Seventeen-year-old heroine saves self-destructive kangaroo for first-ever rescue as official Australian surf lifesaver!

What a time to be alive.

Into every life a little self-destructive kangaroo must fall but it usually happens later when people are more mature, better able to handle the situation, which makes Lillian Bee Young’s heroism all the more impressive.

The seventeen-year-old, who just received her stripes as an official surf lifesaver in Yamba on the north of Australia’s New South Wales, was on duty when a kangaroo began to act erratically.

“My other workmate, Carissa and I, we were sitting on the tractor and she goes, ‘Oh my God, there’s a kangaroo jumping off the rocks!’ and we were just figuring out what we should do … because we’ve never had that happen before,” she told Australia’s ABC News.

The kangaroo, maybe experiencing personal difficulties at home, refused to swim to shore after jumping into the surf but Lillian was not going to let it drown on her watch. She quickly grabbed a board and sprinted into action.

I was trying to figure out how, if I needed to, get it on the board … but also it’s a wild animal … even though you’re helping I wouldn’t want it to hurt me or make it more stressed out,” she said, adding, “It was quite a windy day, very choppy. I paddled behind it and sort of guided it into the beach.”

When the kangaroo bounded up the sand cheers broke out amongst worried onlookers.

What a time to be alive.

Watch here.

Slater in the hot tub at Surf Ranch makes universal sign for ok. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Novak Djokovic’s shock Australian Open vax exemption opens door for Kelly Slater to compete at Bells and Margaret River in retirement year!

“Outrageous kick in the teeth to all Australians who’ve endured such draconian restrictions for so long. Rewarding an anti-vaxx loon like this sends a terrible message.”

The world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has sparked fury, outrage etc among residents of the most locked down city in the world after he was given a vaccine exemption to compete at this month’s Australian Open in Melbourne. 

Brit polemicist Piers Morgan tweeted, “Outrageous kick in the teeth to all Australians who’ve endured such draconian restrictions for so long. Rewarding an anti-vaxx loon like this sends a terrible message.”


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A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole)

Australian football star Corey McKernan tweeted, “People with loved ones who are dying / some needing urgent treatment cannot get into their own states. You tell people they can’t go to Coles or a cafe without being vaxxed but if you’re world number 1 you get a pass? F***ing disgrace.”

The good people of that once-bustling city lived, barely, through six lockdowns totalling 262 days after COVID kicked off worldwide in March 2020. 

It wasn’t a breezy sorta deal either, local cops ate up the chance to kick hell out of anyone who didn’t affix their paper mask correctly.

Anyway, exemptions can be given for reasons such as anaphylactic response to the COVID vaccine, a poor response to vaccination or having had Covid in the last six months.

Serbian Djokovic told fellow Serbian athletes on a Facebook chat a year ago, “Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel…” 

Earlier this year, Kelly Slater was slammed by the Australian press when he launched multiple fronts in the online vaccine war and claimed friends had “literally” been killed by vaccines, although this would later be amended to “horrible reactions”. 

Slater’s vax hesitancy, scepticism, whatever it is, previously meant he’d be shut out from competing on this year’s Australian leg of the tour, which encompasses Bells Beach and Margaret River.

Only two months ago, The Guardian opined that the country’s ultra-strict vaccination requirements would not be loosened even for superstar tennis players like Novak Djokovic. Not 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?

The Djokovic decision opens the door to the greatest of all time to give Australians one more taste of his divine act, flying out on sheer bazaaz, his fans twitching like laboratory rabbits with electrodes planted in the brain. 

In truth, the modern lineup inflicts countless indignities. There’s the guy paddling casually over the shoulder, just as you come down the line. There’s a girl dropping in. Never look back, that’s what she says. Then a beginner drops in on you and promptly falls over.

Surf etiquette is dead in California. What the crowds and the midlength revolution began, the Wavestorms finished!

