A Relapsed Gambler’s Guide To The WSL Finals Day, “No chance Gabriel Medina’s letting a third title go begging. Put my house on it.”

"I don’t believe there’s a finer competitive surfer in history than Gabriel Medina."

All it took was a line from a Chas Smith pixel filler, “Who is your money on, by the way?”

Honestly, I hadn’t even realised the finals were so soon.

Sometimes life is like that.

Everything’s going swimmingly, there’s money in the bank, food on the table, smiles in the bedroom…

Then crack, there it is. A splintered mess of a front door with a big fuckoff wolf’s head poking through it.

Oh well. Here we go again.

So here’s the brief…

Some of you will know me by now, though I’ve been away for some time. Here’s a reminder of my personal bents, should you decide to follow any advice.

I bet largely with the heart rather than the head. Call me masochistic. Of course I know better, and statistically I’m a failure. But I like higher highs and deeper lows. I like to really feeeeeeel.

I don’t believe there’s a finer competitive surfer in history than Gabriel Medina.

Despite these facts, I like some long shots. There’s always the chance you might hit the big one and convince yourself enough’s enough.

I’m still waiting.

So, the players.

Gabriel Medina

What is there left to say? Medina is a favourite anywhere in the world. You’re a bold man to bet against him, though of course we’re at Trestles. It’s akin to moving the Masters from Augusta to a nine-hole par three course.

But Gabby is Gabby, and even if Charlie’s not there perforating eardums, he’s still got Andy King.

He seems to be lacking a little mojo overall this year, but he’s likely keeping his powder dry. He seems a little more mellow than we’re used to and is likely dipping his wick between heats, and who could blame him?

But peel back a layer and there’s a vicious competitive beast underneath, laced through to the core like a stick of rock.

We’ll see the real Medina at Trestles.

No chance he’s letting a third title go begging. Put my house on it.

Italo Ferreira

I love Italo, but from a gambling perspective I’m still smarting from money lost in the early days when he wasn’t so in vogue. I was on his bandwagon early. I could see that he had the most electrifying backhand in the game and the potential to thrill from day one.

And my, how I pulled for him!

The bookies, of course, were slower to catch on, so Italo’s odds were just delicious. However, as is the way with pro surfing and shit judging, he was often underscored.

I could give you specific examples and figures, but honestly it’s too painful.

A couple of vague biggish ones spring out – a 22k accumulator payout scuppered by a heat loss to Ace bloody Buchan somewhere along the way. (Maybe Kolohe? I can’t remember). Eleven thousand missed at the first Surf Ranch event on one underscored left. And a whole fucking whack of cash gone at Bells in 2019 when he got that interference on Jordy.

Suffice to say, I’ve been through the mill with Italo, and as soon as I stopped making him the fulcrum of all my bets he started winning everything.

So I can’t go back, because you know what’ll happen.

Heart over head.

Filipe Toledo

Who doesn’t find Filipe’s surfing completely CHOKE electrifying when he’s on CHOKE point?

Trestles is not only custom designed CHOKE for his CHOKE surfing, but it’s virtually his CHOKE local spot, despite what the local groms think when they CHOKE send him in.

He could CHOKE win the whole thing, there’s no doubt about CHOKE that, but not for my money.



Conner Coffin

I’ve got a wee soft spot for Conner. Not only was he most gracious with his time when I peppered him with questions for something I was writing, but I love a natural footer raised on a right point. His aesthetic appeals to me.

His surfing I mean, not his lesbian chic haircut.

He won’t win, of course, not at Trestles.

However there’s one conditional I will add.

A slim chance that’s worth throwing some money Conner’s way.

A ghost of a rumour that could swing everything his way.

A glimmer of a shadow of a tantilising possibility that he could blow the doors off our perception when it comes to riding waves.

I am of course referring to THE TURN.

As prophesied (nay promised!) by Brad Gerlach somewhere along the way, Conner Coffin has in his locker a TURN the likes of which we’ve never seen. A TURN to spin the world on its axis. The ki to unlocking multiple world titles…

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Come on, Conner. Do it for us!


Morgan Ciblic

I’ll confess to being a bit in the dark with Morgs, such is my recent casting off of all things pro surfing and associated bankruptcy. I haven’t seen him surf that much.

