2x World Champ Tyler Wright (pictured) soaring through immigration and customs.
2x World Champ Tyler Wright (pictured) soaring through immigration and customs.

Surf fans breathe sigh of relief, express gratitude toward Tyler Wright’s travel agent, as current world number 10 overcomes pesky “transit visa issue” ahead of pumping J-Bay Open!

Everything coming up anti-depressive.

I woke up this morning to the news that the Corona Open J-Bay did not run whilst I slept and assumed it was because World Surf League Senior Vice President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer is en route and will be arriving shortly.


Other things to feel good about:

It appears those pesky “transit visa” issues that kept Australia’s Tyler Wright from traveling to, and competing in, Brazil have been resolved. Wright, currently number 10, is safely in South Africa and fans of professional surfing at its highest level are breathing sighs of relief while also expressing gratitude toward Wright’s travel agent. Any person who has ever left his/her/them country of origin knows how sticky immigration, customs etc. can be and even with nearly a year advance notice those paperworks just sneak right up.

The two-time world champion will have some work to do in order to claw into the conversation. The top five female surfers at the end of the year will join the top five male surfers at Lower Trestles for a one day winner-take-all banger. Wright will have to leapfrog Courtney Conlogue, Gabriela Bryan, Isabella Nichols, Tatiana Weson-Webb and Brisa Hennessy to punch her ticket. A tall order but if anyone is up for the challenge, it is Wright.

Lastly, Kelly Slater will be participating. The eleven-time world champion sat out the last two events in El Salvador and Brazil nursing an injury that necessitated surfing large barrels and causing social media storms. He is healed now, though, in time for a run of swell headed for J-Bay that World Surf League CEO Erik Logan thinks might create “one of the greatest events in history.”

Everything coming up anti-depressive.

Former pro bodyboarder comes in and delivers right hook on man who'd beaten hell out of kid. | Photo: @18Seconds_

Wild melee at Snapper Rocks as surfer “unleashes volley of punches” on young bodyboarder before former pro surfer steps in with beat down of his own! “Punching a kid multiple times in the head because he drops in on you is weak and embarrassing!”

"Coolangatta. Beautiful place with a horrible vibe."

Despite its superficial dazzle, Australia’s Gold Coast ain’t always the pretty, warm-water paradise you might imagine. 

Kelly Slater keeps a three-million dollar pied-à-terre in a suburb they call “meth alley.”

As one resident wrote on a forum,

“Palm Beach. Full of druggies and bogans and has a very high crime rate. Last time I was down there, there was a chap on his balcony with guns to two people’s heads screaming and yelling. The SERT team came out and ushered us all into random people’s garages and stormed the unit complex. From what I heard afterwards the ended up shooting the dude from the road. It was like something off TV! Time before that the local video shop was broken into. It’s getting worse. Really beautiful beach though.”

As is the case is these sorta places, it don’t take much for matters to escalate real fast. 

Like this wild melee at Snapper rocks as a surfer rains hellfire on a kid bodyboarder who’s dropped in on him, only to get a beat down from a former pro booger who dispenses a right hook of his own, a difficult manoeuvre while prone.


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The response is instructive. 

“Coolangatta. Beautiful place with a horrible vibe.”

“There’s no etiquette at Snapper, worst place in the world for snaking, drop ins and general fuckery.”

“Hi everyone. My brother and I are coming over from W.A next month and I was just wondering where the best place to get snake-bashed would be?”

“Punching a kid multiple times in the head because he drops in on you on 3-foot wave is weak and embarrassing at best.”

“A drop-in has consequences. That’s why the GC is a cesspool.”

Laird (left) and Kelly (right) happier times.
Laird (left) and Kelly (right) happier times.

Blood Feud: World’s greatest surfer Laird Hamilton punches other world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater in the mouth by releasing even MORE ecologically sound luxury watch!

Tick Tock.

Things may have changed, lightly, over the past year since Kelly Slater has been on a media tear, winning the illustrious Pro Pipeline, turning 50, releasing his Lost Tapes, etc. but I think if you polled the mainstream and asked “who is the world’s greatest surfer?” the action would be split between the aforementioned and on Laird Hamilton.

Even though stock price for his eponymous Superfood is touching junk level, Hamilton has captivated the general public with his Poseidon-like bone structure and general je ne sais quoi but also progressive theories on shark attacks. The two don’t compete against each other, professionally, of course but Dot from down the street doesn’t know that and swoons at both though probably at Hamilton slightly more.

Who wouldn’t?

Well, students of the game know that Slater just released a new environmentally sound watch with Swiss luxury brand Breitling (read here, here and here).

Hamilton, though, not to be outdone, has just released his own luxury watch but his one even more environmentally sound with British manufacturer Bremont. All proceeds going to the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation as opposed to Slater’s watch band being made from ocean junk.

Per HypeBeast:

Bremont has now tapped American surfer Laird Hamilton for a limited-edition Waterman Apex dive watch. Developed together to draw awareness to ocean and sealife conservation, the new timepiece utilizes the British luxury watch brand’s “Trip-Tick” case measuring a hefty 43mm wide, paired with a uni-directional GMT bezel.

