Chas Smith reports from Rome en route to Amalfi Coast yacht charter: “Surfing is sadder than Italians not knowing how to celebrate soccer superiority and that’s pretty sad!”

Italians will recover. Sport surfing may not.

Italy is playing England today for the Euro Cup soccer finals and I only really know this because I am in Rome headed to Naples via train.

A sailboat is waiting for me there but more on that later.


The Italians don’t seem as excited as they should be. A few roving bands of youths in blue shirts half-heartedly talking with their hands but not much more. No flags flying from balconies. No morning drinking and cheering, crowding around television sets dialed to the very latest analysis.

Maybe global warming’s fault?

It is sweltering, already, at 10:00 am and set to hit triple digits later. Much cooler than Salem, Oregon but hot nonetheless.

Maybe Covid’s?

People forgetting how to celebrate together?

Forgetting how to maraud?

I was in France then Germany at the very beginning of the pandemic, surfing the apocalypse with my young daughter. There was a wild sizzle in the spring air then. No one knew what was going to happen. Empty palaces and restaurants and zoos. Closures and lockdowns and sweeping governmental decrees felt new.

Now, it all feels normal but still. No wild soccer scenes on the streets of a soccer wild country.

Is sport dead?

Right ahead of surfing’s grand Olympic coming out?

What a disaster for our beloved pastime, if true, to have pivoted hard sport at the dawn of the World Surf League era what with NFL Paul Speakers and tennis Soph Goldchmidts and Oprah Erik Logans pushing pushing pushing for respect, sporting respect, when the greatest thing going is…. soul.

Not soul, sorry that’s the jet lag typing, but whatever is not sport or, rather, not serious sport.

I love competitive surfing, don’t get me wrong, but serious sport surfing is sadder than Italians not knowing how to celebrate soccer superiority and that’s pretty sad.

Or maybe not.

Italians will recover. Sport surfing may not.

How does that make you feel?

I’m going to ruminate more once I’m on boat.

Listen: In stunning reveal days ahead of the Olympics, the best surfers in the United States are not going to Tokyo!

Pure arrogance?

Surfing’s grand Olympic debut is but days away now and the excitement is percolating. Spain, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Italy, Japan and more sending the very very best of their national (or in the case of Japan, Huntington Beach’s national) talent. The United States of America?

In a shocking reveal, it appears that the proud U.S. is sending its b-team in the form of John John Florence and Kolohe Andino.

Video promotion for ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer makes clear that the country that invented surfing (thanks Hawaii) sent its best to Lemoore instead.

Pure arrogance?

It appears that way.

David Lee Scales and I discuss The Ultimate Surfer, blood feuds and other such matters. David Lee was in Austin, Texas. I was at a Courtyard Marriott LAX-adjacent.

The room has poor lighting. Too harsh.

Tudor, left, and supermensch Kenvin, at right.

Blood Feud: Surfing’s great polemicist Joel Tudor squares off with San Diego shaping icon Richard Kenvin, “One of these days you’ll make good on that $5000 ya burned me on! Biggest kook move on earth dude! Nobody likes thieves!!!”

Kenvin responds, “You slandered me and lied about me on your massive platform for 10 years. I have your fucking money.”

The San Diego shaper and former boyfriend of eighties supermodel Stephanie Seymour, Richard Kenvin, has fallen foul of surfing polemicist Joel Tudor over a disputed business debt. 

Sixty-year-old Kenvin, whose use of planing hulls influenced the work of Daniel Thomson, posted a message from Tudor onto his Instagram account Hydrodynamica.



You may remember supermensch Kenvin’s earlier appearance on BeachGrit when he successfully campaigned to have Breitbart ads removed from the WSL’s Tahiti broadcast.

Perhaps his biggest claim to fame, however, is his fling with eighties supermodel Stephanie Seymour, whom he met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

As a 1988 story put it, “One of the good things to come out of AA [for Seymour] was a total surprise: romance. ‘That’s where I met my boyfriend,’ she says, deep blue eyes sparkling. ‘I fell completely in love the first moment I saw him.’ The new man in her life, Richard Kenvin, 26, is a world-class surfer. Seymour pulls a picture of him out of her tote bag; he looks like a cross between Alexander Godunov and Don Johnson. ‘I never liked blondes before,’ she says, ‘but he’s different.'”

Tudor, of course, is a longboarder and black-belt grappler from San Diego. 

