"The most proud thing of all of this is that I finally beat Kelly at something. So remember that." | Photo: WSL

Surfing ultra-purist Joel Tudor stomps best in biz to win world longboard crown, “I finally beat Kelly Slater at something, oldest world champ!”

Third log crown for Joel Tudor…

The ultra-purist and black belt grappler Joel Tudor has become the sport’s oldest-ever world champion, winning the log crown, aged forty-five, beating the Brit Ben Skinner at two-foot Malibu. 

Tudor won his first log world title in 1998 in the Canary Islands and number two in Biarritz, 2004. 

Before today’s final Tudor said,

“I was at a Final here decades ago, the last time the WSL decided a World Title at Malibu, and I lost in the final to Russ K (Keaulana). Winning here all these years later would be a heck of a way to top off a pretty good run. You need to have goals, it gets you up in the morning. Winning another Title off this incredible field of talent won’t be easy, but I have a lot of experience at that wave and I intend to give it everything I’ve got to pull out the event win and the Title.” 

Pretty funny thing happened on the way to the final, at least in the commentary booth, which featured the cutest of Malibu’s Marshall Brothers, Chad. 

When Joel’s daddy Joe swung into frame, Marshall Bro referenced the 1994 Titles, when Joe and Hawaiian Lance Hookano beat the hell out of a kneeboarder who wouldn’t leave the contest area. 

The kneelo got fifteen stitches and a separated shoulder. 

Described as “a fist-flinging, hair-pulling melee would have made the Beach Boys blanch”, footage of the fight appeared in the Chris Bystrom film Longboarding is Not a Crime. 

“I find it excruciatingly embarrassing,” said Nick Carroll. “I guarantee you that quite a few surfers are hanging their heads in shame. I don’t know of a world-class surfer that would have behaved that way.”

Anyway, Chad brought it up, Kaipo freaked and shut down the direction of the convo with “Oh, but we don’t talk about that.” 

After his win Tudor said,

“The most proud thing of all of this is that I finally beat Kelly at something. So remember that.”

(Slater won the 2011 world title a few months shy of his fortieth birthday.)


Brazen 69-year-old “core lord” bodyboarder attempts to shred oil slicked Huntington Beach, gets chased to shore by lifeguard on ski!

Live by the boogie, die by the boogie.

Near a week and a half ago, a burst pipeline off Huntington Beach leaked over 144,000 gallons of crude oil. The disaster shuttered beaches from Surf City down to Laguna as black ugly washed up on the sand, coated birds etc. Businesses began filing suit against Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. while calculating potential future losses.

Mike Ali, who owns beach rental shop Zack’s very near the bike path, said customer traffic is down by 90% since the spill and he expects it to be two years before normal returns.

Some hope yesterday’s beach re-openings will help. Huntington crews have been testing the water daily and have declared there are no detectable levels of oil-associated toxins.

69-year-old core lord bodyboarder Richard Beach didn’t wait for the official word, though, and tried to sneak some el rollos in before re-opening except was rebuffed by a lifeguard on a ski, who chased him back to the sand.

“The water’s perfect,” he told KTLA news, frustrated by the shortening of his solo session. “Clear all the way to the bottom.”

Time and time again, bodyboarders have proven themselves to be the most fearless derelicts in the surf pantheon. From conquering slabs to drop-kneeing to never ever having a hope of making a career to no coaches to little respect they are what we should all hope to be, internally, while standing proud on fiberglassed foam.

Long live, Richard Beach.

Long live the boogie.


P. 49 / Kai Lenny, Pe‘ahi, 2021, photo by Mike Coots.

Hawaiian darling, multi-talented Kai Lenny set to be forever immortalized in stunning new hardcover book “Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of our Lives!”

A phenom.

Now, is there anything Maui’s Kai Lenny cannot do? Conquer oceanic mountains on all manner of craft, paddle between his islands like it was nothing at all, befriend the world’s 5th richest man and teach him to fly, charm two aging recently converted fitness buffs, revive the long-thought dead art of hardback book publishing.