We hope that once in a while we can find some space, however small, in the chaos.

There I was, sitting in the lineup at Rincon, just an innocent girl going for a surf.

It wasn’t even good Rincon.

Around here, this hasn’t been a winter to be especially picky about the conditions. A girl can’t wait forever for perfection.

If I think my board might float on it, I go surf.

I have given up on the idea of choosing the right board for the conditions. It’ll be small. It’ll probably shitty. Just take the shortboard and make it work.

This particular day offered a jumbled mess of windswell from assorted directions. Random peaks. Weird sections. Odd corners. Pretty fun, actually.

My standards, they are so gone now. Love you long time, good waves. Come back someday, maybe.

That bitch La Niña stole the good waves and turned the water colder than usual. I whined my way through the paddle out. I am not a fan of an ice cream headache without the ice cream.

There’s waves. Shut up, and surf.

Then along came a likely-looking peak. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a wave, no one sat near me, and I could ride it. Things were looking up. I turned around, ready to do some surfing, or at least, the closest thing to surfing the conditions would allow.

Then, out of nowhere there he was: the backpaddler.

Riding a brown-tint midlength — which, let’s just stop right here for a minute. You ordered a board, and you asked for a resin tint. Out of all the colors you could have picked, you went with brown? And not like, a cute, tawny brown to match your sun-streaked hair. Just plain brown. I really don’t understand this life choice.

The brown midlength casually swung around the back of me. Then he dropped in beside me, close enough to brush rails. I’m pretty sure he thought he was doing some super awesome surfing thing there. Check me out, I picked off this wave with inches to spare!

Before we go much further I should say, the backpaddlers are almost always men in my experience. But it’s not like women are not out there wearing halos, by any means. I am not here to put anyone on a pedestal.

In truth, the modern lineup inflicts countless indignities. There’s the guy paddling casually over the shoulder, just as you come down the line. There’s a girl dropping in. Never look back, that’s what she says. Then a beginner drops in on you and promptly falls over.

There’s loose boards from who knows where yardsaled around the inside. A guy is teaching his girlfriend to surf in the middle of it all. They stare up at you, anchored like buoys. And of course, Wavestorms.

It’s enough to send a girl running for the hills. If only I could run.

With short legs and flat feet, running is an exercise in comedy — and futility.

And yes, I do see you out there alone, holding down your cold-water peak, somewhere up north. There’s no one to backpaddle you out there. You’ve never seen a Wavestorm. It’s so idyllic.

I also see the 6mm wetsuit, the hood, the booties. And I see the shark circling beneath your feet. She’s trying to decide if she’d like to have a nibble. Nah, not today. Still full from breakfast. Maybe tomorrow.

If I had to pick one, I’m pretty sure the backpaddler is the worst of the modern lineup’s indignities. There he is, just cruising along on his favorite 7’6”. There he is, just so stoked to be out there today.

Then, bam!

He’s behind you, grinning like a goon. There he goes, taking off right next to you.

Does he know he’s an asshole? Probably not. He looks far too happy.

In truth, it’s not like he has any reason to know better. Most places in California, lineup etiquette is dead. What the crowds and the midlength revolution began, the Wavestorms finished.

Sure, there’s some hold-outs where the grumpiest locals throw their collective weight around the lineup. And sure, you can paddle out somewhere cold and lonely, just you and sharks, having a time together.

But most of us, live with the crowds.

We dodge and we weave.

We hope that once in a while we can find some space, however small, in the chaos.

There’s peace in the eye of the hurricane.

Just keep dancing.

I watched the happy backpaddler surf down the line, arms in the air. I cursed, even knowing he couldn’t hear me. I imagined his wax peeling off his board and his fin dropping out. I realized I’m not at all good at imagining suitable punishments. Too much thinking gets in the way of the surfing, anyway.

Another little peak headed my way. This time, the brown midlength was nowhere in sight. All mine. Lucky.

