“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.


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.”


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.

Inflation rips into Hawaii’s surfboard market as prices skyrocket and craftsmen reel: “It’s hit us, it’s hit us hard. I think prices are the highest prices I’ve seen for a surfboard.”

A tsunami of pain.

Real world economic problems have finally but finally found their way into our idyllic surfing lifestyle. Hawaii’s ABC News affiliate, KITV4, is reporting that hard good prices have shot up so dramatically that surf shop owners are having trouble maintaining any margin for profit.

Alex Utal, owner of Used Surfboards Hawaii in Honolulu, told the station, “A board that was $350- $450 is now seeing a base at $500- $600,” and blamed the rise in oil prices, first and foremost…

“Everything with a surfboard starts with petroleum or oil based product. The polyurethane foam at the core of the board is petroleum based. The resin coating the board is petroleum based. Even the sandpaper used to sand the board is composed of petroleum in some way.”

…but also Covid VALs.

“You’re distanced from somebody. It’s an individual sport. So, folks that were normally playing tennis, canoe club, and high school athletes that were on the baseball team, they got into surfing.”

Prices are up 40% for resin, foam blanks 15% to 20% and on down the line all the way to shipping costs.

“It’s hit us, it’s hit us hard. I’ve seen prices in the industry creep up. I think prices are the highest prices I’ve seen for a surfboard,” Utal sighed.

But who is to blame?

Do you know?

Will Smith maybe?

Chris Rock?

More as the story develops.

Dramatization of North Devon (in white shirt) becoming a World Surfing Reserve with Cornwall (in green) looking on.
Dramatization of North Devon (in white shirt) becoming a World Surfing Reserve with Cornwall (in green) looking on.

Blood Feud: The United Kingdom’s North Devon delivers stunning knockout blow to arch-rival Cornwall, named as the country’s first world surfing reserve!

Cornish eyes are crying.

But what would surfing’s long and important history be without its rivalries? Its famous blood feuds like Mark Occhilupo vs. Tom Curren, Kelly Slater vs. Andy Irons, Laird Hamilton vs. Father Time and perhaps hottest, North Devon vs. Cornwall?

The United Kingdom’s two premier surf regions have been locked in terrible battle since four Australian teens brought the sport of kings back to the motherland in 1929. Cornwall, and its rugged rights and lefts, its Fistral Beach and cold water flair, shaking its balled up fist north, shouting oaths at North Devon and its rugged right and lefts, its Croyde and cold water flair.

Pure hatred.

Well, in a move few saw coming, North Devon landed a knockout blow against its arch nemesis as, days ago, it was announced as the U.K.’s first “world surfing reserve.”

Per Auntie Beeb:

It joins a list that includes Malibu and Santa Cruz in California, and the Gold Coast and Manly in Australia. The WSR recognises the quality of the surf as well as the sport’s importance to the wider community. The WSR programme was launched in 2009 in California with the aim of “protecting surf ecosystems around the globe”.

The reserve covers about 30km (19 miles) of coastline.

A WSR spokesperson said: “Its high density of outstanding surf, at iconic breaks such as Croyde, Saunton, Woolacombe, and Lynmouth, caters to wave-riders from beginner to expert and a variety of surfing styles.”

Cornish residents, still reeling, are not the sort to take the shame lightly and authorities are worried about guerrilla tactics grinding the southern pendulum to a halt.

Waxed windscreens etc.

Dark days.