DH's house, torched. | Photo: NBN News

Man who blamed his girlfriend for torching surf icon Derek Hynd’s Byron house, killing a dog, sentenced to two years in prison, “The dog itself would have suffered a horrible death by suffering smoke inhalation or being burned to death”

House burnt down after former pals argued following a heavy night of weed, port, vodka and beer.

Two years ago, iconic surf writer, former pro surfer, creator of Rip Curl’s The Search campaign and fins-free pioneer, Derek Hynd, lost his house, a dog and most of his possessions, including a forty-year collection of writing, memorabilia a five-thousand dollar violin, and his surfboards, including the little five-eight Skip Frye fish from Litmus, in a deliberately lit fire.

Yesterday, Isaac Lehane, who is twenty-six and who lived with his girlfriend in a caravan on DH’s Myocum property, near Byron Bay, pleaded guilty to damaging property by fire worth more than $15,000. 

Dive into the agreed set of facts (as reported by the GC Bulletin) and you get this.

DH and his kid Lochlan lived in a a refurbished shed. Outside Lochie’s bedroom were two unused gas canisters. 

Lochie and Issac were on the piss and smoking weed on September 16, 2019, when they started to argue. 

The argument, over petty little things initially, went south when Lochie started talking about the rent. Lochie told Issac he had to leave. 

Issac and his  girl went back to the van where he kept yelling. Lochie heard it and banged on the van door telling him to leave. 

Issac came out with a metal pole. Lochie picked up a machete and said, “Are you seriously going to try to kill me? Are you going to die tonight?”

Lochie went back to his shed, took sleepers and was asleep by midnight. 

Fifteen or so minutes laster, DH heard bottles dropping on the floor outside Lochie’s rom. 

Issac  lit on fire a piece of cardboard that was on a window covering a broken spot. 

DH said he heard a pop before he saw Lochie flee his room with flames behind him. 

DH called triple O (Australia’s 911). He saw Issac running towards the house screaming for Lochie. 

DH went to the cops the next day and told ‘em he heard the van’s doors open and shut twice and said he suspected Issac might’ve started the fire after his fight with Lochie. 

A weeks later, Issac spoke to the cops and told ‘em about the argument over the rent. Told ‘em he saw the fire and ran to warn Lochie and to rescue the dog. 

On November 26, 2019, Issac told the cops his girlfriend probably did it. “I feel like she’s burned my best friend’s house down”. He also said she started the argument about rent.

Exercise bike survives fire. Not much else.

On June 18, 2020, the girlfriend told the cops Lochie and Issac had been smoking weed “quite heavy” on the night in question and were drinking port, vodka and beer. 

Girlfriend told ‘em Issac had a Zippo lighter and that he’d left the van and said he was going to burn DH’s joint down. 

On November 4, 2020, Issac was arrested and charged. 

Defence told the court Issac had a brain injury and mental health probs. Special circumstances, the event was spontaneous, real sorry about the dog, which wasn’t owned by DH, etc.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy acknowledged the bummer of precious boards, the excellent violin and so forth disappearing in flames but was concerned about how the dog died. 

“The dog itself would have suffered a horrible death by suffering smoke inhalation or being burned to death,” Dunlevy said, describing the case as “a nasty offence with a significant impact”.

Issac Lehane was sentenced to two years in jail with a fourteen-month non-parole period, backdated to October 2. 

If he keeps himself clean in prison, he’ll be eligible for parole in a little under a year. 

Landfill Santa!
Landfill Santa!

Kelly Slater’s sustainable outerwear brand Outerknown stuffs landfills with festive cheer ahead of Holiday Season!

The most wonderful time of the year!

Oh but do you feel the wonderful tang of holiday in the air this December 1st? The soft sound of sleigh bells jingling ring-ting-tingling too? Mistletoe, stockings hung by chimneys with care, gingerbread homes for candied children? Only the grumpiest, grinchiest local can deny that this season holds magic.

I was reminded of festive cheer when I visited my mailbox yesterday morning and discovered a full color bleed mailer for Kelly Slater’s sustainable outerwear brand Outerknown stuffed inside. It was addressed to someone else and I felt small guilt in breaking its seal but what was I to do? An adorable picture of a Saint Bernard wearing a scarf overlooking the words “Your OuterKnown sustainable gift guide. Gift thoughtfully. Gift better” was simply more than I could take.

The heavy card stock opened to a four paneled masterpiece of joy. There were salmon trunks and “swittens,” moleskin shirts and “reimagine cashmere” beanies, blanket shirt dresses and Breitling x Outerknown watches.

I bathed in its seasonal charm, almost able to smell chestnuts roasting by the fire with care, then, seeing as there was no way to order any of it from the mailer itself, went to my trash can and pitched it inside.

