Not cool. Or is it?

Police on high alert in La Jolla after spike in wantonly violent surf altercations at Windansea: “Punches thrown and a surfer held underwater for what he estimated to be 30 seconds!”

Locals only!

The ink is not yet dry on the the bannerAngriest Man in Surfing” but Malibu’s Andy Lyons, who earned the title by smashing a rock into a yellow alternative crafted surfboard then paddling out beyond the pier, may have competition down the coast in tony La Jolla.

Local news is reporting that police in the area have stepped up surveillance around Windansea after a spike in wantonly violent surf altercations in the water and on shore.

Per La Jolla Light:

The afternoon of Aug. 13, a male surfer and some others in the water got into an argument that led to “throwing some punches” and the surfer being held underwater for “what he estimated was about 30 seconds,” according to SDPD Officer Brian Avera, who oversees investigations in the department’s Northern Division, which includes La Jolla. The surfer did not give a reason for the argument in his statement to police.

“It was a very dangerous situation,” Avera said. “If anyone has been taken underwater and thought they were going to die, that is going to get our attention.”

There have been problems at Windansea for years, “almost to the point that it is a generational issue,” Avera said. But this was the first major altercation to be reported to the Police Department, he said.

“In general, we have had fights in the area … that are more of a territory thing; people feel it is their area to surf,” Avera said. “So we are certainly going to be vigilant and make sure we are allocating our resources throughout La Jolla to make sure it stays safe. We are dedicating more personnel, seven days a week, even overtime, to the area.”

In the Malibu case, the man who owned the alternative craft surfboard (wrongly identified as a “boy” early on), refused to go to the police, earning Lyons’ respect.

The underwater surfer, apparently, chose to involve law enforcement and may gain appreciation from onetime Stab editor Ashton Goggans.

Have you views, in any case, evolved as they relate to surf violence or are you still a grumpy local?

More as the story develops.


Logan (pictured) remembered.

Public begins to fear worst as World Surf League CEO Erik Logan remains missing two days after suffering life-threatening reef injury and undergoing dangerous, possibly illegal, procedure.

The stages of grief.

It has now been two full days since the World Surf League CEO was last seen. Erik Logan, in Tahiti for the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, had seemed in high spirits during the almost ten-day event run, taking fans on behind-the-scenes tours of the broadcast operation, donning the world’s largest lei before disaster struck.

At some point in the evening of August 21, Logan bonked his foot on the reef scraping some skin off its top. He could have been piloting a SUP, may have been surfing, might have been going for a snorkel to see the little fishies but was immediately taken to World Surf League deputy commissioner Renato Hickel and head judge Pritamo Ahrendt.

As the camera rolls, panning from Logan’s injured paw to Hickel’s grave face as he says, “We have Erik with his first Tahiti tattoo and he already poured some alcohol on it but we gotta go lemon, lime.”

The lemon or lime was applied as Logan squirmed, letting out whelps and spasms. Ahrendt, standing to the side and possibly not as concerned as he should have been for, as all surfers know, reef scrapes can become infected with staph and turn life and/or limb-threatening no matter how itty-bitty.

Directly after the procedure, candles were lit around the globe for Logan’s speedy recovery. Floating lanterns sent skyward with healing messages though panic began to grip as he remained out of sight for the entire day.

And now, with two full days gone and Logan still vanished, the public is beginning to both fear the worst and cast around for blame, which seems to be falling on Hickel and Ahrendt.

Was the deputy commissioner licensed to rub citrus on the wound? When he mumbled “…we gotta go lemon, lime” which one did he actually go and was it the correct choice?

Was the head judge certified to observe?

Denial turning to anger as the public begins to climb the stages of grief.

RIP.


World number 15 Kelly Slater arrives in Maldives!

Following disastrous semi-final and worst heat-score total ever in Tahiti, Kelly Slater arrives in Maldives for invitation-only over-fifties surf event at wildly exclusive Four Seasons Hotel!

Three divs over three days, twenty-five k to the winner. 

The greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, has arrived in the Maldives to compete in the invitation-only Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2022, joining former tour buddies Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Ross Willims and local wildcard Hussain “Iboo” Areef, not to be confused with a previous wildcard Abdulla “Fuku” Areef. 

While not strictly an over-fifties event, Rob Machado is forty-nine and Areef only forty-five, the contest will be a showcase of the new maxim, fifty is the new thirty. 

It is Slater’s first visit to the pretty chain of Islamic governed islands. He says he is “excited to be surfing with my best buddies that I grew up surfing with. We’ve been trying to make this trip open for years and it’s nice for everyone to be here with their partners for a relaxing week.” 

