Kelly Slater, far left, with Morrison's pal Mick Fanning, early 2000's. | Photo: ASP/Kirstin

Australian pro surfing great levels historic charge against Kelly Slater; says the 11-time world champ drove wedge between he and “surrogate father” Rabbit Bartholomew!

“The gnarly thing is, you never really moved on, you never got a coach. It was hard!”

The former #9 surfer, Pipe Master runner-up and veteran of a decade on the world tour has levelled an extraordinary historic charge against the world’s greatest athlete, Kelly Slater. 

On the insanely popular surf podcast Ain’t that Swell, run by the two best broadcast journalists in the game, Vaughan Blakey and Jedaum Smith, we find Dean Morrison, the third prong in the Coolangatta trident alongside Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning although its least successful competitively ‘cause he wasn’t into raking his teeth across the erected cherry nipples of ASP judges, describing the day a wedge was driven between he and “mentor, coach, and surrogate father” Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew. 

In 1995, fifteen-year-old Morrison had fled the family home in Tweed Heads following a messy divorce and moved in with Bugs at his beachfront joint at Kirra.

“Rab was there to guide me from an early age,” Morrison tells ATS. “That wisdom that I learned from then prepared me onto the Championship Tour. Having someone like that guide me was invaluable.”

In 2002, Morrison qualified for the tour.

Bugs, meanwhile, had manoeuvred his way into the top job of the ASP, the forerunner to today’s WSL.

As Morrison describes it, following a heat against Peterson Rosa in the opening event at Snapper Rocks, “Kelly seen me and Rab having a conversation and he goes, ‘This is not fucking on! You cannot do this!’”

The implication being, the head of the ASP shouldn’t be tender-hearted on one of the competitors.

Kelly, then a six-time world champ, had a point of course and Morrison knew it.

“It separated us (but) you can’t run the tour and coach someone.”

Rabbit says, “That very first event, you were against Peterson Rosa, Kelly came up, said, ‘You reckon that was a seven! I’m watching you!’”

Rabbit remembers thinking, “Wow! This is gnarly!”

At one point, Rabbit looks over at his little pal and says, “The gnarly thing is, you never really moved on, you never got a coach. It was hard!”

Listen here.


Headed to slide your hill.
Headed to slide your hill.

After champion surfer Joel Parkinson and TikTokers “Kerfuffle on Kirra,” Florida slams heavy curfew on its most famous surfing beach ahead of Spring Break in order to circumvent “unnatural behavior amongst vile drunken semi-adults!”


The “Kerfuffle on Kirra,” as it has come to be called, has begun reverberating around the world, altering laws and impacting freedoms. But who could blame various local governments for attempting to circumvent what recently took place in Coolangatta there on Australia’s Gold Coast. While zero fluffing of memory should be necessary, last week-ish a gaggle of semi-adult TikTokers took to a grassy hill there in the middle of the aforementioned Coolangatta and began sliding down a mud track in its center. Champion surfer Joel Parkinson then showed up, as if he had seen a symbol in the sky, and told them to stop. They did not, there was a “bust up” and the whole scene became public, as semi-adult TikTokers gotta semi-adult TikTok.

Well, news broke, thereafter, that Parkinson, himself, had created the mud track, having slid there first with his children and friends days before the semi-adults and Australia became torn in half with some siding with hypocrisy and others siding against prepubescents manifesting in twenty-five-year-olds.

Florida’s New Smyrna Beach, not that different from Australia’s Gold Coast, took careful note of the carnage and has decided to try and head off by throwing a heavy curfew on the state’s most popular surfing stretch ahead of Spring Break.

According to local news:

New Smyrna Beach City Commission voted Wednesday night to set a 60-day curfew for kids after receiving numerous complaints from residents about the “spring break invasion.”

According to city officials, the curfew is in effect east of Riverside Drive from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and legal holidays. It only applies to the aforementioned groups.

Residents told the commission “spring breakers” have been running the streets rampant and agitating business owners, like PJ Warner.

Warner said Monday night he was harassed by kids in front of his convenience store on Flagler Avenue.

“The first guy blew pot smoke in my face, the second guy spit in my face, the third guy threw whisky in my face,” Warner said.

Flagler Avenue business owners also brought a long list of complaints to city leaders to Wednesday’s meeting.

While none of the complaints included “mud sliding” it was clearly weighing heavily on hearts and minds of city council members, as it should have been.

America cannot handle another civil war and Florida lost the first time around.


Australian surf town in shock after a surfer and a swimmer are hit by sharks only forty minutes apart, “I was in chest deep water putting on my legrope when it hit me like a bowling ball!”

"Two shark bites in one arvo at the same place is pretty hectic."

The east coast of Australia is still reeling from devastating floods that flushed out a good slice of the continent recently in previously unimaginable ways.

Bloated rivers swamping everything in their path.

Towns washed entirely off the map.

Much horror on the ground.

Situation still unfolding in many places  (you can donate to support aid efforts here).

Even spots that weren’t hit too bad like my local area are still seeing bath-warm, syrupy water conditions over three weeks later.

We’ve gone from P-Pass blue to Canggu brown and it’s still showing no signs of switching back.

Before and after the rain.


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And after


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With the rain has come the sharks.

Giddy with the amount of livestock and refuse being pumped out into the lineup they’ve been bumping and grinding on anything that pops into their periphery.

Bulls, mainly.

The type to munch first and ask questions later.

Amazingly, one sleepy little backwater here on the mid-north coast of NSW has seen two bull shark attacks in the one day.

Crowdy Head sits just south of Port Macquarie, and is one of the most easterly points of the Australian mainland (behind only Cape Byron and Seal Rocks, for those playing at home).

