embarrassment.  He thinks he hears a groan from the other end of the table, soft but distinct enough below the adoring claps of his colleagues. It must be the restored oak conference table creaking again. Another task he needs to follow up.

“Anyway, as I was saying,” continues Connor. “Current forecasts indicate this is a big one. We’re expecting 20-55 feet faces, just on the initial pulse. Eighteen-second period. An incredible angle.”

Connor takes a moment to look each of the staff in the room and on the call directly. The sense of pride he has in his work is obvious, as are the expectations he has of his team.

“This, my people, my tribe, could be a La Flama… times three.”

A hush falls over the room as a screen rolls down the far wall, reaching all the way to the tiled floor. Connor takes a small clicker from his pocket and points to it. A mass of graphs and graphics appear, all in shades of the official SurfWatch purple.

“Now we all saw how strongly that swell performed on our channels. Engagement was up across the board and we acquired more than 10,000 new followers on Instagram through that hashtag alone.”

“And can I mention,” says Benny, whose arrogant head wobble is noticeable even through the patchy video link, “that the bulk of them were from the key male 28-45 demographic, who have shown remarkable spending habits based off our suggested product widget.”

“Yes, absolutely,”says Connor. “You’ve hit the nail on the head. These south swells are our new unicorn, people. Our value proposition. Our core business model.”

He looks out the window at the imported Frangipani tree in the courtyard. It’s just starting to bloom.

“We did so well with La Flama. I was so proud of you all. But we need to build on that. Seize the opportunity. Continue to maximise this space so we can position ourselves as the official content owners of any major swell events along the continental coastlines of all of the Americas.”

Suzie chimes in with her perfect English accent. “Magnificently put, Connor. Such vision. I couldn’t agree more.”

She’s standing now, too.

“What I would like to see this time is a content partnership with this swell. It was a massive opportunity we let slip for the, uh… flame. If we want to play with the big boys like Disney and Netflix, this is what we need to nail.”

“Here’s a cool idea,” says Connor, feeding off her energy. “Let’s try and leverage something through our existing arrangement with the WSL. Have we had an official water bottle and drinkware sponsor  for a swell yet?”

“No.”

“Then get on the line to HydroFlask.”

Suzie feverishly takes down notes on her iPad.

“I want blanket coverage from Pavones to Mavericks for this event,” Connor continues. “I want interactive timelines. I want a user-generated content feed. I want every surfer along that three-thousand mile stretch to be champing at the bit to surf this swell at our key camera locations. If they don’t surf yet, make them want to. And I want it all done yesterday.”

“What about board sales?” asks Hutcher. “Which model do we want to pump up for this?”

“Well there’s the CI mid as a no-brainer,” says Darian. “Pyzel’s are also trending hot following John John’s performance at Margarets. Plus, Mayhem have just been dying for another push.”

“Great. Let’s do all of them. Segment the audience targeting by surfing skillset. If they’re true surfers they should include that info in their social bios. But let’s try and avoid those Central American countries that haven’t yet realised their purchasing potential… we all know the ones I’m talking about.”

“We also saw a strong response to the twenty-hour hour RSS feed,“ says Iziz, quickly cutting off his boss before he could take that line of thought any further. “It was a bit of a spend to promote it through non-endemic channels but we really saw an ROI through the user journey conversions. We spent one-hundred thousand but easily doubled that in returns on click throughs. I was thinking a… five-hundred thousand spend for this one?”

“You know what, Zizi? Double it.”

Connor is practically thrusting his hips in excitement.

“Ok, ok, this is all great. But we need a name.”

They all stop to look up from their devices in unison. The universal corporate signal for being deep in thought.

“How about Code Green?” says Darian after a while. “That’s the colour of the swell map currently off California, and it looks really neat.”

“Also Green is, like, environmental,” adds Hutch.

More nods of agreement.

But then it comes again. Another groan from the end of the table. More definite this time. It must be from the mystery man, thinks Darian, even though he is in an apparently catatonic state.

