Happy Pip wins Bells! | Photo: WSL/Aaron Hughes

Post-Bells and Pre-Margaret River Power Rankings, “Medina’s absence has left a gaping hole in the Tour, one that Pip Toledo has rammed his Sharp Eyes through in an effort to fertilize this year’s World Title!”

With Gabe out of the picture and Toledo susceptible to meltdown, one hopes Italo can maintain his newly popping up rage/exogenously supplemented testosterone frustration and channel it towards becoming the top surfer on Tour.

Looming like something that would loom intimidatingly, the menace of the mid-year cut set the Tour a tizzy.

It came, mostly*, from those on the lower rungs of the season’s leaderboard/Tour hierarchy (basically the barnacles), who see it as a threat to their future livelihoods, knowing it becomes harder to justify a career as professional surfer not on Tour.

One toothless threat of a boycott later and we’re on to Margs where, if any one of them could manage a semi-final result, except R-Cal, who would need a second, to guarantee their spot on Tour and further carve out a nice little career existing simply as fodder for Fil and Gabriel to feast on in the early rounds.

Live the dream, guys…

Other than that, Fil, as expected, dominated.

36. Liam O’Brien/Matthew McGillivray
What can I say about Matthew McGillivray? Not much, except for that two last-place finishes in four contests does not bode well for one’s requalification chances… or go very far to justify one’s existence on Tour. That’s all I have to s… oh, he and Leo are basically the same surfer, but he’s not Italian.

I should be feeling some way about seeing Liam go without having the chance to compete, but I don’t really. I guess it sucks and will make for a great story for him to tell people later that he once was a professional surfer who once upon a time qualified for the World Tour but didn’t compete, only to have those high school students not believe him.

35. Carlos Muñoz
Injured since Pipe, Carlos will not make the cut. No matter, he dies a Tour hero’s death trying to compete with the busted shoulder. Woulda been cool to have him compete at Bells because the whole Easter-Zombie-Jesus thing that could have been a forced metaphor…

34. Ryan Callinan
A last-place finish at Pipe and three almost-last place finishes everywhere else, Ryan has a lot of work to do to make the cut.

Like I mentioned above, he will need to at least make the semis, and only guaranteed by a finals appearance, in order to sneak in.

A semi would give him 10075 points for the season which, while most likely gets him across the line, doesn’t guarantee it, as there is a scenario where everyone below the cutline win enough to keep him out… but whatever.

33. Lucca Mesinas
Doesn’t belong on Tour, but a quarterfinal at Pipe probably gets him in, if he can manage a ninth at Margs.

32. Deivid Silva
Surfing in possibly the best non-Joao-John-John heat of the contest in the Round of 32 against Miguel Pupo, Deivid Silva ripped at Bells, using his Taz shaped body to unload on the mushy faces. Sad to see his Hispanic workman’s goatee potentially go.

31. Jadson Andre
A Round of 32 loss hurts for Jaddy, who will have to requalify for the Tour via the minor leagues, in this case the Challenger Series, for the umpteenth time in his career. If the contest goes to the Box, it will be fun to see him charge haphazardly, pushing himself over the ledge to almost certain wipeout, no regard for his safety etc.

30. Leonardo Fioravanti
Another Opening Round win to Round of 32 loss for Leo. Whether he is simply experiencing just a bit of bad luck, I don’t know or care. What I do care about, though, with great excitement, is his future show about his friendship with Kanoa, a behind-the-scenes type deal showing how they do a bunch of stupid shit like making a new music video featuring Leo dancing to Bananarama while Kanoa tries to pick the muffins from his mouth to give him direction.

29. Imaikalani deVault
Controversial win over Slater in the Round of 32 was a feel-good incident for the young Hawaiian who hasn’t been able to put it together this year. Many fantards thought Slater shoulda won, but Imaikalani didn’t surf predominantly on the shoulder like Slater did, was able to stay in the pocket for vertical snaps and tight arcing cutbacks.

Despite all that, he still manages to have the worst board spray on Tour.

