Lau (pictured) ready for anything.
Lau (pictured) ready for anything.

“Ultimate Surfer” Zeke Lau threatens brutal history-making return to Championship Tour ranks as world’s most popular surf contest gets underway in Huntington Beach!

There will be blood.

But how good does it feel to have our US Open of Surfing back in Huntington Beach, California? Two years ago, the Covid pandemic upended it entirely. Last year, it was but a shell of its former self. Now, though, the sands are packed with rabid fans, the water teeming with Championship Tour hopefuls.

As you know, the “world’s most popular surf contest” is a Challenger Series event, much like the Quiksilver Pro France that was, days ago, beheaded and tossed into a shallow grave. Being such, it contains many multiples of points for which the aforementioned Championship Tour hopefuls to pocket and join the top ranks (before being beheaded themselves mid-year, shallow grave etc.).

Exciting and even more exciting with the possibility that Hawaii’s Zeke Lau is very much in the mix.

Lau, you will recall, won last summer’s Ultimate Surfer on ABC proving to himself, and the world, that he was the greatest living surfer. The reward for such a feat was multiple wildcard entries into 2022 Championship Tour events though our hero did not need as he qualified on his own. Well, he was cut, mid-year, no telling what happened to the golden Ultimate Surfer tickets, and is there, in Huntington, tan, rested and ready.

“I feel good coming back to Huntington. It’s just somewhere that feels comfortable,” Lau told the The Orange County Register‘s Laylan Connelly. “It was pretty rough today, there weren’t a lot of waves. It looks like there’s going to be some waves later this week. Every event at this point is a make or break. If I do good here, it will put me in a really good spot to re-qualify. I’m just focused on surfing and do good in the events I’m in, and enjoy it.”

Make or Break, it must be noted, is the watchable World Surf League series as opposed to The Ultimate Surfer.

In any case, if Lau qualifies soon it will be three qualifications in one calendar year.


It must be.

Open Thread: Comment live on US Open of Surfing’s day three as Surfline promises “pumping” monster waves at Huntington Beach!

Are you brave enough?

Our gal.
Our gal.

Multi-platinum recording artist Shakira faces eight-years in Spanish prison for tax evasion, vows to fight as surfers rally ’round adopted sister!

Go team.

The US Open of Surfing is currently underway, biggest event of our entire world, though un-streamed as the financially robust World Surf League has chosen to aim those riches at cutting Challenger Series events.

Surfline is currently calling Huntington Beach 2-3 foot, poor to fair, which means 0-1 foot crap to unchill so we may not be missing out on much but, meanwhile, across the “pond” in Spain, multi-platinum recording artist Shakira is headed to court over a tax evasion charge and facing eight years in prison, with a loss.

Per The Washington Post:

On Friday, prosecutors unveiled six charges against Shakira, 45, after she rejected a settlement deal earlier this week, El País reported. According to the Spanish newspaper, authorities highlighted the substantial amount of taxes she allegedly owed, as well as her record of using offshore tax havens, as aggravating factors in the case.

The Grammy-winning performer, famous for hit songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka,” has denied wrongdoing on multiple occasions, including during her court testimony in 2019.

Shakira’s publicists in London said the singer “has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer,” the Associated Press reported. Her public relations team in Spain said she immediately repaid the amount she owed to the country’s tax agency once she was notified. She also deposited an additional 3 million euros in interest. These payments, El País reported, may be considered a mitigating circumstance by prosecutors when it comes to the length of a potential prison sentence.

The tax fraud charges hinge on where Shakira lived from 2012 to 2014. She claims that her tax residency was in the Bahamas until 2015, when she relocated to Barcelona with her partner, FC Barcelona soccer player Gerard Piqué. (The couple, who have two children together, last month announced the end of their 11-year relationship.)

The “announced end of the 11-year relationship with Pique” is when surfers, worldwide, adopted the Colombian chanteuse as she chose to mend her broken heart by sorting out her backside hitch while possibly making eyes at her surf instructor.

One of us.