However…I’m presuming he’s a massive underdog, in which case his odds are going to be TASTY, and in which case he’s probably MY NEW FAVOURITE SURFER! A classic heart bet with payout to match.

Plus, he’s Australian, and that’s alright with me. He’ll be getting a slice of my wife and kid’s future for sure.

So that’s that. I guess I’m back.

Fuck it, you are who you are.

Exclusive eyewitness reporting World Surf League number 3 Filipe Toledo involved in “huge scuffle” at Lower Trestles, ordered to the beach after young junior demands “Who do you think you are? The new local?”

Well do you, punk?

The World Surf League exciting but possibly also ill-considered final day at Lower Trestles is but a week away and can you feel the tension? The crackle? I can all the way from Nashville, Tennessee where I am preparing myself for a soccer game tonight followed, hopefully, by a hot chicken sandwich.

Filipe Toledo, world number 3 and set to face the winner of heat 2, can also feel it but much closer up for an eyewitness-adjacent is reporting, exclusively, to BeachGrit that the Brazilian aerial enthusiast was “ordered to the beach” yesterday and “complied” after angering a young hot sponsored junior who does not want to be named.


Scuffle at lowers point yesterday… Philip Toledo “sent in” by San Clemente locals. Lots of witnesses! Toledo dropping in on everybody… Pissing off the locals…. Young junior surfer, sponsored, that would like to remain anonymous got the wave of the day out the back a big set wave. Drops in and Toledo suddenly appears, tries to skirt around him with a high line. Young surfer knows he’s going to do this because he grew up at Lowers so he takes a high line too. As Toledo tries to pass him, young surfer grabs and holds on to Filipe’s wetsuit… and holds on the entire ride. At the end, there was a huge scuffle. Mostly verbal. Young kid is a hothead, demands that Toledo paddle in after asking, “Who do you think you are? … the new local?” Tensions were so bad at the peak that Toledo did decided to paddle in and go home.

Will the incident fire Toledo right up or will it cause his nerves to twitch and for him to lightly fail?

Does it change the way you will bet?

Who is your money on, by the way?

Exciting but possibly also ill-considered.

Happy Australian Father’s Day weekend to BeachGrit dads from the greatest player on the greatest team of the greatest game in sporting history!

Nothing but the best, for you.

We here, we are surfers from countries strewn all across this marvelous globe. Scotland to South Africa, France to Free Taiwan, Norway to Guinea both New and Old. We are not all men, Jen See is here, and we are not all fathers, Jonah Hill is here too, but we are mostly men and mostly fathers and in two short days Australian men are celebrated for being such.

Now, since BeachGrit is based in Australia, and since we are here, it is our duty to be celebrated too. Thus, I went out and recruited the greatest sportsman from the greatest team from the greatest sport in history, currently alive and waltzing this marvelous globe, to share his heartfelt congratulations to us all, to BeachGrit readers.


Collingwood Football Club’s Dane Swan of course.

Nothing beats Australian Rules Football, not soccer, basketball, cricket or ruby. Certainly not surfing which is not even a sport at all. No, footy is inarguably the best with its bouncing and its tackling and its guernseys. Collingwood is its best with its magpies and its “aggressive, unruly, profane” reputation and its rat pack. And Dane Swan is its best with his trophies and his tattoos and his leading that rat pack to glorious victory.

Nothing but the best of the best of the best for BeachGrit father-readers.


And you are very welcome, but if you are not satisfied with Dane Swan, and my Father’s Day gift, you can sort one out on your own, ungrateful bastard, using the brand-new personalized video messaging application memmo.me.

Ross Clarke-Jones is available.

Heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne Jonah Hill reveals he nearly drowned while swimming “blackout drunk” with Channing Tatum at Bondi Beach in eerie echo of famous scene from pair’s comedy-sequel masterpiece 22 Jump Street!

"I start to swim as hard as I can and I'm not going anywhere and so I'm like, 'This is how I die...'"

The comedy superstar Jonah Hill, more famous, recently, for his ascension to the throne of King of Malibu, has revealed he nearly drowned at Bondi Beach while on a promo tour for 21 Jump Street in Australia. 

Hill, now thirty-seven, had to be rescued by the beach’s famous lifeguards after diving “blackout drunk” into one of the beach’s notorious rip-tides, the event captured in a series of dramatic photographs, which you can examine here. 

