Slater (pictured) on Day One of Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro.
Slater (pictured) on Day One of Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro.

Living legend Kelly Slater stuns fans, follows “best female surfer on earth” out the door at Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro after eye-popping defeat by children half his age-less!

The bigger they are...

The great “Challenger Series” experiment is officially well underway and what are your thoughts thus far? Completely tuning it out, only enough care in heart for very top level Championship Tour surfing? Lightly “Challenger Series” bi-curious, dipping a toe into BeachGrit‘s Hot Live Chat? Thrilled to the moon like Dave Prodan, the World Surf League’s Chief Strategy and Brand Officer, who took to Instagram in celebration, posting various memes from the beloved film Despicable Me?

Well, I was bi-curious enough yesterday to tune in for an hourish while my young daughter suffered stomach flu upstairs. I caught Snapper looking totally uninspired, real doggy, and Jadson Andre etc. Still, it was enjoyable enough. The rifling four person heat format, with two of those persons going directly home, provides for more surfing as well as small drama.

Morgan Ciblic, for example, is staying.

Owen Wright going home.


And if Wright can’t crack the Challengers, is his career officially over? He fell below the recent “merciless” “depressing” cut line and will not be allowed to participate at the very top level until he fixes up, looks sharp.

Julian Wilson may be plotting his return, doing just enough to squeak into the round of 24 wherein he will face the Ultimate Surfer Zeke Lau.

Surf legend Kelly Slater did not fare as well, following contemporary and “best female surfer on earth” Keala Kennelly out the door by falling to Leonardo Fioravanti and Cam Richards in heat 11. Two young men less than half his age which creates extra drama.

Slater, of course, doesn’t need the Challenger Series result as he survived the guillotine but does it amaze that he is still surfing professionally? Over a decade ago, surfing’s preeminent, and only historian, Watt Warshaw, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times or maybe Washington Post about how the 11x World Champion should do the age appropriate thing and hang it up. Slater, of course, went on to win two more titles as well as becoming a Pipeline Pro late last year.

Much gas in the tank, apparently, but wow. Florida’s living fountain of youth.

Here’s to G-Land.

Thymus G-Land

Cheap but happy wetsuits!

British magazine accused of “surfer snobbery” following “explosive rant” after Irish fast-fashion retailer releases range of cheap wetsuits, “It’s so sad and is considered as high treason on the seas! Just say NO!”

"These awful cheap throwaway wetsuits are being massed produced and will be thrown away in no time."

A war of words has erupted in Britain following the Irish multi-billion dollar fast fashion retailer Primark’s decision to move into the wetsuit game.

The “explosive rant” appeared on the Newquay based Real Surfing Magazine’s Facebook page and was written in response to Primark’s range of keenly priced wetsuits, fifty US or thereabouts for a three mm steamer with flatlock stitching and a back zip.



I tried to ignore this but I can’t.

These awful cheap throwaway wetsuits are being massed produced and will be thrown away in no time.

It’s very sad that companies such as this are tapping into surf culture.

It’s basically the same as the cheap crappy snappy bodyboards all over again isnt itThey look ill fitting and poorly made so wont keep you warm.

The problem is that you can see why people buy them because they are not willing to go out and buy a decent long lasting suit if they go in the sea once a year or get the kids them because they will grow out of them by the following summer.

A decent wetsuit can at least be passed on or handed into charities such as wave project to sell on and can last for years.

Same with surfboards, a decent well made board can last decades, cheap Chinese imports do not.

It’s so sad and is considered as high treason on the seas and the planet by the surfing community

Ikea selling handplanes and teaming up with w.s.l is bad enough but bloody primark!!

Decathlon, all these lot dont give a shit about surfing. An environmental disaster.

Primark, which is called Penneys in the Republic of Ireland and there it stays because of JC Penneys’ stranglehold on the US market, is built around the Zara and H&M model, fashion knocked straight off the catwalks, or beaches, and sold via their own chain of retail stores thereby doubling, effectively, the value of their produce.

Disposable furniture giant Ikea is the queen of dipping into surf, of course. Its most recent initiative, a collaboration with the WSL for a range of surf-themed furniture, announced only three weeks ago.

“IKEA’s sustainability initiatives align closely with those of the WSL and our fans,” said the WSL’s Chief Revenue Office, Cherie Cohen, in the press release.

Buying a Primark wetsuit might be problematic (as they say) than you think, at least online.

Visit the “Surf & Swim Staples” page, click on “range of wetsuits, and you go to a page of bikinis and one-piece swimsuits.

Hot live chat, comment in real time on Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Day Three, from Snapper Rocks as relegated professional surfers enjoy fruit of labor!

Mother approved!

KK on vacation! | Photo: @msnowhite

“Best female surfer on earth” and LGBTQ+ icon Keala Kennelly returns to competition, suffers shock loss in opening round of Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro!


But you can imagine my sheer delight, this Mother’s Day morning, after I rubbed the sleep out of eyes, gathered iPhone, began my ritual of scrolling through the surf news and stumbled upon a feel-good story about Keala Kennelly, described in the piece as “The Best Female Surfer on Earth,” and her current journey. Oh I am not suggesting that Kennelly is a mother, or that mothers are female, only that I was pleased to see the big wave world tour champion back in the water after a recent hip surgery.