And we will, certainly, rally around our adopted sister. Showing up outside Spanish courts with signs screaming “DON’T DROP IN ON SHAKIRA!” and “BACK OFF WAR CHILD!’ referencing Spain’s fascist past.

We don’t ever let one of our own down, not ever, unless they ride a surfboard over 7’1.

Go team.


"Do I still have a job, Jessi Miley-Dyer? Tell me true."
"Do I still have a job, Jessi Miley-Dyer? Tell me true."

Beleaguered Challenger Series surfers examining upcoming schedule slip into depression, experience deep inner hurt, as multiple events ominously listed “tentative!”

Let them eat cake.

The sudden cancellation of the upcoming Quiksilver/Roxy Pro France sent shockwaves through the professional competitive surfing community. Many of those participating in the Challenger Series event had already purchased tickets, hotel rooms, dreams of making it to the “big dance” percolating in heads. Fans having already worked early autumn, or spring, work schedules around the holding period.

The Challenger Series is relatively new in our landscape, springing out of the blood of those professional surfers who fell below mid-year cut, fertilizing the earth.

Many, again, felt very angry about the chop, including but not limited to Owen Wright, but the World Surf League brass promised even more riches were possible for the minor league surfers as long as they “trusted the process.”

Rising tide.

Crazy robust growth.

But now France has been burned, Senior Vice President of Competition, Head of Tours Jessi Miley-Dyer delivering the news in a very “let-them-eat-cake” sorta way and might other Challenger Series, and lesser point’d, events follow?

An examination of the upcoming schedule doesn’t exactly bolster confidence.

What are your thoughts?

Taiwan on the chopping block?

More as the story develops.

"Gorgeous site set in a draw/meadow surrounded by oaks. Truly serene, private, and quiet. Just 3 mins. to the best beaches in Santa Barbara County."

Superstar surfing family from Santa Barbara lists share in redundant 101 acre Hollister Ranch parcel for five-million dollars! “There are only a few such places in the world. And you know it’s true.” 

"Visually, of course, it is a triumph. Undeveloped hills and valleys, perfect surf, empty lineups."

The parents of Santa Babs surfing superstars Conner and Parker Coffin have listed their one-third share in 101 acres of gorgeous Hollister Ranch dirt, a beachfront enclave that counts blockbuster filmmaker James Cameron, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and minstrel Jackson Browne as owners.

Rich and Krista Coffin, who operate a high-end construction biz, delighting in “creating architecturally significant homes”, are selling the pretty two bed, two bath guest house with separate studio at 115 Hollister Ranch Rd, Gaviota for a few shekels south of five mill.

“Gorgeous site set in a draw/meadow surrounded by oaks. Truly serene, private, and quiet. Just 3 mins. to the best beaches in Santa Barbara County for beach combing, surfing, fishing, and recreational activities. Prime location in one of the best areas in Hollister Ranch w easy all paved access. A rare offering.”

For those who’ve come in late, Hollister Ranch is fifty-eight square clicks, or 14.400 acres, of gated beachfront land on the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, California. The gates, which were supposed to open after five decades on April 1, are still firmly bolted following legal action by the Ranch’s landowners.

Therefore, y’aint surfing round these parts unless you can boat in. 

But as Jen See wrote a lil while back, “The idea of Hollister Ranch as some kind of Eden persists, but is by now, largely imagined. The best-known spots on good swells buzz with jetskis, zodiacs, and floating machines of all shapes and sizes. Anyone with a boat or a friend with a boat can go there. And we all know by now what happened to Eden.”

Matt Warshaw’s take on the Ranch hits a similar vein. Read about the “hard ugliness” of the joint and its “sales pitch wearing a Gestapo jacket pretending to be a conservation statement” here. 

Whatever you think of the Ranch, capitalism or maybe feudalism at its worst, the rich eat the cake, the poor sweep up the crumbs, sure would be nice to have a place there. 

The Coffin House is sturdily built, as you might imagine, pretty enough and blends enough into the surroundings so you don’t feel like a giant stomping through some of the last undeveloped coastline in California. 

Taxes hit close to thirty gees a year.

Come stroll the tiled floors here.