Toledo, right, in the LA Times.

World number one surfer Filipe Toledo becomes unwitting face of San Clemente feticide furore as council overwhelmingly rejects“god-ordained” resolution declaring city an “abortion-free zone”!

“It appears to me to be a document that could have been written by a Taliban tribunal."

Remember that wild anti-abortion resolution set to go before the San Clemente council three weeks back? 

The world number one surfer Filipe Toledo, a Brazilian immigrant now living in San Clemente and who is a married Catholic with two children, became the unwitting face of the debate after featuring in the story, “Push to ban abortions in San Clemente faces headwinds even in conservative OC.” 

In the main and only image, Toledo, who is widely expected to win this year’s world surfing title despite performing poorly in Tahiti, is pictured crossing the railway tracks at Lowers with a pal. The caption reads, “Surfers cross the railroad tracks near San Clemente’s North Beach. San Clemente Councilman Steve Knoblock has proposed that the city become a ‘sanctuary for life.’”

To recap, it ain’t a secret that the pretty surf town of San Clemente, home to the cream of American surfing, including Kolohe Andino and Griffin Colapinto as well as “cool mom that will let everyone drink at the house as long as no one’s driving” Matt Biolos, leans to the right politically. 

And, ever since Roe v Wade got iced, giving states the right to allow, or more pointedly, disallow, abortions, San Clemente’s pro-lifers have come out swinging. 

Councilman, Stevie Knoblock wanted the Council to formally agree that it “considers life to begin at conception” and to push back against Planned Parenthood health centres or anywhere the unborn are killed. 

“There probably isn’t a family in America that hasn’t been impacted by abortion,” Knoblock told the LA Times.“The [resolution] will get people thinking about what society has been doing for 50 years.”

San Clemente’s mayor Gene Walsh, also red, said he was “appalled” by the resolution, “It appears to me to be a document that could have been written by a Taliban tribunal, and I’ll say that as a conservative, pro-life Republican.”

Anyway, the whole thing stunk to hell and back and council voted three to one to withdraw the proposal from the agenda of an upcoming meeting.

Not that it mattered one way or the other.

The resolution, even if had passed, was symbolic. There ain’t an abortion clinic or hozzy knocking off bebes anywhere in town. 

“The fact is, California is a state where abortion is legal and there’s nothing the San Clemente City Council can do about that regardless of whether we are pro-life or pro-choice,” said Walsh.

Not me but also not not me.
Not me but also not not me.

In day and age of unchecked surf rage, surf journalist confesses to screaming in the face of a 76-year-old woman: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone (into a single fin, longboard, foil, Wavestorm or board of choice)!”

Rage, rage against the dying light.

It is undeniable that we live in a day and age of heightened surf rage. From La Jolla to Malibu across the grand Pacific to Snapper Rocks, and back again to San Francisco, “out of control violence” is our currency. Why? Difficult to say but I think easy to blame Covid, Costco and… I don’t know, something else that starts with a “C.”

Climate change.

In any case, David Lee and I received a call from an irate TikToker today during our weekly chat. He was furious that the anonymous account he made to denigrate surf rager Andy Lyon, dubbed “the angriest man in surfing,” did not get the mob action he was hoping for, that David Lee and I didn’t interview the “boy” victim who turned out to be a twenty-year-old man, or bystanders.

That Lyon basically skated.

“And you call yourself surf journalists…” he seethed into the phone.

David Lee immediately distanced himself from the “surf journalist” moniker but not me. Sure, my form of reportage isn’t “rigorous” or “good” sometimes not “accurate” but it does get to hearts of matters every so often which brings us back to surf rage.

No act of of it is ever “right” but who amongst us, here, hasn’t sinned?

I’ll throw myself straight under the bus first. A few years ago I was surfing out the front. Being that it was out the front, in Cardiff by the Sea, I’m certain that it wasn’t epic but epic is neither here nor there. So here and there I was out with a small knot including a very elderly woman on a longboard. A wave came, I caught it, she dropped right in front of me and failed to exit the wave even after I whistled. Another wave came, she dropped right in front of me and failed to exit when I hooted. Another wave came, she dropped right in front of me and failed to exit when I screamed and so I paddled up to her and hollered, “HEY! What’s your deal? You have done me wrong three times in a row!” She, confused, responded, “I was paddling first.”

Oh how my blood boiled.

“You were paddling first? Yeah? That does not matter at all! I was in position and you are an absolute idiot and dumb!” I exploded right in her face, peppering with many swears.

Now, of course I was surfing in a spot enjoyed by old ladies and getting burned by one, all embarrassing for me and my surf rage only made the scene more embarrassing but surf rage I did because that’s what we do.

Not acceptable, a blot on my ledger, I cursed out an old lady but, again, who amongst us is spotless?

Do the new crop of Covid, Costco, climate change surfers live for party waves? Do they hate the greatest surfer ever Kelly Slater for dreaming of days when fins were punched out?

Listen to the full conversation, now or later, and share your favorite indiscretion below.

