The Sunshine Coast would be richer, I think, if there were green, warm-water barrels on tap, and not just during the big cyclone blows.

Council fires back at developer of WSL’s billion-dollar “eco-resort” and Kelly Slater wavepool on Queensland flood plain, “To say that the proposal should be supported because (the) site didn’t flood during the latest rain bomb is ridiculous”!

"Any proposal would need to be assessed on robust data analysis not anecdotes.”

Last week, the developer behind the WSL’s billion-dollar pool and residential play near the Queensland town of Coolum said the WSL would move the project to the Gold Coast, two hundred clicks south, unless government red tape was slashed and the project bathed in green light.

Consolidated Properties’ Don O’Rorke, who “donated the land and a half-a-million dollars for the Hurley HPC in Casuarina and was subsequently made a life member of Surfing Australia, said concerns the joint was on a flood-plain were unfounded, pointing out that recent heavy rains didn’t affect the site. 

Now, Sunshine Coast councillor Maria Suarez has fired back at O’Rorke, telling the Courier Mail, “To say that the proposal should be supported because the northern part of the surf ranch site didn’t flood during the latest rain bomb is ridiculous, especially when you consider the recent events weren’t even as significant as the 1992 flood event. Any proposal would need to be assessed on robust data analysis not anecdotes.”

Suarez said the proposed site was some of the lowest lying and most flood-affected land on the Sunshine Coast and “was a natural storage area providing downstream protection during major flood events.”

The council, she said, hadn’t changed its position on the build on the flood plain, not for any anti-development reason just ’cause it seemed foolhardy, and had suggested an alternative site at Beerwah East. 

The WSL and O’Rorke hosed down that idea. 

“The problem is the Beerwah East plan is not coming online for approximately 15 years, so it’s not an immediate opportunity,” said O’Rorke. 

You’ll remember, or not, pro-environment and wildlife advocate Kelly Slater who“urged” the Queensland to approve the development.

“This wave would become somewhat of a mecca and put the Sunshine Coast back on the (surfing) map,” Slater told the Courier-Mail. “iIt will bring a lot of interest to the area and it will be a place that I know a lot of people are going to want to surf and have an ongoing impact on the local area.”

The proposal includes 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.”

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

Sasha Jane Lowerson (pictured) winning.
Sasha Jane Lowerson (pictured) winning.

Norm bustin’ trans swimmer Lia Thomas speaks out for first time in aftermath of Sasha Jane Lowerson’s longboarding dominance: “If you say you can compete but can’t score, or are in an extra lane, that’s very othering towards trans people.”


But you are certainly aware, if not out-righted opinionated upon, the “trans people in sport” conversation dominating professional sport. A mere theoretical in our surfing world until a short few weeks ago when Sasha Jane Lowerson smashed her competition to become the first surfer to win both men’s and women’s after a dominant performance at the Western Australian longboarding championship.

Inspiring to many but confusing to others.

Is it fair for those born male to switch and smash females in sport?

Is it proper?

The debate roiled with photographer Peter King declaring “stay out of women’s sports” and the world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, positing that trans athletes should be given their own category.

Well, Lia Thomas, who became the first trans athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship, in swimming, spoke out for the first time just hours ago after declining interviews for months. In the fading light of Lowerson’s glory.

Thomas told ESPN exclusively:

The biggest misconception, I think, is the reason I transitioned. People will say, ‘Oh, she just transitioned so she would have an advantage, so she could win.’ I transitioned to be happy, to be true to myself.

Trans women competing in women’s sports does not threaten women’s sports as a whole. Trans women are a very small minority of all athletes. The NCAA rules regarding trans women competing in women’s sports have been around for 10-plus years. And we haven’t seen any massive wave of trans women dominating.

If you say, like, you can compete, but you can’t score or you’re in an extra lane nine, that’s very othering towards trans people. And it is not offering them the same level of respect and opportunity to play and to compete.

It’s no different than a cis woman taking a spot on a travel team or a scholarship. It’s a part of athletics, where people are competing against each other. It’s not taking away opportunities from cis women, really. Trans women are women, so it’s still a woman who is getting that scholarship or that opportunity.

I very much wanted to ask Lowerson these questions, though was rebuffed, and appreciate Thomas’s clarity but what do you think? Does it assuage your toxic wonderings?

Do you feel those who swam, or surfed, against felt non-dominated?

How then can we then measure waves in German male lower legs?

More questions than answers but I’m, hopefully, discovering on essential quest.

In wild protest over state of industry, poor waves at G-Land, Florida man walks into surf shop, defecates on floor, uses surf-branded t-shirt to clean self!


Yesterday found me in quite a state. There I was, in Munich’s perfectly utilitarian flughafen, lightly jet-lagged and tragically without sunglasses. I had, hours earlier, lost my favorite pair of Garrett Leight’s at ballet rehearsal along with my wig and hat. Those were later found, in a pile, just in time for a fine performance, but sunglasses gone and no time to acquire new before flight.

What to do?

