Yago Dora slams leap of the year and returning world champ Gabriel Medina “underscored yet still unbeatable” on opening day, Surf City El Salvador Pro!

Meanwhile, Italo Ferreira struggles to stay in world title contention… 

Joe Turpel and Mitchell Salazar kicked us off today, each man resplendent in the statutory Hawaiian shirt uniform of the WSL announcer.

Turpel, muted pastels and grey; Salazar, a more robust orange pattern on black background.

Joe turned to Mitchell for introductions.

“Joe Turpel, here with Mitchell Salazar, a man who competed here at the QS level…a few years back.”

The pause was critical.

The pause seemed to look Salazar up and down.

Deliberate or otherwise, it was a wonderful start to the day.

The waves, however, were less than wonderful.

Onshore throughout the day. Never to the stage that they were unsurfable, but relentlessly sectiony and distinctly unpretty.

The quality of the waves was not helped by continual comparisons to J-Bay. In classic WSL Emperor’s New Clothes tradition, they followed the script they had hoped to deliver, not the one we could see.

But the day was not lost, and not without moments of entertainment. More so for me because this comp runs at sociable hours and I’m better able to respond in a timely and lucid fashion.

Not so for the BeachGrit principals, it would seem, who couldn’t even manage to get a live comment post up.

(Editor’s note: A little comms static ‘tween DR and Chas. Stream saved in the back end by DR, instructions sent to Chas to kick live if contest runs, Chas in Germany, good times intervened etc.)

The message was clear: European (or Central American) Gritters be dammed.

One might imagine the mood in El Salvador as low today.

The jewel in the crown of their self-proclaimed “Surf City” failed to shine for the first WCT event in Central America, and Bitcoin continued to plummet to lows not seen for a year or more.

This is the country, if you recall, that made Bitcoin legal tender, and whose government, led by president Nayib Bukele, have gone all in on the digital asset, purchasing 2301 Bitcoins for a cost of around $105 million.

Today, that stash is worth around $51 million.

(I wonder how Mr Diamond Hands is feeling?)

It’s a bold strategy to throw your country’s wealth into such a volatile asset, especially when you’re already in debt.

But what else to do when your back’s against the wall? You might as well gamble.

Far be it from me to criticise.

Buy the dip, boys. Buy the dip.

Safer bets, however, would have been made on professional surfing today, and it’s not often you can say that.

Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and Jack Robinson seem unflappable right now. Victories over lower seeds seem assured in any conditions they’re forced to go in.

Ethan Ewing is close behind.

He never advanced through his heat today, narrowly losing to Yago Dora’s tail-high rotation, the only truly spectacular moment of the day.


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But I was sure that in these conditions he would struggle. I still see Ewing as a surfer who needs good waves to perform, but maybe that’s just a hangover from previous failures at this level. I’m not quite ready to bet the house on him, but his immaculate style and flow was evident even in today’s junky surf, and I noted the improvement.

There is no consistency nor improvement for poor Italo, who can’t seem to buy a win right now.

Would you believe me if I told you that Italo’s only had four scores above an 8.0 all season?

Don’t believe me? Believe Joe Turpel. That’s who said it.

I haven’t fact-checked it (why would I need to, Joe don’t lie) but it’s more than a little surprising. Shocking, even.

Think of how many waves Italo catches. We’re six events deep. Just four scores over 8?

On more than one occasion this season I’ve thought Italo to be judged harshly.

By whom?

Pritamo Ahrendt…a vengeful god…I’m not sure. All I know is that he’s on someone’s bad side.

Caio Ibelli, however, seems to have fallen back into favour now that he’s wound his neck in, ditched the white wettie, and diligently performed his prayers at bedtime. He advanced through to the round of 16 at the expense of Griffin and Jake Marshall. Not entirely surprising given the conditions, I suppose, but I had expected (more than hoped) that Colapinto would be juiced up on Haribos and smash him.

I’m not sure I can stomach any more of Caio Ibelli’s unspectacularly moderate success this season.

At the opposite end of the scale was Medina, who looked underscored yet still unbeatable. The acceleration he gets from his bottom turns is perplexing. He seems to find speed in dead sections of the wave where there should be none.


