Clouds (pictured).
Clouds (pictured).

Hysteria, wanton panic buying, grip Southern California as weather models appear to show mighty hurricane tracking into Golden State!

Apocalypse Day.

Sheer panic has taken hold in Southern California as weather models are making the rounds, emailed from person to person, shared from phone to phone at block parties, appearing to show a mighty hurricane forming just below Baja with a trajectory bringing it directly to the Golden State.

Tropical Storm Kay is swirling and twirling there, clouds forming that classical hurricanal shape, and growing.

Southern Californians, not used to this sort of weather event, are using it as an opportunity to hysterically buy generators, plywood, big jugs of water, batteries and other items they have jealously watched their Floridian brothers and sisters hysterically buy for years.

Surfline is grouchily downplaying the potential, as the hurricane is not the World Surf League, declaring, “To be very clear: a hurricane is not going to hit Southern California and it’s a coin flip on whether we get any surf at all from Kay. But there are several possible impacts ranging from surf to wind to precipitation as this very large storm strengthens and tracks near – or possibly over – Baja. However, due to a highly uncertain forecast track beyond 72 hours, the precise details will need to be worked out in the coming days.”

Bah humbug.

But imagine Tropical Storm Kay was the World Surf League. There would certainly be calls for 1000 mph winds and 700 ft swells and absolute certainty 142 hours out.

Apocalypse Day.

Stephanie Gilmore, far left. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@sherms

“Kelly Slater of surf journalism” predicts horror end to Stephanie Gilmore’s quest for historic eighth world title at Lower Trestles, “She has absolutely no chance of winning this world title!”

No record-smashing eighth crown for Gilmore says "His Holy Frothness".

The former BeachGrit habitué who now steers Surfline in Australia, Nick Carroll, has driven his sword into Stephanie Gilmore’s world title hopes in a sizzling interview on the always heart-quickening Ain’t That Swell podcast. 

Carroll, who is sixty-three and described as “his Holy Frothness” for his storied forty-year-plus career in surf media, made the claim as he gave his characteristically thoughtful analysis of Rip Curl Finals Day, which is gonna be held at Lowers, sometime between September eight and sixteen. 

Asked how he figured Gilmore, who goes into Finals Day ranked fifth and who must beat three other surfers to have a shot at world number one Carissa Moore, would fare, Carroll first, carefully applies a layer of butter. 

“Ah, well, Stephanie, is probably my most favourite surfer in the world world, really, just because she’s got the best style of any surfer in the world and I’m a sucker for that. But…”


“I will say she’s got absolutely no chance of winning this world title.” 

Cue roar of laughter. 

Nick Carroll, in situ, at a surfing contest, sometime in the nineteen eighties. Note, cigarettes affixed to adonis belt. Photo: Tom Carroll.

“She’s got some nasty opposition between her and Carissa and I suspect one will take her out at some point. But…”


“If she was number two, she’d be a serious risk to Carissa. Steph has a lot of surf for here, eight world titles, can you imagine? She’d be the all-time one, then. Imagine would Layne (Beachley, who ties Gilmore for most world titles at seven apiece) would say! But…”


“I can’t see it, it’s too big an ask.” 

Vans down a billion shekels in sales, Billabong, RVCA and Quik brought in to stem the leak.

Rumour: VF Corp, owner of Vans, just bought Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA and only days before mass-sackings and after almost a decade of circling the once-iconic surf brands!

Vans, meanwhile, drops a billion in sales!

Az predicted a month back, and set to be revealed in coming days, is VF Corp’s acquisition of the once-iconic surf brands, Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA. 

Quiksilver, Billabong and RVCA all operate, or operated I suppose now, under the umbrella Boardriders Inc, majority owned by Oaktree Capital, an American global asset management firm

VF Corp, a behemoth in rude fiscal health that owns fifty percent of the US backpack market via its brands North Face, Timberland, Eastpak and JanSport, first had a swing at Billabong in 2013.

VF offered over half-a-billion dollars, before ending the chase when it became “too expensive.” 