From August 22 through 29, the old gang, some showing the wear and tear of age, Ross “Daddy Body” Williams, while others looking like they’ve spent the preceding twenty-five years pushing and pulling heavy plates in a gymnasium, hello Shane Dorian, will compete on single fins, twinnies and thrusters.

Three divs over three days, twenty-five k to the winner.

And, all the while being housed in the Four Seasons’ little sugar-cube bungalows built over the sea and where the inhabitants can watch the full-moon floating over the inky sea while being attended to by men in their fine uniform of white t-shirt and sarong. 

If you were to book today for an arrival tomoz and to stay for the duration of the event, you would pay a not unreasonable $US2128 per night for your room, although this doesn’t include service charges and local taxes. 

There ain’t no livestream, but you can catch the action via Instagram below.

 

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A post shared by Tropicsurf (@tropicsurf)


"I cancelled my subscription years ago after realising how often I wanted to throw it across the room and set it on fire for its sexism and colonialism."

World’s most-loved surfing magazine The Surfers Journal under siege as pro surfer and “eco-feminist” charges title with the “blatant exclusion of female surfers writers, photographers!”

"The bulk of the commenters admitted to not actually reading the magazine. But they sure knew they hated it."

Some things are worth standing up for.

For me, it’s quality work, particularly the written word. Good writing is vital. It shapes our thoughts, communicates our shared experiences, and reminds us we are human.

Yet most writers don’t get paid very much. If you do it, it must be for the love.

Precious few publications still exist that might nourish and appreciate this love. Those that do are sacrosanct. Without them, we are left with a culture of internet-shaming and cancellation that pervades our society, and the sort of blind groupthink that festers because of social media.

A single post can be like wildfire.

The latest victim, you may have seen, is our own Surfer’s Journal. Not only consistently the finest surf magazine in existence, but also, crucially, one of the last.

The cross-hairs fixed on TSJ came via the Instagram (where else) page of Lauren Hill, whom you may know as the partner of Dave Rastovich.

 

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A post shared by Lauren L. Hill (@theseakin)

Hill’s attack, an accusation that there is a “blatant exclusion of female surfers, writers and photographers from the pages of TSJ”, was nothing new in surfing, and the sentiment, if not for the deliberately emotive and conclusively false statement, has some validity.

It’s her target and tone that’s deeply problematic.

In the interests of transparency, I’m lucky enough to have a story in the latest issue of TSJ. But my defence is nothing to do with the cheque in the bank, and everything to do with the work.

It’s my fourth piece for the Journal, and each has been approached with reverence and deep joy from start to finish. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how much time I’ve put into this writing, how many times I read and re-read every sentence. How much I agonise over phrase and structure and image.

I don’t regret a second. I know that it’s appreciated.

The Surfer’s Journal is unique. Unless I’ve missed something, there’s nothing like it anywhere in the world of boardsports.

In a flimsy world of throwaway things, it’s too important to dismiss based on someone’s Instagram post. It rarely misses a beat when it comes to quality, considered content. This should be cherished, not shamed. And certainly not misrepresented.

In one damming Instagram post, based on flicking through two issues, Lauren Hill condemned the entire publication.

She selected two issues (off a friend’s shelf, she doesn’t subscribe) and posted some images of women from the pages, without any context whatsoever.

Predictably, this led to furious uproar and a classic internet pile-on. Each comment strengthens the conviction of the next. No matter that you don’t actually read or subscribe to the magazine, or even really understand the argument, jump right in, feet first. There’s room for all types of hatred here!

Person X is saying it on Instagram, so therefore it must be right, and we will shake our fists with much fury and spray praying-hands and raise-the-roof and red-heart emojis, and we will damn The Thing to hell, and we will purge the world of this evil!

The bulk of the commenters admitted to not actually reading the magazine. But they sure knew they hated it.

And just theoretically, if The Surfer’s Journal compromised their editorial strategy in the wake of this pressure to include more women, would these people suddenly stump up the $7.99 a month for six issues a year?

Or would they just continue to consume low-quality, free surf content on the internet, and The Surfer’s Journal slowly ebb away to nothingness like everything else?

What Hill didn’t note in her consciously inflammatory post, was that five of the nine pictures she flagged up (all those with women in bikinis or topless) came from one story. It was a profile and portfolio of a photographer called Slim Aarons, who took the pictures from the late 50s through to the early 70s. All were of wealthy people with a mostly tenuous connection to surfing, as was his goal.