28. Frederico Morais
Among the long line of Euro journeyman pros who never really had an apex, not to mention the King of 5-point-something rides, it’s a little sad to see him below the cut line, but that’s just how things go.

Poor performances, relative to expectations, at Sunset, Portugal, and Bells, all of which should have suited him, have him on the outside looking in. One good result could change things at Margs, where he could do well at either potential location, but unfortunately, mounting disappointing performances tend to lead to more disappointing performances.

27. Conner Coffin
A brutal last-place at Bells for the young Santa Barbara Hobbit Master of the Cutback, who one would imagine could dominate, s-turning and roundhousing in the totally unpretentious, aesthetically pleasing way he specializes in to at least the quarterfinals.

Just below the cut line at the moment, a decent result will put him over the top and let him continue making the 805 commercials for the WSL and be on his way to living up to his potential as a regular-footed Ace, before he inevitably falls off and starts his new future as a founding member of the Toad the Wet Sprocket and Cherry Garcia Blend 805 Tribute Band.

26. Owen Wright
Despite a quarterfinal finish at Bells, O-Dawg remains on the wrong side of the cut. Perhaps he should ask Tyler what he can do to send his ovaries into a winning overdrive before Margs.

25. Morgan Cibilic
Morgs surfed the best he has all year at Bells, kinda getting back the mojo he had in 2021 when he proved to the wider world how cute quokkas were and how much they could rip.

24. Caio Ibelli
A depressed performance at Bells for the former Rookie of the Year sees him continue his steady slide down the ratings, which I expect to continue the rest of the year. Luckily for him, he is qualified for next year, so he has that to look forward to. In the Top 10, it would seem a little weird to rate him here, but I guess I don’t think much of him, not in the sense that I don’t like him, but I just seriously don’t think of him.

He never enters my mind until I read his name or see him in a heat.

Also, he muffed Margs last year when he had that terrible The People™ sticker I did not design on his board.

23. Jake Marshall
Found himself in the Elimination Round but was able to get though by virtue of being in a heat with Matthew McGillivray. No drama concerning Snake, as he’s safe, already having secured his spot for next year. Not everyone can be exciting or inspiring, which is fine, being those things can be overrated.

22. Zeke Lau
Zeke has really settled into his every-year groove of being on the borderline for qualification. How exciting is it that we’re within a hair away of hearing him start to speak of himself exclusively in third person?

21. K-Hole Andino
K-Hole, as I’ve previously written, is no longer a World Title contender, but that does not mean he is no longer fun to watch, he can be… ish. That’s a pretty solid endorsement.

20. João Chianca
João has had the unfortunate bad luck of keeping running into John John in these contests, first at Pipe and lastly at Bells. In both heats he was eliminated but excited spectators with his ballsy flair. Fortunately for him, he will have little problem requalifying via the Challenger Series unlike most of the others who will get axed.

19. Connor O’Leary
There is a scenario that sees Connor not make the cut, however, that is extremely unlikely, as everyone rated below him would have to prevail in all their heats against higher seeded surfers until McGillivray or Callinan win the whole contest for that to happen.

His lack of belief in himself, as evidenced by his signature to the petition to protest the mid-year cut, is quite, not stunning, as he has already fallen off Tour previously, quite interesting. Where was I going with that? I don’t know.

18. Samuel Pupo
Rated here for his choice of a bucket hat when cheering on Fil in the quarters. Not elite, but solid.

17. Griffin Colapinto
After a thrilling victory in Portugal, Griff couldn’t keep up the momentum at Bells, dropping to Metronomic Owen in the Round of 32. Scaturient with talent, he can hopefully live up to his promise and make his way into the Top 5, but only if he can avoid these types of setbacks.

To do so, I’d suggest he ditch the coach, cease thinking about strategy and just fucking surf. Speaking of coaches, how is it that Snips is still sought after? None of his surfers win, so what’s the appeal? The fact that he looks like Opie? You don’t know either.

16. Jackson Baker
Jacko had a good event, completely outsurfing Jordan in their Round of 32 heat, despite Jords trying to sell an interference on the Bake near the end of the heat. Clearly not being part of the elite on Tour, he is still fun to watch, riding antiquated boards with a little bit of the nineties power flair we grew up with.