No, there is nothing he cannot do and, regarding the later, his gorgeous immortalization, published by Rizzoli, is due out October, 26th.

Per the press release:

A jaw-dropping photographic narrative, Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of Our Lives features the biggest and most dangerous waves and the legendary men and women who risk their lives to surf them. The most expansive book of its kind, this lush volume collects a vast array of contributions from over 30 of the best big wave surfers today.

Over the last decade, a handful of surfers have been progressing the sport of big wave surfing to new extremes. Kai Lenny, one of the preeminent big wave surfers, offers readers a glimpse into this world sharing his personal stories and perspectives, and inviting the world’s best surfers—from legends who pioneered the way to young guns who are the future of the sport—to contribute personal tales of the greatest waves ever ridden. Also included in the book are the best women big wave surfers in the world, and their incredible stories—from barrier-breaking moments to competing in their first ever competitions in a historically male-dominated sport.

That list of male domination includes our Pete Mel, Laird Hamilton, Shane Dorian, Lucas Chumbo, Ian Walsh and many more. Keala Kennelly, of course, barrier breaking.

The book will cost $60 U.S. though add much more value to any coffee table it graces.

Maybe difficult to jump over, though, which might be taken into consideration.

Buy here.


Movie star Great White in upcoming thriller The Wreck.

Australian fisherman caught Great White shark, removed its monitoring tag and set off hoax shark alerts twenty seven times, claim authorities!

Senior cop says the man’s alleged prank was “irresponsible” and that it caused “unnecessary fear.” 

In the latest story of Man vs Great White sharks from Albany, a former whaling city two hundred and fifty miles south of Perth, a man has been charged with stealing after allegedly removing the monitoring tag from a Great White and using it for over a month to set off shark warnings twenty-seven times. 

Albany police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Hugh Letessier told The West Australian the man’s alleged handiwork was “irresponsible” and that it caused “unnecessary fear.” 

Cops say the 48-year-old man caught the White in his nets, took off its monitoring tag and released the fish alive.

Gangster move, I think, finding a White wrapped up with your catch, delicately removing the acoustic device, which is surgically inserted in its belly, and setting a pretty pissed off man-eater free without harm to yourself or fish.

And, pretty funny, to use it as an ongoing prank.

How he allegedly did it wasn’t explained, perhaps it’ll come out when he fronts the Albany magistrates court on November 4, and searching for a charge all the cops could get him for was one count of stealing. 

It’s not the first time, nor I wager the last, Albany’s fisher-people have fallen foul of the law while interacting with Great Whites. 

Seven months ago, a Western Australian judge booted an Albany deckhand from his job for one year and fined him twelve-and-a-half-gees for posing with two Great Whites after dragging ’em, dead, out of his nets.

His skipper was fined twenty gees and his fishing license was suspended for his part in the event. 

The selfie-skipper back when he had an extra twenty gees in the bank.

Fisheries officers were put on the case after someone reported finding sharks with their jaws hacked out in a nearby river.

Magistrate Dianne Scaddan described the pair posing with the Great Whites as “barbaric” and “vulgar”, two hitherto unknown offences.


"And then this black belt tried an inside trip, I stepped over it, grabbed his lapel, trapped an arm and threw that poor fool to the ground. Oh, boy, I'm shredding on the mat."

Confession: “I was grotesquely complicit in the demonisation of the vulnerable adult surfer but through daily suffocation and strangulation learned to find common ground, even empathy, for VALS!”

What happens when a lifelong surfer gets caught in the snare of a new game? When his excitement overcomes normal protocols and he’s compelled to share his “precious” experience and his glorious new mission? 

The dreadful affair of the vulnerable adult learner surfer, the great replacement championed by the WSL, has been documented at length on BeachGrit, gifting its writers a brilliant hunting season. 

Our game-bags filled quickly and early. 