The accompanying story literally includes the lines,

“His surf shots are all golden; the people are young and strong. Nothing wrong with this, of course – but it serves to illustrate Aarons’ maxim: Attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”

These were not gratuitous pictures of women presented for the titillation of men in a surf magazine, as presented by Hill on her Instagram page, they were simply the correct shots to accompany the story and represent the figure being profiled.

I guess she missed the ten-page, several thousand word profile on Joey Hamasaki, written by another woman, Mindy Pennybacker. (Issue 30.4)

Or the profile of Andrea Moller, written by Gabriela Aoun, also running to ten pages. (Issue 30.5)

Or photographer Daniela Caram’s pictures in Issue 30.6.

Or the ten page spread on Imogen Caldwell, focusing on her surfing, not her modelling career. (Issue 31.1)

(Perhaps Caldwell had forgotten, too, when she chimed into Hill’s comments with a praising-hands emoji.)

This is not meant as tit-for-tat. Although Hill has grossly misrepresented the magazine, there is an imbalance of men and women in TSJ.

Guess what? Line-ups are still like that, too.

The Journal needs to cater to its demographic to stay alive. And if consistency has kept the lights on whilst everything else has died around them, it would seem a reckless gamble to change tack at this stage.

The greater issue, and the reason, perhaps, that there are few female voices in The Surfer’s Journal, is simply a lack of female surf writers.

In 2022, I’m not sure that this is because of a lack of opportunity. I know for a fact that the BeachGrit proprietors would welcome pitches from female writers with open arms and encouragement.

In my WCT coverage, commenters have occasionally asked why I don’t cover the women’s tour. The events run concurrently, mostly I’m watching it anyway. The reasons are two-fold.

First and foremost I’m not paid to do it.

My agreement was for the men’s tour only, and despite the fact I think there are some fascinating storylines on the women’s side (and the evolution of women’s surfing is infinitely more interesting than men’s) I just don’t have the bandwidth or time to make a good job of both.

(This isn’t a full-time gig, you know.)

But a greater reason for me not to do it is because I’m not the right man for the job. I could, and I’d enjoy it, but do we really need a male perspective on women’s surfing?

Women’s surfing needs more woman’s voices, particularly in writing, and that’s a fact.

I feel certain that the editors at TSJ judge each and every pitch on its merit. Does it fit the voice of the magazine? Does it present a story or viewpoint that you won’t read elsewhere? Is it interesting, quality work? The gender of subjects and creators is irrelevant. A good story is a good story. It just so happens that more men surf than women, especially when we consider history as often excavated in the Journal. To present it any other way would be disingenuous.

The status-quo exists to be challenged. That’s what good art does. But compromising quality for the sake of equality is not a step forward.

Is the magazine overtly male in tone and content? Definitely.

But this isn’t the same as deliberately excluding women’s voices, as accused by Hill.

If there are women who love to write, and for some reason would channel this talent into writing about surfing, I’m sure they would find a willing audience. No surf publication is turning down quality work on the basis of gender. If more women want to be heard in surfing, they should speak up.


WSL CEO Erik Logan (pictured) showing how many scrapes his right foot received.

Panic begins to grip public as World Surf League CEO Erik Logan gone missing after suffering life-threatening reef injury in Tahiti and undergoing emergency procedure!

Save Erik.

It has been over twenty-four hours since World Surf League CEO Erik Logan bravely turned his camera on and documented a potentially life-threatening reef injury suffered while possibly surfing or or piloting a SUP. Viewers cringed, grasped their stomachs, gasped for air as Logan filmed his foot, scratched and lightly bleeding, while World Surf League deputy commissioner Renato Hickel sternly said, “We have Erik with his first Tahiti tattoo and he already poured some alcohol on it but we gotta go lemon, lime.”

Surfers everywhere, instantly, knew how serious the situation was as staph infections can easily take hold causing loss of limb, even death.

World Surf League head judge Pritamo Ahrendt assisted, with commentary, as Hickel rubbed lemon or lime into Logan’s wound while Logan writhed in pain, groaning, squealing, stomping his uninjured foot.

Overnight, candles were lit for the Oklahoma native’s full recovery, flying lanterns sent into the air with scraps of paper inside reading “Save Erik.” And this morning, surfers everywhere and maybe Oprah Winfrey too, logged onto Instagram to see if there were any updates.

Nothing.

And, now, over 24-hours on, still nothing.

Absolute crickets.

Surfers everywhere began chewing finger nails down to nubs, problem drinking, checking themselves into mental health facilities as the minutes stretched on with no updates.

Oprah Winfrey completely missing in action.

While it is never encouraged to lose hope, now might be the time.

RIP.