If one stray Benji Weatherly comment is enough to horrify the World Surf League into cancelling the refurbished PG-rated “Drive-Thru” franchise does it have any hope or is it time for Dirk Ziff and Co. to slowly back away and leave surfing’s carcass to the jackals?

Feat. Kelly Slater.

It was reported, here, days ago as a rumor that the World Surf League, and its WSL Studios, was set to release the much-loved, refurbished “Drive-Thru” series wherein original cast Benji Weatherly, Donovan Frankenreiter, Kelly Slater and a cast of young-uns would “drive though” somewhere, surf, shenanigan and film the adventure.

Much fun… except, allegedly, our World Surf League pulled the plug on the project right as the boys were headed out.

Per the initial whisper, exclusively on your BeachGrit:

And, then, at the very end of the last meeting, papers ready to sign, Benji Weatherley, still funny and too beautiful to behold at almost fifty says, “Well it’s not like anybody watches the WSL anyways.”

A very good joke and clearly a joke for a quick search on SimilarWeb (a website that tracks internet traffic) reveals the WSL to be almost half the size of surf news behemoth BeachGrit.

But no laughs from WSL executives, apparently.

They want to move forward with project but not with Benji.

Greg Browning moves in, fights for Benji who is, let’s face it, the pulse-racing magic that defines the franchise, and, eventually, the WSL says yes.

But, first, Benji has to agree to special terms.

Now, in that aftermath the angelic Griffin Colapinto took to Instagram and wrote “@Beach_Grit with some non truthful words” over a picture of a glowering Weatherly. Young Griff, though extremely talented, is wrong. While the letter might not have been exactly right, the spirit certainly was. As I heard it from a second, extremely reliable, source, it went like this…

The WSL Studios was set to produce, all the paper work signed, and the principals were invited to a Zoom call to discuss this and that. Someone from the WSL side said they needed to do social media posts around the adventure to drum up interest. Benji responded that he knew what would drum up interest. Namely, stealing Slater’s phone and posting a picture of a male’s parts. A WSL Human Resources employee, also on the call, was profoundly disturbed and hoisted concern up the ladder. The brass, apparently, agreed and instantly pulled plug.

Now, if an off-handed PG – PG-13 joke from Benji Weatherly is beyond acceptable risk for the World Surf League what hope is there for them ever to make anything in our space?

Wouldn’t it be prudent for Ziff and Co. to slowly back away?

An abundance of caution?

David Lee and I discussed on today’s program and also discussed hurtful tweets.


Australian broadsheet predicts country’s state premiers will hold the line on ultra-stringent vaccination requirements even for world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater: “Slater’s rivals on the WSL will breathe easy knowing they have one less foe in the water at Bells Beach next Easter.”

"Across a season of fine margins, sitting out one of the four Grand Slams, a Grand Prix or two WSL legs is unthinkable. Or is it?"

One week ago, it was revealed here that the World Surf League had sent out letters to athletes ahead of the 2022 Championship Tour that must be vaccinated in order to compete on the entire tour. Per BeachGrit‘s source, “It sort of mirrors the U.S. government policy and Australian policy and the Australians are very tight on this. No pokey, no surfy.”

Now, Australian broadsheet The Guardian has confirmed that the country’s ultra-strict vaccination requirements will not be loosened even for superstar tennis players like Novak Djokovic. Even even for the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater.

Slater’s predicament underscores a looming dilemma for international sporting competitions. While Australia’s long-closed borders are now slowly reopening, the blanket ban on foreign arrivals is being replaced by vaccination requirements that are stringent by international standards. In sports notable for their globe-trotting – including tennis, golf, road cycling, Formula One, surfing and cricket – Australia’s entry requirements make being unvaccinated a significant competitive liability. Across a season of fine margins, sitting out one of the four Grand Slams, a Grand Prix or two WSL legs is unthinkable. Or is it?

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews insisted recently, amid defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic’s ongoing disinclination to disclose whether or not he has been vaccinated. “And if they did get a visa, they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks. But let’s not personalise it. I don’t think any other [unvaccinated] tennis player or golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to get here.” Djokovic has told the New York Times that he is not against vaccines generally, but does not agree with mandates – especially for the Covid-19 vaccine.

The paper detailed Slater’s, and other high profile athletes’, fight against mandates and how leagues around the world are making exceptions to accommodate but that state premiers, in Australia, will not buckle to the star power, the unique charms of Kelly Slater and keep him locked out of their Lucky Country.

The piece was ended thusly, “Slater’s rivals on the WSL will breathe easy knowing they have one less foe in the water at Bells Beach next Easter.”

Breathe easy.

Get it?

Y2K John John Florence.

Two-time world surfing champion John John Florence’s masterly “cheat” brings charity founder to tears as donations surge, “You have no idea how huge this is. He’s saving lives!”

Boys to Men Mentoring charity en route to record fundraising year thanks to ol Johnny Bones Florence… 

On Sunday, John John Florence alerted his 1.4 million social followers to his participation in the @100WaveChallenge.

In his initial post Florence wrote, “I need some help from kids around the world to reach the wave count!”

Clearly, this is cheating by old-school 100 Wave Challenge standards.

John is recruiting wave catchers to can his 100-wave count. Fortunately, Joe Sigurdson, the event creator, and co-founder of Boys to Men Mentoring that it supports, was near tears when he saw Florence’s brilliant marketing move.

“You have no idea how huge this is for us,” says Sigurdson. “He’s saving lives. All these kids are saving lives and most of them don’t even know it yet.”

