Just in: Watch the incredible moment a Californian surfer accidentally slaps a Great White shark, “I can’t comprehend how this surfer did not see the White shark!”

"Every time a shark gets close to a surfer I get nervous – perhaps it's because the vast majority of attacks are on surfers…"

It gives me enormous pleasure to watch videos like this, a five-minute short filled with drone footage of juvenile Great Whites, the feistiest of ’em all, happily swimming around packs of surfers in southern California.

Where is the blood? Where is the terror?

Drone photographer James Glancy has made it his thing to fly his drone along the Californian coast and record what are either “close calls”, which presumes attack is always imminent when Whites are around, or evidence that Whites only go in for the kill when visibility is real low and they think the shredder is a seal or whatever.

“The further south I go (in California) the more sharks seem to enjoy the surf,” says Glancy. “They’re right there next to humans most of the time… the humans sharing their home have no idea. A surfer falls off a board, within reach of the shark, yet the shark shows no interest… as I filmed these encounters I felt that perhaps they’re not the mindless hungry fish I thought they were.”

At the three-ish min mark, the drone pulls back to show a scene of happy man-beast co-existence.

“The following clip is a demonstrative example of this concept. The White shark is surrounded by surfers. I purposefully left the drone stationary to capture the whole scene. It appears no surfers know the shark is there and yet the shark appears relaxed and in no way makes aggressive moves.”

Glancy admits he still gets a lil shiver seeing Whites real close to people, howevs.

“Somehow,” he says, “every time a shark gets close to a surfer I get nervous – perhaps it’s because the vast majority of attacks are on surfers. Watching this again, I can’t comprehend this surfer did not see this White shark… a great example of how White sharks are truly non-aggressors the vast majority of the time.”

Reassuring, yes?

And if you were shredding with your VAL-pals and a drone guy was shooting Whites swimming around your feet, would you expect a lil courtesy call?


"This show is for the bros!"

Breaking: Calls mount for World Surf League CEO, executive producer of surefire reality smash “The Ultimate Surfer” Erik Logan to explain lack of Brazilians, diversity!

Blinded by the white!

The official cast of this summer’s surefire reality television smash “The Ultimate Surfer” was announced to great fanfare, hours ago, but as the trumpets of praise begin to fade they are being matched by a cacophony of confusion.

Why no Brazilians and/or diversity?

The World Surf League, under the pale right hand of Nebraska-bred SUP enthusiast Erik “ELo” Logan has pivoted the Santa Monica-based organization hard woke in recent months, making certain to be at the bleeding edge of pronoun usage etc. and yet his cast resembles a revamped Brady Bunch.

Covid will, no doubt, be fingered but are there zero Brazilian surfers living in The United States?

Mexicans?

South African sons of famous flugelhornists who also count Kelly Slater as a best best pal?

Brazilians?

That proud South American nation is the only, currently, producing anything whatsoever “ultimate” in “surfing” and to leave entirely out seems… shortsighted.

But seriously and I hate to poke*, how did this even happen?

More as the story develops.

*I don’t.


Team challenge anyone?

Breaking: WSL officially announces highly anticipated cast of “world’s greatest up-and-coming surfers” starring in this summer’s reality TV surefire hit Ultimate Surfer!

FREAKING OUT!

Oh my goodness, you guys. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness. The World Surf League JUST announced the cast to this summer’s surefire reality TV smash hit and I’m FREAKING OUT!

Ultimate Surfer, which will air at the coveted 10pm ET/PT time slot on ABC has been whispered about for year(s) now and ok ok ok ok ok.

It’s going to be hosted by C-list ex-NFL Canadian quarterback Jesse Palmer.

Joe Turpel is going to call the action (JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE!)

And it is going to star…

MEN

Kai Barger – 31, Haiku, Hawaii
Austin Clouse – 27, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Mason Barnes – 27, Venice, California
Ezekiel Lau – 27, Honolulu, Hawaii
Luke Davis – 28, Los Angeles, California
Alejandro Moreda – 35, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Koa Smith – 26, Sunset Beach, Hawaii

WOMEN

Brianna Cope – 26, Koloa, Hawaii
Kayla Durden – 28, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Bruna Zaun – 31, Redondo Beach, California
Juli Hernandez – 23, Costa Mesa, California
Malia Ward – 23, San Clemente, California
Anastasia Ashley – 34, Miami Beach, Florida
Tia Blanco – 24, Oceanside, California

FREAKING OUT!

More as the story develops.

P.S. Look at Joe Turpel’s face again.


Breaking: Jordy Smith cements position at tippy-top of most physically, emotionally, awkward claimers in professional surfing history!

King of the Klaim!

Busy days, these ones, with much running here and there, to and fro, and so I missed much of yesterday’s hot action at The Main Break.

Thankfully, we all have Longtom and as soon as my eyes opened, this morning, they were glued to his latest brilliance.

I was thoroughly enjoying, per the norm, but stopped cold at the following paragraph:

Jordy laid on a heroic/tragic claim on a minor left to score the four-point ride needed to best Julian Wilson. Kanoa bested it on his best wave to persuade judges to give him a score to lead in his heat. If words can be violence in our current safe space culture, what status do we allot to claims which offend?

Mind racing.

Reeling.

Did Jordy do it again?

Room left in the tank for one more bit of musical theater?

I raced to the World Surf League’s YouTube channel, furiously scrolling for the heat until realizing ELo and gang don’t do that sort of thing anymore so clicked over to the full day stream and scrubbed and scrubbed until I found.

It was better than I could have ever hoped.

Peak awkward both physically and emotionally and has anyone ever done it better in professional surfing’s history?