The incident requiring medical intervention occurred on a giant day at Jaws wherein a gust of wind bothered her surfboard causing it to “hit me in my shin, then it flipped up and hit me in my ribs, then flipped up again and hit me in my chin, then I cartwheeled down a 50-foot wave.”

Adding injury to insult, the tug of her leash on leg pulled her leg out of socket and tore the labrum in her hip.


Kennelly, though, tough continued to surf until it became too much to bear and eventually went under the knife then spent eight months rehabilitating out of the water.

But now she is back, so back that she headed to Australia to toss her cap into the Challenger Series ring. “I’ve done all this work for equality, and never really gotten to benefit from [it],” she told the website Well+Good. “So it’ll be cool to kind of like, take the temperature of where the tour is at and see those positive changes. I’m going to do an audit.”

Well, I raced over to the World Surf League’s eponymous website just as quick as I could only to discover Kennelly was delivered a shock loss in heat 1 of the round of 64, falling to fellow Hawaiians Gabriela Bryan and Zoe McDougall and Brazilian Summer Macedo. Sally Fitzgibbons, who surfed in the next heat, advanced by holding second place.

Silver linings, I suppose.

Is there sudden elimination on the Challenger Series?

Here’s hoping not.

Fitness buff Spenser Mestel, happy in and out of the water! | Photo: @spensermestel

Brooklyn-based stringer for The Atlantic reports from Melbourne wavepool; says tank has “its share of assholes” and is oversubscribed with VALS, “Nearly every person before me buried the nose of their board and face-planted into the water!”

Sexy New York fitness buff visits Urbnsurf!

A Brooklyn-based freelancer, or stringer as they used to be called before all the staffers were sacked and everyone turned into piece workers, has written a long-form story for The Atlantic following a recent visit to Melbourne’s Urbnsurf. 

Spenser Mestel, a well-muscled white man whose Instagram profile pic finds him in underpants, quadriceps flared, scrotum aggressive like carnivorous jaws, opens the piece. “I Went Surfing in an Office Park” with a quote from Chas. 

“Surf Ranch is a satanic mirror!” the surfing journalist Chas Smith wrote in reference to a park in California built by the surfing legend Kelly Slater. “It shows you who and what you are but the worst possible version.”

A session is booked.

Before going surfing, I’m used to lugging my board onto a bus. I’m not used to booking a session online. Using the descriptions, we debated which level was right for us. Could we “paddle, take-off, trim along the wave face, and safely dismount?” Yeah, of course. Well … maybe. We’re both consistent surfers, but it depends on the board, the wave, the day. To cover all our bases, we signed up for the two easiest levels. Still, three weeks out, all we could book were left-breaking waves, which are supposed to be harder if, like us, you surf with your right foot back.

Mestel arrives at tank, a five-minute drive from Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport. 

When we got to Urbnsurf, it looked like we’d just boarded a Royal Caribbean Cruise. Where was the weed-smoking, the dogs with sunglasses, the sleeper vans with Instagram handles painted on the back?

At the rental shop, the man working the front desk had his nails painted, like me. I’d never seen that while surfing, either.

After we got our boards—embarrassing bright-blue, 7-foot-6 foamies—we caught the tail end of the safety briefing. Finally, we could surf—well, “surf.” After scanning our wristbands at the turnstile, we paddled out in the chlorinated water toward the massive metal cylinder capable of spitting out all types of waves, from a slow, gentle roller to a six-foot-high barrel. One by one, we’d maneuver out to the label on the concrete wall that corresponded to the difficulty level of our wave and wait for our turn. For most of the four years I’ve surfed, I’d see a promising wave, turn toward the shore, and paddle furiously until I either caught it or didn’t. But recently, I’d learned to look back at the wave as I prepared to drop in, to read the shape and color to figure out where and when it would break. At Urbnsurf, I didn’t have to do all of that: I already knew I was in the right position. As soon as I heard the whurl of the machine, I’d start kicking my legs uselessly up and down.

For the first time in my life, I was able to trace along the face of the wave, turning down to gain speed and turning up to build momentum, all without being afraid that the wave would suddenly topple over and roll me so many times, I wouldn’t know which way was up.

Mestel discovers flotilla of VALS.

After our first session, we moved up a difficulty level. While I waited my turn, I saw nearly every person before me bury the nose of their board and face-plant into the water. Even in a single session you could see a huge spectrum of ability, from an overconfident beginner who left halfway through to a woman who absolutely shredded on a little potato chip of a fiberglass board. On my first attempt, I managed to stand up and ride for a few glorious and exhilarating seconds, but when I jumped off there was no familiar tug on my right leg.

A bad man, probably white!

Urbnsurf had its share of assholes, like the man who cut between a mother and her teenage daughter and then yelled at them both for not paddling hard enough. 

Discovers ocean still pretty good after flying from Melbourne to Sydney.

But then, on my last session out, during one of Sydney’s few perfectly sunny April days, I saw a three-footer rumbling toward me and guessed it would break to the right. To my amazement, it did, and I ran my hand through the face of the wave as I carved it up and down, opening my shoulders and looking where I wanted to go. It was a ride so perfect, it felt engineered. Seven euphoric seconds later, I’d ridden the wave all the way to the shoreline—and directly into a patch of seaweed.

Read here.