Surfing’s great polemicist Joel Tudor harkens back to a more genteel era ahead of The Ultimate Surfer debut: “Back when surfers had style… nowadays we speak in Insta emojis, everyone is a YouTube comedian and nothing is sacred!”

Fix up. Look sharp.

Have you set aside the 10 o’clock hour (9 o’clock Central) for tonight’s grand premier of the World Surf League’s The Ultimate Surfer? The program, starring Anastasia Ashley, Austin Clouse, Mason Barnes and Erin Coscarelli as “the world’s best surfers,” has been teased for months now and will also feature Kelly Slater teaching “up and coming surf stars” how to play spin the bottle etc.


Overjoyed that surfing has a new image?

Well, quickened heartbeats are not universal. Surfing’s great polemicist Joel Tudor took to Instagram, minutes ago, to decry the cheapening of our favorite pastime.

Underneath a photo featuring surfing greats (Greg Noll, Pat Curren etc.) dressed nattily he wrote, “Back when surfers had style ….nowadays we speak insta emoji’s, everyone’s a YouTube comedian & nothing is sacred …all the rules of how we got here are now taboo – I swear we are headed downhill fast! Throw a wrench in the machine sos abort abort …ship is going down captain! Ok ok I kid , we’ll be fine ….just could use some old school cool in the era of instant gratification!”

But what do you feel? An old man shouting at the clouds or does Mr. Tudor have a point?

I have long been a proponent of fixing up, looking sharp, and agree that the best surfer is a suit wearing surfer. I have also long known that age, a calcified brain, is marked by criticizing “nowadays” as “not as cool as it used to be.”

So where do you fall?

Has surfing become idiocracized or should we all go along and get along?

War breaks out on social media after Australian surfer Jack Freestone pokes light fun of New South Wales stringent lockdown laws: “You driving too fast, jail. Too slow, jail.”

Who will win?

Jack Freestone, originally from Australia’s Gold Coast but now splitting time on the beautiful island of Kauai, put his head above the parapet, yesterday, and used light comedy to shine a light on New South Wales’ stringent lockdown laws.

On August 16th, Operation Stay At Home commenced with NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller telling Australia’s ABC News (not to be confused with America’s ABC which will be airing The Ultimate Surfer premier tonight at 10/9 central) that too many people were using excuses relating to exercise, the singles bubble and regional travel and they needed to close these gaps.

“I honestly think we can get NSW out of lockdown quicker [with these powers]. These are some of the strongest powers we’ve ever had in the history of the NSW Police Force, as part of the government’s strategy to get in front of the virus in the coming weeks – it’s all about getting ahead of Delta, not chasing it.”

Everything is now banned and breaking the rules carries hefty fines:

$5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules
$5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit
$5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer
$3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two-person outdoor exercise/recreation rule
$3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW, which restrict travel except for authorised work, inspecting real estate or travelling to your second home

Freestone took to Instagram and posted a video of the fines being announced stitched to a clip where comedian Fred Armisen appeared on the television show Parks and Recreation as a central, maybe south, American dictator, writing, “This basically sums up what Australia looks like right now. So sad seeing everything going on right now. Hope everyone is ok. Ps watch it to the end.”

Praise, initially, flowed in from all corners.

Yadin Nicol commented, “Started out a jail, ended up a jail.”

Nick Carroll’s brother Tom agreed with Nicol then added a heartfelt story about an ICU nurse.

Andy Collyer, who shapes surfboards, said, “Thanks Jack for sharing the truths of our country mate! More high profile people need to be doing this…” which was widely echoed by many wondering why the Gold Coast’s many famous surfers have maintained their silence.

CJ Hobgood wanted to fine Jack for “being so cute,” but then the worm turned and many came in, pitchforks raised, demanding that Freestone “promote vaccination,” calling him “pathetic,” and providing rejoinders like, “Pro surfers who travel the world complaining about health and safety precautions is like Phil Mickelson complaining about taxes.”

The two sides immediately went to war, commenting, replying, proving the angry red-faced emoji.

Who will win?

Us, I suppose. True comedy connoisseurs.

More as the story develops.

The Party celebrates the triumphant and infallible release of a new one-dollar bodyboard.

Brightly coloured Chinese-made bodyboards “poisoning UK beaches” and killing precious leatherback turtles, “These are the same turtles pictured on the kids’ bodyboards. How ironic is that?”

“These super-cheap boards won’t even see out the day, never mind the week. Some of them are broken within two hours."

A sinister development in the Chinese masterplan to fuck the world.

