Igarashi (pictured) much desired.
Igarashi (pictured) much desired.

Fragile civility between Orange County, California and Japan threatens to come undone as both attempt to stamp Kanoa Igarashi as “homegrown” ahead of World Surf League “Final 5” season championship!

Scary times.

Last year, the World Surf League introduced a brand-new format to competitive professional surfing, The Final 5, wherein the top five male and female surfers travel to Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone and go against each other for the the title fulfilling the classic old adage “if it is broken fix the part that isn’t.”

For those who need a refresher, number five goes up against number four, the winner goes up against number three, the winner goes up against number two, the winner goes up against number one, the winner is the winner.

Exciting and this year, on the male’s side, we have Kanoa Igarashi going up against Italo Ferreira first.

Igarashi, who was born in Huntington Beach, California to Japanese parents has grown into a “global superstar” over the past two years, slingshotted into the stratosphere when surfing was introduced into the 2020 summer Olympics in Japan where the Surf City boy surfed for his parents’ home country.

Orange County would have certainly been hurt but maybe also understood the opportunities, for the handsome young man, associated with competing with the home nation’s flag on his tracksuit.

Now, though, that “Final’s Day” is here, and that it is in San Clemente, Orange County is laying full claim with the county’s official organ, The Orange County Register, releasing a most provocative issue today, headline screaming “OC SURFER IGARASHI EARNS SPOT FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT TRESTLES; CONOLOGUE WINS BIG IN TAHITI


Japan has, thus far, remained quiet but experts in international relations worry that a response is being crafted in the Yakusuni Shrine to punish California’s third most populous county for such insolence.

What might it be?

Fu-Go bombs floated in early September?

A Manchurian Candidate-esque plot wherein a SUP enthusiast from Oklahoma is secretly groomed to be installed at the very pinnacle of professional surfing power?

Scary times.

It is uncertain he will survive whole, as staph infection is a real worry, though we can conjure hope by remembering when Arizona surfer Rick Kane suffered a similar injury at the Banzai Pipeline, decades ago, and was cared for by Sam George's ex-wife.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan suffers life-threatening reef injury in Tahiti, dramatically stabilized by deputy commissioner Renato Hickel and head judge Pritamo Ahrendt while camera rolls!

Light a candle tonight.

Hearts briefly stopped, around the globe, when news began trickling out that World Surf League CEO Erik Logan had suffered a potentially life-threatening surfing injury in Tahiti just hours ago.

In a wrenching video, posted to Instagram, deputy commissioner Renato Hickel stares gravely into the camera and declares, “We have Erik with his first Tahiti tattoo and he already poured some alcohol on it but we gotta go lemon, lime.”

The camera then goes to the gruesome mess, a few just barely bleeding scrapes on Logan’s handsome right foot.

The World Surf League’s head judge, Pritamo Ahrendt, acting as Hickel’s registered nurse, adds, gamely, “We’re going deep.”

Hickel then boldly applies the lemon or lime to Logan’s wound causing him to groan and writhe in pain, stomping one foot uncontrollably.


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A post shared by Erik Logan (@elo_eriklogan)

It is uncertain he will survive whole, as staph infection is a real worry, though we can conjure hope by remembering when Arizona surfer Rick Kane suffered a similar injury at the Banzai Pipeline, decades ago, and was cared for by Sam George’s ex-wife.

Kane, by all accounts, survived.

Will Logan?

Light a candle tonight.

What, me worry? | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Heartbroken San Clemente surfer Griffin Colapinto “wept” following shock fall from crucial top five thereby missing title showdown at Lowers in September, “It was so weird the way everything unfolded, almost so much that there was a greater power telling me something”

"Maybe now is not my time. Maybe there are more lessons for me to learn. I have to evaluate my life and the decisions I make every day."

It’s been a hell of a season for the San Clemente surfer Griffin Colapinto, two wins from the ten-event circuit, and yet still not enough to secure a position in the crucial top five and thereby missing the chance to win a world title at Lowers, Griff’s home break. 

What killed Griff was his four seventeenth finishes, wiping out early at Pipe, Sunset, Bells and Rio. Shock results given his ability to tear hell out of anything from one to fifteen feet. Further proof, I suppose, of the vagaries of professional surfing. 

You’ll remember after his El Sal win over Filipe Toledo, Brazilian surf fans went nuts, threatening protests, even death, claiming the fix was in for the gringo, a white conspiracy and so on, the hashtag, #worldshameleague a viral hit.

Even Filipe Toledo’s daddy got into the mix, “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.”

Anyway, following his ninth at Teahupoo and failure to make Finals Day, the twenty four year old has taken to Instagram, telling his quarter of a million fans of the emotional toll of not getting the opportunity to snatch a title at home, how he wept but how maybe it’s part of a higher plan etc. 

“Ahh man.. I haven’t cried from a loss since I was 12 years young and yesterday I did,” he writes. “I don’t know what was going on but it seemed there were 3 or 4 moments that were just centimeters away from things going my way and making it into the final 5. It’s hard to try and understand. I put my heart in soul into it and it just didn’t seem to be enough.

“It was so weird the way everything unfolded, almost so much that there was a greater power telling me something. Maybe now is not my time. Maybe there are more lessons for me to learn. I have to evaluate my life and the decisions I make every day and the person I strive to be and the person I am. This last 2 weeks here in Tahiti have been a great experience learning how to handle the pressure of so much consequence. I absolutely enjoyed every up and down about it.

