Dave Prodan (left) closes eyes to stop tears under withering attack from Conner Coffin (right).
Dave Prodan (left) closes eyes to stop tears under withering attack from Conner Coffin (right).

Santa Barbara darling, pro surfer rep Conner Coffin savages World Surf League Chief Strategy Officer Dave Prodan in scintillating new interview: “I surfed a heat in waist high onshore sh*t to decide my fate on tour!”

"It sucked. I hated it honestly."

Much like Sarah Lee, nobody doesn’t like Conner Coffin. The Santa Barbara darling, and professional surfing mainstay, was a wonderful surprise in the 2021 season, making it all the way into the top five ahead of “Final’s Day” at Lower Trestles and making Morgan Cibilic look foolish with his well-rounded style.

The ceiling very high, headed into the 2022 season except… things did not go quite as planned.

Coffin stumbled out of the gate at Pipeline, losing to specialist Barron Mamiya, lost again at Sunset to a resurgent Caio Ibelli, did just fine in Portugal but then came undone in the first round of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, an event that he should dominate.

With that loss, and another bad result at Margaret River, the beer enthusiast was kicked off tour as the World Surf League’s much-ballyhooed mid-season cut took effect. To make matters even stickier, Coffin is the surfer representative, having to stand in the gap, as it were.

Well, sitting down with the WSL’s Chief Strategy Officer Dave Prodan, recently, Coffin pulled no punch. He describes how his tour fate was decided by “waist high onshore shit Winikipop.” How the waves were garbage, more or less, the first five events, crushing livelihoods. Dealing with the hatred, amongst his professional surfers, about the cut. “It sucked. I hated it honestly. Big price to pay…” he ends with as Prodan giggles uncomfortably, eyes wide, mouth, framed by well-manicured beard lightly agape, then tries to re-spackle the Wall of Positive Noise by calling this year’s G-Land “really good” before casting blame on magazines of yesteryear for poorly representing the early “dream tour” as all fantastic.

Spice occurs around the 43-minute mark and may even get hotter but I ran out of listening time though… ouch. Three-alarm fire.


Lyon and his rock at Malibu.

In shock twist, Malibu realtor dubbed “angriest man in surfing” offers olive branch to victim of wild board-smashing, “I have respect for the guy. He didn’t go to the cops, he didn’t bitch out, not like the guy who made the TikTok!”

"I fucking fucked up, but that's the generation I came from."

Let’s recap.

Five days ago, Andy Lyon, the Malibu realtor and First Point surfer of fifty years achieved a considerable notoriety when he threw a rock into another man’s surfboard following an entanglement, the video of the event going viral.

Lyon, who is fifty-nine, lost his job, had his address published and a beat-down was suggested for his four-year-old kid Glider.

The first time I spoke to Lyon, which was just after the video took off, he was upbeat about the imbroglio saying, “You know, it’s a good ride right now… I’m embracing this. People say it ended his career but, it’s like, shit’s taking off. This is the beginning!” 

A podcast followed, to mixed response, older surfers tending to side with Lyon’s street justice and those new to their game in thrall to the utopian ideal of every wave a gift that must be shared. 

Today, I found a different Andy Lyon. He was carrying groceries into his house and was a little circumspect about the event, worn down by the attention, and the relentless ring of his telephone, mostly by me, I must admit. 

I called ‘cause he’d emailed to say he’d been in contact with the guy whose board he hurled a rock into, the rock vs board technique perfected, of course, by Fort Point locals in San Francisco eight months ago. 

Kitesurfing instructor and foil-boarding aficionado, John von Tesmar, had lost his leashless foil board and watched helplessly as it washed to the shore and was then attacked by an angry local who jerked a rock above his head multiple times to slay the thing. 

This story has a happier ending. 

Lyon and the surfer got in contact, Lyon driving a considerable distance – the other party didn’t want to be identified either by name or location – and both agreed it was a matter both forgotten and that each would fix their own boards. 

“I have respect for the guy,” says Lyon. “He didn’t go to the cops, he didn’t bitch out. Not like that guy who made the TikTok. Had this guy not done the stupid fucking TikTok thing, nothing would’ve happened, I would’ve been fine. But it’s this cancel culture pissy little shit that’s going on. Same with the job, they just bent over for these guys.” 

The Agency Malibu wrote on IG, 

The Agency was founded to create a unique group of professionals focused on community and camaraderie within the real estate industry. We endeavor to be pillars in the greater Malibu community and foster and environment that promotes integrity and respect.

Upon learning about the incident involving Andy Lyon on Friday, 8/5, we have decided to part ways with this individual. The Agency emphatically denounces this individual’s behavior, and our hearts go out to those involved in this incident.

