No title defence for Medina. | Photo: WSL

Gabriel Medina’s world title hopes crash as three-time world champ set to miss Jeffreys Bay following knee injury at Oi Rio Pro, Brazil!

"Medina underwent an MRI on both knees, and a grade 2 to 3 injury of the MCL of the left knee was diagnosed."

And, welcome readers, to another chapter in the Kardashian-esque life of three-time world champ Gabriel Medina. 

After making a sensational return to the pro tour following a six-month break for “emotional issues’ after splitting from wife Yasmin Brunet, banking semi-final finishes at El Sal and G-Land, Medina has pulled out of J-Bay with a tweaked knee. 

“Gabriel Medina hit his knee on his board while competing on the second day of the Oi Rio Pro,” wrote the WSL. “This Saturday afternoon, the 25th, Medina underwent an MRI on both knees, and a grade 2 to 3 injury of the MCL of the left knee was diagnosed. Medina will return for medical evaluation in two weeks for a more accurate prognosis. In this scenario, Gabriel Medina will be out of the JBay event, in South Africa.” 


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Missing J-Bay and, likely, Teahupoo, makes it impossible for Medina to scoot into the top five and defend his title at Lowers in September. 

It ain’t his first time under the knife this year. 

Back in April, Medina had surgery for a deviated septum, an operation where the bone and cartilage dividing the space between the two nostrils is straightened. 

Many, many causes, hits to the nose, growth defects, living the high life with an emphasis on tropane alkaloid and stimulants (see: Daniella Westbrook as cautionary tale), although Medina is notable for an ascetic lifestyle therefore non-applicable.  

Prior to quitting the tour, busting up his wife and having his septum straightened, Medina had endured myriad feuds involving his immediate and extended family. 

Hard rock magazine delivers semi-surprising list of heavy metal heads who find oasis of interior peace and harmony whilst straddling surfboard!

Much head bang.

But where does heavy metal rank on your list of preferred music? Near the top butting up against 1990s-era pop punk or languishing at the bottom right below free form jazz? Me? I never really went through a “metal phase” as grunge really took over my teenage listening soundscape but have always appreciated from afar. You may recall that I was just in Copenhagen during COPENHELL and felt lightly jealous of all the men in black denim vests festooned with patches of their favorite acts such as Lamb of God and Metallica.

Well, as fate would have it, I just stumbled upon a list from the online metal publication Loudwire featuring various metal heads that find respite amongst the waves. There are some you may already know, like the aforementioned Metallica’s Rob Trujillo and Kirk Hammett. Perry Ferrell, Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Eddie Vedder and Jon Foreman (from Switchfoot) are listed, though I would consider none of them “metal” per se.

The semi-surprising, I suppose, are Des Fafara from DevilDriver, Chuck Billy from Testament and Randy Blythe from Lamb of God.

Much head bang.

The question now is, which should the World Surf League commission to play on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles during the thrilling final’s day?


Manhattan Beach, home to World Surf League CEO Erik Logan and other notable celebrities, sees brazen cocktail hour jewel heist by gaggle of men in balaclavas!


Southern California, for those who have never been, is one vast uninterrupted urban sprawl that extends from Santa Clarita, or thereabouts, 100 some such miles down to San Clemente. The untrained eye may only see textureless roads, buildings, small parks etc. but aficionado knows that each community, each neighborhood, is distinct.

Let us take Manhattan Beach, for example, perched on the Ocean Pacific between El Segundo to the north, Hermosa to the south and Lawndale to the east. It is a town of roughly 35,000 with many notable celebrity residents including the World Surf League’s CEO Erik Logan. It was also in the news, this past year, as a stretch of park known as Bruce’s Beach, was set to be returned to a black family it was illegally seized from decades ago.

It is atypically sleepy. Surfers sometimes attempt to milk seconds from waist high closeouts at the pier before catching lunch at Fishing with Dynamite. Other surfers, including the aforementioned Logan, try their hand, or paddle, at El Porto, a handful of blocks away, before catching lunch at Nick’s. Manhattan Beach folk like to go to bed early and spend the day thinking about exotic ice cream flavors and and so you can imagine the shock when a gaggle of men wearing balaclavas stormed the street, near sundown, smashed the window of a jewelry store and proceeded to stuff gold, diamonds, other precious stones and metals into bags and fleeing to waiting cars.

