Kelly Slater, elated after winning the Billabong Pipeline Pro. | Photo: WSL/Brady Lawrence

Read Kelly Slater’s most candid interview ever as award-winning journalist releases previously archived interview on the occasion of Champ’s fiftieth birthday, “I need to eat, I need to kill an animal, I need to prove myself, I need to get the girl so I can procreate”

"I feel like I can improve my surfing without even going in the water.“

The sports journalist Will Swanton, a winner of multiple writing trophies, has released an archived interview with Kelly Slater on the occasion of Kelly’s fiftieth birthday. 

The scene is the outside verandah of the Rainbow Bay Surf Club during the now defunct Quiksilver Pro event at Snapper Rocks. 

Kelly sucks a spoon he’s been using to eat his yoghurt “like he’s smoking a pipe.”

“I can practise in my mind,” he tells Swanton. “I can look at a wave and I imagine myself on that wave. I literally get the feeling in my body and in my muscles of how it’s going to be when I ride that wave. I didn’t surf a wave for three weeks before I got here. I went out and it felt like I’d been surfing every day. It’s a spiritual thing for me. It’s just ingrained in my muscles and connected to my mind. Somehow, I feel like I can improve my surfing without even going in the water.“

Talk turns to Snapper’s crowds.

“Two days ago, I had someone‘s leash wrapped around my neck out there. I hit a kid yesterday. I fell on him because I was trying to avoid a different kid. You get out of the way of one kid and run into another one. It’s frustrating for all of us as surfers and humans.”

And Snapper’s hierarchical void.

“Pipeline has a tight takeoff zone. It’s a dangerous wave and you ignore the pecking order there at your peril. You know who the locals are at Pipe, you know who the good guys are, you know who’s going to get the sets, you know who’s going to get the best waves. You know the guys who are going to utilise the waves in the best way.

“That’s nowhere near what happens here at Snapper, unless it’s behind the rock or you’re at Kirra on those rare special days. On the normal days here, you just constantly get run over. You run into people yourself. It’s the same for me, it’s the same for you, it’s the same for everyone. It makes me think a pecking order is a good thing.

“There’s some weird stuff that goes with pecking orders but it does create a sense of order, for better or worse. And whatever you think about localism, a pecking order allows people to fit in where they should. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to have a pecking order at a place where the wave breaks for a mile. I actually got a few waves at Snapper yesterday but nearly every single wave, there was someone in my way. You want to be Zen but you feel yourself tightening up.

“A friend of mine was out there and we were laughing because I was losing it a bit. I said, you know what? I think I need to go to the beach and dry off. Press the reset button and paddle back out because I really am losing it here.

“You just have to get out of there sometimes. You see people paddling in and they’re just … defeated. It’s kind of hilarious because you know it’s probably going to happen to you. You don’t want it to happen to you. You do everything you can to make sure it doesn‘t happen to you. And then it happens to you.“

Slater, then, pivots to human’s base needs. 

“We’re so pre-programmed, for some reason, on the caveman level. We’re pre-programmed for survival. The most basic levels are: I need to eat, I need to kill an animal, I need to prove myself, I need to get the girl so I can procreate – all those weird genetics and encodings that are built into us. They’re present in all of us.”

Impale yourself on the rest of the interview here! 


Jonah Hill, heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne, shreds surfers spreading misinformation about his relationship status: “The rumors are true. I am engaged but not to my girlfriend. I am engaged to your mom.”


Surfing great Jonah Hill, previously famous for funny movies, has absolutely shredded surfers, the media, general public for spreading misinformation about his love life in a searing Instagram post.

The heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne has clapped back at those suggesting he may be engaged to love interest and surf instructor Sarah Brady writing “The rumors are not true. I am engaged. But not to my girlfriend. I am engaged to your mom. I know this is shocking but please respect our privacy at this time.”

He geotagged the post with “your mom’s house.”


Do you participate?

But more to the point, what do you feel about Hill now being engaged to your mother?

