East Coast surf mecca Orlando, Florida finds itself in hot water after displaying less than rabid patriotic fervor ahead of 4th of July: “A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them.”


The United States of America celebrates its 246th birthday, tomorrow, though not all citizens of this great nation are happy. World Surf League commentator Chris Cote called for the holiday to be “cancelled” via Twitter, Australian Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL head of competition and tours, went further and called for an abortion of the land’s Supreme Court, others are planning to ignore the festivities as protest and the city of Orlando, Florida, an East Coast surf mecca, just released a tepid invitation to their firework show reading:

A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them. When there is so much division, hate and unrest, why on earth would you want to have a party celebrating any of it? But in all seriousness, you know in your heart, Fourth of July fireworks are amazing, especially when you are standing in 90° heat, 100% humidity, next to 100,000 of your closest friends. In that moment, something takes over and we all become united in an inexplicable bond. Yes, America is in strife right now, but you know what…we already bought the fireworks.




Many did not think so, including the Fraternal Order of Police, and forced the annual host of Surf Expo, the largest surf-based trade show on earth, to release the following statement:

The city of Orlando sincerely regrets the negative impact our words have had on some in our community. We understand these words offended some of our residents, which was not our intent. We value the freedoms we have in this country and are thankful to the men and women who fought and continue to fight for those. We take pride in celebrating the 4th of July to express our gratitude to those men and women and honor the country we live in.




But how do you feel about the day? Ready to fly those famous stars and straps or red, white and blue all over?

Surfer/golfer Kelly Slater (right) pictured with bodysurfer/golfer Pres. Barack Obama (left).
Surfer/golfer Kelly Slater (right) pictured with bodysurfer/golfer Pres. Barack Obama (left).

World’s greatest athlete Kelly Slater makes explosive evidence-free claim that there are currently more surfers than golfers on earth “and you see what kind of money’s in golf…”

Truth or rotten misinformation?

I was not prepared for a bombshell to explode in my lap this Sunday morning before America’s proud independence day celebration but here I sit, covered in soot, ears ringing, pants on fire. Kelly Slater, surfing’s great ambassador and its 11x world champion, has just declared to British GQ that there are currently more surfers on earth than golfers.

The explosive statement came in the middle of an interview about time telling, how good Slater is able to count in 15-second increments and watches and was delivered thusly:

Now, I wouldn’t say (surfing) is becoming giant, but the surfing lifestyle is massive around the world. I’ve heard there’s more surfers and golfers in the world and you see what kind of money’s in golf, so that caught me off guard. Most people that surf don’t compete, but most people love the beach around the world so a favourite travel destination is always going to be to get to the beach somewhere.


More surfers than golfers on earth?

Could it be?

Let’s research.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) declares that there are 35 million surfers on earth, though I have no idea how that figure was derived. Surfer Today claims there are roughly 6 million surfers, most in the aforementioned land of free, home of brave.

Can we agree the number is somewhere higher than 6 but well lower than 35? Something like 12 million feels right. No? Slips right off the tongue and doesn’t taste an outright lie.

Now, golf. The National Golf Foundation says, in Golf Digest, there are 24.8 million golfers in the United States alone, with 2021 showing the largest net participation increase in the last 17-years. That sort of number work exudes legitimacy. Real abacus work. If the U.S. has 24.8 million, Europe must have a heap and China has over 1.4 billion people so…

…Kelly Slater is wrong and out peddling misinformation, fake news, to the fashion-conscious British male public.

For shame.

I'm Mohammad and so is my husband!

Opening of Asia’s biggest-ever beach club in Bali uncertain as six employees face a decade in prison on blasphemy charges following offer of a bottle of gin to all patrons named Mohammad!

What could go wrong?

A wild yet-to-open beach club in Bali that has surfers salivating in anticipation of its libertine all-nighters, has found itself in the middle of a public scandal after a drinks promotion was branded as religious blasphemy. 

The bar, called Holywings, launched a promotion in Java last week that offered a free bottle of gin for any man named Mohammad. 

Real big mistake. 

All twelve Holywings in Java were shuttered, although authorities said they closed ’em for licensing violations, and other outlets in Surabaya and Makassar closed after pressure from conservative groups.

Alcohol is not permitted under Islamic law, and despite Hindu Bali’s club scene, the muslim majority, proletariat and political leaders alike, appreciate a certain stasis of discretion when it comes to booze. 

The Holywings management team has been quick to distance themselves from the scandal, instead throwing six employees under the bus, saying the promotion was launched without their permission.

The “Holywings six” now await trial and face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

And much to the anguish of the cascade of surf tourists here in Bali, after a multi-million dollar build, Holywings Beach Fest in Canggu may be shuttered for good. 

Blake and his wife Lauren.

Australian surfer set to smash Guinness world record for longest surf session ever, forty straight hours in the water, 500 waves shredded, “I want to prove you don’t have to be a superstar to live a full life!”