Per TMZ:

The Manhattan Beach Police Department says the suspects used hammers to smash display cases before stuffing merchandise in their bags … and cops say at least 3 suspects were armed with what appeared to be handguns, though no shots were fired.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano called it a crime against his entire community … and he says the police force is going to do everything possible to track down the suspects, prosecute them and throw them in jail. He also says the town will beef up security outside businesses and MB’s expensive neighborhoods.


Also, did you, at some point in your life, pronounce balaclava the same way you pronounced the Greek dessert baklava?

Do you still?

Be honest.

Slater, eating the foamy wash of an adult learner at Desert Point.

Concern for Kelly Slater as footage emerges of champ surfing Indonesian reefs while suffering injury so grave he was forced to pull out of crucial events in El Salvador and Brazil!

And gets being humiliated by VAL at Desert Point!

There was little surprise when Kelly Slater pulled out of contests in El Salvador and Brazil, events of little value to a man whose residual skill shines in epic reef barrels, Pipe, Teahupoo.

Slater, who turns fifty-one in February, has made an art of avoiding the Brazil leg of the tour, citing back pain, foot pain, personal reasons, whatever it takes to avoid the long flight, the “passionate” fans and waves that rarely thrill, usually in collusion with the WSL.

As Chas Smith wrote a few days back,

“The odd thing, I suppose, is how the World Surf League supports his animosity. It would be thought that Brazil is very important to the WSL’s future of CEO Erik Logan’s promised 300% – 650% year-over-year growth and that he would ensure the country felt respected but apparently the League offices do not care. Is it because the WSL imagines that Brazil should feel lucky to have an event at all? A classic, though very out of fashion, sort of paternalism? A white man’s burden?”

Therefore, instead of Central and South America, the eleven-time champ detoured to Bali for fitness training and sessions at Uluwatu and even a side trip to Desert Point on Lombok for the pleasure of being humiliated by a VAL, eating the learner’s foamy wash as the villain rode to glory.

Obviously, fans fear further injury to brittle bones etc.

And Ulus!


In repudiation of World Surf League, leading U.S. cable news network disappears the Surf Ranch Pro from annals of history!


I was treated to a lovely news segment, this morning, from Atlanta, Georgia’s CNN. The 24-hour news network has fallen on harder times, viewership numbers plunging as competitor Fox News maintains a steely grip on ratings, but it was once groundbreaking, even synonymous with the very concept of “news.”

A recorder of history as it is occurring in the very moment. The events which will someday be codified into books and taught to our children’s children’s children’s children.

As it happens, our World Surf League should be entirely worried about its place in the aforementioned history for the lovely news segment I was treated to featured wave pools and was filed under the title “Are artificial surf parks ready for competition?”

It began with the footnote that the first wave pool in history was built in 1870 by the “mad king” Ludwig II of Bavaria. He, allegedly, dug a pit under his beautiful castle, filled it with water and zapped it with electricity. The narrator then discusses artificial wave pools growing in popularity through the 1980s, the sort that lap against children floating on tubes at Disneyworld etc., to our modern high-performance surf iteration.

Off we then whisk to Gipuzkoa, Spain, the location of Wavegarden’s private R + D facility to meet founder and CEO Josema Odriozola. He chats about the various technologies they are employing, making better air sections for Brazilian surfers (since they are the best at that sort of thing), better barrels, better faces for turns. The well-spoken Aritz Aranburu is introduced and says, “I really think the waves are good enough to hold events. I think it is going to be interesting to do events in places with no ocean.”

The storyline returns to the narrator, who says, “While wave pools will never replace the ocean, there is the potential for a new kind of contest.” And takes us to the Switzerland which “has hosted the first competition.” According to Odriozola it was “a big success” with the surfers knowing that the waves would be there for them, no ocean going flat, no waiting etc. Aranburu declares the only thing left is to make the waves bigger.

And scene.

Not only no mention of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch there in Lemoore, California, but not mention of the Surf Ranch Pro which, not once but twice, hosted World Surf League Championship Tour competitions.

Those who were forced to watch the Surf Ranch Pro in real time likely felt that history would not treat it kindly but for it to be disappeared from the annals in a Stalinist purge?

A pure and vicious repudiation of the World Surf League.


Watch here.