Rumor: World’s most-loved surfer, 3x champion, retiree Mick Fanning to be awarded wildcard for upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach!

White lightning strikes again?

Now let us each, here, be very honest with each other. How many iconic, truly iconic, surf competitions exist? The Billabong Pro Pipeline, neé Pipeline Masters certainly. And… ? The argument could easily be made that Bells Beach, there on Australia’s southeastern tip, is the only other one.

Cold and gloomy.

Fat and gloomy.

Historically significant.

Well, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, just days from running on its historically significant Eastern weekend, is just days from running on its historically significant Easter weekend. Who shall be participating? A standard grab bag of Kolohe Andino, Filipe Toledo, Connor O’Leary, etc. Surfers who regularly compete on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

Wildcards, though, are given for each and every event and a rumor from a source high up in Rip Curl’s chain of command is declaring that one of this year’s wildcard will be none other than retiree and 3x champion Mick Fanning.

White lightning.

The world’s most loved surfer, who also has launched many yoga studios and beer cans since he has bowed out, will likely come up against a younger, hungry higher seed. Maybe even Kelly Slater himself.

Does this thrill you or just make you wish the World Surf League would launch its master’s division?


the apparent fun associated with hill sliding has led to a mass pilgrimage with thousands a day slipping the earth into an ugly eye sore.

Coolangatta millionaires aghast at degradation of million dollar park views; publicly laud champion surfer Joel Parkinson for attempting to “bust up” semi-adult TikTokers but privately rue his failure!

"It looks like a poop chute."

But what was once a pristine emerald hillock, framed perfectly between open French doors or majestically taking the place of a sliding glass wall, is now a gouged and gashed abomination. A “poop chute” in no way appropriate, scenically, for champagne brunches on the terrace or brandy and cigar aperitifs.

Kirra Hill in Coolangatta and very near many fine surf breaks, surrounded by multi-million dollar luxury condominiums, first became lightly marked over a week ago when champion surfer Joel Parkinson partook in some fun sliding in the aftermath of torrential rains that flooded much of the Gold Coast.

Parkinson, and children, spread much joy as their escapades were featured on the local news but also inspired darker forces. In the following days, semi-adult TikTokers took to the same mound and slid and slid and slid until the 2008 Pipeline Master showed up and told them to knock it off.

The resulting “bust up,” captured by the prepubescent 25-year-olds and posted to social media, divided the whole of Australia, brother fighting brother, sister fighting sister, over who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

Worse still, the apparent fun associated with hill sliding has led to a mass pilgrimage with thousands a day slipping the earth into an ugly eye sore.

“It looks like the stains in a poor man’s underpants,” one neighbor complained.

Privately, the well-heeled who own expensive flats with bluff views, have all sided with Parkinson. The axiom “do as I say, not as I do” is well understood in those circles, the idea of “hypocrisy” as outdated as flying commercial, though they do wish his bubbling rage would have been more respected by the man children.

“He should have made a real lesson out of them,” another neighbor mumbled.

Will Kirra Hill ever recover?

Will it become a den of middle-to-lower-middle-class mud sliders bussing in to squeal like little piggies thereby sending property values on a downward spiral?

More as the story develops.

Massive earthquake strikes off Fukushima, Japan triggering tsunami warnings thereby putting novelty wave surf aficionados on high alert!

Calling Ben Gravy.

Hours ago, a 7.3 earthquake rumbled some 35 miles off the coast of Fukushima, Japan triggering much alarm and worry. Fukushima, the historically semi-literate will remember, was site of a nuclear power plant that became extremely damaged then leaky after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the same faulty lines in 2011.

Officials are saying there has been no new damage to the plant though, according to local news, “NHK TV reported that a fire alarm went off at the turbine building of No. 5 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi, while water pumps for the spent fuel cooling pool at two of the four reactors at Fukushima Daini stopped, though there was no immediate risk of overheating.”

The earthquake has also led to an issuing of tsunami warnings that have, in turn, excited surfers who love novelty waves.

Two months ago, an earthquake set off by an underwater volcano caused many such novelty surfers to paddle out leading to embarrassing near drownings in San Francisco. 

Authorities are warning that any attempt to surf a tsunami can be dangerous but also to use soft tops if the urge for oddity is too great to overcome.

