Steph Gilmore and Caz Marks, happy days and nights at Quik Pro. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Rumour: Iconic Gold Coast world tour surfing contest permanently cancelled; Bells, meanwhile, confirmed for next three years in traditional Easter slot!

Shock as beloved Snapper Rocks event possibly removed from tour… 

Relatively hot off the wire from Queensland is the rumour that while Bells will return to its traditional Easter slot in 2022, and for at least two years after that, Snapper Rocks is finished as a tour event. 

The event, which ran from 2002 (won by Joel Parkinson) until 2019 (won by Italo Ferreira), and which was won by tour great Kelly Slater four times, was postponed in 2020, COVID, and swiped off the calendar in 2021 after the Queensland state government refused to cover the cost of quarantining surfers and the WSL’s considerable entourage.

Sensing blood, NSW and Western Australia created “war chests” of up to five million dollars to snatch the event away from Queensland, which offered half-a-mill toward the running of the event, believed to cost around four mill.

At the time, state’s tourism minister Stirls Hinchcliffe said he was “disappointed at the World Surf League’s decision to chase short-term dollars at the expense of surfing tradition…  The WSL made it clear holding the event at Snapper Rocks this year was conditional on the Queensland Government picking up the quarantine tab for the WSL’s international competitors.”

The teats of state governments in Australia have long been a source of nourishing funds for pro surfing, although as Longtom pointed out after the Lennox Head fiasco, “It looks like cheap rent-seeking for a product that few want in their backyards and a story that has never really made sense except for a few rare birds who live at an altitude the rest of us will never attain.”

And, “Without a functioning business model to wean itself off State Tourism bodies the WSL is locked in a prison of its own making.” ­

I think, deleting the Quiksilver Pro is no great loss for surfing. 

It gives Snapper Rocks room to breathe, maybe even eases the gross overcrowding a little. 

Timely, too, given the retirement of Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and their ascent, or descent, however you regard ageing, into middle age.

Or maybe it’s a bummer not to see Filipe doin’ his high-speed dance across Snapper’s pretty blue walls or Kolohe Andino chase his third runner-up finish there.

Breaking: In a devastating blow to Kelly Slater Wave Co., American Wave Machines announces its Japanese facility will open ahead of Olympics!

Slater-esque limelight steal.

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics was, let’s be honest, supposed to be the grand culmination of Kelly Slater’s vision. Six years ago his pool was unveiled in California’s Central Valley, “a wave so perfect most thought it was a prank,” Derek Rielly recently writing.

Six years ago and exactly six years since surfing was shortlisted on the list of potential new Olympic sports to be rolled out in Tokyo.

The script was not difficult to read. Japan has small waves in the summer, Slater would build one of his magic tanks there, 2021, would be the lofty apex of his dream. “Surfing” and “Kelly Slater’s version of surfing” would be one in the same. Millions of people watching the wave that sprung directly out of his mind. Millions of people imagining a KS taco every time they imagined surf.

In 2018 Kelly Slater Wave Co., then recently purchased by the World Surf League, announced it was building a tank outside Tokyo.

In 2018 Japan announced that surfing would be done in the ocean, not a tank.

There has been no word on KS Wave Co.’s Japan progress but major competitor, American Wave Machines, has just announced that its pool will be open ahead of the Olympics for practice, limelight stealing and whatnot.

Per the press release:

– American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) announces that the final commissioning of PerfectSwell® Shizunami (静波サーフスタジアムPerfectSwell®) will commence at the end of the month. Located in the surf town of Shizunami, Makinohara, Japan, PerfectSwell® Shizunami will offer world-class competition surfing in a safe, controlled environment. The surf pool will also be available as a training platform for Olympic surfing teams.

Evan Geiselman, pro surfer and winner of the 2016 Ichinomiya Chiba Open, will be part of the commissioning team putting PerfectSwell® through the paces. New in Japan are software platform innovations like ‘Temporal Distortion’, a wave design parameter that will bring additional levels of control. “Temporal Distortion will lead to an entirely new selection of waves for both high-performance and learning applications,” said William McFarland, AWM Surf Programmer. “It will add shifting elements to the surf creating a more dynamic wave overall.” Other new features include upgrades to the system’s power response. “Start-up test results confirm that the enhanced performance response has been achieved,” said Lead Engineer Miquel Lazaro.


