Gilmore (pictured) rock n' rolling.
Gilmore (pictured) rock n' rolling.

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore’s unparalleled surfing success lost in growing tempest of Brazilian rage!

Emotional hammers blur wild new record for champ!

The Surf City El Salvador Pro has taken on a life of its own in its aftermath, one very much more interesting than the surf contest itself.

You know that Griffin Colapinto bested Filipe Toledo in the men’s final in waves of questionable quality, according to the analyst JP Currie.

While he did not particularly disagree with the final score, did note that many of the brightest Brazilian stars are scored against their own potential, not necessarily their performance.

Well, Colapinto beat Toledo, all fine and good, except it was NOT all fine and good in Brazil where vociferous fans exploded with rage. Derek Rielly reported some of the fury, including:


“The champion was already decided even before the heat begins. World Shame League.”

“If the judges do that again in Saquarema, the jiuripoca is gonna pew.”

“What a joke… Not any credibility left.”

And also that there is a massive protest being planned at the next stop, which just so happens to be Brazil.

“You have to make the biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”

Very exciting and even more exciting with Colapinto’s mama entering the fray, dropping emotional hammers on Brazilian priorities.

Lost in it all, though, is the stylish Stephanie Gilmore who also won in El Salvador and, officially, became the winningest female surfer of all-time after besting Lakey Peterson in the final.

Thirty-three total event crowns.

Gilmore, ever gracious, offered “muchas gracias” to El Salvador and now is ranked third in the world, just behind Defay and Moore.

Does she have a shot at title number eight or will Brazilian riots derail?

Extremely exciting.

Griff's mammy or het up on Instagram.

“Mama bear” of El Salvador Pro winner Griffin Colapinto raises hell after Latin surf fans promise chaos in Saquarema following Californian’s second consecutive win over Brazilian hero, “I’ve been sitting on my hands for two days and I’m still angry! Look around! There’s a war, homelessness…and your win is motivating people to take to the streets?”

"I know you are at peace, but allow me to vent as your mom. I will protect you until the day I die!"

The mammy of Californian Griffin Colapinto, the kid who belted Brazilian Filipe Toledo for the second time in a final three days ago, has raised hell after Latin surf fans claimed the game was fixed in the gringo’s favour. 

(If you’re coming in late, read, Brazilian surf fans apoplectic following Californian Griffin Colapinto’s “shock” win over world title favourite Filipe Toledo, “World Shame League! This event was a joke!” and Latin surf fans vow to create chaos at next World Tour event in Brazil following Filipe Toledos controversial loss to Californian in El Salvador, “The biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons, planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”)

Griff’s mama Camille, a nurse at a plastic surgery joint in Newport, wrote on her lil man’s IG,

“Momma bear is on 🔥. I’ve been sitting on my hands for two days and I’m still angry. I don’t care if people think you got overscored! Whatever, it’s a surf contest. It’s meant to entertain. But the threats to the judges’ well being, to you, to other members of @wsl that should not be tolerated. And for others in top positions to post and add fuel to the fire, well that’s just irresponsible. Can we remember how blessed these surfers are please? Look around. There is a war, homelessness, people:children starving, and your win is motivating people to take to the streets? Are we living in the same universe? Wow! Unbelievable. And @griffin_cola I know you are at peace, but allow me to vent as your mom. I will protect you until the day I die! Even if I need a walker and a cane and even if you don’t need mom backup . Anyway, I’m making a point! Terrible things still happen I’m this world (I mean, watch a Dateline Episode, for F sake). And an outcome in a surf contest where the top guys still make good money is upsetting the masses? I have no words,,,,I actually have lots of words but your dad and brother and nana have front row to my rants.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Griffin Colapinto (@griffin_cola)

Meanwhile, over in the Toledo corner, bucket overflowing with tears, Pip’s daddy fumes,


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ricardo Toledo (@ricardinhotoledo)

“Griffin… of course you are not to blame for what is happening with the Wsl judgment… We really hope that something will be done, and that this will change, as it is becoming unbearable to see and hear the things we are hearing. during the events, I am embarrassed for the others… @filipetoledo , you have shown yourself to be a true soldier in the war, defending your homeland, where we clearly see that, you are targeted and keep moving forward! WHAT A WARRIOR!!! my congratulations son, the world is proud of you, who despite everything, has been a true “gentleman”, always responding with great ethics, respect and wisdom. So proud of the human being who has shown himself to be a true champion! And you know it…🤷‍♂️ “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.”proverbs 15:3”

Surf Journalist (pictured) as Mother Ginger.
Surf Journalist (pictured) as Mother Ginger.