Duty free sunglass shopping is rife with potential impulse disaster. With display Tom Fords featuring bent arms that slip right off the bridge of nose or garish Guccis that feel right in the moment but do not reflect the personal brand outdoors.

Well, as luck, or fate, would have it, I stumbled upon a pair of Le Specs while almost falling into that classic Ray Ban Wayfarer trap. They were inexpensive but stylish-adjacent, did not broadcast anything good nor bad and would do perfectly for the quest I was about to undertake.

The German male’s lower leg has haunted me, you see, since it had been discovered as the perfect tool in measuring wave height. Kept me up at night. For decades upon decades, our kind has stumbled over the most basic task. How big are the swells we ride? Shall me gauge in Hawaiian? Meters? Stathams? The World Surf League’s forecasting tool Surfline has made matters that much worse by introducing utter absurdity into what should be neatly scientific.

But then German Sebastian Steudtner broke the official world record for “largest wave ever” and a crack team of scientists stumbled upon the German male’s lower leg as the perfect calibrating tool.

I lay awake in bed, fevered, pondering, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. If the holy grail of wave measurement is hiding in plain sight, in Germany, what else might be there?

After six days, I could take no more, bid my beautiful family auf wiedersehen and booked travel to Deutschland for this most important crusade. And, now, with sunglasses, I am ready to see great and concealed truths that will allow our beloved surfing to reach heretofore unknown states of bliss.

Outside of Germany, things are bad, for our surf industry, and getting worse. In wild protest over its state, and possible lack of waves at the G-Land Pro, a Florida man walked into a local surf shop and made a mess on the floor.

According to the Treasure Island Police Department, Gary Peter Bush, 69, walked into the Surf Style shop, located at 10701 Gulf Blvd., exposed his genitalia and proceeded to defecate on the floor near the dressing room.

Witnesses told police Bush wiped himself with a shirt belonging to the store, creating a biohazard out of the top.

Bush was arrested later in the day after being recognized by the store manager.

According to the arrest report, Bush told officers, “I was at the store earlier to get clothes. I returned to the store to get more clothes. I bought an outfit.”


My next stop, anyhow, shall be the Black Forest where fables spring from the ground.

See the insane moment two of the world’s greatest surf photographers are thrown from Teahupoo water taxi in near-disaster during epic swell!

“That was heavy,” says Nathan Florence.

A couple of days back, Teahupoo was big, skis and boats everywhere, drivers’ faces wet with spray and sweat as they manoeuvred photographers into position to shoot the wave’s extravagant barrel in a game of potentially fatal choreography.

Pretty rare for a boat to go over, or lose a passenger, especially in the hands of the experienced drivers who work the two-lever steering wheels, forever treading an ultra-fine line between deep water and the slightest incline of reef that’ll drag ‘em back into the hole.

In the incident below, Ted Grambeau, possibly the best, definitely the sweetest, surf photographer ever to draw breath, and Chris Bryan, the high-def video gun for hire, for whom the phone tolls every time a studio wants the finest in surf-cinematic vision, are tossed from their vessel, along with their lunch baguette, only seconds after recording an epic ride.


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The Tahitian driver is catlike in a scenario that would have most leaving wet web stains on the front of their red bunny pyjamas.

Stephanie Gilmore and Gabriel Medina, ten world titles between em. | Photo: @badboyryry_

Wild scenes at Grajagan as Quiksilver Pro, dogged by poor swell forecast, descends into jungle bacchanal, “Is there any booze left in camp?”

"Kolohe Andino looking as worn as a well-thumbed volume filled with illustrated examples of human sex organ deformities."

Yesterday, surf fans rounded on the World Surf League following a poor swell and wind forecast from forecast partner Surfline and two days of “on-hold” announcements. 

“Let’s drop the wall of positive @wsl just actually tell us when it’s going to be on,” wrote craigysurf86 in response to the latest on-hold post, summing up what was a pretty universal sentiment before the comments were hidden. “This ‘On hold’ thing is actually way more frustrating especially since your entire fan base knows the swell happened before and will happen after the waiting period.”

Now, following a series of Instagram stories and various TikToks showing the world’s best surfers grunting and groaning and cavorting to retro dance tracks, in the case below, PNAU’s Embrace and 50 Cents’ In Da Club, surf fans, displaying a wild puritanical streak, have vented on the WSL’s socials. 


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“Not sure why they are barely updating us and then just showing partying on the story like damn take about giving back to the surf community.”

“Everyone too hungover to surf later this afternoon when the wind swings offshore ?Forecast is looking worse each day. Looks like you’ll be running heats in 2ft G Land.”

“Is there any booze left in camp?” 

I found the vision of good times heartening, Stephanie Gilmore and Gabriel Medina moving with precise and vigorous grace, Filipe Toledo weightless with joy at the spectre of a finals day in small waves and Kolohe Andino looking as worn as a well-thumbed volume filled with illustrated examples of human sex organ deformities.


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Good times, although not quite on the level as the night in the 1990’s when Rob Bain, Barton Lynch and Gary Elkerton disappeared into the jungle, reappearing in the morning naked and carrying bamboo spears.