Is this the final dagger for Slater’s ownership of the future?

Is it officially over?

Karmic revenge for using his pool to bury the Li’l Plumber Adriano de Souza’s happiness?

Career Change: Surf coaches transforming into illicit marijuana vendors at alarming clip on island paradise of Bali!

Worrying trend. Or is it?

Twenty-two packages totaling forty-four kilograms of marijuana were seized, yesterday, on the island paradise of Bali. The operation was led by Bali’s National Narcotics Agency and began after “the police arrested a couple with initials C (aged 32) and his wife initial P (aged 40) who were previously fugitives for a similar case. During the interrogation, the information led the police to an attempt to smuggle a huge amount of marijuana from Medan, North Sumatra to Bali.”

The officer in charge, Brigjen Gede Sugianyar Dwi Putra, said it was the largest haul of his career though expected even bigger busts in the near future as “many people, especially those who have been relying on the tourism sector such as musicians, artists, surf coaches and even tattoo artists” are entering the illicit marijuana trade at a record clip due Covid-19’s devastating effect on the economy.

Surf coaches returning to Sea of Darkness roots, going back to early 1970s glory before there was even such thing as a “surf coach.”

The Oblowitz masterpiece begins with the Bob Dylan quote “To live outside of the law you must be honest.”

Who do you think is more honest, illicit marijuana dealing or surf coaching?

When I directed my own masterpiece, Who is JOB, I began with a Hemingway quote. Something about man wrestling the forces of nature.

Hemingway never said or wrote it.

Deep fake.

While you’re here, though, does anyone know a married couple, older wife younger husband, with the initials C and P?

Christian and…. ?

Chris and…. ?

Graphic: headless seal appears on popular Californian beach two days after local fire captain reveals area to be breeding ground for Great White sharks!

Healthy stocks of beloved, and iconic, fish.

Two days after a Santa Barbara County Fire Captain posted footage of Great Whites frolicking among waves at Santa Claus Beach near Carpinteria, a headless seal has washed up at nearby Oxnard Shores. 

Put two and two together, Occam’s razor and so on. 

“The Santa Claus lane area near Carpinteria is particularly bad,” says the BeachGrit reader who photographed the decapitated mammal. “Sharks becoming an issue…”

Headless seal, Oxnard Shores.
Spine revealed after head removed.

A few weeks ago, local man Jon Shafter shared footage that his son, Erik, shot off Santa Claus. 

“Between there and Serena (Loon) Point we saw approximately five different animals, all in less than 15 feet of water,” said Shafer, adding the Whites were mostly juveniles although there were a couple of ten-foot adults. 

(Watch here.)

Shafer shared the footage NewsChannel 3-12 to remind swimmers and surfers that Whites are coming closer and that they’ve grown since last year. 

One year ago, almost exactly, a drone pilot shared footage of Great Whites eating a dolphin at Padaro Beach west of the City of Carpinteria, also excellent viewing.

Italo's stunning transformation.

See: Italo Ferreira’s staggering transformation from surfer to Tom Selleck-sex-god-lookalike in GQ magazine!

Dirty, sexy, hot.

When Italo Ferreira goes to work he’s treated like the world champ he is. Staff will get him a glass of water or anything else he needs. The tech boys makes sure his headphones are clean, free of wax. 

In the water, crowds, privy to his reputation, part to watch his magic close up, examining his technique as a pervert studies nice seventies pussy hair on a retro video. 

Outside of the surf world?

Italo ain’t famous although that is set to change after his stunning transformation for the cover of the latest GQ Brazil magazine.

The metamorphosis is profound, from a man with a stubby handsome friendly face that looks like a surprised big-eyed animal to a slit-eyed sex god bathed in golden light, reminiscent of eighties television private eye Tom Selleck.

“When he steadies his body on one of the spectacular surfboards in his collection over the waves of Japan,” writes GQ, “the surfer Italo Ferreira will be celebrating a trajectory that began when the tide was not very favorable.”

“I had no idea what it would be like when I grew up. I could be a waiter, fisherman or fireman,” he says.

The just-turned twenty seven year old also recalls the time he invited a professional surfer, name not revealed, to stay at his house for one week after she posted on Instagram that she had dreamed about it.

Can you guess who?