The jet-board king shakas fans at Voodoo from a few years back. | Photo: Island Inflatables

Surfer rides home-made jet-board on day of the year at Australia’s Shark Island thrilling spectators, “What is this sorcery?”

Fellow surfers less impressed, however, “this warrants violence.”

If you were in Sydney on Sunday, y’would’ve thrown yourself into the dreamiest of four-to-six-foot barrels, pretty wedges wiped smooth by an all-day north-west wind. 

Day of the year at most places, one of the best days ever at my local etc.

At Cronulla, home to some of the city’s finest reefs including but not limited to Voodoo and Shark Island, spectators were thrilled when local legend Ronnie “Skull” Hill fired up his homemade jet-board at the Island, scooping up waves from outside and deep on the reef, before riding to glory. 

 

 

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Following a post on the Instagram account @sufads, however, the figurative knives came out from surfers apparently jealous of Skull’s innovative and effective approach to wave-riding. 

“He’s a known pest and they’ve been trying to get him for a while now.”

“After wathcing this i think im now done with surfing forever.”

“Tbh you have to give the man credit, he has been a pest at shark island for years however on Sunday during a bodyboard comp managed to run through the lineup for about 30 mins. Every single person there told him to fuck off and he just kept doing laps kinda finding it funny hahahahahahaha.”

“Is this guy trolling? Looks like hes really trying to piss off the lids??”

“…this warrants violence.”

And, from Stu Nettle, chief writer at surf forecast site Swellnet.com, something a little more serious:

“Ronnie Hill AKA Skull. Amazingly, he’s been taken to court with charges dismissed owing to testimony from the importer of the machine.”

Wild etc.

Are you pro or anti-jet-board? I’m in the former camp though fear I may be in the minority.

Below is Skull at Voodoo from a few years back.

Magic.

 


“We’ll get ‘em all driving cheap Chinese trucks and…hee…hee… we’ll tell ‘em they’re saving the earth!”

World Surf League’s environmental bona fides again under fire following inking of deal with Chinese manufacturer of cheap SUVs! “It allows me to ride the green wave of environmental change,” says surf Olympian Sally Fitzgibbons

Freedom through sustainability!

The billionaire-owned World Surf League has had its environmental bona fides again called into question following the inking of a deal with Great Wall Motors, the Chinese manufacturers of cheap SUVS and utes. 

“World Surf League sees a great synergy in this new partnership with GWM,” WSL APAC General Manager Andrew Stark says in the presser. “GWM produces vehicles that are robust and suitable for the outdoors and the surfing lifestyle so WSL sees it as a partnership that makes sense.” 

GWM ambassador, the Olympian Sally Fitz, has been given one of its few hybrids, her truck powered by a dirty petrol engine married to an electric motor and battery, and is, therefore I suppose, kindly disposed towards the vehicles. 

“I’m constantly seeking environments that inspire me to perform at my best,” says Fitzgibbons in the same presser. “Brands like GWM allow me to do this by providing me with a mobile home base that supports my every move in a day. The state of the art built in technology allows  me to be efficient and hit my goals in comfort and style.  My Haval H6 Hybrid also allows me to ride the green wave of environmental change with a more fuel efficient car. This is one small daily action that we can all do to create a bigger wave of change.”

Don’t get your hopes up too high, kiddo.

Teslas they ain’t. 

It isn’t the first time the WSL’s environmental bona fides have been called to question. 

Two years ago, it  announced a billion-dollar development on 510-hectares, or 1200 acres, of “highly constrained land” near the Queensland beach town of Coolum. The proposal included a Surf Ranch wrapped in a 20,000-person stadium, a six-star eco-resort, restaurants, bars, a retail village and “an environmental education centre based on the site’s wetlands and nearby waterways.”

At the time, the WSL’s Andrew Stark said the local surfing community was “ecstatic and excited.” 

Steve Shearer wasn’t nearly as thrilled. 

“I see trees and bush. Birds, insects, frogs. I feel sad that surfers will be the ones behind the bull-dozers, erasing this wildlife, this bush from history.”


Patron Saint of Surfers Jonah Hill wows business heads, joins world’s greatest quarterback Tom Brady in making substantial investment in “sneaker enthusiast media firm” Hypebeast!

Defend Hawaii.

OMG but the wheels are absolutely spinning right now. So much so that it will be impossible for me to write an appropriate opening paragraph much less headline. Here is the skinny, anyhow. The world’s favorite surfer, save Mick Fanning, just joined the greatest quarterback of all-time Tom Brady investing in Hypebeast, the “sneaker enthusiast media firm” that has just secured $353 million in a US SPAC merger.

Per the South China Morning Post:

Listed in Hong Kong since 2016, Hypebeast disclosed the merger in a stock exchange announcement on Monday. The merger with the SPAC will also inject up to US$167 million in cash into the firm, which was raised by the blank-cheque company from its Nasdaq initial public offering in June 2021.

