"I see trees of green, red roses too..." Photo: Pat Nolan/WSL
"I see trees of green, red roses too..." Photo: Pat Nolan/WSL

World Surf League joins United World Wrestling, New York Yankees, in pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half in respective sports this decade!

It takes a tour to heal the earth.

The UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, is currently underway in sunny Glasgow, Scotland and much news has been made thus far. United States President Joseph Biden surprised onlookers by apologizing to the world for his predecessor, President Trump, pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and promised to do many good things for the environment moving forward before taking a well-deserved nap.

The menu, at the conference, was routinely mocked by climate activists for including meat and fish with one declaring “it’s like serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference.”

And the World Surf League joined United World Wrestling, the New York Yankees, Ohio State University and others in pledging to cut all greenhouse gas emissions associated with said sport by half this decade.

Fine company.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, chair of sustainability for the International Olympic Committee, was bullish on the World Surf League’s leadership and said, “Few sectors have the power to inspire and the global appeal that sports does. We call on the other sports leaders to follow this lead.”

UN Climate Change Executive Director Patricia Espinosa praised the World Surf League by declaring, “Four years since we launched the Sports for Climate Action framework, more than 280 sports organisations have committed to the overarching objectives of aligning sport with the goals of the Paris agreement [established at COP 21 in 2015]. The sector eagerly took up the challenge, but also told us that they want to do more and to do it faster. These organisations are now being challenged to reduce emissions 50 percent by 2030 at the latest and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.”

And many bravos to the World Surf League for taking a firm stance. I do believe the greatest way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is by culling many surfers on the Championship Tour.

I also still like the Covid-era idea of putting the ten best men, women, on a clean, wind-powered sailboat and floating them around Indonesia.

Exciting times.

Blood feud: Tom Morey’s estate vs owner of Morey bodyboards over Limited Edition Mach 7 with Morey’s “signature” released after his death, “We do not appreciate this thief in the night action of this corporate move… Tom’s grieving wife and family are in shock!”

Morey vs Morey!

Three weeks ago, the free-thinking inventor of the boogie board and surfing hall-of-famer Tom Morey died, aged eighty-eight. 

“Tom was smart as hell, creative, a bullshitter who knew he was a bullshitter, with a great sense of humor,” wrote Matt Warshaw. “Surfing doesn’t have a surplus of those people. We’re no longer producing them as fast as they’re dying off. That’s what I meant by saying that Tom dying is a big one.”

Ol Tom wasn’t in the best shape. He was blind and broke, pretty much, despite the outrageous success of the boogie board, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this July. 

Now, with Morey dead, InterSport Corp, owners of the Morey trademark, which Tom sold in 1977 before the design took off, is taking pre-orders for a limited edition re-release of his classic MACH 7, priced at a surprisingly reasonable one hundred and ninety-nine dollars.

From the promo, 

“This board is one of a kind in the Morey family. The MACH 7 Commemorative Edition is the only Morey Boogieboard that has Tom’s signature.” 

All pretty nice, money to the fam etc. 

But fans of Tom, as well as the family, have slammed it as a cash grab.

From Tom’s FB page, 

“This is the Morey Family and WE DO NOT APPRECIATE THIS THIEF IN THE NIGHT ACTION OF THIS CORPORATE MOVE. THERE IS NO CONTRACTURAL AGREEMENT HERE TO MOREY FAMILY FOR THIS TYPE OF CORPORATE FINANCIAL GAIN IN THE MIDST OF OUT LOSS. TOM’S grieving wife and family are in shock. Why would someone post at midnight a pre-order for a board that Tom had no contractural agreement. Our hearts are broken as we continue to work on arraignments for him to Rest in Peace.” 

A few choice cuts from the comments, mostly from high-level bodyboard pro’s, all with a penchant for caps lock, so high rides the emotion, I suppose.

“BE WARNED! Morey family do not want this sale to occur. AT VBC (Vintage Bodyboard Collectors) we respect their wishes and recommend no one buy this board.” 


“Just disgusting.” 

