Itty Fez, swinging for Gold. | Photo: ISA

Breaking: Olympic surfers blamed for “COVID-19 surge” near Chiba!

Japan hit real hard after Games, a three-hundred percent increase in COVID infections… 

The mayor of a pretty little hamlet near Ichinomiya, Chiba, where Brazilian Italo Ferreira and Hawaiian Carissa Moore became surfing’s first gold medal Olympians, has come out swinging after his town experienced a surge in COVID hits after the event. 

Eyes fluttering behind his medical-issue paper mask, city of Isumi Mayor Hiroshi Ota said, “From around the time the event began, the number of people (in the area near the venue) increased, causing infections to spread.”

See, from late July locals began contracting COVID around the city’s Taito beach, next to Ichinomiya’s Tsurigasaki beach. 

And even though COVID protocols meant the event was held without spectators, plenty of locals hung out at Taito to watch. Shops, restaurants and so on were busy as hell. 

It ain’t a fanciful take. 

The whole country got hit pretty hard after the Games, a three hundred percent increase in COVID infections, up from four k a day to 12, although the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Tamayo Marukawa spat on that fire saying, “I don’t think the Olympics caused infections to spread… When someone tested positive, they were transported to treatment facilities and other institutions. People they had close contact with were swiftly identified and quarantined.”

Surfers, the worst etc. 

Hawaiian surf champion suffers horror injury at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, “I’ve been asked by many whether getting injured is worth the risk as a professional athlete!”

"I had to take all four of my bottom front teeth out and will be getting implants. This process will take about 10 months or so."

It may come as a surprise, to some but not all, that wavepools will beat the hell out of you. Ain’t no different to anywhere.

I’ve seen, close up, two head injuries and a dislocated shoulder, heads wounds at Wavegarden, dislocated shoulder at Surf Ranch. An orgy of blood followed by soap and towels.

All that pretty blue water water and troupes of lifeguards ain’t gonna save you if you go over the handlebars in twelve inches of water. Four years ago, I was surprised by the power of the takedown and how long I was held under for at the Lemoore tank.

It’s a good feeling.

Without risk, what do we have?

The Hawaiian longboarder Sally Cohen, the sister of Jamie O’Brien’s lover Tina, and pretty regularly up there at number eight in the world rankings, got belted at Surf Ranch a few days ago, losing four teeth after a date with the vinyl covered concrete bottom.

After surgery, Cohen wrote,

“Unfortunately from my injury at the Surf Ranch I had fractured 2 of my bottom front teeth at the root and couldn’t save them. Along with those 2 teeth, the other 2 teeth located next to them had experienced quite a lot of trauma. So I had to take all four of my bottom front teeth out and will be getting implants later this year/early next year. This process will take about 10 months or so.”

Has the injury taken the wind out of her sails, got hurt, ergo no more pools?

“I was just informed by my doctor that I will be able to get back in the water in less than 2 weeks,” Cohen wrote yesterday. “This gives me a tiny bit of time to prepare for this years first WSL CT event at the Surf Ranch.
Recently I’ve been asked by many whether getting injured is worth the risk as a professional athlete, and I say yes, 110%. Every setback I face, every bump in the road, I only come back from it feel more determined and more motivated to be stronger and better than ever before. After my injury at the pool, the very next day I was already wanting to paddle back out again. I truly do believe a positive mindset can make the biggest difference when it comes to recovering and I can’t wait to go back to this wave and win the event!”

Slater artistically re-imagined as obese. Art: @sensitiveseashellcollector
Slater artistically re-imagined as obese. Art: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Surfing great Kelly Slater sternly lectures U.S. President Joe Biden on just-released plan to have adults receive Covid-19 booster shots: “Why doesn’t the government talk about 78% of people in the ICU being obese?”

Thinking emoji.

Kelly Slater is as frustrated as heck and doesn’t seem like he is going to take it anymore. The 11x World Champion took to Instagram, hours ago, to make his feelings known about the Biden administration plan to have adults receive a Covid-19 vaccine booster 8-months after their second shot.

From his @potus, or President of the United States, account Biden posted:

“The CDC is planning for adults to get a booster shot 8 months after their second shot,” adding, “My Administration’s approach to booster shots is simple and consistent with our approach to fighting COVID-19: Follow the science. And stay one step ahead of the virus,” as caption.

The reaction, in comments, was mixed with some very excited about following science and others more skeptical, including Slater. The surfing great sternly lectured the U.S. President, telling him, “Except you don’t need to get vaccinated to work in the White House, do you? Or the CDC or FDA. Isn’t that awesome for all my lifeguard and first responder friends being mandated to get it or lose their jobs saving lives in Hawaii? It’s almost like it doesn’t actually kill the virus. Why doesn’t the government talk about 78% of people in the ICU being obese? Or being over 70? Or eating organic foods and taking the right supplements which protect your immune system? Probably a coincidence all of it.”