“Sorry, were you saying something, Dammo?” asks Connor, who has also turned his attention to the incursion.

“No,” growls the man, his lips barely moving.

“Ok. Let’s…”

“You can’t call it green.”

Connor sighs.

“Sorry, I thought you weren’t saying anything? “

“Yes I was,” says the man, his growl beginning to take on the rhythm of an old engine warming up on a cold winter’s morning. “I was saying you can’t call it green. That’s fucking stupid.”

The man takes off his sunglasses and straightens his back. Considers each of them there with him in the room, as if he has just woken from a deep sleep. He has the thousand-yard stare of a war veteran, but looks like he’s never had day of regiment in his life

“And it’s ‘Damo… day-mo,” he says. “Not Dammo.”

“And why, pray tell, is calling it the ‘Green Swell’ fucking stupid?”

“It just is.”

“Ok. Noted.”

Connor turns his attention back to the team.

“Well, anything else?

“How about The Gerry swell?” offers Suzie, pronouncing it with a hard ‘G’. “After Gerry Lopez. He’s in town. Could be a great collab with Wavestorm. Plus we could film some…”

“Nup,” says Damo. “Gerry’s an old kook, plus unless it’s Pipeline or Padang he isn’t gonna give two shits about some hyped-up beachbreak swell”.

“The Sunday swell?” asks Hutch. “Machado has his new Firewire mid-length out which we could leverage…”

A fart noise from Damo.

Suzie shoots him a furiously English stare.

“Sorry Connor, but who is this guy?

Another deep sigh from the boss.

“Everyone, I would like you to meet Damo. As part of our takeover he was brought on board in an advisory rule. A cultural ambassador from Australia, if you like. His speciality is grouting, don’t ask me, I have no idea, but he is also a lifelong surfer. Corporate thought it might help to make sure we keep in line with our ‘core’ audience.”

“Core, like apple core?” asks Darian. “Is that a sustainability thing?”

“Anyway, he’s here now,” continues Connor. “A valued member of the team. I would like us to welcome him as such. Plus, we told the old owners he was allowed to have a job with us as part of the condition of sale. I think he has some compromising photos? Or something. Who knows.”

Damo pulls an unlit cigarette from his pocket.

“I dunno what you’re talking about there, Conna. But I do know I was told to sit in on these meets you’re having and just speak my mind.”

He throws the cigarette into the air and catches it in his mouth.

“So here goes,” he says, cig dangling from one side. “How about you just don’t hype up the swell in the first place? It’s still too far off to know if it’s going to deliver. Plus all you’re doing is blowing out the lineups and increasing tensions over what is an already finite resource.”

Damo lights the cigarette.

Darian stands to try and stop him, but Connor places a hand on his shoulder and subtly shakes his head.

“You might be making a quick buck in the short term off this ad revenue bullshit, but in the long run you’re only going to harm the culture. Overcrowded line ups. Breakdown in hierarchy. More turmoil. For that you will pay a heavy cosmic price.”

He blows a smoke ring towards Darian, who is just quick enough to duck underneath it.

“Plus you’re championing sustainability while plugging the sale of these pop-out boards. Do you know how big the carbon footprint is for a single Firewire? What’s wrong with buying a second hand Dahlberg for fifty dollars off Gumtree?”

“Sorry, a Dahl-what?”

“Gum… tree?”

“The beauty of surfing is doing the work yourself,” continues Damo uninterrupted. “Tracking a swell off your own bat. Chasing it. Maybe scoring. Maybe not. Or surfing the one spot all of the time. Over and over. Regardless of conditions. Getting to know it on every angle. Every tide. Every wind. That’s how you learn to surf. Through trial and error. And time. And not telling the whole fucking world about it. That’s true satisfaction. True respect. You can’t manufacture it. It has to be earned.”

The team is silenced. Darian is not sure what to make of the display. None of what Damo has just said makes sense to them on any level. Yet Connor said they should listen to him. For the first time in his corporate life he is experiencing a true conflict.

Damo wraps up his impromptu presentation.

