Tyler and coach Kekoa Bacalso watch Pipe from balcony of Rip Curl house, "Yeah, nah, ain't going out," says Tyler.

Two-time world champ Tyler Wright breakout star in opening gambit of Apple TV series Make Or Break; slams surfing’s chronic misogyny, “Look at the first event, boys are at Pipe, women are at Maui… at the same time, fuck, it’s Pipe”

“It’s a high-risk wave. Personally, as an individual, no, I don’t want to go and surf Pipe."

There is no more compelling story within pro surfing than the Wright family.

Even the most cursory examination reveals myriad story lines: the two-time world champ Tyler who won a tour event at fourteen, qualified at sixteen and who threw it in briefly before returning to the tour and carving and plating her two titles.

Owen? Returns from a catastrophic brain injury, bleeding on the brain, paralysis and (temporary) inability to speak to win his first event back on tour one year later and return to his normal position as a world title contender, although this year’s mid-year cut is proving troublesome. 

Mikey? Hot and salty and greasy (like a sunbathing German) and a sometime wildcard.

And, all three of ‘em swindled for a total of $1.5 million after a family friend turned bookkeeper salted agambling addiction with the storied surfers’ cash.

A lovely field to plough. 

In the first episode of the seven-part Apple TV series Make or Break, we are transported back to December 2020, to the commencement of the 2021 tour. 

Tyler Wright is the hub upon which the episode revolves. Wright, often combative,  is curiously tranquil here, eyes with a new placid look, sheepish even, although she lights up when it comes to men etc. 

“Surfing is sexist,” says Wright. “Look at the sexism within surfing. You do look at the first event. Boys are at Pipe, women are at Maui… historically, the women haven’t been allowed to have a permit at Pipe.” 

Wright’s wish for a Pipe showdown is granted when a man is killed by a shark at Honolua Bay during the event’s waiting period forcing tour organisers to shift the final from Maui to Oahu.

“I believe in the women on tour,” she says at a meeting to discuss the shift. “It’s an opportunity missed if we don’t show up. It’s a moment in women’s surfing history. At the same time, fuck, it’s Pipe.” 

Cameras follow Wright’s prep for Pipe final with Hawaiian Carissa Moore. Her coach is Kekoa Bacalso – the Hawaiian-born 2009 ASP Rookie of the Year; shaper is the wizard behind John John Florence’s boards, Jon Pyzel. 

We sit on the deck of the Rip Curl house as Wright examines a four-to-six-foot day and admits she wouldn’t want to surf it recreationally. 

“It’s a high-risk wave. Personally, as an individual, no, I don’t want to go and surf Pipe… I’m happy not to go out just now,” she says. “Yeah, nah, ain’t going out…” 

Wright wins event, Carissa second. 

Episode shifts to Kelly and John John at Pipe. Ep two, Gabriel vs Italo. 

Make or Break premieres tomoz on Apple TV. Sign up for the free trial, watch the eps, get out.

Open thread, comment live, men’s first round Margaret River Pro, “One tall glass, soda water, whisky. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket!”

Luxuriate in the presence of that warm male glow, almost as a sunbather feels the sun!

Watch: Rob Machado and legendary surf photographer Pat Stacy release masterpiece homage “The Color of Winter” celebrating the very best of California!

Better than therapy.

These hectic lives we live during this hectic time. War, rumors of war, culture wars, pandemic, violence, consumption, the forever pursuit of instant gratification. There is no rest for the weary with the one rare exception of Rob Machado and legendary surf photographer/filmmaker Pat Stacy’s latest masterpiece The Color of Winter.

From the first licks of Clair de Lune to its final plunk, the film is an oasis, a balm.

Shot over five-year winter seasons along southern California’s greatest stretch of coast, The Color of Winter throws mad-dashing craziness into sharp relief. Rob’s iconically fluid style combined with Stacy’s finely-tuned eye allow for space, for breath, for seventeen delicious moments of grace.

Better than therapy.

"Time to go home."
"Time to go home."

World Surf League jumps into Disney-esque hot water by publicly opposing popular though controversial political bill in Hawaii!

"Don't Stay, Jay."

Only those currently living under rocks are unaware of the hot water entertainment giant has gotten into in Florida. The troubles all began when the Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis signed house bill 1557, or the Parental Rights in Education bill, into law. Commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, the text reads that it is an attempt to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.” Namely, it prohibits “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through the third grade.

Well, the bill was seen as a rigid slap across the face of the LGBTQ community and protested against in many corners of the nation. Disney, which happens to have many theme parks and hotels near Orlando, was initially silent but after receiving pressure from its employees vowed to help repeal the bill, issuing a statement that read:

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”

Hot hot water. Ron DeSantis, harboring presidential dreams, saw Disney as a soft culture war target and viciously rounded on the company, stripping special tax statuses and threatening to put Mickey Mouse in the stocks for Floridians to pelt with rotting vegetables.


But this drastic turn of events, this corporate thrash, has apparently not dampened our World Surf League’s resolve to publicly oppose legislation it dislikes many, many miles away in Hawaii.

For there, on Oahu, the city of Honolulu’s rulers have just signed a bill that drastically cuts the AirBnb, VBRO business model requiring 90-day minimum stays across much of the island.

Called the “Don’t Stay, Jay” bill by opponents, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said at a recent press conference, “We could feel the outcry from our communities across the island on what had gone on with illegal vacation rentals. [This] is to bring back our neighborhoods, where people grow up, where families are raised and not have them be mini-hotels, but be the neighborhoods they were designed to be, a source of great pride for all of us who have raised families here in Oahu.”

While the bill received overwhelming support in the house, passing 8-1, SFGate is reporting, “The World Surf League expressed opposition, arguing that the bill could pose a roadblock on all surf events held by the league in Hawaii.”

Uh oh.

Will Mayor Blangiardi, seeing an easy win, break out the leiomano and thrash CEO Erik Logan upside the head by banning World Surf League permits at Pipeline, Sunset etc.?

Consternation might be felt at the World Surf League’s Santa Monica headquarters if the three remaining employees were not busy polishing champagne flutes for tomorrow night’s premier of Make or Break.


Dirty Water: Grajagan pioneer Peter McCabe on being jailed on a Pacific Island for running “the last of the ether wash” Amazon cocaine, raising hell into his sixties and being “bent over” by yoga queen Gerry Lopez!

From pioneering G-Land to running coke to building fine tube-hunters, ol Petey McCabe has a wild story to tell… 

A thrill, this episode, to feature the Australian goofyfooter and shaper Peter McCabe, one of the pioneers of surfing in Indonesia, including G-Land with his yoga queen pal Gez Lopez.

McCabe, who is sixty-seven, also talks about the drug-running episode, moving a pound of pure ether-washed coke via hollowed out surfboard fins that led to his imprisonment in New Caledonia in 1984, that featured in the still never-released documentary Sea of Darkness.

“We were sitting there watching the old French cop cutting open the fins then it bust open and there was coke everywhere… he stuck his finger in it, licked it and said, ‘Oh la la… cocaine!'” laughs McCabe in Sea of Darkness.