World’s most graceful surfer Stephanie Gilmore poised to become “greatest of all time” surpassing Layne Beachley, Kelly Slater, with Lower Trestles win!

History in the making.

I mocked, and mocked hard, when the World Surf League rolled out the concept of a super-charged final day, some who-knows-how-many months ago, pitting the top five surfers (both men’s and women’s) against each other for all the glory. Previously, organized professional surfing had hung itself on the tagline “It Takes a Tour to Make a Title.”

Now it takes a day.

Blah blah blah lame blah Gabriel Medina dominant blah blah Stephanie Gilmore.

Speaking of, the current world number four on the women’s side, and roughly 5000 points behind leader Carissa Moore, is in position to make history at Lower, Trestles (likely Sunday) with a win and another crown.

In so doing, Gilmore would vault from seven World Titles to eight thereby passing the great Layne Beachley.

Is Beachley made furious by this potential injustice? This quick changing of the rules?

Unfortunately no, for in a recent Guardian interview she proclaimed, “She’s already referred to as the GOAT. I don’t know how many more times she’s going to have to win before she truly lays claims to that. She’s already the GOAT and I’m not sure another world title will change that at all.”


Is Beachley actually the most graceful surfer in the world?


But back to this one day final nonsense, Pip Toledo scared out of the water, ‘Rissa Moore maybe coming undone by fate and history and Gilmore etc.

Pat O’Connell, architect of this great mess, was right.

We needed this.

It Takes a Day to Win Over Mentally Lazy and Challenged Surf Journalists.

Greek God, part-time Hawaiian, Laird Hamilton blows doors of perception off rusty hinges by officially surfing the world’s longest wave!


Days ago it was revealed, here, that Greek god and part-time Hawaiian Laird Hamilton had utterly stupefied the general public by swimming underwater whilst holding a dumbbell.  An amazing feat of strength, will, endurance and witnessed by big wave surfers Billy Kemper and Luca Padua.

What was unknown, at the time, was that two short months before, Hamilton had been foil surfing Chicama in Peru and may have just caught “the world’s longest wave.”

Footage captures Hamilton dressed in a black spring suit, holding a GoPro stick and effortlessly gliding a very wide red and yellow foil all over the steady, but not very shapely, left-hander.

I counted each and every second until I realized that this particular ride may not be “the longest in the world” as billed by much media but rather Chicama is “the longest wave in the world.”

“Laird Hamilton surfs world’s longest wave.”

Very opaque.

In any case, I was glad I watched and you are glad you watched too. Tom Brady begins his quest for another Super Bowl ring tonight with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His 22nd season under center.

Ageless like Kelly Slater, like Laird Hamilton.

The same as they ever were, the same as they ever will be.

How much would you imagine a broth made from the bones of Tom Brady, Kelly Slater or Laird Hamilton would go for on the open market?


Medina and Toledo, one like a sturdy Spanish tortilla, the other a little gem, with wisps of dill and a lemon vinaigrette. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@thserms

World title contender Filipe Toledo “goes missing” from Lower Trestles after “huge scuffle with local junior surfer” despite best swell of season and day before Finals Day waiting period begins!

Gabriel Medina’s coach Andy King says Filipe has been missing during the past two days of epic four-to-six-foot waves. 

Six days ago, the surf world was rocked by an eyewitness report alleging the San Clemente-based world title contender Filipe Toledo had been ordered to the beach by a hot young sponsored surfer. 

Allegedly etc, 

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.

That story burned brightly, as these sorts of things do, after injections of oxygen from Filipe’s furious daddy Ricardo, unhappy Brazilians online and, finally, after a reality check from a surf industry vet that these events happen every day at Lowers.

Now, Gabriel Medina’s coach Andy King, the Australian WQS pro from Cronulla who lost his hearing after a street fight in 2004 and who shifted to surf coaching after his tour comeback was stymied by his deafness, has claimed Filipe has been missing during the past two days of epic four-to-six-foot waves. 

Talking to our ol pals VD and Jed Smith on Ain’t That Swell, Andy said the “entire world” was down at Lowers, Conner Coffin, especially, a stand-out but… Filipe? 

King, who was on the beach for six hours each day during the swell, said he hadn’t seen him”since that run-in” and that “he hasn’t been in the water this entire swell. I don’t know what happened but I haven’t seen Filipe in the last two days of decent swell.” 

“Gone missing! Holy moly!” says Vaughan. 

King also predicted a Coffin victory over Filipe.

Listen here! Twenty-four and a bit minutes in.





Voice of professional surfing Joe Turpel pushes to outermost edges of sexual propriety, shocking female co-host with lewd-adjacent metaphor: “A good floater lingers briefly on the lip just like a first kiss from a hesitant lover.”


Joe Turpel has been the official voice of professional surfing ever since billionaire Dirk Ziff purchased the Association of Surfing Professionals for free in 2013, changing its name to World Surf League two years later. There he sits in the oftentimes pallet booth, skin caramelized, voice a steady flow of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup from an e-zee pour spout.

The broadcaster is rarely given to excess. When Australia’s Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark live, on air, during a heat, for example, Turpel, even-voice’d, suggested that he “hop on the sled and reset.”

But something, of late, has overtaken the man. As you know, Turpel is now, also, the voice of The Ultimate Surfer sitting there in a pallet booth next to his female cohost and last night he pushed to the very edge of sexual propriety.

Showing a clip of Gabriel Medina, Turpel explained, slower with much more body language than necessary, “Right there? That’s a floater. A good floater lingers… briefly on the lip just like a… first kiss from a… hesitant lover,” then made long and longing eye contact with her.

Which lover was hesitating left unsaid.

His cohost, clearly shocked, could only choke out, “Oh… well.”

And Joe Turpel, in the year 2021 when cancellation lurks around every corner, #MeToo still guillotining ol’ dinosaurs , decided this was his moment to smolder like it was 1960.

Mad man.

We can only hope that he is allowed to bring this heat to Lower Trestles.

Italo, wearing the tit-fruit of a man who enjoys lifting plates, and local enforcer The Sheriff.

Full-length feature film: The Curious Tales of Italo Ferreira!

The story of the ultra-vibrant Ferreira, who enjoys dressing in zoo-animal prints, is an  old and hackneyed one: but in Italo’s case it’s true.

The fifty-minute film, The Curious Tales of Italo Ferreira, draws on decades of friendships and shared histories of the reigning, at least for a few more days, world champion surfer from Baia Fermosa in northern Brazil.

The story of the ultra-vibrant Ferreira, who is twenty-seven, and who enjoys dressing in zoo-animal prints that are the hallmark of ebullient resort wear, is an old and hackneyed one: but in Italo’s case it’s true. The key to the pro surfing kingdom wasn’t presented to him on an upholstered velvet cushion via a dad that surfed, a benevolent sponsor and a training program where men stand on the beach under an umbrella filming the children for later review of technique.

Italo grew up in a fishing town in north-east Brazil, population eight thousand, called Baia Formosa; a joint where the only paved roads are the ones that lead into the village.

Italo’s pops would wander the beach and buy the catch of local fisherman and make his profit, a slender one but enough to feed his family, selling fish to restaurants.

His skinny son wanted to surf so Pops gave him the foam lid from the box he kept his fish in.

Eight-year-old Italo was so small it just worked on Baia’s little righthander.

Then, and in short order, an older friend who saw the boy’s love of surfing gifted him a fibreglass surfboard, he won the first contest he entered, moved onto regional events and then national, trying to win “cars, motorbikes and tickets to fly overseas.”

And so on.

Watch here.