“Learn from Ben Gravy,” they say, “not Mason Ho as Mason Ho actually rips. Like, proper rips.”


Hava Nagila: World Surf League returns to bravest nation on earth, the Jewish kingdom of Zion!

Love and peace in the Middle East!

After a two-year hiatus, the World Surf League has returned to Israel, that brave middle eastern democracy with Syria right there on its eastern flank, for the Seat Pro Netanya. 

I’m not a believer in cultural relativism and, therefore, throw my lot in with the brave Jew, in with the country that has produced six Nobel Prize-winning scientists since 2002, with its world-leading solar energy and space programs, cutting-edge stem-cell research, three of the most prestigious universities in the world, a country for whom equal rights between men and women is a no-brainer, where homosexuals don’t live in fear of murder or imprisonment. 

Last time I was there, on the very day I arrived, a woman was stabbed to death in her home and in front of her six kids by a Palestinian terrorist. Shortly afterwards, a pregnant woman was stabbed, her life spared by a civilian with a gun.

And in the preceding six months, there had been 120 stabbings, 46 shootings, 30 car attacks and 78 fire-bombs. Twenty eight dead, nearly 300 wounded.

The Jews, so brave, so misunderstood.

Israel, Jews, the great Jewish diaspora, oh I love it all.

Read “Israel is the raddest surf trip on Earth!, What the Gudauskas Brothers got wrong about Israel”, Let’s go schlepping, surfing gets into the 2021 Jewish Olympics!”, Ozzie Wright sings King of the Jews!”, Movie: “The Hebrew Hammer!”.

Anyway, the Seat Pro Netanya has just started and Netanya, oowee, she’s a peach, a pretty beach town with soaring cliffs and eight miles of white sand beaches, just twenty miles north of Tel Aviv. 

Been bombed to hell over the years, of course. 

In 2002, suicide bombers from Hamas hit the Park Hotel during Passover, thirty dead, and a few months later, the local market, killing three, maiming sixty. 

Interestingly, following innumerable anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims in France, its Jewry has chosen Netanya as an escape from the hate. Stroll past French synagogues, patisseries, even hairdressers who offer “Parisian coiffure.” 

Who said Jews weren’t alert to biz opportunities! 

Alexia Marciano, a twenty six year old who  came to Netanya from Sarcelles, a mostly Muslim Paris suburb, told Jewish News, “It’s very bad. Scary. Next year we hope that the rest of the family is coming.”

Sign of the times, as they say. 

Watch the Seat Pro Netanya teaser here! 

And swing back to when your ol pal DR took Ozzie Wright and Otis Carey to Seat Pro Netanya. 

Vote death.
Vote death.

Man made famous for wandering beaches dressed as Grim Reaper in order to warn sunbathers that they were about to die from Covid to run for attorney general of Kelly Slater’s home state Florida!

Extreme activism.

What times we live in, what wild unprecedented times. There, in the skies over Australia, surfers are becoming heroes. There, in Southern California a surf journalist is being lauded, or at the very least examined, by The New York Times. And there, in Kelly Slater’s Florida, the Grim Reaper is running for the state’s attorney general.

Oh not the real Grim Reaper, I suppose, but rather a lawyer who dressed up like the Grim Reaper and wandered Florida’s beaches, at the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to warn sunbathers that they were still about to die and/or kill others.

Per local news reports:

Daniel Uhlfelder made the announcement by tweeting a campaign video where the Santa Rosa Beach lawyer calls himself a lifelong activist. In the video, Uhlfelder lists his public advocacy, which included organizing the removal of a confederate flag that was flown outside a Walton County courthouse.

His most recent example of activism thrust him into the national spotlight. Uhlfelder strutted along Jacksonville Beach prior to the Fourth of July weekend decked out in the black robes of the Grim Reaper — he even included the scythe. The reason he said was to spread awareness that Florida is still battling the coronavirus despite the state’s phased reopening at the time.

“Floridians deserve an attorney general who actually wants to do the job of an attorney general, not be the governor’s personal attorney,” Uhlfelder said in his campaign video.

Uhlfelder is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Florida College of Law. As an attorney, his law firm’s website says he specializes in real estate law, divorce, foreclosures and family law.

Do you think Kelly Slater is registered to vote in Florida?


Australia’s Gold Coast?

More questions than answers.