Byron as Waterworld. | Photo: 9News

Surf and wellness utopia Byron Bay hit by catastrophic flooding following mini-hurricane overnight, “The entire town is under water up to your waist…police now stopping people from entering!”

"The word unprecedented has been used many times but I don’t think anyone has seen Byron flooded like this is living memory."

The tortured golden goose that is Australia’s Byron Bay, “a glittering dream metastasized into a malignant nightmare”, is underwater following flash floods after the joint was hit by a mini-hurricane overnight, dumping a foot of rain.

“The entire town is under water up to your waist at some points, with police now stopping people from entering,” writes Byron real estate agent Travis Lipshush in The Guardian. “I cannot remember sunshine. It has been raining steadily since spring.”

“The word unprecedented has been used many times but I don’t think anyone has seen Byron flooded like this is living memory,” Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey told The Echo. “I urge people to be safe. Everybody keep an eye out for each other and check on your neighbours.

Nearby Ballina has set-up evacuation centres but council staff can’t open ‘em because of the nutso weather.

“The unknown is what going to fall from the sky. That’s where it becomes hard to predict – the rain bombs we’ve had overnight the cyclonic winds we are experiencing now and overnight,” said Ballina mayor Sharon Cadwallader.

“Growing up here you are used to flooding – you build your homes up high or elevated on poles. But this is something else – a disaster that never ends,” says Travis Lipshush. “We first heard first these events were once in 100 years, then once in 500 years and then in 1,000 years. This is a microcosm of the impending doom humanity will face. Heed our warning, we must change our habits and policy – though it may already be too late.”


As Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Stand-up Paddleboard” bill becomes law, educators worry that they’ll be prosecuted for sharing what they did over the weekend with younger students.

A dark day.

Florida, protruding off the contiguous United States’ southeastern corner, was admitted into the union in 1845, twenty-seventh overall, but has since become number one in terms of questionable decision making.

The list of less-than-sound ideas and practices that flourish in The Sunshine State have become the stuff of legend, none getting as much traction these days as the recently passed Parental Rights in Education, more commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Stand-up Paddleboard” bill.

Signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis just hours ago, teachers are essentially forbidden from chatting about the activities they partake in on weekends with elementary aged schoolchildren whilst in the classroom including, but not limited to, SUPing.

While not a stand-up paddleboarder myself, I very much reserve the right for others to participate and openly discuss what they love about sweeping the sea. Diversity of opinion and activity is what gives our nation its unique strength and I would encourage midlenghters, high performance shortboarders, foilers and boogie boarders to stand with Florida’s SUP community in order to get this disgraceful law off the books.

Who knows when we’ll need SUPers to support our right to rip.

Be better, Florida.

Be best.

Can Mamiya (pictured astride shoulders) ring the bell?

Three-time professional surfing champion Gabriel Medina officially withdraws from upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, replaced by current world number two Barron Mamiya!

And the return of Mikey Wright!

Six days ago, it was rumored right here that there-time World Champion Gabriel Medina was considering making an appearance at the most famous surf contest in Australia. Alas, it is not to be as the World Surf League has just made official his withdrawal from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

Per the press release:

Three-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) has withdrawn from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and will be replaced by Barron Mamiya (HAW), who is currently sitting as World No. 2 along with 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA).

Yago Dora (BRA) continues his recovery from his injury ahead of the season and will be replaced by WSL Injury Replacement, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF). Carlos Munoz (CRI) and Liam O’Brien (AUS) sustained injuries at Pipeline and continue their recoveries. They will be replaced by World No. 6 Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Mikey Wright (AUS), respectively. This will mark Wright’s return to the CT after announcing an indefinite break from professional surfing following last year’s Corona Open Mexico.

Exciting that Mamiya can continue his pursuit of the crown but let’s focus on Mikey Wright’s triumphant return to organized professional surfing.

Are you excited to see Australia’s bad boy back in a singlet?


"How you like me now, WSL fans?"
“How you like me now, WSL fans?”

Discuss your feelings below.

No mention of George Lazenby, a crucial and deliberate misstep.

Controversy explodes in wake of just-wrapped Academy Awards as extreme sport devotees viciously debate the greatest James Bond of all-time: “Daniel Craig is as mongo as you kick!”

Ultra rude.

“The Slap” has dominated news during the past two days, papering over a festering war amongst extreme sport devotees. But you will certainly recall, before the actor Will Smith left his seat to blip the comedian Chris Rock across the mouth, that Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Shaun White stood shoulder to shoulder in fresh tuxedos, Slater’s Gucci, and discussed the James Bond franchise.

White brought up the fact that many actors have played the title character over the years, a neat dozen to be exact. Hawk offered up that Roger Moore had his vote as favorite, Slater ran through a handful more leaving off Australia’s George Lazenby, before throwing to White, again, who said it might be impossible to know which Bond actor was the greatest of all-time, or GOAT, leading to the punchline of three GOATs standing there on stage.

The moment might have been forgotten, except skateboarders, surfers and snowboarders began ruthlessly, viciously attacking each other online over which Bond is, in fact, the Slater of Bonds.

Sean Connery appears to be the favorite amongst traditionalists, longboarders, plastic Nash riders, plywood snowboards sans bindings. Roger Moore was most popular amongst those who prefer retro shapes, twin fins etc. Foilers, e-skaters went big for Pierce Brosnan and real surf, skate, snow jocks for Daniel Craig.

The difference of opinion might have been an opportunity for fun discussion but, again, has devolved into the lowest name calling. Coarse and unrefined.

But, now that we’re all together, which Bond do you prefer?

If you say anything other than Connery, you are an ass.

“The Surfing Magician” Zoltan Torkos lovingly profiled in moving short film revealing much texture to the oft-maligned trickster!

"Is that Kelly Slater?"

This morning, I was stopped in my tracks by a short film titled The Surfing Magician on Red Bull Television, produced by Inherent Bummer. But you are certainly aware of Santa Cruz’s Zoltan Torkos. The diminutive man burst upon the scene by becoming the world’s first to nail a kickflip on a surfboard. I was a budding surf journalist, then, and thought “cool” but was immediately told by the more mature in my field that it was not, in fact, cool but rather lame.

Time passed along and I thought about Torkos every now and again and how he’d been given real short shrift. He had put his mind to nailing that kickflip and had succeeded. His journey should have been turned into a wonderful children’s book like “The Little Engine That Could” but instead was relegated to the dump heap by mean men sneering.

Like Nick Carroll.

Well, the Inherent Bummer team does not bend like reeds in the wind to Nick Carroll’s nasty will, took that story out of the heap and stopped me in my tracks this morning. My young daughter was stopped in hers too, peered over my shoulder and asked “Is that Kelly Slater?”

“Kelly Slater wishes,” I responded.

Be moved here.