"You gonna paddle for that wave, punk?" (I know Danny Archer was a Rhodesian but... point remains.)
"You gonna paddle for that wave, punk?" (I know Danny Archer was a Rhodesian but... point remains.)

Listen: It is high time for surfers to turn their grumpy eyes to South Africa and hire mercenaries, that country’s finest export, to come police overcrowded lineups worldwide!

We all have gifts.

We, each nationality here, have skills and abilities gifted to us by our country of origin. Americans are very best at being boringly arrogant, Australians number one at broadcasting a party vibe while internally craving rigid control. Brazilians dance free though emotionally hair-triggered, the British have entirely given up, Scots mock the lack of will behind the British version of “giving up,” the French have invested all in making a perfect flat tire sound with lips and South Africans are mercenaries.

Oh the very best mercenaries in the entire world.

Executive Outcomes is one of the more famous group, founded in 1989 and traipsing across the rest of Africa fighting fights not theirs, but there have been many South African mercenaries and all are good, or, rather, skilled.

Which brings us to surfing. Our lineups are overcrowded, control has been lost. Even the grumpiest local who dreams of enforcing fears the inevitable lawsuit which brings us to the point.

South African mercenaries.

They are flown in, restore order by punching out a handful of fins, pointing a handful of VALs to the beach, gather up a handful of court appointments then head home pockets stuffed with money, mercenary hearts fulfilled.

Good, no?

I floated this on the Grit! podcast a few weeks ago but it was just gloriously embellished by a listener. Who, for example, stuffs the mercenary’s pocket full of money?

Ahhhh. That’s where he came in, from the parking lot of his DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) with the greatest idea to hit surf since the mid-tour cull.

It hits at the 1:02 mark but you should come in earlier than that because David Lee and I discuss Dave Prodan.

Listen here.

Medina out, tells world via Twitch.

Two-time world champion Gabriel Medina sensationally pulls out of Tahiti tour event in bizarre live-gaming moment as unvaccinated status revealed; Kelly Slater, others, likely to follow!

"I’m not anti vax. I’m anti mandating medical procedures," says Kelly Slater. "Think I’ll wait for the antibodies naturally if I get COVID."

The Brazilian two-time world champ Gabriel Medina has revealed via the live video-streaming service Twitch that he ain’t going near the Tahiti Pro following next week’s Mex event, which may or may not run after Oaxaca shut down all beaches following a new COVID outbreak. 

Bedecked in jewels, Medina, who is twenty-seven, says he refused the Brazilian Olympic committee’s offer of a COVID-19 vax prior to the Tokyo Games, and therefore cannot meet France’s strict-ish quarantine laws. 

See, ‘cause he ain’t vaccinated, Medina would be forced into ten days of quarantine following Mex, meaning he’d miss the event. 

“There’s no time to go from Mexico to there, because it’s one after the other. I’ll be forced not to go,” said Medina. “But good. I can rule out a stage, so it’s good.”

And Medina isn’t going to be the only surfer choosing one of the other contest given some high-profile surfers’ objections to the COVID vaccination.

Two months ago in a social media stoush, Kelly Slater revealed he wasn’t anti getting jabbed, necessarily, but wanted to sit back a little, examine the side-effects.

Responding to a claim that he was pushing “anti-vax nonsense”, Slater wrote,

“Why does this account always end up with these triggered, bitchy people who can’t take a joke? And second, I’m not anti vax. I’m anti mandating medical procedures. But I’ve never even pushed that.”

Asked whether he’d be getting the vaccine, Slater wrote, “probably not anytime soon… It hasn’t been studied long enough to know long term cons. A friend’s dad also died a couple days after getting it from blood clots, so there’s that. Think I’ll wait for the antibodies naturally if I get COVID.”

And, although no longer on tour, the much-loved former world number two, Taj Burrow, warned his 326,000 followers back in May of the folly of vaccination.

“Do not get the poisonous needle,” wrote Tez.

Medina’s decision reveals one of the two flaws in the Finals Day format; that a surfer with enough wins in the first half of the year can pick and choose which contests he appears in during the back half.

Heady days etc.

San Francisco’s lightly controversial district attorney Chesa Boudin revealed as proud VAL: “And that’s Samoa – the first wave I got barreled in. I was on this backpacking trip and found this resort…”

"You go out on a boat, shallow reef …”

The rise of the VAL, or vulnerable adult learner, will be one of the great marking features of 2015-2025 when historians look back and lionize this age. Grown men and women deciding to pursue surfing, whole-heartedly, splashing out into the great unknown, chins out and brave but also older.