I’m absolutely sure the landfill will be joyously grateful.


Brazil enters morally murky waters by hosting animal abuse-adjacent world of dog surfing contests!

Would dogs, man’s theoretical best friend, chose to SUP?

There was a time, almost forgotten, when then the surfing powers resided solely in the nasty hegemony of Southern California with its “surf industry” and its “ Dino Andino” and its “Association of Professional Surfers” except that association actually resided on the even nastier Australian Gold Coast.

Dog surfing contests.

A fundamental destruction of animal rights?


Those selfsame animal rights posit, “Sentient animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.”

Would dogs, man’s theoretical best friend, chose to SUP?

Choose to become scored on closeout beach break?

Full rotation airs on the horizon?

Brazil, in any case, has entered the chat.

Surf world rocked by revelation iconic Pipeline house recently sold for $5 million not owned by Quiksilver but by Chinese consortium!

Reds under the bed!

The surf world is in shock this morning after it was revealed the iconic “Quiksilver House” at 59-367 Ke Nui Rd was never owned by Quiksilver at all but had been rented off a Chinese consortium for the last dozen or so years.

Two days ago, we’d reported that after five years on the market and following a scissoring of fifteen million dollars off the asking price, the famous house, which once hosted Craig Anderson and his Lopez-inspired single fin, had been sold for $US4,950,0000.

It had last traded in 2009 for one-point-four mill.

A pretty good result despite the discounting and still a three-and-a-half mill capital gain for the beleaguered Quiksilver.

As the realtor spun it,

“Only a handful of surf spots in the world share the same reverence that Banzai Pipeline has. And when it comes to Pipe, there are even fewer properties that can claim they truly front this iconic surf break. For that reason, we’re proud to present 59-367 Ke Nui Road…otherwise known to locals and surfers as the Quiksilver House. A property steeped in North Shore lore and witness to the world’s greatest surfing events.”

After our story appeared, there was a flurry of direct messages to our Instagram account, including from North Shore standout and star of Quiksilver’s Performers movies, Mickey Neilsen.

“Get your facts right,” wrote Mickey. “We rented it! Never bought it.”

Rates for the joint were around a thousand bucks a night.

And an email from Quiksilver’s Simon Charlesworth, “Wanted to drop you a note to clarify Quiksilver never owned the house at Pipeline, it was always rented from a Chinese consortium who sold it earlier this year.”

Reds! Who knew!

The sale is good news, I’d suggest, now that the PRC is mounting a real slow and steady build-up to World War III over the little-ish island of Taiwan, which is still a hold-out from Chinese Reds ever since Chiang Kai-Shek and his KMT fled the mainland after losing the civil war in 1949.

One less staging point for a land invasion of Oahu, Pearl Habour, the sequel etc.

In other East v West news, the biggest thing in China right now is the stunning popularity of war movie The Battle at Lake Changjin, which tells the true-ish story of China’s glorious victory over wicked American-UN forces during the Korean War.

A billion dollars in gross earnings thus far this year.

It’s a very good film and it stars the hypnotic Wu Jing, who leads the 7th Company of the People’s Volunteer Army to an unexpected triumph against all odds.

"Ive saved lotta lives...."
"Ive saved lotta lives...."

Explosive new global study launched to determine if surfers are truly the “guardian angels of the sea” or simply full of vile self-congratulatory lies!

Numbers don't fib.

A shockwave is reverberating across the social scientific world, this morning, as it has been revealed that a potentially landscape altering study is being embarked upon seeking to determine whether surfers are the true “unsung heroes” when it comes to saving lives or the lowest form of self-congratulatory liars that ever paddled the seas.

Professor Rob Brander of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) first published a study nearly seven years ago that suggested surfers rescue as many people as volunteer lifesavers and that 63% of surfers feel they have saved a life.

Again, 63% of surfers feel they have saved a life.

The numbers have haunted, Dr. Bander and colleagues all these nearly seven years and so are kicking off a new study to quantify the actual count of “guardian angel” surfers worldwide.

“It’s estimated that over 35 million people regularly participate in surfing – that’s a lot more than the entire population of Australia,” says Dr. Brander. “In Australia alone there are an estimated 2.5 million surfers, which is about 10% of the population. So we are really interested to see if we can get stronger data about surfers and how many rescues they might make each year at Australian beaches, and whether this is consistent the world over.”

Will the jig be up when Dr Brander and his colleagues start poking? Will it be revealed that surfers are unrepentant cons who will say anything for a pat on the back or true halo’d saints?

Which do you think?

Do you feel you have saved a life?

More as the story develops.