Ward (pictured) bottom left. Happier times.
Ward (pictured) bottom left. Happier times.

Surf royalty, star of upcoming Ultimate Surfer, overheard discussing life on set: “It was psychological hell, they took our phones and the producers plotted us against each other!”

Brutal. Absolutely brutal.

But how much surf royalty has southern California’s San Clemente produced? More than any other seaside hamlet anywhere on earth? Off the top of my head, I count Richard Nixon (father of Nixon watches), Shane Beschen (father of Noah), Chris Ward (father of Malia), Dino Andino (father of Kolohe).

All very fine but it is the penultimate on that esteemed list who is of most interest, today, for Malia Ward is set to star in this summer’s The Ultimate Surfer won by Zeke Lau and the most interesting for sure.

The 23-year-old USC graduate, who splits her time between Malibu and San Clemente, enjoys longboard skate dancing, tennis, acting and, of course, surfing.

Though did she enjoy her time the Surf Ranch set of The Ultimate Surfer?

Well, an impeccable source overhead young Ward describing her experience thusly:

“It was psychological hell. They took our phones and the producers plotted us against each other. I had no idea what was going on and hope I don’t look like an idiot.”

Oh the trap of dang reality television. As I recently shared, contestants in any show, lured in by promises of fame, an increased platform, fame, fame are but meat in Hollywood’s ravenous, and ravenously undiscerning, jaw. There is no care for emotional well-being, for truth. Only blood, ratings-spiking blood, will do and producers have spent the last two decades-plus sharpening their teeths on the bones of naive hopefulls.

The fact that World Surf League CEO Erik “ELo” Logan threw surfing’s young, vaguely innocent QS and QS-adjacent hopefuls to the jackals shows a level of cutthroat savagery not seen since he took the reins some three-ish years ago.

He came from Hollywood and either knows, or is vaguely aware, of the game.


Absolutely brutal.

Expect Surf Fan Island to be put into production next where the loving BeachGrit community is rounded up, boated to Anacapa and left without food or drink to die slow, dull deaths.

It won’t be televised.

Blood feud: WSL reports surfboard shaper Matt Biolos to Instagram, sends legal letter, for posting photo of team rider and four-time world champ Carissa Moore; Biolos says he won’t “bow down to the barely-surfing-outsider-corporate executives who invaded our culture and don’t understand it!”

"The WSL is willing to alienate the core followers and lifers who the precarious stack of cards is built upon so they can chase Main Street dreams."

Four weeks ago, the reigning women’s world champion and Lost teamrider, Carissa Moore, won the Rip Curl Newcastle Pro and the lord did grin and and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths etc.

As is customary at these moments, Instagram lit up with posts, reposts, of the winner, along with kind words.

San Clemente’s Matt Biolos, the man who has shaped Carissa’s boards for every one of her four world titles and who has been building her sleds since she was fifteen, reposted the clip, below, and wrote, “Way to go, Riss.”

The post was swiftly removed from Instagram and Biolos says he then received a letter from the WSL’s lawyer.


Biolos takes up the story,

“The Lawyer sent me a letter. Wanting money to repost WSL content. told her or him or it, to fuck off and learn how to run a profitable business without extorting the fans for money. Mentioned every surf shop on the planet was posting images of the event and he or she or it should go after them, as well.  

“I said it was my personal IG account, not my …Lost Surfboards business account. I was pissed that the first contact came from some fucking lawyer. That’s a pretty good sign of a company’s detachment from its constituents. 

“To be fair, once I sent a scathing response to the lawyer, Dave Prodan, who I’ve always felt has an exceptional head on his shoulders, texted me and said that this issue had come across his desk and he would try to sort it out for me. I told him I appreciate it and couldn’t pass up the chance to ask who the ‘Fascist’ was now?

“Evidently the lawyers and or suits above Dave, who I really do like, wouldn’t have any of his attempts at diplomacy and if I do any more posts about the WSL, without paying their extortion, I’ll be canceled.”

Lest he be accused of being another WSL hater, Biolos says,

“I’m a fan. I’m deeply connected to pro surfing and the surfers involved. And yes, I am emotionally attached.

“I have long-term friends working in the organization. 

“But it doesn’t mean I’ll bow down to the barely-surfing- outsider-corporate-executives who invaded our culture and don’t really understand it but are willing to alienate the core followers and lifers who the precarious stack of cards is built upon so they can chase Main Street dreams. They are scared to death to charge pay-per view on the events because they damn well know that a lot of the public with tell them to fuck off. The viewership will tank to the point that sponsors will run for the hills. So what do they do? That come up with some scheme to come after us, the fabric of surfing’s existence, all us independently owned and operated surfboard builders who supply boards to the athletes.

“Whatever, I’ll just post more stuff of Mason Ho.” 

WSL tour veteran and world number 15 Jadson Andre face and inspiration for Brazilian fragrance company D’Sá, “The essence of a true seducer… masculine, majestic, elegant and slightly daring!”

Come buy an eleven-dollar bottle of "Little Girl"…

Jadson Andre, a Brazilian who is five-feet-seven and one hundred and fifty-five pounds (a little man), is the world number fifteen and represents, if you’re into this sorta thing, the struggle of the determined poor. 

This ain’t a kid who grew up in the privileged surf ghettos of southern California or south-west France or Australia.

Jadson was so poor that when he was a kid he got a two-dollar soccer ball for his birthday and it deflated, his dad wept ‘cause he couldn’t buy his little man another one. 

Jadson’s mum said it was “one of the saddest days for them.”

The last eleven years on tour, both of ‘em, qualifiers and CT, have been relatively kind to Jadson. He stomped Kelly Slater into the dirt during his first-ever final in 2010 to win the the Billabong Pro in Brazil, and one way or the other, Jadson makes the cut for the Championship Tour each year. 

And, now, Jadson, who is thirty-one, has become the face of Brazilian perfumer D’Sá, his woody notes of grit and resolve a primer for the emotions that wrap us like honey until they make us drown in an unrepeatable moment of wellbeing.

His signature fragrance is Chiquita, Portuguese for “little girl”, which, says the company’s liner notes, “is the essence of a true seducer, the warm and lush notes of whiskey and leather are highlighted. Majestic, elegant and slightly daring, this exquisite and extremely captivating fragrance is a tribute to masculinity.”

Bottles of Chiquita cost eleven dollars and can be ordered here.

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.