Here, Jon, at left, demonstrates a tourniquet on a pretend severed limb for Yalls board riders. Note former Pipeline Master Jackie Paterson at bottom right.

Sign of the times: Shark bite kits installed in beach car parks along stretch of iconic Western Australian surf spots!

A triumph of pragmatism.

A Western Australian boardriders club, pragmatic as hell and who ain’t afraid to mention the unmentionable, has organised a chain of shark bite kits and defibrillator machines at five iconic beaches in the state’s south-west. 

The kits stretch from the accessible-only-by-four-wheeler, Bears, to just out the front of Taj Burrow’s (former) pussy palace at Rabbits, Yallingup main break, Smiths and Injidup Car Park, 

Yallingup Boardriders raised the money for the heart-starters and “slam kits” featuring Ukranian-made, combat proven crank-handle tourniquets and infographics on what to do when your pal is de-limbed by a Great White, something that ain’t so rare in these parts, and organised workshops with the ER doctor who makes the kits, Jon Cohen. 

Jon Cohen, you’ve heard of. 

Each time there’s a negative interaction (see, I’m learning) with a Great White, I give Jon a call, ask him to break down the latest attack and the response from other surfers and first-responders. 

He’s made it his life work to get tourniquets in the hands of Australian surfers who, for the first time in the sport’s history, have to seriously confront the possibility of interacting in a negative fashion with the suddenly everywhere Great White. 

Still, and this is real important, a shark attack, even by a monster White isn’t necessarily a death sentence.

According to Cohen, who is forty and who grew up in Canada and got into surfing while at college in Hawaii, if you can get the de-limbed person to the beach and apply a tourniquet above the wound so no blood can spurt out the hole you’re good.

He say that once you’ve stopped the blood flow you’ve got four hours before the leg, or arm, is choked off and dies. It means if you’re at a remote beach with no phone redemption, you can tourniquet the wound and take off for an ambulance or chopper without your buddy dying.

“It’s the same principle as a car crash, someone falling off a building or getting hit by a bullet in Iraq,” says Cohen. “Stop the bleeding and get the surfer to shore. In thirty seconds, using a tourniquet, you’ve saved a friend’s life.”

The kits in West Oz are the basic slam kit, one hundred and twenty dollars. Someone gets hit, you go to the defibrillator box, call emergency (triple zero in Australia), and the lock opens. 

That ain’t perfect, says Jon.

Like, he’s thrilled his kits are there at the beach but he knows someone could bleed out in the time it takes to get the kit unlocked. 

And, at a lot of places n the south-west, only one telephone network, the most expensive one, works.

Jon wants stand-alone shark kits, unlocked, and containing not just the standard tourniquets but advanced equipment in case any doctors or paramedics are around. 

Jon wants a network of these stand-alone shark bite kits along Australian beaches.

This’d include junctional tourniquets, for “absolutely horrible wounds, the arm or leg completely gone” and a device that acts like a little balloon. You stick it into the hole, blow it up and staple skin over the hole to keep pressure on it. Other tactics include trying to sew over a bleeding artery if you can see it.

Advanced, yeah, but it’s surprising how many docs surf.

“We don’t wanna confuse anyone but this would give ambos, police, doctors, nurses, extra equipment to play with.” 

As well, you open the box and it automatically calls the police, and even Jon, so he can monitor the situation, help where he can.

It’s ironic that Jon has just taken a gig as the director of emergency at Manning Base hospital, a short-ish drive from Tuncurry, where a surfer was killed a couple of months back, and a short chopper run from Crescent Head, where a surfer had his arm destroyed by a White a few weeks back. 

Get your shark kits here. 

Jeff Bezos organ The Washington Post describes Olympic surfing with never-before-seen flourish: “It’s big enough for her to barrel – riding through a cascading tunnel of water!”

Get barrel.

I watched the Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony, this morning, and thrilled at the pomp, the circumstance, the gorgeous tinged with melancholy performance. Empty seats, apocalyptic overtones but gorgeous because of more than in spite of.

As much frustration as there is in Japan, over hosting an international spectacle in the teeth of pandemic, the proud island nation owned the moment and none other could do it better so here we are. Surfing’s grand Olympic debut set against a rich backdrop it may not even deserve.

There is much interest in our Sport of Kings and Jeff Bezos organ, The Washington Post, is here to explain the nuances, the li’l bits. In an interactive feature titled S U R F I N G, the Post uses Florida’s Caroline Marks as proxy. Shall we read one nib?

It’s big enough for her to barrel – riding through a cascading tunnel of water – but also easy to navigate, allowing Marks to build speed and use the wave lip like a ramp, launching her and her board into the air for twirling tricks. The mere idea of this mythical wave makes her smile.

I’ve made it part of my life’s work to make the world “barrel” a verb, as it relates to surfing, and you don’t know how proud I am at this moment.

This isn’t about me, though, it’s about all of us and we should, each and every one, keep scrap books of our favorite grand Olympic debut moments.

Let’s barrel.

Wresting “mantle of cool” back from equestrian showjumping, Olympic surfers “gleeful” about approaching destructive typhoon!

And we're back.

