Thank you for professional surfing.
Thank you for professional surfing.

Leading World Surf League correspondent lashes out over recent viewership announcements: “The WSL’s numbers are ludicrous. It’s a campaign of such deliberate misinformation and manipulation of statistics that it amounts to sheer lies.”

We have made these decisions for YOU.

Are there millions of fans of pro surfing we’re unaware of?

How about, Mr Logan, you tell us how many unique viewers there were. Or how many people were tuned in simultaneously at the peak of the Finals.

I’d warrant those numbers are spectacular in a very different way.

What do we think? 20k? 30k, tops?

Are you really telling us, Mr Erik Logan, that the WSL Finals were more popular than last year’s NBA conference finals, watched by an average of 7 million viewers (East) and 6.7 million (West)?

The 2022 Champions’ League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid averaged just 2.76 million viewers in the US. Granted, soccer is still a growing sport in North America, but it’s significantly more popular than surfing.

Plain and simple: the WSL’s numbers are ludicrous. It’s a campaign of such deliberate misinformation and manipulation of statistics that it amounts to sheer lies.

The quest for data is a goldrush. It’s the mark of Erik Logan’s media savvy, if you could call it that. Whilst new for surfing, it’s hardly an original tactic. In fact, internet culture is predicated on it.

Consider TikTok, the app that has monetised our attention and vanity like no other. By the numbers, TikTok crushes all else. Where Instagram or YouTube offered millions, TikTok gives you trillions. Nevermind overnight fame, TikTok can make you famous in a few hours.

But where are these views coming from? What does it mean? How are they generated? What exactly constitutes a “view”?

These are questions no-one knows the answer to. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance, and they’re not exactly transparent.

Do the end users of the app care? Not in the least. They just see numbers. They don’t question them.

The WSL strategy is no different: here are some numbers that look impressive. Nevermind the evidence.

Fiddling the numbers may work in the short term. If the play is to make the WSL look like a catch so Ziff can offload it, then Logan and his campaign of nonsense is bang on. But if they really care about long term stability, the core fanbase, or the quality of the product on offer, the strategy is sorely wanting.

Where does this less-than-inviting schedule leave Medina and Florence? There should be little debate that these are the two most talented and well-rounded male surfers in the world. But would you, in their shoes, be motivated to return?

Is John Florence likely to tie up Vela and forgo chasing empty waves in the South Pacific to scratch around in the mush at Trestles, or be ousted by Filipe Toledo in a knee-threatening air show?

As for us, we’ll still watch, like the black and blue spouse who swears it doesn’t happen often. He’s just under a lot of stress, you see. Things will get better. It’s my fault, really.

But although the WSL may not lose us or care if it does, it should very much care about losing its stars.

The machinations of the WSL are nothing short of Orwellian. They do not hear, they do not care.

And in Orwellian fashion, only those who keep the machine going, the surfers themselves, have the power to do anything about it. Not that they ever will.

And who can blame them? Look how their little petition was scrumpled and dismissed after Margaret River.

We have made these decisions for YOU.


DO NOT QUESTION our strategies or structure.

But unlike Orwell’s proles, living in blissful ignorance of the meagre existence they are subjected to, the competitors on the WCT, men and women of the world as they are, surely know that the Tour schedule (and arguably, structure) is not as it should be. They know better waves exist.

They might squeak dissent in private, yet none seem willing to stand against Eric Logan’s cult of personality. Instead, they will shut up and get on with it.

They will begin the season at Pipe, knowing full well it should be the end.

They will return to Kelly’s Ranch, each sweltering and seething silently in the stink of Lemore’s heat. Nodding graciously to Kelly as they pass his trailer. “Yes, sir. Thankyou, sir. Please, sir, may we have some more?”

And they will trudge despondently back to Trestles, neutered and spayed by a venue that makes professional surfing look like it has all the verve of a model railway exhibition.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine Eric Logan’s clean Vans stamping on the face of surf culture – forever.

Hawaiian big-wave superstar dubbed “world’s smartest surfer” lists million-dollar North Shore loft with golf-course frontage for rent, features “incredible amenities” including TV, couch and ceiling fans!

As well, "table and chairs for dining"!

It is difficult not to ladle superlative upon superlative when describing Nathan Florence, the middle brother of that storied clan, which also includes his two-time world champion and Olympian brother John John and little bro, the skate shredder Ivan.

Nathan Florence, who is twenty-eight and named after the son of the Hebrew King David, is widely regarded as the “world’s smartest surfer”, which ain’t much, I know, a very shallow pool indeed. Like the best white linebacker in the NFL or best Jewish sprinter or wielder of the biggest sword in all of Thailand.

Still, how many pro surfers were gobbling novels when they were six and who’ll reference French author Guy Sajer’s seminal wartime novel The Forgotten Soldier?

Nathan is the the most engaging of the three brothers, and gets his quirky, literary side from his Daddy John, I think, who wrote in his tell-all memoir eight years ago.

“I am natural flirt. I enjoy making people smile, chuckle, laugh. I am very sexual by nature. I was raised that way. I have always enjoyed the whole sexual innuendo sort of suggestion in general conversation. Something that would make a person raise an eyebrow while giving a sly knowing smile back. Very sexual in every way to a fault or not, I am not sure but this is simply how I interact with everyone from passengers at my tables to coworkers, friends and girlfriends.”