If this surfing thing fails to work out this year, maybe he can get a jump on starting the new phase of his professional career as Australiafied reincarnation of Wilford Brimley, enjoying his ice cream and apple pie while reminding fellow Type IIs to test often to keep their diabeetus under control.

15. Nat Young
Natty surfed really well at Bells. A pity he’s not Aussie, as I think that may have nudged him ahead in his heat with Owen in the Round of 16. Is this really the case? Probably not, as all judges’ scores are really just degrees of difference centered around whatever the head judge determines the score is (suspect how little variation in scores there are, but whatever).

Also, I would like to personally apologize to you Nat for comparing you to Caliban from The Tempest and for making fun of your freckled complexion. You’re a very well-rounded surfer, with no real obvious weaknesses. Will I stop making fun of you? No.

14. Seth Moniz
Seth shit the bed at Bells and got a last-place finish. He probably should try to avoid the Elimination Round if he wants to improve his standing. That is now his second appearance there this year, and probably should have been his third, if he had not luckily landed an Opening Round heat with Lucca Mesinas in Portugal.

13. Jordan Michael Smith
Got waxed by Ben Luckett in the Round of 32. Did not tank his ranking just because he could still get into the Top 5, improving with El Salvador, J-Bay, and G-Land coming up.

12. Ethan Ewing
One of the informed (shout-out Richie) surfers of the event, Ethan was thoroughly outclassed by Fil in the semis, left sitting there executing the great strategy of not catching waves. His little temper tantrum at the end of the heat, slapping the water with slicked back hair, was funny. Aussie passion.

11. Barron Mamiya
Surfed solidly but just got a bad result. Out of the six waves he surfed during his losing heat against Morgs he showed remarkable consistency, with five of his waves scoring over 5 points. Avoiding having too many wasted waves and shit scores will be critical to his future World Title hopes, helping him grind through enough heats to keep him in it.

10. Jack Robinson
Jack had a good contest, sharp on his way to a semi-final finish. His win against Italo in the QF seemed a bit suspect, but he won, so suck it. If Margs ends up going on at the Box, Jack could blow every non-John surfer out of the water and potentially get another win. Will they contest enough rounds there for him to do that? No, but that one day will be fun. If everyone surfed well, as I have basically claimed with saying so many guys surfed well, just means that Bells sucks.

9. Kelly Slater
Despite the early loss, the Bald One still finds himself in the Top 5 heading into the fifth event, looking like he might have a real chance at finishing there at the end of the year, considering G-Land and Chopes are still out there for him to semi or better in.

8. Miguel Pupo
Ripped off in his quarterfinal heat against this year’s Morgan Cibilic, or future Aussie journeyman, Callum Robson, Miggy surfed well enough to climb into the Top 10 and not have to even bother with the Challenger Series. Not a bad place for Thing 1.

7. Kanoa Igarashi
Sometimes at these surf contests, there are competitors you can just tell did not grow up surfing a similar type of wave they are competing in, like Andy at J-Bay or Fil in anything big. In the best of circumstances, their tastes for these waves are acquired and they can end up turning them into a strength.

In the case of Kanoa at Bells, he looked like he grew up surfing shit, a different kind of shit to Bells, epileptically pumping for nonexistent sections to bash and manufacture a score, rather than letting the wave come to him to lay down some nice looking carves. He was trying too hard. I know the feeling.

6. Callum Robson
Bells saw Callum’s coronation as Aussieland’s next great tradie-inspired-non-aerial-surfing pro to take the Tour by non-Brazilian storm during his rookie year.

5. Mick Fanning
How sad is it that a long retired pro, one who has let his body go to dough, is still one of the best surfers in the world at a longstanding Tour spot? Also, what is the threshold for the time to have to elapse for something to be considered nostalgic?

4. John John Florence
Despite clearly and deservedly losing to Fil, he is an overwhelming favorite to win at Margs. Not rated higher because of Trestles.

