No surfing for you.
No surfing for you.

French Caribbean-adjacent surfing association grows furious over surfing ban, rues possible lost opportunity to host 2024 Olympics: “It’s a national embarrassment!”

"As islanders this has been difficult; as surfers this has felt crippling."

As yet another Coronavirus variant bubbles up on the international stage, this one called Omicron, we surfers, we sliders of waves should be thankful for what we have. Namely, the vast majority of us have been able to wave slide for the last many months. Oh certainly, we suffered early beach closures, and limited ones pop up from time to time, place to place, except for the gorgeous French Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago for there surfing has been banned from the very dawn of Covid.

The Surfing Association of Trinidad and Tobago, or SATT, has finally had enough, writing a public letter to the Ministry of Health calling the closure a “national embarrassment.”

SATT president Ronald Riley declared, “Our sport is now an Olympic sport seeing great success in Tokyo, and looking forward (to the) impact and viability of surfing as an Olympic sport is clear, considering that Paris 2024 is looking at French Polynesia to host (if not the French Caribbean). We’ve just had front-row seats to the growth of French surf culture as our vice-president and technical director Jason Apparicio has been coaching French Caribbean nationals to great success this past month…and not only in France but in the Azores (islands) in Portugal as well. As islanders this has been difficult; as surfers this has felt crippling; and as a sporting association we recognise how detrimental this could be to any competitive, socio-economic and Olympic possibilities we have here and now moving forward. Globally, surfing is responsible for exponential growth in coastal economies.”

A year-plus without surfing seems punitive. A possible stealing of Olympic hosting downright rude, but did you consider the French Caribbean when you first learned that Paris had won the 2024 Games?

Would you rather watch Israeli surfers hucking into Teahupo’o or Canadian surfer ripping Mount Irvine?

Much to ponder.

Reno Abellira, right, with skate legend Tony Alva.

Breaking: Hawaiian surf icon and former world #4 Reno Abellira survives emergency brain surgery but remains in ICU after near-fatal bashing at Ala Moana Beach Park

Reno Abellira comes good.

Ten days ago, North Shore legend, former world tour shredder and wildly influential surfboard shaper, Reno Abellira was found unresponsive at Ala Moana Beach Park after an apparent attack. 

Abellira, who is homeless and living the rough outdoor life, was taken to Queen’s Hospital for emergency brain surgery. 

Earlier today, in an email to the Star-Advertiser, his nephew Kealii Aquino announced the emergency brain surgery was successful.

“Reno is still in the ICU, but thankfully he is no longer in a coma and is making slow but steady progress in recovering,” Aquino wrote, adding the family wished to thank the community “for the outpouring of prayers and support” they had received, and asked that Abellira’s privacy be respected “at this time as we focus on his recovery and rehabilitation.”

Abellira, who is seventy-one, has had what you might call a wild, wild life.

His daddy was a middleweight boxer who was shot dead in a Chinatown pool hall where he worked as a “strong arm”; he beat Jeff Hakman at thirty-foot Waimea Bay to win the 1974 Smirnoff (he’d win it again three years later) and his twin-fin design convinced Mark Richards to make a version of it and subsequently dominate the world tour for half a decade.

In 1992, he was indicted, according to a letter to BeachGrit from Abellira “for three counts for the Federal crimes of racketeering (the RICO Act) specifically Possession with Intent to distribute of four kilos of Cocaine and over 27 pounds of marijuana that had been control delivered by the U.S Postal Service and D.E.A agents to an address in suburban Honolulu.”

In a 1979 interview with Surfer, Phil Jarratt wrote, 

You hear Reno described as arrogant, aloof and intense. He’s all of that, but he’s also a warm and genuine human being with a positively wicked sense of humor and a streak of dementia deep within. He is sometimes misunderstood. There are surfers who have associated with him for years but confess they don’t really know or understand him. By his own admission he is “a complex person.” He wondered whether this interviewer knew enough about him to present the big picture. The answer is yes and no. Reno revels in his own complexity, and this much is for sure: any interview that laid him bare, that left no questions unanswered, he would regard as a misrepresentation. 

Recently, he went after Matt Warshaw and your ol pal DR in a couple of blood feuds.

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.