To keep things running smoothly for athletes and divers, the modified caliber 11 1/2” BE-92-AV automatic movement is housed within Bremont’s signature anti-shock mount, and boasts a 42-hour power reserve. As an added touch, the custom rotor is also adorned with patterns of ocean waves and a shark fin, a design that draws inspiration from Bimini Shark Lab.

The piece costs $5,095. Slater’s Superocean swings in at a comparable $4,900.

So are you Team Laird or Team Kelly?

Team Laird features a blue colorway. Team Kelly an orange.

@jessimileydyer Instagram
@jessimileydyer Instagram

Panic transitions to pure hysteria as World Surf League SVP of Tours, Head of Competition refuses to leave Rio for seconds-away J-Bay Open, mocks nervous wrecks by posting sultry video of sunset Copacabana!

Serenity now.

Well here we are. The Corona Open J-Bay is now but a few ticks of the minute hand away featuring a swell forecast not even Surfline can mangle. It is going to be good, clean, gorgeous. Head high to lightly overhead on opening day filling in toward double overhead by week’s end. “Pumping” Surfline says and oh how beleaguered professional surf fans need this for our very souls. The last four, maybe five events have featured less-than-ideal conditions and/or less-than-ideal venues but here we are.

Perfect place.

Perfect time.

Except for one small detail


Ok. I don’t want you to freak out but I’M freaking out and BIGLY. Without Jessi Miley-Dyer there on J-Bay’s sand sussing the conditions, gathering information, making an informed call, the Corona Open J-Bay will not be able to run and lackluster professional surfing will continue to haunt our sleepless nights and…

Ok, ok, ok.

Serenity now.

Serenity now.

Miley-Dyer worried surf fans, days ago, by vowing to never leave Brazil. Yesterday she further roiled them by, per her promise, remaining poolside enjoying what appeared to be a lemon drop and or bespoke caipirinha. Hours ago she added to what has become hysteria by posting a loving video of Copacabana at sunset.

Or maybe it’s not Copacabana. Maybe it’s J-Bay. Maybe she’s already there.




That’s J-Bay, right?

Everything is going to be fine.

Green and gold 4eva.
Green and gold 4eva.

Mainstream finally recognizes Brazil’s utter dominance over professional surfing as The New York Times lovingly profiles our new masters!

Order and Progress.

Filipe Toledo is utterly destroying this 2022 edition of the World Surf League championship tour, 10,000 points ahead of second place Jack Robinson heading into J-Bay but it is no surprise. Toledo, as you know, is Brazilian and Brazilians have been our masters since Gabriel Medina’s win nearly one decade ago, now. Brazilians have hoisted the end-of-year cup in 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021 and will hoist it in 2022 and probably 2023 too ad infinitum.

It is one thing for us surfers to recognize this power, this ultimate subjugation/domination (depending on if you, dear reader, are Brazilian or not), but quite another for the mainstream to cast its busy eyes our direction and take in the changed landscape. Today, the entire globe is aware that Brazil is no. 1 as the Tempestade Brasileira gets lovingly profiled in The New York Times.

The Gray Lady begins its piece at the just-wrapped Oi Rio Pro (won by Toledo é claro) with the lithe 27-year-old being carried through the throng that so thrilled World Surf League CEO Erik Logan before turning back a decade, examining Toledo’s brunette ambition:

Toledo first announced his intention to become a professional surfer when he was 6. He dreamed not only of making the elite tour, but also of being alongside the likes of renowned world champions like the American Kelly Slater, an 11-time world champion, and the Australian Mick Fanning, a three-time champion. That Toledo — who is known for his ability to launch above the lips of waves, rotate and land seemingly with ease — had such outsize ambition was a stretch. The idea that a Brazilian could not only qualify for the tour, but actually win the tour — to beat out Californians, Australians and Hawaiians, who had dominated for decades — seemed far-fetched.

Yes, the young surfer was talented. Like his peers, he began competing in the regional contests that helped the current generation hone their skills and push one another to new heights. He also had the benefit of being coached and counseled by his father, Ricardo, a former national surf champion. And he was winning, a lot. But the distance between winning on home turf against other up-and-comers and consistently winning against the Slaters and Fannings of the world was still untraversed.

Professional Brazilian surfers just “didn’t have that much information or support,” Filipe Toledo said. “They were like, ‘What do I do now? Should I just train or should I get the money that I won in that event and spend it, doing a huge party, or invest it going on trips?’”

Stretching back further, Brazil’s history is discussed, from dictatorship to burgeoning middle class, and its professional surf pioneers like Pepe Lopez, Corlos Burle, Fabio Gouveia, Flavio and Neco Padaratz. The role Oakley played in finding and developing talent, the aforementioned dominance all leading back to Toledo who declares:

“We understand the formula now.”

That formula — the alchemy of economics, opportunity, work ethic and expectations — has been the driving force not only behind Toledo’s professional success so far, but of what he believes is still possible. Considering the rest of his season, there are just two goals he has in mind.

“Enjoy the process,” he said. “And win the world title.”

It is a fine read and good for us so to do and also learn Portuguese.

Dessa forma, podemos fazer parte do futuro brilhante e maravilhoso do surf, em vez de pedaços maçantes jogados ao lado da ordem e do progresso.