3. Italo Ferreira
Two straight good results for him, a semi in Portugal and quarters at Bells, Ike looks on his way to getting back to the top of the rankings. Storming the judges tower in ager after his controversial loss to Jack in the quarters, Ferreira strengthened his case to being the second-most exciting surfer in the comp.

With Gabe out of the picture and Toledo susceptible to a meltdown, one would hope that he can maintain this newly popping up rage/exogenously supplemented testosterone frustration and channel it towards becoming the top competition surfer on Tour. If he can’t, a couple karate chopped boards would be an acceptable substitute.

2. Gabriel Medina
Gabe’s absence this year has left a gaping hole in the talent on Tour, one that Fil has rammed his small Sharp Eyes through in an effort to fertilize this year’s World Title, which happens to actually be a shithole.

1. Filipe Toledo
Taking the yellow rashie at Bells, where he dominated, displaying the best rail and air game on Tour throughout the contest, Pip cemented himself as the favorite for Trestles in September. It really shouldn’t have been a surprise that he’s here.

For those dumbasses who thought Pip actually had a chance to miss the cut and that I was dumb for being so confident in him being a shoo-in, I would like to say, borrowing from the immortal stoic poet, Shaquille O’Neal, “tell me how my ass tastes.”

*Pip being the one notable exception, done probably as a display of solidarity with Jadson and Yago.

Baby D doing it better than you.
Baby D doing it better than you.

In wildly provocative turn, professional surfer “Baby” Dion Agius included in vaunted ranks of celebrities who can do no sartorial wrong including, but lightly limited to, Slash and unfairly maligned Johnny Depp!

But what would you wear, if you could?

Making a wrong fashion turn should haunt you, and I know that it does, even though the vast majority of you, here, will pretend never to consider such contrivances. Leaving the house in spats, for instance, or suspenders. Oh it feels provocative in the mirror, seems the right choice but then out in public in those spats and/or suspenders?


Few but few of humanities males can pull off anything. Any sartorial flair. Included in this tiny fraternity are, of course, Guns n Roses guitarist Slash who was able to wear a top hat without wince and Johnny Depp, who is currently being drug through the court of public opinion not because he regularly features cravats but due… I don’t exactly know. Are you following that trial?

In any case, and in a wildly provocative turn, it was revealed today that professional surfer Dion Agius is in their ranks.

The man who can wear anything.

But do you wish you had both the confidence and/or ability to pull off any fashion dream like Baby D?

If you had, what would you wear?

David Lee Scales and I discussed, today, along with the World Surf League’s performative ecology and other such important matters.

You must listen here then weigh in what you would wear, if you could below.

Makua Rothman, running for Honolulu City Council. | Photo: @makuarothman

Big-wave world champ, scion of North Shore strongman and #1 Billboard artist Makua Rothman to follow UFC hall-of-famer BJ Penn into Hawaiian politics!

“I decided to turn down the opportunity for awards or money and use the platform to speak about issues that were of concern to my community."

The storied Makua Rothman, big-wave world champ, winner of the Billabong XXL award for riding a sixty-six footer at Jaws when he was eighteen, is following neighbour and pal BJ Penn into Hawaiian politics with a tilt for Honolulu City Council.

Rothman, thirty-seven and from Sunset Beach, filed papers on Wednesday for District 2, the twenty-five mil stretch from Mililani Mauka to Kahaluu.


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A post shared by Makua Rothman (@makuarothman)

The impetus for the run, says Rothman, came after riding the biggest wave of his life last year.

“I decided to turn down the opportunity for any awards or money but rather use the international world platform to speak about issues that were of concern to me and to my community in Hawaii,” Rothman said.

“Today’s the day for me to step in there and put my name up to run for office. I’ll be holding some conferences soon and obviously the traffic and management of tourism out there and working with the state and everyone on this island and working together with the other constituents.”

As Rothman prepares to fight for a seat on Honolulu City Council, UFC hall-of-famer and survivor of worst wavepool accident in surfing history, BJ Penn, is heading into the home straight for the Hawaii gubernatorial election, to be held November eight.

The current gov of Hawaii, Democrat David Ing, is ineligible to run for a third term, leaving the field wide open for Penn, a Republican, to get his hand on the levers.