“Instead you’re just spoon feeding this shit to a bunch of idiots who don’t know any better. The whole thing is fucked, mate. Fucked.”

He flicks the cigarette out an open window towards the Frangipani tree.

“Anyway, that’s my two cents”.

More silence, except for a small cough from Suzie who has just inhaled a mouthful of smoke.

“Hmm, thanks for your input,” says Connor as he regathers himself. “I really like where you’re going with your thinking. But also, we are probably not going to do that.”

Damo shrugs.

“Fuck, whatever then cunts. I’m going surfing.”

He walks out of the room, kicking a loose tile from the floor on the way out. The team waits until he is out of sight before erupting in laughter.

“Oh! Em! Gee! What an idiot that guy was!” says Connor as he wipes a tear from his eye. “Sorry about that one team. I’ll be having a stern word with corporate after this. Can we please never hear from him ever again?”

“Thank god,” says Darian. “I was getting worried there for a second.”

He makes a note on his iPad to cancel Damo’s security pass as Connor launches back into his presentation.

“Now, how about Biggest Wednesday…”


"Powerful tits sculpted by God that rivet the eyes…" | Photo: Ultimate Surfer

Plot spoiler: BIPOC Hawaiian Zeke Lau wins ABC’s Ultimate Surfer; will be gifted wildcards into three WCT events on 21-22 Tour!

The powerfully built Hawaiian with full round breasts sculpted by god and that rivet the eyes returns to the WCT!

In an important rumour, loosed, perhaps, to quell the disquiet over the WSL’s lack of diversity in its TV debut Ultimate Surfer, BIPOC Hawaiian Zeke Lau wins the series, and is gifted wildcards to Snapper, Margaret River and Surf Ranch on the 21-22 Tour. 

The six-foot-two, two-hundred pound Hawaiian with full round breasts sculpted by god and that rivet the eyes, qualified for the WCT in 2017 and competed for three seasons before missing the cut for the 2020 season. 

It ain’t surprising Zeke wins; put any WCT surfer against qualifier-level shredders and the difference is marked. 

The other cast members, Kai Barger, Austin Clouse, Mason Barnes, Luke Davis, Alejandro Moreda and Koa Smith are a mix of beauty and some talent, although none, I think, at CT level, unlike Zeke. 

Zeke’s high point on the tour was in 2018 when he highlighted the world champion John John Florence’s tender underside, an unwillingness to engage in paddle battles etc. 

From Longtom’s report on the day, 

“Zeke, with a face like an Easter Island statue and physique to match, had monstered John, got all up in his grill and had sent the world champ into a tailspin. Combo’ed, Florence fell, then fell again as the clock ticked down. It was thrilling and almost wincingly painful to watch, like a David Attenborough documentary where the elegant ruminant gets savaged by a lion then has its insides ripped out by a pack of hyaenas. The champ looked so helpless. All that insouciance at the Gold Coast was gone and in its place was a  lonely blond-haired kid being frowned upon by an older man on the stairs who shook his head sadly as the siren sounded.”

The WSL subsequently reinstated a rule that surfers could not “excessively hassle” their opponents.

“I seen the Zeke Rule,” Zeke said. “I’m making history out here. They gotta make new rules to contain me. Excessive hassling… I call it just a little love tap, y’know. That’s all it is.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhFVQnPBdl3/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again

Ultimate Surfer goes to air Monday, August 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Dunno who wins the girls, if y’wondering., 


Parable: I once knew a woman who appeared on a second-tier reality television program. At the time it seemed pretty cool. In retrospect, it was extremely embarrassing!

Hindsight etc.

The Ultimate Surfer, set to air Monday, August 23 2021 at the enviable 10pm time slot (ET/PT) is the high water mark of World Surf League CEO Erik “ELo” Logan’s tenure.

The Oklahoma native, who enjoys SUPping his home break Manhattan Beach and long walks to various FroYo parlors, came to surfing via the Oprah Winfrey Network and so a reality television program as his crowning achievement no surprise.

