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?

Home-wrecking World Surf League shines spotlight on “America’s greatest up and coming talents” ahead of The Ultimate Surfer; first up world #572 Alejandro Moreda!

"He might be smiling, but this is a man used to winning at life."

Now that the Olympics is behind us and the upcoming Mexico event is very much hanging in the balance due a Covid outbreak in Oaxaca, even though Surfline has just given the swell report a “favorable” rating, and the 2022 Championship Tour has been announced to fanfare-adjacent, rabid surf fans are looking for the next next and, thankfully, the World Surf League is here to deliver.

The Ultimate Surfer, to air August 23 and promising to find “America’s greatest up and coming talent,” is putting its greatest up and coming talents, those who hope to crack the aforementioned Championship Tour and maybe win a title, in the spotlight.

First up world #572 Alejandro Moreda from America-adjacent Puerto Rico and let us read and learn together.

For the last decade, Alejandro Moreda has been at the beating heart of Puerto Rican surfing. The natural footer has been considered one of the Island’s best surfers, mixing stone-cold bravery with oodles of style. And while his surfing has been compared, favorably, with the late, great Andy Irons, unlike his peers like Brian Toth and Dylan Graves, “Ale” he never strayed too far from his beautiful island home.

For the ever-smiling, ever-moving Ale, it was just a way of giving back to the place he loves. With his partner Mia Blakeman Gomez, one of Puerto Rico’s top models and entrepreneurs, he has carved a life that balances eternal surf stoke, a sense of community, and successful business life. Make no mistake though, this is a serious surfer with serious talent. He might be smiling, but this is a man used to winning at life.

But wait.

I thought the World Surf League was set to play matchmaker on the show, introducing former Bachelors and Bachelorettes to the cast in order to spark romance?

How will Mia Blakeman Gomez feel about that?

Oh drat.

Breaking: World Surf League announces “Landmark Fully-Integrated” 2022 Championship Tour and Challenger Series!

Lemonade out of lemons!

“When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade,” is a fine aphorism, one that inspires and delights in times of trouble, one that the World Surf League has just utilized by revealing next year’s “landmark fully-integrated 2022 Championship Tour” in order to paper over the now-more-than-likely cancellation of the upcoming Barra de la Cruz event.

As you know, Covid has ravaged the state of Oaxaca and images of smiling professional surfers traipsing in for play play fun time will likely not make a positive impression on locked down locals. Also, the WSL does not have the best track record as it relates to its patented “abundance of caution™” as CEO Erik Logan contracted the respiratory illness at the beginning of the year, in Hawaii, even with much daily testing, promises of safety procedures etc.

But on to the lemonade, and per Santa Monica’s press release:

The 2022 WSL CT will include 10 regular-season events in seven countries, starting in January at the world-famous Pipeline in Hawai’i, for the first-ever men’s and women’s joint event at that legendary break. The CT will return to G-Land, Indonesia, which is back on the CT for the first time in 24 years for the men and for the first time ever for the women, and conclude in August at the infamous Teahupo’o in Tahiti before the second-annual Rip Curl WSL Finals in September, where the WSL Final 5 men’s and women’s surfers will face off for the undisputed World Title.

“The WSL exists to steward and celebrate the world’s best surfing and this redesigned Tours and Competition framework is historic in many ways, serving as the core engine of our business,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “In collaborating with our surfers and partners on delivering events like the Billabong Pro Pipeline, the MEO Portugal Pro, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the Quiksilver Pro G-Land, the Oi Rio Pro, the Margaret River Pro and others, we’re thrilled to announce one of the most exciting WSL Championship Tour calendars in history for next season and set the framework for the sport for years to come.”

2022 WSL Championship Tour Schedule*

Pipeline, Hawai’i – January 29 – February 10
Sunset, Hawai’i – February 11 – 23
Peniche, Portugal – March 3 – 13
Bells Beach, Australia – April 10 – 20
Margaret River, Western Australia – April 24 – May 4

Mid-Season Cut – 36-man and 18-woman fields reduced to 24-man and 12-woman fields.

G-Land, Indonesia – May 28 – June 6
Trestles, USA – June 15 – 22
Saquarema, Brazil – June 27 – July 4
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa – July 9 – 18
Teahupo’o, Tahiti – August 11 – 21

WSL Final 5 determined to battle for the undisputed men’s and women’s World Titles.

Rip Curl WSL Finals, location TBA – September 7 – 18

How do you feel about that?

Refreshing and delish?

Lightly bitter?