Mikey Wright's brother Owen, pictured.
Mikey Wright's brother Owen, pictured.

World Surf League announces 2022 Championship Tour wildcards, dropping jaws by including exciting one-time prodigies Kolohe Andino, Owen Wright!

It's a whole new world of surf.

Yesterday afternoon, middle-Friday I believe, the World Surf League shocked the actual surf world by dropping the wildcard slate for the 2022 Championship Tour season.

Per the press release:

Today the World Surf League (WSL) Tours and Competition Team announced the WSL wildcards for the 2022 Championship Tour (CT) season: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA), and Owen Wright (AUS).

These athletes will join the qualifiers from the 2021 Championship Tour, as well as the current surfers competing on the 2021 Challenger Series. There are two events remaining in the Challenger Series, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France and the Haleiwa Challenger, which will determine the final Challenger Series rankings and the qualifiers to the elite CT.

“We’re excited to welcome these surfers back on the Championship Tour as the 2022 season Wildcards,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “Lakey and Kolohe sustained injuries early in the season, with both athletes missing a total of five events in the last season. Malia and Owen both had good results in 2021, and were very close from requalifying for 2022 at the end of the season. All four surfers had proven performances over the recent years and earned a spot among the world’s best.”

Kolohe Andino and Owen Wright are, of course, one-time prodigies. Andino, son of professional surfing father Dino, hails from San Clemente, California.

Wright, whose brother Mikey recently retired from the tour, will join sister Tyler who remains on the women’s side.

Peterson and Manuel will also join Tyler on the women’s side. Both bringing much promise with them.

Unannounced was winner of The Ultimate Surfer Zeke Lau.

Fresh blood everywhere.

Gabriel Medina’s family feud goes nuclear; allegations of wild sex tape from drunken party in Rio; Yasmin Brunet to sue! “Another lie created to attack me would be about a supposed homosexual relationship. As if living a love was something that would offend.”

"I don't agree with machismo. Just as my life also has no room for homophobia."

Earlier this year, Brazil media reported that Gabriel Medina had split, in a professional as well as a private sense, from his mammy Simone and his step-daddy Charlie Serrano.

Charlie you know as the ubiquitous, unsmiling, ever-supportive pillar behind his equally taciturn looking son.

The split was driven, it was said, by Medina’s surprise marriage to thirty-three-year-old actress and Swimsuit Illustrated model Yasmin Brunet, parental sadness over losing their lil man, the ol’ empty nest syndrome.

A few weeks back, mammy and Charlie put the Gabriel Medina Institute which they got in the breakup deal onto the market, seeking two mill or so. As well, Gabriel slashed mammy’s allowance from five to three-and-a-half gees a month.

Now, journalist Leo Dias from Metropóles is reporting that Gabriel has blocked mammy Simone on social media after she allegedly claimed to have a sex tape of a real young Yasmin.

Wasn’t real kind about Yasmin’s mum, either. 

“She was really crazy at a party at her condo in Rio. Drunk, in the parking lot, doing this to a guy and then throwing up,” Simone allegedly wrote to her son.

Simone’s alleged message stream to her world champ son, Gabriel.

Dias reports Yasmin and Luiza are going to sue Simone for defamation.

On Thursday, Yasmin posted a rebuttal on Instagram. 

Out of respect for my fans and Gabriel, I want to express myself about some news that came out this week. One of them says that there is an intimate video of me in possession of a family member of my husband. This information is not valid. There is no such material. And it never existed. However, I need to emphasise that, even if it did, it is regrettable to want to diminish a woman’s sexuality, to be owners of our bodies and desires.

I would have nothing to be ashamed of and no woman would either. I don’t agree with machismo. Just as my life also has no room for homophobia. Another lie created to attack me would be about a supposed homosexual relationship. As if living a love was something that would offend… And that kind of attitude saddens me these days. I value respect for women and for all those who live their loves.

And I’m just going public, because Gabriel and I are tired of this spectaculation of our lives. And also to put an end to these speculations and creations, which are a pitiful attempt to try to attack my honour. 

With or without video, with or without a same-sex relationship, I, all women and all LGBTQIA+ deserve respect.

Richie Vas, properly poised. Photo: Rod Owen (owenphoto.com.au)
Richie Vas, properly poised. Photo: Rod Owen (owenphoto.com.au)

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.