Kolohe Andino (pictured).
Kolohe Andino (pictured).

Los Angeles’ other Major League Baseball team uses nostalgic surf motif for exciting new uniforms: “The scripted ‘Angels’ is done so in a lettering inspired by vintage surf brands’, the end of the tail reflects the end of a ‘fish tail’ surfboard!”

Major World Surf League Baseball.

Oh I will not be shy about my love of baseball, no for not one second. It may not be the “sport of kings” but baseball makes much sense as there are no heats, judges in towers, excellent ranges, Joe Turpels. No, no, no and no. There are, on the other hand, time-less innings, hearty men swinging lumber and throwing cheese, dingers and Vin Scully.

Baseball is a fantastic game and even though I am on European soil, I check in daily with my San Diego Padres to see how they are faring. Greater Southern California has two other teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Neither are as good as the Pads but the LAAofA drew slightly closer with the unveiling of a new surf-inspired uniform.

Per the press release:

The Angels new City Connect uniform focuses on the region’s heavy surfing-inspired history, dating back to the 1950s and 1960s with vintage surf style lettering, striping, and number decoration in red on a cream-coloured uniform.

“In Southern California, there are few things more synonymous with summer than days at the beach and nights at the ballpark,” said Los Angeles Angels President, John Carpino in the press release. “Our City Connect uniforms look to celebrate those traditions by bringing the local beach culture to the Big A.”

Across the front of the jersey is “Angels” scripted out in red with a large silver halo around the top of the “A” and a red tail. The scripted “Angels” is done so in a lettering “inspired by vintage surf brands”, the end of the tail reflects the end of a “fish tail” surfboard (appropriate as the club of Mike Trout and Tim Salmon, the Angels proudly note).

Below the scripted lettering is the player number in a Pacific Ocean-inspired navy blue and trimmed in silver. This number is designed to resemble the font used on the sides of local lifeguard towers. A red diamond houses the number, another nod to vintage surfing brands.

Don’t even get me started on how much I enjoy fish tails.

Shakas all around.

Spike Kane (pictured) with board.
Spike Kane (pictured) with board.

Two ultra-lousy scoundrels on moped steal customized surfboard from man in wheelchair ahead of Hawaii adaptive surfing championship!

Justice calling.

There is rotten and there is lousy and there is also next-level bull roar. Now, it is one thing to borrow a surfboard, another to not return, full trash to straight steal but to steal from someone who has lost usage of their very legs and had one customized to compete in the adaptive surfing championships?

Well, next level bull roar.

But let us travel, together, to Hawaii where the aforementioned just so happen to take place ahead of the Access Surf’s Hawaii Adaptive Surfing Championship.

A burglary at the Ewa Hotel in Waikiki has left one competitive surfer beached.

Spike Kane was set to hit the waters of Waikiki Beach this week for Access Surf’s Hawaii Adaptive Surfing Championship, but Sunday morning, he found that his custom made board was gone, Kane spending the rest of the day searching for answers.

“We checked to make sure no staff had moved it and then they checked in the storage room.” Kane told Hawaii News Now. “We went all around the property, couldn’t find it.”

Kane says that Hotel security showed him footage of two individuals on a moped taking his board at about 9:00 p.m. Saturday night from the Hotel garage.

Two individuals sharing a moped is bad enough (unless they are both deeply enmeshed in the ska life).

Two individuals sharing a moped and stealing an adaptive surfboard?

Utterly rotten and I trust Hawaii to take care of this nasty business.

The NY Times story that set off readers.

New York Times readers apoplectic over story detailing “secret world” of surf spots, “Anyone want to bet how many non-white and female surfers were let in on the secret wave spots? A white men’s club suddenly mad they have to share!”

"The 'don't tell' policy for surf spots is an extension of surf nazi culture, the legacy of Miki Dora. Its roots are in racism and colonialism.”

Readers of the New York Times have reacted with pearl-clutching horror at a story on surfing’s culture of protecting secret spots from exposure on social media.