Surf Journalist climbs out of rock n’ roll hole only to break ankle scaling peak of ballet grace and beauty!

But how would Griffin Colapinto fare as a ballerina?

But of all the most gracious, most beautiful arts there are on the face of this gorgeous earth, where do you place professional competitive surfing? For my money, it sits right above collegiate ice hockey, right below light welterweight boxing, nowhere near ballet which just so happens to occupy the absolute peak of perfection.

My love for the ephemeral, yet dictatorial, dance has been growing steadily over the past three years, a product of my young daughter’s being caught in its snare, I suppose. When she was an infant, the wife of a wonderful surf industry friend stretched out her baby leg and said “she will dance ballet.” I disregarded, imagining her reaching fame and fortune synchronized swimming or being a jockey (she liked to swim wearing makeup and ride horses as fast as she could until instructors screamed after the safety of their beasts).

Maybe even a professional snowboarder even though my ex-professional snowboard wife declared that would only happen over her (wife’s) dead body. An extremely high price to pay, all things considered.

Destiny, thankfully, is destiny and she took a ballet class, then another, then became impossibly trapped. Ballet chooses the dancer, they say, not the other way around but it also must choose the dancer’s father and this past year has found me reading everything I could, watching everything I could, learning everything I could.

Obsessed. A full balletomane.

The Mariinsky, Sylvie Guillem, Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky, Rudolf Nuryev, arabesques, France, Russia, Italy, the Staatsballet, Mother Ginger etc. ad infinitum.

So there I was in Copenhagen, down a deep rock n’ roll hole but salvation was nigh for I knew, through research, that the Royal Danish Ballet would be performing outdoors in the evening, just off the harbor, on the perfectly designed porch of their opera house, and the grime of Gloryhammer would be washed right away.

We showed up early, thanks to inside information from Copenhagen’s most famous woman, in order to watch the dancers warm up on the barre to gentle plunks from a piano. Our spot on the cement, slightly stage left, perfect. The sky, overhead, filling with clouds. We sat on that slightly stage left patch of cement, young daughter on lap, and felt the hammer of glory. Have you ever heard toe shoes clicking on a stage floor? That is exactly what it is.

The rock hammer of glory.

The warm-ups lasted for an hour and a half, or such, the dancers filed into a black tent off to the side and the director came to the front, telling the audience, which had swelled to the thousands, that light rain, sprinkling for fifteen minutes or so, would delay the beginning of the program, slightly. Taking a toe shoe and banging it on the floor for emphasis. Or at least that’s what I imagined he told the audience as the whole exchange occurred in Danish.

I sat, young daughter on lap, for a further ten minutes then decided to stand and stretch, to prepare my soul, except when I stood, I could not feel my left leg and decided that stepping with it would return sensation. Next thing I heard was a quick pop, pop, pop emanating from my ankle and I was suddenly sitting in a heap on our patch of cement, thoroughly embarrassed.

The Royal Danish ballet took the stage soon after my collapse and I watched them come out in their beauty and watched my ankle turn a hideous purple, puffing like a balloon, like a diabetic hoof. Well what to do? Damn it. I made the regrettable decision to hobble to the hospital, imagining those pop, pop, pops must have been breaking bone.

My young daughter stayed, thankfully, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance, getting to see rare pas de deux due the Danish crown’s largesse. I FaceTimed her from the waiting room and she gushed about Balanchine. Everything wonderful except me missing. The doctor told me I had snapped a handful of ligaments, not bone, after a quick X-ray, and I was out the door, hobbling, happy that I had been injured ballet-adjacent and wondering how Griffin Colapinto would fare as a ballerina.

Filipe Toledo, spins and all, is simply too short no matter what enthusiastic Brazilian fans say.

Medina, bow, Toledo, stern, in happier times.