“Thank you to the people that have reached out and my friends and family that make life so much fun. It really means a lot. Although the year had to end this way I’m proud to check off my goal of winning 2 events this year. I’m going to use this loss and think about it everyday to blow oxygen on the fire within. 2023 it’s fuckin On!”


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A post shared by Griffin Colapinto (@griffin_cola)

Cute shell jacket, three hundred pounds on Mr Porter.

“World’s most beautiful” surfboard shaper stuns with pivot to unisex high-fashion backed by prestigious London-based retailer; includes essential $300 surf trunks!

“We’re pairing a hero board with each of the clothing collections, and for the first season, we’ve got a board with a thermo-chromatic paint that runs from black to transparent."

Many years ago, I wrote a story called The Most Beautiful Shaper in the World.

I commented, “He is still the most fantastic looking man I have ever seen and what sleepless nights he caused me!”

Back then, there was no delicacy to his exceptionally virile merchandise. He was as blood ripe as they come.

The women, including my girlfriend, maybe my girlfriend most of all, had to be treated for spells of dizziness. Worse, his surfboards were addictive and try as I did, I couldn’t be indifferent to his skills

These days, however, the crown of Most Beautiful Shaper in the World, held for thirty years in Coolangatta, Queensland, now resides on Sydney’s northern beaches. 

The Most Shaper in the World, now high-fashion designer, as he appears in GQ.

Hayden Cox, who is forty, and married to the marketing whiz Danielle Cox, née Foote, has rolled his biz HaydenShapes into one of the most popular surfboard brands in the world.

His Hypto-Krypto model, a spruced-up seventies style design that was more fun that the vigorous operation of your sex glands, is still one of the best selling surfboards of all time. 

Now, and following collaborations with Audi and IWC, Cox has partnered up with online men’s retailer Mr Porter for his eponymous surfboard brand’s debut clothing collection, which is called Acetone, and not to be confused with the magazine by Andrew Kidman and Sam Rhodes, which was designed to offset the WSL’s “utter bastardisation” of their beloved sport.

“I’ve always had an interest in fashion from afar, and I’ve been somewhat intrigued about it as an extension of the brand,” Cox told GQ of the thirty-five piece unisex collection. “I could see it being a part of the whole Haydenshapes story that sits in my head.”

Hats cost around one hundred pounds, trunks around two hundred pounds, while the Template Coach Logo-Appliequéd Crinkled-Shell Jackets hits three hundred. 

Examine collection here. 

Hill (pictured) bobbing out the back and loved.
Hill (pictured) bobbing out the back and loved.

Surf fans come under fire for being toxic in un-supporting Filipe Toledo’s brave act of cowardice as Malibu icon Jonah Hill universally praised for bold pro self-protection stance: “Somebody who has so much to lose that is actually prepared to step back should be admired.”

Shame on us but mostly you.

We are, each of us, jerks. You, of course, but every blue moon me too. Though can we return, once more, to the just-wrapped Outerknown Tahiti Pro which provided fireworks, superlatives, moments that will be etched in our shared history forever and ever and ever? I see no reason not to as it is grey and sad in Southern California today and memories of impossibly green hills rising from impossibly blue waters are better than gloom.


A fantastic show though you should feel very terrible about your response to Filipe Toledo’s first round heat against world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater and Slater’s employee Nathan Hedge. The waves were terrifyingly good, that heat, emphasis on terrifying with Slater and Hedge trading bombs while the current best surfer in the world bobbed out the back simply terrified.

Oh, you applauded Slater and Hedge but spent most your time challenging Toledo, wondering about his courage, his prizing self-protection over glory.

Me too, lightly, in a moment of weakness, I’ll admit.

Well, we should all be ashamed of ourselves, most more than I, because, in an act of synchronicity, surf inspiration Jonah Hill released a statement at the very same time that Toledo wasn’t paddling that declared he, also, was choosing to bob out the back, metaphorically, and will no longer promote his films, publicly, because it is anxiety inducing.

Unlike you, me and our unhealthiness, our fun making, Hill was universally praised for his bold self-protection stance. Per industry publication Deadline:

Jonah Hill has received plaudits for sharing recently his decision to step back from promoting his films in order to protect his mental health.

After the Superbad star opened up in a public letter he shared on Deadline, saying he had suffered for 20 years from anxiety attacks, which were exacerbated by media appearances and public-facing events, two psychologists told the BBC of the importance of his message for the wider audience.

Dr Sandra Wheatley told the BBC that “somebody who has so much to lose is actually prepared to step back” should be admired.

She said that celebrities were performing constantly whenever they were out in public. “But when they’re offstage, they go back to who they really are. So celebrities have to remember this persona in the media is an impersonation that you have, not you as an individual and that can be hard to balance.”

Consultant psychologist Dr Elena Bailey agreed that celebrities were “very vulnerable” in the public eye, and that stepping back as Hill has done is “self-protective behaviour.”

“This is because the type of attention and feedback and commentary on your life can have a very big impact on your mental health, causing a lot of anxiety, negative thoughts, symptoms of depression,” she said.

Really, shame on you.

Deep shame.

A little on me too but just a dab.