Senior Vice Presidents of Tours and Heads of Competitions, co-Waterpersons of the Year bullish as exhaustive new study declares the “global surfing market” will explode to $3.1 billion by 2026!

Happy days are here again.

The fact that our World Surf League has stumbled, bumbled, fumbled onto hard times is no secret. Empty “stay tuned” screens fill the broadcast, its “studios” shuttered, tens of employees unceremoniously fired, sent out to Santa Monica’s streets to join other likeminded homeless.

Dark days.

But maybe, just maybe, there some light at the end of that tunnel? A new, exhaustive study that can be purchased here is declaring the “global surfing market” will explode to a mind-boggling $3.1 billion by the year 2026.

Per the abstract:

Surfing is a surface water sport wherein the participant moves along the face of a breaking ocean wave, also known as the `surf`, with the use of `board` as primary equipment. The primary factor driving growth is the push by surfing equipment makers, marketers and associations to make surfing much more approachable than it was in past years, as seen through the roll out of public surfing facilities and artificial reefs. Increased accessibility and affordability has drawn significant number of surfing participants and attracted wider demographic clusters in the recent years. The sport of surfing has also emerged a fashion and lifestyle trend. The growing focus on wellness and fitness is also leading to increased interest in surfing, as spas and wellness centers promote the sport as a fitness ritual. Surf tourism has contributed significantly to the demand for surfing equipment and apparel over the years. Surfing vacations hold tremendous potential and are likely to be a vital component of the global travel industry in the post COVID-19 period. The inclusion of surfing as a sporting event in the Olympics also has the potential to spur interest in the activity.

Some of this has to trickle up into co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff’s beleaguered pockets no? SVP of Tours and Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer counting how many more stops at Trestles she can add, per year, with the windfall yes?

Happy days are here again.

Alabama first state in nation to pass “wake surfing” ban causing much fear, consternation, panic to spread through novelty wave community!

Cancel culture.

Any one, here, who has ever been wake surfing knows both the simple joy and light frustration it brings. It is fun, or fun enough, to pump “down the line” of a knee to waist high “wave” perpetually breaking. It is semi-annoying to have a boat rumbling perpetually out front. But, on a warm lake day it is the third best “activity” after drinking Coors Light and e-foiling, friends hooting and laughing, Morgan Wallen blasting out Rockford Fosgate speakers.

Well, a new law just passed unanimously in Alabama will make whole business illegal causing much fear, consternation, panic to spread through the novelty wave community.

Senate Bill 281 was sponsored by State Sens. Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman) and Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) and carried in the House by Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg).

“There’s been a lot of public outcry about the issues concerning wake boats and wake surfers due to the damage that the wakes cause to lake property, just the nuisance they cause by people who are not considerate of others,” Ms. Shaver told local news adding, “About a year or so ago there was a public meeting and over 200 people from that area attended with concerns about these issues, so it’s not just a one-person problem.”

While Alabama’s wake surfers will now have to cross state lines in order to get their fix, tanker wake surfers, flowriders and those who poach the occasional hurricane swells in Mobile huddle in basements wondering if they might be next.

First they came for motor-created swell riders and I said nothing because I did not ride motor-created swell etc.

Scary times.

Dane Reynolds, far right during reboot of Drive-Thru. | Photo: @benjiweatherley

Go-for-broke former world number #4 surfer reveals lifelong battle with anxiety; thought he was “dying” during heat with Gabriel Medina, “I couldn’t go outside… I locked myself into the house for months… there was no ending in sight!”

“The biggest problem was it kept happening. My wife had to travel with me for years.”

A terrific new entrant into the surf podcast arena is Soundings, hosted by Jamie Brisick, the thirty-year veteran surf journalist from Malibu, California. 

Brisick is the author, among many other titles, of the surf hunk to showgirl book, Becoming Westerly, which tells the story of Peter Drouyn’s overnight gender switcharoo. 

Part thriller, part melodrama, all page-turner. To be and not to be is the result.

Lately, Brisick has become the voice of the Surfer’s Journal podcast, Soundings. His silky baritone vibrates like muted thunder, the sound coming from so deep in his throat its hard not be shivered with excitement. 

Episode four is with Dane Reynolds, the thirty-six-year-old father of three, filmmaker, vlogger and former world number four surfer from Bakersfield in California.

Many topics are covered. Reynolds talks slowly, as if stiffed on a one-hundred dollar bag of coke. Brisick deftly leads the conversation. 

The interview gets good when Reynolds dips into the anxiety he felt when he was on the tour in his mid-twenties, as well as his fear of winning a surf event.

“Twenty-six is a weird transitional part of your life,” Reynolds says. “That year was learning to be an adult and being a professional surfer doesn’t teach you to be an adult. I was putting too much pressure on myself to do the best surfing I’ve ever done and, basically, wearing myself thin and it unknowingly spilled over during a heat with Gabriel Medina… during the heat I was in a complete panic…as anyone who has had a panic attack knows, I thought I was dying. When I got out I ran to the car, called my girlfriend, she was at a wedding, and said I think I’m dying. I was driving to the hospital and she talked me out of it. She’d had experiences like that before, and then I just passed out.”