Dreams do come true, as they say, and the acquisition by one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies, consolidates VF Corp, which also owns the canvas shoe company Vans, as the hub around which surf fashion now revolves. 

The buy comes amid mass sackings within the company, six hundred jobs shed following an astonishing one-billion dollar drop in sales from the aforementioned Vans, China and supply issues blamed for the probs.

More when the ink dries.

Zuckerberg (left) and Lenny. Happier times.
Zuckerberg (left) and Lenny. Happier times.

Big-wave honeypot Kai Lenny responds to public dumping by “Meta King” Mark Zuckerberg with vicious snub of his own: “My non-surfing heroes are Travis Pastrana and Bruce Lee!”


News broke, over the evening, that Facebook founder, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had very publicly broken up with erstwhile BFF, big-wave honeypot Kai Lenny. In a relationship tremor no one saw coming, the extreme sport aficionado (Zuckerberg) shared that the new Meta of his eye is none other than UFC debutant Kha “The Shadow” Wu, even sharing pictures of the two in hot pants dancing some erotic dance.

Lenny, initially silent, has responded today with his own vicious snub.

In an interview with Forbes, a magazine for the rich and richer, the Maui-born stud was asked “What athletes have inspired you most as a surfer and outside surfing?”

The answer brutally snarky.

The most inspiration I’ve drawn from athletes from an early age was from the (group of famed surfers known as) the “Strapped Crew”—Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox, Dave Kalama, Rush Randall, Derek Doerner. They were the first surfers to tow into unrideable waves and broke those barriers and did it in such a cool way.

I always wanted to be a part of that. Plus, competition-wise, I respect and look to Kelly Slater and Robby Naish in their respective fields, surfing and windsurfing.

Outside of surfing I’ve always been impressed with (motorcycle racer) Travis Pastrana. Just his fearlessness and how nice of a person he is, how much he innovated within that. Of course, always thought of Bruce Lee as a hero too.

Zuckerberg clearly inhabits both surfing and outside surfing spaces thus amplifying his omission.

The question now, Zuckerberg’s hole has already been filled by Wu but which multi-billionaire will sweep Lenny off his feet?

More as the story develops.

Rip Zinger (pictured) genius.
Rip Zinger (pictured) genius.

Surfer makes gourmet breakfast at local spot for all those he burned in the past year, all those he plans on burning in the coming one!

A work of singular genius.

In this year 2022 it can sometimes seem like we have seen it all. A twenty-year-old from Cocoa Beach, Florida somehow winning the Pipeline Masters on Oahu’s terrifying North Shore. A near-fifty-year-old more than twice the age of his competitors storming back and, someway, winning the Pro Pipeline.


But yesterday morning early, as I crossed over the Pacific Coast Highway to a spot I surf regularly, I witnessed something that I have not only never seen but never imagined.

A work of singular genius.

A pop tent has been set up, you see, in the parking lot and a knot of locals mingled. As I got closer, I saw that Rip Zinger was behind a camp stove, mixing some wildly delicious Japanese breakfast, serving on paper plates with biodegradable utensils.

Now, Rip is a local legend and jack-of-all-trades. Originally from Japan, he mostly resides in North County, San Diego these days. He snowboards, skates, surfs, of course, but is also an award-winning photographer and in-demand chef, hired for celebrity home parties. But here he was cooking in a parking lot on a camp stove.

As I sauntered up he smiled widely.

“What you doing Rip?” I asked.

“I am cooking breakfast for everyone I burned last year and everyone I’m planning on burning this year,” he beamed.

Absolute inspiration.

The meal was irresistible, some Japanese pancake and delicately seasoned noodle combination, and once taken, the eater has clearly entered into a contract. His or her waves for yum yums. Much like Esau trading his birthright to younger brother Jacob for a bowl of stew.

To be fair, there was some debate amongst the gathered locals whether or not the breakfast only covered past sins or future ones as well, but Rip was insistent that it was both and, as chef, I feel it was his call.

I took a plate, ate and now carry a target on my back or, rather, chest, but, boy oh boy, was it tasty.

Probably worth it.