"I have (mental health) battles. I'm not nice to myself. I do these things to prove to myself I'm worthy."

Down in Cronulla, the hard-core surf town right there on Sydney’s southern rim, they call him Forest Gump. 

Peel back the curtain at four am and you’ll see this blond cat with the wild beard, former WQS pro Blake Johnston, pounding out the clicks, finishing off his pre-dawn spin with an ocean swim before rolling up to the beach to teach kids how to shred.


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A post shared by Blake Johnston (@blakeyjohnston)

After nailing a bank of insane long distance runs, Johnston, who is forty, is now set to stomp the Guinness world record for longest sesh, forty hours and 500 waves. 

Johnston was gonna do an easy six-hundred mile run to Queensland to raise awareness for mental health but, after a little Googling, discovered the world record for longest surf sesh, set by South African Josh Elsin, was only thirty hours, eleven minutes, with 455 waves eaten up. 

“I reckoned I could smash it. I can run for forty hours,” says Johnston. “And, this way, I can surf with people I like and make a difference.” 

He wants to make a diff ‘cause suicide is something real close to Johnston. His daddy took his own life and when he was a kid riding for Quiksilver, one of that company’s most popular employees Andrew Murphy, died at the hands of the black dog. 

“It affected me a lot. I have my own battles, too,” says Johnston. “I’m not nice to myself. I tell myself, ‘You’re hopeless at what you’re doing’. I’m pretty mean. I do these things to prove myself I’m worthy and that’s what my battle is. In those dark moments, I have to tell myself, well, how good is this? My boys (he’s got two of ’em, one with a spectacular mullet) deserve a strong dad.” 

Next March, Johnston is gonna hit a joint called The Alley, a wave next to a breakwall right in town, and charge corporates money for the thrill of surfing during a world record attempt and to challenge ‘emselves with a night surf.

Red Bull picking up the considerable tab for lights, judges, probs a bit of water safety to keep the Great Whites out. 

The money peeled off the corporates is going into raising mental awareness ie, helping to address the plague of suicides, particularly among young men.

I asked Johnston how he deals with the blackest moments during his endurance runs, when there ain’t a soul around in the middle of the night, ain’t nothing but your head, the voices.


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A post shared by Blake Johnston (@blakeyjohnston)

“Man, you go to places… I’m thinking about making myself proud, my family proud. I put it on myself not to make it a big deal, that people can run further and for longer than I do. But it’s hard to explain. One minute you feel invincible, the next you’re in tears. It’s like you’ve got short-term bi-polar. It’s so up and down. One minute you think you’re killing it, then the next forty k’s feels like it’s going to take four years.” 

Johnston apologises for being inarticulate, which he ain’t, and says, “You don’t have to be a superstar to live a full life. You just gotta make an effort. You gotta go after it.” 


The smile only a surf instructor can bring (courtesy Instagram).
The smile only a surf instructor can bring (courtesy Instagram).

Breaking: In stunning turn, Shakira’s mystery hunk on therapeutic surf vacation turns out to be a surf instructor as “best-selling female Latin artist of all-time” follows in Malibu icon Jonah Hill’s sandal’d footsteps!

Old Enough.

Shakira, the Colombian hitmaker who holds the title of “best-selling female Latin artist of all-time,” has captivated international attention as it was revealed that her 11-year partnership with Spanish football (soccer) stud Gerard Pique has come undone. While many, or most, would cower under a down duvet, eating affogatos and binge-watching Old Enough, the singer-songwriter has proven better and booked a surf vacation to northern Spain.

While maybe not “ideal” in terms of “surf quality,” Shakira has seemed happy in the knee-to-waist high runners (Surfline: 8 – 12ft) and particularly so when a mystery hunk approached her in the lineup and helped smooth her frontside flow.

The internet community wondered, for days, who he might be but new information has just come to light that he is, in fact, a surf instructor.

According to Marca Magazine:

As far as we know, this information is still unknown due to how fresh these images are but you can be sure his identity will emerge soon enough. Shakira does seem quite relaxed while taking her lessons, she needed a break after such a hectic schedule in the United States. With so much going on for her career right now, the separation drama with Gerard Pique has almost taken a back seat for her.

There are far more important things to deal with for Shakira at the moment. But the fans who want to see her happy and find love again can’t help checking up on her every once in a while. Shakira is currently one of the most researched celebrities online. They have tried to pair her up with the likes of Henry Cavill and Chris Evans but none of those options are real.

Malibu icon Jonah Hill, though, would tell her to look no further than the surf instructor. As you know, the heir to Miki Dora’s throne has made happy with his own surf instructor and I’m almost certain would recommend, Henry Cavill and Chris Evans be damned.

But have you ever had a fling with a brawny, handsome surf instructor of your own?

Care to share?


Also, even if your heart is whole and full you should totally watch Old Enough.

A gift.