Reynolds tells Briz, “The biggest problem was it kept happening. I was in Mexico and it happened again. I was going into a grocery store in town and it happened again. Suddenly, I couldn’t go outside. Courtney (Reynolds’ wife) couldn’t have people over. I locked myself into the house for months. There was no ending for months. I went to lots of therapy, had medication but, even then, my wife had to travel with me for years.”

Brisick says to Reynolds he imagined a day when Reynolds won a contest ‘cause he figured it would have a transformative effect, maybe give him the drive to chase title. 

“I don’t think that was ever in the cards,” says Reynolds, “mostly because I had a weird thing. I was scared of winning a contest. I didn’t want to know how it felt. I didn’t want to get carried up the beach. I wanted to get there, but then I’d blow it and get second. Not on purpose. It was a weird mental block.” 

Essential listening.


Fat-cat landowners strike heavy blow against poor beach lovers, surfers as Santa Barbara-adjacent Hollister Ranch remains closed to public pending a “full programmatic environmental impact report!”

"It could take years."

Any California surfer worth her salt is certainly aware of Hollister Ranch. The 14,000 acre parcel of pristine land, hovering just north of tony Santa Barbara, is owned by a handful of fat-cats and long been closed to the public. That same surfer, though, is likely enterprising and has likely been on a boat once, or twice, tasting those forbidden-esque waves, knowing how fine they are.


Well, two years ago, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that was supposed to open that stretch of coastline to poverty-stricken beach lovers, surfers, who both couldn’t afford million dollar real-estate nor boats and there was much rejoicing in various Hoovervilles and French Laundries.

But the über rich don’t just lie down like that, now, do they and The Hollister Ranch Owners Association got together to declare that public access “threatens to eliminate the ranch’s right to privacy and will upend the longtime conservation efforts, destroying a host of constitutional rights in the process.”

Lawsuits, legal wrangling, hullabaloo and now an April 1st deadline for completion of coastal access is set to be blown right through, being replaced by a “full programmatic environmental impact report” that could take years.

Sarah Christie, legislative director for the California Coastal Commission explained how this would all be a great thing during a meeting earlier this week. “This additional analysis will not only increase the public’s confidence that access won’t harm sensitive resources, it will enable the commission to better withstand legal challenges in the likely event that program approval is litigated.”

Sen. Monique Limón, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, was made sad by the delay and declared, “The original intent of my bill was to ensure a balance between equitable access and protections for the environment. This was always the intent: to balance public access while protecting our environment.”

The 1% will likely use the delay to plot more shenanigans, possibly building that wall.

Dark days.

More as the story develops.

Aerial surfing influencer dies suddenly, aged 47, “He was way ahead of his time and took a lot of shit from media and surf fans who liked ‘normal’ surfing!”

"He traded rock cocaine in for meth and went to jail many times. He learned to tattoo and tattooed his own face while looking in a mirror."

The San Clemente surfer Joe Crimo, whose skate tech on waves was roughly twenty-five years ahead of the curve, has died suddenly, aged forty seven.

“I was a huge fan and heavily influenced by Joe Crimo,” says the surfing commentator Chris Cote. “Joe was an early innovator of skate style tricks like pop shuvits and varials. He was way ahead of his time and took a lot of shit from mainstream surf media and surf fans who just liked “normal” surfing… Joe’s talents and helping him enlighten the world with his raw, wild styled attack and skate influenced surfing.”

Matt Biolos, his shaper for a time, describes Crimo as, “Soft spoken. Exceedingly polite. Saccharine Sweet. Girls liked him. Had a really good face, actually…attached to a diminutive almost frail, body… Obviously dexterous and skilled with his feet. More nimble emancipated street skater than a true surfer. Made him a lot of boards to assist his approach, but never anything really skateboard style or double ended.”

His surfing wasn’t pretty but it was rad as hell.

Crimo was a wildcat, of course, ain’t no doubt about that.

Back in 2015, Crimo tried to raise money for laser tattoo removal after covering his entire face with ink while high on meth.

“Tattoos on the face are not the best way to get a job,” he wrote.

As Chas Smith wrote at the time,

On land he lived fast and his fast living started very much earlier than yours or mine. He grew up in East Los Angeles and his brothers were in gangs and going to jail. “I started smoking lots of rock cocaine at age nine. It’s just what we did,” he says.

He got shot, at some point, and moved to the San Clemente, starting surfing and cleaned up. But the wheels fell off, eventually, and he traded rock cocaine in for meth and went to jail many times. He learned to tattoo, during the dark years, and tattooed his own face while looking in a mirror or sometimes not. “Sometimes I just did guess shots,” he says.

Earlier today, Biolos told me, “I have no idea what happened to him or what his life was like the last couple of years. But he was a friend for an important time in all our lives. He made a mark.”

Hit here if you want to send a little cash, help his little kid Jacob out.