In nostalgic throwback, originator of surfing’s “Flynnstone Flip” Flynn Novak re-conjures Red Scare: “Covid is a Trojan horse for Communism!”

A spectre haunting Europe.

Strange days, etc. what with Ultimate Surfers, oversized hurricanes, tough central asian days, lonely New Zealand nights. And is it any wonder that our best turn to times past where, with hindsight, things seem simpler? Easier to understand? One-time Surfer magazine associate editor Ben Marcus, regularly found here, refuses to leave the mid to late 1989s.

Flynn Novak, originator of the eponymous “Flynnstone Flip,” dreams in hues of red, when Soviet Russians represented the “big fear.”

In a piece to Instagram, Novak re-posted, “Covid is a Trojan Horse for communism. It is the duty of every person to make sure Freedom survives covid. Just following orders is no longer an acceptable excuse.”

Covid is a sneaky way for workers to rise up and seize the machinations of control? To crush the feudal system of industry? A spectre haunting Europe?

I suppose so.

More, certainly, as this story develops.

Remember the Flynnstone Flip here.

Yessir, Hawaiian, Pipe local, but I can get hard for Raglan.

Breaking: New Zealand becomes first country to ban the Vulnerable Adult Learner Surfer, announces,“If you are not experienced, do not surf!”

“No kooks, locals only.”

In news that will chill the spine of vulnerable adult learner surfers everywhere, New Zealand has drawn a line in the sand against the VALpocalypse.

In a surprising move, Jacinda Adern’s leftist regime whose progressive bona fides are beyond any sorta reproach, Marxist at heart if not practice, has used the COVID pandemic to shut down out-of-towners and kooks. 

Currently the little island nation is under tough “Alert 4 level” restrictions as it battles what is, viewed through a worldwide perspective, a minor hit of the bug. 

Better to be safe than sorry, I suppose, although it does bring to mind Russian author Czeslaw Milosz’s observation of the “vulnerability of the twentieth century mind to seduction by socio-political doctrines and its readiness to accept totalitarian terror for the sake of a hypothetic future.”

Via the government’s COVID-info site, 

“Surfing — if you are an experienced surfer, you can go to your local break. If you are not experienced, do not surf.

“If you are not experienced, do not surf.” 

Have you ever read a sentence of comparable wisdom and virtue? 

Interestingly, outer-reef sessions are banned as restrictions remind surfers to “stay within 200 metres of the shore.” 

Also allowed in New Zealand is “white-baiting” which, I had hoped, would be the taunting of white devils by major media outlets, as per the US’s NY Times, New Yorker, CNN etc, although it appears to be a sort of fishing.

Watch: A stunningly gorgeous homage to France’s greatest one-time North African protectorate Morocco!

Saint Elsewhere.

But have you ever been to Morocco? Agadir, Marrakesh, Casablanca? Oh, I have, to Rabat, and loved every second of it. The food, architecture, wafting call to prayer. Growing up with Albert Camus and Yves St. Laurent as my north stars, Algeria forever had and has my heart, though I have yet to visit. Neighboring Morocco, though, a fine substitute whilst I wait.

French is spoken, as the country was a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, along with a pleasant Arabic. My Arabic is Egyptian mixed heavily with Yemeni and I think it is better but am not offended by Darija.

The surf.

Morocco has exceptional surf and Montreal’s Beach Ratz have just celebrated with a stunningly gorgeous homage.

Montreal has wonderful poutine and was a French protectorate from 1832 – present.


Where would we be without her?

Watch trailer here.

Surf icon provides bold reality check as grumpy locals continue melting down over reality show: “What game would you rather play? This one (which featured the great Miki Dora and Johnny Fain as extras) or The Ultimate Surfer? Neither are to be taken so seriously. Don’t be mad!”


There are few surf personalities with more credibility than Evan Slater. The Ventura-born big wave surfer, and only person to helm both Surfer and Surfing magazines, has been a quiet force for years, steering the look/feel of our beloved pastime deftly.

Now the Vice President of global marketing at Billabong, Slater is directly responsible for such hits as Metallica and Italo Ferreira. When he speaks it is well worth consideration and yesterday he provided a bold reality check to grumpy locals who are continuing to melt down over the World Surf League x ABC reality television program “The Ultimate Surfer.”