Crowdy’s a protected bay. North facing. Could have been a good point break if not for the fishing harbour plonked right on the top of the point.

It holds a special place in my heart. I learned to surf there as a grom. Scattered my dad’s ashes at a favourite spot of his just down around the bend in the bay. Still visit regularly.

It is, though, an objectively shit wave.

Might get good one or two times a year but for the most part is a ten mile-long closeout.

Which makes getting hit by a shark there even more annoying.

Tradie Tim McAndrew was going out for a quick paddle in the muddy brown waters around five when he was hit.

“I was only in the water for about a minute. I was in chest deep water and had just come up from putting on my leg rope. Then ‘wooshka’, this thing has come in and hit me like a bowling ball and I thought ‘what the fuck was that. I looked down and, yeah, I saw the blood and thought ‘shit I have been bitten by a shark’.”

Read the full story here

Luckily Tim only sustained minor injuries. Was able to get himself out to the Manning Base hospital in nearby Taree for treatment.

But upon being patched up by a friendly nurse he discovered he wasn’t even the first shark attack victim the nurse had seen that day.

“When we got to the ED and I told the triage nurse I had been bitten by a shark, she said ‘oh another one!’,” Tim said. “She pointed in this guy’s direction and I get chatting to him and he’d arrived at the ED 40 minutes before me. He had been bitten by a shark at Crowdy Bay, too.”

Tim said the guy told him he had been swimming laps at Crowdy Bay for 30 years.
“Two shark bites in one arvo at the same place is pretty hectic.”

As far as I can recall there hasn’t been any attacks on the Crowdy main beach in living memory.

Though another local did have a run in with a bull at the nearby backbeach about fifteen years ago. Given the turbidity and warmth of the water, this type activity is a given.

But compare the bull shark attack victims, all still walking, talking, and for the most part smiling, with the recent spate of White shark attacks we’ve seen up and down the coast.

Poor souls consumed whole in methodical, unaggravated attacks.

Those Whites do not fuck around.

Teen clings for life etc.

In cinematically dramatic rescue, Kauai firefighter scales “Cliff of Insanity,” swims deadly Satan Sea in order to save teenage damsel in distress!

Heroes made.

As much as we don’t care to admit, there are levels when it comes to hero-dom. There is, near the bottom but still on the scale, surf champion Joel Parkinson telling semi-adult TikTokers to take their mess elsewhere. There is, at the middle, feminist hero Lucy Small clashing with all-comers, breaking glass ceilings etc. There is, very near the top, a Kauai firefighter who scaled a cliff, swam a devil’s churn and rescued a teenage damsel in distress.

Per the local news:

Hanalei firefighters responded to a 911 emergency call about a 16-year-old Oahu girl who was trapped on the rocks at Queen’s Bath in Princeville on Monday afternoon.

First responders were told the girl was trapped on the rocks amid dangerous surf. Lifeguards with the North Roving Patrol Unit also responded on Jet Ski and remained on standby in waters outside of the large surf break.

A firefighter hiked down to the rocks, swam over to the girl, and successfully brought her to safety. The teenage girl had no life-threatening injuries and refused treatment from officials.

The story continues, likely sharing important details, but I didn’t read and would prefer to ruminate instead, if you don’t mind.

Did the incident have anything to do with hazing, seeing the 16-year-old hailed from Oahu?

Did the firefighter have a goatee like Josh Brolin in the film Only The Brave?

Here’s a fun fact. My brother had a gal friend who babysat Josh Brolin’s children when he was engaged to Minnie Driver and the two, plus Brolin’s two children, lived on California’s central coast. Brolin, who also starred in No Country For Old Men, wore a Templeton High School jacket in the film. That’s where my brother and his gal friend matriculated.

Now it’s your turn.

Any fun facts?

Please share below.

Matt Banting (pictured) with more stickers on board.
Matt Banting (pictured) with more stickers on board.

One-time World Surf League rookie sensation Matt Banting excoriates former sponsor for ruthless beheading: “Contracts these days mean nothing!!”

99 problems.

Australia’s Matthew Banting was, once upon a time, a heralded rookie ready to conquer hearts and minds. The electric surfer from Port Macquarie, there in the very middle of New South Wales, debuted his exciting repertoire of aerial maneuvers and slashing down carves on the World Surf League stage in 2015, drawing deeps breaths from Joe Turpel, little grunts from the 1989 World Champion Martin Potter.

The kid was going places.

Unfortunately some poor finishes and injury lightly derailed the trajectory and Banting fell from the championship tour and then, recently, became unceremoniously cut by his sponsor.

Taking to Instagram, the 27-year-old wrote:

Can’t believe I signed a 2 year deal recently with a surf company, I get injured 6 months into it, I tell them to put payments on hold out of respect I can’t do anything at the current time for the company. They say thank you for that, we’ll resume your payments when you return and obviously pay you out the rest of the 24 month contract.

I haven’t received a payment since I’ve been back, I didn’t mind because I knew I was still a little bit away from getting back to 100%.. Then I heard today they aren’t going to resume any payments. haha.

Contracts these days mean nothing!!

A ruthless beheading.

A handful of years ago, this surf industry was fertile land sprouting million dollar contracts for any surfer who could semi-successfully land an alley-oop. The apocalypse then struck, bankruptcies all around, much contraction, but the floodgates have re-opened in these Covid times with money gushing like precious electrolyte-enriched water onto the soil, making the land fertile once again, or theoretically fertile.

Is the professional surfer no longer valuable as commodity?

Too many of them?

Stock mismanagement?

If you were the SVP of Tours and Head of Competition at a surf brand, who would you pay and how much?