Headlines included, 

From The End-is-Night dept: VALS are the future surf, an apocalyptic scenario too real to ignore, Brave Professor at the Surf Institute declares war on Malibu VALS, Can a vulnerable adult learner actually show us the way?, Killers: Leashless VALS overrun Gold Coast, and so on for years.

It culminated with a series on Academy Award-nominated actor, the sexy no-longer-a-butterball Jonah Hill, anointed patron saint of VALS in, Actor and new Malibu local Jonah Hill cements position as “patron saint of VALS” with release of first epic surf shot, Actor famous for playing “sexless butterballs” and VAL pioneer Jonah Hill buys $9 million “windowless monolith” at Malibu colony, Heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne Jonah Hill pulls ultimate power move; woos an wins heart of surf instructor. 

There’s quite a few more but y’get the picture. 

The gravest crime of the VAL, as you know, is his, her, their, enthusiasm for the sport. Eyes bright, happy they’ve found a brother, sis, in arms, they’ll engage about your fins (“Dunno, had ‘em lying around”), the volume of your surfboard (“Ah, five-nine by nineteen, maybe two-and-three-eights”), leash length (“Had it for five years, comp cord, maybe”) and so on. 

And we roll our eyes and we yawn. 

But what happens when a lifelong surfer gets caught in the snare of a new game? When his excitement overcomes the normal protocols of conversation and he’s compelled to share his “precious” experience and his glorious mission with his new comrades? 

Jiujitsu is full of vulnerable adult learners and I was, still am, one of ‘em.

I should’ve been acutely aware of my station, that the camaraderie I felt with my rolling partners was a chimera; that the friendship and the trust they felt was something only available to those who had spent years strangling each other.

Like surfing, grappling gyms see a lot of people swing through, get all hot for the sport, find it too hard, and split after a few months. 

So, and like surfers, a newcomer is viewed through slit-eyes and a restrained engagement. Talk to me in five years is the unspoken order.

But, man, like a VAL you just can’t help yourself. Gimme some single-leg takedown tips, show me how to finish that kimura, look at this buggy choke/fly-trap on Instagram, let me drill the flying armbar with you, brother. 

It’s the jiujitsu equivalent of riding a two-thousand dollar eight-foot log at Malibu, struggling to one knee in the whitewash, raising your arms and yelling ‘tube’.

When I spar, I thrash like a panicked chicken in a hen-roost. My elbows hit black belts in the face, knees belt ‘em in the guts. 

My precious WHOOP strap, hidden under my Gi with a bicep sleeve, records the whole tragedy.

In the case below, we see a ten-minute roll before class with my kid. My heart redlines at 180 beats per minute as the ten-year veteran of the sport sends me into a blind panic with multiple multi-limb attacks. I have to leave the room briefly, sick at heart, holding my breath. 

The hour-long class that follows is a piece of cake, alongside other beginners, doesn’t kick the heart beyond 155. 

Couple that with a fifty-two minute surf in a rip-bowl that requires constant paddling, and where my heart doesn’t quite hit 180 but does stay above 145 for most of it, WHOOP under a John John Florence rubber band, and I almost hit the mythical strain level of 21. 

(Quick reminder: the WHOOP records strain on a scale from zero to 21 over the course of the day, zero being David Lee Scales, 21, Kai Lenny. Twenty-one re represents the max cardio load you can handle in a day. The WHOOP doesn’t measure miles, steps, so much as how your body is responding when you do it.)

And, yet, and still, back at jiujisu I VAL out every chance I get. 

For my jiujitsu podcast I mention to my black belt pal Johnny that I plan on getting a trademark move from each of our guests, a double-leg takedown from MMA guy Richie Vas, a heel-hook from leg strangler Jeremy Skinner, a guillotine from Brazilian superstar Charles Negromonte. 

Johnny looks at me.

He surfs. He’s seen it before, the enthusiasm, the joy, the need for connection, camaraderie. 

“Don’t,” he says. 

Next week: Is jiujitsu gonna work in a surf fight?