Mike Delaney, Jonah Hill doppelgänger Matt Biolos’s glasser, seemed thrilled, responding, “My mom is a lesbian so it makes perfect sense. Congrats you two” adding a shaka for emphasis.

Other surfers were confused though possibly elated at entering Malibu’s heavy pecking order, as son-in-law, near the top.

Though how do you feel?

If Jonah Hill ended up marrying your mother would you be ring bearer at the great event or sulking at home?

I’d have to think you’d be ring bearer.


World’s most-loved surfer Mick Fanning takes new role as culinary guide for Australia’s Gold Coast: “Dive a little deeper and maybe turn left when you normally turn right!”


The re-education of Mick Fanning, post professional surf career, has been dizzying. The three-time World Champion has launched a beer company, invested in yoga-esque workout spaces, helped bankroll “wellness towers,” bought and sold and bought again many millions worth of property on his Gold Coast.

He is a business, man, with unforeseen pivots in multiple directions.

Now, I have spent time on Fanning’s Gold Coast, Coolangatta and the like, and enjoyed it much but also did not consider the dining scene to be “world-class.” Oh, the local McDonald’s prepared the Big Brekkie burger exceptionally and the meat pies at the Coolangatta Pie Shop are second to none but… I don’t know but am also apparently wrong because the aforementioned Mick Fanning has just signed on with Uber Eats as a culinary guide, as it were.

In a recent interview with A Current Affair, Fanning declared, “Just hearing stories of different restaurateurs and the whole sort of food and beverage industry has been tough so, if I can lend a helping hand … it’s easy on my part.”

That helping hand will guide people away from their rote standards into exciting culturally appropriated wonderlands like Caracara Tacos, which serves Fanning’s favorite Mexican food.

“I think we go on apps like Uber Eats and stuff like that and we sort of just look at the same things we always do,” he continued. “But the thing is to sort of dive a little bit deeper and maybe turn left when you normally turn right and yeah, go and find something new and take some new food because as I said, there’s so many incredible restaurants out there.”


Those who live on the Gold Coast, what will you be inspired to try?

Maybe something from Domino’s Pizza?

KFC’s Spicy Cluck?

Exciting days.

Be inspired here.

Question: Is this the official end of “The Brazilian Storm” or merely a beautiful almond shaped eye of respite in its middle?

The most important geopolitical question of our time.

Well? I’m asking you. The facts on the ground, today, show the only Brazilian surfer currently headed to the Lower Trestles final’s day is Caio Ibelli. Filipe Toledo is below the cutline though still a favorite to win it all because Lower Trestles, Italo Ferreira barely making the mid-season cull and Gabriel Medina home nursing a hurt spirit.

So is this it? The official end of the Brazilian Storm or merely a beautiful almond shaped eye of respite in its middle?

Do the Brothers Pupo come up big and surprise and hammer all-comers?

What about Baby Chumbo?

It’s a heavy comedown from last year, certainly, with the title all but guaranteed a Brazilian for the foreseeable future and who would have seen Hawaii returning to dominance. Two in the top five heading over to Europe. Neither named John or John.

Exciting days.

The incomparable Jamie Brisick on Malibu heavy Jonah Hill, greatest surfer of all-time Kelly Slater and the indescribable joy of male pedicures!

Also surfing perpetually eating itself.

Jamie Brisick is an absolute gift. We don’t deserve the one-time professional surfer turned the best writer our world has ever produced but somehow, someway, we have him. Brisick’s intelligence, wit, work ethic, boundless curiosity and surf skill give him an entirely unique perspective, one that he graciously shares, one that he graciously shared with David Lee Scales and me when he stopped by for weekly chat.

Oh, I know this podcast is not your favorite favorite. That’s ok as my singular gift is thick skin, alongside my other singular gift of turning one small rumor into ten stories, but Brisick is worth a listen. On the boil? Malibu heavy Jonah Hill and probable hypocrisy, Kelly Slater never saying die, the joy of male pedicures and why surfing insists on eating itself.

You can, and should, also read Brisick’s latest in The Wall Street Journal.

Also, listen here.