The only way to surf.
The only way to surf.

Opinion: Southern Californians have either lost their ever-loving minds or the kook apocalypse is well and truly upon us!


Today is the hottest Southern California’s Ocean Pacific has been in ten years. Science declares it is 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees celsius, 2876 degrees Surfline) but it sure felt warmer. The air is 89. I just got out of the water, hair still dripping, after surfing a fun little wedge. There was no bite, upon entry. Not one tiny little clench of the jaw. It felt like getting into a lukewarm bathtub.

And here’s where things get bizarre. I paddled out into the lineup on my Album twin (5’10) sat in the lineup and studied the men around me. There were four sitting on the peak, three more down the beach, three more up the beach.

Each of them was wearing a wetsuit.

One a jacket, the rest full on long-legged, long-armed 3/2s.


What in the world is happening?

Surfing wetsuit-less is one of life’s great joys and only happens for two, maybe three months a year here. Why would any of those minutes be covered with constricting, extra-hot neoprene?

The only conclusions I could draw, while bobbing near nude with only a pair of Ola Canvas trunks covering unseemly bits, were either that Southern Californians had lost their ever-loving minds, spending too much time driving solo in cars with masks covering nose/mouth/too much time walking solo outside with masks covering nose/mouth or the kook apocalypse has fully and completely arrived with “surfing” and “wetsuit” synonymous.



Rich blow-in seeking Triple Crown confronted by North Shore locals.
Rich blow-in seeking Triple Crown confronted by North Shore locals.

Rumor: North Shore locals “bitterly opposed” to re-imagined Vans Triple Crown format as it perpetuates ugly economic inequalities, slapping working-class surfers directly in the face!

Haves vs. Have Littles.

Last year, or maybe the year before (who really knows anything anymore in these the Covid/Post-Covid years of our lives), surfing’s iconic Triple Crown was re-imagined. Previously, it was a simple but wonderful formula. The surfer holding highest combined event results from Haleiwa, Sunset and mighty Pipeline was crowned and there, by the grace of God, went we.

Things changed, though, thanks to the aforementioned lung disease and it was turned into a video submission thing wherein, I guess, surfers enter their best clips from each wave and get voted upon (?).

Equal opportunities for all!

Or are there?

A well-placed source with a finger on the North Shore pulse has declared that majority of locals are “bitterly opposed” to the new format.

“The elite guys have full-fledged production teams with two to three Red cameras on land and drones covering every blip but the average guys can’t afford full-time teams so feel it’s unfair, skewed, impossible and a waste of time chasing. At least in a contest it’s a level playing field, but when it’s all based on video clips the haves vs. the have littles are at such a distinct disadvantage. There’s heavy grumbling.”

It makes very much sense but also causes me to wonder. Will Meta CEO and world’s sixth richest man Mark Zuckerberg toss his cap into the ring? Oh, I know he has fallen out of love with surfing but imagine what he could do with his production capabilities.

Win, I’d imagine, then hang it over ex-BFF Kai Lenny’s head like the world’s largest lei.

To the victor go the spoils etc.

Super coach Mike “Snips” Parsons slams World Surf League brand director over revisionist Filipe Toledo at Teahupoo history: “It was eight foot, pumping, there were some really good waves coming to him and he opted not to take off on them.”

"To be the world champion, you have to perform in all the venues."

“I am of the opinion that it is really unfair to kind of label Filipe as someone who is, uh, not an elite level surfer in critical waves,” the World Surf League’s brand director Dave Prodan says, straight faced, at the 59:45 minute mark of his latest podcast, continuing, “I think he’s had a little bit of bad luck. I do think, sometimes, that psychology gets to people where he has this nightmare opening round heat, he doesn’t really get any waves, he knows what everyone is saying about him etc. etc. and you have to think that plays on his mind… and I want to get your take on Filipe having to distance himself from, kind of, not the ideal Tahiti performance he wanted and prepare for the Final’s Day and that can’t be an easy thing to do.”

On the opposite side of the screen sat Mike “Snips” Parsons, notable big wave gun and super coach who had just so happened to be in Teahupoo for Toledo’s brave act of cowardice, wherein the current world number one did not catch a real wave while Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge, both elderly, traded absolute bombs underneath his priority, witnessing it live from the channel.