Anyway, Nathan has listed his gorgeous North Shore condo at the Kuilima Estates East community, four miles east of Pipe.

The two-bedroom loft was designed “provide guests with an elevated design aesthetic with a feel-good comfortability.”

The gorgeous North Shore of Oahu! A dream come true!
Simple but luxurious loft bedroom.
Many subtle tones and textures.

The amenities, writes its famous owner, “are incredible. It features a television, large sectional couch, free Wi-Fi, ceiling fans, air conditioning, table and chairs for dining, and a day bed. The kitchen is fully equipped and features a stovetop, dishwasher, water dispenser, Keurig coffeemaker, microwave, plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. Furthermore, in the community there is a pool, charcoal BBQ area, tennis courts and gazebo.”

Book it for nine days over Christmas and it’ll cost a reasonable seven thousand American dollars.

Inspect, book, here.

Surf fans break out in spontaneous celebration as World Surf League iconoclast Jessi Miley-Dyer named Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changer” for 2022!

Party poppers!

The wins just keep on coming for the World Surf League in the glorious afterglow of Filipe Toledo and Steph Gilmore’s season finale wins there on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone. There was, of course, the robust numbers making Final’s Day the most watched moment in professional surfing history, some 8.3 million people and counting. There was the roll out of the 2023 season, seeking to capitalize on growth and excitement by re-introducing Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch back on to tour.

And now, the League’s own Senior Vice-President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer has been named one of the year’s “Game Changers” according to the august Sports Business Journal.

The iconoclast made a name for herself this year by kicking Joel Tudor out of longboarding and being equality.

In accepting the accolade, Miley-Dyer wrote, “The @sportsbusinessjournal list of Game changers for 2022 comes out today. Incredibly honored to be included in this group of women.”

Praise from surf fans as spontaneous as it was uproarious.

Mark Zuckerberg’s one-time BFF Kai Lenny posted, “Congrats” with raise the roof emojis.

Ultimate Surfer and Bachelor host Jesse Palmer added, “YESSSSSS” with clapping hands.

USA Surfing forwent words and only used clapping hands and mini bonfires.

Sports Business Journal, big ship in the harbor, also clapped but only twice as compared with USA Surfing’s four plus fire.

On it went, on and on and on but how did you celebrate?

Or are you still sending invitations to surf fan friends?

Party popper!

Mother of toddler bitten on face by coyote near famed Huntington Beach pier sues city for not having “hazing team” of vigilantes hunting creatures, forcing them to binge drink while jeering!

Strange days.

This past week, Huntington Beach was site of much jubilation, happy screams, as the International Surfing Association hosted its 2022 World Surfing Games with both bragging rights and extra Olympic slots up for grabs. Maybe money too. Well, as you know, Kanoa Igarashi won sending Japanese surf fans into titters and huzzah!

Last spring, though, very different screams filled the air. Shouts of terror as a menacing coyote became aggressively rude to a young child. The disturbing footage, recorded on a Surfline camera, features the aforementioned cur pouncing on the two-year-old girl and knocking her to the ground, rolling her to and fro then pouncing again while her minders stand nearby, mesmerized by Huntington’s iconic crumble.

Now, one of them, the child’s mother, is suing the city.

In a press conference, lawyer Sam Soleimany declares, “Frankly, she’s lucky to be alive at all. Unfortunately, she has developed scars on her face. She’s absolutely traumatized from all this, as is her mother.”

All very sad but how is Huntington Beach responsible for the horror?

According to Soleimany, coyotes had been known to “target pets and small children” in the area yet “there’s no coordinated effort anymore to get anything under control.”

Namely, the lack of “hazing teams.”

This is the first time I’ve ever heard “hazing” in this sort of context. Usually “hazing” is saved for college fraternities where older “brothers” force pledges to binge drink beer while wearing underwear etc.

I can imagine that his sort of behavior would be shameful to coyotes and to parents of coyotes but effective?


In any case, are you Team Sue the City or Team Stuff Happens?

More as the story develops.

Nathan Fletcher (pictured) not booking travel to Laguna any time soon.
Nathan Fletcher (pictured) not booking travel to Laguna any time soon.

In wild power play, tony Laguna Beach seeks to wrest control of local coast from Orange County in order to force draconian smoking ban!

"Get your filthy habit out of our town!"

Internecine war has broken out in the most unexpected of places, overnight, as tony Laguna Beach, hugging the most gorgeous stretch of Southern California coast, is attempting to wrest control of local beaches from ruling Orange County so it can impose a draconian smoking ban.

Ken Domer, Laguna’s assistant city manager, said the move would tax the coffers some $2.2 million a year but would be very much worthwhile because anti-smoking spies could be installed at various high towers.

“The contract lifeguards for the county are basically looking eyes on the water all the time, whereas our lifeguards are city employees,” Domer declared at last Tuesday’s city council meeting. “They’re looking at not just the water and doing an exemplary job, but also the quality of life issues that are on the beach around them.”

Laguna is, of course, famous for its art scene but it is a very different art scene from, say, New York City’s east village where cool cats used to toy with the idea of meaning, splattering canvases and hacking grits.

No, Laguna’s scene is more… Pageant of the Masters.

Have you ever seen it?


No word if vaping will be banned as well but it seems likely.

More, clearly, as the story develops.