Filipe Toledo (pictured) the cowardly lion.
Filipe Toledo (pictured) the cowardly lion.

Question: Can a champion be all too human or is it right, nay necessary, for mere mortals to demand a little extra from our heroes and heroines?

An epic blunder.

Filipe Toledo is very afraid of Teahupo’o or, more specifically, waves of consequence. This much was all but proven this early morning at “the end of the road” where the current number one surfer in the world paddled into a picturesque lineup featuring epic waves standing up on a legendary reef and refused to flip and go.

Those sitting at home, watching, certainly feel light sting, imagining themselves in his position, same waves, same reef, terrified bile moving from stomach to throat.

All understandable but, herein, lies the trouble.

We are, each of us, mere mortals possessing neither skill nor ability nor financial resources nor talent to surf the world’s best waves. Toledo, on the other hand, possess all four plus. He will soon, likely, be crowned our champion but should our champion, our hero or heroine exceed what is only us?

I think history has rightly declared “yes.”

If an epic bit of surf tabloidism darkened the horizon and I was too afraid to write would that taint me?


If a monstrous pipe was in need of being unclogged and our Negatron pulled a punch would that taint him?



Toledo, in not paddling, in not paddling at the World Surf League pretending that he was “waiting for a bomb” is now tainted, his upcoming 2022 champion crown soiled, his legacy forever dumb alongside the aforementioned WSL or do you disagree? He failed, publicly, at his job. At what he is paid to do. The WSL failed to call out greatness or, more specifically, shirking greatness.

David Lee Scales and I discuss, in real time, and I would love your opinion.

Toledo (pictured) from his first brave act of cowardice, a 0 point heat total at Teahupo'o almost seven years ago.
Toledo (pictured) from his first brave act of cowardice, a 0 point heat total at Teahupo'o almost seven years ago.

Current number one surfer in world Filipe Toledo reprises his brave act of cowardice at “big and perfect” Teahupoo, refuses to paddle for wave in heat against Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge!


Surfline’s predictions for “epic” surf, hitherto cartoonish, became accurate this morning as Teahupo’o, site of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, came to life. Armies of darkened water, marching toward the famed reef, attacking it ferociously. A sight to behold as both the World Surf League and Strider Wasilewski turned their phones to “Instagram Live” mode ahead of the first morning heat.

And that first morning heat? An exciting draw featuring an iconic relic in Nathan Hedge, the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater and the current number one surfer in the world Filipe Toledo.

Toledo, with reputation for not enjoying the Teahupo’o battle, would certainly spear naysayers in the throat by dropping in to infamy, no?

Apparently no.

Slater and Hedge traded waves, big and perfect, one after the other after the other with Toledo holding priority well out the back, refusing to paddle, one after the other after the other.

Slater, barreled, unable to contain smile.

Hedge, barreled, unable to contain smile or beat, smartly, boss.

Toledo, un-barreled, holding priority for fifteen-odd minutes while Slater and Hedge swapped beneath him.

In the dying seconds, the King of Saquarema swung on a baby tube then punched board in channel.

Elimination round later today.


Open Thread: Comment Live, Day Three of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro where ambition has become a dirty word!

Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore!

Shredders hit the Grand Canal.

Echoes of Mussolini in Venice furore as two “overbearing idiot” surfers are arrested for riding foil-boards through city’s Grand Canal, “The two surfboards have been confiscated and soon … those responsible will be in our grasp.”

“We urgently need more powers to the Mayors in terms of public safety!”

Two surfers, although, yeah, it might be a stretch to call em that given the choice of craft, have been arrested and heavily fined following a joy ride through Venice’s famous Grand Canal. 

Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted a video of the electric foil-riding surfers, describing ‘em “as two overbearing idiots making a mockery of the city” and offered a free dinner if you snitched on ‘em. 

“We urgently need more powers to the Mayors in terms of public safety!” wrote Brugnaro pining, perhaps, for the glory days of Il Duce, where the Fasci di Combattimenti, Italy’s Blackshirts, lived by the motto, “Me ne frego” (I do not give a damn”).

Already, “Angels of Decorum” patrol the thousand-year-old streets, hitting tourists with fines for jumping in the canals, feeding the birds or walking around without a shirt on.

Only last week, Brugnaro called for the immediate imprisonment of a Scottish tourist who was caught having a lil swim.

CCTV got the shredders, 25k boards were confiscated ‘cause they weren’t insured, both of ‘em were fined $1500 apiece for “having endangered the navigation of the canal”, they were hit with antisocial behaviour orders and expelled from the city.

Venice ain’t done with ‘em, either.

The city’s lawyers are starting proceedings against ‘em for “damaging the image of the city.”


Wright (pictured) in aftermath of shock loss.
Wright (pictured) in aftermath of shock loss.

Pipe Master and current world number seven Tyler Wright suffers shock loss in elimination round of Tahiti Pro thereby ending season in depressing fashion!

Much sad.

The Outerknown Tahiti Pro got started early this morning for the first time of the event window, the women paddling out into building swell under a grey sky that eventually gave way to rainbows. Not many barrels were ridden as most chose to “go to turns” for the score. Action saw Johanne Defay suffer defeat to local wildcard Vahine Fierro, Brisa Hennessy taking down Gabriela Bryan, Tati Weston-Webb barely surviving Isabella Nichols and, shock of all shocks, Tyler Wright falling to Lakey Peterson in the last heat.

The Pipe Master, and current world number seven, needed a win in order to, maybe, propel herself into the final five and had opportunities, late, but came up just shy after throwing a large backhanded hack near the barrel as time clicked down.

The season began with much promise for Wright and the months leading up to the start of the 2023 campaign may be filled with second-guessing. With sadness.

How do you feel?

Depressed not to see the two-time world champion knocked from contention?

Happy for Lakey Peterson, still in the hunt, and her coach Mike “Snips” Parsons?

Much to discuss.