Swellnet (pictured) waiting for World Surf League call.
Swellnet (pictured) waiting for World Surf League call.

Question: In comical aftermath of Surfline’s “cartoonish” wave-height calls during Outerknown Tahiti Pro, will World Surf League turn to Swellnet as official forecast partner despite damning accusations of “creepy voyeurism?”

Out of frying pan into fire?

A dark cloud of deep shame and embarrassment has, officially, descended upon Surfline. The World Surf League’s “official forecasting partner” has been riding high-ish over the past two decades, transforming itself from a telephone call-in service to robust internet prognosticator to monopoly-adjacent beach video n advice one-stop-shop. To surf media powerhouse without peer.


Though the chicken, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” has come home to roost during the currently stillborn Outerknown Tahiti Pro.

Surfline opened its pre-event communiques traditionally, promising initial small swell quickly growing to five-to-seven feet then double-overhead+ toward the end of the waiting period.

Who was there to dispute?

Second largest forecasting site Magic Seaweed?

Surfline purchased in 2017 so no.

Panic may have clawed at current number one Filipe Toledo’s mind, making its way to his lion-adorned heart. Then again, Surfline has been known to exaggerate and Toledo has possibly slept easy, taking a well-advised wait and see approach to very scary, when medium sized, waves.

Well, with a complete and utter lack of swell bumping up against Teahupoo’s famed reef, Surfline has looked more and more foolish by the day. Comical, even, as the company’s senior forecaster lashed out at reality/BeachGrit, insisting that the waves are, in fact, robust and tricks/#fakenews is being utilized.


The World Surf League, clearly paying attention, has done its best to divert attention from the clown show with CEO Erik Logan prancing around onstage wearing the world’s largest lei, but inside the Santa Monica headquarters blood must be boiling.

Hot enough to drop Surfline?

Who would replace as “official forecasting partner?”

Early rumors suggest Swellnet may be a front-runner.

Even though the Australian site suffered an embarrassing slap, months ago, by being fingered an un-repentant voyeur by the government, could it be a better choice than buffoonish Surfline?

The Outerknown Tahiti Pro has just been called on.

Let’s see if Joe Turpel can single-voicedly alter reality.

Logan (pictured) heavily lei'd.
Logan (pictured) heavily lei'd.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan attempts to deflect attention from “cartoonish” Surfline wave height imbroglio swirling around Tahiti Pro by donning world’s largest lei!

Master showman.

The World Surf League has been besieged for most of its 2022 Championship Tour season by rotten waves that are forecasted to be either epic or legendary by Surfline before each event. The League’s “official forecasting partner” has not been shy in pumping expectations through the roof and continuing rosy outlooks through contest windows even as the miserable reality is observable.

Post-truth, I suppose.

Well, things really hit a head in Tahiti where Surfline’s already cartoonish wave-size calls have reached hitherto unseen levels of absurdity. Five-to-seven feet and offshore deemed too flat to kick off the much-anticipated Outerknown Tahiti Pro.

Surfline, feeling pressure, continued a barrage of evidence-free wave-size calls, its senior forecast manager lashing out that BeachGrit only cares about “clicks with #fakenews.

Playbook, I guess.

The World Surf League’s deputy commissioner Renato Hickel, in charge of the green and red light buttons for the event, threw fans into further confused disarray, yesterday, by breaking with Surfline and generously calling its insistence that waves were still five-to-seven still “too small to surf.”

Imbroglio reaching maximum public embarrassment, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan took it upon himself to deflect attention by donning the world’s largest lei.

In a video that has since been removed, Logan takes to the stage wearing green shorts and a blue polo, staggering under the weight of so many flowers around his neck, breathing hard while thanking Tahitians for welcoming the world’s best surfers back to Teahupoo for the first time in three years.

The move, classic sleight of hand, seems to be having its intended result as the aforementioned BeachGrit has turned its attention toward Logan’s amazing lei and is, thus far, ignoring yet another day of Surfline shame.

Master showmanship, I think.

Open Thread: Comment Live, Day One pt. 2 of Outerknown Tahiti Pro where the only thing we have to fear is fear itself and reef!

Or another day of forever holds?

The WSL's Renato Hickel goes rogue! Calls Surfline's five to seven one to two.

Surf fans left in a confused disarray as WSL eschews partner forecaster Surfline’s “cartoonish” five-to-seven-foot wave-size call as it cancels Outerknown Pro for day due to “one-to-two-foot” waves!

And Surfline's chief forecaster comes out swinging, “Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight. But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

As reported yesterday, Surfline, the world’s preeminent surf forecaster and official partner of the WSL, predicted “five-to-seven-foot” waves for Teahupoo on Monday.

A little time on Surfline’s own  Teahupoo cam, hosted by Havae Bungalows right there on the point, however, revealed one-foot lines folding onto ‘emselves on the famous reef. 

Barely enough wave-power, as I wrote yesterday, to propel an SUP or one of those fantastic pedalo devices that so thrilled spectators at Burleigh Heads last week. 

As readers, and Surfline’s own Senior Forecast manager Jonathan Warren, were quick to point out, the screen-grab of little waves used in the story was from Sunday.

French Polynesia, of course, is on the other side of the international date line to Australia. Monday here, Sunday there.

“Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight,” Warren wrote. “But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

All very good, and true, points.

Warren included a still from the cam of a Teahupoo drainer that might’ve been almost four foot at the takeoff.

A correct forecast, then, might’ve been one-to-two with the real occasional bigger set.

Wave of the day!

So what did today bring? 

If you were to ask Mr Renato Hickel, the WSL’s own man making the calls on whether or not the event is to run, the waves are “one-to-two-foot.” 

Five-to-seven-(Surfline) foot, Teahupoo, Monday, August 15.

The waves are building, said the famously handsome Brazilian and former beau of four-time world champion Lisa Andersen, but too small for competition.

I watched for twenty minutes and saw a couple of lazy three-footers.

The contest was put on hold for many hours until, even with the rideable sets making reluctant cameos, the plug was pulled until tomoz, or maybe Thursday, when Surfline is calling for a mighty ten-to-fifteen feet of oceanic madness.

Strap yourself in!

Open Thread: Comment Live on the Outerknown Tahiti Pro where courage and a willingness to just go for it, whether it is a conversation or a spontaneous trip or pitching over a ledge onto dry reef is a really attractive quality!

Go time (maybe).