“Publicizing certain surf spots, and especially ones off the beaten path, is similar to violating the first rule of Fight Club,” writes Adam Elder in The (No Longer) Secret World of Surf Spots.” You just don’t talk about certain surf spots. For years, surfers, surf magazines and surf photographers mostly lived by that unwritten law in order to keep surfing’s secret spots secret. Don’t take photos, and if you must, don’t identify it by anything more specific than the region, the country or even the continent.”

Devon Howard, the former commissioner of the longboard World Surf League, handsome as hell, keeper of a beautiful upswept hairdo, holder of dangerous opinions, provides a useful analogy. 

“There are people who feel like they’ve tended a garden for years, and then you come in with a dirt bike and do some doughnuts and peel out in it, kicking up dirt in their face.”

The Times, a cherished weapon in the left-winger’s arsenal against the tsunami of racism and transphobia sweeping the US, also quotes Chris Burkard, Journal photo editor Grant Ellis and Canadian surfer Josh Mulcoy.

Readers reacted with horror over the concept that keeping a few surf spots under the radar might be a good idea citing it as a white ideal, a vestige of western colonialism with National Socialist overtones.

A small sample of the 300-plus comments.

The “don’t tell” policy for surf spots is an extension of the surf nazi culture, the legacy of Miki Dora. Its roots are in racism and colonialism. 

Only a damaged individual refuses to share a gift bestowed upon them by nature. Lacking the tools of friendship, they select violence to deal with uncomfortable change.

Anyone want to bet how many non white and female surfers were let in on the secret wave spots? Not very many, I’d guess. This reads, to me, like a white men’s club suddenly mad they have to share.

I’ve always thought surfers who think a place belongs to them as thuggish. You didn’t pay to privatize that area for you and your friends.  You don’t own title to it.

Loving the sport of surfing requires inclusivity, and gatekeeping public areas for the sake of your own sesh and at the expense of the development of other surfers is childish and selfish. 

The concept of Wilderness is a myth that is part of our colonial legacy. Humans have always been a part of the environment, but the large scale removal and extermination of indigenous people has contributed to the idea that Westerners are discovering “remote, wild places.” Better to think of them as intentionally depopulated places.

Other than native Pacific Islanders there is no surfing culture that merits the hoo-ha described here. Rich white surfers are going to bump elbows and and I don’t care.

And, this real good for it’s a difficult one for the Times reader to process. ie. bad locals, but locals probably indigenous to islands ergo good, fighting bad, but so is police intervention, defund the police etc.

Surfing Waikiki one day on a long board, I was attacked by a local who did not like the fact I was on a long board in his surf break, even though there were plenty of open rides. I fought back as he and his friends pummeled me. I was able to paddle away but they still followed me to the beach, and then tried to pummel me again. Luckily the police were around.

Where do you stand?

Revealed: the wild act of courage by Tahitian boat driver that saved the lives of iconic surf photographers thrown into the water at giant Teahupoo, “Eric has reached legendary status for his skill in successfully handling this extremely difficult situation”

"Experience and keeping calm will always prevails over rash or hysterical behaviour.”

On May 28, insane footage came out of Teahupoo of surf photographers, and a baguette, being thrown from a boat during a wild twelve-to-fifteen foot swell.

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


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Now, one of the photographers on the boat, the Tahiti-based Tim McKenna, has revealed the wild act of courage of Eric that saved the first photographer thrown into the drink, and the reason why he couldn’t jam on the throttle.

“This is my version of what happened at Teahupoo Saturday 28th May,” McKenna writes on Facebook. “We were on the orange Poti Marara fishing boat captained by Eric Labaste.

“At Teahupoo the present situation is this. Camera boats with professional photographers, cameramen and pro surfers who have been shooting the wave for years are getting gradually pushed towards the wave by an ever-increasing number of taxi boats, jet skis, tourists and locals wanting to get close to the action for a selfie or story.