Penn has promised to disband the Transportation Security Administration and give hell to the bureaucracies and red tape, he says, is strangling the Hawaiian economy.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I would never run from a fight or sell out my people,” says BJ. “As soon as I step into Hawaii’s Governor office I will remove All new federal and state mandates that have been hurting our economy, residents, and ‘ohana. We will get the best doctors, medicines, therapies, and health care the world has to offer to fight this pandemic and always keep Hawaii among the safest and healthiest states in the union. We will get rid of all vaccine passports. Hawaii will be a vaccinated with Aloha and Unvaccinated with Aloha policy for everyone. Same with the masks 😷. We will follow the constitution to the tee 👌. I am not here to fit in with the other politicians, I am here to get our freedoms back!”

Thankfully, the most marginalized of groups, middle-aged white surfers, have seen the benefit of guarded thinking and congregate at the safer space swellnet.com amongst likeminded, like-believing, like-socioeconomic, like-racial others. | Photo: Step Bruz

Safe space for middle-aged white men baits religiously devout Brazilian surfers with paternalistic “open letter” from God!


The idea of a “safe space” or “positive space” sprung into vogue a decade, or such, back as marginalized peoples sought out corners amongst the dominant culture at colleges or the workplace where they could chit-chat without fun-making. The concept soon spread online and these “safe spaces” became ruthlessly protected with any sniff of opposition being put to the sword before spreading like cancer.

Thankfully, the most marginalized of groups, middle-aged white surfers, have seen the benefit of guarded thinking and congregate at the safer space swellnet.com amongst likeminded, like-believing, like-socioeconomic, like-racial others.

Equally thankfully, an anonymous writer on the website penned an open letter from “God” to “Devout Brazilian Roman Catholic Surfers of the WCT” decrying their behavior through the tried-and-true truncheon of undergraduate (private) liberal arts philosophy best served alongside a lukewarm bed of early mushroom experimentation.

A sampling:

Don’t get me wrong, cocksure globetrotting wave-rider, there’s some top advice in those books, we’re all fans of the decency, love, and forgiveness parts of the Bible and the Quran etc, but there’s no secret, exclusive moral code contained within that can’t be practiced using your basic, garden-variety, secular common sense – treating others how you’d like them to treat you, etc. It’s not rocket science.

But I get it, young Latino Firebrand with sticker-laden surfboard, much religious faith comes from perfectly understandable human traits, many of them very sweet. We love our family and friends, the grief we feel when they die is so sharp and painful that we wishful-think heaven into existence, so we can be consoled by imagining a heavenly reunion one day. And certainly, the idea of an afterlife makes it easier for us to contemplate that fearful day we too become a corpse. And so, smart cookies all through human history looking for power and social control have levered these two emotions – love and fear – into different versions of the same fantastic story – do the right thing and the reward of eternal life is yours, misbehave, or be born into a heathen society, and hellfire awaits. I won’t point out the resemblance that such a hell carries with the earthbound volcanic lava that inspired its imagining. And let’s not get started on the idiocy of different subsets of the same supposed faith turning on each other. (Could anything more sharply betray the human origins of religion? FFS)

So, for your sake and Mine, let’s stop for a moment and think, together, about what you’re actually saying when you give Me credit for, say, answering your prayers and sending you a heat-winning wave.

First of all. You’re fond of attesting to the power of prayer. It can produce miracles! Infinite Glory! Yes? Yes! You are also, presumably, not oblivious to all the messed-up crap out there. You’re aware of the 80 million people in the world right now who’ve been forced to flee their homes, 25 million of which are refugees. People trapped in lives of misery, boredom and danger, whose various prayers to various Gods (humbly asking just to be able to live at home or whatever) are seemingly not being answered as yours are. What are they doing wrong with this prayer malarkey that you seem to be doing so right? Has your virtuosity on a wave somehow magnified your virtue of prayer, and mysteriously unlocked a clear line of comms to the Divine?

Religion worked well when humanity was starting to ask questions and figure stuff out. It was understandable that gods were conjured to make sense of floods and famines, natural phenomena, locusts and loss. It was – and still can be – a good set of training wheels for decency and charity.