Posting a clip from the 1965 film Beach Blanket Bingo to his Instagram account, the 1999 Men Who Ride Mountains runner-up asked, “What game would you rather play? This one (which featured the great Miki Dora and Johnny Fain as extras) or The Ultimate Surfer? Neither are to be taken so seriously. Don’t be mad!”

Thrilled at a hint of support, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan immediately responded, “OMG this is gold.”

An adult male using “OMG” aside, it is a fine observation. The “beach party” films, as they were called, were clear bastardizations of this sport of kings. Dora and Fain’s involvement as egregious as any of today’s “best up and coming surfers.”

“Selling out” has long been an important part of this surfing life which begs the question. Is Logan a creative genius?

More as the story develops.

Warshaw on ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer: “It is the ultimate misuse of ‘ultimate’ — unless we’ve kicked the word over to mean ‘last in a series’, meaning the sport is forever done with reality TV”

Still, Ultimate Surfer has not sold the sport out in a way that matters. That ship sailed decades ago.

Gidget was the first to tell everybody that surfing is the “ultimate” and we’ve been whipping that poor noun-adjective hybrid ever since—from Surfing: the Ultimate Pleasure, to Mark Foo’s own-death-foretold “ultimate thrill, ultimate price” quote, to the 1995 Quiksilver G-land Pro being headlined as “the ultimate event.”

It’s like when my mom told me, as a kid, to repeat the word “elephant” over and over until the word dissolved in meaning from huge wrinkled animal to gibberish.

Ultimate Surfer, the Kelly Slater-fronted Surf Ranch-based reality TV show that debuted last Monday on ABC, does nothing to restore meaning to “ultimate.”

Where the examples above may have a loose or slippery hold on “ultimate,” Kelly’s show is 100% detached.

It is the ultimate misuse of “ultimate”—unless we’ve kicked the word over to mean “last in a series,” meaning the sport is forever done with reality TV, in which case well-played Champ!

All that being the case, Ultimate Surfer haters are out here swinging too freely on both Slater and the show itself. 

Ultimate Surfer, to begin with, has not sold the sport out in a way that matters. That ship sailed decades ago. Duke put his name on cheap floral-print canvas sneakers. Perennial world tour bridesmaid and I Ching-throwing mystic Cheyne Horan enthusiastically flogged Sunkist orange soda.

“My job, basically, is to fulfill the wishes of the company [Rip Curl],” Tom Curren told me in a 1996 interview, “and just do whatever they want me to do, in whatever way they want me to do it. We’re all polluted and perverted to one degree or another by being pro surfers, or working in the surf industry.” 

Ultimate Surfer hasn’t done anything to the sport, in other words, that hasn’t been done time and again since we were riding wooden boards and pulling lobster off the reef between sets.

Slater himself, furthermore, has not besmirched his reputation with Ultimate Surfer, as a lot of hotted-up online commentators have said.

That ship has sailed, too.

I’ve been a platinum-level Slater fan since George HW Bush took a hard line against broccoli, and my awe and appreciation for what Kelly Slater does in the water today, as he approaches AARP qualification, is higher than it was 30 years ago. He is the goat to which all other goats aspire.

But as far as Slater’s reputation for things done on this side of the beach—statements made, causes defended (or not), projects developed—we’ve got Jimmy Slade on one end of the timeline and anti-vax-adjacent bullshit on the other, and from where I sit Ultimate Surfer is Kelly more or less shooting par.

‘So never mind the sellout argument, and never mind Kelly. Ultimate Surfer fails for two reasons.

1. No Sunny Garcia. My viewing experience is limited, but I know a reality TV star when I see one, and Sunny was a 175-pound swinging fist of charisma in Boarding House: North Shore (watch the full 2003 debut episode here). Nobody in Ultimate Surfer is even close. No star, no ratings.

2. Location, location, location. Surf Ranch is to the ocean what Ultimate Surfer commentator Joe Turpel is to Sunny Garcia. The ocean, at the end of the day, is the only thing the sport has going for it. Even MTV’s Surf Girls knew this—although the show hedged its bets with glistening-wet flesh and a thousand Roxy bikinis.

But if the ocean is our one thing, it is nonetheless a very good thing, the best, yes, the ultimate thing.

And on Kelly’s show, the ocean didn’t make the cut.

Ultimate Surfer . . . you’re fired!

(You like this? Matt Warshaw delivers a surf history essay every Sunday, PST. All of ’em a pleasure to read. Maybe time to subscribe to Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing, yeah? Three bucks a month.)