Speaking to late-night talkshow host Conan O’Brien, Hill said, 

“We got off the plane and immediately we’re like, ‘Let’s go swimming!’ and so we go to Bondi Beach… and there’s such a bad riptide there that dumb tourists get off the plane and go swimming and drown, and get rescued.

“We go in the ocean and I start swimming and then what feels like a second later I look back and Chan’s (Tatum) about a mile away from me … He’s, like, by the beach taking pictures with people and I’m literally, like, head bobbing out, like, ‘What’s going on? Where am I?’

“I start to swim as hard as I can and I’m not going anywhere and so I’m like, ‘This is how I die…’ I am a guy who died in the ocean in Australia … wasted.

“Finally a guy comes out on a jet-ski and he’s like, ‘Hey mate, we gotta pull you in; you can die out here!’ He kinda pulls me in and then I start swimming and what’s crazy is there was paparazzi on the beach. Rarely in life do you tell a story that sounds ridiculous and there’s a picture that’s even more ridiculous than the actual story.

“We’re there for a week doing press and I open the newspaper and on the front page was, ‘Jonah Hill, actor, almost drowns’ and that picture is on the cover for all of Australia to see. Every interview we did started off with, ‘Heard you went for a swim yesterday… Somebody needs to get some floaties’.”

Two years later, Tatum and Hill would reprise the near-fatal event in the sequel to 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, with Tatum pulling his co-star from the surf in Puerto Rico. 

Buy cheap furniture, save the earth, ocean.

WSL announces collection with low-cost, disposable furniture company IKEA to “raise awareness about the climate challenge and inspire action to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans!”

We had to kill the earth in order to save it.

Ahh, 2019. Can you still remember it?

International travel was unrestrained. Instagram surf personalities hadn’t assumed their new roles as medical practitioners. The left/right political dichotomy was not yet fully redundant. Tongue kissing strangers in the street was still ok.

Did it really even happen?

Wisps of memory of life pre-Covid persist, though they quickly recede in our mind like some fevered dream. So you’d easily be forgiven for not recalling the partnership between the WSL and Nordic furniture giant IKEA announced back in June of that year.

It was a weird match.

Like Red Cross teaming up with Jack Daniels.

Or Kanye West with Marilyn Manson.

But this was our world back then.

Unbridled positivity. Anything was possible, if two profit-driven corporate bodies could put their mind to it.

Here’s a refresher:

“With around 70% of its surface covered by oceans, Earth is rightly known as the blue planet. The ocean is a major producer in the oxygen we breathe, making it a crucial part of our everyday life regardless of where we live. IKEA is teaming up with WSL to better understand the everyday life of people that have a mobile and active way of living in close rhythm with the ocean. There are 370 million people across the world interested in surfing and more than 40 million active surfers. No sport relies on the ocean as much as surfing, which is why sustainability and protecting the ocean are naturally important to surfers.”

So went the breathless press release, still quoting WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt (“We’re looking forward to working with IKEA on a product collaboration around plastic using ocean-bound plastic”).

But since the announcement there had been very little mention of the exciting collaboration.

No updates from Erik. No TikToks.

Three hundred and seventy million surfing interested persons had, presumably, turned their interest to more pressing issues.

Partnership canned. Gone to dust like so many other pre-covid plans.

But we were wrong. Boy, were we wrong.

Like some flat-packed Lazarus, the collab nobody ever asked for has risen again, just in time for Trestles.

Landing in the inboxes of surf industry leeches this week was an invite for a sneak peek at the new WSL x IKEA range, to coincide with the Fina Series at Trestles.

“Join world champions Italo Ferriera and Carissa Moore for an exclusive look at this surf-centric collection.”

It’s obvious when you think about it.

A dedicated team spending more than two years in deep R&D. Secreted away from the societal collapse the rest of us have been subjected to. Studying the everyday life of people that have a mobile and active way of living in close rhythm with the ocean.

Keen little Swedish hands beavering away with a million allen keys to produce a range of indispensable surf-adjacent products, feat. ocean bound plastics where possible, for our eager consumption.

Exciting times.

The Earth weeps with joy. Oceans saved etc, and all thanks to disposable furniture made in China and low-labour cost eastern European countries, Romania etc.

But seriously, wtf kind of ‘surf-centric’ product is Ikea going to come up with?


Hoping my long-suggested shoe horn/toilet brush invention makes the cut.