Multipurpose actor Tom Hanks’ co-star and best friend Wilson, who was killed in unfortunate surfing accident, sells at auction for $400,000!

"I'm sorry..."

As point of fact, I used to enjoy the work of multipurpose actor Tom Hanks. Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano and The Bonfire of the Vanities all made me smile as a younger man. Forrest Gump made me tear up. Cast Away made me re-consider my earlier enjoyment and I’ve since slipped into low-level disdain.

If I had to put my finger on it, Hanks’ relationship with the volleyball Wilson in the 2000 Robert Zemeckis film caused the slide.

Something about it really irked and I remember laughing loudly when Wilson died in a surfing accident, the theater becoming frustrated with my lack of heart.

Well, apparently I am alone in my powerful antipathy for Wilson just sold at auction for $400,000.

Per the report:

Some might say Tom Hanks’ movie prop from the film Castaway was just a volleyball. In fact ‘Wilson’ was a companion, a confidant and a crucial character in ‘his’ own right. And proving just how beloved the unlikely co-star is, the piece was recently sold on November 9 at auction for $A422,000.

Despite an estimation between A$70,000 to A$110,000, the famous ball was the second highest-selling piece on the 9th behind a Michael J. Fox-autographed hoverboard from Back to the Future.

The UK-based Prop Store Livestream auction spanned three days and was filled with entertainment.

If I was going to put money on it, I’d bet the man who tow foiled Fort Point recently is Wilson’s new friend.

Seems like something he would do.

This could be you, sitting on the porch, bottle of moonshine in your paw, fingers hitting a difficult lick on the banjo etc.

Byron Bay’s insane housing bubble laid bare as two-bed shack on leased plot in council trailer park lists for $750,000! “It’s perverse! Next-level madness!”

“Charming beachside cottage etc…”

A crummy ol’ tin-roofed shack in a council trailer park in Byron-adjacent Suffolk Park has hit the wildly buoyant Byron Bay property market for three-quarters of a million dollars, shack only, no land. 

The cash gets you a “charming beachside cottage in the highly desirable Suffolk Park Holiday Park”, a mobile home in a trailer park in other words, with “easy access to the beach from your back door”, which is true. 

Well located trailer park.

But you still gotta pay for the lease of space in the park. 

It’s a listing that has laid bare the insanity of the Byron Bay property market, house prices doubling in a year as well-to-do Sydneysiders, suddenly rich crypto-investors and leveraged-to-the-hilt panic buyers throw previously undreamed of amounts of money at palaces and shit-boxes alike. 

Two years ago, 750k got a sweet little house, yard, place to park the car.

Same joint is two-mill now. 

Byron Shire Councillor Michael Lyon told the ABC that even though caravan park legislation was created so the poor could afford a roof over their wretched heads, it couldn’t do a damn thing if someone wanted to sell their cabin at market rates. 

“It’s not right, but unfortunately that is the way the legislation is… It’s perverse, it was certainly never intended that way,” Lyon told the ABC. 

Luke Jolly, the administrator of the Byron Bay Community Facebook page, told the ABC, “I guess it could be a small price to pay for the ultra-wealthy to have a permanent holiday reservation, but it’s hard to fathom any regular person looking at it… it’s next-level madness.”

On the upside, waves have pumped pretty much non-stop for the past year. So there’s that.

And the Great Whites.

One pal who moved up there a year ago has seen eight of ‘em, including two breaches. 

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