Dear talented, hardworking, fortunate athlete. You’re not at all a bad person. You’re great! You mean well, and of course you’re welcome to reach out to Me any time. But let’s keep those convos humble, and between us.


Devout Brazilian Roman Catholic surfers, much less ones on the World Championship Tour, have not, nor never will be allowed to mingle amongst the swellnetters giving the “open letter” the exact sort of universal praise and applause it deserves.

A further sampling from the comments:

Surfcarter: Seriously that is the and best most common sense article ever written. Thank you for a long awaited and realistic explanation of every religion ever conjured up. and don’t get me wrong everyone needs a little belief in something better than them but this is 2022 and people don’t levitate to the heavens and so on.

Fcalmon: This is gold. The best ever article in history. Whoever wrote this (God?) is a bloody genius.

Andy-mac: Excellent article… Thank you Sir, err I mean God….

Memlasurf: OMJ this one was well overdue and brilliantly written. Take it for what it is, a great summary of religious beliefs and it is only about ‘don’t take the Lords name in Vain’ or something like that. I think GOD is pretty busy in Ukraine at the moment and couldn’t give a toss about who wins some surf contest in the colonies (if you believe in the supernatural which I don’t).


Like a warm downy blanket fresh from the dryer.

Like chocolate cookies, cold milk and a Longtom contest report wrap at the end of a long day.

Oh. Is Longtom at swellnet?


The World Surf League and Swedish disposable furniture giant IKEA team up on another exciting environmentally-conscious surf-inspired line: “The surfing lifestyle has many important insights about being constantly on the go, such as organising, mobility needs and handling humidity!”

Watch now. Buy later.

Well here we are, again, enjoying each others’ company, winding down the day or maybe winding up the day, thinking thoughts about our surfing and its surf-adjacent bits. Like Make or Break, the upcoming Apple Television program which will feature Kelly Slater and also reigning champion Gabriel Medina chasing his next crown exclusively in Brazil. And IKEA’s newest collaboration with our extremely environmentally conscious World Surf League.

I tried not to think about the latter, really tried, but have been direct messaged, emailed, propositioned by agencies so many times over the past few days that I think you must enjoy.

So here.

By teaming up with WSL, IKEA wanted to learn more about the needs and demands of surfers. The surfing lifestyle has provided many important insights about being constantly on the go, such as organising, mobility needs and handling humidity.

“These needs are relevant for many more people than surfers and inspired us to create products that enrich everybody’s lives with similar demands. With this collection, we hope to spread the joy of the surfing lifestyle in the home and everyday life of many people”, says Wiebke Braasch, Designer at IKEA of Sweden.

The range of KÅSEBERGA includes more than 25 products intended for the home or wherever life takes them. Among those are a hand plane for body surfing, a beach chair, a portable grill, a coffee table and a bag uniquely designed to function well for beach clean-ups.

Together with the World Surf League and the reputable surfers Kassia Meador and Rob Machado, the design process has revolved around including functionality, more recycled materials and promoting a more circular lifestyle. As a result, a big part of the products in the KÅSEBERGA collection are made of recycled polyester, while others are made of renewables, such as bamboo and cork.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to team up with Rob Machado, the WSL and IKEA to create KÅSEBERGA. A collection of ocean-inspired home goods and on-the-go surf essentials in the most functional high vibe low impact way. For the ever-growing global community of earth-conscious surfers and beach lovers”, says Kassia Meador, surfer and business owner.

“Watching the IKEA KÅSEBERGA collaboration come to life and working with their designers on developing these sustainable products has been a truly rewarding experience for us at WSL,” says Cherie Cohen, WSL Chief Revenue Officer. “IKEA’s sustainability initiatives align closely with those of the WSL and our fans. We are confident that these products made using recycled and renewable materials will be hugely popular with surfers, ocean lovers, and design enthusiasts.”

KÅSEBERGA, named after a small city in Sweden with one of the most southern surf breaks in the country, will launch globally in May 2022. Availability may differ depending on the region. For more information, contact your local IKEA.

Buy soon.

Be inspired now.