Celebrity author of Miki Dora bio David Rensin on the fetishisation of a flawed soul, Dora’s supersonic criminal life and Leo DiCaprio optioning the movie rights to it all, “Was Miki an asshole? At times. Racist? I don’t think so”

Was he or wasn’t he? Nazi bastard or button pusher?

Today’s guest on Dirty Water is celebrity author Davis Rensin, whose book All For a Few Perfect Waves laid out, without exaggeration or censure, the supersonic life of Malibu anti-hero Miki Dora.

Rensin transcribed one million words in the pursuit of the truth, relatively speaking of surfing’s great Voodoo God, a man who was style in the water, suits out of it, convertibles, Hollywood and movie stars.

Dora was also a thief, a scammer and an impossible loner who travelled the world chasing adventure and empty waves, his only real friend a King Charles spaniel called Scooter Boy.

A couple of years back, The New York Times ran a piece called The Long Strange Tale of California’s Surf Nazis which held Dora as the poster-boy for white supremacism in surfing.

Dora often used racial slurs and advised acquaintances to put all their money in gold before Mexicans and blacks poured over the borders and ruined the economy. While serving prison time, Dora (who had been convicted of both check and credit-card fraud) wrote to a friend that he loved American Nazis. Dora eventually relocated to apartheid-era South Africa.

In a 1975 interview with Phil Jarratt, Dora, who acted as a surf double on a couple of Hollywood beach films said, “The Jews come down to the beach, they shoot their movie, sell it to the Kikes and they all make a pile of money.”


Was he or wasn’t he?

Nazi bastard or button pusher?

Let’s ask!

Smith (right) and Rielly (left) Whooping under a hail of comment fire.
Smith (right) and Rielly (left) Whooping under a hail of comment fire.

Surf Journalist boldly ignores three-time world champion’s edict to not paddle “ten-foot-white-shark-infested” Cardiff-by-the-Sea; maintains unbelievably chill heart-rate!

Cool under fire.

Yesterday, the three-time surf champion, jiujitsu master Joel Tudor issued a dire warning for those who might be thinking about surfing, or swimming, southern California’s bucolic Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

“Don’t surf Cardiff,” he began the shock Instagram directive. “It’s infested with ten-foot White sharks that are attracted to soft tops, stand-up paddlers and tourist swimmers. Stay safe and find a lake or go take a hike. This was today at 8:12 am.”

The accompanying photograph featured a chunky Great White jumping skyward.


Happy White.


I just so happen to live in the aforementioned Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Tudor’s cautioning should have alarmed me greatly but I also just so happened to wake up nearly 72% recovered.

For those who don’t know, the greatest personalized digital fitness and health coach, WHOOP, not only measures strain and sleep but also recovery.

But what is recovery?


Recovery reflects how well prepared your body is to take on strain, and is a measure of your body’s ‘return to baseline’ after a stressor. The size of these stressors – which can range from illness, exercise, psychological stress or sleep deprivation – determines how much your body needs to recover.

When your recovery is high, your body is primed to take on strain.

When your recovery is low, you may be at greater risk for injury, or overtraining (during intense workouts).

Recovery is highly personalized to each individual member; this means that two people with the same combination of resting heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and sleep performance on a given day could get very different recoveries.

72% is a fine number and my body felt primed to take on the strain of ignoring Joel Tudor.

First, I went on a 2 mile Chariots of Fire beach run, lowering my time significantly.

Next, I jumped in the water to cool off, just where that Great White had breached, tourist swimming.

Last, I paddled out for a small wave surf on a 4’10 Album Seaskate soft top.

The surfing, itself, still didn’t register as an “activity” but my heart rate, equally, did not bump up even one click above average.

Ice-water in my veins due growing up surfing properly Great White infested Oregon?

Years spent cavorting around the al-Qaeda infested Middle East, copping a Hezbollah kidnapping etc. (buy here)?

Or a recovery so fine, and knowable, that I was ready to take on any strain?

Testing fate?


Trusting recovery.

WHOOP, there it is.

UN representatives react to WSL demands.
UN representatives react to WSL demands.

Ultra-powerful World Surf League flexes hard, demands intergovernmental peer United Nations preserve thirty-percent of global oceans in eight years!

If not now, when? And if not us, who?

When the World Surf League speaks, the world listens and the powerful intergovernmental organization raised its voice, days ago, demanding that its peer, the United Nations, preserve thirty-percent of global oceans by 2030. The order came via a compelling video detailing the specific list of stipulations that the United Nations must agree to. Namely, the preservation of thirty-percent of oceans in eight years by, I think, signing a petition.