“FUCK MOREY!!! Other than the name, this company no connection not the great man, our sport or to the community. Support the companies that give back and have true connection and relevance.”




Pre-order your Mach 7 here!

The most famous surf shop owner in the world is seventy years old, skates vert and rides a six-one, “Part animal, part machine, part idiot!”

How many documentaries have been made about surf shop owners?  

I caught Sid Abruzziight, owner of Water Brothers Surf Shop, after a solid head-high morning session at Ruggles as Hurricane Ida ripped by Rhode Island. 

He is seventy and riding a 6’1”.  

We talked about the documentary in production about his life. Water Brother: The Sid Abbruzzi Story is set to release next year, a jaw punch of a flick.

Check out the sizzle reel here.

How many documentaries have been made about surf shop owners?  

Abbruzzi might be the most famous shop owner alive today. Maybe not famous-famous but surf-famous, at least. His grey ropes of hair and tattoed body are more Pagans Motorcycle Club than surf icon. A model of the underground hero, Abbruzzi don’t own no clean Vans. Scars run down both legs with mehanical hip replacements caused by over fifty years of proper vert skating. 

Part animal―Part Machine.

But this isn’t an advertisement for his Water Brothers shop, that brick-and-morter citadel in Newport, Rhode island. Even if it was, you’d be outta luck. Abbruzzi doesn’t keep a website.  

Part animal―Part machine―Part idiot.

Sid isn’t living for money, and he’s beautiful because of it. Abruzzi’s lost countless dollars from shunning major brands, preferring to stick with five-to-ten grand of inventory: Buell wetsuits and select custom boards. 

Moms come in. “Do you have Billabong t-shirts for my son?’  

“Sorry” Sid says.

But he’s not.

Like Andy Warhol at a Manhattan dinner party when asked why he wasn’t dining on the feast before him. 

“I only eat candy,” Worhol deadpanned. 

Abbruzzi only eats candy, too. A shop that exists to support his own skating and surfing. Everything else is broccoli and he says the hell with that.

Sid started selling surfboards in his basement in ’69 then opened up a little beachfront surf shack down the street, the first Water Brothers. And a shack it was.

“I dug a little trench between the shop and the bar next door. Dropped an extension cord in it to get juice. For years, that’s where we sucked our electricity from. Every time a car drove over it in the beach parking lot, though, we lost power. We had a pot belly stove. It was a blast. We had it for twenty years. From ‘71 – ‘93. Never had a lease. We paid three-hundred a year to the landlord.”

It was Sid’s way from the get-go.

He says, “If you ever want to do anything, don’t ask. No games. Just do it.” 

Case-in-point. Sid wants to build a full-sized halfpipe in the lot next to the shack. Does it―sans blessing. The landlord shows up. Sid explains that it’s part of a project for their Explorers Troop. (A division of the Boy Scouts: changing boys to men, one ascot at a time) They were not, of course, Explorers. To cement the tale, Sid had uniforms made complete with a made up troop number patch set on the shirt sleeves. 

―And part genius.  

Sid moved into a larger store front in the ‘90’s but still held onto that independent streak. 

Water Brothers have hosted countless surf and skate royals over the years: Curren. Fletchers. Even actor Bill Murray, who once dropped down on the shop couch for a week during the shoot of Moonrise Kingdom. 

Like many surf traveler, Murray knows the spot to go when in Newport. Skip the Cliffwalk mansions, hit Water Brothers.

For Sid, however, ignoring the mansions of Newport has never been an option. These Gilded Age estates sit in front some of the best waves in all of the North East, Ruggles in particular. But as more surfers started to dot the lineup, the police began plucking them out, clearing the oceanviews of the proletariat. 

“It was Millionaire’s Row. They didn’t want us there.”

Sid grew tired of the hassling. 

“One day, I stayed in the water. All of a sudden there’s one cop, two, cops, five cops. They yelled that they were going to tow my car. ‘Go Ahead!’ I yelled back.  I finally came in when I was done. There was no love.They arrested me. Went to court. Found guilty. Fined. I took it to appeals court. And while we were waiting for trial, I was still surfing there. The judge said that banning surfing at Ruggles was unconstitutional and that was that.”  