Make both skin and soul crawl from exuberance?

No and never.

Jordy Smith may never win a World Title but he will forever be King of the Klaim*.

*Klaims are like krab. Bizarre versions of the real thing but sometimes, in certain situations, oddly tastier.


Jordy Smith, master of claim.

Margaret River Pro, Day Three Analysis: “If words can be violence in our current safe space culture, what status do we allot to claims which offend? Can claims be a kind of violence?

And Gabriel Medina stumbles over his own aggression…

One Australian male in the quarter-finals after our Olympians failed again.

Possible, probable even, there will be no Australian in contention for a world title. No Australian at the Trestles final.

I mention, not as blunted rah-rah Aussie-Aussie-Aussie-oi-oi-oi jingoism, but merely to ask whether the dismal state of Aussie pro surfing amongst the men puts in jeopardy the CT project downunder. Will the greatest supporter of Pro Surfing yet discovered, the Australian taxpayer, continue their lusty support if the hometown heroes so continually disappoint?

I dunno, I just ask the question.

Odd day.

In greasy six-foot surf the world’s best struggled to an unnatural extent. It was light on for excellence, heavily stacked for entertainment. Certain heats verged on Keystone Cops level of slapstick, most notably the heats around and including Gabe Medina in heat five, which overlapped with Fred Morais/Ryan Callinan in heat four; Kanoa/ Matt McGillvray in heat six and Italo/Caio in heat seven

I feel like we are a ways down the track in understanding our duelling world champions John John Florence and Gabriel Medina. John has a brittle exterior, which can be easily broken in competition by aggressive tactics from those who he considers his inferiors. The template to beat him was laid down by Zeke Lau at Bells and enthusiastically embraced by Morgan Ciblic at Newcastle and Narrabeen.

John feels bothered and disrespected by hard-core competitive tactics. John gets flustered, loses composure and under or over surfs. He looks eminently beatable in this event.

By contrast, Gabe usually beats himself. He stumbles over his own aggression, as we have seen many, many times. Today he blocked Seth Moniz on an opening wave, “should have got a paddling interference, he blocked me” according to Moniz.

Took a humiliating trip over the falls then fell into a funk so complete it catalysed the worst performance of Medina’s career. Flubbed turns, mistimed turns, spin outs, bad wave choices.

Moniz wasn’t much better, he really wasn’t.

Was Medina drugged?

Seems a reasonable question. Did someone slip a Rohypnol in the morning coffee? And what was Coach King’s response? Medina claimed King was working with him on matters of technique, not strategy, but strategy is clearly Medina’s Achilles heel. Why get involved in a skirmish with Moniz in a forty-minute heat when he could easily out-surf him ninety-nine times out of one hundred?

If Coach King earns his ten percent he’ll soothe and soften Medina up for Rottnest and eliminate any of the revenge fantasies which marred his last failed title bid in 2019.

Halfway through the Medina/Moniz heat Kanoa opened his account by blatantly burning McGillvray. Automatic loss of half the second scoring wave.

Bizarre error.

Almost up there with the 0.8 heat total in Narrabeen.

This guy has literally been bred to be a pro surfer. What’s the problem here? Is it stupidity? Incompetence? Arrogance? Brain explosion under pressure? Toxic mix of all of it? Kanoa could make the top five. Kanoa could be World Champ. It’s a scary thought, but a realistic scenario.

Jordy laid on a heroic/tragic claim on a minor left to score the four-point ride needed to best Julian Wilson. Kanoa bested it on his best wave to persuade judges to give him a score to lead in his heat. If words can be violence in our current safe space culture, what status do we allot to claims which offend?

Can claims be a kind of violence?

Taj Burrow in the booth noted wryly “ no wonder people claim!” when judges awarded the (over) score. Taj called a six. Judges gave it a high 7 seven.

The surfing had been down rezzed since JJF in heat One. Safety turns for the champ. Missed opportunities on the end section. Peterson Crisanto could not capitalise. Colapinto looked more switched on, as did Ryan Callinan. He sheepishly called his three banger combo for a nine “simplified, in a way, it’s simple surfing” in the presser but it’s what gets paid. Australia’s best surfer at the moment, our only potential top five candidate.

Are Aussie kids looking at him or Noa Deane and Torryn Martin for inspo?

Maybe there is an unseen tribe of Morgan Ciblics gathering in the deep valleys like Germanic Barbarians preparing to launch total warfare on the ruling classes?

I can’t see it.

But, I never saw Morgan coming either.

Only Italo seemed comfortable in the confusion and alive to the comedy. He went left for his first wave, dodged a collision with McGilvray, cut back right, to see Medina dropping down on him, went past Medina, launched a backside air, greased it then belted the end section. Then just went to work tearing pieces out of the six-foot rights.

The turns were sharper, edgier, higher in the lip, what WA GOAT Taj Burrow called “foolproof eights”.

A very big advance on his 2019 showing where he lost to John Florence in the quarters. Based on current form, that result would be reversed. Judges are more aroused by the higher angle in the lip and more theatrical finishing turns of the goofyfoots on this Margaret River vintage.

A finals day at the Box, of course, would annul that advantage.

But you’d still bet on Italo over Filipe even with what Ronnie Blakey diplomatically termed the “added physicality” of Toledo.

Despite the baying for blood my gut feeling is Jessie Miley-Dyer will not be as positively disposed to running finals day at the proto-slab compared to Kieren Perrow.

Which means another day of six-foot Main Break to bring the event home and see whether Florence can find the magic performances which so far have seemed below 2017 levels and a three peat.