“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.

Kelly Slater reveals close friendship with billionaire husband of Selma Hayek and CEO of luxury fashion group Kering behind Gucci fit-out for Oscars, “I’ve known François [Henri Pinault] for a long time… so the Gucci connection happened naturally”

“My look is really clean and classic. It makes me feel like I clean up well. It’s styled but also understated.”

The world’s greatest athlete Kelly Slater, whose appearance at the Oscars yesterday was only overshadowed when the polyamorist Will Smith stormed the stage to belt host Chris Rock, has revealed the secret behind his head-to-toe Gucci outfit – his close friendship with François Henri Pinault. 

“He and Kering helped start my company, Outerknown, so we were former business partners. Susan [Chokachi] and her husband are old friends and neighbors, so the Gucci connection happened naturally,” Slater told Yahoo, adding, “My look is really clean and classic. It makes me feel like I clean up well. It’s styled but also understated.”

Slater, happy in Gucci.

Slater calmed his nerves for the big moment by sleeping in, eating brunch at Kreation Organic and getting a (cosmetic) facial at  Melanie Grant’s West Hollywood clinic, which might explain his radiance on stage. 

“I don’t get many facials,” said Slater. 

Moving to tour talk, the just-turned fifty-year-old told Yahoo he isn’t, “in the mindset for the competition yet. I normally get in the right frame of mind when I start traveling to each venue. But the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the first contest where I surfed my first full Championship Tour season back in 1992, so 30 years later, it feels special to be back. I’ve won the competition four times and it’s been either feast or famine. I’ve either won or not done well, but I’m looking forward to it. I have been mentally preparing for it the past couple months just envisioning what I’m looking forward to in the waves and what equipment I’ll ride that will work best for certain conditions. Subconsciously I’m prepared but I’m not in the headspace yet for competition.”

Preparing to lose or losing interest? 


Surfing retirees and three-time champs Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

World’s most-loved surfer Mick Fanning takes wildcard for Bells Beach in attempt to break record for most wins at iconic wave, “To go and ring the Bell for the fifth time, no one has ever done it apart from Gail Couper!”

"I love everything that comes with Bells, the history, the cliffs, the gathering of everyone down in the car park."

As predicted on these very pages two weeks ago, the three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning will take a break from managing his vast multi-million dollar property and business portfolios to compete at Bells Beach, the contest beginning April 10.

Fanning, who at forty is still a decade younger than current world number two Kelly Slater, says the Bells wildcard is the one he “really wanted. Obviously, I did Narrabeen last year but Bells is the one I was really aiming for. It’s a place that is really close to my heart, and if I was ever going to take a wildcard, it would be there, so I’m pretty fired up. Personally, I really like the wave at Bells. The speed of it, the wide open canvas, and the fact that it is a right hand point break. I love everything that comes with Bells, the history, the cliffs, the gathering of everyone down in the car park. It’s so awesome. It’s something that sits in my heart.”

Fanning retired four years ago to concentrate on family and money following seventeen years on the tour where he accumulated twenty-two wins, three world titles and a dreadful Great White encounter.

“To go and ring the Bell for the fifth time, no one has ever done it apart from Gail Couper,” Fanning, who has won the event four times, said. “During my career I got close, but right now I just want to focus on putting on a good performance. My preparation when I was on Tour was non-stop training but this time around I’ve just been focusing on my surfing and making sure it’s up to the level of the best in the world.”

Other four-time winners include Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Stephanie Gilmore and Mark Richards.

Couper, a school teacher from nearby Lorne who didn’t start surfing until she was fifteen, won the event an astonishing ten times.

Fanning will appear in heat five against the world’s best surfer in waves two feet and under, Filipe Toledo, and Pipeline surprise Samuel Pupo.

Suspended champion Joel Tudor wins hot war against World Surf League as three stop longboard tour announced for the 2022 season!

Deliciously pyrrhic!

Last month, open warfare exploded across the surfing landscape as sitting longboard champion Joel Tudor excoriated the World Surf League for only paying lip service to equality. The flashpoint was Pipeline where the League was busily praising itself for having its women surf subpar days there while also showing many video promotions featuring women longboarding while also busily plotting to cut the Longboard World Tour from three stops to one (allegedly).

Tudor, mad as hell, lit right into WSL leadership and kept ripping in and kept ripping in until he became suspended for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the WSL.”

A dark cloud descended… but lifted today as Tudor appears to have secured a total pyrrhic victory.

Per the presser:

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the 2022 World Longboard Tour schedule. Manly Beach, Huntington Beach, and Malibu will host this year’s Longboard competitions for the men’s and women’s divisions. The first two events of the season in Manly Beach and Huntington Beach will be worth 5,000 points each, while the final event in Malibu will have 10,000 points on offer. The World Titles will be determined by the highest points in the best two of three competitions.

The competitions will host 20 surfers for the men’s division and 20 surfers for the women’s division. Each field will be made up of the Top 10 from the 2021 rankings, seven surfers selected from the regions, one WSL wildcard, and two event wildcards.

“We’re looking forward to kicking off the World Longboard Tour and crowning World Champions later this year at the iconic break of First Point, Malibu,” said Devon Howard, WSL Longboard Tour Director. “We’re also excited that this year’s Tour will start at Manly Beach then continue on at Huntington Beach. All of this Tour’s breaks are steeped in longboard history spanning back to the 1960s, where champions were crowned and surf culture as we know it today entered the world stage.”

“We’re very excited to bring back the World Longboard Tour in 2022,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “The Longboard community is very passionate, and we appreciate all the feedback we got from them as we were planning the future of this important division in professional surfing. This year, the World Longboard Tour will have three events, and we can’t wait to crown World Champions at the iconic First Point, in Malibu.”

Tudor, still suspended, will not be allowed to compete in any of the three events but competitors would do right to affix giant stickers of his visage to their long boards.


Analysis: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater outshines halfpipe aficionados Tony Hawk and Shaun White at Oscars delivering poignant performance bordering on self-aware!


Well what a night that turned out to be. The 94th running of the Academy Awards was supposed to be a bland, dull affair that would, likely bring about the end of their television broadcast. What we were treated to, instead, was a smorgasbord of jokes and action, culminating in a wild face slap delivered to Chris Rock by Willard Smith.


But the highlight, for sure, was the appearance of Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Shaun White who shuffled on stage at around the .45 minute mark to introduce the James Bond franchise and early returns are suggesting that it was Slater who delivered the most stirring performance of the trio.

Hawk began first, mentioning that Dr. No was the first Bond film with a little shake in his voice. Slater took over from there, dominant and sure. Shaun White, looking like their progressive son, kept having to lean in to the mic setting up the joke, that it would be impossible to pick just one Bond as the “GOAT” to which Hawk delivered that laugh line… that the three on stage were, in fact, GOATs.

But let’s be honest, quickly. While Slater does have a claim to being the greatest surfer of all-time, neither Hawk nor White are anywhere close to the greatest in skateboarding or snowboarding, respectively. The most well-known, maybe, but not greatest and they should both be publicly shamed for claiming.

Back to Slater, though, it is undeniable that he shined in front of Hollywood’s glitterati. Self-assured, handsome, in control.

Critics, and the World Surf League’s CEO, are swooning.