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I know he’s only been back two minutes, but if Medina appeared at my front door as Vecna from Stranger Things I’d happily let him eat my brain and snap my limbs.

Onto elimination we go.

Let’s hope the wind swings tomorrow, along with my fortunes.

Unfortunately for this writer, Brisa Hennesy’s hoof injury wiped out nearly half of my initial stakes for this competition.

Eat me, Gabriel. Eat me.

The Melbourne tank, tucked away there at Tullamarine Airport.

Witness to “serious medical episode” at Melbourne wavepool URBNSURF describes the horror of seeing surfer pulled unconscious from the water, “He didn’t make the drop on a wave and just kind of tumbled and then all I saw was him floating…”

“They did CPR on him for 20 minutes and then put a sheet over him… he seemed very dead.”

Five days ago, a man in his forties was pulled unconscious from “shockingly cold” water by other surfers at URBNSURF, Australia’s only commercially operating wavepool. 

A statement from URBNSURF said they’d reviewed the footage which showed “the surfer collapsed while paddling out and did not the hit the wall”. 

The man was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition. No update since. 

A surfer who was in the lineup when the incident happened says the man “didn’t make the drop on a wave and just kind of tumbled and then all I saw was him floating but that was a little bit after…it took some time for people to get to him. It was weird. They did CPR on him for twenty minutes and then put a sheet over him and we all assumed the worst. Then the news says he’s in a critical condition in hospital and that’s it. Have heard nothing since. Not even a call from Urbnsurf. Just seems very odd. He seemed very dead as awful as that sounds.

The water, even this early in winter, was “shockingly cold,”he says. “I felt like I had a heart attack when I went under.” 

The worst part, he says, is not knowing what happened to the man.

“Poor guy. Wish we had some clarity. It was a pretty traumatic experience.”

Surfers were offered counselling and given credit for the value of surf sessions missed or interrupted, the credit redeemed via a promo code. 

Punters crash bookies as surfing 80 ft wave announced 10,000/1 shot on “hardest sporting feats” list!

Money, money, money, money.

Yesterday, we discovered together a new heretofore unforeseen way for us, as surfers, to make money. Ties. Smart but, I suppose, we are also late as the market has already been cornered by an entrepreneurial father/son. So what now? Thankfully the universe lent an ear to our troubles and has provided a way forward.


Bookmakers.com has just announced odds on the “world’s 30 hardest sporting feats.” Skiing the North Pole swings in at 500,000/1, landing a hole-in-one in golf at 12,500/1, bowling a perfect game 8,000/1 and surfing an 80 ft. wave 10,000/1.

Per the press release:

The debate over just which sporting feat is the most difficult has raged for decades, as sports fans everywhere have struggled to really put to bed this age-old question.

The sporting experts at Bookmakers.com, however, have gotten together and crunched the numbers to work out the odds for which sporting feat is really the most difficult, and which, if any, have been greatly exaggerated. The balance, coordination, bravery, and sheer stamina required to surf competitively are no secret, but it is only the 1% of the 1% that will ever achieve the feat of surfing a wave the length of the White House.

So, next time you’re out with your pals and this debate flares up again, or debating with the family around the dinner table, it’s best to keep this list close to hand, so you can finally put an end to the arguing with some cold, hard facts and let the data do the talking.

Sebastian Steudnter has, just last month, been given the Guinness World Record for “Largest Wave Ever Ridden” at 86 some odd feet or 42.3 German Male Lower Legs. Now, I can’t imagine bookies will allow us to retroactively claim those 10,000/1 odds but I’d have to think that this coming winter, the record will certainly be broken or at least challenged.


That’s $100,000 for $100. $1,000,000 for $1,000.

With inflation the way she is, that’ll be enough to feed your family for a week or maybe five days.

Find a bookie quick!

Barton Lynch, more The Sultan, benevolent ruler of Agrabah from the 1992 film Aladdin, than Karl Marx. | Photo: @barton_lynch, @lbarnskey

Wildly popular surf network forced into embarrassing backflip following outing of “commie” world champion surfer Barton Lynch, “I find that offensive, especially the sickle… I am for free market capitalism and democracy!”

“Not fond of communism and state control in any way!"

This website and, pointedly, this writer, have been forced to fall on their swords following the outing of supposed “commie”, the world’s most loved commentator and surfing world champion Barton Lynch. 