After the official announcement, there was much high-fiving and happy emojis passed back and forth between ELo and the contestants on Instagram.

“Stoked!”

“Can’t wait!!!”

“Go time!!!!!!!!”

Etc.

Exclamation marks growing with each and every exchange.

World Surf League commissioner Jessi Miley-Cyrus even got in on the act even though she has been a fine champion for diversity and the cast is a fine shade of eggshell.

The thing about reality shows, though, is…. yikes.

I’ve been through it, or through it-adjacent. A one-time friend appeared in a design competition on a respected network back when the format still had some small energy.

We’d gather together with friends and friends of friends to watch, weekly.

At the time it was ok, her hustling around doing this and that, getting into petty arguments with the other contestants, looking too tired and too excited by turns.

She made it to the final three before losing in a less-than-dignified challenge.

Looking back on it all, I’d imagine she only feels shame. The producers call the shots, own the day, know what they are looking for and make it happen. Editors, with those producers looking over shoulder, carve and cut to achieve the narrative they want.

They drove her to look, and act, like someone else. Crying over ribbons etc.

Embarrassing.

The participants in The Ultimate Surfer will be met with the same ignominy. Network producers will create whatever they desire without one ounce of pushback from Santa Monica because Santa Monica has absolutely zero clue or leverage.

The farm, they say, has been sold.

Some, like ‘Stasia Ashley, won’t care. She already is reality television. Some, like Kai Barger, might.

Kelly Slater?

Oh man…

Ohhhh man.

There will be no winners, in any case, save us and Zeke Lau. (read hot scoop here!)

This pure, wonderful entertainment.

Thanks, ELo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"We're gone next!"
"We're gone next!"

Opinion: The World Surf League broke the motivation of its stars to participate throughout the year with its ill-conceived “top five get title shot at Lower Trestles” nonsense!

Backfire.

Being right certainly does feel wonderful. But days ago, there I was sitting on my stool, wondering out loud if the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater had set the stage, so to speak, for his grande finale.

Olympic gold.

Gazing out across the horizon, he would have seen a grueling Australian leg followed by weird International Surfing Association business all enveloping multiple long monotonous quarantines.

Did he not decide to get healthy by surfing on his broken-for-four-years foot, eat right, rest well?

Well, now look. John John Florence, heading into the quarterfinals of the Margaret River event drops out citing knee injury. Off Rottnest too. Certainly not headed to El Salvador.

Kolohe a further high ankle sprain away from waving sayonara to the WSL/ISA himself.

When Slater refused to go to Australia, I’ll admit I found it strange. He was sitting 3rd in the rankings, after a 3rd place finish at Pipe, and maybe could have put up more results at Narrabeen, Margaret (if Box), Rottnest.

A 12th crown not entirely out of grasp.

Likewise, I found Florence’s latest announcement strange. He is, also, currently 3rd in the world and surely one of three title favorites. Why not just keep battling it out? His Japanese prospects do not look good what with the 2ft closeout beachbreak certainly on tap.

Then, like a bolt of white lightning, it hit me.

The big names on tour just don’t care. They can drop in and out as they like and still snag a year-ending 5th.

That’s all that is needed, remember, to punch a ticket to Lower Trestles for the exciting final’s day dreamed up by the World Surf League’s Kansan CEO Erik “ELo” Logan whilst trying to re-create the excitement from a pre-Covid Italo vs. Gabriel 1 vs. 2 final heat of final event bacchanal.

In so recreating, though, ELo stripped his stars of motivation and by “stars” I mean Gab, Pip, Italo, JJF, Caio. They simply don’t need to go to every event anymore and can cherry pick at will.

Who wants to be the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors?

Best regular season record in basketball history only to run out of gas a few inches shy of the finish line, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.

Not John John Florence, that’s for sure.

I bet not Gab, Pip, Italo either.

Watch them each go down with one injury or another at some point during the year only to come raging back to a miraculous 5th.

Caio will fight the good fight, though.

Clocking in daily just like us.