WSL Chief People & Purpose Officer, Emily Hofer, boldly stated, “We Are One Ocean provides a powerful opportunity for the global community of surfers and ocean lovers to have their voice heard by world leaders. We know that meaningful change can be achieved through igniting passionate communities to speak up on behalf of our one ocean. The WSL is committed to working at both the global and grassroots level to protect and conserve the global ocean and, in particular, investing in youth as stewards of the global ocean.”

Professional surfers Kanoa Igarashi and Lakey Peterson are part of the shock squad and will “expand the conversation by sharing their personal connection to the ocean in an upcoming content series.”

In addition to pushing the UN toward right action, the WSL has teamed up with beauty product line Shiseido to “promote ocean conservation through initiatives such as beach clean ups and sand dune planting to safeguard shorelines.”

It might be a good idea to start sand dune planting in the Canary Islands.

I do trust when WSL CEO Erik Logan (the WSL CP&PO’s direct report) meets with the General Assembly, the full extent of surfing’s pure strength will be laid bare for all to see.


Happy White.

Three-time world surfing champion issues urgent warning to San Diego county surfers after posting video of Great White breaching close to shore: “Don’t surf Cardiff It’s infested with ten-foot White sharks! Numbers have gone crazy”

"I was looking right at it. That ain't Flipper, my man."

Yesterday, the three-time world surfing champion and ultra-purist Joel Tudor issued a warning to surfers via his Instagram account alongside video of what appears to be fat-as-hell Great White breaching in the lineup.

Written in classic tongue-in-cheek Tudor style but not kidding, either.

“Don’t surf Cardiff. It’s infested with ten-foot White sharks that are attracted to soft tops, stand-up paddlers and tourist swimmers. Stay safe and find a lake or go take a hike. This was today at 8:12 am.”

The post opened a floodgate of Great White chatter.

Former tour surfer Shea Lopez wrote, “When these pups grow up it’s gonna be a different story in SoCal waters. They were all over Lowers the past three days.”

“Result of almost thirty years of no local net fishing inshore,” Tudor replied. “Those dudes used to cull the count quite a bit and helped keep the balance. Since they have been gone the numbers are crazy.”

“Same in Florida,” wrote Lopez, “Used to be we were protected by the actions of the fisherman understanding the ecosystem and being in charge of doing not only what is best for them but also the community that they live in as it affects everyone from their children to their grandparents. Now we have been put in harm’s way due to the change in regulations and the elimination of what had been working for as any can remember. And working well. What next. We have to make an effort to stop the inevitable.”

The inevitable, of course, being, mmmmm, Australia, surfers and swimmers dying every other month in hits by Great Whites, like, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Scientists predict 1800 hits by sharks in Australian over the next forty-five years. 

One follower wrote to Tudor, “It is a dolphin! :)” to which he replied,

“I was looking right at it. That ain’t Flipper, my man.”

Good times.


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A post shared by Joel Tudor (@joeljitsu)

Australian surfer who lost “three quarters of his thigh” and was told he’d never walk again after horror Great White attack makes triumphant return to waves, “I wanted to be remembered for what I did afterwards.”

Another tear-jerker!

Five years ago, aspiring professional surfer Brett Connellan was hit by a Great White at Bombo Beach, a couple hours south of Sydney.

His pal Joel Trist heard the “terrible scream” and wild splashing of the White but padded over anyway.

“I saw the shark thrashing around at that stage but I couldn’t comprehend at that time what was happening and again, just acting on instinct, I thought, well, what else could it be at that moment? I guess the adrenaline kicked in and I paddled as hard as I could towards him,” Trist recalled. “I said ‘Quick, jump on my board’ and I grabbed him and got him on my board.”

On the beach, an off-duty nurse helped Trist use his leash for a tourniquet, saving Connellan’s life.

Now, Connellan, who is twenty-eight, has made a movie called Pyrophytic about his recovery, phyrophetic referring to plants that have adapted to bushfires, can survive ‘em, thrive from ’em.

Like Connellan has post-shark attack, wandering the ridges, as they say, and coming back a prophet.

The film, which releases next year, follows his ride from coma to you-aint-gonna-walk-again-kiddo to throwing himself over ledges and polishing off enormous tubes.

Trailer here.

It’s a treasure.