Listen: The second-ever “CJ Hobgood professional surfer of distinction and grace” award to be handed out in lieu of championship trophy at end of season!

Live like CJ.

And it is now official. The Ok Pro in beautiful Teahupo’o is cancelled due Covid and the 2020-21 World Championship Tour season is at its merciful end. Oh the year was fun, or fun enough, starting at Pipeline before moving to Australia for four events then heading to Lebore then Barra and now all that is left is the final five of the year, men and women, headed to Trestles to duke it out for the second-ever “CJ Hobgood Professional Surfer of Distinction and Grace” award.

The first, if you recall, was gifted to CJ Hobgood himself after the 9/11 shortened 2001 year.

Pipeline, Australia, Kelly Slater’s tank, Mexico, Trestles. A fine smattering of waves, a perfect amount for the Hobgood (minus the tank) which brings up an important question. Would you rather win the Hobgood or the regular old Championship Tour cup?

After much consideration, I would go for the Hobgood. As the name suggests, it takes both distinction and grace, an ability to not only compete, but live, with gorgeous flexibility.

Any Kelly Slater, with a competitive drive like a steel trap, can win the Championship Tour. Artists win the Hobgood.

David Lee Scales and I discussed the 2020-21 year on the program today, in any case, and how next year might look. The Delta variant is, of course, thriving and do you think it would be wise for the World Surf League to set up plan A and plan B when it comes to the schedule? Do you think Santa Monica would be remiss in not so doing?

Or will the Hobgood become a yearly event?

I would like that.

Listen here.

Comment live, Finals Day, Corona Open Mexico!

In this house every door's a back door.

Italo runs into former world junior champ Mateus Herdy's brick wall in the quarters.

Day three analysis, Corona Open Mexico, “Aussie pro surfing’s Darkest Day. A savage indictment on the Surfing Australia/HPC surfing industrial complex, tasked with translating Aussie taxpayer money into a pipeline of champions!”

And, honest question, is anyone in this event surfing as good as AI in 2006? Apart from Carissa in her division.

I am a gullible prick/sheeple. Swallowed the Carlos Casteneda Mexican shaman hoax holus bolus, ate up Kelly’s bold prediction of a twelfth title run via back to back wins in Mexico and Tahiti before storming home at Trestles.

When it comes to world views I’ll choose the most aesthetically pleasing and nothing seemed as good looking/absurd to me this time yesterday as a Kelly Title in 2021.

Three minutes to go against Italo and needing a 7.27, Kelly spikes an overhead wall with the classic karate snap, still the best top turn in the game, before blitzing a carving three-o.

Falls. Like Tahiti, like Australian Pro Surfing.

A very, very disappointing end.

Judges called Italo’s waves almost exactly a point better, wave for scoring wave, than Kelly’s.

Harsh, but true.

Kelly’s dream, our separate reality, crushed by a fire hydrant-sized bastion of Brazilian progressivism.

With Tahiti gone and the regular season done, so goes Owen Wright, Wade Carmichael, Ace, Jack Freestone, Connor O’leary, plus the previous New Chapterers of Mikey Wright, and Julian Wilson.

I think Ethan Ewing survives by the skin of his pepi.

That’s a wholesale slaughter, Aussie pro surfing’s Darkest Day. A savage indictment on the Surfing Australia/HPC surfing industrial complex, tasked with translating Aussie taxpayer money into a continuing pipeline of champions.

Will they be able to retrofit the non-industrialised Morgs into their organisation to claim success out of massive failure?

Ewing couldn’t find the extra gear to knock out Medina, despite every advantage under the sun, most pertinently a very brittle looking Medina.

This is not the Gabe we saw on Finals Day at Narrabeen. The make rate has slipped and with it confidence.

Which one went first is a chicken and egg argument.

Not only is the confidence low but the previous iron-clad heat strategy looks shot. He surfed scrappy insiders against Deivid Silva, let him go on the all the bombs and couldn’t claw back the deficit in wave quality.

That’s three major chokes in three events. Surf Ranch, Olympics and now Mexico. This is the shakiest front runner we’ve ever seen, to mangle a metaphor: swimming covered in tuna oil in shark infested waters.

Toledo’s brain fades this year likewise do not inspire confidence despite Trestles being his happiest of happy places. Italo looks the most solid of contenders but the soft rollers and long lulls of a typical southern-hemi day at Trestles conspire against the hyper-active Ferreira modus operandi.

Italo called his heat win against Kelly a “nice heat” and seemed suitably understated as the Goat seethed nearby, one more slow dimming light extinguished on the long slow fade out we are privileged to witness.

No Olympics has to burn, both personally for Kelly and for the sport itself.

An injured John John was a non-event, a fully fit Kelly would have been massive as far as the mainstream media goes. Huge, huge story. The fully fledged reco both Kelly and Elo crave. The antithesis of being pinned against the glass by a babbling Kaipo in front of a tiny audience of fellow gullible pricks and prickettes.

