Zuckerberg (pictured) not bitten.... yet.

In watershed moment, shark attacks foil surfer in Florida thus shattering aura of invincibility surrounding Mark Zuckerberg, his best friend Kai Lenny, shaper to the stars Jon Pyzel and more!

Unprecedented times.

The game has officially changed. In a stunning moment, a shark has attacked a foil enthusiast in Florida thus shattering the aura of invincibility surrounding Mark Zuckerberg, his best friend Kai Lenny, shaper to the stars Jon Pyzel and all those who have taken up foiling.

Hovering above the water’s surface, as if riding a magic carpet, foiling was seen as immune to the ugliness under the surface of the sea including, but not limited to, jellyfish stings, those weird fuzzy bubbles that sometimes float by and dreaded shark attacks.

All that changed, days ago, when Florida kite foiler Erika Lane became the second known foil shark attack victim. There she was south of Anna Maria City Pier in the gulf when a shark swam right up behind her, jerked her foil causing her to tumble then bit her right in the leg.

“I saw sharknado,” she told the local ABC affiliate, “like a cartoon character or Jaws coming at my face. I just didn’t know what was going on so I was screaming with my hands in front of my face, thinking I was going to get bitten or something. Then it was gone and I looked at my wing next to me and I just jumped on it like a pool raft.”

Luckily, Lane’s friends were nearby and they helped her to shore where they all wept loudly together over lost innocence. The first attack on a foiler happened in Maui but, in that case, the 35-year-old man was in the water, not upon his magic carpet, thus no different than you or me.

Florida shark experts believe the shark to be around four feet, based on the bite marks.

Foilers everywhere, from kite to electric, paddle to pump, are currently reassessing life choices.

Unprecedented times.

Difficult days.


Carter Doorley bangs through the snow to keep his 1000-day surf dream alive. | Photo: News12 Bronx

Ten year old boy on track to surf 1000 consecutive days at Jersey Shore, knee-high snow, ice on beach and zero degree water be damned!

What’s your longest unbroken run of surfs?

Carter Doorley, a ten-year-old shredder from Brigantine in New Jersey, is five hundred and ninety days into his plan to surf for one thousand consecutive days or a little short of three years straight.

Put that into perspective. 

What’s your longest unbroken run of surfs? I’d guess maybe thirty at some point, although I cannot confirm, I ain’t one for collecting milestones, but defs ten days straight on those Ments boat rides. 

I do recall moments on those long hauls that various performance barriers were trounced and, briefly, creating a modicum of style, my face no longer contorted into a grimace of fake unawareness. 

Doorley, a classic tow-headed grommet with a fine style on his various crafts, says he got into the consecutive surf thing ‘cause he had nothing else to do during a pandemic that cut a swathe through his home state, thirty k dead from almost two-mill cases. 

The kid’s mama, Dawn, keeps his dream alive.

First goal, one hundred days, then one year, now one thousand days.

“Me and Carter’s dad, we’re just so happy that he found his thing. And the ocean has always been his thing that kind of calms him and grounds him,” Dawn told News12 Bronx. “He’s so happy to be out there and we’re happy to help his passion every day.”

Doorley’s been using his fame to raise money for wronged animals (three hundred bucks raised for the Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary), bums (1100 cans of food) and five hundred towards repairing the local skate park etc.

Kid’s a legend.

Watch his little news spot here. 


Hawaiian lifeguards implore surfers with eyes bigger than stomachs to stay out of the water as apocalyptic swell heads toward islands: “if you’re going to beaches that are unguarded and you get into trouble it might take us a second to get there.”

When the wave is here, don't be here.

An apocalyptic swell is headed toward the Hawaiian islands, one that Surfline would describe as “the swell of the century.” Big, huge, potentially record breaking or at least tying and all during these unprecedented Covid times wherein Hawaii’s lifeguard department has been decimated by either infection or “close contact” with infection.

A perfect storm.

Yesterday, Honolulu Ocean Safety Chief John Titchen addressed the situation, telling KHON news, “Just like every employer, we do have a number of workers who are out right now because of COVID. We carefully monitor that. We have some people who come back in and leave, either for isolation or quarantine, or any other reason associated with COVID. We don’t anticipate shortages right now for the north shore and the leeward coast, and what we will do is if we end up needing to move personnel around or resources around, we will ensure we have mobile units covering these areas.”

These mobile unites cannot be all places at once, though, so the North Shore lifeguard lieutenant also implored surfers with eyes bigger than stomachs and all VALs to either not surf or paddle out at Pipeline or Waimea, telling the station, “That’s why we’re stressing for people to go to lifeguarded beaches because our mobile units are stressed with low staff. So, if you’re going to beaches that are unguarded and you get into trouble it might take us a second to get there. The best tip is to go to beaches like Pipeline, Sunset and Waimea where we have guarded towers that are staffed.”