World media was shocked, days ago, when it was revealed that an Australian Olympic equestrian showjumper would be forbidden from attending the Tokyo Games after testing positive for cocaine thereby ceding the “mantle of rebelliousness” from heretofore derelict surfers.

Victoria’s Jamie Kermond declared the result came from “a single use of the drug” and was very remorseful but the damage was done.

Kermond, pictured, throwing shakas and grabbing surfing's cool. (Courtesy Facebook)
Kermond, pictured, throwing shakas and grabbing surfing’s cool. (Courtesy Facebook)

Surfers, now cast as “goodie-two-shoes” and “mamas-children,” reeled and none more than Australia’s Irukandjis whose motto remains “Deadly in the Water™.”

Hours ahead of surfing’s grand Olympic debut, though, surfers are attempting to wrest pronouns like “thoughtless” and “irresponsible” back from showjumpers by greeting a potential destructive hurricane with wanton joy.

As reported by Reuters:

Japanese residents may be worried about the prospect of a typhoon forming off the coast next week, but the surfers taking part in the Olympic Games are welcoming the possibility of some big waves with open arms.

Reports of a possible typhoon off the coast were greeted with glee by some competitors. “It’s small but there is swell on the way! Let’s go,” wrote Australian surfer Owen Wright on Instagram following his first practice session at Tsurigasaki Surf Beach, where competition begins on Sunday.

No matter how rough the weather gets, New Zealander Ella Williams said competitors would take it as it comes.

“We’re prepared for that, we’ve been preparing for a while. It brought us here and we’ll be fine,” she said.

And we are back.

Laz Page, right, hot-tubbing in the early Google days with Sergey Brin.

Google founder and world’s sixth wealthiest man Larry Page riding out COVID pandemic at Fijian surf resorts Tavarua and Namotu; local sources report use of “traditional and electronic surfboards!”

"Escape the pandemic to paradise," Fijian government tells billionaires.

Google co-founder and surf enthusiast Larry Page, net worth $117 billion, is reported to be hunkered down in Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago, switching between Tavarua and Namoutu islands, both of which he is rumoured to now own.

You’ll know Namotu from the Cloudbreak contests.

It’s smaller than Tavarua but cuter and with better joints to sleep in. It was also home, prior to the Page sale, to the twelve-shot cocktail, the Skulldragger, and hence very popular with Australians, Americans preferring the tennis courts and light beers of Tavarua. 

Namotu’s former owner, Scotty O’Connor, a pro windsurfer from Sydney’s northern beaches picked up the island for $224,000 in 1994; the sale price, one suspects, was considerably more. 

In a blog post last August, Italian sailor Lorenzo Cipriani wrote, 

The government are promoting a campaign welcoming those who have a lot of money to spend and are awaiting the arrival of hundreds of luxury yachts, who according to the slogan wish to, ‘escape the pandemic to paradise’.

To give an example, Larry Page, the founder of Google, bought the island of Namotu (just a few miles in front of us), and arrived there by private jet to spend three months on vacation with 30 of his staff. Whilst they are here, some local suppliers and tourism service agencies will work almost exclusively for them – escapees from the pandemic who have landed in paradise.

Sources report that Page and his wife, the scientist Lucinda Southworth, have been seen surfing on “traditional and electronic surfboards” near the country’s islands, and that “he’s good at it, too.”

Shock: Shark Week’s experts almost entirely “white or white-passing” and show uses mostly heteronormative pronouns in online biographies and during episodes, “There’s more guys named Mike than there are women!”

Representation matters!

Who don’t love a little Shark Week, Caged in Fear, Science of Shark Sex (“It’s violent!”), Island of the Mega Shark and so on?

Tits and ass for lovers of nature’s freaks, essentially.

Every episode is dressed up in environmental bona fides while winking at its audience, we know you came for the splatterfest… now watch this bloodthirsty leviathan launch itself thirty feet in the air with a seal in its jaws! Oowee!

“At its best, Shark Week educates people about the most misunderstood animals on our planet while inspiring them to protect the ocean. At its worst, it perpetuates fear and misunderstanding,” huffs Wired’s David Shiffman.

Now, a new shot across the bow of the much-loved show with the revelation that “93.7 percent of experts were perceived by coders as white or white-passing”,


“79 percent of hosts/experts use he/him/his pronouns in online biographies or during the show.”

Can you believe?

The matter was brought into relief recently by research scientist Dr David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter) and Dr Linda Whitenack, a biology and geology professor.

Neither dig Shark Week.

In a harrowing long-form piece for Scientific American, Catherine Macdonald writes,

Women of color in shark science must deal with the intersecting effects of sexism and racism. Amani Webber-Schultz, a co-founder of MISS, shared that she chooses whom to work with carefully because, in the face of potentially violent racist threats, “I need to feel that whoever I am working for or with will have my back and stand up for me in situations where it is not safe for me to stand up for myself.” Alongside physical dangers exacerbated by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age and level of power, overwhelmingly white and male scientific spaces send unwelcoming signals to students about who “belongs” and who is likely to be given the chance to succeed in shark science.

All shocking and important, are you an ally or are you complicit etc.