Fugitive living in Sydney’s Northern Beaches turns himself in after 30 years on the lam, cites stringent Covid lockdown restrictions as reason: “Stuff it, I’ll go back to prison.”

Strange days.

A fugitive, at large for thirty years, turned himself in to a Sydney police station days ago citing the city’s stringent lockdown laws as his reasoning.

64-year-old Darko Desic, who appeared in court on Tuesday and was denied bail, had been living in Sydney’s tony Northern Beaches for three decades, a happy life filled with surf, or at the very least an idea of surf, and the Carroll brothers, Nick and Tom, nearby.

But Covid restrictions cost him his cash-in-hand job as a laborer and rendered him homeless. He slept on the beach for a few nights before deciding prison a better option, telling a friend, “Stuff it. I’ll go back to prison where there’s a roof over my head.”

Desic was originally arrested in 1992 for “raising marijuana.” He was giving a three-and-a-half year sentence, which he served 13-months of before cutting his way out of a centuries-old prison in Grafton.

Originally from Yugoslavia, he was worried he’d be deported but Australia officially made him a citizen, when on the lam, so he can chill in the relative freedom of prison unworried.

Very cool.

Italo fans, happy despite poor result. | Photo: Steve Sherman @tsherms

Construction boss from Colorado bests world champion surfer CJ Hobgood to win surfing’s most prestigious fantasy league; reveals amazing secret strategy!

Wins a thousand American dollars and custom Panda surfboard.

BeachGrit’s Surfival League launched this season as an alternate to Fantasy Surfer.

Think NFL football “Survivor League” for surf. 

Pick one surfer to advance past Round of 32 and you survive. 

Survive longer than everyone else and win a thousand American dollars and a custom Panda Surfboard.

The Surfival League came down to the final event, where 11 members (including 2001 World Champ CJ Hobgood) battled for the top spot.

Mark Bocksch, from Frisco, a pretty little ski town in Colorado, outlasted 300+ Surfivors to take the title. 

He had Gabriel Medina winning and picked a combined heat score of 34, only .11 away from the actual total and .03 away from runner-up CJ Hobgood.

Bocksh, who grew up surfing, moved to Colorado twenty years ago to bang his snowboard down mountains (four resorts are nearby, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain etc.) 

He heard about the Surfival League while listening to The Grit! podcast with Chas Smith and Davey Scales. 

“t seemed easy enough. I’ve never played any kind of fantasy surfer before but decided to give this a try,” he says. 

His strategy was simple. 

“Definitely didn’t want to pick who David Lee Scales and Chas Smith were picking (Editors note: they were both out within the first four events) and I didn’t try to get fancy. I just picked the best surfer at each event. My strategy for the final was picking Gabe and for the combined heat score I just cracked a beer and thought about it. I came up with 34. The final heat score was 33.89.”

How’d he feel when he won? 

“I couldn’t believe it. I was watching the final and reading the BeachGrit comment section and just could not believe I Surfived.”

The last time Bocksh surfed was in mid-July in Encinitas, real close to Chas as it happens. He says he’ll be back out there in November where he’ll shred his new custom Panda. 

Says he’ll be ordering the Dolly Dagger from the Panda site, maybe the Shiitake. 

“I actually only looked this morning at the website because I didn’t want to jinx it. The dolly dagger looked interesting and also the shiitake. I’m not the smallest guy so I want more foam.”

What else?

“I’ll take my jet ski parade whenever you guys are ready. Thanks so much for putting this on, it was a blast. I’ll be drywalling and smiling the rest of the day.”

See y’all at Pipe in January!

Listen: There is only one extravaganza that can beat the wildly successful World Surf League Finals Day and that is “Ben Gravy vs. The World!”

...a celebration of the everyman and graceful aging.

Are you still high from the World Surf League’s inaugural Finals Day there on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles? I certainly am. Soaring on every single heat mattering, on one surfer sent packing every 30-odd minutes, on Kelly Slater blossoming into the greatest commentator of all-time, on Erik Logan emerging from a cocoon of colorful kook as a fully formed cocaine cowboy in the midst of an extramarital affair.

It was a beautiful production and Santa Monica should be praised but I thought of an even better production, on the fly, whilst chatting with David Lee Scales today.

Ben Gravy vs. The World.

The impetus came from Clifton James Hobgood, who called into the show to proffer an even better idea that I’ll make you listen to purely because CJ sounds so deliciously much like Matthew McConaughey, and my wheels began spinning.

