Blood Feud: Aerial surfing pioneer Christian Fletcher vs 21st century Evel Knievel Robbie Maddison (and his wife)! “Obviously you don’t know much or else you wouldn’t be married to that lame bogan!”

Deft use of social media… 

Hawaii-born air pioneer Christian Fletcher has used Instagram to relay his tremendous displeasure at moto superstar Robbie Maddison’s use of the word Maddhouse to describe his house and track setup in Southern California. 

Maddhouse, of course, is a play on Maddison etc. 

Five years ago, Fletcher, the son of Astrodeck’s Herbie and Dibi, brother to Nathan and daddy to Greyson and who turns fifty this year, shaped, sprayed and glassed surfboards for Madhouse Kustomz, and which were sold for fifteen hundred dollars, although the website has since disappeared.

“The most bitchin boards you’ve ever seen,” wrote The Inertia at the time.

Background on Robbie Maddison. 

Maddison is thirty-nine, has ridden a KTM250 with skis at Teahupoo, holds the world record for jumps (three hundred and fifty feet) and once leapt onto the Arc de Triomphe at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas and back down onto the strip.

I interviewed Maddison at the time, and which you can read here. 

It’s hard to tell whether Fletcher is baiting the Maddisons, it does seem to stem from a dispute over whether or not a surfboard was paid for, or whether he is genuinely aggrieved at the use of a not entirely original name, Madhouse used for everything from an animation studio to an Australian bakery, famous for its delicious brownies. 

You can read the exchange below.

Perhaps of even more entertainment value is this exchange between Fletcher and an unnamed suitor.

My favourite memory of Fletcher came in 2004 during a holiday together to Malaysia where he administered therapeutic tablets to ease your writer, and his then biz partner’s, terrible anxiety at missing a flight from KL to Singapore.

Glory days etc.

Surfing’s greatest statesman Kelly Slater endorses jiujitsu-style belt system to ease overcrowding at popular Santa Cruz wave, “Non-compliant surfers will be expelled from the water immediately. Fraudulently obtained gets will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!”

“You have my total support,” writes eleven-time world champ Slater.

A novel idea to force surfers at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz to wear “duly prescribed color-tiered belts” has met with the enthusiastic approval of eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater. 

First, the proposal from @newpointlocal

“After much discussion about tactics for handling the presently unregulated crowds, the Pleasure Point Community Surfing Association issued a new order today that mandates all surfers wear their duly prescribed color-tiered belt while surfing on the Eastside. Belt designations are ordained by the Executive Committee, which is made up of 25+ year locals. See the chart above for each color tier’s timing and merit qualifications. Non-compliant surfers will be expelled from the water immediately. Fraudulently obtained belts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“You have my total support,” wrote Slater.

Pleasure Point, on Santa Cruz’s Eastside, and so-named ‘cause of a prohibition-era speakeasy that sat atop the joint in the twenties, is a long righthand point and one of those sorta waves that’s crowded as hell: easy to access, has chubby sections for VALS, as well enough action for shredders. 

Maddening, you could say.

In response to Slater’s approval, he was granted an honorary blue belt, eleven years credit, one for each of his world titles. 

“NO ONE GETS INSTA-LOC STATUS ON PLEASURE POINT! Had to manage expectations and execute fair belt promotion on another @newpointlocal . When Cormier was automatically advanced to a brown belt in BJJ, the world of martial arts was put in juxtaposition; everyone else had to work their way up through the belt system, but Danny kicked all of their asses so in a way he earned it. Still, there were questions. We won’t have that here on Pleasure Point, we must remain beyond reproach when it comes to belt promotions toward advanced Loc status. In all transparency, we gave @kellyslater one year of credit for each championship he earned, which got him through the lower ranks. That said, everyone must work their way up honestly and diligently, putting in equal time and effort through the higher ranks (belts), before earning their place in the lineup. Even the GOAT.”

“Love it,” wrote Slater. 

Obvs, a gag, though not entirely unserious.

Now that localism is being recognised the latest manifestation of racism in the genocidal hell-hole once known as the United States of America, do you think some sorta hierarchical system, although one more practical than belts and less litigious than violence, might have legs?

(Note: @newpointlocal has been sought for interview. More etc.)

Open Thread: Comment Live on day two of the World Surf Games in spectacular El Salvador!

Olympics on the line!

Another fine and fabulous day in Surf City.

