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.)

Not actual dildo used on beach etc. | Photo: Not Another Teen Movie

Karen films glamorous brunette “performing a sexual act with vibrator” on Georgia beach; cops called; “It only took her twenty seconds to orgasm!”

The Taliban comes to the Deep South… 

In an extraordinary battle of values, and a tale I suppose of two Americas, a glamorous brunette has been arrested for bringing herself to a very quick orgasm, with battery-powered tool, at Tybee Island, near Savannah, Georgia. 

Christina Revels-Glick, 34, and flower-stem thin with a nimbus of dark hair, was filmed  jerking off, briefly, with a vibrator.

From the cop’s report, 

“I arrived at the scene and made contact with the complainant Sarah K Moss. She started that she observed a white female pleasure herself on the beach with a vibrator. 

“I asked Sarah if she would give a written statement as to what she observed and she informed me she had a video of the incident. Sarah showed me the video.

“In the video, I observed a white female waring a one-piece green bikini lay out a white towel. The female sits on the towel facing the water. The female then reaches into her green backpack and pull out an unknown object. The female then spreads her legs apart and puts both of her hands in between her legs. This went on for a few seconds until the female looked to her right and stopped what she was doing. There is no other action from the female as the video ends.” 

Revels-Glick was arrested at a nearby restaurant and booked for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

The cop reports, “During the booking process (she) uttered that she was sorry for what she did. She also uttered that she did not think anyone saw her because it only took her twenty seconds to orgasm.” 

Now, what’s wrong with this story?

Yeah, they arrested the wrong person. 

Two and a half-thou marines died in Afghanistan for this?

Creep who filmed should’ve been cuffed, lightning-cum gal celebrated etc. 

World Surf League turns to extremely provocative, arguably naughty “Hot Shots” of “The Ultimate Surfer” contestants in hopes of rescuing doomed ABC reality show!


My goodness, this is unbelievably strange. But should we have given The Ultimate Surfer, a reality show that plays on ABC television at 10pm (9pm central) a nice welcome, as we would give to any Jonah Hill?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Grumpy Local, than you’ve even dreamed of. But now listen to me. No matter how strangely I act (since I may find it appropriate to act a little crazy in the near future), you must never, ever let on—with a gesture of your hands or a certain expression on your face—that you know anything about what happened to me here tonight.

You must never say anything like, “Ah, yes, just as we suspected,” or “We could tell you a thing or two about him,” or anything like that.

Swear you won’t.


For our World Surf League has just turned to online tabloid TMZ in order to give its flagging “The Ultimate Surfer” a breath of life by advertising extremely provocative “hot shots” of the contestants.

They were deemed a “perfect 10” by TMZ but you are as good a judge of professional surfing as any.

You know the art, the nuance.

Perfect 10?


Click here.

Pop sensation Shakira takes evasive action to ensure children won’t grow up as VALs: “Don’t wait up to surf at 40 when you can start at 6!”


Popular music superstar, 12-time Latin Grammy winner, Shakira made an important parenting move, over the weekend, attempting to save her young children from difficult lives as vulnerable adult learners. Radar Online is reporting that the Colombian must stand trial for tax evasion, and may face jail time, but priorities are priorities and, so, off she whisked her young boys to Wavegarden where she boldly declared, “Don’t ‘Wait Up’ to surf at 40 when you can start at 6.”

“Don’t Wait Up” just so happens to be the name of her latest single.

The chanteuse also partook herself gamely penning, “Back at Wavegarden trying to improve my skills in this cruel sport.”

True understanding.

While you’re here, I went to Colombia once, to the city of Cali gorgeously set amongst Andean folds. My trip was, ostensibly, about the cocaine trade and so I wandered the neighborhoods that the Orejuela brothers did and their families still do, drinking in their bars, watching salsa and merengue, hips not lying, trying to feel the heat.

I chatted up those who had stories of heady days when the city ruled the world, some estimated $7b a year pouring in. What impressed me, most, was how tastefully the cartel had spent its money. Open modernist design a la Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater was preferred to anything gaudy or gauche.


Surfer snaps leg at Sydney’s Bronte beach in horror wipeout; bone penetrates wetsuit; wild drone footage of rescue!

A little light Sunday action… 

On a real pretty Sunday morn, three-to-five-feet of south-east swell, combed into a dazzling pompadour by the baby breath of a three-knot offshore, a surfer has been karate chopped by the lip, leg snapped.

Our boy with the bird in the sky at Bronte beach there in Sydney’s east, Roy Gruenpeter, says the shredder was hunting a barrel, got a little out of position and was subsequently creased.

Another witness says the man’s busted femur penetrated the rubber of his wetsuit.

A wild bank at the north end of the beach was doin’ a slab impersonation, something pretty rare round these parts.

Because the city is shuttered, max lockdown here in Sydney, the beach was as busy as a summer’s morn, citizens enjoying the last vestiges of what might loosely be called freedom, every one clawing at their hour of allotted exercise per day.

And, so, bird in the sky, lifeguards, plenty of people in the water to help and so on.