Latin surf fans vow to create chaos at next world tour event in Brazil following Filipe Toledo’s controversial loss to Californian in El Salvador, “The biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”

"Saquarema fans already know what to do!!! Protest now!"

The World Surf League is gonna walk into a hornet’s nest at the tour’s next stop which, as fate would play it, is in Brazil.

If you’re coming in late, the play is this: a few decisions have gone against Brazil’s heroes Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo and Latin surf fans are convinced it’s a conspiracy, likely race-based, to kneecap the sport’s rightful champions, three-time world champ Medina and his understudy Toledo.

I wrote about it yesterday when the Californian Griffith Colapinto defeated Toledo at the Surf City El Salvador Pro, and clearly so in my opinion, and apoplectic Brazilian fans hit the WSL’s Instagram account en masse to voice their fury.

“World Shame League”

“…and the World Shame League strikes again.”

“WHAT A SHAME! WORLD SHAME LEAGUE! This last wave never will be like 8. This event was a joke.”


“The champion was already decided even before the heat begins. World Shame League.”

“If the judges do that again in Saquarema, the jiuripoca is gonna pew.”

“What a joke… Not any credibility left.”

Now, same fans have stepped up the vitriol, calling for chaos at the tour’s next stop at Saquarema, as well as threats of violence should similar events occur there, ie, a Brazilian loses to a gringo.

“You have to make the biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”

“Exactly! Giant protest!”

“Saquarema fans already know what to do!!! Protest now!”

“Boycott! Prevent Saquarema!”

“I want to see if you guys will have the courage to continue this robbery in Saquarema.”

Meanwhile, popular Brazilian pro’s Yago Dora and Jadson Andre have taken to Twitter and Instagram to quell a fury that has spilled over onto Griffin’s personal Instagram account.

Wrote, Andre: “You Brazilian who comes here on Griffin’s page to talk nonsense about the drums or him, you don’t represent me!!! The kid just did his job, more respect for the favor. Thanks.”

And from Yago,

“Brazilians who come here to talk shit to the athlete who dedicates his whole life to surfing, that’s enough! The guy is just doing his job, whether the result was fair or not is not the athlete’s fault!”

Here’s hoping for HB 1986 redux on the dazzling white sands of Saquarema.

In hot new interview, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan discusses explosive 20% revenue growth, wild 62% spike in audience and the untapped storytelling potential of Kelly Slater!

"The example I like to use..."

We grumpy locals, we salt-crusted derelicts have long gazed upon the World Surf League with a critical eye. It has, for years, seemed lost, pivoting from one raison d’être to another, never quite settling in. Tubs, for example, were the future then content then a reseeded competitive landscape. CEOs shuffled in and out, along with CMOs and various senior VPs. We watched, from our grouchy perches, and smelled a failure but our eyes, apparently, are stupid and our noses dumb for in a scintillating just-released interview with Boardsport Source, current CEO Erik Logan has delivered a wildly rosy update.

You must read in its entirety, here, but some highlights, to ponder, in the meantime. Revenue is up 20%, brand partners are up 35%, the digital audience up 62%, viewership numbers for the new Challenger Series up a whopping 92% and consumption of the aforementioned CS up a mind-boggling 300% or as Logan says, “Our strategy is to grow the audience in the biggest ways and when you look at our digital reach across Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and combine it with the linear partners that take it, Sport TV, Globo etc, we have a really large and wide distribution footprint and our model is to build and grow the largest audience, which we can then leverage for our surfers and partners to expose and grow to create a sustainable organisaiton perpetually. And to do this we need to meet the audience where they are.”

The studios, though “not shuttered, per se” have changed course to “fewer and better” including the vast un-mined field of Kelly Slater. Logan clarifying, “The example I like to use is Kelly Slater, probably being one of the single greatest athletes ever. And a lot of people may not even know; he’s 50 years old, still competing at the highest level and has won 11 world titles – he’s broken every record in competitive sport. We think there are some really great stories – like this one – to tell and connect to the broader eco system, or people who are interested in wider sports.”

Dirk Ziff, the World Surf League’s co-owner in chief, has no intention to pull the plug, either his goal simply being “to make investments to build this platform – this digital eco system – and to connect the world and surf fans to see surfing on the level it deserves to be.”

Professional surfing for the win.