Richie Vas, properly poised. Photo: Rod Owen (
Richie Vas, properly poised. Photo: Rod Owen (

Surf Journalist recognizes need for baseline general fitness as he prepares to train for greatest trilogy fight of the decade!

Explosion at Surf Expo.

Last week found me purposing in my very heart to strive for greatness, once again. To be a good example to children everywhere, David Lee Scale’s included, and challenge my erstwhile nemesis to the greatest trilogy in fight history even better than Fury versus Wilder.

Noble and savage.

Except, the last time I properly fought was a lifetime ago and in a suburban Sydney still brave and free. My opponent was the notable slab weaver, mixed martial artist, Maroubra Boy Richie “Vas” Vaculik who had inexplicably agreed to the match. I trained some Brazilian Jiujitsu in the morning, took a short kickboxing lesson in the afternoon, met him in the ring as night strangled light.

The thing I remembered most was exhaustion. Pure physical exhaustion after mere seconds of bouncing around the ring getting my kidneys kicked, temples lightly socked.

Sweat pouring, sweat blinding me, gasping for breath. Eventually, near the end of round one, I threw a punch, dislodged my shoulder from its socket and mercifully disgusted Richie and his trainer into grimacing and refusing to continue.


Fighting is tiring.

Lesson learned, and remembered, I knew I would have to achieve some semblance of fitness before the next Explosion at Surf Expo.

Now, previously, I had been the sort to declare “surfing is my workout” except outfitted with the latest and greatest in fitness tracking technology, the WHOOP 4.0, I realized that surfing not, in fact, a workout or at least not the way I surf.

Average session (Album twin fin) on one of Cardiff-by-the-Sea’s handful of reefs (Pipe’s, Turtles) did not register as an “activity.”

WHOOP knows all, knows when heartrate soars, know when body is strained, knows when it is not. If the sleek black strap senses any sort of exertion it quickly logs, later asking via the easy-to-navigate cellular smartphone application what sort of activity it was. Sometimes it guesses, always correctly.

Three things are constantly being calculated: Strain, Recovery and Sleep. Strain, as Derek Rielly elucidated, is measured on a scale of 0 to 21. A day spent in David Lee Scale’s Adidas would register somewhere in the medium to upper 4s. A day spent perched on a Corinthian leather stool, under zinc countertop, dissecting world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater’s motives, drinking Grey Goose and sodas would register somewhere in the low to medium 5s.

Surfing, or at least the way I surf, would register in the medium 7s and, again, not an “activity.”

I took two things from this valuable information. I need to surf harder and kick above 10 every day, if I hoped to steal the heavyweight crown as a super middleweight.

Kick above 15 probably.

Let me tell you, kicking above 10 is no easy thing. WHOOP is a cruel, heartless trainer, which is what makes it oh so good. The amount of sweat pouring, grimacing, matters not. Laps can be run, exhaustion felt, WHOOP comes back with a shrug. It cares not for disposition.

Here, for instance, is a day that I ran around the park doing intermittent pushups and planking very sweaty.

Here is a day that I ran three miles to the train station to pick up an abandoned car doing intermittent pushups along the way.

My legs didn’t work right after the train station jaunt and I knew I needed to get stronger, fitter, faster. I knew that my piecemeal approach, as clearly evidenced by WHOOP, would not cut it.

I needed my Cousin Danny, locked up for a second stretch after robbing southern California banks at a record clip, getting out, heisting some art and jewels then re-pivoting to banks before getting locked up again.

I needed prison fit.

Tom Morey, Carlsbad, CA, 1975. | Photo: Archives EOS

Free-thinking inventor of the boogie board and surfing hall-of-famer, Tom Morey, dead at 86: “Hello. I am a spaceman. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Bob Simmons!”

"The world is an old-fashioned place to me. Everything I see can be improved."

One of surfing’s great gifts to the world, the inventor Tom Morey, has died a couple of months after his eighty-sixth birthday. 

Ol Tom wasn’t in the best shape. He was blind and broke, pretty much, despite the outrageous success of the boogie board, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this July. 

A fundraiser was created a few years ago to help him and his wife Marchia get through the tough times brought on by the usual catastrophic medical bills and so forth; a hundred gees giving a little comfort in his final years on earth.

Morey, whose $1500 Tom Morey Invitational was the first surfing event to throw its competitors a little cash, invented the 4’6”, 23” wide foam boog in 1971; it was more than a toy for kids to hold onto in shorebreaks, he explained, this was a profound shift in waveriding. 

“For anybody to become a graduate of this planet,” Morey who would sell out of his Boogie biz four years later thereby missing the rivers of gold said, “it is essential that they learn to enjoy this activity.”

That same year, Morey wrote a piece in Surfer magazine called Space Boards, a widely futuristic take on what surfing is and what surfboards could be. 