Oh and we know the wonderful story of Jonah Hill, Patron Saint of VALs, and World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, Oklahoman who discovered power inside a wetsuit, but now let us learn about San Francisco’s lightly controversial district attorney Chesa Boudin who lives in Ocean Beach and, according to a new profile in New York Magazine, “surfs many days a week before dawn” at the “famously difficult break where winter waves can exceed 15 feet” though this has not always been the case as Boudin picked up our surfing after graduating from Yale Law school at the ripe VAL age of 31.

The magazine was profiling Boudin due the light controversy surrounding his tenure as San Francisco’s DA. Videos of mass burglary and theft have circulated online, images of very full tent cities crowding sidewalks, leading many to believe that his progressive attitude toward crime has made San Francisco a lawless pit.

The writer, famous Daniel Duane, meets Boudin in his office and describes thusly:

Boudin has thin brown hair and a scraggly beard that barely camouflages a gigantic jaw. The first time we met, at his office in Potrero Hill, a light-industrial neighborhood popular with start-ups, he wore a fashionable gray-blue suit; he was bound for a political event later in the afternoon. On a wall opposite his desk hung framed photographs of Boudin surfing substantial waves. He pointed to one and said, with the vowels of a Midwesterner and the rapid-fire cadence of a trial lawyer, “That’s me right there in El Salvador. And that’s Samoa — the first wave I got barreled in. I was on this backpacking trip, and I found this resort. You go out on a boat, shallow reef …”

A VAL trifecta, El Salvador, Samoa, backpacking discoveries. Boudin then swings to his childhood, fascinatingly the son of two Weather Underground radicals, his rise into law and politics and the troubles he is facing in San Francisco today. Well worth a read but, for our purposes, Boudin’s position, his stature and his open love of surfing is what will most interest historians.

Does the VAL now own surfing entirely?

Are we mere purposeless danglers?

Like appendixes?

Much to ponder.

Harrowing scenes as GoPro-wearing bodysurfer almost films own death after being washed into underwater cave in giant surf!

Timely given BJ Penn’s similar near-death experience at a wavepool.

The Canary Islands-based big-wave bodysurfer Ahmed Erraji has snatched a harrowing Go Pro clip of his almost-drowning, which bears examining, I think, and which is timely given BJ Penn’s similar near-death experience at a wavepool.

Morrocan-born Erraji, who is forty-ish and swings by the nickname Hijo del Mar (son of the sea), ain’t afraid to swim out at thirty-foot Nazaré.

So he knows his chops.

In this short, we watch as Erraji is pushed by an eight-foot wave into a cave in the cliffs.

He don’t die, no plot spoiler there, but Erraji is trapped inside the cave for two-and-a-half hours, waves completely filling his little grotto, causing the viewer some anguish as he tries to imagine how he would react if jammed into a cliff, never knowing if you’d exit etc.

“Have you heard of the saying “Fear Kills”? That’s the exact job of fear,” Erraji told Wavelength magazine. “Fear tells you: ‘If you’re going to bodysurf that wave, you’ll never come back,’ but with time I learned that on the other side of your biggest fears, there are the best things of your life.”

WSL’s Chief Strategy and Brand Officer eviscerates surf fans as “tin foil hat” wearing conspiracy theorists following elimination of “most boring surfing event in the world” from 2022 tour!

A very out of character attack from a non-combative man. 

One month after the mainstream press slammed The Surf Ranch Pro as the “most boring surfing event in the world” and y’pals at BeachGrit asked, “How many more stinging barbs will it take for the WSL to take Lemoore off the tour?”, the pool is officially off the 2022 schedule.

Y’seen the press spiel already, read here if y’ain’t, but surf fans were quick to point out a Finals Day location had yet to be announced and the pool was nowhere to be seen ergo it had to be the pool, yeah? 

I would think a Finals Day at the pool preposterous, but one lapse of judgement can quickly create a situation in which only foolish choices are possible. 

So maybe yes?

Now, the WSL’s Chief Strategy and Brand Officer Dave Prodan, who is remarkably careful with his words, soapy probs best describes ‘em, an anti-Hemingway kinda guy, has come out swinging, calling anyone who suggests such a thing a “tin foil hat” wearing conspiracy theorist.

On David Scales Surf Splendor Instagram account, Prodan writes, “You can put the tin foil hats away. World Title will be decided in the ocean.” 

A very out of character attack from a non-combative man, although he does seem like the sorta cat who would leave notes around the office that say, “Please check if you flushed!!! Thank you!!!!!” and “Milk spoils if door of fridge left open!”

The lady doth protest too much etc.

Do you think sad at the Surf Ranch Pro’s failure as a wave tech and a contest?

Or just thoroughly contemptuous of surf fans?