Surf journalist (pictured) living best life on Black Friday.
Surf journalist (pictured) living best life on Black Friday.

Armed with bounty of insight, Surf Journalist takes on most audacious health and fitness challenge yet; heads to America’s favorite department store on America’s biggest shopping day!

Alright, alright, alright.

It all comes down to this. Heading to America’s favorite department store on America’s biggest shopping day. I should be going to the best surf shop on the west coast, Real Surf in Oceanside, but I will go there tomorrow plus it wouldn’t activate my stressors, pump my strain, test my resolve.

No, I have been training, and training hard, for moments like this. In the past, I would have road raged, gotten into a parking lot fight, displayed a very bad attitude in the aisles snapping at young daughter snapping at overwrought employees, snapping at everything but a robust expression of American capitalism.

Now, I have a personalized health and wellness coach, a WHOOP strap that allows me to know thyself, physically, monitor heart rate, respiratory function, strain thereby derailing a public bout of bad behavior.

I woke up after a Thanksgiving bacchanal and first checked yesterday’s strain…

…a whooping 14.1 due putting turkey in the oven, stressing about turkey’s doneness, pulling turkey out of the oven, general hosting etc.

But my recovery, at an impressive 80%, let me know I was ready for more.

So I agreed to head out amongst it, to Target, knowing that I could handle the load.

I parked the car, checked my heart’s beats per minute, a relatively chill 81, checked my lung’s repository rate per minute, a reasonable 14.6 meaning I was “within or near my normal range.”

I entered the madness heading first to the toy section, next to the electronics section, last to the Christmas ornament section keeping a steady eye on my vitals.

Rising but no need to panic, no need to panic, no need to panic.

And when I felt the need to panic, I re-consulted with my WHOOP and remembered there was no need to panic.

Having hard data, as opposed to untethered emotional flights of fancy, is a Black Friday gift and I exited the sliding glass doors L.O.L. OMG doll in hand, Christmas lights under arm, knowing that I was alright.

Alright, alright, alright.

I would have surfed instead of shopped but America’s economy needs me today plus it is still super flat.


Happy Black Friday.

Open Thread: Comment Live Day One of the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger!

Turkey trot!

New $500,000 electric jet ski, brainchild of “white hat hacker,” promises to revolutionize big wave surfing: “It’s a different kind of beast!”

Wish list.

Expensive toys for the ultra-rich can and should be laughed at early and often by The People™. Superyachts and candy apple green Lambos, personalized home DJ set-ups and Richard Mille watches but just this Black Friday morning I read of a $500,000 jet ski that seems must-have.

The Maverick GT Jet RIB and Energy Platform was designed by a tech entrepreneur and “white hat hacker” Nico Sell who very much enjoys the extreme sport lifestyle. She decided it was high time this world had an electric sled that could turn into a tender that could also power a house.

“Mavericks is one of the seven wonders of the world for surfers, along with Nazare and Jaws,” Sell told luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report. “Big-wave surfers depend on jet skis to tow them into big waves and be rescued when things go wrong, but Mavericks is in a marine reserve and Jaws eats jet skis regularly.”

The Maverick GT “runs silently enough to not disturb marine life” but also can outrace any wave with its 350 hp H3X 3-D-printed electric engine that is “significantly more powerful than other personal watercraft now on the water, giving it a top speed of 70-plus mph and range of 50 to 100 miles. The Maverick GT also has more torque, to be able to navigate surf that can run as high as 100 feet. It also converts into a boat by attaching to a custom-designed RIB.”

Sell’s partner, Alex Halvorssen said the initial idea came during a contest at Mavericks.

“We actually had the discussion at Half Moon Bay, where we’re headquartered, during a big-wave surfing tournament,” Halvorssen told Robb Report. “We decided it was something needed, desired and, most importantly, possible.”

A superyacht designer, J. David Weiss, was brought on board who crafted the “sleek-looking jet ski, which sports a carbon fiber body, running surface for navigating deep, powerful surf, and enough space to house the 100-kWh modular battery.”

“It’s longer and has more of a deeper-V than your average jet ski, with a larger swim platform for the surfers. The design will cut through waves much more readily than what’s on the market,” the man declared

It has twin 25-hp motors. It will come in a barebones tow-in version for hauling surfers, a “party version” with eight seats and even a fishing version, advanced electronics, fly-by-wire steering, digital display, and even a “Cinema” mode to record surfing or fishing action.

Nico Sell calls it the “world’s smallest yacht” and all for only $500,000 which can’t even get a man or women into a Beneteau Gran Turismo 40.

Should we pool our money and buy?

We’d be foolish not to.

McCoy's house, Paradise View by Stutchbury.

Fabled surf filmmaker Jack McCoy lists his “jaw-dropping” beach house Paradise View by Stutchbury for a little over three-mill US!

If only these walls could talk etc.

Surfing’s most enduring filmmaker, certainly its tallest, the Los Angeles-born Jack McCoy, is selling his architect-designed Sydney home for around three-mill US.

McCoy, who is seventy-three and who’s been in rough health with an unspecified illness the past few years, bought the old Crackerbox House, those ugly, post-war joints made in the nineteen fifties, at 51 Trappers Way, Avalon Beach, in 1998.

Eight years later, McCoy and his wife Kelly hired the noted Australian architect Peter Stutchbury, famous for designing “structures so sensitive to their site they converse with the bush, the shore or the paddock surrounding them” to create what they would re-name Paradise View by Stutchbury.

Stutchbury is a classic sorta cat.

Six years ago, when The Australian interviewed him, the life-long surfer was living in a tent after a divorce.