A little over eighteen months after a mutant virus escaped the ancient city of Wuhan, and as its war machine readies for a war with the west over Taiwan, it has been revealed that Chinese-made bodyboards selling for as little as sixty pence (around a buck) are “poisoning UK beaches” and killing its leatherback turtles. 

See, tourists come, buy the kids a couple of the boards, bust ‘em or tire of ‘em, and then toss ‘em in the bin or leave ‘em to self-destruct on the beach.

“We find thousands of these boards on the beaches,” said Neil Hembrow, of Keep Britain Tidy. “They’re imported from China or Asia and they last a very short time, perhaps even just one surf. They’re made of two inches of cheap polystyrene covered with nylon, sometimes a plastic sheet. But a single wave can weigh up to a ton. So the impact on these boards makes them snap.”

Holly Robertson with plastic sleds in Devon. Photo: Les Wilson

The UK’s Daily Mail did a little walk around Devon and “we saw hundreds of plastic, brightly coloured bodyboards in use and picked up handfuls of rainbow-coloured polystyrene bits as we walked along the beach.”

Beach ranger Holly Robertson told the Mail, “These super-cheap boards won’t even see out the day, never mind the week. Some of them are broken within two hours. They get dumped and they break up into tiny fragments. To birds, the pieces look like food. They think it’s a fish egg. But it’s killing them… The leatherback turtles out there between us and Lundy Island are being killed by plastic pollution. These are the same turtles pictured on the kids’ bodyboards. How ironic is that?”

Now, and in a spirit y’might called Churchillian, stores are fighting the Chinese on the streets and on the beaches, refusing to stock the shitty one-surf sleds and offering, instead, higher-priced alternatives. 

Nathan Lockwood, from the UK Bodyboarding Association, said, “They are not sustainable in any way and give the sport a bad name.”

Bodyboarding is still a sport? Who knew.

Mini ramp at 5 Faz Drive, Tugun.

Three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning expands Gold Coast property empire with $3 million beachside masterpiece complete with indoor skate ramp!

“A statement of contemporary elegance, but with undeniable heart and soul.”

The three-time world surfing champion and shark attack survivor, Mick Fanning, has augmented his already impressive property holdings with a three-mill buy a little off the Gold Coast Highway and just under the flightpath for Coolangatta airport. 

Four hundred yards or thereabouts to the Gold Coast’s fifth best point.

The joint, which backs onto a bird sanctuary, was a hot target for buyers in an already over-heated market. Three mill for a house a ten-minute walk from the beach? A few years back, you’d be stretched to catch a buyer willing to shovel a million bucks at it.

Anyway, 5 Farrell Drive, Tugun, is pretty enough, has three-beds, features a three-foot indoor mini ramp, owner Luc Conforti is a local shredder, and the house is, if we can quote the promotional material, “A statement of contemporary elegance, but with undeniable heart and soul.”

An astute investor, Fanning made a surprise pivot away from surfing four months ago when he bought a yoga studio in Byron, a brave move as the West falls deeper into its culture wars, cultural appropriation, of course, a not-too-distant cousin of that gravest crime of all… racism. 

Brrrrrrr. Shiver up spine etc.

Yoga has been labelled the “whitest sport on earth”,and was the subject of a brave essay in The Atlantic in 2014 where its “white privilege”, “upper class privilege”  and “implicit racism” was laid bare, shattering the woke bona fides of tens of thousands of white skinny gals in plastic pants everywhere.

“I’m always looking at businesses … and Byron is one of those places where I think it’ll do really well,” explained Fanning, who has scoliosis.

No word, yet, if Sarah Foote, the mysterious strawberry blonde who invited herself into Fanning’s beachfront house at nearby Bilinga and who was subsequently charged and convicted of unlawful stalking and entering a dwelling with intent (sentenced to fifteen months in prison with immediate release on parole), will be invited to celebrate the happy purchase.

Sean “Diddy” Combs appears to send shot over surf localism’s bow: “When I pull up on you, don’t be surprised.”

A serious escalation.

Hip hop mogul, rap superstar, Sean “Diddy” Combs appeared to send a shot over surf localism’s bow, yesterday, in an Instagram post almost as provocative as the World Surf League teasing a sexually fluid component to the upcoming The Ultimate Surfer reality show.

In the first post, Diddy neé Puff Daddy is pictured with wetsuit stripped down to waist on beach above the lightly aggressive caption, “When I pull up on you, don’t be surprised.”

In the second, he is standing next to a black Range Rover, black 9 ft soft top leaning next to it lightly waxed, toweling off after quite possibly burning some locals who were already warned not to be surprised.

Combs embracing the sport of kings is a serious ramping up of the celebrity surf life and begs, gags, for a The Celebrity Ultimate Surfer.

My money is still on Hill.

Who do you have?