One Australian in the quarter final, which is about or just above the year average. Robbo looks good. Very repertoire heavy, like Mateus Herdy, and unlike Ethan Ewing. Not afraid to go above the lip first turn, which seems strange in 2021, fifteen years after AI did it in the final.

Honest question: is anyone in this event surfing as good as AI in 2006?

Apart from Carissa in her division.

Italo is smashing it repeatedly but each turn means less when you lose count of them. Leo, Herdy, Jack Robbo? No one looks completely in charge of their own destiny. Robbo looks closest with his so-called “peaceful warrior” demeanour, which he confirmed was an “energy you need to have” and was so esoteric that it was “too complicated to explain”.

Don’t hold back Jack, you are amongst your own people here.

We are psychedelic literate and understand how sideways shit can go in the tropics when you follow the lightning flash of plant-based inspiration.

Feds claim popular Santa Barbara “Lovewater” surf school owner accused of murdering his children was obsessed with “QAnon and serpent DNA conspiracy theories.”

What are we then supposed to do?

The most stomach-turning story of the decade was filled in, earlier today, when it was revealed that the popular Santa Barbara surf school owner, Matthew Taylor Coleman, was “obsessed with QAnon and serpent DNA conspiracy theories” before gruesomely murdering his two young children in Mexico.

According to NBC News, the 40-year-old confessed to authorities that he used a spearfishing gun, earlier reported as a wooden stake, to stab his two-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter to death because “they were going to grow into monsters” due his wife’s “serpent DNA.”

According to Business Insider, “Contemporary belief in reptilians is mostly linked to British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who first published his book ‘The Biggest Secret’ in 1998. Icke alleged that ‘the same interconnecting bloodlines have controlled the planet for thousands of years,’ as the book’s Amazon description says. The book suggests that blood-drinking reptilians of extraterrestrial origin had been controlling the world for centuries, and even originated the Illuminati — a fictitious group of world leaders that conspiracy theorists say control the world.”

Coleman allegedly referenced his “enlightenment” after his arrest and claimed that “he knew it was wrong” though “hoped to save the world with the action.”

Disturbing alternative narratives have wildly proliferated in the past few years becoming accepted by larger and larger swaths of the population. I suppose we all, here, know someone who has jumped the shark, so to speak, but what to do with all of this, practically?

How to interact, converse, correct? Cutting off, ostracizing, “cancelling” doesn’t seem like it works.

At all.

Of course Coleman was profoundly mentally wrecked but did thinking conspiratorially lead to his horrific, unforgivable action or did his profound mental wreckage merely find its disturbing alternative narrative and latch on?

What are we then supposed to do but, more importantly, how can we, all of us, protect everyone around us and especially our children? We, surfers, knew this man. He was one of us. He was ours, as disgustingly difficult as it is to hold.

There has to be a way to make this never ever happen again in our ranks.

Being disgusted isn’t enough.

There just has to be something we can do.

In stunning fall, Laird Hamilton’s eponymous Superfood stock price down nearly 25% today, over 50% for the year!

"Lack of imagination."

Laird Hamilton’s Superfood, a line of nutritious coffee creamers and “performance mushrooms,” went public a little under a year ago to much fanfare and applause. The company, based in Sisters, Oregon, was certainly young but hungry investors thrilled for a piece of Hamilton’s agelessness, his firm jaw pointed toward a plant-based future, and sent the stock price from its $22 opening well north of $50.

Things have not been as “healthy” since.

The stock has slid, steadily, since winter and today (at time of writing) is down a whopping 25%.

Business minds are busily assessing what led to the fall, considering underlying structures, capitalization issues, risk factors and other fancy business words but I think the problem is pumpkin.

The company announced, days ago, that its “pumpkin spice” flavorings would be making a return this autumn. Per the press release:

Featuring warming notes of pumpkin spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and real pumpkin powder, these creamer products can spice up your coffee without the guilt. Laird Superfood Pumpkin Spice Superfood Creamer combines the brand’s Original Superfood Creamer with real pumpkin and festive spices. This festive blend is a perfect boost for a morning cup of coffee, tea, smoothie and more. Meanwhile, the Aloha OatMac Superfood Creamer in Pumpkin Spice is a special blend of OatMac creamer the superfood way, with the inviting flavors of pumpkin spice and nourishing, buttery macadamia and oats, without any artificial flavors or sweeteners, making it the perfect addition to hot or iced coffee. Lastly, Laird Superfood’s fresh and plant-based Liquid Superfood Creamer is now available in the festive Pumpkin Spice option featuring functional mushrooms including Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga. The pumpkin spice flavor consumers love can now be found in the refrigerated section.

All fine and good but pumpkin flavorings are soooooooooo last year and the fact that Hamilton and team have not pivoted to this year’s trend, bourbon, shows a worrying lack of imagination.

The team should take more “performance mushrooms” and get back to the drawing board if there is any hope in halting the slide.