Over-fifties surf community in shock following defeat of Kelly Slater in invitation-only contest at wildly exclusive Four Seasons Hotel in Maldives, “It felt really good to beat Kelly. Every time I can beat him, it’s a personal win for me!”

“It’s pretty obvious, but it’s really difficult to beat him. I’ve surfed against him a ton of times in my life and he usually gets me every time."

The aged surf community, that dreadful over-fifties male with his elongated ball sack and sad little cock and belief that surfing can be “regulated”, is in shock this morning following the defeat of their icon Kelly Slater in the second round of the invitation-only Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy.

The contest runs over three days. Single fins. Twins. Thrusters. Twenty-five gees to the winner.

You’ll remember, yesterday, how fifty-year-old Slater, who finished third at the Outerknown Tahiti Pro in ten-foot waves last week and who is the current world number fifteen, made short work of the Momentum Gen, including one-time arch-rival Rob Machado, in the single fin div.

Today, however, was all Shane Dorian, a former world number four, who was “one of the few surfers of his generation not to pattern his style after three-time world champion Tom Curren, developing instead his own curious-but-pleasing form, marked by a raised chin, down-turned wrists and hands, and splayed fingers.”

“It felt really good to beat Kelly,” said Dorian. “It’s pretty obvious, but it’s really difficult to beat him. I’ve surfed against him a ton of times in my life and he usually gets me, so every time I can beat him, it’s a personal win for me.”

Dorian faced the supremely fit Ross Williams in the twin-fin final in waves described as “tricky”.

“Conditions were really fun, but you had to be very selective,” said Williams, riding a board designed by fellow competitor Rob Machado. “I feel like riding a twin-fin presented even more of a challenge out there – but, when you got a good wave and put it together, it felt all the better because of just how difficult it was.”

Tomoz, three-fins or “thrusters”.

Twin Fin Division Results:

Shane Dorian (USA) – 1st
Ross Williams (USA) – 2nd
Rob Machado (USA) – 3rd
Kelly Slater (USA) – 3rd
Taylor Knox (USA) – 5th
Hussain “Iboo” Areef (MDV) – 5th


Who doesn't like a party?
Who doesn't like a party?

World Surf League Head of Competition admits surprise “most favorite event on WSL calendar” (Hint: it’s not Pipeline, J-Bay or Teahupo’o)!

Lower Trestles?

As you know, 2022’s World Surf League Championship Tour is drawing to a close. There is only one event remaining, the make-believe Rip Curl WSL Finals, then we will have to twiddle our thumbs, sad and lonesome. No Kanoa Igarashi to warm our hearts. No Filipe Toledo to make us feel bold and brave by comparison.

But which stop is your favorite? The one you circle on the calendar and gleefully anticipate?

The Banzai Pipeline with its history and swagger?

South Africa’s J-Bay and that canvas?

Teahupo’o’s gasp-inducing caverns?

There is no wrong choice except Lower Trestles or Brazil and the WSL’s brass should be proud of all save Trestles and Brazil, but in a real surprise, the Senior Vice President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer just admitted her most cherished.

Can you guess?


It is glow stick night surfing in France!

But let’s learn why.

Ok so picture this, right, you were in Anglet last week and you got to watch our night surfing event. So this is one of my most favorite events that we have on the calendar. I mean look at it, it’s a bit of a party, which everyone loves, and it’s surfers competing at night with glow sticks.  And you can see why I would like it, it’s just pure neon but it’s fun, it’s something different, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to do this?

It must be a great relief to all Challenger Series surfers who recently lost their Quiksilver Pro France to know that it has been fantastically replaced.


King of the World!
King of the World!

World’s best small wave surfer Filipe Toledo reveals judges to blame for shock Tahiti Pro loss: “Felt like my waves were better than 7s but super stoked with my performance!”

Surf fans to sleep easy tonight.

The world’s current number one surfer, Filipe Toledo, suffered a shock loss in the just-wrapped Outerknown Tahiti Pro greatly kerflummoxing fans around the globe. In his first heat, he bravely refused to paddle for monster waves, bobbing lonely out the back while two elderly gentlemen traded absolute bombs underneath his priority.

In his second heat, he came up against the less skilled of the aforementioned elderly gentlemen, rode two medium sized waves and lost thus being sent home in last place.

Fans here and there, again, immeasurably stunned as, once more, Toledo is the world’s current number one surfer. How could he possibly lose in such fashion to such competitors?

Well, a week or such on, it has finally been revealed that the judges were, in fact, to blame for the unfortunate business.

In a message posted to social media, Toledo penned, “Felt good going into the elimination round. Had to go against legend Nathan Hog that got the best wave of the heat! Congrats brother (fire emoji)!!!! Feel like my waves was better than 7s but super stoked with my performance…// trestles see you soon// Felt good going into the elimination round, but I ran into monster Nathan Hedge! I think my waves might have been a bit more noted, even more seeing some drums now! But happy with my performance! Thank you Jesus – see you at trestles (swords crossed emoji).

While there is light confusion about what “drums” the very talented Brazilian is seeing now, fans will sleep easy knowing that the all-but-certain 2022 champion is best in all conditions, any size.


All is right.