Abbruzzi admits the victory stings a bit now. He says the water’s infested. 

On a good day, there can be a hundred guys in the water but only a couple dozen from Newport.

“Ruggles is still our spot, though. We still give a little elbow to the ribs, you know what I mean?”

Sid wears his Newport pride like a hood ornament.

“In the seventies, there was a bouy that separated surfers. If you were knowledgable you’d surf on one side, and the other side was for full-blown kooks. I wouldn’t mind havin’ that back now.”

Sid is more hands-on in Newport than a priest in a Catholic Boys School. He was at the heart of a campaign to save the break by keeping a pair of wave-crushing jetties out of the water, recommended after Hurricane Sandy. He’s put his weight behind a proposed skatepark at Abbruzzi sports Complex (named after his father.) The skatepark has just been green-lighted.

When it’s flat, you can find Sid at Water Bros. But when it’s on, he’s in the lineup, all seasons.

“I’ve surfed 55 winters. I refuse to wear a 6/5. I’m out every time there’s waves.”

If you’re ever in the Newport area, I highly suggest a visit to Water Brothers so you can touch Sid.

World’s greatest waterman Kai Lenny conducts second most exciting surf-adjacent gender reveal of all-time out at big Jaws: “I’M GONNA BE A GIRL DAD!!”

Let's hear it for the GIRLS!

Kai Lenny can do no wrong and this is one thing VALs and grumpy locals can both agree on. The brave Maui local, whom Derek Rielly describes as “a daring twenty-seven-year-old multi-discipline surfer with sea-spray eyes shaped like pecans, skin the colour of buttered cocoa and lips as red as if he’d just applied a fresh coat of pomegranate lipstick” has, this week, helped drive Facebook stock to a five-year low and, yesterday, conducted the second most exciting gender reveal of all time at his home break Jaws.

Lenny, wearing iconic Hurley springer, was towed into a large wave holding a pyrotechnic device that, when activated, released a spray of red smoke indicating that he would soon be a father of a two daughters, having just announced days ago that twins were on the way.

“I’M GONNA BE A GIRL DAD!!” he captioned the post, tagging his partner Molly Payne.

Brilliant, inspirational, many congratulations and only bested by the couple who had a boy and almost burned the entire state of California to the ground.

A who’s who of surf glitterati, featuring Anastasia Ashley, Nathan Florence, Mark Healey, Brett Simpson, Lucas Chumbo etc. weighed in with many hearts and well-wishes.

All very well deserved and much love to the Lenny family.

As a father of two daughters, though not twins, I can say they are by far the best. Better than absolutely anything including, but not limited to, Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse.

Norwegian beach handball team defeats “antiquated Mad Man-esque chauvinism,” will no longer be forced to compete in revealing bikinis!

Times are a'changin.

We surfers, we lovers of the ocean and her waves, are an open-minded bunch when it comes to dress in the lineup. A man, or woman, is allowed to wear a wetsuit, a wetsuit top, a short-sleeved wetsuit, a long-sleeved short-legged wetsuit, a full swimsuit, a bikini, trunks or a tankini. The only item of clothing expressly forbidden is the baggy short sleeved turtle necked rash guard but, otherwise, a cornucopia of options.

Our beach brothers and sisters have not had it quite so well with beach handball players, for instance, forced to toil under the sun in bikinis.

Well, no longer. The sport’s governing body just ruled in favor of allowing women to now wear “short tight pants with a close fit” and a “body fit tank top” in lieu of bikinis when competing after the Norwegian team complained that it was sexist and was duly fined.

Norwegian Handball Federation (NHF) President Kare Geir Lio told NBC News that the new change is a “real and symbolic step” toward fighting gender inequality in the sport and also that “it’s good for the game, but first of all, it’s good for the women, and it’s good for how we treat each other in sports.”


Baggy short sleeved turtle necked rash guards are really the worst, though.