In powerful spirit of inclusion and norm challenging, notoriously caustic surf journalist transitions into biathlete!

Join the revolution.

We live in a brave new world, don’t we just though. The ground constantly shifting under our dancing feet. Like sands through the hourglass, these are the pronouns of our time. The World Surf League, ever bold, has not been daunted by the landscape, however, and has leaned full in to inclusion, challenging norms, being best. From various social media allying to dizzying greenwashing to slapping LGBTQ+ flags on jerseys, it has been at the forefront of enlightened sporting.

And it was in this spirit, this morning, that I decided to transition into a biathlete.

I had wanted to go on a run, you see, a three mile lap at 7:30ish a mile. That is not a fast speed, oh I know, but I am still in recovery after suffering a ballet injury in Copenhagen earlier this summer. In any case, I had wanted to go on a run and had surfed yesterday but the wife wanted to surf today too. There has been an almost fun run of swell, here, or almost fun compared to the weeks of flatness that I couldn’t surf anyway because of the aforementioned ballet injury.

After a brief moment’s thought, I agreed that we should surf so suited up and did. The water is chilly, even though it is midsummer southern Southern California so I wore a short-armed, in black. Wife a short-leg, long-arm, also in black. We paddled out the front, into a throng, and each managed to pick off a few runners.

I almost did a floater.

Afterwards, exhilarated, I still felt the urge to run and, World Surf League inspiring, did. I changed into my running shorts, slipped on my Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% and was off, headphones playing a mix of German house.

Officially a biathlete.

My mile times were slower than hoped for but my spirit was buoyed by doing the right thing.

Are you, too, inspired?

Share your story of triumph below and join the revolution.

Teal Ocean (pictured) mid disturbing sentence. Kaitlin Armstrong i.e. "Irie" picture in picture.
Teal Ocean (pictured) mid disturbing sentence. Kaitlin Armstrong i.e. "Irie" picture in picture.

Ex-pat surf instructor who unknowingly dated fugitive yoga instructor accused of murder shares lurid details of love on the run: “She always wanted to go to real secluded places…”

Beyond lurid. Macabre.

Now you may, or may not, remember the saga of Kaitlin Armstrong, which was told to you here two weeks ago. For those short of memory, or partying with Pete, Armstrong was a yoga instructor in love with a bicycling man. A professional bicycling woman and the aforementioned man had a relationship, Armstrong allegedly became jealous, shot and killed woman then disappeared after being questioned by police officers.

She eluded authorities for weeks until they stumbled upon her teaching SUP yoga in Costa Rica and brought her home for trial.

Catch up here.

Today, the scene takes a lurid twist as an ex-pat surf instructor living in Costa Rica admitted to dating Armstrong whilst she was on the run. Teal Ocean, middle-aged with that particular “middle-aged ex-pat surf instructor” flair, shared intimate details in a to-camera interview with the Austin American-Statesman (watch here).

I knew her as Irie, I don’t really know Caitlin or the face, that you see in the paper. Ari was a strange person. I met her right outside the tattoo shop, her friends were getting tattoos. I was outside there having a beer and a lounge and it became apparent she wanted to have a conversation with me so we did have a conversation and exchanged phone numbers.

We end up hanging a bunch of times later. She said she had just been through a real traumatizing break up and wasn’t ready to get close at all so we were just being friends. She wanted to go out to different places, we went out to a few different spots, but most the time she wanted to be at secluded spots with not a lot of people. I didn’t put any of it together, I couldn’t imagine it but after it all went by and I hear what she was really doing and why she was running it made sense why she didn’t want to be seen, why she wanted to go to real secluded places… It all kinda made a little more sense.

They were using the old pictures and I was, like, “I don’t know her,” but then they did the updates where she had her face lift or face change and I was, like, shocked. Like, “What? That’s who I’ve been hanging out with this whole time?” And, yeah, it sucks for the family who lost their daughter and that’s really not cool. I feel for them but I didn’t get to meet that person, either. The person I met was Irie, not Kaity.

Teal Ocean, Irie, yoga, SUP yoga, friends getting vacation tattoos in tropical climates, likely hair braids at some point and henna, unshod feet with toes fat and wide, a sliver-plated toe ring straining around one of them, hemp shorts, reggae, ex-pat surf instruction…

Beyond lurid.


Kauli Vaast, and photo pal, a second, or two, before hopping on a ride with no seatbelt or brakes.

Incredible moment at Teahupoo as Tahitian surfer and photographer are both thrown over the falls on same monster wave, “This is the biggest wave I’ve ever surfed and I’ve ever seen in my life. This is also the best, craziest, scariest footage filmed!”