Reluctant, at first, to expose his “very personal abode” to further publicity, Stutchbury agrees to a tour of the once vacant block where his tent rests on a 48 square metre wooden platform incorporating an en suite, a bedroom and a prefabricated kitchen that walls one side of a shaded veranda. “It makes you realise how little you need,” he says, boiling the kettle for mugs of tea.

His desire to pare back coincided with packing up the West Head house where he’d lived with his former wife, landscape architect Phoebe Pape and their three children. “As I was taking everything out and putting it in boxes I thought really and truly…” The pink bathtub that had stood in one of the tree-high pavilions he’d designed for his family now sits amid straggly acacias out front of the tent. Inside there’s a fridge, a single gas burner to cook on if it’s too wet for an open fire, a flat-screen TV on top of the chest of drawers in the bedroom, and an old shearer’s table where we sit.

Dressed in jeans and elastic-sided boots, his silver hair laps the collar of his pale blue shirt. Now 60, he no longer surfs regularly like he did in his younger days, camping along the coastline, but his casual style suits this place. “The only hassle with a tent is the flapping,” he says of the wind that gathers force, snapping at guy ropes under a darkening sky. Once the squall hits I’m wishing for a sweater. “You’re seeing it at its worst,” he apologises. “This is as confrontational as it gets.”

Back to McCoy’s joint, it was built on the wrong side of the northern beaches’ peninsula if you want to check the surf, it looks across the flat Pittwater side, boats, pretty sunsets, that sorta thing, but with its minimalist, floor-to-ceiling, feel the outdoors vibe, it’s easy to agree with the selling agent who calls it “jaw-dropping.”

Fairfax real estate page Domain noted the house had been visited by “some of surfing’s biggest names over the years, including Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson.”

McCoy’s been riding out the COVID thing up at Scott’s Head on the mid-north coast, five hours drive out of Sydney, where he has another joint.

Make an offer here. 

That you, pro surfing?

World Surf League’s biggest fan asks, “Is the WSL turning a unique sport into a generic, compliant, corporate glory hole?”

Take Pipeline out of the world title equation and what have you got?

I’ll start with this: I am an avid WSL fan.

I can’t get enough competitive surfing. I’m a groupie of the highest order. The old adage goes: the cursed punter would bet on two flies crawling up a wall.

I’m even worse. I’d spend half my Sunday watching four-person heats in Portuguese at a Brazilian two star if it’s all there is on offer.

Despite the bin-fire served up over the Covid period I still support the League.

I even run a fantasy comp with some mates. On the WSL platform (sorry Surfvival). It’s accompanied by a Whatsapp group chat. All the participants as one-eyed and easy-pleased as me.

I’ve come dead-last three years running. But that’s not the point.

The very fact micro-communities like this exist, dependent on the WSL ecosystem, is a sign that they’re still doing something right.

Usually at this time of year, coming into December, the chat would be running hot. A world title race on offer. Requalification dramas. The thrill of the finals.

As much as we’d consume any comp the WSL feeds us, there’s nothing like the excitement of the big league. And the Hawaii leg is the cherry on top.

But now, the chat is eerily quiet.

Only the odd clip being shared here and there. Why? Because there’s a Pipe-sized hole this Christmas.

Yes we still have Haleiwa.

But the egg nog-dipped crescendo of the Banzai Pipeline and the associated world title / Triple Crown drama is as much a part of my Yuletide routine as frenzied last minute shopping and annually-defrosted familial trauma.

I miss it.

Sure, I’m just one fan. The WSL has a bigger plan at play.

But I’m still allowed to feel robbed. In fact there’s no World Championship events at all between September 2021 and February ‘22 (give or take a day: Pipe waiting period starts on the 29th Jan)

That’s five months off air. Talk about a momentum killer.

I realise other sports run on similar seasons but if anything the year-round nature of the WSL season was it’s selling point. Now, instead of my pals discussing WSL-led narratives – Gabby’s dogged determination, Felipe’s recalcitrance, Wade’s litreage, Morgan’s hair – we’re left to fill the void. Do our own research. Ruminate as to why the WSL is like it is.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s a common feature in history.

When the proles aren’t busy they tend to turn on their masters. Give us this type of downtime and conspiracy theories thrive. Conjecture and opinion rule.

Erosion of trust in institutions is the natural result.

We hold the WSL up to the light. Tilt and rotate so that it is illuminated from every angle. Like a cheap Christmas decoration, we find some sparkle on the surface. But apply any real pressure, any real scrutiny, and it crumbles in our hand.

I get that a lot of the changes to the Tour have been positive.

But Pipe. December. World Title. Why you gotta go mess with that?

To quote Gabby himself on the changes to the format. “I don’t know about business. I don’t know how it works. They tried to do something different.”

But is different always better?

It’s a common theme among C Suite execs like Erik Logan. Move into a new organisation. Create change for change’s sake. September, according to the WSL, is a good month for waves at a variety of global surf spots.

But it effectively rules out the competition ever again finishing at Pipe.


Is it because in his time running the show Erik Logan has positioned the WSL as a media house where the audience themselves, not the surfers or the comps, have become the product?

Where all decisions are no longer based around the mantra of “World’s best surfers in the world’s best waves” but instead “How can we best market ourselves to potential advertisers?”

Is it because the WSL is being slowly hollowed out and commodified so that it is a more attractive, “safer” option for big spending corporates to waste their money on?

Turning a deadshit, dumbcunt but still unique sports outfit into a generic, compliant, corporate glory hole?

While at the same time forgetting about the tradition, the culture, the fans, that created it in the first place?

Or am I being too harsh?

Reading into it too much?


Most of what I’ve just said is, I’m sure, a load of shit.

But idle minds beget impure faults.

We wouldn’t be having this conversation if Pipe was about to start!