“In addition at high tide some sets break closer to the channel compressing the zone even further. The first clip shows our boat getting caught a little too close to the first wave of a set with Joao Chumbo surfing on a wide set. Nothing dramatic, something Eric, myself and many other pro’s have experienced a hundred of times over the last 25 years. We know the risks of shooting around waves are fully prepared.


“However after that wave one of the photographers on our boat stood up without securing himself. In a flash of a second he slipped falling out of the boat camera in hand. Eric looked back to see how we could pick him up. The couple of seconds spent assessing the situation how to rescue him put the boat in a critical situation as the second wave of the set started to break even closer to the channel.

Eric, instead of accelerating full throttle which would have launched the boat and thrown everyone overboard, stayed calm stabilising the boat ready to handle the face of the approaching 12ft wave but with an additional problem – a jet ski blocking his passage.

“Once the boat was vertical the ice container came loose causing seasoned surf photographers and cameramen Chris Bryan, Ted Grambeau, Mendo De Dornellas, Natxo Gonzales, Aritz Aranburu and Jon Aspuru to be thrown into the water.

“Myself, veteran cameraman Olivier Ravel, Eric Bernatet and Andrew Fierro managed to stay on the boat.

“Eric, fisherman by trade, is the most respected, experienced waterman at Teahupoo and the Fenua Aihere area. His positioning, understanding of the Teahupoo channel and the way the wave breaks is unparalleled.

“Most of the photos and footage that has been seen world wide has been shot thanks to Eric’s expertise.

“Eric has now reached legendary status for his skill in handling successfully this extremely difficult situation. It is easy to criticise without knowledge of the conditions and actual sequence of events.

“The Ocean can be treacherous. Experience and keeping calm will always prevails over rash or hysterical behaviour.”

And, Teahupoo ain’t no place for sissies.

Swellnet (pictured) double speaking.
Swellnet (pictured) double speaking.

Australia’s answer to Surfline erects intrusive cameras over hush-hush waves, ruthlessly censors any opposition to “unseemly voyeurism!”

Burn, Swellnet, burn.

We live in the day and age of Big Brother, of the robot, let no surfer be misled. Cameras watch us shop, watch us drive, follow us to the beach and record our various surfings. And when we are not participating in this glorious “sport of kings,” they still point and film and broadcast waves and missed opportunities and potential opportunities to the online world.

But what of corners that should be left secret? That might be left unmolested?

Well, the robot has no feeling for such trivial matters and the masters of the robot are too busy chasing market share to care. Masters of the robot going even further to debase and ruthlessly censor the brave few who may or might call the invasion out for what it is.

Take, for example, Swellnet, Australia’s answer to Surfline. Reports coming out of that Lucky Country suggest that the online surf forecaster has sped up erection of cameras, placing them on private homes, pointed at famous waves but also lesser known, hush-hush ones.

And impassioned plea dropped into my messages today reading:

We have an issue down here in sunny Torquay. You are probably familiar with the surf website Swellnet here in Australia. Well they are currently following the Surfline approach of paying landowners to install surf cameras, most recently one has been put up over Winkipop (bells) and another further down the coast. This has caused considerable anger and frustration from the local surf community that don’t want said cameras. Now this is where things get interesting, I made a direct but polite post asking what the justification was for said camera, which was promptly deleted. Apparently the same thing has happened to dozens of others. A friend of mine tested the same waters today and comments were deleted and he was blocked. This has degenerated into full on censorship and they are maintaining a wall of positive noise and you know how we feel about that!

I certainly do and I’d like to take a moment to deeply shame Swellnet. It is one thing to camera, quite another to ruthlessly censor. The People™ may be many things but they ain’t entirely dumb. To both rob them of their privacy but also rob them of their voice seems… positively evil.

The cameras may be a necessary business move but censorship? Not allowing a critical voice? Imagining that opinions will change with a Chinese-esque approach to free speech?

No, I say.

Burn, Swellnet, burn.