Lynch, who is fifty-eight and lives at Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore, had taken to Instagram during a traffic jam to talk about disparity of wealth being the great driver of inequality and that if the world’s economies are gonna reset after the pandemic then a little wealth re-distribution will  be necessary. 

In a two-part missive Lynch had said, 

“I love the idea of equality, I’m all about it, and I’ve often said there has to be a redistribution of wealth to create a base of equality so that things can move on from that place and if you think about this current moment that we’re in, there’s a lot of talk about equality and there’s equality in some language and in some other areas but when we talk about financial equality or opportunity it would seem that in the pandemic the money has gone up! The money hasn’t come down! 

“And in any redistribution of wealth for the future of the planet the money’s gotta come down from where it is already, up. And with those that have it, corporations, individuals, families. Where that wealth is concentrated, they’re the ones that have to let go, and give some of that wealth back to the others to create a base of equality that the world can move on from. 

“Because it’s not the average person on the street who’s harbouring and holding onto the cash, you know what I mean? And that’s where the inequality is, between the rich and the poor.”

A classic socialist sentiment, I thought, and given the previous day’s reveal of a silver beard reminiscent of the German philosopher and political theorist Karl Marx, well, were these not a modernising of the themes of a man who wrote Das Kapital and co-wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Not according to Lynch, who delivered a stinging rebuke to BeachGrit via Instagram’s direct message service. 

“I find that offensive, especially the sickle, fuck me,” wrote Lynch. “I am for free market capitalism and democracy 100% but if anything is going to be reset after this economy collapses an even start would be a good place to begin.” 

The offending sickle.

When I replied that his theories were straight out of the ol’ red play book, Lynch clarified his position, 

“Not fond of communism and state control in any way so I feel it paints my perspective incorrectly but that could be my fault in the detail because it’s on a Instagram span.” 

Co-founder Zeke Greer (pictured) testing product.
Co-founder Zeke Greer (pictured) testing product.

Surfer/entrepreneur father and son combination stumble upon their “Steve Jobs moment,” create line of neckties crafted from boardshort material!

"It’s a perfect fit for missionaries!"

We, each of us here, have likely had an idea pop into head, at one point or another, that seemed a genius money-making scheme. Some spark that felt instantaneously unique and wonderful. Very few, though, have likely taken any steps to activate and there it died on the vine. Or maybe flowed to China where it became produced on the cheap without our participation. I have a friend who once told me “any time a plan is spoken but not realized it enters the ‘river of ideas’ that heads straight to China.”

Makes sense but that fate, thankfully, did not befall Gregg Greer and his son Zeke. The two live in Utah and recently brought their dream to life but let us turn to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints organ Deseret News to learn more and celebrate American success.

Picture this, a father and son on a beach in Hawaii, taking a break from a surf session, swinging in their hammocks, noodling about a business they could start together.

This wasn’t the first time they’d done this. For years, Gregg Greer and his youngest son Zeke had been tossing ideas around. It had become their hobby, trying to envision something nobody thought of until they thought of it; looking for their Steve Jobs moment.

Since action sports is their thing — surfing, snowboarding, skating, anything in the mountains — the ideal for them was to find a way to mix business with pleasure; figure out something they could sell connected to what they love.

They’d run through all the usual outdoor gear retail suspects: hats, shirts, shorts, shoes and so forth and come up empty. At one point they thought about a dating site for action sports participants. They went so far as to pay for a domain name: shreddersonly.com. But after that the idea more or less fell off a cliff. What did they know about online dating?

Lounging in the hammocks in the summer of 2017, they were back to square one.

Then, suddenly, they had it.



The ties are made from technical boardshort material and sell under the name Bombora. The inspiration was, of course, socks as the two saw the explosion of Stance in their Mormon pews. Elders wearing colorful foot coverings under pressed black slacks or maybe pressed khaki slacks. The two, anyhow, went to work and soon possessed the must-have church accessory of the year. “It’s a perfect fit for missionaries,” Gregg told Deseret News. “You can bend it, scrunch it, throw it in the back of your car and drive around for a month and put it on and it looks the same.”

Covid severely disrupted the production but Bombora survived and now you, too, can buy here.