What if BeachGrit produced a competition where, monthly, YouTube sensation Ben Gravy would surf against one aging star after another, each slightly older than the last, until beating one? Think: Gravy vs. Hobgood – New Jersey, Gravy vs. Occhilupo – Snapper, Gravy vs. Tom Curren – Mainland Mex, Gravy vs. Shaun Tomson – Rincon…

Scales thought Gravy would beat Tomson at Rincon. I think Ian Cairns at Lowers and that’s the fun of the format… what age, and which star, does the very popular and lovable Gravy take down?

A celebration of both the everyman and graceful aging.

Magnificent, no?

We also talked about the importance disliking your neighbors and what it takes for a man to suddenly, and radically, upgrade his look.

Definitively our best show yet.

Listen here.

Famous Hollywood fairy Orlando Bloom shares video of himself paddleboarding next to Great White Shark: “When fear becomes your friend!”


Actor Orlando Bloom, famous for playing the fairy Legolas in Peter Jackson’s brilliant adaptation of J.R.R. Tokien’s The Lord of the Rings, wowed fans and the rapper 2 Chainz overnight by posting a clip of himself paddleboarding next to a great white shark.

The short video, featuring Bloom using his paddleboard more like a Native-American-adjacent canoe, depicts the 44-year-old Englishman slowly moving up on the shark from behind then cruising along next to it.

He captioned it, “When fear becomes your friend.”

The video was captured off the coast of Malibu by Carolos Guana who said, “In this clip, I filmed @orlandobloom next to a nicely sized juvenile white shark. The opportunity to share some of my knowledge with Orlando, knowledge I’ve gained from the many scientists I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to and work with, was a highlight of my day. In the end, the real stars of the sea are the sharks. But having Legolas himself nearby. That’s pretty cool!”

Pretty cool indeed.

Rapper 2 Chainz, though, was unmoved and commented, “Hellllll Naw.”

Bloom’s partner Katy Perry added, “Next time go out and put some peanut butter on babe.”

I have no idea what that means.

Do sharks like peanut butter?

Or is it a shark deterrent?

Funny like when peanut butter is applied to the roof of a dog’s mouth?

More as the story develops?

The best portrait of Gabriel Medina after title win! By the king of reportage, the beautiful Steve Sherman. | Photo: @tsherms

Beloved philanthropist and surfboard pioneer reveals the shocking detail newly crowned world champion surfers Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina missed in their victory speeches!

Can you guess? Do you know? Oowee etc.

At the conclusion of a golden Tuesday in San Clemente, and moments after a suddenly handsome“cocaine cowboy” WSL CEO was revealed, the two world champs were crowned and victory speeches made. 

Joe Turpel reached over to Gabriel Medina and explained that he’d been “teaching us to smile, teaching us to win.” 

Gabriel thanked his fans in Portuguese and, in English, praised a divine influence (“All the order and glory goes to God”) and credited his wife Yasmin for “making me comfortable even when it was stormy.”

Carissa thanked “my family, my friends, my amazing husband.”

After some thought she also thanked her coach, Newcastle’s Mitch Ross, and which point Gabriel remembered he must also thank his coach, Cronulla’s Andy King. 

I didn’t hear, or note, the shocking detail missed. 

One man who did, howevs, was pioneering surfboard shaper, Nev Hyman, who made his name, first with Nev Surfboards, later with Firewire, and who recently caused a ruckus with his plan to make billions out of selling pre-fab houses to Third World countries (the ruckus quickly subsided after he issued a stinging rebuttal on BeachGrit.)

Writing on Instagram, 

“Awesome wins for Gabriel and Carissa (love heart emoji and BIPOC shaka… But how is that shapers, Biolos and Cabianca don’t rate a mention in the acceptance speeches?”

A little rough, yeah?

Like Louie Hamilton forgetting to thank Mercedes; like Jimmy Le Bron ignoring his Nike masters.

I texted Biolos and asked if he was sad or nonplussed; he said he didn’t notice.

I didn’t hit up Johnny Cabianca ’cause of the time diff. Also, ’cause I’m so starstruck with the man. He a genius. Most underrated shaper in the world. He could lift my glistening sex works in his palm and I’d be thrilled.

Too bad he didn’t get a lil shout-out.

What’s the feeling on the street?

And, Nev, to pro surfers,

“Please, pro surfers…show some love to the world for the crew who make the surfboards under your feet that take you to your podiums of well earned glory. (we all know you love and respect them!!)”