Graphic: Man killed in horror shallow water shark attack at obscure port now regarded as shark attack capital of the world, ahead of Byron Bay, Reunion Island and Margaret River.

"I’ve been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks."

A man cooling off in knee-deep water after an afternoon boozing with pals at an obscure Brazilian beach has died after being bitten multiple times by a shark, likely a bull or tiger. 

Brazilian media is showing graphic footage of a man in his fifties, dead, face down on the sand, a large bite on the back of his right thigh and with his right hand gone. 

You can find it if you search hard enough but, warning, I wish I’d never seen it. Here’s a pulled-back still to give you an idea.

Actually, nah, here’s a blurred still.

Glazier Ademir Sebastião da Silva was in the water having a piss next to the man. He said he saw him staggering and the water red with blood.

“Since the beach doesn’t have a bathroom, I went into the sea to pee. It was right next to him, in waist-deep water,” he said.

The man fell unconscious on the sand. 

“It could be me. It was God’s deliverance. If I had been diving or lingered in the water, I could have been attacked,”said da Silva. 

The joint where he got hit, Piedade beach, is in Recife, a large city on the eastern tip of Brazil. Heaviest joints for sharks. Tourists regularly lose limbs. 

A few years ago, after a tourist was hit in waist-deep water there, a beach snack seller, Maria Lourenço, shook his head, said, yeah, messed up, but “I’ve been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks. It was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.”

On the beach is a large sign that don’t pull punches. Danger. Risk of Shark Attack. 

Turns out the problem is, likely, man-made.

In the early nineties, the port of Suape was built to attract large ships.

According to Quartz, The construction and this ship traffic disrupted two significant shark populations in the waters surrounding Recife: tiger sharks and bull sharks. The trails of garbage left behind by shipping vessels en route to the port attract these migratory creatures, drawing them dangerously close to popular beaches.

As we all know, tigers and bulls, like their big brother the Great White, don’t fuck around. 

Yeah, I'd pay to watch John John at ten-foot Teahupoo. | Photo: ASP/WSL

Pro surfing: Would you pay $54.95 to watch a one-day world title showdown?

No dead air, no silly quasi-environmental campaigns that stink of hypocrisy, critical commentators, tough questions, next-level graphics. Would you pay?

Yesterday, me and two million other lovers of cartoonish violence, paid $54.95 apiece to watch six hours of mixed-martial arts fighting. 

Didn’t think twice and I ain’t one for loose spending. 

Dana White’s UFC is a sport that is bizarre and shallow, a detached strain of realism with shocks and silliness, as all good spectator sports should be. No greenwashing, no virtue signalling comic in its hypocrisy.  

Trump, Bieber, Nelk boys, a Kardashian. All of ‘em in the front rows. 

Real simple rules. 

Beat hell out of person in front of you. 

Don’t stick y’fingers in their eyeballs and don’t hit ‘em in the nuts or pussy. 

If you get hit, you keep coming back. 

If leg snaps, scream at your opponent that you’ll be tooling his wife later at the after party.

Raw but professional.

Slick as fuck. 

And, I was watching, thinking, man, how good would it be if I’d slung the cash at an epic day of pro surfing, eight-to-ten-foot Teahupoo or Cloudbreak, a full day of head-to-head cards, first light to dusk, a winner crowned at the end. 

Use this is as a template, and, yeah, it’s an obvious one. 

The ASP’s (this was one year before Dirk Ziff re-branded pro surfing as the WSL) Billabong Pro in 2014. Teahupoo. Kelly Slater, John John Florence faced off in eight-to-ten foot Teahupoo. The two best surfers in heavy lefts walking a tight-rope more deadly than an uppercut from Francis Ngannou.

 Imagine a day of it. 

Two-week window in season. 

One day. 

Kelly, John John, Gabriel, Italo, Jack Robinson, Griff, Brother, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson, maybe. 

Have six of ‘em a year. Grand Slams tour. The current WCT tour becomes a feeder into the Grand Slams with Slater being an obvious wildcard. 