I got up and wiggled down the line. I even did a little turn, which felt like a miracle.

There wasn’t much wave there for turning, and I am not Dane Reynolds, who somehow defies all laws of gravity and throws huge turns on tiny ripples.

It was nothing special. It was surfing. It was enough.

Screenshot: Daryl Jones.
Screenshot: Daryl Jones.

Bodyboarder receives international condemnation after challenging protected sea lion to beach fight in New Zealand!

Battle royale!

If there is one species that I have no sympathy for, it is the stinky sea lion. Oh how they vex, how they frustrate, how they smell. My wonderful best friend, you see, has a beautiful sailboat in Newport Beach’s harbor and the creatures regularly climb aboard and reek the place up whilst also causing stress fractures due their general fatness.

Various anti-sea lion measures have, of course, been deployed but they are all toothless as sea lions are protected in Newport and anything that might work is met with a stiff fine.

They are also, apparently, protected in New Zealand where a bodyboarder is receiving international condemnation for challenging one of the bastards to a beach fight, swinging his craft wildly and making a tactical retreat.

Daryl Jones happened to be perched near the St. Clair Hot Water Pool where he captured the scene after noticing the sea lion refusing to let the bodyboarder boogie by strutting side to side on the shoreline.

“I’ve been a pāua diver years ago, I’ve been surfing here for 30 years, I’ve encountered them heaps of times – they’re all bluff. They’re just inquisitive,” he told the Otago Daily Times after sharing his advice that the bodyboarder should have simply backed away and waited five minutes.

The local biodiversity ranger countered that the bodyboarder should have simply frozen and called him “ignorant.”

“They’re a big animal, they’ve got sharp teeth, you’re confronted with them, you get all the fight-flight emotions coming into play, and so you can do silly things, he said. “They’re not actually there to bite you or eat you or whatever people think they might be there to do. They’re just being playful and you can give all the wrong signals by just being scared. But you can also do the right thing if you just go into freeze mode.”

Animal rights activists have piled on, calling it “unbelievable behavior,” but none of them have friends with boats so what do they know?

Go bodyboarder go!

Watch video here.

Kelly Slater partners with vintage pop sensation Crowded House for band merch and stars in band’s new video, “Love Isn’t Hard at All”!

“Just like the ocean floor, you’re relatively unexplored. Who are you?”

Vintage pop sensation Crowded House, the New Zealand troupe best known for their 1987 chart topper  Don’t Dream It’s Over, have built the official video for their latest song entirely around old WSL footage of Kelly Slater at the Pipeline Masters. 

The lyrics pack an emotional punch, wise and joyous, the almost fifty-year-old Slater’s moves entwining Neil Finn’s words like an old vine. 

Let’s go
The world awaits
Or save it for a rainy day above you

We can try
All kinds of ways
To send me to an early grave below you

It wouldn’t hurt to hear you say
Although it’s just a turn of phrase
“I love you”

And in the dark
I hear the call
It feels like love isn’t hard at all
The sun comes up and I see you lost in thought

Those eyes are miles away
They’ll take your mind on holiday
Where are you?

I’ll help you

A man works hard
To find his shape
Knowing where he stands
And how much of this he can take
The song the siren’s make
Getting loud as the swell’s about to break

And will I float when the life boat goes under?

Just like the ocean floor
You’re relatively unexplored
Who are you?

And from the deep
I hear the call
It feels like love isn’t hard at all
My head comes up and I’m ready
Fear no more

Engagement on the song after one-and-a-half months live has been subdued, twenty k plays or thereabouts.

The video comes as the band announced their collaboration with Slater’s famously sustainable clothing brand Outerknown, offering two different tees at forty-three American dollars on the US site (eight-four Australian dollars on the Australian site) apiece, and a sweater for two c-notes Australian or a hundred and twenty if you’re buying from the US site.

Hell of an exchange rate. 

Pre-order here.