Much excitement.

Julian Wilson almost lost yesterday.

Owen Wright almost lost today.

Watch here.

Chat here.

International Incident: Australia holds collective breath as Olympic-bound Julian Wilson nearly loses to Netherlands, Ukraine in first round of World Surfing Games!

Deadly in the water.

Round one of the World Surfing Games, in sunny El Salvador, commenced yesterday and chief Fernando Aguerre was right in forcing it through for what absolute fun. Chris Cote on the mic, consistent waves, exotic surfers in the water from 193 countries including the Netherlands and newest International Surfing Association member Ukraine.

I do hope the World Surf League was taking note on how to put on a good show.

The only group not thoroughly entertained were Australians who were forced to hold a collective breath in heat 8 when Julian Wilson went up against Colombian Giorgio Gomez, Dutchman Kaspar Hamminga and Ukrainian Vasyl Kordysh.

Wilson, a member of Australia’s Olympic team The Irukanjis, lost to the Colombian and bested the Dutchman by less than 2 points and the Ukrainian by a mere 5 points.

The Netherlands is not known for quality surf.

Ukraine is landlocked.

The Irukandjis motto is “Deadly in the Water.”

Much concern heading into Tokyo?

Outfall from “Malibu Karen” and BIPOC surfer’s “localism = racism” claim continue to rock California surfing: “Why do you think most of the people you consider local to Malibu or any of these expensive, beautiful beach towns are white?”

"I’m sure you can see how localism here is undeniably linked to systemic racism."

A week or thereabouts ago, “Professor” Carla Zamora from The Surf Institute, used Instagram to launch a Qassam rocket into the kingdom of VAL, at those vulnerable adult learners who’d gotten to crowding Malibu.

It was an overshoot and more than a little rich, Zemora behaving as if it was 1965 and Miki Dora was still patrolling the lineup. Malibu, I don’t think anyone needs to be told, was lost, long ago, to overcrowding. 

It happens. 

Y’deal with it, maintain your hold on the joint via the threat of violence (see: Pipeline), or you search further afield. 

Zemora self-identifying as a “master of our spot” also didn’t sit well.

BIPOC surfer Jae Bella, you’ll recall, quickly hit back with localism = racism, also an overshoot, I believe. 

“For the record, we’ll be at Malibu, or wherever else our hearts desire, smiling, happy and free. Connecting with the ocean and earth that belongs to no one but god. Taking up space. At peace and unbothered.⁣⁣”

Now, in her latest salvo, Bella has hit back at a surfer who asked if she might explain the link between localism and racism. 

From Jake_Steel,

Would love for you to explain how localism = racism. It is outlandish and intellectually lazy to make such a claim and then refuse to elaborate on it. Some of the most localized spots I’ve surfed are in countries where the locals are people of color. Are they racist? Localism has nothing to do with what color your skin is, it is simply an issue of respect, some locals deserve it some don’t. As you continue your journey into the world of surfing perhaps you will learn this. Or you can continue viewing every bad interaction you have through the lense of race.

Bella writes, 

The audacity to say I am being “intellectually LAZY” bc I don’t want to teach you something that you don’t understand. To come into a black woman’s space and demand educational + emotional labor from her, and declare that if she doesn’t meet your demand for that labor then she is “lazy” is what is OUTLANDISH.

Also, I wasn’t speaking about other countries. I was referring to localism here in American surf culture – specifically in southern California. You have Google at your fingertips. But I’ll give you a little thought starter. 

WHY do you think most of the people you consider “local” to Malibu or Manhattan Beach or any of these expensive, beautiful beach towns are white? Start there if you’re missing the link between localism + racism. You surely know the history of why certain people live where they live here. You certainly understand the reasons for access to certain places for certain groups of people. I’M SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THIS. I’m sure you can see how localism here is undeniably linked to systemic racism. BC what makes someone “local” to one area is linked to it! It’s simple math. 

All very exciting.

Click here, if you want to read Bella’s fans taking up the cudgel against Steel. 

Many buzz words, systemic racism, gentrification and so on, and all through a continual buzzing of passive aggression.

Interesting to note that in Australia, beach suburbs, until maybe twenty years ago, were the ghettoes of the poor, Cronulla, Coolangatta, Bondi, Maroubra, Scarborough.

Same with Brazil, Mex, Indo, not so much Hawaii.