You know it’s coming so you have viewing parties. You and your buddies chip in say, ten bucks apiece to watch.

Tell me that wouldn’t excite just a little.

It ain’t gonna happen in a hurry, I know, but, coming up in two months is finals day at Lowers?


The WSL puts a pay-wall up for finals day.

Fifty-five bucks to watch.

There’s no dead air, no silly quasi-environmental campaigns, “diversity and inclusivity” is given a needed rest, commentators are encouraged to be critical, tough questions are asked in post-heat interviews and the on-screen graphics game goes next level.

A southern-hemi whips up the most shreddable three-to-four-foot waves y’ever seen.

Would you pay?

If no, what if it shifted to Tahiti in 2022 and you got to see Filipe deal with his demons at ten-foot Teahupoo?

Oui ou non?

Much heteronormative provocation!

The Ultimate Surfer shows “Kelly Slater and the WSL staffers to be Trumpian in their profound ignorance of their own ridiculousness!”

And so much heteronormative provocation!

I felt nice and validated by the time I got to the end of The Ultimate Surfer trailer yesterday.

Occasionally in the back of my mind, when ridiculing WSL-ism and post Surf Ranch Kelly-isms, I have considered just saving my breath.

Maybe I should just live and let live?

Fuck that.

This is too fascinating.

Kelly Slater and the WSL staffers are almost Trumpian in their profound ignorance of their own ridiculousness.

And Koa Smith, incredible.

Is Koa Smith’s martial arts-esque throwing of the Shaka the heaviest things ever done in or around surfing?

I can’t believe Koa Smith, “It’s go time babeehhh!”

He out Spiccolis Spiccoli.

He is like a blond and necklaced Frankenstein engineered to perfection by all the cliches and stereotypes Hollywood’s portrayal of surfing has collectively mustered.

It is worse and much funnier than anything I could have possibly imagined.

Do you agree?

Surely this trailer has been a force for unification.

Something to ignite a more full-blooded and broad-based dissent against surfing’s smiling undertakers.

If you were ever on the fence about the state of Kelly Slater’s mind or whether Eric is actually as kooky as he seems or whether the WSL’s plan is actually to pivot pro surfing to reality TV geared towards non-surfers, here it is in cinematic perfection.

And yet it came with a deep sense of relief, like the last few years have been the tense and freaky build-up in American Psycho and now the veil has been drawn to reveal the sweet release of splattered blood and relieved tension.

The murder scene.

Gruesome and shocking yes, but at least now the depravity of our villain is known, and we are released from the purgatory of speculation.

Surely now, finally, we can all agree that pro surfing’s new bosses are designing what has become a darkly hilarious horror show?

I want to know what Adriano De Souza thinks? A kid who surfed his way out of the favellas, through the brutality of the QS, now watching B and C-grade surfers have quick running races down the sand and inevitably float Zeke Lau a place back on tour.

I feel like just like Patrick Bateman, perplexed as to why he has not been seized for the horrors he has committed, but it is not my crimes I am professing, it is theirs.

Like that Bateman scene, the whole trailer has a distinctly hallucinogenic quality to it.

There is a glimpse of someone hula dancing in a sarong surrounded by flaming torches drinking from what looks like a wooden goblet, a beautiful blonde woman winking and talking about kissing, a set that looks like they hired the art director from Survivor etc.

Now, it’s fine and a bit fun for me/some of us to celebrate the humour in watching surfing pivot to a kind of Jersey Shore model of televised engagement/recruitment to bolster viewership, but I can’t help but get a little bit sentimental when I think of the kids out there who are being deprived of a pro surfing future they can idolise.

In era’s past it has taken until at least the age of 20, or 18, or maybe 16 at the earliest, to become jaded with surfing’s commercial trappings, but yesterday I spoke to a 12-year-old kid who was tripping as much as I was about the trailer, “That show looks heavy hey.”

I think it is a little bit cruel and selfish of Kelly to be complicit in the discrediting of surfing just as he readies himself to sign off from competition.

Do you?

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.