Nathan Florence, who’d chased the swell from Hawaii, figured he was seeing a train crash up close, "I thought I'd witnessed something horrible."

A Code Red swell, as they call it, flicked the switch on Teahupoo a few days back, rides pumping adrenalin along the frail and brittle pipes of the usual coterie of big-wave surfers.

The wildest wave ridden, and filmed, was a fearsome animal that took both Tahitian Kauli Vaast, a three-time European champion, and photographer Manea Fabisch over the falls.

“This is the biggest wave I’ve ever surfed and I’ve ever seen in my life. This is also the best, craziest, scariest and beautiful footage filmed but my brother @manea.f,” Vaast wrote. “We both went over the falls !! 
As you can see from this angle, the wave was really hard to surf! 
So I did my best but went for the biggest Floater to El Rollo.”

Nathan Florence, who’d chased the swell from Hawaii, figured he was seeing a train crash up close.

“Holy sht, this angle is insane, glad you alive! watched from the side on ski live and thought id just witnessed something horrible.”

From Shane Dorian, the greatest big-wave surfer of all time, “Happy you’re ok!! Wow.”


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A post shared by Kauli VAAST (@kaulivaast)

So many things to buy!

WSL’s collaboration with disposable furniture giant IKEA takes greenwashing to dizzy new heights, “(The) collection addresses our planet’s global challenges, while supporting a sustainable everyday life — in and around water.”

Includes "greenhouse gas spewing" charcoal cooker!

As fate would play its usual comedic hand, on the very day IKEA’s Kaseberga collection, “made with the World Surf League”, lands in stores, I’m renting a beachfront hovel in Hossegor filled, entirely, with the disposable furniture giant’s produce. 

It’s all fine enough, perfectly operable within its short lifespan, before a brief moment on the roadside as it awaits its eventual landfill grave, but one must challenge, I think, greenwashing propaganda such as “(the) collection addresses our planet’s global challenges, while supporting a sustainable everyday life — in and around water.” 

What does sustainability mean? 

Does it mean anything? 

Isn’t stepping off the consumerist train now and then a sounder environmental approach?

If a plastic bag is made from recycled “ocean-bound” polyester, is that a reason to celebrate?

Or, better, not to buy any plastic bag at all? 

Is a charcoal cooker, its fuel tightly packed bundles of carbon that “spew pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere”, a gift to the earth, too? 

A bamboo table?

Baskets, lights, chairs, a tent, hat, backpack, water bottle, towel, yoga mat, rug? 

Of course, it is a collection “that embraces the surfer’s mindset, whether you ride waves or not.”

So there’s that.

Examine and hurry the earth towards its inevitable demise by buying here. 

In shock new academic study, surfers who were not allowed to surf during Coronavirus lockdown orders reported feeling “restless, depressed and bored!”

Brace yourself for a worldview change.

The early days of the Coronavirus pandemic are now, officially, in the rearview which gives scientists and academics the necessary space to examine data from a cooly impersonal angle. And one of the more shocking discoveries was revealed in a study just published out of Old Dominion University which just so happens to be in Norfolk, Virginia.

For it is there that Lindsay Usher, associate professor of park, recreation and tourism studies wondered how we were feeling when our beaches were shuttered for our own protection.

Usher, a surfer herself, conducted in-depth interviews with almost 30 surfer, 15 men, 14 women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, scattered all over the globe.

Stupefyingly she found:

Participants who could not surf for multiple weeks or had difficulty accessing surf due to stay-at-home orders reported feeling restless, depressed and bored. Usher noted: “An important thing to understand is that for many people, surfing is a way of life and even a part of their identity. Taking that away was devastating for many during such a stressful time.” Despite these feelings, most expressed understanding for the situation since so little was known about the novel coronavirus at the time.

Conversely, and equally unanticipated, was the reaction of who were allowed to surf, especially those who lived in heavily touristed surf destinations:

Several participants said it was nice not having tourists, but recognized it was also bad for the local economy. In Latin America, one participant described how a surf community had gone back to fishing to make it through the pandemic, but another nearby community had relied on surfing for so long it did not have a back-up means of income. When the access bridges to the Outer Banks were closed for two months and surfing was restricted to locals only, a participant noted the “vibe” in the water was friendly because everyone knew one another.

In conclusion:

“This will likely not be the last pandemic we have to deal with. Hopefully, we can take the lessons learned and apply them in the future, achieving a better balance between safety and access to recreation, given the importance of it in people’s lives.”

Back to the beach shuttering, though. Did you live in a place where that happened?

It felt dumb in real time.

It feels dumber now.