Lyon says he was impressed by the surfer involved and says “He wanted it to be handled how it should’ve been, not in this form, the keyboard warriors, judge, jury and hangman. He totally got the whole thing. I met with his Dad. He acknowledged that he back-paddled me. He said he could appreciate how much shit I have to deal with (at Malibu) and said that this was the way it should be fucking handled not in a basement jury with a bunch of Reddit fucks.” 

“You know,” says Lyon, “I fucking fucked up and hit his board but that’s the generation I come from, you fucked my board, I’ll fuck yours. I’ll patch mine, you patch yours.” 

In foul bait-and-switch, generally milk-warm surf blog The Inertia shocks readers with story on Bruce Irons being hit with DUI, “possession of controlled substance” charge only to have them re-routed to the Wavestorm website!

Positively wicked.

There is rude then there is really rude and The Inertia shocked its readers, overnight, but stomping, sneeringly, into the latter. I only discovered this foul bait-and-switch by clicking on the traditionally milk-warm surf blog’s story on the “angriest man in surfing,” broken by BeachGrit, replete with wonderful interview featuring the aforementioned Andy Lyons.

The piece shed no new light on the matter at hand, other than to add an obituary to localism, but below, and undated, hovered a photo of Kauai great Bruce Irons with the caption “Bruce Irons Arrested for DUI in Newport Beach, California. Irons was arrested for DUI, possession of a controlled substance, and driving without a license.”

Clicking on top left on The Inertia...
Clicking on top left on The Inertia…

I guessed the story was likely old, from well back in 2018, but curious enough to click.

Much to my surprise, there I was on the Wavestorm website.

...leads here.
…leads here.

Assuming that I had clicked the fringes, I backtracked and repeated.

Same Wavestorm website.

I repeated again.

Result unchanged.

But have you ever heard of such heartlessness? Such abject rudeness? Snagging the unsuspecting with personal tragedy only to deliver them to a mass-produced foam surfboard that is responsible for both environmental and lineup damage?

Positively wicked.

Are you impressed?

Toledo (pictured) showing how he can rule Tiny Teahupoo.
Toledo (pictured) showing how he can rule Tiny Teahupoo.

Terror clawing at corners of Filipe Toledo’s mind moves closer to center as “Tiny Teahupoo” called off for next two days by World Surf League deputy commissioner!

Uh oh.

Even though the World Surf League’s official forecasting partner, Surfline, predicted there would be much small surf on tap for the opening days of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, surf fans from around the globe dutifully logged on to the WSL’s website in order to take in Joe Turpel, Laura Enever and the ever-handsome Pete Mel flanked by paradise. There the three sat in floral shirts attempting to speak Tahitian creole and praising the “end of the road.”

Turpel emphasized that Teahupoo is both the real “end of the road” on the isle of Tahiti and the metaphorical “end of the road” of the 2022 season. Or, actually, the “end of the road” before the top five men and top five women head to San Clemente, California for final’s day.

Currently, the top five women are, in order, Carissa Moore, Johanne Defay, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Stephanie Gilmore and Brisa Hennessy. Lakey Peterson is sitting just under the cut, ready to strike in case of stumble.

The top five men, Filipe Toledo, Jack Robinson, Ethan Ewing, Italo Ferreira and Griffin Colapinto.Kanoa Igarashi waiting in wings.

Well, after happy small talk in the booth, the feed was tossed to Dimity Stoyle and WSL deputy commissioner Renato Hickel sitting in boat. Hickel, too, praised the surrounding gorgeous before declaring there was not enough surf to run today and it “is supposed to be smaller tomorrow if you can believe it” so called Friday off too.

Surf fans in the sidebar chat seemed devastated.

Filipe Toledo, the world’s best small wave surfer, must certainly have been devastated too. Each day called off brings the projected monstrous swell that much nearer.

Terror clawing at corners moving closer and closer to the center of a beautiful mind.

How will you spend the next two days?

Twiddling thumbs?

Drinking heavily?

More as the story develops.

Wildly successful “surfercross” event combining surfing and motocross has bi-curious surf fans considering other partners!

Open hearts, open minds.

The 22nd annual surfercross event ran, this past weekend, in San Diego, California to much acclaim. As the name suggests, surfing and motocross are combined, competitors racing dirt bikes one day and surfing the next. The winner must be very accomplished at both and fans thrilled watching their dirt heroes water and their water heroes dirt.

Very exciting.

Though surf fans are never satisfied. Give them a mid-year cut and they’ll ask for two mid-year cuts. Take away the French Challenger Series event and they’ll want the US Open of Surfing to disappear too etc. And, as such, the aforementioned are combing through various other pastimes and sports to see if surfing can partner with any other.

Surfinnish skittles where surfing is combined with Finnish skittles?

Surfigure Skating where surfing is combined with figure skating?

Surfencing where surfing is combined with fencing?

I’m being lazy and simply combining “surf” with sports that begin with “f.”

I think you can do better.