Replies to Slater were universally positive except for Jack O’Grady who told him to “Go back to surf ranch bucko.”

The last line, “probably a coincidence all of it,” highlights the most deadly tool in the Kelly Slater lecture bag.


Just after taking it to the President, the multiple-times Pipe Master posted about a killer whale living in a small tank in Florida, writing, “Lolita having an awesome day today! Buy your tickets! (Insert sarcasm if you missed that part).

But back to the point, are you going to get boosted or take a wait-and-see approach?

Listen: Australian yeoman Adrian “Ace” Buchan shocks Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, the world, by announcing his lack of retirement!

Kelly Slater quietly furious.

The old dog can still learn new tricks, as they say, and Australian yeoman Adrian “Ace” Buchan just mastered a doozy, shocking Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, The Li’L Plumber and the rest of 2021’s quitting class by taking to instagram and announcing his impeding lack of retirement.

In a lengthy post to Instagram, the 57-year tour vet wrote:

The end of the most challenging competitive year of my career. Processing so many different emotions at the moment as I reflect on the last few months. Time away from my wife and kids, injuries, missed events but also memories of having the chance to do what I love in the middle of an incredibly challenging time.

For that I’m so thankful.

As an Australian with a young family, leaving the relative safety of home I definitely felt some culture shock these last months dealing with the reality of travel and Covid. If I’m honest for the first time in my life it made it really hard to leave home and be wholeheartedly committed to surfing.

But I definitely felt a camaraderie like never before between the surfers on tour as everyone rallied around to support each other in the absence of our regular teams.

I want to say a massive congrats to @adrianodesouza @floresjeremy and @julian_wilson on your inspirational careers. I feel so lucky to have shared friendship, finals, many, many battles and even heated moments with you guys! You’ve all been a huge motivation to me and have inspired so many with your competitive fire and love for the sport.

Personally I’m taking some time to think about what’s best for me and my family. Ultimately I’d love to finish out my career in front of my kids and show them that with dreams and belief you can achieve anything.

The hammer at the end.

Personally taking some time but ultimately would love to finish out career in front of kids exemplifying their dreams etc?


Buchan has often been called “the smartest man on tour” but this zig, where so many others are zagging, proves it so. There he will go, surfing G-Land, Teahupo’o. Pipeline with only one, maybe three, other men out. There he will get effortlessly barreled, mega-watt smile filling caverns. There he will enjoy the comforts of hotel beds and hotel foods while billing back to the World Surf League for his services as liaison.

Showing his kids, and ours too, that the best surfer in the water is the one billing back.

David Lee Scales and I discussed Ace’s intelligence today and also how Scales plans to teach his almost-here son Mandarin.

I was very much opposed.

Listen here.

World’s best-ever bodysurfer and swinging retiree Mark Cunningham described as “cum-artist” in revealing new profile, “If Charles Darwin were alive today, Mark would’ve blown his mind and sent him back to the drawing board!”

Still beautiful, even at the rim of seventy!

Mark Cunningham, you know. Described by Warshaw as being “amphibious” and “unchallenged as the world’s best bodysurfer from the mid-1970s to the early ’90”, winner of the first two Pipeline bodysurfing contests etc. 

Pipeline Master Rory Russell said, “If Charles Darwin were alive today, Mark would’ve blown his mind and sent him back to the drawing board!” 

Now, in an interviewee with Outrigger magazine, a promotional arm of the famous hotel chain, the former North Shore lifeguard, a well preserved man at the rim of seventy and mentor to John John Florence, has been described as a “surfing-legend-cum-artist.” 

See, when he retired from lifeguarding after thirty years in the game in 2005, Cunningham switched gears to art.

Cunningham’s more recent adventures-at-sea illustrate this deep-rooted passion — literally. He now hunts for what lies beneath the waves, searching the surf for lost treasures like board fins, sunglasses, and even designer watches. Cunningham stores this menagerie of long-forgotten items at his garage-turned-art studio in Kāhala, where he assembles them into three-dimensional sculptures. Through his art, he seeks out each object’s hidden story and honors how they’ve been shaped by the passage of time.
But just like his surfing glory, Cunningham is reluctant to claim a title as an artist. “Mother Nature is the real artist,” he tells Flux Hawaii Magazine. “I’m just putting it all together for everyone to see.

Gallery owners, critics, and art lovers seem to disagree. Cunningham’s sculptures have been on display in galleries from New York to San Francisco and even featured on the TV series Hawaii Five-O.
Getting Stoked in Waikiki

What’s up next for Mark Cunningham? We’re beyond proud to invite this local surfing legend-cum-artist to join our Surfers in Residence program. As the birthplace of modern surfing, there’s no better spot for Cunningham to share his deep love for the sea with wave-chasing travelers from around the world than Waikiki Beach.

A man impossible not to love.