Watching Toledo bob out the back, lonely.

The passive tone of Prodan’s “he doesn’t really get any waves” must have gotten to Snips as he launched into a not-at-all subtle asterisks painting of Toledo’s possible future championship.

“I think it’s probably really hard on him. I was there, watching all the warm-ups… so watching that all go down, I really expected Filipe to just kind of go Rambo mode and just show everyone ‘hey I’m gonna charge no matter what, I’m gonna give it a solid dig’ and I was (here Snips pauses for emphasis) bummed that he didn’t do that in his first round heat. It was eight foot, pumping, there were some really good waves coming to him and he opted not to take off on them. And I was just like, ‘Filipe have a dig, you’re so talented and so good in these waves’ and he just decided ‘no I’m not going to do it.’ Maybe he was thinking ‘I’m gonna save myself for Lowers… it looked like Filipe just wasn’t interested in Tahiti, even in the warm-ups I didn’t see him free surfing, maybe he was, but it felt to me he kind of went ‘you know what, I’m going to focus on winning Lowers this year and I’m just gonna let it happen here in Tahiti. Whatever happens, happens.’ I think that may play into his performance at Lowers, as much as he will try to block it out, and he should. As incredible as he is at Lowers, I feel there will be a lot of pressure on him this year at Lowers and a lot of people chatting about what we just brought up, about his performance at places like Pipeline and Teahupoo and if you look at past world champions, you look at John John and Gabriel and Kelly Slater, they are all incredible surfers at Teahupoo and Pipeline… to be the world champion, you have to perform in all the venues.”

The Final’s Day curtain may just rise tomorrow.


Zuck to unleash war on Freeman!

Leading “surf influencer” challenges Mark Zuckerberg to high-stakes cage fight following cancellation of much-loved Instagram account, “Two Years Ago I was privileged enough to teach @zuck how to surf…not gonna lie…the cat was one of the worst I have ever coached!”

"I'm a very lonely man but I will unleash the war!"

A couple of months ago, the much-loved (two million-ish followers) Instagram account @kookoftheday,  was clipped after repeated copyright breaches, following another adored account @beachgrit down the virtual drainage pipe. 

Now, after recent footage of Zuckerberg’s pivot away from surf and to combat sports was revealed, Kook of the Day’s leading man Johnathan Wayne Freeman has challenged Zuck to a cage fight. 

Freeman writes, 

“Two Years Ago I was Privileged enough to Teach @zuck how to surf at the World Famous Doheny…not gonna lie…the cat was one ☝️ of the worst I have ever coached . He requested a @gathsports Helmet after his first wipeout and a Band Aid for a small boo boo he received on his elbow from a fin cut. My Favorite part of the Lesson however was when I spoon fed him with a shovel on The Art of the Towel Change. I hate to call him out on this but since @kookoftheday has been gone and we have to use our backup account @kookofthedayog the Gloves have come off. We could of had something Beautiful @zuck . I eagerly await your response about our MMA Fight. If I win @kookoftheday goes back up. If I lose…my Family disowns me and I am mocked for generations to come. We can do it at @rvca HQ or Kauai now that my ban has been lifted for daring to poke fun at the Greatest Singer/Surfer/Songwriter/Designer Power Couple of our Time @thebarn808 #letsgozuckerberg #itwillbefun #playalong #thepublicwillembraceyouifyoudothis”

The smart money is on Zuck.

He is younger, trained in the art of strangulation and striking by a UFC debutante and some twenty years younger than the late middle-aged Freeman who carries a distinctly bourgeois body.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan goes “full Brazilian” ahead of Final’s Day with wildly flamboyant claim: “We have not even had the biggest day in pro surfing yet and we’ve already eclipsed some of the most amazing milestones we’ve seen in the history of the sport!”

Set to inspirational music.

“We have not even had the biggest day in pro surfing yet and we’ve already eclipsed some of the most amazing milestones we’ve seen in the history of the sport. Already this has been the most consumed live digital audience in the history of professional surfing before this day has ever happened. We’re up 13.4%, precisely, we like precise numbers. We’re ahead of that before the biggest day in professional surfing.

The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is real.”

-World Surf League CEO Erik Logan.

(Mic drop)