You’ll remember his role as the protagonist in these classics, Blood Feud: Joel Tudor and Noa Deane in creative battle royale!, Blood Feud: Joel Tudor vs The World, and Blood Feud: Kelly Slater vs Kelly Slater (part one) and Blood Feud: Joel Tudor vs Kelly Slater, part two.

No need to festoon this blood feud with bunting, it all comes in the comments, including


Joel Tudor let’s Tosh smoke pot! That is child endangerment and should get reported. Joel Tudor is a sicko slimeball pothead and doesn’t deserve to live without people knowing what he does to hydrodynamic and Tosh. On top of that he gets people to shape great boards for cheap. He rigs the VANS contests so Andy Nieblas loses to J. Quinney..I have no use for the slime all and hope he sees this somehow. I’m not surprised the little punk slandered you and left you holding the bag. Lastly, for now, he surfs like a girl and had to take up jujitsu so people would stop telling him he looked like a girl.


@joeljitsu I believe this is what I was referring to when you got a little too stoned and decided it was a good idea to get in my face at the rock. I will say it again as I yelled it in ur face you’re a kook and a disgrace to what’s left of surfing and i hope you know that everyone u ever looked up to shares this sentiment. Try me again and We all know you’ll loose your precious @vans sponsorship that I am sure is hanging by a thread… u might have to square up with Scripps too but I guess u already knew that.


Richard you’re a lame…. you ripped off Cher and steve Pendarvis as well. have you paid them back? How much do you owe them $10,000???


ABC launches provocative trailer for The Ultimate Surfer ahead of August premiere, promises “intense challenges and summer romances”; anti-WSL spokesperson Noa Deane responds, “RIP”

“The must-see show of the summer” or “Ultimate Cringe Machine.”

The American Broadcasting Company has released a provocative teaser ahead of the ten pm, August 23, premiere of the jewel in its summer programming crown, The Ultimate Surfer. 

The network promises “Dramatic rivalries. Intense challenges. Summer romances?” and the teaser delivers ten-fold on the promise, human-with-phallus Mason Barnes, from Wilmington, North Carolina and rated #1126 on the WQS, apparently mating with birthing person Malia Ward, the twenty-three-year-old daughter of Chris Ward. 

“There might be a little fire in the eyes of Malia and Mason,” says Koa Smith.

The series, which was filmed entirely at the WSL’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, is rumoured to be dominated by Zeke Lau, a powerfully built Hawaiian of six feet and two inches with full round breasts sculpted by God and which rivet the eyes. 

His reward will be wildcards to Snapper, Margaret River and Surf Ranch on the 21-22 Tour. 

Lau 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. 

Response on Instagram has been mixed, commenters falling into two camps.

The first, emoji riddled and “How can I watch The Ultimate Surfer in (insert country).

The second is led by noted Australian surfers, including Harry Bryant, “What is this fucking rubbish?”, Skeggs guitarist and talented surf filmmaker Toby Cregan “Ultimate Cringe Machine” and fuck-the-WSL’s Noa Deane who writes simply, “RIP.”

Breaking: Gabriel Medina, Julian Wilson on edge as the International Surfing Association releases scintillating non-elimination Round 1 heat draw for upcoming Tokyo Olympics!

The world better be ready.

The International Surfing Association, hours ago, released the much-anticipated Round 1 matchups for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and it has everything the diehard fan loves. Italo Ferreira vs. Leandro Usuna, Owen Wright vs. Manuel Selman, John John Florence vs. his knee, Kolohe Andino’s personal brand vs. Kanoa Igarashi’s and all in the non-elimination format we know and love.

The rules of engagement are thus:

Round 1: The first round is non-elimination. Surfers will be seeded into five heats of four surfers each, with the top two surfers advancing straight to Round 3. The bottom two surfers will be seeded into Round 2, the first elimination round.

Round 2: The second round will include two heats of five surfers each. The top three surfers of each heat will advance, while the bottom two surfers will be eliminated from the competition.

Round 3: Surfers will be seeded into eight heats of two surfers each. The surfer who places first moves through the bracket, while the surfer who places second is eliminated.

Round 4 (Quarterfinals): Features four heats of two surfers. The top surfer of each heat advances. The surfer in second is eliminated.

Round 5 (Semifinals): Two heats of two surfers. The top surfers go to the final. The bottom two surfers go to the Bronze Medal match.

Bronze Match: A two-person heat where the top surfer earns the Bronze Medal.

Gold Match: A two-person heat where the top surfer earns the Gold Medal and the second placing surfer earns the Silver Medal.


Who you got?

I’m flying to Italy tomorrow so you should heavily consider Leonardo Fioravanti.