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

Terror, now fully occupying Filipe Toledo’s mind, moves to small-wave maestro’s lion-adorned heart as “itty-bitty Tahiti” called off for two more days!

4 of 10 days gone...

A menace is headed for Tahiti, a lurching, growling horror that takes the form of angry water that will, when it arrives, buckle over Teahupoo’s famed reef, looking to chew up and swallow anyone in its gaping mouth. Teahupoo, currently, appears paradisiacal. Soft winds blowing over impossibly blue water. Verdant cliffs climbing skyward.

Little waves breaking fun.

As we all know, though, thanks to our World Surf League’s official forecasting partner, all of that will change with the arrival of a “double-overhead+” swell due to arrive in the latter part of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro.

Current world number one, Filipe Toledo, must certainly have an eye on the models while maybe pleading with the WSL’s deputy commissioner to get underway as soon as possible. He is, of course, a small-wave maestro, the best surfer in the world on waves under three-feet, but what about when waves get large?

I suppose we don’t really know as he often bravely refuses to paddle.

Thankfully, for him, none of this really matters. He has a dominant lead in the rankings and is a lock for “Final’s Day” at never-scary Trestles and the only indignity he will suffer, if he doesn’t commit to the maw, is a thoroughly tattered reputation which begs an interesting question: would you rather be world champion or highly regarded?

In any case, the World Surf League, calling the event off in two-day-at-a-time chunks makes me wonder if they are paying the commentary crew only on days that they show up to work.

Cost saving.

The world’s poorest billionaire Dirk Ziff using Joe Turpel’s per diem to buy his own coffee.


Surfing hall-of-famer slams use of “novelty” wildcard at expense of indigenous Tahitian at upcoming Outerknown Pro, “I don’t know if you can run an event at this venue without this guy in it. Ask anyone in the world who the best surfer out there is and even Kelly, Gabriel and John John would say Matahi Drollet!”

“It feels super weird to me. I…I… it baffles me, I’m baffled at overlooking Matahi Drollet for Nathan Hedge."

The 1988 world champion Barton Lynch, wildly popular commentator and believer in wealth distribution but not a communist, has come out swinging at the WSL’s choice of men’s wildcard for the upcoming Outerknown Pro, in a holding pattern right now at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

Pro surfing fans were stunned, some good, some bad, one week ago, when the long-retired Australian pro surfer Nathan Hedge, who is an “ambassador” for the titular sponsor was given a start in contest.

On his shamefully undersubscribed podcast, The Stoked Bloke, “Papa” Lynch lays his cards on the table, so to speak, telling his co-host Peter King,

“I don’t know if you can run an event at this venue without this guy in it. Ask anyone in the world who the best surfer out there is and even Kelly, Gabriel and John John, would say Matahi Drollet!

“It feels weird to put a novelty wildcard into this event,” interjects King.

“It feels super weird to me. I…I… it baffles me, I’m baffled at overlooking Matahi Drollet for Nathan Hedge,” says Papa. “I understand commercial responsibilities but at the same time, you want the best in the event. And Hog, Nathan Hedge, that’s his nickname, he’s a great surfer and since finding sobriety he’s changed his life, turned his life around, acted and behaved in a way that has made him proud… great guy and beautiful heart and all the best to him, but it’s a bit of a wildcard out of left field when you’re at Teahupoo and Nathan Hedge gets the wildcard over Matahi Drollet. It doesn’t feel right to me.”

Papa Lynch also rips into the WSL’s mid-year cut (“I don’t see kids’ careers as something to create drama with”) and promises upcoming interviews with parties privy to the discussions.

“My understand is, discussions didn’t go that well. My understanding is people walked out at certain points… it was forced upon them.”

Hawaiian big-wave surfer captures “insane” footage of Orcas killing dolphins in the wild, “Nature does not optimise for mercy. Watch these highly intelligent animals get destroyed and not in the most humane way possible!”

"How am I going to help the dolphins? These things are killing machines!"

Mark Healey, from Sunset Beach (Hawaii, not California), is a stunt man, pro big-wave surfer and man of the wilderness, beach and garden.

In 2011, he was filmed riding on the back of a Great White shark.

“If they’re going to take you out you’re fucked!” he said.

On a recent “strike mission” to Mexico, Healey was privy to the rare sight of killer whales, also known as Orcas, an abbreviation of the Latin name Orcinus meaning “of the kingdom of the dead”, hunting and killing a dolphin, an intelligent mammal well-known for their water orgies.

Healey, who is forty-one, and who takes his food from the wild with various instruments of death, is not squeamish.

“Nature does not optimise for mercy. Watch these highly intelligent animals get destroyed and not in the most humane way possible!”

Erin Hunter (pictured) surf darling on the fringe.
Erin Hunter (pictured) surf darling on the fringe.

One-woman show telling story of American wife moving to Tel Aviv and learning to surf the “definitive must-see performance” at largest arts festival in the world Edinburgh Fringe!

A journey of self-discovery!

While our World Surf League is mired in bad PR, cutting historic events due lack of financial health, getting punched directly in the mouth by beloved surfer reps, others in the space are thriving.

Take, for example, dogs riding soft tops, which very much overshadowed the WSL Challenger Series US Open of Surfing.

Or darling of Edinburgh Fringe, Surfing the Holyland.

Now, I spent a few glorious days in Edinburgh, many years ago, and fell in love with its black medieval vibe. Hulking castle in the middle of town, cobblestoned streets running from whiskey joint to whiskey joint.


And I have been aware of Edinburgh Fringe for almost as long, though not exactly certain what it was until today when I learned it is the world’s largest arts festival that is featuring the aforementioned Surfing the Holyland which, per Deadline News, is described:

THIS one–woman show covering twelve characters is a definitive must-see performance.

Erin Hunter tells her story of an American who moves from Ohio to Tel Aviv when her husband gets a new job.

With no work visa, what is she to do with her time? She learns to surf of course.

Not only does she learn how to navigate the waters of the Middle East, but the challenges on land too.

Erin tells of her adjusting to a different culture, dealing with loneliness, hostility and her husband now becoming increasingly distant as he becomes obsessed with religion.

With a sexy surf teacher taking up all of her time, and finding a new hobby, how will this turn out for her?

Erin puts on a quirky, fast-paced show, that blends both comedy and music, as we join her on a year-long journey of self-discovery, uncovering new passions and finding the way back to each other.

Will JP Currie go and see?

Dirk Ziff wish he invested in one-woman shows instead of the World Surf League?

Currently more questions than answers.

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.