Well?

Are you ready for either Pipeline or Waimea?

Destiny calls but, please, only paddle between 9am and 5:30pm.


I WHOOP you, mom.

Surf Journalist gifts loyal readers the key to becoming the surfer they told their mother they’d one day be!

Say "I love you" with five simple letters.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when you were going to do something with your surfing life. Win a contest, maybe two. Get on tour. Get sponsored. You’d wake up early in the morning, before the sun even, peddle your bike the the beach and practice all manner of cutback, closeout barrel, flyaway air then peddle home salty and improved.

One step closer to beating Damien Hardman.

Your mother was there on the porch, of course, cross because you were going to be late for school. Again. But you told her, you told her true, that you were on the way to surfing greatness. That you’d be someone someday. Greater than Gary Elkerton even.

Her ire would soften and she’d make your lunch then hustle you off, out the door, where you’d spend your day drawing a big barrel over the tennis player on your Pee-Chee folder.

Well, life took a turn. You fell in love, fell out of love, discovered alcohol, maybe drugs, went to college, got a job and that surf dream, that push toward excellence, slowly withered into a barely living salty plum.

Your mother, poor mother, now sits at home, candle lit by window, still waiting for news of your surfing victory over Ian Cairns.

Well guess what?

You can still deliver on your promise, all you need is a little help, your own personal digital fitness and health coach.

WHOOP is a great encourager. It reflects back, harshly, the soft lump you’ve become, initially, then motivates you to be better.

A little higher strain one day, more efficient sleep the next. Gentle feedback along the way. “You achieved above average strain.” “Start getting ready for bed.”

You listen, react, feel more refreshed, ready to take on new challenges and soon you are back at the beach before the sun pulling into closeouts, flying away with panache.

WHOOP doesn’t let you self-deceive, doesn’t let you take long breaks or participate in bad habits. It is there, constantly, reminding you of your pact, of the best you.

It’s only a matter of time before word arrives to your long-suffering mother that you, indeed, made your way to Huntington Beach and back paddled 1976 champion the poor man’s Ian Cairn, Peter Townend.

A lonely tear rolls down her cheek.

Her child has achieved.

Buy the dream here.


Handsome as hell shredder Tommy Zahn. | Photo: EOS

Long Read: “Tommy Zahn was the world’s greatest surfer because he screwed Marilyn Monroe” – Gerry Lopez

Or how the world’s most enduring sex symbol almost inspired the modern shortboard… 

History bounces in weird ways.

Opportunities are missed, opportunities are made, people zig when they should zag, sometimes they end up in the mud, sometimes they make history.

Around Malibu, there are a lot of surfers riding a lot of different surfboards, but all of them (except the alaia flyahs) can trace their ancestry back to a time in the late 1940s when California surfers were flying straight and fast on 11-foot boards that weighed as much as 100 pounds – but they wanted something different.

That something different was inspired by a woman who was surfing around Malibu and if history had bounced a little differently, that woman could have been Marilyn Monroe.

Sweet Sixteen is my title for a found reel of late-40s surfing footage that was discovered in Malibu in 2004. Sweet Sixteen stands for the 16 minutes of 16 mm film shot by a Malibu/Latigo Shores resident named John Larronde, although surf historians who have seen the footage think it was shot by God, because whoever filmed those epic overviews of empty, perfect Malibu and Rincon and double overhead Ventura Overhead reeling both ways, not only knew how to handle a film camera, they also knew what surfers and spots and boards and jalopies and girls would make surf historians do backflips, sixty years later.

Sweet Sixteen has several shots of a tall, strong Nordic man tandeming from the top of First Point to the beach with a svelte, pretty woman in a bathing cap standing on his shoulders.

The man is Pete Peterson, and the woman…. Well it’s not Marilyn Monroe and that’s a shame, because it could have been.

And if things had worked out a little different back then – and certain guys had dated certain girls – Marilyn Monroe might have had a profound effect on surfboard design as the girl who inspired the short board.

Gerry Lopez once called Tommy Zahn, “the greatest surfer in the world… because he screwed Marilyn Monroe.”

It’s true Zahn and Marilyn were in close contact. Zahn was a first-rate waterman who was movie-star handsome – the Laird Hamilton of the thirties and forties. He and Norma Jean Baker were hired at 20th Century Fox at the same time, and some say it was a love triangle between Zahn, Norma Jean and Darrilyn Zanuck – the daughter of studio head Darryl Zanuck – that got both Norma Jean and Zahn fired from the lot.

