A prime hunk of Byron Bay dirt.

Australian pro surfer nearly killed in bizarre wipeout at Pipeline reveals wildly lucrative development plans for Byron Bay beach shack bought for bullish $5.1 million!

How to roll five-mill into twelve… 

A few years back Owen Wright, the one-time world title contender who suffered a delayed brain injury after a wipeout at Pipeline in 2015 that was so bad docs told him he’d never surf again, spent $A5.1 million on a an unremarkable beach shack five hundred yards from the Pass in Byron Bay. 

Of course, Owen, who is thirty-two and whose plume of golden hair, swooning eyes and bullfighter’s body suggest teen idol more than real estate developer, saw more than an idyllic little timber house surrounded by almost half-an-acre of grass and trees.


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And, a few hours ago, Owen revealed what the joint is going to look like after the bulldozers and tradies have done their biz: two luxury beachside villas.

“When Daniels street hit the market, the vision I saw was keen long boarders surfing the pass every morning or doing the lighthouse walk, parents teaching their groms to surf in kid friendly waves and then getting their own barrels around the corner at Tallows,” wrote Owen. “Walking the kids to school up the street passing Top Shop cate for their morning coffees.

“Dreams aside I knew I had to bring this vision to life for the families in Byron who want to live on the best street in town or for anyone who has always wanted to move to Byron. So I partnered with @burkeurban Developments and @integrapartnerships . As soon as I met the family run business with @eliza.r.teague and @ben__teague , I could see the passion that they had for this thriving town, moving their young family here as I have done. We all had such a similar view on what we could see the property becoming and they had multiple, successful and award winning developments behind them. Their knowledge of this space and @hoggandlamb masterful architecture it gave me the opportunity to see this vision come to life.” 

The two villas will be yet another play in Owen’s expansive property portfolio.

You’ll remember the $1.6 million house at Lennox Head with its indoor swimming pool that meandered through the living room,  the Federation-style house in Byron Bay (a little under a million), the beachfront townhouse at Thirroul (675,000) and the gorgeous mountain-top hideaway (bought for 750k, sold for a million).

I doubt if we’ll see a family like the Wrights within surfing ever again, at least in my lifetime.

Three surfers on the tour, including a duel world champ, and all of ’em with their own aesthetic.

For added spice, mysterious illnesses have derailed two thirds of the pack. These include Owen’s aforementioned so-rare-it-didn’t-have-a-name delayed brain trauma that resulted in a push for compulsory helmets and Tyler’s potentially career-ending Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Ongoing spinal issues with Mikey, meanwhile, has kept that firecracker’s fuse unlit.

Visit the real estate pages, here, to examine closely Owen’s new development or browse the photos below.

I’m guessing six-ish mill apiece.


Open Thread: Comment Live on possible Final’s Day of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by Shiseido!

Unzipped souls, spread wares.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve fallen in love with Sunset all over again. Today, I read a post from surfing’s eminent, and only, historian Matt Warshaw detailing the late, great Michael Tomson’s love for the wave. The Gotcha founder and beautiful wordsmith wrote that Sunset, “unzips your soul and spreads your wares out for all to see.”

I love Tomson (buy here) and how great is that? Watch the unzipping, the spreading, here or here (unless the World Surf League pulls the plug again) and discuss with the finest batch of derelicts the internet has ever produced below. Plug will never be pulled here. Sorry ’bout it.

Goldschmidt (left) in happier-ish times.

Controversy explodes over “horrible, incompetent” snowboard judging during Winter Olympics drawing ex-World Surf League CEO, current President of U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sophie Goldschmidt back into uncomfortable extreme sport fire!

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in" etc.

Our World Surf League was, not long ago, ruled by a British sporting executive with a tennis background and zero experience in surf nor skate nor snow. Sophie Goldschmidt was tasked, maybe, with professionalizing the whole business and was successful in erecting the now-famous Wall of Positive Noise as well as hiring the equally now-famous “Backward Fin” Beth Greve.

Goldschmidt was only at the helm for a year? A little more? before quietly casting off and leaving our game in the hands of an ex-Oprah Winfrey executive with a penchant for sparkling white Vans and paddleboards.

Now, it has been argued that one doesn’t need to deeply feel this surfing, to know it in any real way, in order to understand the business side but I’d counter argue that the stumbling, fumbling, bumbling since the Association of Surfing Professionals was re-branded as the World Surf League and stocked with well-educated know-nothings proves otherwise.

Well, as it so happens, Goldschmidt is now President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboarding, the official national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding in the United States, and, as it were, controversy has erupted over the horrible, incompetent judging during these almost wrapped Beijing Games.

In men’s Slopestyle, for example, Mark McMorris was robbed of a gold medal when the judges blatantly missed winner Max Parrot not grabbing his board and in men’s halfpipe Japan’s Ayumu Hirano performed the most difficult run in snowboarding history and was massively underscored, having to reprise the same run, going even bigger, to convince the judges and stem furious gasps.

Snowboarding, unlike surfing, has no Wall of Positive Noise and Todd Richards, in the booth for NBC, was apoplectic, directly calling out the judges, insisting on multiple replays to show how wrong they got it, generally losing his mind.

It was a great and complete shame for snowboarding, called correctly by Richards who comes from the very core, and snowboarders from all countries lit up social media with the Olympic snowboarders weighing in too.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is, obviously, not responsible for the judging errors but will certainly feel pressure from its snowboarding constituents to make profound changes or, better, free them from “ski” and allow them to form their own union. Goldschmidt, not core, will be very much in the center dealing with livid extreme sporters firing sling and arrows, calling for blood, just like she was in her surfing days.

I don’t think she enjoyed it then.

I don’t think she will enjoy it now.

“Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in” etc.

World champion Joel Tudor presses longboarding advantage over World Surf League while extending beautiful olive branch: “Why not do all the finals together? Lowers is one of the best longboard waves around!”

Give us us Trestles!

Last week, or maybe the week before, the World Surf League’s 2021 longboard champion Joel Tudor became very angry at the aforementioned League when it was rumored that professional contest longboarding was set to be decimated. Tudor, watching the Pro Pipeline, at the time, and seeing many videos of longboarding, particularly women’s longboarding, and messages of equality, pounced.

His challenge, “Can y’all explain this kind of equality?” was met with bizarre gaslighting from the League, which, in turn, led to open warfare that was quickly dominated by Tudor as he held the moral high ground.

What then is the beleaguered WSL supposed to do?


Add a couple stops and toss the longboard final at Lower Trestles during the waiting period for the already existing, and much ballyhooed, shortboard “Final’s Day.”

A no-brainer but I’m already convinced. Let surfing’s great polemicist win you over here.

Open Thread: Comment Live on Women’s Day One of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by Shiseido!

Can your heart handle more?

Yesterday was quite a day, as far as professional surfing goes, and wow. How are your nerves? How is your bank account (read about JP Currie’s here)? Mine is $3000 lighter as I was ingloriously kicked out of Surfival League whilst riding John John Florence. I suppose not officially $3000, as we are not close to the end of the season and I have never won anything in my life, but man.

John John Florence losing to Jake Marshall, Kelly Slater, who is occasionally called the Greatest of All-Time, shortened to GOAT for expediency, interfering?

Quite a day indeed. Well, no rest for the wickedly entertaining.

Log back onto the webcast here or here. Make your best friends in the metaverse laugh below.