Every dollar raised helps at-risk kids in underserved communities gain access to powerful group-mentoring services. Their efforts mind blowing, and their secret to success is simple and scalable: “The key is this: our mentors never — never ever — tell kids what to do,” says Joe. “All we do is listen to them. We let them release their pain on their terms. Then — and only then — do we begin to share our own stories that might relate, and the lessons we learned along the way. Sometimes the hard way. It’s really that simple.”

By participating in weekly group sessions these at-risk boys, most of whom are fatherless, find the positive influences they’ve been yearning for.

In time, that translates into better grades, healthier relationships, and overall better choices that improves their trajectory as humans.

And when they notice it working, they find others to bring in.

For their part, Boys to Men Mentoring uses their resources to identify, recruit, and train the army of volunteer mentors.

They also organize group outings and coordinate after-school programs with education administrators. The original San Diego chapter of Boys to Men Mentoring has programs in nearly 40 schools.

Today, there are chapters all across the USA.

In the three days since Florence’s began posting donations have surged by $40,000, bringing the 2021 total to $370,000. “I think we’re on track to beat last year’s record of $508,000 by the end of November,” says Sigurdson. “And heck, we had to get creative to make that happen.”

Last year, COVID nearly forced the cancelation of the 100 Wave Challenge entirely. Untiil then the event was a massive one-day gathering held only in San Diego, where hundreds of like-minded participants caught 100 waves in a matter of hours while Joe and his team supplied food, drink, massage tables, swag, and entertainment for the crowd.

“We thought we were done when the city told us we couldn’t gather,” Joe recalls. “But our surfers convinced us to pivot and loosen up the rules. So last year, we asked people to do it at their own beach, in their own timeframe. We also made it a seasonal campaign. All the sudden, we had people taking part in this all over the country.”

Florence was one of many fresh notables who joined for the first time last year, along with CJ Hobgood and Josh and Sierra Kerr. Shaun Tomson and Damien Hobgood, meanwhile, have been huge backers of Joe and the 100 Wave Challenge for years.

“This is our 12th year of doing this,” Sigurdson explains. “It’s funny because every year we see people get roped into doing it and they really have no idea what they’re signing up for. But eventually they look under the hood, and they see what our program is all about, the impact it’s having, and that’s when they decide this is going to be their thing. This is how they can give back in a meaningful way and have a great time doing it.”

If you’d like to learn more, donate, or participate, visit 100wave.org.

Baker (pictured foreground) surf checking sans un-vaccinated girlfriend.

International press reporting that surf movie star Simon Baker has broken up with his girlfriend as capital punishment for her attending “anti-vaccine” protest in Australia!


Newswires are currently aflame with the news that surf movie star Simon Baker has just broken up with his girlfriend as capital punishment for her attending an “anti-vaxx” protest, or rather broke up with her a few months ago for that action.

Per, Yahoo! Australia:

Simon Baker and Laura May Gibbs have split.

A source confirmed to PEOPLE that the Mentalist actor, 52, and activewear designer, 36, “quietly parted ways” several months ago after she attended an anti-vaxx protest. Gibbs has been increasingly vocal on social media about her opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine and recent nationwide mandates for it.

On Sunday, she shared a video while attending a rally in Australia to protest vaccine mandates. The clip shows hundreds gathered and cheering with one person’s sign reading: “We stand united against ‘no jab no job’ and vaccine passports.”

Gibbs captioned the Instagram post, “Power to the people (heart emoji) (raised fist emoji).”

But whoa.

What Yahoo! meant to write was “A source confirmed to PEOPLE that star of Tim Winton’s coming-of-age surf film Breath, 52, and activewear designer, 36, ‘quietly parted ways’…” but potato potato, no?

Did you watch Breath?

I tried on an airplane, once, but became sleepy and only had the words of Derek Rielly making much fun of Tim Winton dancing in my head so didn’t take it very seriously.

I also don’t much like coming-of-age movies.

But back to Baker’s guillotine over a light difference of opinion.

Do you think fair?

Do you worry about everyone entering echo chambers?

My wife has been known to read Malcolm Gladwell but I’m not breaking up with her.

Malcolm Gladwell.

That bro properly sucks.

More as the story develops.

Rumor: Mighty U.S. Olympic Committee has “begun the process of de-certifying” Surfing USA as the national governing body due “ethical business practice concerns!”

Trouble in the water.

The shine has not quite yet worn off surfing’s grand Olympic debut wherein, just months ago, our best and brightest paddled out off Japan’s near-perfect coast and wowed the globe with top turns, bottom turns, floaters. Surfers were made stars that day. International heroes and it was an unmitigated success with Brazil taking gold for the men’s draw and the mighty United States of America, by way of Hawaii, taking it for the women’s.

A glorious coming out and one that will reprise in Paris, by way of Teahupoo, Los Angeles and Brisbane.

Now, the Olympics is known for uniting the nations in beautiful sport, not for corruption, but a troubling rumor has emerged from the gold medal-winning United States that suggests the powerful United States Olympic Committee is currently in the process of decertifying USA Surfing as the national governing body “due ethical business practice concerns.”

BeachGrit‘s inside source says, “They sent letters out to all the Olympic athletes recently informing them.”

USA Surfing, which declares on its website, “The essential elements of character building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character,” is headed up by San Clemente’s Greg Cruse while Brett Simpson coaches the team.

It is unclear what the “ethical business practice concerns” could be as USA Surfing has a vast code of conduct that must be signed by parents and makes them swear “I will not force my child to participate in sports.”

Speculation, at this early stage, would be inappropriate and BeachGrit will seek to secure the athlete letter.

More as the story develops.