Regarding Norma Jean Baker, Tommy Zahn was quoted in the book Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers,

“She was in prime condition. Tremendously fit. I used to take her surfing up at Malibu-tandem surfing: you know, two riders on the same surfboard. I’d take her later, in the dead of winter when it was cold, and it didn’t faze her in the least; she’d lay in the cold water, waiting for the waves. She was very good in the water, very robust, so healthy, a really fine attitude towards life. I was twenty-two when I met her and I guess she was twenty. Gosh, I really liked her.”

Craig Stecyk told a similar story in The Surfer’s Journal,

“A strikingly beautiful woman approaches Dave Rochlen on the beach and inquires as to the maker of his surfboard. He informs her that he builds his own and she responds that she would like to place an order. That evening, the lady shows up at Rochlen’s board building area (located in his girlfriend Honey Bear Warren’s garage) with her husband in tow. The man orders up one as well, and is a friendly sort. This fellow finds it interesting that Rochlen is crafting surfboards in the garage of the Governor of the State of California. Dave finds it noteworthy that the fellow is none other than matinee idol, Gary Cooper.”

Another tale is told of Tommy Zahn and Dave Rochlen surfing Malibu Point on August 16, 1947; a continuation of the Marilyn Monroe story,

“The point. Evening, full moon. Two surf dogs do a double date in a 1934 Ford Roadster, with boards in the back,” wrote Craig Stecyk. “The men: Tom Zahn and Dave Rochlen. The women: Darrylin Zanuck (daughter of ‘movie czar’ Richard Zanuck) and Norma Jean Baker. Tom and Darrylin have fixed ‘Rocky’ up with Norma Jean Baker, later to be better known as Marilyn Monroe.”

Apparently, Zahn and Norma Jean and Zanuck got that love triangle patched up, so it was Darrilyn Zanuck and not Norma Jean Baker/Marilyn Monroe who would prove to be the Eve of the modern shortboard.

In Sweet Sixteen, there is a shot of three people sitting on the beach, two men playing ukuleles and one girl between them, looking at the guy on the left. He’s Tommy Zahn, tan and fit and looking like a movie star. After that, there is a shot of a woman paddling into an inside wave at Malibu on a shorter board, getting clumsily to her feet and then riding with style down the beach.

Is that Darrilyn?

And is that the Darrilyn board?

During the summer of 1947, Tommy Zahn asked Joe Quigg to make a “novice girls’ board” for Darrilyn. It had to be short and light, easy for a girl to carry and it had to fit in the back of a Town and Country convertible.

Thinking about Darrilyn Zanuck many years later, Joe Quigg said to Malcolm Gault-Williams,

“She probably thinks of herself as the original Gidget. She was at Malibu, really the first girl to buy a surfboard and buy a convertible and stick the surfboard in the back and drive up to Malibu and drive up and down the coast and learn to surf. Of the Malibu girls she was the first Malibu girl to really do it.”

This was a special board for his best friend’s girl, so Quigg picked the best redwood and balsa from five different lumber yards and made a 10’ 2” redwood/balsa with 50/50 rails, curved rail rocker, a flat planning bottom and a fin.

The board was soon nominated “the loosest board on the West Coast” and you wonder how much Darrilyn actually got to ride it. As the story goes, after Zahn and Darrilyn broke up, Darrilyn pulled a commando raid on Zahn’s garage to get the board back.

In August of 1947, the Los Angeles surf crew took a surfari down to San Onofre. Dave Rochlen, Kivlin and Pete Peterson borrowed that “novice girls’ board” and proceeded to invent California hotdogging, right then and there.

The board was faster and more manoeuvrable than anything else in the water.

“It is immediately apparent that Rochlen is turning four times faster and making it into and out of what would previously have been inconceivable situations,” Craig Stecyk wrote. “Pete Peterson next borrows the board, and is instantly banking and turning in an obvious departure from his patented power trim, runaway style. Kivlin is intrigued and promptly decides to have one for his girl friend.”

The board is even lighter than the most advanced Simmons model – maybe because Simmons still thought heavier boards were better.

Quigg said the board had “the complete combination” and he called it The Easy Rider,

“I’d been building girls’ boards since early ’47,” Quigg told surf journalist Paul Holmes. “It helped the girls to leave the tails wide. I’d put what I called ‘easy-rider’ rocker in them. They were real easy to ride. A lot of girls learned how to surf on those boards in just a few months.”

The Darrilyn Board is considered the precursor of modern shortboards because it was at that point that the best surfers in California figured out that less was more, that they didn’t need 11-foot, 100-pound planks to make waves from the flagpoles to the pier.

That same year, Quigg, Kivlin and Zahn took their first trip to Hawaii. On the way over, Quigg sketched out a narrow board with a pintail, which Quigg thought might be good for speed on those bigger days at Malibu and Rincon.

From there, surfboards transformed fast from planks, and inevitably to plastics.

And if Tommy Zahn had changed his dating habits a little, the mother of all modern shortboards could have been one of the greatest of all American movie stars.