“I am a spaceman. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Bob Simmons, taken possession, temporarily, of the innocent body known here on earth as Tom Morey,” he wrote. “I (we, really) am looking at your surfboards of today and thinking they are junk.” 

In 1999, Morey changed his name to Y explaining in a press release that it’s “easy to say and hear” and “the symmetric look of ‘Y’ is quite pleasing.”

When I asked Pipe shredder and nine-time bodyboard world champ Mike Stewart if he’d heard Tom had died he wrote, 

“Took his last breath today and now paddling into perfection.” 

Listen: Extreme sport fans infuriated by august publication The Surfer’s Journal gracing cover with beautiful Nathan Fletcher throw away air!

Omertà life.

The unstated codes, silent rules, of extreme sports including skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing are what makes our games so very beautiful. Don’t photo the spot, don’t say where you are going, never feature an un-stuck air on cover of increasingly rare printed magazines.

The Surfer’s Journal, maybe the purest paper and ink out there, just violated the third, featuring a gorgeous shot of Nathan Fletcher soaring so high, out the back, into splashdown on its latest wrapping and camps quickly pitched.

“An iconic moment.”

“No no.”

I love the omertà but am also undecided-adjacent here, though not really.

Omertà life.

My wife, Circe Wallace, anyhow, graciously swung into the weekly recording of The Grit! podcast to provide proper insight on the matter at hand. She, an ex-professional snowboarder, has represented some of the best extreme athletes of our generation and has a far more valuable opinion.

Also a far more valuable offering in her, and legendary agent Sue Izzo’s, Sport Management Mastermind.

Do you have a kid with any sort of potential? Very much worth a sign up.

As it relates, Matt Biolos told a homeschool surf kid that “Your parents suck” in a surf shop.

My newly homeschooled young daughter was in studio today, too, offering her own insight.

A family affair.

Listen here.

Malibu surf prince Jonah Hill maintains deafening silence as fans savagely bully 63-year-old actress Sharon Stone: “Clearly you’re too much of an old hag to read important stuff life this.”

"Sharon are you f*cking square?"

Late last evening Hollywood funnyman and heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne Jonah Hill took to Instagram with a heartfelt message, writing, “I know you mean well but ask that you not comment on my body good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”

The response was universally positive with famous actors/actresses, models, chefs all weighing in to praise Hill’s position.

The 63-year-old starlet Sharon Stone added her blessing too, asking, “Can I say you look good cuz u do” adding one fire emoji for emphasis.

Well, the universal positivity directed toward Hill quickly turned to black, bubbling rage when pointed at Stone.

No insult off limits.

The fans went haywire, impolitely screaming at the Sliver star that she was dumb, old, a boomer, illiterate, deaf and in need of help, square amongst other barbs. A relentless stream of severe bullying except, remarkably, not one note from Hill himself asking to maybe tone down the vitriol and forgive Stone for being completely out of line and complimenting.

Deafening silence.

Standing quietly by, beatific smile on Buddha face, watching Stone get torn limb from limb.

Maybe ultra-sensitivity is a one-way street?

Jonah Hill fans bare fangs, viciously round on Sharon Stone after Fatal Attraction star compliments heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne: “Can i say you look good cuz you do (fire)”

"way to blatantly disregard the boundary he JUST blatantly set."

Yesterday, not even twelve hours ago, fans of Hollywood funnyman Jonah Hill bared their gleaming fangs and viciously rounded on the 63-year-old actress Sharon Stone over a seemingly compliment paid to the heir of Miki Dora’s Malibu throne.

The business got started when Hill uploaded an earnest message to Instagram reading, “I know you mean well buy I kindly ask that you not comment on my body (heart) good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”

The mainstream media speculated the post was in reference to a recent adulatory US Weekly candid spread.

In February, the Superbad actor addressed his newfound freedom, taking off shirt in public, after years of sensitivity. “Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers,” he said. “So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can’t phase me anymore is dope. I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself.”

His latest post was met with much love and respect. The artist SZA commented, “Absolutely love you. Thank you!!!” Saturday Night Live alum Aidy Bryant shared a green check mark. Beanie Feldstein, who appears as Monica Lewinsky in the new program Impeachment: American Crime Story added, “That’s (clap) my (clap) brother (clap).”

The trouble began when Sharon Stone noted, “Can i say you look good cuz you do (fire emoji)”

The fallout was instantaneous and universally damning with Hill fans digging in, tearing out hunks of flesh.

“wtf that’s literally the point of the post.”

“Be better, Sharon.”

“he said NO!!!”

“no, boomer.”

“Read the post again (eye roll).”

“u don’t seem to understand the assignment.”

“way to blatantly disregard the boundary he JUST blatantly set.”

On and on and on it cascaded with universal disdain for the Basic Instinct lead.

Difficult to see how Stone survives the hold down.

A heavy heavy wave.