Hypebeast has become one of the first Hong Kong-listed companies to seek a second listing in New York through a SPAC, rather than through a traditional IPO pitching its business directly to public investors. SPACs are shell companies created by promoters to raise financial war chests through a share sale to investors, using the proceeds to buy assets within a limited period of time.

As part of the deal, Hypebeast has also entered into an agreement with several private investors, including multiple celebrities, who together will invest about US$13.3 million worth of Hypebeast shares, subject to the completion of the merger.

The investors include tennis star Naomi Osaka, American football player Tom Brady, and actor Jonah Hill, who played the character Donnie Azoff in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

Ok, ok, ok and finally we can get to the meat of the it all. What has got my wheels spinning.

If Hill is allowed to design a luxury vanity sneaker a la the Yeezy will it be surf-influenced?

Something just perfect for ambling around his new hometown of Honolulu?

Maybe something in a Defend Hawaii color way?

Make it happen, Hill. Do the right thing.


Small/fun.

World Surf League wave forecasting partner delivers damning prediction for upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach dispensing with typical propagandist fervor: “The Surf Coast is entrenched in an extended run of modest size, mediocre surf.”

Small/fun.

But are you ready for professional surfing once again? The sizzling torpor of Turpel, the savagery of Slater? The beauty of Bells? Oh it seems like forever since our heroines suited up in chilly Portugal to do battle with each other and with nature and against the forces of inequality.

Much happened in that forever. Joel Tudor became the first sitting champion in sporting history to become banished. The aforementioned Kelly Slater delivered an award (?) to the James Bond franchise then witnessed Chris Rock become slapped by Will Smith thereby making this face.

Back to professional surfing, though. The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach officially kicks off in four or five days, depending of which hemisphere is called home, and it is time to think about wave quality.

The World Surf League’s official forecaster, Surfline, has been a reliable propagandist organ piping out nonsensically upbeat predictions from behind the patented Wall of Positive Noise but are there cracks beginning to form? Truth seeping out? Let’s read together.

The Surf Coast is entrenched in an extended run of modest size, mediocre surf. It looks likely the smallish surf out of the west-southwest to southwest should linger into the first day of the event window. The silver lining — at this point — is the potential for much improved conditions as persistent onshore easterly flow ripping through the Bass Strait may finally relax.

“Mediocre” has never but never been penned. And do you think there is furiousness bubbling and boiling in the halls of Santa Monica, where the Senior Vice President of Tours and Head of Competition and Chief Executive Officer of the World Surf League develop secretive plans?

The outlook also included this cute line though… “Small/fun surf on Day 1 could see event run.”

I like when “fun” is used as a suffix for “small.”

Will Pip Toledo win?

A safe bet.


"Suck my fat one mister and open up the goddamn trail!"

Surfers mobilise in Oregon as property owner ends 80 years of public access to beloved Lighthouse Beach with barbed wire fence, floodlights and cameras, “I mean, if anyone gives a flying f**k about a little beachbreak on Cape Arago where children have learned to surf badly for generations”

"Trestles it is not. But restricted access to Lighthouse Beach is no less tragic a tale."

Lighthouse Beach is a pretty, if unremarkable, stretch of sand squished between between Yoakam Point in the south and Cape Arago on its northern flank.

But, if you live in Oregon, maybe you learned to surf there, maybe it’s where you teach your kid to scramble into his/her/their first few walls.

This morning a missive from BeachGrit reader Loren Harwood, the email titled South Coast Fuckery.

“Sounds like an interesting article right?” writes Harwood. “I mean if anyone gives a flying fuck about a shitty little beach break on Cape Arago where children have learned to surf badly for generations.

“Far from the hallowed reefs of La Jolla or name brand breaks of Santa Cruz rests a charming little spot on the Oregon Coast called Lighthouse Beach. Closeout shithouse surf is miraculously transformed before your very eyes into consistent reef setups and hollow rights if you only look through the eyes of the 12 year old kid on a foamy grinning from ear to ear while hypothermia slowly creeps in through worn spots in his Craigslist acquired wetsuit.

“Enter transplants from SoCal via Wyoming with an MD after their name and behold the Allegory of the Cave, South Coast Style.

“Good old boy bullshit. Ah yes, the veneer must be preserved at all cost lest the vapors escape the carefully controlled environment that is Coos County.

“Trestles it is not. But restricted access to Lighthouse Beach is no less tragic a tale that, unlike Trestles, has become a reality in this place I call home.”

Lovers of LHB have created a website, freelighthousebeach.com, where you can donate to the cause, join the sit-in protests every Sunday and sign a petition.

The beach is for everyone, VALS excepted, no?

Or am I being old-fashioned?